Looking to refresh her life, artist, wife and mother of three Roberta Birnbaum embraces a dramatic new look—with a stunning result.
Twists, braids and soft fringe for the new season. Image by: Bumble & Bumble
Twists, braids and soft fringe for the new season.
Many of us have fallen victim to some horrifying hairstyles ('80s perm, anyone?). Luckily, current trends are more forgiving—and much less damaging.
EASY DOES IT
This season, the low bun isn't just for hiding unwashed hair; it's also an easy wand elegant way to be on trend. The best part about this season's bun is that you get to decide on the details. A smooth and elegant chignon was spotted at Creatures of the Wind, while at protagonist (below), the look was twisted and undone. Just remember to ditch bulky and visible elastics in favour of the clear variety or, better yet, opt for bobby pins.
Protagonist by: Bumble & Bumble
The fashion world has been toying with the idea of youthful 'dos for a while. Marc Jacobs sent models down the runway with Wednesday Addams-esque pigtails in 2014, while, in 2015, Chanel had models wearing prim girlie headbands, and Prada embraced a cheerleader-inspired high ponytail. This season, embracing your inner child translates to a more romantic look—think soft (not severe) French braids and plaited double buns, as seen at Mansur Gavriel (below). Make this look age appropriate by keeping it polished—no frizzy flyaways or piece-y strands.
Bumble & Bumble for Mansur Gavriel
If the past couple of seasons have been all about the long bob (a.k.a. the "lob"), get ready for everyone to make the switch to the shag. This layered look, made popular in the 1970s, is a low-maintenance style with lots of movement, and we're all about that wash-and-go life. Spritzing hair with sea-salt spray brings out any texture, steering this look into rocker territory (a la Alexander Wang), but you can also embrace a softer shape (as seen at Custo Barcelona, below) with a good blow-dryer and a round brush. The only rule: Nothing too perfect, please.
Maybelline New York for Custo Barcelona
Scent lingers on your hair for longer than your skin, which is why perfuming your tresses has been a beauty move for years—only now, fragrance brands are starting to make scents specifically for hair. These new products won't dry your locks, and they come in scents you already love.
We asked Zoe Nicole Kelly, creative and product developer at Dr. Roebuck’s, some questions on how to make sure your skin stays plump, dewy and hydrated all winter long.
When winter rolls around our main concern is keeping our skin hydrated. Indoor heating, blustery winds and sub-zero temperatures all contribute to our dry complexions—and dry skin can lead to sensitive, irritated skin as well as emphasizing and lines or wrinkles you might have. Thanks, winter.
Zoe Nicole Kelly, creative director, Dr. Roebuck’s, answers our questions about how to keep skin soft, supple and hydrated for the harshest of seasons.
But first, how do I know if my skin is dehydrated?
Dry skin can be pretty obvious—a flaky, itchy or tight complexion are dead giveaways. But sometimes it’s not that obvious to tell if you have dry or dehydrated skin. If your fine lines are more visible than usual that could be a lack of hydration. If, when you touch your skin it doesn’t bounce back quickly, that usually means you need more hydration.
Why is my skin dehydrated?
The weather is definitely a factor, but dry skin can also be due to your diet and intake of water (hint: more water is better) and it can come down to genetics or an allergy. According to Kelly, anyone can have dehydrated skin because that’s more closely related to lifestyle, but if you have dry skin, that’s probably due to genetics. Either way you should get your skin some moisture, stat!
What are some ingredients I should look for in my skin care to keep hydrated?
“Glycerin is actually one of the most overlooked ingredients, because people think it doesn’t do much,” says Kelly. She recommends looking for a plant-based glycerin (instead of synthetic) to reap the most benefits from the ingredient. Other ingredients to keep an eye out for? Hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and cold-pressed oils. “Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin actually attract moisture to the skin and hold it there,” says Kelly. “If you get a really highly concentrated hyaluronic acid, it can actually penetrate the skin at the same time it holds moisture to the skin—working on two levels.”
What product should I add to my routine during the winter?
If you feel good about your products, but are looking to add an extra dose of hydration, you’ll want to pick up a serum. “The beauty of serums is that they are highly concentrated,” says Kelly, “so you can target the specific concerns you have.” Look for serums that aim to rejuvenate and regenerate collagen as well as moisturize.
Dr. Roebyck's Ultimate Hydrating Serum, $80, beautyboutique.ca.
What am I doing wrong?
“One of the main no-no’s—and it’s hard to do in the middle of winter in Canada—is having a hot shower,” says Kelly. Whenever it’s possible opt for a lukewarm shower and a short shower. Hot water is very drying to the skin—as are many bar soaps and many products that lather in the shower. Avoid products with alcohol, or products that are wheat-based. Instead, try cleansing oils and milks instead if you’re concerned about dryness.
If your skin is in full on crisis mode and/or you suffer from eczema—flaking, red, itchy, chapped and cracked skin—skip the lotions and creams and opt for a balm instead. This one, from French derm-brand Bioderma, helps soothe irritation, repair skin's barrier and helps prevent recurring flare ups. The emollient formula is paraben-free, fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. Bioderma Atoderm PP Balm, $33, murale.ca.
If you prefer oil to lotion, or want to layer your body care products, try Avène's Essentials Body Oil. The rich plant-based oils and vitamins A and E help to nourish and sooth parched skin. Try applying post shower, the formula quickly absorbed and won't leave behind a greasy film. Avène Essentials Body Oil
If you're on the hunt for a natural body cream that doesn't compromise on its effectiveness this jar has got your covered. The velvety body butter is whipped to perfection and harnesses the moisturizing properties of agran oil. Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter, $15, sephora.ca.
Sensitive enough for infants and children but powerful enough for adults, this rich cream is perfect for extremely dry skin and atopic dermatitis. The brands patented Rhealba Oat Planlet extract helps to calm irritatation and soothe skin. Vitmain B3 helps with elasticity while glycerine hydrates skin. It's also filled with nourishing omega-6 essential fatty acids which help to rebuild the cutaneous barrier of the skin, which is often damaged in extremely dry skin. A-Derma Exomega Emollient Cream, 400 mL, $56, amazon.ca.
This butter yellow cream is a cult-classic. It's been around since the '70s and we're sure it will stick around for many more years to come. The all-over body cream is both rich and hydrating without being greasy. Kiehl's Creme de Corps, 250 mL, $38, kiehls.ca.
Combat uneven tone and texture with a small but mighty skin-saver: glycolic acid.
What is glycolic acid?
Glycolic acid is one of several alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which are naturally occurring chemicals found in foods such as sour milk, sugarcane, apples and citrus fruits. The glycolic acid in skin care, however, is uaually the synthetic form, which is more stable, ensuring better delivery to the skin. (Naturally derived formulas often go rancid or lose their potency faster than synthetic ones.) Glycolic acid's molecules are the smallest and lightest of all AHAs, so they're able to penetrate the skin more easily. "You don't need a major concentration to have long-lasting efficacy," says Pascale Mora, the scientific communications director for Vichy International. Using even a small concentration (three percent or lower) can yield results. With continuous use, glycolic acid can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, improve uneven skin tone and lessen breakouts, leading to younger- and healthier-looking skin.
In the simplest terms, glycolic acid acts as an exfoliant, removing dead skin and stimulating skin-cell renewal. "It helps reduce skin dullness, unclog pores and reveal radiant skin by getting rid of older cells at the surface of the skin," says Eric Dupont, the founder of IDC, a Quebec-based skin-care brand. The results? Glycolic acid leaves skin soft and smooth; over time, it works at the cellular level, boosting collagen production.
Finding your formula
Products containing glycolic acid may cause itchy, tight or red blotches for some people (usually those with sensitive skin). According to Dr. Dennis Gross, a New York City-based dermatologist and the founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, "Irritation is directly related to the concentration of the acid." But no matter your skin type, Dr. Gross recommends mixing a lower-concentration glycolic acid with other anti-aging ingredients, such as malic and lactic acids, instead of jumping to a higher concentration of glycolic acid on its own. Start with a more quickly absorbed glycolic formula, such as a peel, an exfoliant or a toner, with a concentration of 10 percent or less.
Glycolic acid is most effective when paired with other active ingredients. To fight acne and reduce shine look for a product containing both glycolic and salicylic acids, or brighten an uneven skin tone with a mix of vitamin C and glycolic acid. For an extra dose of anti-aging benefits, pair glycolic acid with either lactic acid, malic acid or lip hydroxy acid, which unblocks pores so that exfoliation is more effective. There's room to play. The two rules to follow? Moisturize your skin generously and apply sunscreen daily. (But you should already be doing that.)
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): A group of water-soluable acids—including glycolic, citric, lactic, malic and tartaric acids—that are found in foods and can remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin.
Glycolic acid: With the smallest and lightest molecules of any AHA, glycolic acid easily penetrates the dermis, making it the most effective AHA for skin-care purposes.
Lactic acid: An AHA derived from sour milk, lactic acid is best known for lightening and brightening the skin.
Malic acid: Found in fruit, particularly apples, this AHA helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Salicylic acid: A lipid-soluable beta hydroxy acid best known for its ability to fight acne.
Vitamin C: Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C promotes collagen production in the skin and is a potent antioxidant.
This triple-action mask exfoliates with mechanical (physical exfoliation), enzymatic and chemical actions. Add it to your skin-care routine once per week for radiant, smooth skin.
Perfect for blemish-prone skin, this cleansing gel unclogs pores and promotes cell turnover with salicylic and glycolic acids.
Brighten dull skin with this mask that contains glycolic acid, rejuvenating papaya enzyme and brightening Viniferine for an instant touch of radiance.
Five-percent glycolic acid, this toner also has soothing aloe vera and skin-renewing ginseng for revitalized, glowing skin—at a seriously affordable price.
This overnight treatment contains glycolic and salicylic acids and niacinamide (an anti-inflammatory); the combo helps unclog pores and tackle blackheads while lifting away dead skin cells.
This two-step peel is ideal for sensitive skin and first-time glycolic-acid users. With a blend of alpha and beta hydroxy acids, it fights three signs of aging: fine lines, enlarged pores and uneven skin texture.