Sephora Vancouver Launch!

Sephora Vancouver opens to the public tomorrow, July 10, 2009. Praise to the Make-Up Gods!

Kerry Anne and I had a chance to visit the new store for a sneak peek tonight. The Champagne was flowing (Luis Vuitton Moet Hennessey “LVMH” Corporation owns Sephora) and the lip gloss was flying off the racks as we were all treated to a $50 shopping card. Sephora PRO Beauty Team experts were flown in from Toronto and Calgary to give make-overs. The Vancouver Sephora Team was also present in full uniform, ready to help us. Here are a selection of photos from the evening.
Finally, we get to have Sephora Brand products available locally.
Sephora Canada VP Marie-Christine Marchives being interviewed by eTalk Daily.
Zabrina models the Sephora Vancouver uniform.
Local celebrity Fiona Forbes, co-host of Urban Rush, celebrates the Sephora Vancouver store opening.
Carly Rae Jepsen, of Canadian Idol fame, performed her hit Tug of War (“Don’t Go Out With The Boys Tonight“).

Sephora also opens in Coquitlam Centre tomorrow, July 10, and the Metrotown location in Burnaby opens in October.

Lancôme Gold Fascination – Only at The Bay

Starting January 1, 2010, Lancôme will feature it’s new Olympic Gold inspired collection at The Bay stores across Canada.

Gold Fascination is inspired by Canada’s best female athletes as they pursue their quest for gold at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

The package art is designed specifically for this collection by Canadian artists Raphael and Lisa-Marie Mazzucco, both former athletes themselves. Raphael played professional soccer on the Vancouver Whitecaps until 1984, and is now a well-known fashion photographer. Lisa-Marie won a gold medal in figure skating at the Commonwealth Games in 1980 and now makes her living as a make-up artist.

Like mini art canvasses, the limited edition boxes are unique pieces of art specifically created for Canadian women.

The collection includes four pieces:

• Showstopper Color Design Quad Eye Shadow Palette in “Showstopper Style” $48
• L’Absolu Rouge lipstick in “Absoute Rouge”, “Cherrywood Luxe” and “Sienna Ultime” $38
• La Base Pro, a foundation primer $42
• Color Design Blush in “Pret A Plum Sheer” and “Model Mocha” $38

Watch a short movie about artist Raphael Mazzucco here on YouTube.

Get the look: Vera Farmiga at the Golden Globes 2010

Makeup Artist: Natural makeup artist Tina Turnbow for tarte

 Old Hollywood meets ethereal naturalist. Think feminine beauty with a healthy flush.

Look: A mix of warm and cool tones inspired by nature.

* Complexion: “I love Vera’s porcelain complexion, so I wanted to keep it simple with a sheer foundation and lightweight mineral powder.”
o tarte’s smooth operator tinted moisturizer SPF 20 in façade
o tarte’s provocateur mineral pressed powder SPF 8 in fair
* Cheeks: “Just a pop of pink made for a healthy blush.”
o Tina Turnbow for tarte’s flower child natural cheek stain (new for spring 2010)
o Tina Turnbow for tarte’s flower child eyeshadow palette: pink peony shadow used as a highlighter on top of cheekbones
* Eyes: “I used warm coppery-bronze tones to enhance Vera’s beautiful blue eyes.”
o Tina Turnbow for tarte’s flower child eyeshadow palette (new for spring 2010)
+ Shadows: for her crease and lid blend shimmering firewheel, matte buttercup, shimmering ecru hibiscus; using the double-ended brush apply pink peony on browbone
+ Eyeliner: rim eyes with matte brown natural liner
o tarte’s multiplEYE™ natural lash enhancing mascara (new for spring 2010)
* Lips: “I felt a sweet pink pout really complimented her look.”
o a combination of: tarte’s natural gel lip stain in charmed and vitamin infused lipstick in bikram

Tina set the look with Arcona’s Lavender Hydrasol for a natural glow.


Review: Kosmea Replenishing Moisture Cream

Kosmea is an Australian company. They produce a line of natural skin care products using rose hip oil.

I’ve been looking for something natural to use on my face and hands for some time, winters in northern BC are very dry, so, when I saw the rose hip oil at my local health food store I was intrigued, after trying the sample, I bought home a vial. I used it as sparingly as I could on my face and hands. It had a lovely fresh rose scent but I wasn’t really satisfied with it.

Then one day, while I was in the shop, the sales lady showed me the Kosmea replenishing moisture cream.

It is wonderful. I use a very small amount, about the size of half a pea, on my face every morning. It
sinks into my skin almost instantly leaving it feeling soft and silky, and like the oil, it has a lovely pure, fresh rose scent.

It cost $54.99 for a 50 ml tube. That sounds expensive but one tube last me a whole year.

You can use the stockist
finder, on the kosmea site, to find a store near you that sells it.


When Melanie isn’t running, skiing, hiking or snowshoeing she can be found in her garden weeding or lying on the couch reading a good book. She writes about her adventures on her blogs, Caffinara and Northern Gardeners Almanac.

Escents Aromatherapy Facial Serum Vital: Rose Geranium

Recently a friend, who is a little older than me and has lovely skin, described her skin care regime to me. One of the elements is Escents Facial Serum. I was intrigued, so we visited an Escents store together for an education and shopping trip.

Escents Aromatherapy is a Canadian company that specializes in sourcing pure, therapeutic grade essential oils from around the world and pairing them to create unique blends. Their network of stores sell aromatherapy, bath and body products.

After some sniffing, label reading and discussion I decided on Facial Serum Vital: Rose Geranium.  I’ve been using it for the last two weeks and have to say, I am surprised and delighted. This oil works!

Developed for dry mature skin, the formula suits me perfectly right now. I put a couple of gentle pumps into my palm, rub my hands together and smooth it over my face. It has an oily feel as it goes on (well, ya), which I found alarming at first. If I have time I let it sink in before layering another Escents product on top – the rose geranium hydrating cream — then my sun screen.

My skin feels great all day. Though the vial describes the serum as a night treatment, I have been using it morning and evening and really enjoying the results.

The serum is $21.95 for 30 ml (1 fl. oz.) which I think is good value. Bonus – the Escents line is made from pure ingredients, without artificial colours or animal testing.

First Canadian Yves Rocher store opens in West Edmonton Mall today!

The Creator of Botanical Beauty opened its first North American franchise in the West Edmonton Mall today.
The 648 square foot store called The Atelier of Botanical Beauty, is located on floor one of the mall near the 44 door entrance. “We are incredibly excited for both the Brand and our franchisee because this represents a real milestone for Yves Rocher globally and a real opportunity for Oksana Pachine and her partner Anna Stsibaylo,” says René Desmarais, CEO of Yves Rocher North America Inc. The Yves Rocher Group is a global beauty leader, ranked in the top 15 beauty brands in sales and volume, with 3.2 billion dollars in sales and one of the few large, family-owned, beauty-businesses in the world. “We were saddened to lose the founder, Mr. Yves Rocher, right before the start of the new year but pleased that the Brand is continuing on the path of global expansion laid-out by Mr. Rocher,” he adds. The opening coincides with the Brand’s 50th anniversary which is being celebrated this year.

Yves Rocher has been operating in North America since the mid-eighties running a direct mail business in Canada and the United States and a store business in Canada. Later, in 2005, it launched an Internet sales site as well. While both the direct mail and Internet business service both Canada and the United States, the store business remained regional, operating close to 70 stores in Eastern Canada with locations in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Last year, with the global launch of the new Atelier store concept, the company announced that it would be offering franchises across Canada to help with its on-going expansion. The company’s goal is to introduce franchising in the U.S. in the next few years.

The Canadian store business was somewhat of an anomaly as globally close to 75% of the 1,800 store chain is franchised. “We wanted to keep our stores corporate until we had the right formula for the North American market,” says René Desmarais. “With The Atelier of Botanical Beauty we know we have the right concept.” Launched in May of last year, the Atelier is delivering an average +15% sales increase versus the previous store concept.

The Atelier is a physical representation of the Brand. The main display table is a copy of the one
Mr. Yves Rocher used in his attic laboratory in La Gacilly, France when he first started the company. A large visual of one of Yves Rocher’s organic fields is front and centre at the cash. The company organically cultivates about 33% of the raw plant material it needs for its global production. The rest is ethically sourced around the world, depending on the actives needed in a product. Finally emblematic visuals of women and plants recall the Brand’s proximity to women and the fact that all its products are botanically-based.

“I am so happy to be the first franchisee in Canada,” says Oksana Pachine. “I’ve known Yves Rocher for many years because it is a very popular brand in Russia. What I like is its plant-based products and its focus on the environment and sustainable development. As franchisees we also receive very targeted marketing and communications support,” she adds. Yves Rocher is known world-wide as a highly specialized direct marketing company, which contributes to its success in all of its sales channels. “When you purchase an Yves Rocher franchise you always benefit from tremendous corporate support such as marketing and communications tools, training and data sharing, says Stéphane Duval, Director, Stores, Yves Rocher North America Inc. “Customers who sign up to our rewards program receive between 12 to15 special offers a year with additional discounts, free products, gifts and of course our expert beauty advice. On average between 18%-30% of customers come back with their offer,” says Duval. “That’s on top of walk-in customers,” he adds. In Canada, more than 90% of Yves Rocher store customers have signed up to the rewards program.

Yves Rocher plans to franchise more than ten locations before the end of the year and has interested parties for franchises from Halifax to Vancouver.

Rose Elixir by la Vie en Rose

I have a new favourite scent. Rose Elixir Eau de Toilette by Canadian lingire store la Vie en Rose.

It is unusual for me to like a scent for sale at a lingerie store. That is why I was so surprised when I sampled Rose Elixir at the la Vie en Rose store in Metrotown mall on the weekend. After a few hours of enjoying the scent on my wrist I went back to purchase the bottle ($35) and the body creme ($20, but I only paid $10 as they have a BOGO on all body products in store).

Rose Elixir is described on the website as having:

a mesmerizing, elegant blend of glowing grapefruit and red currants mixed with blooming centifolia roses, white cedar, clear amber and sensual woody notes.

I really love the mixture of rose with a woody musc undertone. The scent is soft, almost powdery. I have even been applying it before bedtime because it makes me relaxed and warm inside.

Olay Total Effects Eye Transforming Cream

I have a new Holy Grail product to share with you. I have been using Olay total Effects Eye Transforming Cream daily for the past three months. It is a fabulous under eye cream, but can also be used all over the eye region.

This eye cream is not greasy, and really stays where you put it. It is soothing and calming on my skin, and contains Aloe Vera. The best thing about this cream is that it has a subtle tint to it, so it provides the look of an instant lift. Dark circles disappear. On days when I am in a rush, I will chose this product, paired with mascara and blot powder, and I’m out the door. Easy!

A little goes a long way. One jar (~$23CDN) will last you at least six months.

A must have product for any woman on the go!

Vancouver’s EGO AVEDA SALON donates recycled hair to help clean up oil spill

Vancouver (May 19, 2010) – Your haircut is a LIFESAVER! In response to the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which continues to leak tons of crude oil into the open waters, Ego Aveda Salon, located at 2714 Granville Street in Vancouver, has rallied to help in the clean up efforts. Indeed, one of the best oil retrievers is actually human hair and salons worldwide are collecting hair to donate to Matter of Trust, an ecological public charity based in the US, which concentrates on manmade and natural surplus, as well as eco-education.

Established in 1998, Matter of Trust has created the Hair Mat Oil Spill Program whereby salons send their hair clippings which are weaved into recycled nylon mats and sausage shaped hair “booms”. These mats and ‘booms” are then used to encircle and contain oil spills to keep oil from spreading and causing further environmental damage.

The current oil spill in the Gulf Coast poses significant environmental consequences that threaten not only to decimate the local wildlife but also threaten local beaches as well. Ego Aveda Salon, as leaders in environmental leadership and responsibility, believe it is their duty to get involved in the clean up efforts. Ego currently collects hair clippings from every single haircut guest to send to Matter of Trust. The salon plans continue to collect clippings for as long as Matter of Trust will accept donations at their temporary warehouse facilities which are strategically placed along the Gulf Coast. “This is a great cause and we’re excited to make a difference with every haircut,” says Daisy Colina, Ego Aveda Salon.

For more information on how to get involved, please consult the organization’s website.

For more information about Ego Aveda Salon

Guest post: Bare Escentuals BUXOM collection “Dolly Does Amsterdam”

This set contains:
– 0.20 oz Mini Buxom Lash Mascara in Blackest Black
– 0.07 oz Mini Buxom Lip Stick in Amsterdam (deep raspberry)
– 0.15 oz Buxom Lips in Dolly (dusty mauve)
– 0.01 oz Buxom Insider Eyeliner in Onyx (absolute black)

These people worked really hard on the packaging, and the products aren’t bad either. I was really pleased to see a full size tube of Buxom lips in Dolly, a fleshy shade that works for everyone, and actually does plump and shine. I wanted to try out the insider liner, buxom lash mascara and the 3-in-1 lip liner, plumper and stick, and it was really handy to try them all for the low price of $32. The full size of the lip gloss is $19, so overall this set is a great buy.

I think my hopes were too high for the lipstick. The creamy formula is actually quite drying and the shade “Amsterdam” was paler than I was expecting, but I guess it’s more of a universal neutral. It does work quite well as a liner, and I like the built in sharpener. The (full-size!) eyeliner (Onyx) also has a built-in sharpener, which is such a joy, because the act of sharpening eye liner pencils makes me really sad because I think of all that wasted product and all the mess. It is easy to smoke out the color
over the lid with a dome fluff brush, or do any thickness of line. The mascara does thicken lashes, but I’m not sure if I want to invest in the full-size for $18. Maybe once I get a proper job with my multiple degrees….

Anyway, it’s a good way to try the famous Buxom brand of lip gloss/plumper, liner/stick, eyeliner, and mascara. I’m really excited to see this brand expand with exciting colors in the future, and their stuff isn’t as expensive as some other brands, particularly for the sassy self-sharpening dramatic eyeliner.

This set is available only at Sephora stores.

Guest blogger: My name is Sruti and I really like playing with makeup. I’m particularly obsessed with nail polish and eyeliner. I live in Pittsburgh and teach chemistry to support my cosmetics habit.