September 2015 Must-Have: LUSH BIG Sea Salt Shampoo

Big Shampoo ($27.95)
Get a boost of volume and shine with sea salt and lime.
Over half the base of Big shampoo is made with sea salt, giving massive volume to hair in need of a boost. Sea salt is also full of minerals and de-greases hair, removing dead skin cells and dirt without stripping natural oils for a fresh, squeaky clean feeling. We balance the sea salt with seaweed infusion, extra virgin coconut oil and avocado butter for soft, nourished locks. Finally, fresh citrus juices are squeezed in for incredible shine. It's no wonder this one is a best-seller!

We love this shampoo and will be using it as the weather cools down, and skin begins to feel more dry. The scent is delicious, the texture is amazing, and the product really exfoliates the dead skin on your scalp. Unlike most shampoos that are liquid or solid, this one is a mixture of both as it contains sea salt, and hydrating ingredients like coconut oil and avocado butter. As a result, your hair is left with great volume and shine. It makes the perfect clarifying and boosting shampoo all year round! We highly recommend you give it a try and to visit a LUSH store near you.


Key West Aloe

With stressful work weeks, crazy-busy social schedules, and damaging UV rays to top it off, your skin needs moisture therapy! Rehabilitate your skin, leaving it FABULOUS once again, with Key West AloeHydrating Aloe Vera as their foundation, this quenching line of hair, skin, and shower products contain natural ingredients that nourish your skin and hair, purely as nature intended. Whether your skin is burned and blistered or dry and chapped, Key West Aloe will restore hydration and beauty where you need it!

Key West Aloe offers more than 160 Aloe Vera based personal care products for face, body, sun men – even pets! All formulas are Lab Certified and made with 100% pure Aloe Vera. Key West Aloe is available for purchase at its two retail locations in Key West, FL and online via www.keywestaloe.com.

We love the smell (lightly scented) and feel of these  products. They feel so rich and soft on your skin and will retain the moisture in your skin. 

Aloethera Moisturizing Shampoo $21 for 16oz
Restore your hair’s natural vitality while adding body and shine to your locks. 
Aloethera Keratin Conditioner $21 for 16oz
Tame your frizz without weighing down your hair. Made with 10% Aloe and Keratin Formula, this condition is designed to strength, protect, and smooth all hair types.
Aloethera Intensive Body Moisturizer $27 for 16oz
Rich and creamy, natural shea and cocoa butters give lasting moisture and hydration. Infused with sunflower, avocado, and coconut oils to replenish thirsty skin.

Essence Fall/Winter 2015

As many of you know, Essence is a company that offers cosmetics at affordable prices. Made in Europe, Essence features an extensive range of make-up products that include on-trend shades that offer great coverage, smooth textures and hassle-free application. 
This summer, Essence launched their Fall/Winter 2015 preview that featured nudes and soft neutrals. It's time to say goodbye to the bold hues of the summer and slip into something more subdued. 

There are many new great products to come (new gel nail polishes,mascaras, nude lipsticks, bronzers, and more), and you can find these products and more at your local Shoppers Drug Mart.

Here are some products we love!

Nude Longlasting Lipstick $2.99
Nude Eyes Make-up Box $9.99
A great staple to have in your bag!
Lipliners $1.49
Plump No Clump Deep Black Volume Mascara $4.99
The Gel Nail Polish Play with my Mint $1.99
 We love this shade! (And receive tons of compliments on it too!)
All About Eyeshadow $4.99


Fall Must- Have : A Leather Tote

While there are bags that will go in and out of style, totes are a staple that will be always in. Spacious and accommodating, a quality leather tote will do everything from stash your essentials while traveling, to carrying your laptop and notebook to meetings or classes. Plus, they look great worn in too!

Urban Outfitters: BDG Knot Strap East/West Tote Bag in Blue $150 $49.99
J.Crew Downing Tote in english saddle $168
Yves Saint Laurent: Large East- West Leather Shopper in Bordeaux $950

Questions? Comments? We'd love to hear from you! letters@sarahvelasco.com


Juice Your Way To Health with Marni Wasserman

Step into Marni Wasserman's Studio and you already know you're in for a treat. This summer, Certified Natural Chef, Culinary (Holistic) Nutritionist CNP, Health Strategist, and Author and Owner of Toronto's first plant-based cooking studio, Marni Wasserman created the 'Savour the Summer' cooking class series, a four- week event consisting of four different cooking classes that will result in keeping you happy and healthy! (These classes have already taken place, but are still opportunities to attend her other classes. We highly recommend that you do!). For this series, each class covered different topics, and we attended her Juices and Smoothies Class on July 13th.

As Toronto experienced its first heat wave mid- July and will continue to be hot for some time, we'll all need something to cool us off and keep our energy up. Fresh juices and smoothies are the perfect beverage to keep you hydrated and a way for you to get your fruits and veggies in liquid form!

Throughout the class, Marni was extremely personable and knowledgeable, providing us with information, tips, and great recipes to try. We had the chance to sample delicious and nutritious beverages that contained fruits, vegetables, superfoods (goji berries, cacao nibs, carob powder, maca...), and other goodies. 
We learned so many new things (have you heard about hemp milk? a great non-dairy alternative that is extremely easy to make) and we left inspired to try all of these at home and juice for rest of the summer and the year to come. 

Marni is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about what she does and you leave the class being more informed about healthy eating. It's great that her classes are small so that there is a more personable feel to the class. Marni has the class where questions are welcome and you get to sample the delicious and healthy foods. We highly recommend visiting her studio as well as taking one of her classes!


Play Matchmaker with your Makeup

"Pair Up Shades from Lips to Tips with Gerard Cosmetics and FABY USA

Long lasting nail lacquers from FABY USA and lustrous lip colors from Gerard Cosmetics pair off to keep your beauty game going strong.

With a full line of luxurious, richly pigmented polishes, FABY USA is every nail-lover’s dream. Chip-resistant, quick-drying and long lasting formulas made from the finest ingredients are all big 5 free, making for a safe and easy at-home mani. The aptly named Classics collection is the original and most inclusive comprised of 150 colors to choose from so that finding your perfect match is guaranteed.

Founded by Jennifer Gerard, Gerard Cosmetics offers every woman products that are the solution to every day makeup blunders. Created with quality over quantity in mind, this collection of 8 luxurious lipsticks feature the highest quality formulas in a variety of shades that range from glam, to 90’s punk rock-inspired, to the perfect complement to your cat eye."

Faby USA and Gerard have some fantastic hues for the fall!
Gerard Cosmetics Lipstick in Cherry Cordial
FABY in Shall We Dance in the Dark?
Lips that range from deep cherry to aubergine are red carpet favs, and the best news is you can do it too. It's extremely wearable, and wine stained hues look great on all skin tones. Just don't over do it and don't have too dark of a shade for your skin tone (experiment with how much product you use and what works for you!) Whatever skin tone and age, you can pull it off. 
FABY in Naturally
Gerard Cosmetics Lipstick in Nude
Nude lips are the beauty statement today. The "no make up look" has been around for quite some time, and we have a feeling it's here to stay. Nude has officially transcended from a trend into a staple classic. Nude hues are flattering for everyone!
FABY in Hollywood Party
 Gerard Cosmetics Lipstick in Fairy Godmother
This girly pink hue was a huge hit Spring 2015, and can still be worn throughout the fall. Pairing a pink lip with minimal make-up everywhere else will make your look more styled. They're a fun trend to try all year round. For the summer, they're fun and for the fall & winter, they'll be sure to brighten up your look!

Questions? Comments? We'd love to hear from you! letters@sarahvelasco.com


Whitening Lightening: Jewel

Even if you can’t justify splurging on that jewel encrusted necklace you’ve been lusting after, you can still rock jewel tones in a way that feels just as luxurious. The Lipsticks and Color Your Smile Lighted Lip Glosses by Gerard Cosmetics offer gemstone colored shades that add that extra punch of elegance to your look.

Whether you’re looking to make your lips the focal point or accent piece to your look, there’s a shade for every occasion. Ranging from poppy reds and oranges to burgundy and violet hues, you’ll look timeless as summer transitions to fall. Formulated with high-quality ingredients, such as collagen peptides to increase lip volume and reduce lip wrinkles, the lipsticks and lipglosses work overtime to plump your pout and moisturize without smudging.
We love Whitening Lightening's Lighted Lip Glosses. There are always new shades out with colors ranging from nudes to fierce plums. We're sure many of you have heard about these Lighted Lip Glosses! If not, what sets these glosses apart from others is their packaging. Each product comes with a mirror on the tube and a light attached to the applicator. Perfect for application at night, or anywhere you don't have good lighting. 
We love this shade for the fall. The product is very pigmented and goes on smoothly. Not too sticky, and long lasting, the product also fades evenly on lips. Jewel- a rich ruby hue with golden shine, is available via www.gerardcosmetics.com for $24. 



French company LGCF is very excited to  introduce their new and innovative flavoured wine based drink, MERLOCOLA, now available at  the LCBO.

MERLOCOLA was inspired by a real trend that started many years ago in Europe.  Mixing red wine and Coca-Cola was big in the seventies and was originally created in Spain. The mix combined table wine, coke and ice - drank on warm summer days and often by new wine drinkers.  Now known as “Calimocho” in Spain, MERLOCOLA  is also a go-to for many in other countries around the world, including across Eastern Europe where the mix is known as “Bambus” or “Motorină” in Romania, “Jote” in Chile, “Catemba” in South Africa and “Korea” in Germany.

MERLOCOLA is just that: Merlot with flavours of Cola! The taste is very close to sangria, with aromas of cherry, plum and spices such as cinnamon.  It is a non-carbonated drink, closer to a wine than to pop and is best served chilled or on ice.
Merlocola LCBO product number: 394833
Retail Price: $8.80

We love this twist on the classic red wine. The flavor is very close to sangria with aromas of cola, cherry, plum and cinnamon spices. It is rich and sweet with a body of vanilla, lemon and orange. Even though there is a cola flavor to it, it is not carbonated. Contains 7.9% alcohol.