Monday, July 6, 2015

My Chat With Olympic Medalist Joannie Rochette

Joannie Rochette: On nutrition, fashion & beauty

A few weeks ago, I was invited by Almond Breeze to meet one of my ultimate idols, Olympic figure skating Champion Joannie Rochette. It's on a rainy Tuesday morning that I sat down with her at the prestigious Mansfield Club located in downtown Montreal. Over a chilled pineapple cocktail, we had a passionate chat about nutrition, fashion & beauty:

Can you tell me about your current projects?
After the Olympics in 2010, I decided to do shows. I can't believe it's been already 5 years! There are many shows, there is one in Switzerland, there are some in China, Korea and Japan. In fact, it's very popular in Asia. There is also the Stars on Ice tour in the USA and Canada. The shows are very different from competition...there are no judges, it's more about the audience and you are lot more free to express your artistic side. It's much more creative because there are less restrictions in terms of music, hairstyles and costumes. I can skate to rock & roll music with my hair down, it's so cool! It's a whole different world. That being said, I still need to be in shape all-year round because I never know when they might me for a new show or a last minute replacement. This year, it was the 25th anniversary of the Stars on Ice tour. Kurt Browning was the one in charge because he's been with the tour for 25 years. He's like 48-years-old now, so it's very impressive! 
Another thing that's very exciting is that I will be going back to school in the fall at McGill. I am about to embark on a preparatory year for medicine. I have always been interested in science, sport, nutrition and also how the body works. I'm really looking forward to it!

How did the collaboration with Almond Breeze occur?
I once was a big milk drinker and at one point I felt that milk was a bit heavy on the stomach, a bit harder to digest, especially before a training session. So I developed a taste for almond beverage. I initially tried various milk substitutes and discovered that Almond Breeze was the creamiest of all. I really like the taste; it's very close to the taste of milk. At first, I would simply have it in cereals, oatmeal and smoothies. Then, I discovered so many recipes such as the rice pudding with cinnamon, the salad dressing with avocado, cumin and cilantro or the pineapple chiller. It's cool to know that you can substitute milk in most recipes with Almond Breeze. It's great for people who are vegan or lactose intolerant.

What do you usually eat before and after training?
You want to stay hydrated but you also want to have potassium and other nutriments, especially if you are going to sweat. Before a workout usually I don't want something too heavy because I need to jump and be very mobile. Like if you do yoga or jogging, you don't want to feel it on your stomach. That's why, I recently started drinking this pineapple chiller (recipe at the bottom), which is made with coconut water, orange juice, Almond Breeze, frozen pineapple, mango and lime. After a workout, I can have something similar but I would add hemp or flax seeds to increase my fibre and protein intake. I also like to have healthy snacks throughout the day and try to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

As I can see, you really try to follow a healthy diet, but do you sometimes have special cravings?
I think it's all about balance. You can't eat only healthy food; you also have to take pleasure into consideration. We need to have fun food, whatever makes you happy otherwise, it's too strict. I love cookies; I'm a cookie girl. And I don't want to restrict myself from cookies so usually I'll take one or two from the box, put the box away and go sit on the couch to make sure I don't eat the entire box. I think it's also important to add new kind of food to keep our diet fun and fresh. It's like working need to change it up a bit by doing yoga, zumba or something else to keep your motivation up. It's a lot more fun to change it up from time to time.

You travel quite a lot for the shows, how do you stay healthy on the go?
In Japan, it's easier to keep healthy but when we travel to the USA, it can be challenging, especially when you stay at hotels. To avoid that we go the grocery store a lot to have fresh fruits and nuts around. We also stack a lot of Almond Breeze on the bus and try to have vegan meals because that is usually healthier.

You seem to enjoy playing with different fashion styles on the tour, who are your fashion icons?
In the skating world, I admire Tessa Virtue. She always has stylish clothes, jewellery and shoes. She's chic and sophisticated. There is also Cara Delevigne that I have started following on Instagram. I like to see her wear designer clothes one day and wear onesies with a simple t-shirt the following day. I like someone that can mix up styles. I am more of a jeans & t-shirt kind of girl at home but I also love designer clothes that fit well.

Do you have any favourite designers?
I like Clover Canyon's wild style with big prints; I also like Jonathan Simkhai's chic and sporty style. In terms of local designers, I like the edgy creations of Denis Gagnon and the t-shirts from La Montréalaise. And I also love the leather coats from Mackage and Rudsak

What are your 3 beauty must-haves?
A good eye cream, no brand in particular, because with the amount of makeup we wear on tour, I like to take care of the sensitive skin around my eyes. I like the Perfect Cleansing Oil from Shiseido and bold matte lipsticks from MAC Cosmetics because they stay put for a very long time.

The pineapple chiller recipe
1 cup of Almond Breeze Sweetened Vanilla Original
1 cup of frozen mango chunks
1 cup of pineapple juice
1/2 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of coconut water
1/4 cup of lime juice
8 ice cubes

In a blender, combine Almond Breeze, frozen mango, pineapple juice, coconut water, lime juice and ice cubes; blend until smooth.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Looky Eyes 3D Mascara: The Secret To Va-va-voom eyelashes!

Want dreamy eyelashes but don't want to commit to false lashes? Get your hands on Looky Eyes 3D Mascara, the duo gel formula that just landed in pharmacies all across Quebec. 

I have once had a terrible experience with eyelashes extensions, so when I heard about this new technology I was quite eager to give it a try it. Made with green tea fiber and nylon, this two-step mascara gives incredible volume and adds length in a very dramatic way. Now, how does it work? After applying your favourite mascara, take the first tube to add a coat of preparation gel to dampen eyelashes before applying the fibres from the second tube. Then, you complete the application by adding a second coat of gel to glue the fibres in place. And voilà, that's how you get va-va-voom eyelashes! It takes a bit of practice to master the technique, especially to add the fibres uniformly, but once you get the hang of it, it's easy as can be. 

While the results are impressive, I don't know that I would use this mascara every day as I tend to prefer a more natural look. That being said, it's certainly something I'd like to have in my beauty bag for special events. And at only $26.99, a fraction of the price of false lashes, the Looky Eyes 3D Mascara is THE product to reach for to create glamorous eyelashes! 


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Smoothies & Sorbets For Your Nails

Smoothies & Sorbets Summer Collection By Misslyn
A new pair of sandals calls for a chic pedi color! This season, I am falling for the vibrant Smoothies & Sorbets collection from über-popular German brand Misslyn. With 48 pretty shades to choose from and a killer brush, which makes application a breeze, the summer line ($10/13ml) is available exclusively at Pharmaprix/Shoppers Drug Mart until July 19. Pick a Sorbet bottle to add grown-up sparkle to your mani-pedi and seal them off with the high-gloss top coat that dries in just 60 seconds. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy Hour At Bota Bota

Urban Drift Thursdays At Bota Bota

Need an excuse to sneak out of work early this summer? The Bota Bota brings back Urban Drift Thursdays, a special program to pair the best of both worlds: spa and 5à7! For $35, you can experience the vast water circuit and sip white sangria at only $6 every Thursday from 5pm to 8 pm. 

I was invited to their season opening event last week and it was amazing as always. We were treated to a yummy BBQ on the deck, which was the first time I had a BBQ while lounging in a bathrobe. The menu was healthy as can be: A zingy gazpacho, a few roasted nuts followed by some delicious grilled vegetables served with a grilled calamari, a beef kebab and a piece of chorizo. After a few sips of wine, I found myself daydreaming while gazing at the breathtaking view of Old Montreal. After dinner, we all went our separate ways to enjoy the water circuits and discover the splendid new garden extension. This thoughtfully designed spa-sur-l'eau is such a unique place to unwind and recharge without leaving the city.

Here's the calendar of events for July and August:

On July 23 & August 20: Terrace with Auberge Saint-Gabriel
For those who love terrace time, treat yourself to a magical moment with Old Montreal as your backdrop. Share delicious BBQ treats surrounded by friends both old and new. Our 5@7 terrace will seduce you with a beautiful view and ambiance.
On July 2, 30 & August 27: Escape with Kusmi Tea
It's not always easy to stop and take a moment for yourself. That's why we're offering 3 special moments of escape this summer. With massage chairs and free iced teas, it's pretty perfect!
On July 9 & August 6: Yogi with Lululemon
Take the time to free your body and your mind from everyday stress. Enjoy an unforgettable moment of relaxation with the wonderful yoga ambassadors of Lululemon. Put health and toning on your agenda.
On July 16 & August 13: Fashion with MMM
Attention fashionistas! Are you looking for something truly new? Mix business with pleasure at two special evenings alongside Me, Myself and Montreal. On the menu: mocktails, gourmet snacks, live jazz and Montreal designers!
Visit Bota Bota for more details!

Image credit: Marie-Reine Mattera for Bota Bota

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Waterproof Makeup Wonders

I'm all for simplicity in the summertime. I enjoy wearing minimalist outfits - hello rompers & dresses! - making easy recipes like gazpacho and paring down my beauty routine. In the makeup department, I rely on the creamy Aqua Matic eye shadow pencils from Make Up For Ever to add a touch of liner or to create a smoky eye that will stand up to heat and humidity. There are 5 additions to the waterproof line this season including the subtle Diamond Peach and the deliciously hot Diamond Light Turquoise, which looks stunning with brown eyes. For a sun-kissed glow, I have recently discovered the ultra-natural Pro Bronze Fusion, a fascinating gel-powder formula that comes in a matte or iridescent finish. It's incredibly lightweight and it blends like a charm using the flat synthetic Kabuki brush from the same line. And of course, it's waterproof.

What are your waterproof makeup essentials?


Friday, June 26, 2015

Tiffany CT60: A Vintage-Inspired Watch Collection

The new CT60 watch collection by Tiffany & Co
Did you know that the Atlas clock mounted on the facade of Tiffany & Co. in 1853 was the first publicly displayed clock in New York City? That's quite interesting considering that Tiffany isn't always the first brand that pops into mind when you think of buying a new watch, unless you are in the market for a diamond-adorned cocktail watch (lucky you!).

Our perception of the brand is certainly about to change with the unveiling of the Tiffany CT60, a Swiss-made timepiece collection for men and women. Named after Charles Tiffany, the company's founder who coined the term "New York Minute" and used to weekly regulate over 400 clocks owned by its customers, the new collection encapsulates the energy and ambition of New York City.
The gold watch offered to President Franklin D. Roosevelt by Tiffany & Co. in 1945

With a bold dial inspired by the famous gold watch offered to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, the collection represents a seamless transition from historic to the modern Tiffany design. For the ladies, the CT60 comes in 34mm size with a stainless steel bracelet or an alligator strap. The prices range from $4,250 in steel to $15,000 for rose gold with diamonds. I have recently had the pleasure of wearing the CT60 3-Hand with round-cut diamonds...well, only for a few minutes when I was invited to discover the collection at their Montreal store. It's a thing of beauty!

At the dawn of the smart watch era, it's refreshing to see how Tiffany & Co. focuses on the retro trend with a watch collection both clean and effortlessly elegant.
Image credit: Tiffany & Co.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Like A Holiday On The Almafi Coast

L'Eau des bienfaits by Roger&Gallet

If there is a French skincare brand that always remind me of my childhood in France, it's definitely Roger&Gallet. Between the array of delicate scents, the perfumed soaps wrapped in silk paper, the refreshing body products and the colourful packaging, I pretty much love everything about this brand. 

I recently discovered that the secret of the Eau de Cologne has been in the Roger&Gallet family since 1806. It's around that time that Jean Marie Farina first started selling Eau de Cologne based on the formula created by his great grand-uncle, Johann Maria Farina, in 1709. Fascinating, isn't?

This summer, the French house is launching Eau des bienfaits, a worthy heir to the iconic Jean Marie Farina fragrance. Made with essential oils and aloe vera, this invigorating body mist freshens, perfumes and moisturises all at once. If you like the smell of blood orange, bergamot and lemon, you'll love to spritz this light perfume all over your body. It's smells like a holiday on the Almafi coast. Very chic and summery!

Wishing you all a delightful summer!


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sunscreen For Your Eyes, Yes Please!

Did you know that 10% of skin cancers appear on the eyelids although this area represents only 1% of the skin's surface?  Appalling isn't? As we are all getting more and more conscious about the importance of sunscreen in our skincare routine, SkinCeuticals had the brilliant idea of creating a unique formula designed for the delicate skin around the eye. Meet the Physical Eye UV Defense, a mineral base sunscreen that provides broad spectrum SPF 50 protection. What's great about this product? Many things. Firstly, the formulation is quite nourishing thanks to the use of ceramides. As for the famous Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50, it offers a sheer universal tint that gives you a bit of coverage without leaving white residue. And last but not least, it creates a beautiful base for makeup that will not roll over once you will apply your concealer or eyeshadows.

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