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The Canadian Living team shares some resolutions for 2017—all with a focus on beauty.
When it comes to making New Year's resolutions, it can seem like a waste. Either the resolution is too abstract ("be happier"), too daunting ("learn a new language") or too vague ("lose weight"). While putting big things on your bucket list is something we recommend (dream big!), we also know that the more achievable your resolution is, the more likely you are to keep it. Which is why this year, the Canadian Living team is looking to make small changes to our beauty routines that will have a positive (and in some cases immediate) impact on how we look and feel. Read on to find out what our staff is looking to achieve this year.
Alexandra Tanner, Contributing Art Director
“I would really like to remember to take my vitamins—beauty starts from the inside after all.”
Jennifer Danter, Acting Executive Food Editor
“I don’t usually wear makeup, but now that I’m back in an office setting where everyone looks so stylish I want to up my game. My beauty resolution is to learn how to wear makeup that looks natural—so I’m starting by looking into BB Creams and foundation.”
Estee Lauder DayWear Multi-Perfecting Beauty Benefit BB Crème SPF 35, $35, beautyboutique.ca.
Stacy Lee Kong, Senior Editor
“My 2017 beauty resolution is to make this the year I finally learn how to apply eyeliner without looking like a raccoon! (To be fair, this has been my beauty resolution since 2003… So I’ll let you know how it goes.)”
Linda Cotrina, Web Producer
“I’ve heard time and time again how important sunscreen is to one’s overall beauty regimen which is why I’ve made applying sunscreen everyday my ultimate beauty goal for 2017. First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer is my go-to product—it has all the benefits of sunscreen (UVA and UVB protection) while still keeping your skin moisturized. The added bonus? It’s vegan and cruelty-free!”
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer, $37, sephora.com.
Sandi Pilon, Senior Associate Art Director
“I’m in my 30’s and I often forget to moisturize my face at night, so my resolution is to get serious about a beauty regime. I’m going to be diligent about applying face and eye cream that is suited to my age.”
Julia McEwen, Fashion & Beauty Director
“Now that I’ve started to settle into my 30’s I’m ready to get serious about introducing anti-aging skin care into my daily routine. The hero ingredient of this category is retinol. It’s a vitamin A derivative that fights wrinkles, dullness and dark spots. One side effect it’s also known for is that it can be tricky to introduce and in some cases can cause irritation if you have highly reactive skin (which is what I have). That’s why I’m keen on trying this treatment from skin therapist to the stars, Kate Somerville. It combines oxygen with retinol, which means it’s super hydrating while still fighting off the signs of aging—the perfect retinol gateway product."
Kate Somerville Dermal Quench Liquid Lift Retinol, $130, sephora.com.
Sarah Gunn, Home & Garden Director
“I’m not one to make resolutions, but this year I do want to start taking better care of my skin. I plan on experimenting more with face masks and moisturizers.”
Alexandra Donaldson, Fashion & Beauty Contributor
"The past couple of years I've really upped my beauty game by settling into a skin-care regime, wearing sunscreen every day and paying attention to what my skin needs (usually moisture). This year, I'm hoping to focus in on products that work for me and to pay more attention to ingredient labels. Hopefully these two resolutions will let me streamline my skin-care products and only apply good-for-me ingredients to my complexion."
Renee Reardin, Interim Digital Direction
"I resolve to eat more superfoods to help me attain that glowing complexion we're all after. Eating a diet that's rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, healthy fats, amino acids and collagen can help skin look its best, so I'll be loading up on foods like avocados, blueberries and turmeric."
Do you speak the language of flowers? Find out the different meanings of various flowers, plus get five tips on making your bouquet last.
In the Victorian era, particular flowers in certain colours were chosen to express specific feelings. Using this language of flowers – called "floriography" – a bud, bouquet or even a boutonniere delivered more than colour and scent. Here's what some familiar flowers may convey:
Apple blossom - Good things to come
Aster - Contentment
Buttercup - Childishness
Pink carnation - Gratitude
Yellow carnation - Rejection
Crocus - Gladness
Daffodil - Chivalry and respect
Daisy - Innocence and purity
Daylily - Enthusiasm
Dill - Lust
Edelweiss - Daring and courage
Forsythia - Anticipation
Gardenia - Secret love and joy
Blue hyacinth - Constancy
Ivy - Wedded love and fidelity
Lavender - Loyalty
White lily - Heavenly purity
Lily of the valley - Humility
Mint - Virtue
Orange blossom - Marriage and fertility
Palm leaves - Victory
Dark crimson rose - Mourning
Pink rose - Friendship
Red Rose - Passionate love
Snowdrop - Hope
Sunflower - Adoration
Red tulip - Declaration of love
Violet - Faithfulness
So that beautiful bouquet of dark crimson roses and white lilies surrounded by palm leaves that you just sent to your friend or love one could be telling her, "Many are mourning my victory and success within our relationship, as it's heavenly to be with you!" But – since floriography word lists vary – it could simply be saying, "Hi!"
5 best ways to make your bouquet last
1. Buy fresh flowers. Avoid flowers with any signs of mildew or mould, and look for buds that are just beginning to open. A&P, Dominion and Loblaws help out by guaranteeing their blooms will last for a specified number of days.
2. Keep it clean and lukewarm. Start with a squeaky-clean container and lukewarm water (tepid water is more readily absorbed than cold), then change the water every other day.
3. Add a floral preservative. Most bouquets come with their own packet of goodies that provide nutrients and prevent bacterial growth – all to keep the flowers fresher longer.
4. Strip and recut the stems. Remove any leaves that will be immersed, then recut the stems to encourage water uptake. Trim soft stems straight across. Cut woody stems on an angle, then smash or slit the bottom 2.5 cm (1 in). Pinch small wads of cotton from a cotton ball and stuff them into the bottom of hollow stems to help them hold moisture.
5. Show them off in a good spot. Set your floral arrangement away from drafts, direct sunlight, radiators and ripening fruits (the latter emit ethylene, which prevents buds from opening, discolours blooms and leaves, and shortens vase life).
Arrange flowers with a flourish
Try these tips to feel energized and awake even when you tossed and turned the night before.
Whether brought on by sick kids or the stress of a looming deadline, restless nights happen. Fortunately, it's possible to eat, drink and rest your way back from a sleepless night. Here's how to feel energetic and rested after a bad night's sleep.
Choose the right foods
Why does that doughnut look so very good when you're so very tired? "Sleep restriction has been clearly shown to increase appetite for calorie-dense foods," says Dr. Charles Samuels, founder and medical director at the Centre for Sleep and Human Performance in Calgary. Tara Maltman-Just, pharmacist and executive clinician at Vitality Integrative Medicine in Winnipeg, agrees. "After a night or two of sleep deprivation, we tend to go for things that will give us that instant energy surge: sugar, energy drinks, coffee, even carbohydrates," she says. "However, we'd be best served over the course of the day by making sure we're balancing each meal or snack with protein and a healthy fat."
If you're struggling to keep your eyes open, enjoy eggs with veggies for breakfast or a salad with nuts and avocado for lunch. That way, says Maltman-Just, "you give your body continuous good-quality energy that will release gradually."
Get to know joe
As caffeine-crazy Canadians, many of us can't get by without our morning (and afternoon) cups of joe. But consuming too much caffeine makes it less effective—even when we need it most, like after a long night spent tossing and turning.
To keep your brew working for you, reduce your daily caffeine consumption to one or two cups of coffee in the morning, says Dr. Samuels. "Then, interject caffeine where required," he says. "For instance, if you're sleep-deprived and need to be awake for a meeting that afternoon, that's the time you would use caffeine."
Nab a nap
Add some force to that caffeine kick by adding a 15- to 20-minute nap after you've downed a cup. "A nap is far more effective than caffeine, and a nap plus caffeine is most effective," explains Dr. Samuels. Because caffeine's alertness-boosting effect takes 30 to 60 minutes to peak, drinking a cup of coffee before snoozing will provide the benefits of a rejuvenating short stretch of sleep as well as a natural limit to the nap.
Try one of the sleeping methods to help you get a better night's rest.
This story was originally part of "Bouncing Back From A Bad Sleep" in the November 2015 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!