Save Your Skin This Winter

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It happens every year. We try to forget it, try to deny it, and try not to cry when there’s no more avoiding it, its Winter. That’s right ladies Fall’s ugly step sister has graced us with her presence early and we couldn’t be more displeased.

Winter is so awful it’s hard to pick just one thing we hate about it but the thing we hate the most is the toll it takes on our skin. Avoiding dry cracked and irritated skin can be near impossible in Canada but we have come up with some quick tips and tricks that will stop your skin suffering this year.

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Exfoliate

To get more out of your moisturizer – exfoliate before applying it every time. Exfoliating gets rid of dead skin cells and smoothes skin. Dead skin cells create a barrier making it harder for moisturizing products to do their job.

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Use Ointment

Ditch your lip-gloss and start using an ointment for your lips. An ointment will last longer but also sink in deeper. Ointments repair damage created by harsh winds and blisteringly cold temperatures but also protect against any further damage.

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Richer Is Better

The heavier the moisturizer the better! Lotions are great for summer but for winter you need the extra nourishment of a body butter or body oil. Remember to exfoliate before applying for maximum use!

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Water, Water, Water

Dry skin is caused by many factors but dehydration is one that is easy to manage. Drink water until it comes out of your ears! Your skin will thank you for it, not to mention drinking a ton of water helps to flush out toxins that can lead to the dreaded flu this winter.

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Sooth Sniffles

Having a runny nose is hard to avoid in winter and tissues can feel like sandpaper after constant wiping. Use the same ointment you would on your lips for the inside and outside of your nose to combat dry and flaky skin. Remember coconut oil straight from the tub is a great all-natural skin ointment that will cost you pennies.

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Stay Protected

Even though winter feels like the eternal darkness, the sun is actually shining behind those clouds and UV Rays are still hitting your skin. Protect your skin from harm by using sunscreen on exposed skin; most make-up contains small amounts of SPF, which is perfect for winter. SPF also helps lock in moisture by creating a barrier between the harsh elements and your skin so it has multiple purposes!

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Banish Cracks on your Feet

Gently squeeze on one to two drops of NON TOXIC Krazy glue on cracked heals or nails and hold closed for about 30 to 60 seconds. When the glue softens, peel it away and voila! The crack should be healed.

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Beware Of Baths

Avoid really hot baths however tempting they might be! The hot temperature combined with water, breaks down the surface lipids that keeps your skin moisturized. Keep baths to a maximum of twenty minutes to avoid those dried out prune fingers.

If you can’t bare the thought of going without long soaks in the tub add ½ cup of dried rolled oats in a pair of old tights. Oats contain anti-inflammatory ingredients, which soothe dry and flakey skin.

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Fight Flakage

Use your chaptsick on dry flaky eyebrows, elbows and eyelids. Moisturizing and healing lip balms help to soothe the itchiness of dry skin but also prevents extra flakage. As a bonus using chapstick on your brows helps keep them in place and looking on fleek all day!

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The Skinny on Celeb Beauty Trends

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You can’t be a Woman today without being constantly bombarded by a new celebrity beauty trend every five minutes, Facebook, instagram, twitter, gossip websites and blogs are full of them! While most of them are great, some of them are downright ridiculous and you have to question if they actually work or if someone just made them up for a laugh. So we did our research on a few to see what you should and shouldn’t believe.

No Poo Method

Hold up! Its not what it sounds like, the no poo method is the theory of not washing your hair with any shampoo but simply just rinsing it with water in the shower every night. Apparently this is Kim Kardashian’s secret to shiny full hair. The idea is that the natural oils that your scalp produces keeps the hair shiny and smooth and using shampoo is stripping away all the goodness.

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While we are not saying this doesn’t work, the no poo method apparently takes four to six weeks to start showing results and to be honest just the thought makes our heads itch. Our research has shown us that washing your hair less often definitely has its benefits so instead of never washing your hair again try only washing it every two to three days and you’ll see great results!

Hot Lemon Water

We’ve all heard this one! Celebs like Miranda Kerr have been claiming this as their beauty “secret” for years. Instead of drinking coffee every morning when you wake up boil a cup of water and add two lemon slices to it, drink the entire thing and don’t eat anything for at least an hour afterwards. The lemon water is supposed to boost your metabolism, abolish hunger cravings, and detoxify your skin and major organs.

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This one does actually work if you stick to it and that’s the main problem we had. Replacing your morning cup of coffee and waking up a whole hour early just to drink it is not only time consuming but also who has that kind of discipline? If you can handle this one then props to you! But we’ll stick to an extra hour of snooze and our morning Starbucks run…

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Coffee Grounds

Using coffee grounds as an exfoliant is suppose to boost blood flow and smooth out the skin. Simply add ground up coffee to your body wash and use it every day to see results within a week. Halle Berry swears by this one and has been using the technique for years.

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This one actually works! The texture of the grounds works wonders getting rid of dead skin cells and the caffeine is an age old cellulite killer. What’s even better is that its super cheap and easy to get your hands on.

Bee Venom Facial

Know as “Natural Botox” the bee venom plumps up skin by tricking it into thinking it’s been stung giving you youthful, line free skin. There are hundreds of bee venom facial peels, masks and lotions you can purchase or you can have it directly injected into your face. A tonne of celebs swear by this one including Kylie Minogue and Kate Middleton who apparently had it done before the Royal wedding in 2012.

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We didn’t try this one because we didn’t have a lazy $500 lying around but also any beauty treatment with the word venom in it didn’t seem worth the risk. If anyone does try it and has success let us know!

Vaseline Eye Treatment

Using a quarter of a teaspoon of Vaseline under the eyes every night prevents fine lines and wrinkles. Jennifer Aniston has credited this for her youthful appearance. Other celebs like Rachel Bilson have recommended using Vaseline as an eye makeup remover, its gentle and gets rid of even waterproof makeup.

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Its simple, cost affective and gets rid of dry tired eyes. Its not going to completely eradicate eye wrinkles but it will prevent dry skin, which is one of the causes of eye wrinkles. Using it as a makeup remover is genius! It totally works and you only need the smallest amount to get rid of all traces of stubborn eye makeup. We found it works really quickly so you don’t have to scrub at your eyes to get everything off. As a bonus it doesn’t sting your eyes if you accidently get some in there, which makes it the perfect “lazy girl” make-up remover after a long night out.

Bio Oil

Slathering your skin in Bio-Oil every night before bed keeps skin smooth and supple. Kim and Khloe Kardashian have just come out and said they use this nightly. Bio Oil contains vitamin E and PureCellin oil which moisturizers dry skin as well as combating uneven skin tone, scars and stretch marks.

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It’s definitely great for dry skin and its perfect to use on the face and body in winter when your skin is feeling chapped and flaky but we didn’t see a reduction in stretch marks or scaring after a months use. However it does smell heavenly and our skin was as soft as a babies…you know.

Ice Water Face Dunk
By submerging your face in ice water every morning you can reduce puffiness and boost circulation. Kate Hudson has said she does this every morning.

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It does get rid of puffiness and wakes you up quicker then a shot of espresso! We probably won’t do this every morning but would definitely recommend it on days where you wake up with morning puff face. Gently rubbing ice cubes under your eyes for a few minutes in the morning also works really well if you have been crying the night before and you want to reduce any puffiness.

Hemorrhoid Cream

Haemorrhoid creams have ingredients in them that help tighten skin temporarily by constricting the blood vessels in the skin and reducing the swelling that causes bags under the eyes. This is one we’ve been hearing since we were younger and its still a firm favourite for Sandra Bullock.

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This one totally works! Its quick and simple and you will notice instant results. Nobody in the office will know that you didn’t get enough sleep last night and you’ll look fresh in an instant. The only downside is the embarrassment of going to buy a tube of haemorrhoid cream so maybe buy in bulk to avoid frequent trips to the drug store.

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Ditch the Toothpaste
You can thank Catharine Zeta-Jones for this one; she uses fruit like strawberry or pineapple to scrub her teeth clean instead of toothpaste. The acid in the fruit is meant to break down plaque and keep the teeth looking pearly white.

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No, just, no. Toothpaste was invented for a reason and if we want white teeth we’ll just buy the whitening kind.

Red Wine Soak

Red wine is delicious for drinking but apparently its also great for renewing your skin. By adding one to two cups to your nightly bath and soaking in it for 30 minutes your skin will feel more moisturized. Terri Hatcher has sworn by this for years.

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We tried it for a week but we didn’t see much of a difference maybe its one of those ones you have to do over a long period of time but frankly that just sounds like a waste of good wine and an expensive habit to boot!

Kitty Litter Facial

In lieu of expensive exfoliating treatments or products use kitty litter mixed with water to exfoliate your skin. Snooki has admitted that she’s done this a few times while on a budget and it works a treat.

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Sure in theory this probably would work since the texture of the kitty litter would exfoliate the skin and rid it of dead skin cells, but nobody wants to put kitty litter on their face! There’s a range of great products on the market that you can afford on a budget and if you are down with DIY exfoliating try using sugar mixed with water and essential oils for a natural exfoliant.

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Date Night – Winter Addition

Back in March we brought you the ultimate date guide for Spring and Summer but now that the colder months are approaching its time to change it up! We’ve come up with some awesome ideas for you and your significant other or a bunch of BFF’s to get up to in Toronto. Try a few or try them all, lets face it, it’s a loooong Winter ahead!


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Get Cosy by the Fire

Nothing says romance like sitting by a bonfire and roasting marshmallows, not to mention smores are basically a Canadian staple food!

Grab a blanket, a guitar and some mulled mine and enjoy a night sitting around a bonfire under the stars. Make it a group date by inviting other couples or ditch your S.O and get all of your BFF’s together for a bonfire gossip sesh.

Ghost stories optional but highly recommended.

Location – Your own backyard.

Price – $10 – $30 depending on how many smores you can eat.

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Go Ice-Skating 

Winter is going to be cold and the snow isn’t going anywhere for at least four months right? So if you have to walk on snow and ice during your daily commute why not embrace it and go ice-skating? Even if you aren’t a seasoned skater you can use the old “I have to hold your hand to so I don’t fall” trick.

If you go during December you’ll be surrounded by the romantic Christmas lights and amazing giant Christmas tree they put up at Nathan Phillips square ever year, who couldn’t love that? Even if you spend most of the time slipping and sliding around like Bambi on ice you’re guaranteed to have a laugh!

Location – Nathan Phillips Square.

Price – Free if you have your own skates. If you don’t know problem, skate rental starts at $10.

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Cook up Some Romance

The way to your loves heart is through their stomach right?
Hit up Pinterest for some delicious Christmas recipes that you can do at home. You can cook treats for loved ones or bring them into the office, who doesn’t love a gingerbread Santa?

If you want to get a bit more technical in the kitchen try your hand at a gourmet cooking class. There are a tonne of flexible classes all across Toronto especially during the colder months.

Location– Your own kitchen!

Price– $20 – $100 depending on how much you are cooking.

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Vintage Shopping Spree

New season new wardrobe! Kensington Market is your one stop shop for all things Vintage, there’s vintage stores lining the streets with all sorts of goodies like vintage clothing, furniture and nick-nacks. There is also a tonne of delicious cafes and restaurants to grab a bite or stop off at one of the fresh fruit and veg markets and cook up a treat when you get home.

This one is a better date for you and your BFF, you can try on a bunch of vintage fashion at Flashback, dressing room movie montage anyone? Afterwards do some people watching while having a coffee and scone at Jimmy’s coffee, there are always some interesting characters walking around Kensington Market!

Location – Kensington Market – Kensington Avenue, Toronto.

Price – Depending how much shopping you want to do

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Ice Ice Baby

Every winter Toronto puts on Ice Fest in support of the National Heart Month in February. You can check out a showcase of incredible ice sculptures and live ice carving demonstrations, its super romantic wandering around and seeing all of the beautiful sculptures. You can also stuff your face with some delicious treats from all of the local restaurant stalls.

Location– Bloor-Yorkville

Price – FREE. $2 donations are accepted and go to the National Heart & Stroke Foundation.

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Get Hot and Sweaty

If fitness is your jam check out a hot yoga class. What’s great about this is that you’re working out but you’re also getting nice and toasty, Yoga Tree has a tonne of hot yoga classes ranging from beginner to advanced and there’s different styles to suit your mood.

The room is heated to a scrumptious 38 degrees so it’s worth leaving the house for on those freezing winter days! It’s a great activity for a couple or a bunch of friends, you’ll leave feeling energized and revitalized, Namaste!

Location – Yoga Tree Studios – five locations across Toronto check out yogatree.ca to find the one closest to you.

Price – $17.50 for a drop in

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Drake Sky Yard

No need to stay hauled up inside just because of the sub zero temperatures, any season can be patio season at the Drake Sky Yard. They have a rocking fire place, arguably the best in the city, not to mention the view!

Stargaze while enjoying one of The Drake’s signature cocktails or enjoy a meal with friends and spend some quality time in the open air. Its completely climate controlled so the chilly weather is no issue.

Location – The Drake Hotel 1150 Queen Street West, Toronto.

Price- Cocktails start from $14

Lets be real the best part of winter is snuggling so if all else fails, there’s always Netflix and chill?!

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Hottest Hair for Fall

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Blunt Cut Bob

This style is versatile for all face shapes and is low maintenance. Celeb Pick: Demi Lovato

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Long Layered Shoulder Length Cut

Add some texture to 2015’s favourite style, the shoulder length cut by getting long layers cut at the front and shorter layers throughout for some movement. Celeb Pick: Rosie Huntington Whiteley

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Pixie Cut

The pixie cut is a timeless classic, add some extra femininity with a long piece bangs. Celeb Pick: Kate Mara

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Bangs

Bangs made a strong comeback in 2015 and it looks like they are here to stay for the coming season. Full bangs frame the face and are a complete style change for anyone too scared to get a drastic chop. Celeb Pick: Rashida Jones

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Babylights

Babylights are highlights placed around the hair line and part to give a subtle more delicate highlight. Great for fine hair or if you only want a subtle change. Celeb Pick: Sarah Jessice Parker

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Bronde

Yep you guessed it, a colour that isn’t quite brunette and isn’t quite blonde. Celeb Pick: Taylor Swift

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Strawberry Gold
A combination of red and blonde. If you dont want to commit to full on red this is a nice noticeable change without being too drastic. Celeb Pick : Emma Stone

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Sombre
A more subtle ombre that combines the traditional ombre with babylights. There are some highlights near the roots, but the majority of the colour is still at the ends. Celeb Pick: Ciara

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Messy Tight Curls

This style can make your cut look completely different and it looks even better slept in so add some dry shampoo and mess it up to get two or even three days wear out of it.  Celeb Pick: Jenna Dewan Tatum

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Soft Waves

Add some movement to your mid-length cut with some soft waves. Celeb Pick: Elizabeth Olsen

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Crimped Waves

Teamed with a middle part bring this style from the 1920’s into 2015, its worked for both mid length and long cuts and can be worn sleek or textured. Celeb Pick: Selena Gomez

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