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How Phyto Paris Saved My Fried Hair

Jul 27, 2015

I had a terrible hair adventure about a month ago. I visited a new hair salon to get golden caramel highlights. And for some unexplainable reason, the colorist almost burned off my hair. I had never experienced such a hair dye disaster before. It was awful. I eventually went to another salon to return to my initial shade. But the damage was done. The lightening process had severely damaged my cuticles. My overly processed hair was dry, dull and terribly rough to the touch. It was time for some serious TLC. 

I had read somewhere that French actress Catherine Deneuve uses Phyto Paris to care for her silken blonde locks. Since I had never tried the iconic plant-based haircare brand before, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to find out if the products live up to the brand's promise. 

With rather high expectations, I picked up the Exceptional shampooExceptional mask and Crème d'exception from the Phytokératine Extrême line specifically designed to treat damaged and brittle hair. After only a week of treatment, I noticed a major improvement: my hair was suddenly softer, more luscious and had stunning shine. While the sulfate-free shampoo is delicate and offers a rich lather, it's the yellow creamy keratin mask that truly surprised me in the shower. It feels incredibly rich and nourishing without weighing down the hair. Packed with botanical keratin, sapote butter (it contains twice as much omega 6 than shea butter), baobab oil and peony extract, this deep-conditioning mask helps rebuild the hair fiber without the use of silicone. Before letting my hair dry naturally, I complete the pampering session by applying a bit of Crème d'exception mid-length to add extra shine and make my hair more manageable.

Three weeks into the Phytokératine Extrême treatment, I am more than impressed with the results. Phyto Paris has brought life back to my dehydrated strands, which is nothing short of a miracle!

Catherine xo

Following Caitlyn Jenner's Footsteps

Jul 22, 2015

As much as I often fall for alluring eye palettes, I don't tend to wear a lot of eye shadows in my everyday life. I'm pretty much an eyeliner kind of gal. But sometimes, a covetable palette comes along and it's love at first sight. When my eyes caught a glimpse of the Jamie Chung palette from MAKE UP FOR EVER, I felt immediately intrigued. Part of the "Be Bold. Be Unexpected. Be You." campaign, which celebrates the freedom of self-expression, the palette is named after Jamie Chung, the bubbly actress and fashion blogger who created the fascinating pairing. The colourful cover says it all: This is about embracing who you are, honouring how you feel and expressing yourself through makeup. As I have always been fascinated with the transformative power of makeup and its unique ability to empower women, I was thrilled to see the promo video featuring Jamie Chung with transgender model Andreja Pejić

It's the combination of earthy hues that's so brilliant in the Jamie Chung palette. With a pinky beige, a discrete sand, a mysterious golden khaki (named Golden Snake!) and striking steel, you can go from an understated look to a more dramatic one depending on your mood. If you have never tried the Artist eyeshadows from MAKE UP FOR EVER, you'll be in for a divine surprise. They have this beautiful velvety texture and they are a dream to apply since they blend so easily. Plus, they really last all day. Run to your local Sephora ladies, this palette is limited edition!

Catherine xo

A New Twist On The Iconic Cuba Libre!

Jul 17, 2015

When we think about rum, we usually think about exotic countries in the Caribbean where sugarcane grows. But did you know that Domaine Pinnacle recently launched Chic Choc, a brand new spiced rum? This amber nectar is first distilled with a traditional pot still to which spices harvested in the Chic Choc area of Quebec are added to give it a strong Nordic personality. The result is absolutely enticing. With its 42.1% alcohol content and its rich scent, this new liquor is remarkably fragrant and sweet. Is it a sin to pour coke into such delightfully aromatic rum? Trust me, it isn't.

Happy Friday everyone!

Catherine xo

2 Moisturizers Light Enough for Summer

Jul 14, 2015

One of my all-time favourite body lotions in the colder months is the rich Daily Moisturizing Lotion from Aveeno. It's made with colloidal oatmeal, a key ingredient to restore moisture and treat itchy skin when it's freezing cold out there. In the middle of this heat wave, I have started to use another fab find from the same brand. It's their Daily Moisturizing Lotion - sheer hydration, an equally delicious moisturizer perfect to keep skin soft and smooth during the summertime. It's a formula much lighter than the previous one and it's fragrance free, which I find to be very convenient when I want to spray my summer fragrance on. The second Aveeno product I keep around these days is made with soy. It's their Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30. I like this no-fuss moisturizer for its high SPF and oil-free formula that adds just a tad of brightness to the face. It's what I generally use on light makeup days because it helps to even out skin tone, which allow me to use less makeup in return.

Have you had a chance to try some Aveeno products in the summertime?

Catherine xo

Apothic Dark Blackberry Cobbler

Jul 10, 2015
With BBQ season in full swing, I thought I'd share with you an easy recipe I recently tried. It's a twist on a summer favourite: the blackberry cobbler. This time around it's not a dessert, but rather a refreshing cocktail made with Apothic Red, one of the most famous red wines from California. Made from a unique blend of Shiraz, Zinfandel and Merlot, this full-bodied wine tends to be a bit sweet, which is perfect for this fruity summery drink. Here's the recipe:
2 oz Apotic Red
0.4 oz lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
0.5 pomegranate juice
Blackberries for garnish

1. Combine the first four ingredients in a glass filled with ice.
2. Top with club soda.
3. Garnish with blackberries.
Cheers to a delightful summer!

Catherine xo

Blur, Baby Blur!

Jul 8, 2015

The most dreadful thing in the summertime for a lady with combination or oily skin is to see her makeup melt away. It's not a pretty sight. That's why I prefer to switch to lighter, airier formulas once the temperatures rise. When I was introduced to the Laroche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur, my initial thought was "not another BB cream!”. But hear me out; this new BB cream is unlike any other BB cream I have tried before. It's basically a cross between a mattifying primer and a foundation. The slender tube contains an oil-absorbing mousse that covers blemishes and evens out skin like a charm. The silky cream blends seamlessly and gives an ultra-natural matte effect that stays in place all day. And the best part: I don't even need concealer on days when I use this light base. Talk about an easy, breezy summertime routine!

What you are miracle beauty picks in the summer time?

Catherine xo

My Chat With Olympic Medalist Joannie Rochette

Jul 6, 2015
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 the 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 fewer 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 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 nutrients, 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 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.

Catherine xo

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

Jul 1, 2015

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! 

Catherine xo