7.01.2015

Toronto Summer Music Festival

From July 16-August 9, Toronto Summer Music Festival (TSMF) will be bringing world-renowned artists to guest lecture, give masterclasses and perform. 



Over the course of these few weeks, there will be so many amazing concerts. Some of them are even free to attend. 

Martin Beaver, violin
Sarah will be attending the July 31st concert 'American Romantic' at 7:30pm. This concert at Walter Hall will be featuring Martin Beaver, Harumi Rhodes, Eric Nowlin, Mark Kosower, and Pedja Muzijevic. They will be performing Barber's famous String Quartet, Dvořák's String Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 97 ‘American’, and Beach's Piano Quintet in F-sharp Minor, Op.67.

Be sure to purchase tickets before they're gone! Tickets for this concert are selling for $47. There are also discounts for those 65+, and under 35. 

To view a calendar with all the concert dates click here

It will be such an exciting few weeks and we hope all of you can make it!

www.torontosummermusic.com

6.30.2015

Must-Have Lush Products This Summer!

We know that many of you are HUGE Lush fans, and with good reason! We love that their products are fresh and hand-made. Plus, their products smell fantastic.

For the summer months, we recommend trying these products: Each Peach (and Two's A Pair) Massage Bar, and Happy Hippy Shower Gel. The citrus notes in these products are very uplifting and brightening! 



"Brighten up your skin and give yourself a blissful massage with a concentrated citrus fix. We make our Each Peach massage bars with a new aeration technique, which means the bars are lighter and melt into the skin easier for even softer, luxurious massage. The fruity avocado and mango kernel butters are mixed with Fair Trade cocoa butter and shea butter for an extra nutritious, skin softening treat. Each Peach is super emollient and moisturizing for the skin; but it also gives a good glide when it is being worked over and massaged into the body. Customers have fallen in love with this fresh citrus massage bar. It’s a best seller all year long and it’s not hard to see why!"
How to use: Glide the bar over dry skin. Massage or rub the oils into skin and take care to make sure it absorbs completely before putting on clothes! Store this product somewhere cool, dry, and out of sunlight. 
Price: $10.95
What we think: The smell of this product, is amazing - fresh and energizing. It makes a wonderful moisturiser after a shower, and makes a great massage oil. The scent is delicious, like a lemon cake! We also love the design of the flowers and branch pattern. 

"Our grapefruit shower gel is one of our happiest shower gels: a magic potion to make the even the office seem inviting on Monday mornings. A perfect way to start the day, Happy Hippy remains one of our best-sellers because it smells absolutely delicious: bursting with fresh, juicy organic pink grapefruits to cleanse away grime, refresh your skin and make you feel brighter all over. Plus, it’s full of zippy grapefruit and bergamot oils to work on tired minds."
Price: $9.95-$28.95
What we think: We love this shower gel. The smell is refreshing (like freshly cut grapefruit), and it will help wake you up in the morning! The consistency is great, and thick and will leave your skin feeling soft and clean. This product is also great for shaving, and works as a shampoo!

6.29.2015

Interview with Charmaine Cooper: Canadian Education Manager of Dermalogica & The International Dermal Institute



Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about yourself?
Charmaine Cooper: My name is Charmaine Cooper. As the Canadian Education Manager of Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute, I support a team of Instructors in order to give the best in education to Canadian Skin Therapists of all walks of life. I am a Skin Therapist of 17 years, who’s passion is training and supporting individuals in achieving their skin goals, professional goals and personal goals. I am an avid believer in giving your best to everything that you do! Putting your best face forward, in my opinion, not only includes skin care practices, but healthy lifestyle choices and a dedication to your craft! The best part of what I do is really the people I get to do it with. Working with a great team, meeting fascinating individuals who share similar passions and also building healthy skin awareness is truly a reward in itself!

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us a little bit about Dermalogica? How is Dermalogica different from other brands on the market?
Charmaine Cooper: Dermalogica is all about skin health and achieving results! We are known as the #1 choice brand for professional skin therapists worldwide. From the inception of the brand, our product formulations have stemmed from rigorous research and development performed by The International Dermal Institute. We are passionate about education! As a result, one of our points of difference is our signature concepts. Dermalogica has pioneered unique educational concepts that help individuals understand more about the skin that they’re in. 


1. FaceMapping Skin Analysis – A complimentary, user friendly, professional skin analysis that bridges the gap between skin concerns and skin solutions. We divide the skin into 14 zones to address current concerns. It only takes 5-10 minutes for a full analysis or even 3-5 minutes for individuals in a rush, where only the main zones are addressed! We have a campaign going on right now, called Face Map Our Nation, where our goal is to facemap 15000 Canadians on their skin! It’s fun, educational and we have skin centres right across Canada where these free services are being offered. www.facemapnation.com
2. Skin Bar – A pressure free zone, where individuals can try the products and have a mini skin lesson on how to maximize their skin regimen. The experience is educational, engaging and entertaining.
3. Microzone targeted treatments – A Twenty minute, zone specific professional treatment that is customized for the time crunched client. No need to get in a bed or undressed. This treatment can be done in a salon chair or barber chair!

Sarah Velasco: What is your skin care routine like on a daily basis?

Charmaine Cooper: On a daily basis – I perform a morning regimen and evening regimen! 
AM:
1. I start off with Special Cleansing Gel to remove debris from my skin without making the skin feel tight!
2. I then follow up with Daily Microfoliant – to brighten and polish my skin. This helps with my pigmentation and dull looking complexion that can creep up at times. I truly could not live without this product!
3. My next step is to tone my skin with Antioxidant Hydramist. It delivers key antioxidants that help to combat my growing premature aging concerns. It is also fantastic in saving on my moisturizer that follows, as I subsequently don’t have to use as much.
4. I finish off with my Skin Smoothing Cream combined with Skin Defence Booster for protection from assaultive daily damage in the environment; such as, pollution, smog, free radicals.

PM:
I do the exact same as the morning regimen, only with two additional steps!

1. I add the essential use of AGEsmart MultiVitamin Power Recovery Masque! I call this my “911 in a tube”. It recovers and restores my skin from stress and dullness to radiance and a nourished texture.
2. After I tone my skin, I use a phenomenal brightening serum from the PowerBright TRx line. C-12 Pure Bright Serum.

Sarah Velasco: What are your top 3 Dermalogica product recommendations for people in their 20's?
Charmaine Cooper: In our twenties, the main concerns are usually focused around dehydration, and preventing premature aging. Over 90% of our aging is due to the environment, and over 80% of our photo damage takes place before the age of 18. So in our twenties, we start to see the early signs of damage. (Dehydration/ uneven skin tone)

And so, 3 top products in Dermalogica that would be supportive are:
1. PreCleanse (or ) PreCleanse Wipes.
a. This natural Oil based pre-cleansing treatment, gets the skin truly clean by removing oil based dirt (sunscreens and makeup) effectively. Removes makeup effortlessly – without feeling uncomfortable on the skin. Great for Eye makeup removal (without lash extensions, due to the oil).
2. Skin Hydrating Booster
a. This is an oil free and alcohol free concentrate that target dehydration remarkably! A few drops is all you need, underneath your moisturizer for adequate moisture retention, without the heaviness!.
3. Skin Perfect Primer SPF30
a. This is more than just a primer! It is a cosmeceutical primer that addresses skin tone, with Pearl Powder, Loss of tone with Peptides and prepares that flawless canvass for the perfect makeup application! A simple must have for every woman!

Sarah Velasco: Since our readers will be soon heading off to the beach, what sun protection products should everyone use?
Charmaine Cooper: Be beach ready and skin savvy with protected skin. Protection Sport is a face and Body moisturizer to shield the skin against hazardous effects of UV radiation, without feeling heavy or chalky on the skin! Perfect for all ages and of course, the avid athlete!
Its partner in Crime is After Sun Repair! This cooling and healing salve is a must have for the off chance of UV damage or peeling, while outdoors more. It contains Aloe vera and Japanese Alder to truly restore health to the skin cells.

Sarah Velasco: What are some common misconceptions about skincare you hear often? 

Charmaine Cooper: Common misconceptions are:
· When individuals mistake Dehydration for Dryness. A lack of oil is unique to a dry skin. But a lack of water can be experienced by a variety of skin types. Everyone needs water in their skin. The goal of skincare is to balance out the skin in its water and oil levels!
· Many individuals believe that their skin type changes! Where this may feel as if it is true; only the skin condition changes! But your skin type is DNA deep and genetically determined. It does not change, but is rather concealed by the various skin conditions that our lifestyle choices, diet, stress levels and environment contribute to the skin. The goal is to correct skin conditions and manage skin types!

Sarah Velasco: What Dermalogica product are you most exited about right now? 
Charmaine Cooper: There are so many products that excite me in Dermalogica. I am sure you are not surprised with that answer! But the most exciting that has just been released is NEW AGEsmart™ Overnight Retinol Repair. This is the first consumer customizable retinol treatment that reverses photo aging! Retinol is the strongest available form of Vitamin A in the market next to prescriptions from Drs. As great as it is, many individuals have not been able to use Vitamin A, due to the level of intolerance of their skin. Until now!

Overnight Retinol Repair contains advanced cosmeceutical ingredients that sooth the skin at the same time as delivering effective results!
· .5 % microencapsulated Retinol – for controlled and Stable delivery –without the irritation!
· Designer peptides – to stimulate collagen productions for firmer skin and minimized wrinkle depth.
· New Bio Energized Copper Amino Acid Complex to revitalize the skin!

This product is truly the most age defying product to date, within the State of the art
AGEsmart ™ system!



6.27.2015

Interview with Marni Wasserman


Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about yourself? How did you get started?
Marni Wasserman: I have always had a passion for food, nutrition and health. I went to the institute of holistic nutrition and then culinary school in new york. I blended my two passions and started teaching cooking classes over 7 years ago. I wanted to find a way to show people how simple and delicious it is to eat well and live well on plants!

Sarah Velasco: What is your schedule like on a typical day?
Marni Wasserman: Every day varies. Whether I have meetings, classes, events or workshops - I could be all over the city. Or most days I am at my computer working. Responding, planning and creating content to provide to people. Most evenings during the week are dedicated to cooking classes or other workshops that take place during the evenings.

Sarah Velasco: What is your philosophy?

Marni Wasserman: My philosophy is that it’s really easy to start eating more plants. No matter what your current diet is, anyone can add in more plants to have a very well rounded and balanced diet. Plants nourish your cells from the inside out. Give you energy, and make you feel and look good. So I always encourage people to eat more!

Sarah Velasco: Are there certain foods you incorporate in your diet everyday/ Are there foods we should have every day?

Marni Wasserman: I always have green leafy veggies. Green are a staple in my diet and definitely should be consumed on a daily basis by everyone. It’s easy to get a variety of them in as well - as there are so many to choose from so you can never get bored!



Sarah Velasco: Do you have a favourite place to eat in Toronto? 
Marni Wasserman: I have a few. Fresh, Pizza Libretto, Nunu and Tori’s After Hours.

Sarah Velasco: What foods are always in your kitchen pantry?
Marni Wasserman: Almonds, Hemp seeds, coconut oil, cinnamon, oats, chia seeds, goji berries, quinoa, sweet potatoes

Sarah Velasco: What are some of the most common misconceptions you hear about healthy eating?
Marni Wasserman: 
That it’s too hard to make a healthy meal.
That you won’t get full on plants.
That it won’t taste good.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about your books? Where can readers find them?

Marni Wasserman: I have 5 Ebooks on my website - that range from meal planning to cleansing on superfoods. I also have two published books Fermenting for Dummies and Plant Based Diet for Dummies - available worldwide on amazon and other large book stores.


Short Answers:
Favourite green: Kale
Guilty pleasure: Sweet potato fries

Words to live by: Eat more plants


Can you introduce us to a great recipe?
Green Energy Smoothie
(Serves 2)

What’s In It?

1½ to 2 cups Ryza rice milk, almond milk or hemp milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon of almond butter
1 medium pear
1 teaspoon low-glycemic sweetener like Bali Sun coconut nectar
2-4 tablespoons plant-based protein (Sunwarrior or hemp seeds)
1 cup packed Swiss chard, spinach and/or kale


How It’s Made
1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and no lumps remain. Pour into glasses
immediately and enjoy!

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell readers a little bit about Savour the Summer?
Marni Wasserman: The Savour the Summer Series is a great way to get a taste of summer fresh recipes that are easy to make. We cover everything from appetizers, dips, salads, smoothies, juices and side dishes. Lots of colour, lots of variety in flavour and texture to make fun recipes that you will want to create over and over again, not just in the summer!

Savour the Summer is a 4- week series where you can choose to attend an individual class, or all 4. The classes are 7-9 pm July 2, 16, 30th, and August 13. Each class covers different topics and we will be attending and letting you know about Marni's class July 30th 7-9pm. Come join us! We're so excited that we will be learning how to make delicious juices and smoothies! 

Travel in style with your favorite products

With airport security on a constant high, don’t risk the chance of losing your favourite skincare product at the gate! Dermalogica’s skin kits are perfect to take on board as they contain complete skin regimens with security friendly sizes that last for up to four weeks.

Choose from an array of different skin types available to ensure your skincare routine is kept maintained throughout your travels.
AGE smart® Starter Kit - $70
The AGE Smart Starter Kit contains a full month’s regimen you can use every day for firmer, smoother, healthier skin.
Body Therapy - $51
Take your favourite body therapy products with you in this convenient, travel-friendly kit. Contains no artificial fragrance or colour.
 Dry Skin Kit - $51
Normal/Dry Skin Kit - $51

 Normal/Oily Skin Kit - $51
 Oily Skin Kit - $51

UltraCalming™ Treatment Kit - $57The ultimate starter set to get skin cool, calmed and on the healthy skin track!

Essence Cosmetics Summer 2015

Essence Cosmetics has a huge range of products that are great for this Summer as well as all year round!
Their products are so affordable and they have been ranked The #1 value cosmetics brand in the world. Essence features a wide range of fun, classic and trendy items. Plus, every season they release new and unique limited- edition products. 
You can find Essence products at Shoppers Drug Mart

We love these products, and think you will too! Be sure to go in a store, or on their website to find out more about these great products.
A great eyeshadow that is long-lasting, and will make your eyes look glamorous all summer.
 Keep shine at bay with Essence's oil control paper. Especially for hot days!
Going swimming? Get big lashes with Essence's waterproof mascara. Essence also has tons of other kinds of mascara as well!  
 Perfect your pout with Essence's huge range of lipstick colours. 
Not going anywhere this summer? Fool everyone into thinking you spent a week at the beach with a bronzing highlighter. Comes in shades for those that are lighter skin, and darker skin. Great as an eyeshadow too!


If you are in the US, you can find Essence products at Ulta. 
To find a store near you in Canada, click here

Questions? Comments? Write in to letters@sarahvelasco.com

6.26.2015

Dermalogica: Stress Treatment Oil

Be rid of stress, and leave your skin silky smooth with Dermalogica's Stress Relief Treatment Oil. We love this product as it is great for massages, baths, and skin conditioning. Plus, it helps with pain caused by poor posture and diminishes those irksome knots. 
"An aromatic body treatment oil, ideal for massage, bath therapy and deluxe skin conditioning. This soothing, multifunctional blend combines advanced Silicones for skin smoothing with calming essential oils of Sandalwood, Lavender, Orange and Clary Sage. Naturally-purifying extracts of Tea Tree, Lemon, and Ylang-Ylang help to counteract the negative mental effects of stress for the ultimate in relaxation. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors."
How to use: For massage and scalp treatments: Pump a small amount onto palm of hand and massage onto the body or scalp. For aromatherapy bath: Add 4 to 8 pumps into the bath. To intensify Body Hydrating Cream or UltraRich Body Cream: Add one pump to the cream. Blend and apply in smooth, upward strokes.
What we think: This is a fantastic multi-purpose product that leaves your skin feeling balanced. 
It is....
- Great for massages. You can even bring it into your spa and ask your massage therapist to use it instead of the one the spa provides.
- Hydrating. Leaves your skin soft and clears up your dry skin!
- Relaxing. You can use it on your pressure points to relax and to clear your headaches. 
- Worth the cost. A little goes a long way!
- Convenient for travel. This product meets the regulations for carry-on liquids when travelling.
- Great blended with unscented lotions. 
- A natural sleep-aid. We recommend spritzing some on your pillow before bed! You can also use it as a steam to provide a relaxing aroma for your room. 
- Great for baths. You can use some with epsom salt to soothe tired or sore muscles!

www.dermalogica.ca

6.24.2015

Summer 2015 Beauty Essentials

Dermalogica has all the essentials you need to stay calm, cool and relaxed this summer. 

Sun-bathing
Protect your skin and stay moisturized with Dermalogica® Protection Sport. This water-resistant moisturizer defends against prolonged skin damage and cottage-sun assault. After a day in the sun, offer your guests Dermalogica®’s Pre Cleanse Wipes to melt away layers of excess oil and sunscreen that build up throughout your day lounging. Sooth your skin with After Sun Repair, a treatment balm that helps to repair damage from exposure to UV sunlight as it helps to cool sunburns and reduce discomfort.
Keep calm and spray on with Dermalogica®‘s Ultracalming Mist. Quickly calm redness, sensitivity and inflammation to keep guests relaxed at your summer home 

$47.50
$42
$27
$45
Cottage Bathroom Essentials
Provide your guests with an at home spa with these essentials. Great for the shower routine, the Dermalogica® Conditioning Body Wash is a rich botanical cleanser for all skin types. To re-hydrate they dynamic duo of  Dermalogica® UltraRich Body Cream and Stress Relief Treatment Oil will aid in the reconditioning of thirsty skin.

$35
$62
$68

Dermalogica is a leader in the skin care industry, and their great products treat very common skin concerns. They use top notch ingredients and state-of-the art technologies. In addition, Dermalogica is popular in spas and a favourite brand of dermatologists worldwide. 

We also recommend.....Clean Start for teens!

Young and Fresh
Smells like teen spirit! Using powerful ingredients and soothing botanicals, Clear Start™ delivers real results to achieve their clearest skin ever. Eight products are available just for teens to stay fresh and clean on their weekend getaway! Tough on breakouts, gentle on skin. That’s Clear Start™. $40

$40