Beauty Sleep…Fact or Myth…

One of my favourite activities as a young child was going to the cinema with my mom…and also at home, and when movies came on TV, I was in the living room with my mom, watching classic films like Psycho, Gone with the Wind and Sound of Music. Disney films were also a treat. My mom took me to the theatrical release of Sleeping Beauty when I was four and after seeing it, I was floored, mesmerized by the romance and I wanted to keep seeing it. It was so magical and amazing that a princess cheated death and aging by sleeping and was awoken again by true love! I wanted to ask my mom to take me again to see it, right after leaving the theater,¬† but I was too shy to.

Time to wake up! After 100 years of sleeping or so…she’s definitely rejuvenated!

The story of Sleeping Beauty struck a cord in me, because I think that’s because sleep is connected to beauty. It’s when we rejuvenate and replenish ourselves with energy, strength, spirit. It’s when we regenerate our tissues, bones and hair. It’s how we reset our physical and mental programming to face the everyday world. And every minute of it is worth gold. For example, I myself went a little crazy a few weeks ago when I was not sleeping well, stressed and anxious with modern day life challenges. And it showed in my complexion: my skin was bumpy and flacid, puffy eyes, limp lifeless hair, and low energy to the nines.

A break down on why sleep is so important:

  1. Life is always stressful: Between family, work and social obligations personal ambitions, daily life is full of anxiety, worry and distress. Sleep not only helps us have energy for these things, but is a key factor in keeping  mental health to face these things.
  2. It helps us regulate water/hormonal, emotional balance: I remember gaining water weight in the cheeks and hips when I was not sleeping well…and even my emotions were up and down…sleep is something that balances our body functions. Exercise also helps, but not as much a good rest, in my opinion.
  3. My complexion suffered. Wrinkles appeared out of no where, the smooth texture of my skin was gone…even make-up didn’t cover this up…
  4. My immune system was lowered and I was prone to infections and illnesses, allergies…etc
  5. I became very depressed and unable to think positively. I know that I have often battled sad days, we all have, but when I was lacking sleep, it felt that much harder, that much more severe.

So the bottom line? “Beauty sleep” does exist, because being well rested is a vital part of physical and mental health. What ways have you been neglecting a good sleep hygiene? Doctors say eight hours a night is ideal…so are you hacking it, or what can you do to make sure you get that? It’s worth the effort to get good sleep because then you get to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed to face the world!


Preventing wrinkles: it can be as simple as your expressions!

When I was a young art school student, studying Fine Arts and Theory at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, I was always inspired by my professors. They were so accomplished, talented and brilliant. Intellectually strong and academically enriching able to carry on discourse deeply, engagingly. One of my professors that I really liked was a cerebral Art seminar instructor who was heavy with her ideas. She often dawned very politically charged, raw topics, and presented them to her students with a lot of open minded energy. She also re-affirmed and validated my artistic ambitions, whether in positive critiques of my essays or in actual pieces. And that’s why I adored her. But one thing I noticed about her was how when she was deep in analytical thought, she would furrow her eyebrows so deeply, they had a permanent wrinkle on her forehead. She was a handsome woman who didn’t seem to care about superficial beauty, but was after what her mind could embody and the intellectual beauty of that. I could respect that, and still do.

But I work in the fashion industy, and also have my own cosmetics line, dream e beauty, so I know that physically aesthetic beauty is valuable too. I will never teach Art at a University level, but I will have to represent daily, my more tangible skills…and that is…avoiding wrinkles by not emoting too much. It’s sad, isn’t it? That deep thinking, stress, and expressing emotions like joy, anger and fear, can cause wrinkles–but it can. When we pose our faces in certain expressions everyday, we are training our skin to crease in the same areas, and like a piece of paper, we will crease, especially as we age and our skin gets less elastic and less supple.

Is there a solution to preventing this? My advice is to be aware of when we are making certain expressions that will cause wrinkling. For example, when I get excited, suprised or angry, I often lift and furrow my eyebrows, causing my forehead skin to wrinkle. And I noticed over time, that these wrinkles are starting to stay. I use my anti-wrinkle antioxidant balm every night on my forehead to increase the skin suppleness there, but another guard is to just stop making expressions that cause wrinkles. And here’s the hard part…I have to make myself aware of which expressions, and facial muscles make these creases, and stop doing them. So hard…especially since they are natural reactions to my life and my world.

Which brings me to what a wise friend once told me. To stay young and creaseless, one cannot smile, one cannot frown, one cannot laugh, or worry, or scowl. We have to remain expressionlessand emotionless to maintain flawless unwrinkled skin. And that’s a tall order…are you willing to trade in your human personalities and expressions for the sake of flawless skin? Is being less emotive and human worth it? Maybe, maybe not…but it’s useful to know that some wrinkles can be created, and therefore can also be prevented.

The gamut of expressions a gal might make; looks cute in these manga drawings…but in reality, they could mean a whole bunch of wrinkles after a few years of emoting too fiercely!


6 Easy Make-up Tips to keep you looking Fresh this Summer

So, in Toronto, as with a lot of places in North America, spring really came late, but suddenly, with our last snow storm just only 2 weeks ago!! How can we recover so fast to be able to be ready and enjoy this burst of sunshine and mild temps now that May is finally here? My make-up these days is lighter, with less layers, andless ink; my motto as always been less is more. I want to use less make-up products these days, because my eyes have been kind of puffy lately, and I’m not about to outline they are with tonnes of black liner…But I still like a made-up face when possible, and here are some easy, breezy tricks to make it look like you are effortlessly gorgeous:

Nothing says spring like a terrarium with succulents! With it some of my current cosmetic arsenals…

Top Summer make-up hacks

  1. Follow a full face make up with a blot with a kleenex tissue: This one is so important! Because in the summer, we are usually using either a foundation with SPF, or a separate SPF, and the layers of protection gets kind of oily and thick. Reduce the look of wearing a “make-up mask” by blotting with a soft tissue all over the face after applying your full make-up. The tissue catches loose pigment and excess oils that sit on top of your face, the thing that causes you to look “made up” and unnatural. I find a kleenex is better than blotting paper since it’s texture can pick up loose make-up too, and not just oil.
  2. Wear an SPF! I can’t say this enough, and it’s really just because in the late Spring, the sun is actually at it’s closest to the earth, but without the heat to signal it’s penetrating our skin! UV rays from the sun is linked to skin cancer and also sunspots, wrinkles, and skin aging. So be sure to use SPF during the spring and summer!
  3. Use the right foundation color: I know in Asia, the trend is to be lighter, and here in NA, it’s to be darker tan…but my advice is to match your actual skin color. There is never going to be a color more flattering than getting the exact shade and tone of the face. Don’t pretend to be a porcelain princess or, a tanned surfer girl, because matching your true skin color will make you look like yourself, and more natural. Even if it means mixing two shades to get it right, as I currently do…
  4. Hair Trends: When it comes to hair lightening, any level lighter than brown hair (bronde to platinum) looks best with dark roots, 1-2 inches. Having uniform color from root to tip looks very artificial for some reason, even though having roots is a sure fire sign of colored hair. But for some reason, darker roots give your face and hair more dimension and drama, and also makes lightened hair look even lighter. Be sure to soften the root line so that where the roots end doesn’t look like a harsh line. A skilled hair stylist will know how to do this if you don’t!
  5. Add a shimmer to your bottom lid: For those of you with puffy eyes, and small bags underneath them like I do these days, will appreciate this tip. Shimmery bright shadow on the bottom helps brighten and take attention away from bags by bring up the visual focus. For those who don’t use shadow on the bottom lid; always use a shadow there, even if it is a nude color. It keeps your eye make-up from smudging when you blink all day and when moisture from your eyes touches your top eye make-up.
  6. Avoid heavy mascara: Did you ever wonder why you don’t have the fluttery lashes you see in all the make-up ads when you put on mascara? Sometimes my lashes just look inky and heavy after mascara application. My quick remedy for this is to take a clean finger tip and just dab and push up on the lash right after mascara application. This will wipe off any clumps and naturally separate lashes, while evening the mascara application and keeping it light and wispy. Another bonus? It helps prevent smudging or flaking from occurring later in the day since it also removes excess black on over painted lashes. A must do.

So ya, these are my tricks I’m using to keep fresh this summer, do you agree with them? If so, you can enjoy wearing make-up this spring without looking over done, made up and weighed down. Hopefully these tips work for you and feel free to share your own tips in the comments section below!