With temperatures regularly soaring into the 30s this summer, it's been hard to maintain a polished look. But keeping your makeup from sliding off your face is easier to do than you think.
We turned to makeup artist Angela Peralta for her go-to tips on keeping makeup looking fresh, no matter how humid it gets. "When the season changes, your makeup routine should too," she explains. "The summer months require a no-fuss fresh-faced approach to beauty. It's time to let your skin breathe and to bring some colour into your life."
1. Use lighter products Use light skin-care products in the hot months. "Make sure you switch your regular moisturizer for a lighter-textured one," Peralta says.
"Opt for a gel or soufflé-type consistency. This way, you will keep your skin hydrated without it feeling greasy," she explains. Moisturizer helps prep your skin for any other products you put on it, so the lighter the moisturizer, the less likely you are to develop shine later in the day.
2. Skip foundation While you might shake your head at the thought of going bare faced, foundation just isn't agreeable with summer's heat waves. "Traditional foundations can be put to rest during the summer months," says Peralta. But, rather than brave the day with nothing on your skin, simply take a more minimalist approach. "Tinted BB [beauty balm] creams are all the rage right now, because they correct the skin tone and protect the skin with SPF," she explains. "They are also packed with ingredients that are fantastic for your skin."
If you need a little more coverage, Peralta suggest adding a mineral powder to help combat shine and create a more polished look for the evening or the office.
3. Minimize eye makeup Less is more when the temperature rises, especially when it comes to your makeup routine. "Keep your eye shadow to a minimum and don't forget to prime your lids to keep creasing at bay," says Peralta. "Concentrate on keeping your look fresh by choosing soft golden or peachy tones with a bit of shimmer, or washes of colour like lavender, pink, blue and green," she advises. "Think watercolours when using brighter tones to avoid looking clownish, and skip the liner and opt for waterproof mascara if you're looking for a little more intensity."
Page 1 of 2 -- From keeping your lips simple to refreshing your makeup on the go, discover four more great tips for melt-proofing your makeup on page 2. 4. Choose blush or bronzer -- not both Blush and bronzer have a place in your summer makeup bag, but choose just one. "Layering too much makeup can look heavy during the summer," explains Peralta. "If you can't give up one, then choose a cheek tint instead of a powder blush," she adds. Cheek tints are easy to use, and they stay put and provide a sheer, buildable pop of colour.
5. Keep lips simple Lips are another area where it's best to tone down your makeup on hotter days. "Put your heavy colours away and grab a tinted lip balm to keep your look fresh and your lips protected from the sun," says Peralta. But you don't have to skip colour altogether. "On summer evenings, you can use a little gloss to add drama and depth to your look," she suggests. "Soft corals and pinks are great choices this season."
6. Refresh your makeup on the go One of the best ways to maintain your makeup through skyrocketing temperatures is to mist your skin whenever you need a cooling boost. "Keep an Evian spray or rose water spray in your purse to refresh your makeup and keep you cool," advises Peralta. "It's a great little trick when you're on a busy schedule and don't have time to redo all of your makeup for an evening event." Keep your mister bottle in the fridge until you leave for added cooling effect.
7. Remove makeup at night Last but not least, no matter how tired you are, make sure you remove your makeup at night, cautions Peralta. "Due to the warmer climate, breakouts can occur more often during the summer," she explains. "Before heading to bed, remove your makeup with a foaming cleanser or makeup wipe. It will help you keep your skin looking fresh and glowing all summer long."
Don't succumb to looking and feeling like a melting mess. It just takes some simple tweaks to your beauty routine to be fresh and polished no matter the weather.
The rich, crisp and flaky crust. The syrupy-sweet filling.
Eating your first butter tart is an experience like none other.
“The reason I like butter tarts is that [they] fly in the face of all political correctness,” says
Marion Kane, food sleuth and former food editor for the Toronto Star.
“It's fattening, it's high in sugar, it's caloric–but it's delicious and I have yet to meet somebody that doesn’t like butter tarts. You’d have to be crazy!”
Canadians are quick to agree that the sticky tarts are by far one of the most iconic Canuck foods out there. But if there’s one topic that gets us otherwise polite Canadians up in arms, it’s the debate over what makes the perfect butter tart.
Gooey or firm? Should it include raisins? What about nuts? And should you use butter or lard in the dough?
To get to the bottom of this patriotic parley, we polled three Canadian butter tart enthusiasts to get their take on what makes the perfect butter tart.
“I believe the pastry needs to be made with lard–at least some of it,” says Marion Kane.
“Crunchy-crispy at the edges, even semi-burnt,” says Canadian artist and butter tart enthusiast
Charles Pachter. His secret to the best crust: lard cut with a bit of cider vinegar.
Barbara Rowlandson, festival director for
Ontario's Best Butter Tart Festival in Midland, Ont., evaluates more than 3,000 tarts for inclusion in the "Best Butter Tart in Ontario" contest. She's less picky when it comes to her crust.
“You can have sort of a traditional flaky pie pastry, which we are all sort of used to, or you can do a shortbread pastry, which is also acceptable. It’s more like a shortbread cookie and that's a really nice way to have your butter tart.” However, one unique way she enjoys tarts is with a phyllo pastry.
For Rowlandson, the most crucial part of a butter tart is the filling–it has to tread that fine line between being overly runny and being firm and overset.
“I like them to be in what I call the ‘goo zone,’ where they just sort of gently goo out,” she says.
The so-called "goo zone" was a common theme among our pollees.
“It's crucial that the filling be right. In my mind, it should be soft and gooey but not liquidy,” says Kane.
Pachter agrees: “Chewy towards the middle, gooey-runny in the middle."
"Raisins, of course,” says Pachter.
Rowlandson admits to being anti-raisins in her butter tarts, she won’t object to the addition of a few walnuts in the filling.
Why we care so much about butter tarts
“Canadians, and Ontarians especially, do not have middling feelings about butter tarts,” says Rowlandson.
Rowlandson used to sell butter tarts in her store in downtown Midland, where customers would regularly argue over the iconic Canadian pastry.
“Complete strangers would stand there in my store for an hour having discourse on what makes a correct butter tart, and I even had to break up a couple of fights, including one that I swear was going to turn into a fistfight between a couple of ladies over the last butter tart.”
A true Canadian invention, the earliest published butter tart recipe
comes from Mrs. Malcolm MacLeod of Simcoe County, Ont., and can be found in the Royal Victoria Hospital Women’s Auxiliary cookbook, published in Barrie, Ont. in 1900.
“We have something that's dear to us and our invention and we should cherish it and treasure it,” says Kane. “Food is a vehicle for human connection and people feel good when they have a food memory that relates to being together with family, and I think butter tarts were made on an ongoing basis as the standard pastry in many homes.”
This year’s Ontario's Best Butter Tart Festival takes place on June 11 in Midland, Ont. For more information, visit
buttertartfestival.ca or call 705-526-4275.
Craving butter tarts? Here are a few of our favourite butter tart recipes!
"I've seen more changes this year than in the past three years," says Lisa Gittens, a tax expert at H&R Block.
Here are eight things families will want to be aware of when filling out their 2016 return.
1. Last chance on certain tax credits
The government is phasing out a handful of tax credits and focusing on larger benefits. The children's arts and fitness tax credits will be halved for the 2016 tax year, and cut completely next year, meaning families will no longer be able to defray costs for things like swimming lessons, ballet and tutoring. For post-secondary students, the education and textbook credits are being eliminated in 2017, although education amounts carried forward from previous years will still be claimable.
2. No more income splitting
Also gone is the Family Tax Cut, which lets the higher-earning spouse transfer up to $50,000 of income to the lower-earner. During the 2015 election, the Liberals promised to cut it, calling it a "tax break for the wealthy."
With the benefit gone, Gittens recommends a spousal RRSP, which allows the higher-earner to contribute to the lower-earning spouse's RRSP and claim the tax benefit. "You may have an RRSP set up, but you haven't thought about setting it up for your spouse. This is an ideal time to use that strategy," she says.
3. Changes to child benefits
The Canada Child Benefit was a signature feature of the 2016 budget, replacing the old Universal Child Care Benefit and the Canada Child Tax Benefit. It's non-taxable, so you don't have to claim it. However, in order to continue to receive the benefit, both parents must file a return, even if one doesn't generate any income, says Gittens.
Also keep in mind that the benefit started in July, so you still have to claim the taxable UCC for the first six months of the year.
4. New tax rates
New tax rates mean you may or may not be pleasantly surprised by the size of your tax bill this year. If you're in the meaty middle that earns between $45,000 and $90,000, your rate will come down to 20.5 percent from 22 percent.
"Most Canadians will be receiving more money at the end of the day than they were under the old system," says Jamie Golombek, managing director of tax and estate planning at CIBC Wealth Strategies Group.
However, high-income earners will be paying more due to a new 33 percent bracket for people earnings more than $200,000.
5. Child care expenses
Childcare costs are usually the biggest deduction available for families, says Golombek. But what many people don't realize is that it goes beyond simply daycare. If you have a nanny, you can claim that expense, but also babysitting, if it's during the day, and summer or day camp.
6. Disability tax credit and family caregiver amount
If you have family members with a disability there are certain credits that may be available to you. The Disability Tax Credit is available to people with disabilities to reduce their taxes. For children under age 18, a parent or caregiver may be able to claim the unused amount.
If you're a caregiver to a family member with physical or mental impairments, you may also be able to claim an additional $2,121, according to the Canada Revenue Agency.
7. Selling your principal residence
Selling your home has typically not been something you've had to report on your taxes, because usually Canadians don't get taxed for capital gains on their principle residence. But starting with the 2016 tax year, individuals who sold their principal residence during the year must report the sale. The government is ostensibly doing this to crack down on people who try to pass off income-generating homes as their principal residence.
8. eFile early, get your refund early
Tax deadline is April 30, but if you want to get ahead of the game, file early, before the government is inundated with last-minute returns. You can still file the old paper return, but Gittens says you'll be looking at a turnaround time of anywhere up to eight weeks, versus 10-14 days for a return filed early and electronically.
Here are some scary truths: 70 percent of new Alzheimer's patients in Canada will be women, and we're diagnosed with depression and dementia at twice the rate of men. But new research says there are three simple lifestyle changes we can make right now to keep our brains healthy as we age.
You brush your teeth to prevent tooth decay and check your blood pressure to monitor for signs of heart problems. But are you doing anything to keep your brain in tip-top shape? Because you should be. Brain health, which experts define as a combination of cognitive (memory, attention, thinking) and mental (emotional well-being) fitness, is a major, albeit under-the- radar, health issue for Canadian women.
It's major because as we age, so do our brains. Vascular changes can decrease blood flow; we can lose volume in key areas, including the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, the regions responsible for learning and memory. Myelin, a fatty material that makes up the protective coating around nerve fibres, starts to deteriorate, causing the brain to slow down. And nerve cells can develop plaques and tangles— structures caused by the buildup of proteins called beta-amyloids that can disrupt the brain's normal function. In some people, these and other signs of normal aging can cause mental health problems, strokes and brain disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's, and increase the risk of diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
Brain health is an under-the-radar issue because, though women are more likely to experience cognitive decline (thanks to dementia or Alzheimer's) and to suffer from depression, most of the research on these conditions still focuses on men.
Thankfully, studies are showing that straightforward lifestyle changes—exercising regularly and not smoking are at the top of the list—help shore up what researchers call "cognitive reserve," a buffer that "delays the changes or makes your body better equipped to handle those changes," says Lauren Drogos, a brain researcher at the University of Calgary.
In fact, Drogos says there's evidence to show that, in some people, even serious symptoms do not necessarily develop into cognitive impairment. She points to the Nun Study, a famous long-running research project on aging and Alzheimer's that has been tracking 678 nuns from convents across the United States since the mid-1980s. One of the nuns, Sister Mary, died at the age of 101 showing no outward signs of cognitive decline—but when researchers examined her brain, they were shocked to find she had "abundant neurofibrillary tangles and senile plaques, the classic lesions of Alzheimer's disease." Scientists don't know exactly why some people can have severe symptoms, such as plaques and tangles, without experiencing cognitive decline, but, happily, cases like Sister Mary do show that dementia isn't an inevitable part of aging.
And since women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with many of these problems, the more we consider brain health when making our day-to-day lifestyle decisions, the better. (Bonus: These changes also benefit your heart and help prevent other diseases, including Type 2 diabetes and cancer.) So here's what you can do to take care of your brain.
This is your brain on exercise If you had to pick just one lifestyle change to make in the name of brain health, experts agree exercise tops the list—especially for women.
We consider neuroplasticity, the brain's capacity to form new neural connections, an exciting part of a child's development, but we now know our brains can continue to grow, repair and improve as adults, too. Physical activity is a well-researched trigger. Not only can working out bolster our day-to-day functioning and alertness but it also appears to help us repair brain damage. Plus, it slows down aging and the onset of age-related brain diseases.
Working up a sweat and pumping up your heart rate can lead to a healthier vascular system in the brain, which decreases blood pressure and oxidative stress (when your body's antioxidants can't fight off free radicals), and increases antioxidant activity, according to Marc Poulin, an Alzheimer's researcher and professor of physiology at the University of Calgary. Vigorous exercise also floods the bloodstream with a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which readies the body for repair and heightens the brain's ability to learn and form new memories. Plus, hitting the gym helps the brain repair myelin; a lack of the nerve fibre–protecting substance is a factor in developing multiple sclerosis.
Exercising can also restore crucial brain volume. Research has shown that the hippocampus— home to memory, learning and emotion—starts shrinking after age 55 by about one to two percent a year, but just one year of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise done three days a week can increase its size by two percent.
And while most of the research is about the benefits of getting in your cardio, Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an associate professor and Canada research chair at The University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, says strength training is also effective, as it can enhance brain performance and function by 11 to 17 percent. "Women live longer [than men], and age itself is the greatest risk factor for dementia," she says. "But the good news is when we look at the benefit of aerobic exercise on cognition in older adults, women seem to benefit more."
The takeaway: You can reap the rewards from even a 15-minute walk. Of course, the longer you exercise, the better, especially if you get your sweat on and your heart rate up. If you want to tick a few other brain health tips off your list, consider joining a team sport. It blends physical, social and cognitive skills, and "can also add pleasure and meaning to our lives," says Dr. Nasreen Khatri, a registered clinical psychologist, gerontologist and neuroscientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto.
If you have an office job and find you're sedentary most of the day, take a few minutes every hour or so to get up and move around. Research also suggests switching to a standup desk may improve your brain function.
Did you know? Taking care of a loved one—most often a spouse in your later years—can be a risk factor for developing depression and, eventually, dementia . But research out of the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto found, for the first time, that cognitive behavioural therapy, a form of talk therapy, can improve both mood and cognition.
This is your brain on sleep After a good night's sleep, you feel alert and ready to tackle the day. But that's not just because your brain has been resting. It has also been busy filing away memories and taking out the trash, so to speak, thanks to the glymphatic system, which washes the brain of waste materials. For example, a protein called betaamyloid, which is known to play a role in the development of Alzheimer's, acts as a neurotoxin when it builds up, killing neural cells in the brain. But a good sleep removes excess beta-amyloid and other waste materials, says Dr. Liu-Ambrose.
Because one of the common symptoms of Alzheimer's is disrupted sleep, it's unclear whether a lack of shut-eye should be considered part of the progression of the disease or a risk factor on its own, due to the buildup of beta-amyloids.
Nevertheless, poor sleep hastens your brain's aging process—much like sitting in the sun sans SPF speeds up your skin's aging process. And disturbed sleeping has been linked to all aspects of brain health, including an increased risk of depression and a decline in cognitive functions such as memory and reasoning. In one U.K. study out of University College London Medical School, middle-aged women who reported a drop in the average number of hours they slept had lower scores on cognitive tests involving reasoning and vocabulary.
What's more, our central clocks—a.k.a. our circadian rhythms—can drift from the patterns of our childhood, making it hard to get that much-needed rest. "As we age, our central clock is less sensitive to stimuli like light, food and physical activity," says Dr. Liu-Ambrose; this change makes it harder to fall, and stay, asleep. We can also become more vulnerable to stress and anxiety, which further disrupt those rhythms.
One way to combat these fluctuations is to try what seasoned travellers do for jet-lag recovery: Get exposure to real daylight and eat your meals on time to nudge your brain into a routine. And don't use bright screens at night, especially before bed, because they mimic sunlight and tell our circadian system that it's day, not night—and, therefore, not time to sleep. Those who need more help might consider light therapies that have been developed to treat seasonal affective disorder, says Dr. Liu-Ambrose.
The takeaway: Many researchers consider six to eight hours of sleep a night to be the standard sweet spot, though this can vary by individual. If you're routinely getting less than that and waking often in the night, not feeling refreshed in the morning and experiencing bouts of sleepiness during the day, talk to your doctor about sleep strategies—especially if you're experiencing anxiety or depression. In the short term, napping can reverse some of the effects of poor sleep, including memory loss and increased stress. And you only need a 30-minute catnap to feel the results.
This is your brain on a healthy diet There's no perfect "brain food," but eating a nutritious diet (lots of veggies and fruit, lean meat, fish and healthy fats) is the smartest way to maintain long-term brain function and memory, and to slow the development of brain diseases.
Getting enough of specific nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids is important but not the holy grail. University of Pittsburgh researchers recently found that people who eat broiled or baked fish at least once a week have larger brain volumes in the areas used for memory and cognition, despite varying levels of omega-3 in the fish they ate. Senior researcher James Becker concluded that he and his colleagues were "tapping into a more general set of lifestyle factors that were affecting brain health, of which diet is just one part."
In a 2015 study from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, researchers looked at the broad set of eating habits of more than 900 people over 4 1/2 years and found that those who adhered to a diet high in fish, vegetables, nuts and berries, and low in fat and sugar, slowed down their brains' aging by about 7 1/2 years when compared to those with less-healthy diets. The healthy eaters cut their risk of Alzheimer's by up to 53 percent. And even when those people only adhered to the diet part time, they saw some benefits— an effect that has not been found in other diets, says Drogos.
The researchers dubbed the most promising cluster of these eating habits the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet, which blends the longevity-boosting Mediterranean diet and the heart-healthy low-fat DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet that doctors recommend to patients at risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. More studies need to be done on why it works, but in the meantime, there's no downside to eating healthier and ditching the junk.
The takeaway: Add more veggies to your diet. Research shows that older adults who report eating more of this food group perform better in mentally stimulating activities than those who don't.
Did you know? "Menopause brain" is a real thing. As with "pregnancy brain," its more famous counterpart, women approaching menopause really do experience memory problems and brain fog. Researchers think a drop in estrogen levels might be the cause.
Can you train your brain? Does firing up a brain-training app actually help improve your memory and ward off dementia? Sorry to disappoint, but right now, evidence for the benefits of computer-based brain games is weak, says Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an associate professor and Canada research chair at The University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Coastal HealthResearch Institute. Brain games appear to help you learn to play them better, but research doesn't show that those tasks transfer to other aspects of brain performance. The same goes for crossword puzzles and sudoku, which help your vocabulary and math skills, but nothing more.
How to maintain your mental edge at any age
In your 30s: This is the time to make sure you establish healthy habits—such as getting plenty of exercise and sleep, and eating a good diet—that will affect your brain health throughout your adult years. "When it comes to maintaining brain health, the best time to start is yesterday," says Dr. Nasreen Khatri, a registered clinical psychologist, gerontologist and neuroscientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto. If you feel you need a boost at work, consider old-fashioned writing instead of typing on your computer. A study in the journal Psychological Science found that university students who made handwritten notes were better equipped to recall conceptual ideas from their professors' lectures than those who had typed notes on their laptops.
In your 40s and 50s: People in this age group are part of the "sandwich generation," and often face caring for their aging parents on top of dealing with their other work, financial and parenting obligations. So, unsurprisingly, they're super stressed—and this can affect both mental health and day-to-day brain function. Dr. Khatri says it's essential to prioritize and edit out activities and commitments that increase stress without adding value to your productivity or happiness. That's because "maintaining mental health in early and mid life is key to safeguarding cognitive health later on," she says. "Untreated depression in midlife doubles your risk of developing dementia in later life."
In your 60s and beyond: In your senior years, socializing with friends and family, and picking up activities that allow you to connect, such as volunteering, are key to maintaining brain health. And sorry, keeping up with folks on Facebook isn't enough. "Ask yourself: Is social media rounding out my real-life social experiences?" suggests Dr. Khatri. What you need is face-to-face interaction.