Photography by Pamela Littky
We talked to Canadian musicians Tegan and Sara about their relationship, activism and why they've teamed up with Kiehl's to benefit the LGBTQ community.
Identical twins Tegan and Sara Quin have spent a vast portion of their lives in close quarters. The 36-year-old Calgarians shared a bedroom as kids, then a tour bus when they became "indie darlings–turned–pop tour de force," as GQ described them last year.
But as the duo was steadily racking up accolades, their sisterhood was crumbling, despite—or maybe because of—all that time spent together. "In our younger years, it was really difficult to navigate our relationship in the context of what we were trying to do in music, running our own business and travelling the world," says Tegan. "While most of our friends were entering college and getting to explore their identity, we were bound together in this career and life. There was inevitably a lot of trouble. Often, it was just the two of us on the road, so it was easy to pick on each other."
The sisters, who skipped university in favour of playing music, scored a record contract with Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young at age 19. They received a Grammy nomination in 2012 for their concert DVD Get Along, then went on to win three Juno Awards. It was their breakout hit, "Closer," an upbeat synthpop track from their seventh album, Heartthrob, that propelled them from indie rock band to mainstream chart-topping pop-dance duo seemingly overnight.
But if that song title felt slightly ironic, well, it was; by that point, the twins had been living on opposite sides of the country for 13 years. But where mainstream success has historically torn bands apart, for Tegan and Sara, it has had the opposite effect. The sisters, who have always been honest about their tumultuous relationship, say they're now in a really good place.
And this reconciliation made writing about their issues for their latest album, Love You to Death, easier. "Stability affords us an opportunity to look at the past with a critical eye, but it also helps us shift narratives away from previous losses. I'm still flawed, but my relationships have become stronger," says Sara.
This record, their eighth, is coated with a layer of "poptimism," continuing the modern pop takeover they started with Heartthrob. But they're not abandoning their outspoken past selves; as with their sibling strife, the twins have always been open about their sexuality and the social issues that are close to them, perhaps taking a cue from their mom, a social worker. At the 2014 Juno Awards, Tegan accepted the Group of the Year award for Heartthrob by saying, "I don't think very many people— and especially not us—thought two queer kids from northeast Calgary would get here, but here we are." Today, she says, "We've always been honest about seeing ourselves as a band, first and foremost, but in times like this, we do use our voices, as frequently as we can, if we think we can help. In this day and age, I think it would be irresponsible of us to say, ‘We're not political people; we don't want to get political.' "
In fact, compelled to use their voices beyond singing to help those who don't have one, the sisters set up the Tegan and Sara Foundation, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ women and girls around the world. It will focus on economics, health and representation, the areas in which they say LGBTQ girls and women face the most challenges. And when Kiehl's approached them about a partnership that would help support the foundation, they quickly jumped on board. Proceeds from special editions of Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser and Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser, products the pair has been using for more than a decade, will directly benefit the sisters' new charitable endeavour.
It's just one more way they're getting closer. As of 2015, the sisters have both settled on the West Coast. "We live really close in Vancouver," says Tegan. "So close that Sara can see my apartment from her courtyard."
Proceeds from these special editions will go to the Tegan and Sara Foundation. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser and Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser, $26 each, kiehls.ca.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to arrive in Washington for the Women's March on January 21, but events and rallies are planned for cities across Canada, too.
On the day after Donald Trump's inauguration, hundreds of thousands of people will unite for the Women's March on Washington to express their support for the rights of marginalized groups—and similar events are planned for cities around the world.
Though it's not officially an anti-Trump protest, the march was planned in reaction to the Republican candidate's presidential win. "The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights," the organizers say in their mission statement.
Hundreds of Canadian women will be making the trek to Washington, but there are also events planned across Canada. So if you can't make it all the way there, here's when and where you can join a march or rally closer to home:
11am at the Esplanade de la Place des Arts in Montreal
1pm at the Halifax City Hall
1pm at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse
Save some money this season with easily accessible, moisture-retaining products for when that cold wind bites—all under $20.
Winter’s icy grip has set in, and the crisp weather calls for a new extra nourishing beauty routine. It's a fact that rough and dry skin longs for moisture when blizzards roll in and jacked up thermostats wreak havoc. The skin-care struggle is real. We can share our best ways to curb dry winter skin and tell you how to boost moisture, but you'll also need the beauty products to help see you through to warmer weather.
We know surviving sub-zero temperatures is hard enough—your pocket shouldn’t have to take a hit as well. The good news is, it doesn't have to. All of these beauty products can be purchased at your local drugstore and for under $20, leaving you with more spending money for a peppermint mocha on your way home.
This cult-classic beauty aid has the power to withstand Arctic climates. Slather on the all-natural product—with pansy, chamomile and calendula extracts— anywhere you need it: think dry patches, cuticles and rough elbows. $19, well.ca.
It's a beauty myth that exfoliating your skin will leave you more dry and dehydrated. The fact is, it helps shed dead skin and leaves your face primed to absorb your moisturizing products. Try these pads soaked in glycolic acid. They're less abrasive than a mechanical exfoliant such as beads or scrubs. $15, well.ca.
Even if you have oily skin, winter is time to replace your oil-free gel or clay cleanser in favour of milks or balms. This balm cleanser replenishes lost moisture through glycerin and cocoa butter while still erasing all traces of makeup and grime. $10, beautyboutique.ca.
When your skin is red, parched and in desperation for some heavy-duty TLC, that’s when you send in the face masks. In 15 minutes, this hyaluronic acid-infused facial sheet mask will prevent dullness and provide 24 hours of moisture retention. $18, indeedlabs.com.
Right now, summer feels like a distant dream—but your skin could still use a touch of (faux) summer glow. This foundation gives a dose of gradual self-tanner, providing buildable coverage when on, and a healthy bronze once you rinse it off. $18, almay.com.
Plenty of body washes can leave you dehydrated by the time you step out of the shower. This one does helps lock-in moisture post-shower with argan oil. $5.50, walmart.ca.
If body oil isn’t your thing, nourishing body butter is the skin fix you need. Whipped with shea and cocoa butter—both hailed for their moisturizing properties—there will be no dry skin ‘round these parts. $12, beautyboutique.ca.
This is a lifesaver. Coconut oil is an amazingly cost-effective way to help your body soak up all the moisture it needs. Since it can get greasy, slather it on overnight and wake up with supple skin (try your hair, as well). Added bonus: the scent will leave you smelling of the beach. $14, walmart.ca.
Nothing is worse than checking yourself in the mirror and realizing your lipstick is dray and cracked—and your lips are no better. Be preemptive and exfoliate before you leave the house using this E.L.F. stick made with sugar crystals that aren’t overly abrasive. $4, elfcosmetics.com.
"I don’t want velvety soft, moisturized hands for under $7,"—said no one ever! This cult classic is super-concentrated with glycerin, is fragrance-free and has the stamp of approval from the National Eczema Association. $7, well.ca.
Is everyone in the office—or your children’s school—getting sick? Spritz this anti-bacterial spray without fear of catching whatever bug is going around. Bonus: the added lavender oil prevents your hands from drying out. $7.50, drbronner.com.
Coming in an array of shades, this lip balm will give you that just-bitten winter colour we all strive for—while still keeping your pout moisturized and flake-free. $6, walmart.ca.
The sniffles, watery eyes, snowflakes that stay on your nose and eyelashes–all of these contribute to smudged makeup and raccoon eyes. To keep you looking doe-eyed all day long, switch over to one of our favourite waterproof mascaras. $10, well.ca.
Getty Images Image by: Getty Images
Fit seniors have a 'fitness age' of up to 25 years lower than their real age.If you’re looking for a little motivation for your next marathon—or, hey, even your next trip to the gym—consider the age-defying athletes of the recent National Senior Games in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.