9.19.2016

Scalisi Skincare Serum Giveaway


THE SCALISI SKINCARE SERUM WHAT IT DOES:
- Improves Radiance and Even Skin Tone
- Smoothes, hydrates and reduces the appearance of pores
- Diminishes the appearance of fine lines and imperfections by using soft diffusers
- Oil-free, paraben free
- For All Skin Types

THE SCALISI SKINCARE SERUM WHAT'S IN IT:
- Patented peptides work to visibly correct skin imperfections and works to diminish the
appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Dermal Filler helps restore skin volume and smoothes facial wrinkles,
- Sodium Hyaluronate provides deep hydration.
- Rich in oligosaccharides, it helps to improve the skin by minimizing the appearance of
enlarged pores.
- Color Correctors help neutralize sallow tones by combining the perfect balance of
translucent microspheres, precious Gold particles, and photolumininescent technology.
- Helps to work synergistically to aid in unifying skin's undertone
while promoting enhanced luminosity.
- Ascorbyl Glucoside is a natural form of Vitamin C that helps promote collagen
synthesis and helps inhibit melanin production for a skin brightening effect.

What we think: 
This product is hypoallergenic and comes in a convenient pump dispenser. A little goes a long way, and we love that it has a subtle fragrance. The consistency is lightweight, so it's great for all seasons, and makes a fantastic primer before makeup. It absorbs quickly into the skin and minimizes fine lines. 

This serum is expected to launch November 1, 2016. You can pre-order the serum ($55) here

GIVEAWAY

One winner will be chosen and gifted with a year's supply of Scalisi Skincare products! This will include 6 collection sets, worth a total of $1200. 
We aren't hosting this giveaway but encourage you to enter here
This giveaway ends 11:59 on September 30th. 


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scalisiskincare/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/jillscalisi/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScalisiSkincare


This contest is open to U.S. Residents.


9.14.2016

Miik Fall 2016

Miik is a Canadian women's brand that uses eco-sustainable fabric. Their clothing is soft, comfortable and versatile.

Here are our favorite pieces from their latest collection!
Miik "Kenia" blazer, $240 CDN
Miik "Sylvie" slouch pant, $145 CDN
Miik "Malory" long cardi, $195 CDN
Miik "Eva" reversible dress, $165 CDN
Miik "Brooklin" tunic, $155 CDN

You can find Miik online in over 75 stores across Canada

9.13.2016

Stillwater Spa: Park Hyatt Toronto

The Stillwater Spa at The Park Hyatt Hotel is one of Toronto's best spas. It is a luxurious 10,000 square foot space, featuring 17 treatment rooms, a couple's massage room, a unique Aqua Pool, full-service salon, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, private cabanas, a spa boutique, and a tea lounge for relaxing. There is a fitness center available to spa guests, and an extensive selection of massage therapies and body treatments. The Stillwater Spa opened in 2001, and despite many other spas opening since, it still holds a place as one of Toronto's finest spas. 


Upon walking downstairs to the spa, I felt automatically at ease. The Stillwater Spa is an intimate space. Warm lighting and water flowing beneath clouded glass floors- the theme of water runs throughout the spa. It's not often that you'll enter a spa foyer as blissful as this. 

After completing the standard health forms, you are lead to the change rooms and given a key card to enter. I think that having this added security is a nice feature. 



Inside the change room, guests can take time before or after their treatment to unwind. There are a few private cabanas with TV's, a steam room, a whirlpool, and showers. The change rooms are lovely- everything is spotless, the towels and robes are luxurious and guests are given Oka-B flipflops to use while they are there (much nicer and more comfortable than the standard foam flip flop). Toiletries are there for your use, and I really like that the disposable razors are individually packaged. 

Stillwater takes time to even make sure the little details are covered, and it makes a huge difference with the spa experience. 


The tea room is lovely, a co-ed lounge where fresh fruit, teas, infused waters, and snacks are available. Here you can relax before your treatment. There's a private room that houses a small pool reserved for aqua massage, where vibrations from underwater sparks add to the rhythmical effects of a massage. 

The the treatment room is large and inviting, with brick walls, candlelight and soft music. I had the chance to try Stillwater's Essential Milk& Honey Wrap treatment. The products used are Cuccio Milk & Honey Sea Salts, European Rose Mud, and Cuccio Milk & Honey Body Butter. This 90 minute treatment ($260) will nourish your skin and lock in hydration. During, you are exfoliated with a sweet-smelling golden sea salt scrub to open your pores, covered in a warm mud mask, wrapped in warm towels, and given a head and face massage. When it's time to rinse, you are left alone to shower in the in-room shower, and then return to the table with its heated thermal blankets for a half hour Swedish massage. 

During the treatment, you're left in such a blissful state. The techniques used, combined with the warmth of the wrap leave you in a comfortable zen- like state. The professionalism is also something to note, as the massage therapist manages to find the balance between letting you know what's happening during the treatment, and leaving you with uninterrupted relaxation. The pressure of the massage is perfection, and to further add hydration, a body butter is applied onto your body. 

Post- treatment, you're left with the softest skin. Though I wished the 90 minute treatment lasted forever, you leave feeling like you went on a vacation: glowing and at ease. 

The warmth of the mud mask is such a nice feature in this treatment, and would especially make the perfect gift as the temperature starts to drop. 



Stillwater’s selection of spa therapies also offers exotic experiences such as a Guava Body Breeze ($155, 45 minutes), or massage ($160, 60 minutes).
Other picks include Reiki, Zen Shiatsu and a River Stone Mud Wrap, while facial fanatics can opt for a City Restoration Facial or a Age Smart Facial. There are so many spas in the GTA to choose from, but Stillwater is definitely one of the best ones and we highly recommend giving it a try.

Not only was the treatment amazing, but it's also about the overall experience and amenities. Stillwater goes the extra mile by making sure that little details are covered and the spa experience is perfection. 
Stillwater Spa is located at the Hyatt in Yorkville, the perfect neighborhood to celebrate art, food and style. This spa is located in such a great location that you can relax and book in a treatment before attending concerts at the Royal Conservatory of Music, or after a long day of shopping in one of Toronto's trendy neighborhoods.

Need a gift for a loved one? A gift certificate to Stillwater Spa is a great way to pamper someone. 

9.09.2016

Interview

Extremely grateful to have been interviewed and featured by the Bowdoin International Music Festival!

Performing Grieg's Violin Sonata No. 3 Op 45 at The Bowdoin International Music Festival July 2016

To view the interview click here 

RADIUS®

We splurge on the best face creams, we invest in quality handbags, and we shell out for high end haircuts, yet often overlook the importance of high quality dental products. The tools you purchase for your teeth should matter for your health and smile, and don't even cost a fraction of what we spend on other items. We're not talking about state of the art electric toothbrushes, but basic products that will keep your smile healthy. Thankfully, we came across Radius a number of years ago, and haven't looked at dental products the same since!


Why Radius?
At Radius, they take a holistic approach to designing and manufacturing their products to ensure it's rooted in sustainable decisions that reduce their carbon footprint. Radius toothbrushes are also made to outlast other toothbrushes, thereby producing less waste. They are one of the only toothbrushes on the market that are environmentally friendly, and each brush is carefully inspected (standard brushes are made automatically without inspection). Their original brush also has 300% more bristles than the average brush! 
You can read more about the products and how they are made here

Radius has a nice selection of products, and for those of you that are new to the brand, we highly recommend starting off with these first!

1. The Original 
The size of the original may be a bit daunting at first, but it has a bigger head to ensure better cleaning. It is designed to improve gum health and can even reduce the risk of gum and heart disease by massaging the whole mouth. Though it may take a few brushes to get used to, we actually prefer this over the regular toothbrush size! You're left feeling like you have a cleaner mouth and it's an overall better toothbrushing experience. 
The original has 3x more bristles than the average toothbrush, and the bristles themselves are softer and more uniquely aligned, providing even pressure that helps reduce chronic bleeding, receding gums, and enamel erosion. Its handle is also designed with the dentist- recommended 45 degree angle so that you get the best angle for brushing, with grip and control as well. The Original also comes with a right-hand or left-hand version, so lefties can get the full experience too! 
The Radius Original is also 100% petroleum free, the handle is sourced from renewable timber, the nylon bristles are vegetable-based, and you'll be brushing knowing that you're supporting a company that cares about the environment! Each brush retails for $7.95 and comes in a variety of fun colors.  

Want a great travel toothbrush? Radius has that too. 



2. The Tour
The tour is a great travel toothbrush as it gives you the same great clean. It folds nicely, ensuring you have more luggage space and has a removable and replaceable brush head. This helps reduce waste and cost from having to buy a whole new toothbrush. This product also has eco-friendly handle and bristles, made from 100% wood-based bio-plastic, and the bristles are vegetable-derived, making them environmentally sound. We love this innovative product and take it with us on on our travels. The Tour retails for $5.49 and comes in a variety of colors.



3. Natural Biodegradable Silk Sachets
This product is great for travel as it comes with 20 individually wrapped floss sachets. This floss is made of glossy silk instead of nylon, and is free from toxins found in other floss products. It glides really nicely in between teeth, and is 100% vegetarian, biodegradable, and compostable. Plus, it's free of bad ingredients like glutens, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, GMOs, unnatural coloring and other harmful ingredients. This pack retails for $2.99 and you can also purchase the regular non-travel floss, and vegan floss as well. 

These items from Radius are truly innovative, and their toothbrushes make such a difference. Radius also has great kids products, and gadgets such as "The Doc", which is a multi-purpose product that can not just hold your toothbrush, but has a suction base that fixes to smooth surfaces, can clasp a number of items like kitchen spoons, cellphones, razors etc. We highly recommend giving Radius products a try!

madebyradius.com

9.07.2016

The Angelo David Salon


For those of you that visit or live in New York City, be sure to stop by The Angelo David Salon. Located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan on 420 Madison Avenue, this luxurious salon will leave you feeling like a new you. A good haircut can not only upgrade your look but can do a number on your confidence too. 

The Angelo David Salon is one of the best hair salons in NYC specializing in custom hair extensions. They have a sun-filled main area as well as private rooms, and offer a range of services including couture hair extensions, haircuts, coloring, hair straightening, nail services, waxing, and more. 

"Angelo David Pisacreta, owner and Creative Director of Angelo David Salon, is a true hair illusionist. He is a world-renowned stylist and colorist, as well as the originator of Couture Hair Extensions & Additions™. Angelo’s vast experience with hair, hair health and hair growth led him to discover that hair health issues often begin inside the body, not on the surface. That discovery was the catalyst behind the creation of Hair Detox™ by Angelo David."
Information from the official Angelo David website which you can view here



I had the chance to get a haircut and manicure at The Angelo David salon left feeling content and at ease. I've learned over the years (the hard way) that you should never skimp on a haircut. A good cut should enhance your bone structure, strengthen your features and make you feel more confident. It should fall into a good shape when air-dried and last long. It's also about an experience, and I had the opportunity to have my haircut by celebrity stylist Dion Moore. 

The Angelo David Salon is a celebrity favorite, and with good reason! It is a fantastic upscale salon where you get service, comfort, and quality. There's nothing like leaving a salon with a wonderful new haircut, and we highly recommend booking an appointment to try it yourself! 

9.06.2016

Bowdoin International Music Festival Interview

I recently had the chance to do an interview with The Bowdoin International Music Festival. 

Keep reading to learn more!


BIMF: How do you make a well-known piece of music your own? 
Sarah Velasco: You have to be knowledgeable and adhere to the stylistic expectations, while knowing when you can have artistic freedom and take the opportunity with that, and not overdo it. I think it’s nice to listen to other musicians, but sometimes there’s a habit to emulate what you hear, and while that’s great in some ways it also comes with the problem of sounding like someone else. I think having your personality come through, and being tastefully spontaneous when the music allows you to be is really important.

BIMF: What advice would you offer to an aspiring musician?

Sarah Velasco: I think that to make it as a musician you have to be extremely hard working and be different. It sounds like such an obvious thing to say – but I think in this day in age, it’s harder than ever to have a successful career. There are so many people wanting to be musicians, and so many people that are good. It’s just hard to stand out.

I think a trap people fall into is trying to be like someone else. It’s important to have role models and people you look up to, and be inspired by their playing, but you shouldn’t ever try to sound or be like them. They already have their career, and there’s already someone that sounds like that. To be successful, you just have to push through, have your own unique sound. Keep reminding yourself that if you work hard and love what you do, you’ll be successful no matter what.


To access the entire interview click here

9.04.2016

BOXYCHARM


"BOXYCHARM is a beauty subscription service that provides the best in beauty products for only $21 a month!  In each box you will receive 4 to 5 full-size beauty items (instead of the tiiiiiiny little samples) ranging from makeup to skincare, beauty tools to color cosmetics and each box has a value of $90 and up. Brands range from emerging to established, and you're guaranteed to find a few new favorites in each box.
BOXYCHARM ensures the customers receive a balanced box, month after month that incorporates both beloved well-known brands as well as indie up-and-comers from all over the globe.
This is a community-based buy that exposes you to new products and allows you to connect with other subscribers aka “Charmers” via Instagram, Facebook, Snap Chat and YouTube for tips and tutorials. You can also get exclusive deals and product giveaways as an added subscription perk."

To learn more about BOXYCHARM visit their official website at www.boxycharm.com


August 2016 Box

Items: 

Dirty Little Secrets Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick
Doucce Cosmetics Maxlash Volumizer
Beauty For Real Shadow Stx

Value of approximately $120.


Coastal Scents Blush + Bronzer Mini Palette is a versatile product with five different colors. It is nice as a bronzer and blush, and is also great for contouring too. Both the darker bronzer and blushes blend out well and don't leave a cakey texture on the skin. The lighter color leaves a subtle sheen on a medium complexion, and could work well with darker skins as a highlighter, and lighter skins as a natural blush. The pigments are great, and have a matte finish, aside from the lighter blushes which have a bit of sparkle in them. It is a high quality palette for the price and the mini brush it comes with is great for traveling. This is a great product that comes with a variety of colors, which makes it easy to use for all skin tones. 

Aloette Time Repair Serum is a scented product made with organic aloe, green tea extracts and lactic and salicylic acid for exfoliation. Salicylic acid is known for unclogging pores to resolve and prevent lesions for mild acne. The product absorbs quickly and can double as a foundation primer. 

Dirty Little Secrets Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick is a very bold color so keep in mind that a little goes a long way! It stays on a long time, and acts almost as a lip stain. 

Doucce Cosmetics Maxlash Volumizer makes a nice, basic mascara. It provides length and lash separation. 

Beauty For Real Shadow Stx lasts a very long time and has a base that is also sharpener! We suggest making sure that you're careful with applying product as it stays on quite firmly if you don't blend it within first few seconds. We like this shade as it leaves a subtle sheen on your lids and can double as a liner as well. 


The value for Boxycharm is great, and you get a nice selection of quality products. We're not sure how each box varies month to month but as this is our first view of the subscription box, we're definitely impressed! Boxycharm is currently available to US + Canadian addresses. 

9.03.2016

The Republic of Tea

As the temperature begins to drop, and layers pile on, nothing is more soothing than a cup of tea. We had the chance to interview Kristina Richens, Minister of Commerce at The Republic of Tea and learned about some great selections to take us into the fall and winter months ahead.

Pumpkin Spice Black Tea Bags
"Founded in 1992, The Republic of Tea sparked a Tea Revolution. We began by canvassing the most prized tea gardens of the world for their worthiest leaves. Our mission was—and is—to see these teas steaming in the cups of men, women and children everywhere, and to emphasize a Sip by Sip Rather Than Gulp by Gulp lifestyle. In keeping with our identity as an independent republic, we designate our employees Ministers, our sales representatives as Ambassadors, our customers as Citizens and retail outlets as Embassies.

With supreme good fortune, we have progressed—constantly enriching people’s lives through the experience of premium teas, education and innovation. Our award-winning packaging includes teas and herbs available in specially designed air-tight, light-resistant tins containing either full-leaf teas and herbs or our signature round, unbleached tea bags, free of unnecessary envelopes, strings, tags or staples. Decaffeinated teas (using a natural CO2 method) varieties are also available. Most of our teas are Certified Gluten-Free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO)."

Information from The Republic of Tea's official website. You can find out more about the company here 


Ginger Peach Full Leaf Tea
Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us your personal background with The Republic of Tea?
Kristina Richens: I defected to The Republic of Tea in January of 2003 to enrich people’s lives with premium teas and herbs, innovation and education. The Republic of Tea first appealed to me with the sip by sip rather than gulp by gulp lifestyle which is even more important to me now than back when I began.

Sarah Velasco: Why is tea important, both globally and personally to a tea consumer?
Kristina Richens: Everyone may have their own ritual and make their tea experience personal to focus on how tea can make their life better, whether by giving them a moment to themselves or discovering a new sip that is delightfully delicious. On a global scale, tea also can be adventurous, connecting the individual to a place far away where tea is grown, like China or India, but also a connection to a ritual, like drinking a sweet iced tea from the South or Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Sarah Velasco: How often should one drink tea?
Kristina Richens: As often as they like. Caffeine exists in black, green, white and oolong tea, so that may be a consideration as to how many cups to sip. Herbal infusions that are sipped for a wellness benefits may have optimal efficacy with 2 to 3 cups a day. Simply, sip what you enjoy often.

Sarah Velasco: What sets apart The Republic of Tea from other tea providers?
Kristina Richens: The Republic of Tea started the premium tea revolution back in 1992. With over 300 varieties of teas and herbs, the options for ‘Citizens’, those who sip The Republic of Tea, are vast. We innovate new teas and herbs several times a year leading the trends and delighting tea lovers.

Sarah Velasco: Are there any common misconceptions about tea?
Kristina Richens: Some people feel that tea is for times when one may not feel well, but tea can be so much more than just a remedy. It can be enjoyed all the time! Also, tea may be perceived as expensive, but it is truly an affordable luxury, with a cup of The Republic of Tea costing less than 30 cents.

Organic 100% Double Green Matcha Tea Bag

Sarah Velasco: Can you further explain the different categories of tea?
Kristina Richens: All teas come from the same plant, the Camilla sinensis. However, what happens to the leaves after they are plucked (harvested), will define if the tea will be green, which is not oxidized, oolong which is semi-oxidized or black, which is fully oxidized. Oxidation is much like when an apple is cut open and exposed to oxygen, turning the fruit brown.
Herbal teas come from a variety of plants and could be the dried roots, leaves, stems or flowers. For example, chamomile tea is the flowers and mint tea is made from the leaves.

Sarah Velasco: With the vast variety of teas, how do you choose one to drink? Are there some better for certain things like weight loss, energy, etc.?
Kristina Richens: Sip the ones you enjoy the most. This may change by the time of the day or the type of day you are having, but with so many teas and herbs to enjoy, a cup of tea should always be delightfully delicious to you.

An example of teas to enjoy and sip all day that may support weight loss efforts or energy would be the get lost stackable. This has three compartments each holding 14 tea bags each of ‘get lean’, ‘get burning’ and ‘get lost’, so you could have three cups each day, one of each, for two weeks.
The ‘get lean’ has a stimulating base of premium green tea and organic green maté energize your body and keep your mind alert*. The ‘get burning’ is a spicy herbal blend to rev up your internal engine and increase your body’s metabolism and resistance to stress. It also has cordyceps, a Chinese medicinal herb, boosts energy and endurance. * The ‘get lost’ is based with organic red rooibos with banaba leaves and cinnamon helps control cravings while carob and gymnema leaves help tame your sweet tooth. *
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


Hot Apple Cider Tea Bags
Sarah Velasco: What are some of your best sellers/most popular teas at The Republic of Tea?
Kristina Richens: Organic Double Green Matcha, launched in 2007, is the best seller. This tea has sparks and has led the growing matcha trend. Ginger Peach black tea, a signature tea from The Republic of Tea, has been a top seller for over 20 years. The be well get clean herb tea is also a top seller.

Sarah Vealsco: Can you recommend to readers some teas for the fall?
Kristina Richens: In the fall, the most popular teas are the Pumpkin Spice black tea and the Hot Apple Cider herbal tea. We also have a Harvest Stackable tin, which is a perfect sampler of Pumpkin Spice black tea, Hot Apple Cider and Hibiscus Cranberry – all warming flavors that welcome the fall months.

www.republicoftea.com
We had the chance to try The Republic of Tea's Get Lost Stackable Tea Tin that retails for $13.50 and comes with 42 tea bags (14 natural, unbleached, round tea bags in each individual airtight compartment). It is a two-week supply of gentle teas that can be used with a cleansing program (such as a juice cleanse) or alone to cleanse the body.

About each tea:

Energy and Focus
Get Lean®: A stimulating base of premium green tea and organic green maté energize your body and keep your mind alert. Dandelion root and chickweed help to eliminate excess water weight.* This tea blend has natural caffeine to power you toward your weight loss goals. Herbs are added to keep the body balanced and help fight that bloated feeling.* The sweet combination of bright orange and rich vanilla will keep you satisfied without the sugar. Contains caffeine. 

Burn, Baby Burn
Get Burning®: This spicy herbal blend will rev up your internal engine and increase your body’s metabolism and resistance to stress. Cordyceps, a Chinese medicinal herb, boosts energy and endurance.* This caffeine-free tea stimulates the body without taxing our vital systems.* Sea buckthorn, a superfruit, adds a tangy sweetness to the zingy chili pepper spicy notes. Great to sip first thing in the morning to wake you up or before a workout. Caffeine-free. 

Lose Your Cravings
Get Lost®: Organic red rooibos with banaba leaves and cinnamon helps control cravings while carob and gymnema leaves help tame your sweet tooth.* Sip before or after a meal. This warm and toasty caffeine-free herbal blend also contains gymnema leaves, which are known as the "destroyer of sugar" in Ayurvedic medicine. Caffeine-free.



Unlike juice cleanses, there is no fasting involved. You simply sip the teas in the morning, evening, or throughout the day, while continuing to eat as you normally would. We loved this tea set, and the variety as well! Consuming three delicious teas each day is such a treat. Plus, The Get Lean, Get Burning, and Get Lost teas are all naturally sweet so we didn't feel the need to add sugar. The flavors are not overpowering, and they have a subtle herbal taste and aroma, which is especially soothing after meals. We highly recommend it!

The Republic of Tea also has other lines of tea that are specifically for helping you with your health goals. To view more products, visit their website at: www.republicoftea.com


9.01.2016

Global Launch: Dermalogica's Phyto Replenish Oil

Going into the fall and winter months, it's only a matter of time before our summer glow will be gone for good. Luckily, Dermalogica came up with a new product that will help you keep your dewy glow all year round.
Introducing Dermalogica's new Phyto Replenish Oil. This is a feather-light facial oil that is supposed to strengthen and restore the skin's natural protective barrier, shield against environmental stressors, smooth visible lines, and lock in critical moisture for all-day dewy skin. It is a multi-purpose product, and can be mixed in with moisturizer, or SPF. 

We haven't tried it yet, but think it will be a great product. We love Dermalogica and know you do too!

Phyto Replenish Oil offered in a 30ml glass bottle for a price of $103CAD and will be available at authorized Dermalogica spa, salons, and skincare centers nationwide. It is also available at buy.dermalogica.ca starting in September.

www.dermalogica.ca