Beauty with Heart

I think I’ve mentioned it before, and Kaylee touched on this topic yesterday, but it’s important to schedule some ‘ME’ time even when our lives are chaotic. Everyone has a different idea of how that personal time should be spent, but I know that for myself and the other nuts, it’s always nice to do something relaxing and pampering. Luckily, I was able to take part in Beauty with Heart – an event that combined that element of pampering and fun when I visited The Body Shop in the Rideau Centre last week. Beauty with Heart is a concept that unites beauty, community and activism, and it informs The Body Shop’s skin care and make up lines.

Bahar Niramwalla, beauty expert and make-up artist.

The Rideau Centre’s Body Shop was one of the first in the company to launch the new ‘pulse’ boutiques. A new design that focuses on integrating the customer into the experience, the pulse design is sleek, eye-catching and easily manoeuvrable, no matter what type of product you’re looking for. To launch the store, The Body Shop brought their national make-up artist, Bahar Niramwalla, to town to talk about the newest Body Shop lines, and show off some interesting tips and tricks to re-invent the traditional approaches to make-up.

First, I was paired with one of the local Body Shop’s employees, Shanique, who spent a great deal of time focusing on my skin and make-up needs. The great thing about a personalized consultation is that these employees really know their stuff. They ask insightful questions and recommend products that they think will truly help you look your best. AND, it’s not just about make-up. They understand the importance of keeping skin looking its best so that the make-up on top looks its best too.

For example, I have extremely dry skin. But I never knew the benefits of a moisturizing serum. After having it explained to me and being able to try it, I knew that my every-day skin regime needed to make room for a new product. Similarly, I never knew how a make-up primer worked. After seeing how well it worked to eliminate dryness in my problem areas, I knew I was hooked.

Contouring the cheek bone.

After Shanique finished up with my make-up, I was introduced to Bahar, who gave Catherine and I a tour of the new make-up lines and showed us some really neat tricks that emphasized how one product can be used in multiple ways.

Bahar, demonstrating the lip gloss as an eye-shadow primer.

Of all the products that we discussed, we were definitely most impressed with the Honey Bronze line that has been introduced for the summer. The Body Shop has always been known for their wonderful ‘brush on beads’ – a staple in a lot of my friend’s make-up cases as we grew up. Now, their bronzing line has expanded to include a plethora of products that work extremely well and match the needs for each skin type. Plus, like most of The Body Shop’s products, fair-trade ingredients can be found within this line, which leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling, knowing you’re supporting a good cause with your purchases.

Honey Bronzing Powder:
One of the highlights of this powder, is that it doesn’t highlight. Bahar explained that this is one of the only bronzers on the market that do not have any shimmer built in to the formula. It provides an even, matte finish and comes in a variety of colours. It is especially useful when contouring the face. Shanique showed me that it can be applied directly under the cheek bone, from ear to lip, to define the facial structure.

Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil:
This product immediately jumped out at us when we were taking a look around the store. A dry oil isn’t a common product. Bahar demonstrated it on her hand, and showed us that it leaves a slightly bronzed look to the skin, without being overwhelming. It enhances any natural tan that you have, but doesn’t streak, like a self-tanner would. And, because it’s a dry oil it is quickly and easily absorbed into the top layer of the skin, without leaving a greasy residue. Bahar also told us that she’s used it on her hair, not only to moisturize the ends, but also as a way to keep it smelling fresh when skipping a shampoo! Plus, it made her legs look toned, despite her joking that she never had time to make it to the gym. Needless to say, we both left with a bottle.

Honey Bronze Lip Nectar:
This is a to-die-for product. It’s a sheer lip-gloss, with a bit of sparkle that was designed to compliment tanned skin. It looks great on its own, but I got to try it over top of the Lip and Cheek stain, and it really accentuated the colour. When Bahar pulled out this product, she told us that she likes to use it on her eyes. Seriously. She explained how it can be used as a highlighter under the brow bone that helps to accentuate the eye and that it can also be used as an eye-shadow primer. What that means, is that a thin layer can be applied to the eyelid to help accentuate any powder eye-shadow. When she demonstrated it for us, she made a simple brown shadow go from neutral to eye-popping.

Overall, the experience was definitely one that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. I have since re-invented my skin and make-up regimens and Bahar’s ingenuity has taught me to think outside the box when it comes to make-up. Multi-use products are beneficial to consumers, and it seems like The Body Shop understands its clientele and will continue to develop products that match this trend. And, most importantly, they still understand the concept of providing informative and personalized customer service and a fun shopping experience, in a nutshell.

To see Bahar demonstrate some of these products, and more, check out her stint on CTV Ottawa’s Morning Show:

**All photos courtesy of and