Luxurious DIY Chocolate Face Mask

Give Your Skin A Yummy Boost With Ingredients In Your Cupboard

Luxurious DIY Chocolate Face Mask

They say that beauty begins in the kitchen, and this mask is no exception! After a long, cold, miserable, hateful winter, my skin feels tired and beaten. Between the dry air in the office and the freezing temperatures outside, I am confident that I've spent more time guzzling water and rubbing moisturizer into my skin than I spent shovelling snow - and I'm on the eastern side of Canada, so that's saying something!
Alhough I'm a self-professed beauty product junkie (you should see the stock I have under my bathroom sink), I often DIY and go au naturel with my skincare. Next to my bathroom sink? A jar of coconut oil for my skin, lips and hair. In my bathtub? A brown-sugar and oil scrub in a Glad container. Just like the things that go into my body, if I can't understand what the heck the ingredients are I don't want to put in on my skin. 
My sister-in-law recently gave me a chocolate face mask that had an unfortunate run-in with a foot and got smooshed all over my hallway. I was bummed because it smelled amazing, but my floors aren't the cleanest - I'll admit - and so I decided not to put it on my face post-smoosh. Instead, I cleaned it up (and then mopped all my floor because gross) and opened my cupboard to whip up my own.
This mask smells amazing and leaves your skin feeling super soft! But beware: It may make you hungry.

Chocolate Face Mask

1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/4 c. plain, unsweetened yogurt (I use Greek, because it's what I buy!)
1 tbsp organic honey
1/3 c. oats (optional)
And you can add half an over-ripe banana to this recipe for an extra delicious mask!
Mix your ingredients well and slather that yummy mixture on your pretty face. Everybody’s favourite snack actually helps improve your skin’s hydration and complexion!
Let it sit for about 15 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. (I suggest eating a piece of dark chocolate and sipping some yummy tea while you wait.)
Helpful Tips

You don’t need to complicate DIY masks by using a food processor – just grab a fork or spoon and mix. And you can skip the mask brush – fingers were invented first!

Steam your face before applying masks to open your pores. Fill a bowl with hot water, throw a towel over your head and hover over the bowl for a few minutes pre-mask.

Always pat your skin dry after cleansing – rubbing roughly can damage your skin! And try to use a clean cloth each time to avoid breakouts.

Store any leftover mask in a sealed container in your refrigerator for 1-2 days. (Or eat it, because you totally can.) 


Fake a Blowout With This 10 Minute Hair Trick

Great Hair, Minimal Effort

Fake a Blowout With This 10 Minute Hair Trick

CONFESSION: I am lazy as all get out in the mornings.
It’s not that I don’t like to look nice when I leave the house, because I do, but sometimes mustering the energy to do things like put on pants and brush my hair is just too much to ask. Also: SLEEP. With a busy schedule that has me up as early as 5am most mornings, simplifying my routine is rather like the Never Ending Story at my house. 
In 2013, I was working 30 hours a week, plus attending classes for an additional 20 hours weekly and it was tiresome. I began choosing and laying out clothes for my son and I before bed; I packed lunches while I waited for dinner to finish cooking and I even learned how to use my slow cooker. I tried to add my shower to the nighttime routine, but it left me with two (bad) hair options: pony tail or flat-ironed straight and flat.
There had to be a better way!
When it’s all said and done, to wash and dry my hair is to add about 45 minutes to my morning routine – especially if I’m having a full-blown shower and then blow drying my hair to a smooth finish. I can do a lot of things in 45 minutes, but my favourite just so happens to be sleep, so I set out to find a solution.  And I found it: hot rollers. 
If you have medium to long, straight(ish) hair this trick should work well for you. Depending on how coarse and long your hair is, how well it holds a curl and how long you let the rollers set, your hair should land somewhere between “great volume” and “bouncy curls” on the Awesome Hair Spectrum. And really, anywhere on the Awesome Hair Spectrum is a pretty good place to be.


HAIR PREP (Night Before)

  • Shampoo and condition hair as per usual. Gently squeeze excess water from hair.
  • Gently remove any snarls from your hair. Dry hair thoroughly (bonus points if you air dry!).
  • OPTIONAL: Loosely twist hair into top knot and secure with bobby pins. 
  • Now go about your nighttime routine and get a good sleep. You’ll need to be well rested to receive all the hair compliments coming your way!


  • Wake up and groan (ugh, mornings!). Next, Plug in your hot rollers and brush your hair while they heat. Separate your hair into 5 sections: Bottom (2), middle (2) top (1 – strip from “bangs” to crown)
  • Beginning at the bottom layer of hair, using the smallest rollers, begin rolling hair and clipping to secure. Your largest rollers should go at the very top of your head – that single strip from forehead to crown. This should take about 5-10 minutes, tops.
  • Caffeinate. Do your makeup. Wake up the kids. Eat breakfast. Whatever - you just need to let the hot rollers work. Once you’re ready to go – or the rollers have cooled – let your hair down one by one, again starting at the bottom.


Once all the rollers are out, spritz with hairspray and try to keep your fingers away from your hair for as long as you can. The curls will begin to fall out and soften naturally. If you must expedite the process, gently run your fingers through the curls and shake them out. My curls tend to fall out into bouncy waves within an hour of removing my rollers and my volume lasts all day – and with a little dry shampoo, well into day two!
Happy Awesome Hair Day! XO

PSA: There's No Such Thing as a Perfect "Real" Body

Why Are We Tearing Each Other Down When We Should Be Supporting One Another?

PSA: There's No Such Thing as a Perfect "Real" Body

Fashion retailer Lane Bryant launched its #ImNoAngel advertisements on Monday, featuring models Ashley Graham, Marquita Pring, Candice Huffine and more. It’s not hard to see that this campaign is a big ol’ bitch slap in the face of Victoria’s Secret The Perfect Body campaign. In a short video, the models share their ideas of beauty before wrapping it up with “I’m not angel. I’m all kinds of sexy.” 
The imagery is nothing short of gorgeous and I love that we’re pushing back and challenging the conventional beauty standards. The campaign has gone wildly viral, with many women joining in the #ImNoAngel movement on Twitter and Instagram. Their photos? No less beautiful than you'd expect. 
#ImNoAngel comes at a time when we are debating the use of “plus size” in “plus size model” (my take: a model is a model; no need for additional labels). Earlier this year, #DropThePlus was created by author Ajay Rochester and Stefania Ferrario, while model and activisit Tess Munster started #EffYourBeautySyandards. These campaigns are contributing enormously to the conversations we need to be having: fair representation of various body types, sizes and colours in fashion and media. 
Lane Bryant isn’t the first brand to take a shot at the Victoria’s Secret, with Dove launching a “The Perfect Real Body” campaign shortly thereafter. But here’s the thing: it’s a whole lot of jabbing when we could be doing a whole lot of supporting one another.
The perfect “real” body can’t be embodied in one photo of a handful of women because you can’t represent the actual number of “real”, beautiful bodies out there in one campaign.
In a conversation with a friend last night, I said I felt like the continuous back and forth is beginning to feel like Body Shaming Wars. It turned into a bit of an argument. She pointed out that I’d never been “plus size” and she’s right, but I’ve looked in the mirror more times than I can count and felt shame about my body. I’ve looked in the mirror and felt shame in the last month. The last week. 
I’m not denying that we need diversity and acceptance in the fashion industry. We do. I believe that Dove and Lane Bryant are trying to create positive change. I also believe that we're missing the mark when we declare one body shape more beautiful or more sexy than another.
We need stores that cater to women from from XS to XXL and beyond. We need to show our sons and daughters that bodies come in different shapes, sizes, colours and abilities. We need to show our kids that their worth isn’t in the size of their ass but the fact they didn't sit on it when someone needed a helping hand.
We need to stop with the jabs. We need to stop taking shots and one another and start being more supportive and accepting. We really need to stop with “This is beauty,” “No, THIS is beauty,” because tearing down one body shape – even an unrealistic one that’s long been perpetuated as beauty ideal – is still tearing down a body shape. It’s still body shaming. 
I don’t see my body shape reflected in any advertisements. Like loads of women, I am petite with barely any curves. I have a short torso and exactly no ass. I’ve got stretch marks and cellulite and some squish on my belly. I’m not tall like the Victoria’s Secret models. I’m not curvaceous like the Lane Bryant models. I’m not going to get any taller, and without surgical intervention I sure as hell won’t have “girls” like Ashley Graham. 
 There is no such thing as the perfect real body. There are only real bodies.