Seasonal Skincare: Summer Sun to Autumn Leaves and In-Between

Seasons Change – So Should Your Skincare

As much as I hate to see the end of summer (and the beginning of Lockdown 2.0) I am excited to try out new skincare products. I have tried and true products which I always keep on my shelf, but feel the need to switch things up every now and then. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned I love going out with a fresh face. Many of the following products are designed to soothe irritated skin, which is often a problem for me as the seasons change. As autumn becomes winter I know I’ll be adding more moisturisers. For now, just like fall clothing, I’m keeping things light, but just adding more layers as temperatures fall. Hold on tight – it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

Skincare

Vivier Medicated Wash & Cosrx Cica Cleanser

I alternate this medicated wash with the Cosrx Cica Cleanser. Vivier‘s medicated wash (active ingredient being – 2% Salicylic Acid USP) is designed to be an all-in-one cleanser (so you don’t have to use toner -I still do, though). Both of these products dispense as a light cream. A little goes a long way to foam up. They both wash off leaving no greasy films. I tend to use the Vivier wash if I’ve had makeup on, whereas the Cosrx product I’ll use to gently wipe away my day.

Skincare Cosrx

Cosrx Pure Fit Cica Toner & Powder

This toner contains seven types of centella asiatica extracts which are said to aid in accelerating skin cell production and collagen synthesis. It’s also said to protect the skin’s barrier. The powder (which contains maritime pine bark extract and green calamine) comes out quickly, so definitely be careful when shaking it out of the packaging. I mix it with my toner and apply directly with my fingertips, but you can use a cotton pad as well. These paraben-free and cruelty-free products help with inflammation and, as someone with occasional redness, I can attest to their calming properties.

Clean Skin Club - Vitamin C Brightening Booster 30mL

Clean Skin Club – Vitamin C Brightening Booster

I love the mild scent of of pineapple, watermelon, and green tea and the silky smooth texture of this serum. It comes in a dark bottle (as all vitamin C serums should) with an eyedropper so that the perfect amount can be distributed each time. It goes on evenly and soaks into the skin quickly. I’ve noticed an almost immediate glow using this product, which also claims to protect against UV damage, and helping to reduce eventual signs of ageing.  I use it as a standalone serum, however it can be added to a moisturiser or night cream for a vitamin-c boost.

Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence Seasonal skincare

Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

This Advanced Snail Gel Lotion protects skin from moisture loss and keeps skin smooth and healthy. Snail Secretion Filtrate improves damaged skin through moisture, promotion of collagen production, and elasticity. It’s said that proteins in the snail goo can have anti-aging properties proven through clinical trial. It can also reverse sun damage. It’s a great choice for dry skin and sensitive skin, which is typical for me as the seasons change. It’s not going to make great strides for deep, deep folds, but I’ll lather it on with the promise to improve my skin’s texture.

Vivier Derma-V Repair Cream

Derma-V is a blend of 5 skin repairing ingredients: Prebiotics (to help repair and strengthen skin), Antioxidants (anti-aging properties and skin protection), Peptides (for strength and elasticity), Hydration Boosters (for smoother and more radiant skin), and Repairing Boosters (Teprenone – increasing skin hydration and improving barrier integrity). I use this product after my toner, essences, serums, and retinol, but before any other creams. It has a mild scent (I’m often sensitive to scented products) and I always look forward to applying it and smelling the bright, natural citrus fragrance from Orange Peel Oil.

This item is a perfect stocking stuffer – click here to shop Vivier’s Holiday offers.

Farmacy - CHEER UP brightening vitamin C eye cream with acerola cherry

Farmacy – CHEER UP Brightening Vitamin C Eye Cream with Acerola Cherry

I’ve been using this product for about a month and (granted, I do get botox every 9 months or so) I’ve noticed that my crows feet haven’t been returning quite so quickly, and my under-eyes haven’t been quite as puffy. This product has a mild, fruity scent and a very smooth texture, thicker than most of my eye creams.

Discussion] Any thoughts on the COSRX pure fit cica cream? Anyone tried it?  : AsianBeauty

Cosrx Pure Fit Cica Cream

I like to use products from the same set and switch things up when I have empties. This Cica Cream is very mild and isn’t quite as moisturising as I would like, but on your warmer autumn days this product will offer a nice layer before your sunscreen and does offer a number of soothing properties.

 

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Waterproof, 400 mL |  Walmart Canada

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water – Waterproof

I absolutely hate using makeup remover, but it works better and is significantly less irritating to the skin than cleansing wipes. Micellar water is a gentle alternative to makeup remover. In my experience, it’s a little too gentle, so even though I refuse to wear waterproof mascara, I need to use Micellar Water designed with waterproof cosmetics in mind. It can be used on the eyes, lips, and face. I prefer is to the irritating makeup remover which is typically astringent or oily.

Beauty Treatment, Face Mask, Spa, Face, Skin, Treatment

Gifted Product Acknowledgement

Some of these seasonal skincare products were PR samples sent to me for honest reviews, while others came as part of Boxy Charm. I would NEVER recommend Boxy Charm. Their customer service is non-existent, their billing system is confusing, and the boxes do not align with the quiz answers you provide upon registration. As always, these honest opinions are my own and not for sale.

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Repat Dating Diaries: The Trash Takes Itself Out

If there’s one thing a man should know when dating me, it’s that I have a very close relationship with my parents. While they don’t know everything, they know most things. I try to avoid telling them things which will hurt them or make them worry. Sometimes they’ll surprise you when you do end up over-sharing.

dating diaries alley

In this episode of the Repat Dating Diaries, I can’t decide whether he was a cheater, cheater pumpkin eater or if this was a turkey dump. I’ve been seeing someone for the past couple of months. Things were going well! I’d see him once a week, we’d text nearly all day, and I was actually mildly hopeful. I loved waking up to an article or cute video from him, and made sure to say goodnight before crashing. I enjoyed the whole “taking it slow” thing; not just due to trying to let a relationship grow naturally rather than the warp-speed I encountered dating other expats, but also due to the global pandemic. Hugs make people nervous, understandably. Anything more than that is, of course, even riskier.

dating diaries red flag

Red Flags

When we discussed dating exclusively I wasn’t actually all that excited, but I thought it was wise since both of us have parents in their 70’s. What came as a mighty surprise was when yesterday, on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, I received a text from him giving me a glowing review, but saying that he was “progressing” with someone else.

dating diaries thanksgiving train

I wasn’t aware the real reason he was sending me off on a horrible guilt trip rather than saying bon voyage for a 45 minute Go Train journey from Toronto was not due to the fact that he thought my conservative outdoor activity would put my parents at risk. In fact, the real reason was that he clearly expected all of the ladies he was dating to be monogamous. Bit unfair that he couldn’t return the favour, no?

dating diaries turkey dump

Love Lockdown

Not only did he make me unable to see my family on Thanksgiving, he ensured that as we go into Lockdown 2.0 I’ll be alone. He restricted my opportunities and put me in danger of getting Covid-19 with an extended bubble I wasn’t aware I had. I’m glad he’s got a girlfriend for the upcoming cold and lonely nights, but I resent that he limited me from being able to have someone, too.

dating diaries trash

Trash

Once a mother has written you off, there’s no getting back in her good graces. Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. Mum says that she won’t be wishing anyone “Happy Thanksgiving” this year because “Mac ruined it”. I FaceTimed with my parents this afternoon and my Mum asked what I was up to this evening. I told her I had some blog maintenance to do, Netflix to watch, some leftovers to reheat, and trash to take out. Her words?

“I thought the trash took itself out last night.”

dating diaries trash

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Dating During a Pandemic: Virtual Dating or Bust

If Love is Blind was any indication of what was to come, virtual dating is the new normal. We’re going into week 6 of social distancing and isolation. Covid-19 has changed everyone’s lives in some way, shape, or form. I think we’ve all put on a few pounds, questioned whether some hypothetical socializing method out in the world is okay (newsflash: sadly, it’s not), and romantic relationships may never be the same again.

Virtual Dating during Covid-19

The first week of the Great Canadian Quarantine, my Bumble, Hinge, and Tinder were busier than ever. These Toronto skeezbags were using the coronavirus as the ultimate wing-man. I’ve never had so many offers to “Netflix and Quarantine” in all my life. As we learned more about the virus and its severity, it became really easy to just unmatch those who wanted to bring beer, wine, and germs over to my place.

Virtual Dating during Covid-19

Week two I experienced a change in the behaviour of men on these apps. Conversations were longer. Men were opening up, being vulnerable about their emotional fragility during this uncertain time, and sharing their hobbies and interests on a deeper level. Chats like these can seem amazing and fulfilling, but don’t get caught up in the excitement. Both sides have time to come up with a response, and Prince Charming may only be able to sweep you off your feet due to preparation time and good old Google.

Chrissy Teigen's Cry Face

This past week I finally gave virtual dating a try. I had 1 phone and two video chat dates. The phone date was uncomfortable. The guy was definitely already wasted, talked about giving up on his freelance work in favour of CERB, and told me I was going to marry him.

Virtual Dating during Covid-19

My second virtual date was through an instagram video chat. At first, things were flowing pretty well. While he did seem to look like his pictures, right away I felt as though I wasn’t attracted to him. We have actually worked in the same industry. I worked for a company (years ago) that developed the first iteration of the platform about which he was complaining. You have to give someone the benefit of the doubt with technology which can lag, but it didn’t take too long to realize that he was just talking over me and wasn’t willing to let me get a word in edgewise.

Virtual Dating during Covid-19

I would ask him questions – a pretty normal practice to engage in conversation. He would answer, but would not reciprocate with a question for me. Eventually we just sat there nodding while I waited for him to bring something to the table. Lags in conversation can be really unbearable in person, but when virtual dating it’s really tempting to just X out of the chat.

Virtual Dating during Covid-19

The last virtual dating experience actually went really well. I poured a glass of wine and immediately spilled it everywhere. He laughed, but was cool about it. Conversation flowed really well. None of it was the standard small talk. We talked about our families, our passions, and what we would do on our first “real” date once extreme social distancing ends. He was rugged and masculine. His mannerisms and body language were chill and relaxed. From what I’ve seen so far, I’m into it. It might not be magic in person, but at least I know that he’s not going to cut me off each time I go to speak on “in-person” date #1.

Love Is Blind

Ultimately, the virtual date is going to be awkward and tense at first. The new normal requires a change in perspective. You can either adapt or get reaaaal comfortable with isolation. Online dating can be a colossal waste of time, but I’ve had a couple of nice relationships thanks to their help. If you’re getting butterflies, kick things up a notch. Love is not blind, as we’ve discovered. The pods can only last so long. Save yourself some time and energy. Virtual or bust.

Love Is Blind

Have you tried virtual dating throughout the pandemic?

Let us know what app and method of virtual dating you’ve given a shot (and how it went!) in the comments below.

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Candidly Cartier – Pressing Life’s Reset Button

I left Toronto in 2015 because things just weren’t going my way. Every time I took a step forward, life pushed me two steps back. No matter how hard you try to change your perspective and have a positive attitude, sometimes you have to change your actual surroundings to press reset.

I moved to Korea and spent 3 years living and working abroad. During those years I fell in love once and fell in like twice. Living in Asia gave me the opportunity to experience culture in my own new home country, but also in so many others. I built two brands and worked independently in a variety of industries.

Pressing the reset button, heading away, then returning home, I was terrified to come back to the environment from which I had fled. He was almost brought to justice, but Lady Justice is often told to go back to the kitchen, isn’t she?

I’ve had some wonderful opportunities and have really settled into my life here. That said, I’ve definitely settled through settling down. I wonder if I’ll ever find the same excitement and sense of liberation that I had living abroad ever again.

I wrote the above in October of 2019. Last year was ROUGH, but my self-quarantined ass (and ratchet shellac nails) with 2020 vision would like to apologize for all the opportunities in 2019 that I didn’t take. The “new normal” is going to change over and over again as we make our way to 2021.

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The Case Full of Seoul: Korean Beauty in a Few Easy Steps

The Case Full of Seoul

I would have never, ever guessed that the first place from which I’d get legitimate Korean beauty and skincare products would be Costco. I’ve found some products in stores along Bloor Street in old Koreatown, and even a slew of products from Shopper’s Drug Mart which had writing in Hangeul (Korean characters). Until now, none of these products have actually been made in Korea.

“Discover all that K-Beauty has to offer with The Case Full of Seoul. K-Beauty is a skincare regimen designed by beauty experts in Korea. Korean skincare is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

It is a daily routine rather than a one-off treatment – It is a commitment. UMMA has gathered 8 skin-changing products that work best when used together, and has designed a beauty plan to help you get the most out of each product. Follow these beauty plans and get ready to see results.”

Step One: 9 Wishes Rice Foaming Cleanser $20.90

Step one in any Korean skincare routine I’ve ever heard of is cleansing. The scent of this particular cleanser reminds me of wandering through rice paddies in Bali. It’s light in every sense of the word. The formula features micro-ground rice texture which lightly and gently exfoliates dead skin cells. I wouldn’t use it as your make-up remover (again – it’s light), but the formula is designed to cleanse oil, sebum, blackheads, and other impurities from make-up. The design is to even out skin tone and hydrate the skin.

Step Two: MayCoop Raw Sauce Mini $28

The product is a combination toner and an emulsion. As step two, it prepares the skin to absorb the hydrating formulas you’ll apply throughout the rest of the process. The scent and viscosity are both quite light. The description is that it “hydrates and revitalizes dull skin” and “uses ingredients that mimic molecules in human skin, such as maple tress sap, to help retain extra-high absorbency”. This was a step I really enjoyed as it wasn’t sticky and it was absorbed very quickly.

Step Three: URANG True Rose Repair Essence $47

The rose scent on the repair essence is quite a bit stronger than the other products, so take note if you’re sensitive. This formula contains organic Bulgarian rose water and rose essential oil. The substance is thicker than the previous step. The texture is designed to have a cooling effect. It should calm down redness, although I found it just wasn’t all that effective in balancing my skin tone especially around particularly dry areas like my nose.

Step Four: Tov Camellia Wrinkle-free Eye Solution $25

This product was hands down one of my favourites. This formula contains shea butter and macadamia nut oil. Obviously, it’s safe to use around the eye area which can be quite delicate. The product goes on so smooth it’s almost like a primer in an of itself. It’s quite thick and a little goes a long way. My under-eye area calmed down almost instantly. This is a holy grail item I’d definitely purchase on its own if it weren’t already in The Case Full of Seoul.

Step Five: MayCoop Raw Moisturizer $40

I found this product to smell quite clean and fresh. My guess would be something close to fresh linen, but even that would be too strong a scent. The description states that it “uses moisture balls filled with oil that pop onto the skin to provide the ultimate hydration experience” – I didn’t experience that. It went on like my regular day/ night moisturizer. I would use this in the spring as it’s not quite thick enough for winter, but it would be too much for summer.

Optional: Touch In Sol No Poreblem Primer $18

This is another fabulous find I would have never heard of without The Case Full of Seoul. I would say this primer (at least for me) is another holy grail. I typically use Smashbox Primer, but felt it just wasn’t working with my skin lately. This product goes on like the first time I ever used a primer. My foundation works over it like silk it’s so smooth. I’ve never has any film from it either. It conceals my pores and nearly all my wrinkles for a really even complexion. I love the way my makeup looks when I use this primer!

Optional: URANG Vitamin Oil Serum $57

I wasn’t a huge fan of this oil, to be candid, and found myself swapping in my Chantecaille Rose Oil instead. With so many rose infused items, it made sense to me. The fragrance of this product (with rosehip and jojoba oils) was so overwhelming it gave me headaches. The idea is to seal in all the aforementioned hydrating ingredients to hide discolouration, reduce fine lines, and give an overall brightening effect.

I Woke Up Like This All-In-One Concentrate Treatment Mask

Most of the sheet masks I’ve tried in Korea have some sort of gimmicky ingredient. Some have gold or diamonds, some wine or beer, others have snail serum. This sheet mask is made with pearl powder, Vitamin C and Niacinamide to (again!) boost hydration, provide a brightening effect and even out skin tone. The fit is good, but I wouldn’t say there’s anything insanely exciting about this mask. Pop it on for 20 minutes, then remove and massage the excess essence into your skin.

This kit is easy to use for even the most sensitive skin and the newest K-Beauty user. The case itself gives directions for morning, evening, self-care Sunday, and even “get ready with me” and also comes with a booklet full of ingredients and instructions. The case brings huge discounts vs. purchasing each product individually (on Costco’s website the price listed it $79.98). If you’d been doing your math along the way, you’ll note that the value of the case is upwards of $235 USD.

I enjoy taking care of my skin and enjoy trying new products – especially those from my old home, Seoul. The proof is in the pudding, however. Go check out my recent skin analysis where you’ll find that my skin is dialing in at almost 5 years younger than my actual age! Thanks for letting me try some of the hot commodity products which came out directly after I left Korea!

Skincare Review: Leegeehaam has quick-drying formulae which I love when I'm in a rush.  My skin feels soft and there's never any hint of shine.

This article was written in unpaid partnership in exchange for an honest reviewThatGirlCartier.com only features products or services I genuinely adore and would repurchase again and again.
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Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic: Medical Experts in Toronto

Photo: Robert Evans

When I lived in Korea, I was absolutely astounded by the number of cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery clinics there were just in the Sinsa-dong area of Seoul. 1 in 3 women in South Korea have had plastic surgery. South Korea has the highest rate of plastic surgeries per capita in the world. That’s why they say Seoul is the plastic surgery capital of the planet. I spent 2015 – 2018 in South Korea; two of those years living in Seoul.

Photo: Robert Evans

Cosmetic Surgery in Toronto

Since returning to Toronto two years ago, I have been invited to visit several clinics. My first question is always, “Do you have a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon performing injections and cosmetic surgery procedures?” Until a couple of weeks ago, 100% of the representatives for the clinics replied that they only had medical esthetic practitioners, or nurse injectors. I don’t know about you, but if someone is sticking a needle near my eye, I want to know that they have more experience than a handful of Saturdays of training.

Image result for dr. diego delgado

Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic

I met with Dr. Diego Delgado, Medical Director of Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic who is also a Clinician Investigator at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, an Associate Professor in the Division of Cardiology and Cardiac Transplantation at the University Health Network, and a faculty member of the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. Procedures at Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic are carried out by medical professionals who are certified by both the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and the Ontario Nursing Association.

The Team at Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic

I also met with Managing Director, Olga Olenka, and Nurse Anna, who you can see in the video above talking about some of my favourite skincare products from Vivier Skin. We discussed some of the procedures I’ve had in Korea as well as those I’ve tried out since returning to Toronto. I’ve had Dysport (a competitor of Botox) twice (forehead and crow’s feet once each), a facial peel, dermaplaning (an exfoliation technique to rid the face of hair and the first layer of dead skin), a Fire and Ice facial, and an IPL.

VISIA Facial Assessment Report

Since I do take care of my skin fairly well, the team suggested that rather than going straight for the lasers, I should have my skin analysed by their VISIA Facial Assessment machine.

“IntelliFlash®, cross-polarized and UV lighting are used to record and measure surface and subsurface skin conditions. UV photography provides the most complete data set available for sun damage assessment and analysis, including UV fluorescence imaging to reveal porphyrins.

Canfield’s RBX® Technology separates the unique color signatures of Red and Brown skin components for unequaled visualization of conditions that result in color concentration, such as spider veins, hyperpigmentation, inflammation and other conditions.”

My VISIA Facial Assessment Report at Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic was actually a lot better than expected. You never really know what’s going on with your skin until you can see deeper into the layers on skin. The ideal score is 100%, but that would be wild considering most skin damage occurs in the first 5 years of life.

My scores:

  • Spots: 66%
  • Wrinkles: 61%
  • Texture: 79%
  • Pores: 67%
  • UV Spots: 61%
  • Brown Spots: 58%
  • Red Areas: 67%
  • Porphyrins (Bacteria): 89%

The system suggested a number of treatments to get my skin to its best. They’re fairly non-invasive treatments which I’ve already been doing. Looks like if I continue with my current regimen and add just a few more treatments, I’ll have the best chance of great skin as I age.

My Custom Suggestions:

  • Botox (a 10-minute treatment which can last for up to 4 months)
  • Latisse (an FDA-approved treatment to grow fuller, longer lashes)
  • Silk Peel (a 3-in-1 dermatological treatment that exfoliates, extracts, and infuses skin with condition-specific serums for a one-step all-inclusive treatment)
  • Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing (laser technology which generates collagen and elastin to improve fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and other surface imperfections)
  • Platelet-rich plasma Vampire Facial (An injectable treatment that will increase rebuilding of tissue by stimulating new collagen and blood vessel formation. Helps with acne scars, wrinkles, sun damage, dark circles, and overall skin tone).
  • Photofacial IPL (Laser treatment for brown spots, sun damage, and vessels without harming the surrounding skin)
  • Skin Tightening (Multi-polar radio frequency and pulsed electro magnetic fields to produce heat under the skin’s surface. The process helps icrease collagen and elastin fibers while also shrinking the volume of fat cells)

Trust

Any type of procedure – be it elective or emergency – requires a high degree of trust between the patient and the Doctor of Nurse. Having visited Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic yesterday for my VISIA Facial Assessment (as well as an other procedure I’m excited to tell you all about) I think I’ve found my new spot. The team is dedicated, present, and friendly. I felt very well taken-care of by Dr. Diego, Olga, and Anna throughout my visit!

How to Get to Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic

  • Address: 27 Rean Dr Unit 7, North York, ON M2K 0A6
  • Phone: (416) 639-1882
  • Hours:
    Sunday: Closed
    Monday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Tuesday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Wednesday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Thursday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Friday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Saturday: 10 AM – 3 PM

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Miracle 10’s Kabuki Brush – Worth the Splurge

Kabuki Brush

“This super soft multi-purpose Kabuki brush can sweep, finish, bronze and mattify. Safe for even the most sensitive skin. Plus, it’s totally cute and fits in any makeup bag (even the tiny ones).”

Adding a Kabuki Brush to my Standard Rotation

Adding a Kabuki Brush to my kit changed my relationship with foundation. I suppose my skin had adapted to the pollution in Seoul, because I rarely wore all-over makeup when living in Korea. In Toronto, however, my skin just doesn’t look as bright or flawless, and I’ve been finding myself wanting to smooth things out more and more. I hate the caked on look of foundation. When Miracle 10 Cosmetics offered me a chance to scoop up a few items from their brand new line, I figured I might as well give it a try. It’s not such a crazy splurge as a Kabuki Brush from Fenty or Mac Cosmetics will run around the same price (or higher).

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Take your pick 🤔😍 ⁣#miracle10 #glowgetter

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How to Use the Miracle 10 Cosmetics Kabuki Brush

I’ve been using this brush exclusively with foundation, and am obsessed with the results. Other brushed have left broken bristles (and black flecks all over my face – no thanks). This one has held strong. As opposed to a makeup sponge, with the Kabuki brush I get that ultra-smooth look. I don’t have to use too much product, either. I haven’t used it with bronzer or blush, but the website suggests the following if you choose multi-use:
“Using this brush is an absolute dream. It can be used with your bronzer, powder, blush or to create an airbrushed look with your foundation. When switching between products, spritz with a little Rejuvenating Mist and dab onto a tissue. When applying blush tighten the surface area of the brush by pinching the bristles together a bit (as opposed to holding the handle).”
What does she really want for Valentine’s Day? If she’s like me, probably not chocolates; maybe roses. Definitely some great-quality, locally-sourced (Yorkville, bébé) skincare and cosmetics from an innovative, nimble company like Miracle 10 which is led by and largely run by women.
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Valentine’s Day in Toronto: A Date With Dasha

Valentine’s Day in Toronto

I spent last Valentine’s Day getting filthy. An early morning sweat session was just what the doctor ordered, and I went for it first thing in the morning. It lasted about 45 minutes, and it was a mad dash to get ready and get to work.

I spent last Valentine’s Day working out. What did you think I meant? 

Last Valentine’s Day was actually quite sweet. I got up and headed to F45 where my Valentine’s at St. Clair West got my endorphins going. I did, in fact, rush to work, and was greeted by one of my favourite security guards handing out roses. Nice work, Brookfield. I spent lunchtime with my on and off beau of a year and a half. We’re still talking, but I’ve since set some boundaries since we ultimately just want different things. He’s one of the guys on the The Worst Guys A Re-Pat Can Date in Toronto  and his name actually rhymes with Dasha.

A couple of weeks ago I got a canned e-mail from the team at Dasha advertising their Valentine’s special. No longer being part of a couple (and a little burned by the naming convention reminder) I cracked wise on instagram asking if they’d like to have me hunched over a bar stool singing Céline Dion. Turns out – they were into it. With that in mind…

Join us on February 14th for a Date with Dasha!

An upscale karaoke party for singles, friends, lovers or whomever else your heart desires!

TICKETS: $25 (Click here to get yours!)

WHATS IN IT FOR YOU:

  • A welcome shooter (to set the mood – I’m calling it a “Love Shot” for EXO fans)
  • Appetizers (canapé-style food in Dasha’s private dinning room)
  • Access to 5 unique karaoke rooms ALL NIGHT LONG!

We will have a cash bar in the Private Dining Room (featured above) stocked and loaded for your night out.

Our bartenders will be serving up the best of the best – whether it be a customized cocktail from Dasha or a classic shot of tequila to get your pipes ready; you pick your poison.

This is a 19+ event and tickets are non-refundable.

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Dating Diaries: How to Attract What You’re Least Expecting

The concept of manifesting your goals has been rattling around in my head for quite some time. There’s great power in positive thinking, and harnessing that power and honing it has been a big focus for me, especially toward the end of this year. It’s amazing what happens when you focus on something very particular and send out a very specific request to the universe. The answer certainly surprised me!

Lately I haven’t been focused so much on dating, but more on fitness, rest, healthy cooking, and just generally making it to the next day. After a tumultuous first year back in Canada, my aim is to focus on the positive, release the negative, and practice gratefulness.

It seems that the best things come to those who clearly envision their goals and make solid plans. This year, I wrote down that I wanted to see Angkor Wat. On my birthday, YYZ Deals came out with a massive list of destinations from Toronto on China Eastern. One such destination was Siem Reap. The goal I envisioned (and wrote down) turned into a reality in less than three months. I decided that was enough to get me on the path of the vision board making my dreams into goals, my goals into plans, and my plans into reality.

I often write about dating, so how do you make your vision into a reality when it comes to love? I mean, as much as it’s been on the back-burner, I’d be very happy to have a partner. They say you find love when you least expect it. How does that work with the law of attraction?

The Secret: “Under the Law of Attraction, the complete order of the Universe is determined, including everything that comes into your life and everything that you experience. It does so through the magnetic power of your thoughts. Through the Law of Attraction like attracts like. What you think about, you bring about.”

If thoughts become things, then how could you find “the love of your life” when you least expect it? Knowing that there isn’t a unique thought left on the planet, I dove headfirst into black hole of Google. Turns out the answer was on the very first page:

The Law of Attraction: “Focus on your intention, hand it to the eternal energy of the universe to contemplate entirely. You will have stopped the experience of wanting; therefore, you will have automatically placed yourself in a better position to receive. Just like those aha moments when ideas and solutions have entered your mind unexpectedly, you suddenly received what you wanted. 

If you are desperate to have something, you are in a state of need. Thus, you remain needy instead of becoming successful. The universe receives your needy energy, and politely sends you more needy energy since it is programmed to deliver your primary focus.

Your life might still be enhanced greatly when you receive gifts from the universe, and in this sense, you require what you obtain. However, you are not urgently crying out for a result when it occurs. Recognize that you also need to throw the energy of ‘want’ that you have created to the wind. When you have done so, good things will blow into your life.”

I had sent out a request to the universe to find, in essence, a unicorn. I wanted to meet someone who wasn’t from Toronto since the pickings have been so slim. I wanted to meet someone who has goals and ambitions; has his own thing going on. Someone who could make me laugh. A man who believes in monogamy. Physically I don’t really have a preference, but I like someone who is active and ready to try new things.

…and then he appeared.

I had a fantastic date with a man I seem to have dreamed up. It may not stand the test of time, but as far as the concept of asking the universe for what you want? I’m sold. Ask the universe for your wildest dreams with very specific details, then let all that focused, yet impatient, energy fly away; released to the universe – no longer something on which you need to fixate. The universe unfolds as it should.

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Believe your own B*llsh*t

As I settled into shivasana in my after-work hot yoga class last week, I began thinking about some basic b* generalizations. In the pursuit of happiness, I’ve come to wonder whether the best things in life are basic. If so, maybe I should be.

Hear me out…

Without getting too far into gender identity, I’d like to discuss some stereotypical female-presenting gender roles and why it’s OKAY to to subscribe yourself to even the worst ones. Society on the whole has a set of ideas expectations about how men and women should behave in certain situations; everyday life being one example.

Criticism is all too easy. The moment I step out my front door I’m open to judgment, disapproval, and self-deprecation due to various instances of the aforementioned over the years.

If we’re to reclaim the word “bitch”, let’s reclaim the other pervasive female stereotypes. Sometimes I’m angry and sometimes I’m a cheerleader. I can be emotional, feminine, masculine, tough, and weak. I am an Ice Queen and perhaps that’s one reason why I’m single (and lonely sometimes, but thanking my lucky stars others). I can appear fearless while shaking in my boots. I can be polite and accommodating and aggressive or bold. Sometimes I’m the token female at the table, and I take my position in the boys club to heart. I am strong.

I’m not just one stereotype – I’m a person. My thoughts, feelings, and emotions can change at the drop of a hat based on my circumstances. If I don’t like what’s being said, then surely I can change the conversation. So, why not change the little voices inside my head and heart telling me “you can’t”? Even it’s it’s total bullshit you’re telling yourself right now, in time you can make it all a reality.

I sure as hell can be a basic bitch. Alternately, I can also be a shoulder to cry on, a person who loves to celebrate the success of others, and an expert on topics at work and at play. I’m passionate, generous, and adventurous. On paper I might be pretty basic (my Tinder profile is not exactly an oeuvre), but IRL I’m absolutely unapologetically me. As we rock up to 2020, find out who you are and don’t apologize – that’s one female stereotype I’m striking-through next year.

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