my algae beauty secret


I'm totally loving this new skincare line from Seanol Canada. They hooked me up with some product last week and my pores are tight and my skin is glowing!

Apparently the special ingredient is Ecklonia Cava, a sea polyphenol (what?) extracted from brown algae that grows exclusively off the coast of Korea's Jeju Island. At first I thought ew gross, but then I learned that it's 100 per cent all natural, non-toxic, free of parabens and a potent antioxidant that drastically improves skin elasticity, blood circulation and moisture retention (sold!).

For a week I've been cleansing every evening and morning with the Deep Clean Cava foaming cleanser and moisturizing with the Petipore Cava moisturizer. At first I wasn't that blown away with the product, but after a few applications my pores started to tighten up (and trust me I need that). The cleanser really foams up so you don't need a lot and the moisturizer glides on smoothly with no greasy residue. I tend to have really dry skin and I was worried this was going to dry me out, but the moisture retention really does hold true.

I think I just found my new skincare regime. Give it a go!

The products are only available for purchase online right now and the prices are totally reasonable.




June 05, 2012 by AlannaB

skincare regimes and a giveaway

Do you ever go through great phases with your skincare regime? I'm never partial to any particular skincare line. In fact I usually have several cleansers and moisturizers on the go at any given time. Sometimes they work together and sometimes they're all wrong, but my most recent combination of products is perfect. It's like the perfect facial storm!

Here's what I'm using.

Morning: Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel followed by Avene Thermal Spring Water Soothing Serum and Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream.

I have sensitive skin that tends to be on the dry side, so the serum followed by the moisturizer really locks in moisture. The fact that all of these products are fragrance free also helps my sensitive skin.

Night: Weleda One-step Cleanser and Toner followed by Avene Ystheal + Eye Contour Cream (I should probably be using this in the morning too) and Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

The Weleda One-step cleanser is milky and smells so good, even The Hubs has started using it! I am also totally in love with the Midnight Recovery Concentrate from Kiehl's.  Both of these products are fairly oily, but if you need the moisture you'll love them too. I wake up in the morning feeling like I had a facial overnight!

What's your skincare regime? Any favourite products you recommend? Leave your reccos and one lucky reader will win a bottle of Weleda One-step Cleanser and Toner!

Good luck and happy face-washing!


April 18, 2012 by AlannaB

sunday night ritual


Last night I turned our bathroom into a spa and treated myself to an assortment of lotions and potions. I often have a bath on Sunday nights, just to relax and prepare myself for the week ahead. I'm partial to epsom salts and lavender essential oils in addition to whatever I might have lying around.

Fortunate for me, Kiehl's recently hooked me up with a bottle of Lavender Foaming-Relaxing Bath with Sea Salts and Aloe. I poured in a few capfuls as I ran the tub and instantly my bathroom was filled with an intoxicating aroma of lavender. It's not really a bubble bath, it really is just a foam, but enough that it creates a layer on top of the water. The scent of lavender is intense, so if you're not a fan I would suggest avoiding this one. If you're like me and love lavender, you'll be in heaven and very relaxed. If only I could draw a bath every night!

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After my lavender soak I lathered on Kiehl's Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter (another hook up!). Honestly girls, this stuff is sooo good. First of all it smells delicious, like so good you want to eat it, and it seriously looks like whipped butter. Initially I thought it was going to leave me feeling really greasy and glistening (like most body butters do), but to my surprise my skin absorbed it in about five minutes and left me feeling super smooth. At $45 for a 235ml jar, it's a bit out of my price range, but totally worth the splurge if you want something to use for special date nights or summery shaved legs. It would also make a really nice gift for a gal pal or for your girlfriend (if any guys are listening).

What's your Sunday night ritual?




my winter secret


The temperature is mild but if you're a whitey like me your complexion is definitely looking a lighter shade of white.  The nice summer glow has worn off and if you're not lucky enough to be heading south you're stuck with that pasty pale skin. In years past I would buy the odd session at a local tanning bed (I know, shame on me!) but I wouldn't set foot in one now. I've also dappled with bronzers and bronzing moisturizers but they always leave my skin an unnatural shade of orange. What's a pasty white girl to do?

Fortunately I found the magic product at Jacob & Sebastien on a Sunday walk along Queen Street West. Tan Airbrush in a Can by Model Co.! All you do is give a light spray all over your face or body (I just do my face) and it works with your natural skin tone to deliver that oh so bronzed look. No more orange hands, streaks, or Jersey Shore complexion.

Here's my winter perk-me-up routine:

I give my face a light spray once a week (usually Sunday nights after I exfoliate) and it's just enough colour for me. Then, on the daily I apply Benefit's You Rebel tinted moisturizer (includes SPF) and Nars' Blush in Orgasm to keep my skin looking glowing and bright.

It might sound HM, but to me it's worth it.

Happy bronzing!

red lips please

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I spotted this gorgeous hair and lip combo on Joanna Goddard's blog and instantly decided this would be my look for the holiday party circuit this season. Since I've only got my face and hair to work with this season I thought this would class up the all black look I'll be sporting to hide my baby bump.

The instructions to this hair do can be found here and I am splurging on NARS' Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in "Cruella" (yes just like Cruella Deville!)

Let the holiday parties begin!

November 18, 2010 by Alanna Banks

parkdale is pumping

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On Saturday the Hubs and I headed west of our place to Parkdale in search of  Capital Espresso, Blondie's new spin-off coffee shop. As we wandered back to our neck of the woods we noticed that the scuzzy-ness that once was Parkdale is slowly cleaning up! We discovered two relatively new clothing stores Philistine (we didn't go in) and The Future of Frances Watson (Love!).

The Future of Frances Watson is a super cool shop with primarily menswear but with sprinkles of stuff for us girls. I picked up a new scent Dead Sexy (Ol' preggers is feeling anything but, these days) by Tokyo Milk and the Hubs bought a new pair of Unbranded Brand jeans (super cool and cheap!)

Check these shops out and go for a coffee in Parkdale this weekend, you won't be disappointed. See you in the 'hood!

blow out

I love being pampered (hair done, nails done, face done whatever...) especially when I'm down and out, so a few weeks ago I indulged in a blow-out (the ultimate pick-me-up!)  I went in looking like an ugly stepsister and walked out feeling like Cinderella. My hair smelled amazing, was so voluminous and the best part is you get to skip washing your hair for days (mine lasted 4 days!).

When you go in they have a booklet of looks you can choose from, everything from the severe straight do to the "hollywood" (which is what I got). They wash your hair really well, give you a scalp massage and then blow it dry. They also use this great conditioning product called Moroccanoil.

With holiday party season just starting up check out their locations and make an appointment. You'll thank me later.

November 09, 2010 by Alanna Banks

my secret weapon

The summer tan is gone (sigh!) and the dark circles have reappeared (double sigh!) time for some heavy duty camouflaging (am I right?)

I've been using Benefit Erase Paste to conceal blemishes, red spots and under eyes circles for years and I must say that it's my little secret weapon (I love you Erase Paste). It covers everything and turns the dullest complexion into a glowing, luminous one (yea!). If you're going to invest in a new concealer this season I highly suggest this one. It costs about $30 (which is a bit steep) but honestly it last for months and months.

I have a fair complexion so I go with the "light" version and rather than using the plastic applicator it comes with I use a concealer brush (makes for a more even application and I find you use less). I dab it all around my eye area and in the creases on both sides of my nose and I don't need to apply any foundation over top, but you could if you wanted to.

Start turning heads ladies!

October 23, 2010 by Alanna Banks

feeling radiant

Exfoliating is like flossing, we all know that it is so important, but rarely do it (I'm sure there are exceptions - congrats to all you flossers). Since my skin is so sensitive I've toyed around with multiple exfoliators and had little success. Most of them irritate my skin and rather than making me look radiant they make me dry, red and flaky (sad face).

Enter Dermaglow Radiance Glycolic 10% Gentle Peel and L'Occitane Amande Pomme! These two exfoliators have made me a believer and my skin is loving them. I have fewer fine lines, smaller pores and a more even skin tone. It's like a mini facial once a week!

Get back on the flossing train people (exfoliate your skin).

October 06, 2010 by Alanna Banks

the bees knees

You may recall back in May I switched up my face cleansing regime (I know! dangerous) from Vichy to Burt's Bees Radiance Daily Cleanser. Just so you know I couldn't be happier with my choice. It's been several months and I'm still digging it. My skin is clearer than ever, more radiant, and never greasy. If you have combination/sensitive skin I highly recommend this product. We'll see how my skin fairs over the winter, but I think this one is a winner (and cheaper!).

Happy cleansing!

September 08, 2010 by Alanna Banks