Hair How-To: 50’s Chignon

With the end of September also comes the end of wedding season.

After four months of having my Facebook news feed littered with wedding photographs and actually attending a wedding myself, I’ve had the opportunity to view some gorgeous up-do’s that are easily translatable to any fancy affair. As the years go by, we will all be attending weddings by the dozens and it’s by no means affordable to have your hair styled by a professional each and every time.

I played around with a few different looks this summer and after deciding to channel 50’s glamour, I ended up with a low, twisted chignon that looks beautiful from the from the front and back. The style takes about half an hour to accomplish and is extremely easy.

You will need:

A curling iron

Hair spray

bobby pins (galore)

Two medium sized alligator clips

Follow below for a quick fix to your hair how-to woes:

1. Curl your hair backwards, starting from the front and working your way to the back.

2. Separate your hair into two sections

3.Pull forward front section and leave. You will clip this piece back later.

4.Twist the right side over the left. Repeat until hair is almost completely twisted, leaving ends loose.

5.Clip each of the two sections underneath the chignon. The loose chignon should be able fall over the clips to cover them.

6. Pin back the front section

In a nutshell, it’s really quite easy! Happy hair-styling nuts!


The Bachelorette Recap – FINALE – One heartbreak, one proposal, ONE F.

Well Bach family, this is it.

My last in a nutshell Bachelor/ette/Pad recap…. for- another couple months anyway. After Monday’s insane start to BP3, I’ve decided all the words in the world wouldn’t be able to summarize that kind of next level insanity. So I’ll catch ya when inevitably Sean becomes the Bachelor … or maybe, just maybe, I’ll be on the show by then. Ha ha haaaaa…. (my family would murder me).

Actually, let’s lay it all out on the table here … I’ve spent 14 hours this week on Bach-related watching, re-watching and writing. I need some normalcy in my brain. Badly.

But, we have one last order of business before I can go back to writing things that don’t just happen in the reality world. And that is – the finale.

Yes, again, I had to watch it twice since the first time just seemed to go by in one shocking blur. And, I only got around to seeing ATFR Tuesday (what kind of Bachelor super fan am I ANYWAY!?) … but before commenting on the results, let’s start at the beginning…

Sunday’s episode started with Jef meeting Emily’s parents.

A white tee. Really? REALLY.

JEF. Have you ever met anyone’s parents before in your life? Your white tee and jeans just didn’t cut it. I’m not saying showing up in a tuxedo – and I get that you’re hipster ways make you want to give the “I’m real, yo” impression – but, COME on. Even a polo shirt would have been better, figure it out One-F.

Put Jef aside though and I am sure smitten with someone – Emily’s family.

“You want your children’s happiness above your own.” – Can’t count the number of times my own momma has said that to me. Instant love.

Nothing like a pep talk from MOM. <3

Her brother’s southern drawl was delicious, too bad his (silent) finance was along for the ride. And I also loved how he was Stone Cold Steve Austin when drilling the guys. Nothing like an overprotective big brother. Amen to that.

Then it was Arie’s turn to meet the folks. He dressed more appropriately, brought a more sentimental gift and managed to make everyone as confused as possible.

Well. Looks like Emily’s fam aren’t making this decision any easier.#everyoneloveseveryone #whotochoose?

I think one thing is clear, unlike many, many (MANY!) seasons of the Bachelor/ette, both final contestants are decent humans. Don’t ya hate it when that happens? I do. It was so much more fun to openly hate Courtney Robertson. Ughh….

I commend Jef for convincing Emily to introduce him to Ricki. I mean in real life you’d probably meet the daughter of the girl you’re asking to MARRY you more than once … but good on ya Jef-with-one-F for at least making this a teeny tiny bit more believable.

Oh Jef, Jef, Jef… He IS adorable, he SHOULD be a speech writer and I HAVE come to love that one f … but I still think they’re relationship is so high school. Watching them interact on the couch after the Ricki date … I just had to shake my head. Watching them kiss reminded me of spin the bottle smooches.

Perfect couple.

So when Chris Harrison knocked on Emily’s door to discuss the inevitable, was I was the only one who thought for a moment “OMG, maybe the rumours are true? MAYBE she ends up with Chris Harrison!” Just me? K.

If people ever get sick of watching the Bachelor/ette (never) and Chris Harrison continues not to age AND is in need of another profession, I think someone should just hand him a job as a marriage counsellor. Credentials aside, he’s had to deal with more heartbreak than anyone should be forced to endure in a lifetime.

And heartbreaking it was.

This is how Emily Maynard cries. The rest of her face doesn’t move.

Poor, poor Arie. Seeing Emily send him packing was one of the sadder moments I can remember on Bach. Maybe because she led him on to the very last hour? But don’t they always? Why do people love watching people have their heart obliterated to pieces on national television? Because we are a sick, sick society. Nuts included, I digress.

The worst moment by far was when they hugged goodbye and the mics picked up a pounding heart.  That one hurt even my jaded heart.

Painful. I cried – okay no, that would be too far.

And I’ll hand it to Arie (I’m just handing out credit to everyone possible today, it’s the new me) … although at times he’s seemed a little too emo for my liking, he really held it together in the limo. Tony was nowhere to be found and he didn’t lose it completely. Way to go.

And then, there it was. The moment we’d all been waiting for. As Jef-with-one-F secured his skinny tie to match his skinny suit pants (no surprise here) and Emily donned a “trophy-wife” gown that would be worthy of Ryan’s approval … the PROPOSAL took place.

True love looks like this ….. not being sarcastic at all. Not. At. All.

Not that it was any surprise that Jef would propose or that Emily would say yes, even though the Bachelor Producers did an EXCELLENT job of totally making the finale look more exciting than it actually was.

Yep, I’d say yes to this too.

Sigh. They’re good, real good.

And of course, having Ricki run in at the end so they could all walk away hand in hand … come on.

I will say, however, that despite my relentless bashing, poking fun and mockery making, I genuinely like Emily … and Jef. And I really do hope they live happily ever after … but it is Bachelor/ette. My hopes are not THAT high.

Cue the child running into the proposal. Perfect.

And for all the guys out there … if you want an even more concise recap, here’s what you missed: 

After The Final Rose was pretty darn cute … except the part where Arie poured out his bleeding heart – and talked about his journal.

So what I wrote a journal, flew to your hometown and got your name tattooed to my heart? I’m fine.

I feel like if I had been dumped on national television it would be my main goal to look like I was doing FINE at my next opportunity to address North America. Arie didn’t quite accomplish that task. Poor fella.

Jef and Emily did look great though … and talked about a wedding, which is pretty much a figment of people’s imagination’s when it comes to Bachelor/ette.

Our relationship may last longer than the average for reality couples … 10 minutes.

Now, as I said at the beginning I will not be doing weekly summaries of Bachelor Pad … I do have other interests (not really, but sort of). But, as a teaser treat here were my thoughts summarized: WTF. ‏@inanutshellca

I can’t even comment on Blakely … it’s too much. #BP3 #bachelorpad

Recipe for disaster … Oh GOD, Jamie is drinking.


At first I was deeply distressed I didn’t see these “super fan” applications anywhere – but holy hannah, am I ever thankful now. I don’t think I could do 2 minutes let alone 2 months with those twins.

Other things to note:

You’re still not cool.

– the complete American Psycho impression Kalon did in the mirror… what WAS that!? And when he tossed his car keys at Chris Harrison … not cool. Nobody does that to Chris Harrison, NOBODY.

– Donna the bathing suit girl sketching Michaels FACE!? Like actually sitting down and sketching his face … on paper … with a pencil. I have no words.

– Ed was actually hilariously drunk. Watching Chris Harrison interact with him was the highlight of the night. I hope he stays that drunk for the entire season. I think you’d have to be to be on BP.

– Blakely’s still cray.

One thing is for certain … there is a WHOLE LOTTA unstable people on this season … which you just KNOW will make for the best viewing experience.

… I can’t …

And with that, I’m out. See you next season and thanks for all the love!! Off to find myself a Sean-replica.

If you’re still craving a little commentary from the nuts please follow our live tweets every Monday: @inanutshellca

We beg you to shake your heads along with us.

The Emerald / Rainy / Grunge City … Visiting Seattle

Just like Kate mentioned in her most recent post from abroad, I was in the same boat when it came to vacation time. It simply had not happened in far too long.

The last time I was on a plane, was July 2010. The number of days I booked work off from June 2011 until now: one morning, one afternoon and one full day.

I am what you might call: a workaholic.

So much so that I was given an all-expense paid trip to Seattle from my family when I graduated university – TWO YEARS AGO – that I had yet to cash in on.

The reason for the destination? My brother lives there. In fact, my brother has lived there for six years. I am a bad sibling.

So, when I learned that my OTHER brother, who lives in Toronto, and his wife were planning a July visit to the rainy city, I said: enough is enough. Departing at 6 a.m. on July 2, after working till 4 a.m. on Canada Day, I was FINALLY taking a vacation for some MUCH needed relaxation and family time.

Left: Seattle Grace in the flesh.
Right: Stalking Christan Grey’s real-life Escala apartment building.

Here is the amount of facts I knew about Seattle before I left: my brother lives there, it rains a lot, Christian Grey, Meredith Grey and Fraser live there …. that’s about it.

The number of times I was pleasantly surprised, or even said out loud “I didn’t know that about Seattle” were many. Here’s what I learned:

-It’s a bigger city than I thought it was. The downtown core is not nearly as big as Toronto’s sprawling mass of skyscrapers, but when you’re walking around in it, it almost feels that way. It has a very noteworthy skyline and is made up of multiple neighbourhoods that all have their own personality and trademark. 

– It’s extremely hilly. Think San Francisco. If I had to drive my standard car there I might die of coronary attack, but proved useful in working off some of our more delicious meals.

– It’s. BEAUTIFUL. One of the prettiest big cities I’ve ever visited, for very unique reasons. They call it The Emerald City (cue “I didn’t know that about Seattle”) because it is filled with gorgeous parks and lots of green space. Not to mention the sprawling waterfront of sparkling blue lake, ocean, sound, all dotted with everything from yachts to sailboats. Not to mention, on a clear day you can see Mount Rainier appear behind the skyline like a mirage. I was very lucky to only have two days out of my week-long stay actually be rainy and cold. The rest of the time the sun was shining and the temperature was “hot”. Not Ottawa hot, but a very comfortable 28 degrees (celsius). Practically the peak of the warm weather this coastal city experiences.


I may not be THE foodie of our nutshell clan, but I’m definitely A foodie – if not only because I’ve been able to tag along on Kate’s gastric adventures for so long. So naturally anytime I visit some place new, trying different places to eat is always a top priority. For the first few days we had kids in tow, but our savvy Seattlers did such a superb job of mixing kid friendly places with unique meals.

First night in the US of A, what did we eat? Fried chicken of course. But not just any old fried chicken… OPRAH’S favourite fried chicken. That’s right. A quick trip to Ezell’s left us with enough chicken tenders to last us a week.

A staple of Seattle (and of ALL the United States) is Mexican cuisine. And what child (/ adult / 24-year-old girl) doesn’t love a fajita? Cute places from tex-mex to authentic are peppered throughout every neighbourhood.

I scream, you scream? Molly Moon’s Ice Cream is apparently a must-get if you’re ever in the area. Flavours like “Strawberry Balsamic” and “Honey Lavender” are on rotation. I am the most boring person on the planet and got… chocolate. I was having a craving, sue me.

I would tell you that you MUST go get a “cuban sandwich” from one of the two locations that serves them in the rainy city, but the place looks SO much like it was picked up off a cuba city side street and dropped in Seattle, it didn’t even have a SIGN. Ask locals, they’ll know.

Fresh fish is in abundance. So whether you’re craving sushi, oysters or just an amazing bowl of clam chowder, you’re in the right place.

Nightlife – You won’t find many bumping bars with sprawling dance floors pumping out electro beats in Seattle. Instead, you’ll find boho-chic style places, where the drinks are hand mixed, the music is alternative and the vibe is casual. Ballard (one neighbourhood) was especially bustling on a Saturday night. We also really liked the vibe at Black Bottle – another spot across town.

Honourable mentions: 

King’s Hardware – best burgers in seattle
Top Pot Doughnuts – it’s no Tim Hortons, but they WERE pretty yummy
Belltown Pub – Trivial Pursuit cards at your table … unreal
Salish Lodge & Spa – a short drive away from the city in Sloqualmie and you feel like you’re on vacation in a whole new place. Our private dining table overlooking a waterfall at this resort made for one of the best brunches I’ve ever had.


Space Needle: This iconic tower can be seen from all points and angles in Seattle. While not standing half as tall as Toronto’s CN Tower, the Seattle landmark has it’s own unique charm. It made for an especially great backdrop for the city’s International beerfest, which I just so happened to be in town for… how perfect.

Pike Place Market: This was the ONE attraction I refused to leave the city before seeing. Fish flying through the air, delectable market fresh treats, vendors by the dozen, the first EVER Starbucks, not to mention the iconic pig statue that I just HAD to get a photo with (… I love pigs …), the market did not disappoint. And in fact, reignited a desire in me to spend more time in Ottawa’s own Byward market. I also ate the best peach I’ve ever had in my entire life, seriously.

And around the corner was Seattle’s famous “gum wall”. Yes, that’s right, an entire wall plastered with pieces of gum that passers by have chewed, spit and stuck. This of course seemed like the perfect spot to leave my own mark on Seattle. Fastened with a piece of Juicy Fruit’s bubblemint, Seattler’s will now know inanutshell was on the scene.

Black Hole Sun: … there is ACTUALLY a black hole sun. “I didn’t know that….” AND I sat in it. The black hollowed out structure that sits in one of Seattle’s most notable parks was the inspiration behind hometown band Soundgarden’s most famous hit. Another fun fact I missed about Seattle: Grunge actually originated there in the mid to late 80’s. Nirvana and Pearl Jam also recorded hit albums in Seattle studios. 


It was by design that we happened to be in the United States to jump in on the Independence Day festivities. Coming straight from being in Ottawa on Canada Day, I was putting the US to the test, as any celebration would be hard to compete with the July 1 frenzy in the nation’s capital. I was expecting a sea of red, white and blue, but the US celebrations seemed a little more reserved. We made the most of it by going to an all-american baseball game. Unfortunately, the Mariners lost and poor Henry didn’t seem as excited as we were (see photo), but I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else for my first ever Fourth of July. We rounded off the day with an amazing fireworks display over the water. Most interesting part: They were set to a very eclectic playlist of songs. I belted out Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out”, while my brother & his wife’s swooned to their wedding song, Etta James’ “At Last” and the display rounded out to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”.

Can take the boy out of Canada, but can’t take the Canadian out of the boy :)


I subscribe to the belief that in at any moment and in any situation, it truly doesn’t matter where you are, but who you’re with. As much as this trip was an escape, an opportunity to see a new city, and an excuse to go shopping, the vacation’s real purpose was spending time with my siblings who are separated by over a decade, stretched across two countries and distanced by many miles. Luckily Seattle was the perfect setting to do just that … in a nutshell.

Summer Skin

I have been exceptionally motivated lately. I’ve made peace with the fact that the five major food groups do not consist of wine, pork, cheese, ice cream and coffee. I have dedicated myself to regular physical exercise. In turn, I am waking up every morning feeling fresh, alive and charged.

When I realized that I was slowly and unwittingly committing myself to a healthier lifestyle, I took a moment to ponder what could have propelled me to take a turn for the better (or the worse, depending on how you look at it). I concluded that the desire to feel amazing in my summer skin was the motivating force behind all of this and, in a round about sort of way, has left me with a surplus of motivation that I don’t care to dismiss any time soon. The onset of warmer weather fast tracked me into thinking about shorter shorts, whimsical dresses and bathing suit season. After months of hibernating in doom and gloom garb, it’s a pleasant feeling to shed those layers  and be content with what exists beneath. But in my heart of hearts, and after a year of over-indulging, I knew that probably wouldn’t be the case. The last 4 weeks have therefore been a dedication to reinventing and reinvigorating my body and, consequently, my mind.

I am no nutritionist or dietitian, but there is one thing I do know and that is what makes my body feel good. I have a reasonable handle on what to eat if I am truly going  to go down the path of like-minded health nuts. Although I have this foundation of knowledge, it is barely appealing to a self-admitted glutton. So I’ve been indulging in my favourites but with moderation. That is truly the key to keeping up with your healthy lifestyle without going completely insane. Instead of yo-yo dieting, I am finding that as long as I eat well most of the time, I can easily enjoy a deliciously rich meal when I so desire. But this sweet and simple change in lifestyle is two-fold.

Part deux includes something that I have forever detested and that is: running. I have always been the one to opt for an extra 20 minute snooze rather than getting my sweat on in the early morn. But one day in late May I forced myself to go for a run. I started out (embarrassingly) small, but I quickly found myself eagerly seeking the time and space to allot another run into my schedule. In the same sentiment that I apply to food, I exercise in moderation: 3 or 4 times a week I will run for only 20 minutes. It doesn’t seem like much, but it is making a difference. I can feel it. I am no revolutionary in saying that running also acts a mental cleansing agent, but I’m finding these 20 minute spurts of hitting the pavement ever so helpful in organizing my thoughts or clearing my head, if only for a short time.

And although I will never turn down a piece of guancale or a glass of something special, maintaining everything in moderation has been a useful method to the madness that is a healthier lifestyle.

Do you have any tips or tricks to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Drop us a line, we’d love to know your secrets.

The Bachelorette Recap – Episode 6: cracked eggs & crushed confidence in Croatia

A wise man once shared his thoughts with me on why the Bachelor is so much more popular than the Bachelorette.

“It’s science,” he said. “Guys will tune in to watch 20 babes go at it. They’re not going to watch if there’s just one…. Girls will watch it either way.”

And as sad as I am to say it, I think he’s right. But, as my male roommates paraded in and out of the viewing area where our Bachy Party was in full swing – stopping to gawk at the TV, muttering comments to themselves and lingering in the hall for far longer than was necessary – one thing was evident: this show is addictive. ESPECIALLY with an episode that was as juicy as last night.

If you’ve been following my weekly recaps then you know that me and my best pals are in what we call a “Bachy Pool”. Yes, we drafted men after the first episode, yes we award and take away points for everything from makeouts to early l-bombs, and YES we take it very seriously.

So seriously, in fact, that I could not have been in a better mood as the show started, seeing as my sitting duck (pun intended) Travis-the-egg-man-Pope FINALLY got a one on one date…. and in beautiful Croatia, to boot.

Still wondering if this ACTUALLY happened.

This southern sweetie was hard not to love, EVEN though he was pegged as a loonie from the get-go by carrying around a large Ostrich egg named Shelley to signify some weird point about him being able to be a good caretaker. NOBODY got it, Trav. Next time, leave the egg at home. Actually, don’t ever visit an Ostrich farm again. For any purpose. Ever.

But, even with such a terrible start (“I guess I’ll take the egg guy, dammit.” – pool draft, May 14) he was able to hang on until now. We applaud you, Humpty Dumpty.

Bachelorette Live ‏@BachelorTV

In Croatia, Travis’ egg could have fed a family of ten for a month. With leftovers. #Bachelorette

But, despite Travis’ best efforts (and omelettes), he stayed too friend zone for Miss. Maynard’s tastes (get it!), and she sent him packing.

Threw his umbrella. For good measure.

I know Emily has been getting some media flak for organizing boring dates… but I beg to differ. This week’s group date was another home run in my books. A highland games competition? Hell yes, hilarious. Not only were the burly men put through their paces of strength and agility (who doesn’t like watching that? Answer: not me.) but, some made complete fools of themselves AND they were wearing kilts.

Jef’s everyday outfit.

I’m surprised Jef-with-one-F complained about the attire, I thought his affliction for knee high socks would send him cartwheeling down the streets of Croatia in an instant.

No one hated this date more than Chris, though. The guy who looks jacked enough for most people’s standards, SUCKED at the games. While Sean – aka Hercules – dummied them all, even breaking the log in the log toss that had some sort of Serbian, or maybe Gaelic, name that I’m not even going to try and pronounce.

Hiiiiiiii Sean.

Aly Jacobs ‏@AlyonMIX1073

Just waiting for Ryan to bust out of the woods in his tank and kilt screaming “I volunteer as tribute!” #bachelorette #highlandgames

Retweeted by

But, Emily, always the Mommy gave the “cup of bravery” (a tin mug I think someone stole from a street vendor along the way) to poor Chris as an “A for effort sweetie” consolation prize.

Boys dying of laughter at Chris’ pathetic attempts.

The youngest bachelor was obviously elated. “PRIZE!!!! Yessaaaaaa!” And the rest of his night was made. He even got the rose on the group date, despite Emily smooching with Jef-with-one-F AND  a HOT “push her up against a Croatian ruin” make out by Arie. Unfair. I thought Moms weren’t supposed to play favourites?

Oh wait, I know why Chris got the rose! Because he told her he LOVES her.

…. :| ….

Cardinal mistake. It’s episode 6!!! And with that his points were RESET in our pool… muahaha. Sorry boys, gotta keep the l-bombs under wraps until AT LEAST hometown dates if you want a seal of approval from our crew.

What. are. you. thinking.

There was a lot of Ryan hate in this episode. Like, a lot. Is it his arrogance? His bed head? His oddly faded beard? His southern drawl? His general disrespect of women? Or the way he gloats about pathetic achievements? Either way, he is in my pool, and I have his back to eternity.

Apparently. the. same. thing. as. him.

Just kidding, the guy’s an ass. ‏@inanutshellca

“I’m a guy who’s sort of a perfectionist” – Ryan … except when it comes to beard trimming. #whatisthatonyourface #bachelorette

BUT. He managed to get the other one on one date, much to the sheer misery and anger of the other men. This “suave” man seemed to have Emily a tad spell bound despite some of his worse qualities and the fact he’s mentioned to her TWICE she better not get fat after they get married. I know that’s exactly what I want to hear before tying the knot with someone …….. not.

But even Ryan couldn’t dig himself out of his own hole after referring to Emily as a trophy wife, again.

The dress she wore. I’m surprised she didn’t show up with a gold painted face and arms too.

To be fair, in this episode she actually dressed like an Oscar for the second portion of their date. Not to mention, she has fake tata’s and TEETH. She does scream Miss. America more than she screams “I swear I just wear sweatpants and no make-up at home.” But even so, after Ryan read out a list of items he wants his future wife to have (like, seriously, does all this guy do is WRITE. This is like his tenth letter), Em told him to beat it.

Someone this cocky could not go down without a fight, however. Saying “I’m shocked” and basically trying to convince Emily to reconsider while she clutched the rose like it might fly away. I called it from day one: MASTER. MANIPULATOR. That is, of course, why he was such a good pool pick …. until now. Eff.

When the crew member came to take Ryan’s luggage from the guys’ room I thought there was going to be an all out rave. Champagne popping, guys slapping each other on the back, someone crowd surfing … looked like it was going to happen. Probably should have.

Arie basically should have paraded around in this episode as a knight in shining armour. First the steamy street kiss THEN he sneaks out to Em’s room to make sure she’s “okay” after sending Ryan home. Makeout sesh ensues. The guy is good. I mean real good.T

Ummm, yes please.

The cocktail party almost never disappoints and this episode was no exception. John Wolf definitely felt the chopping block heat whipping out his grandparents funeral card and getting a little emotional. The number of guys that have cried on this season is shocking……… SHOCKING.

Just go home now. Save yourself.

But, Doug-the-Dad won the award for the most awkward human on the planet since the time when Ben Flajnik got mounted by a drunk girl, who we think may have never hooked up with anyone in her life.

“Doug’s never been kissed. He’s Josie Grossy.” – Meghan, on her last remaining pool pick.

He was literally sweating having his arm around her and was stuttering out “confident” lines that Emily made him repeat. Way to go Momma, if you don’t find anyone just dedicate your life to being motivational speaker. You should have given Doug a tin cup for effort too. Or at least a gold star sticker he could have warn on his lapel.

Those sneaky Bachy producers took us for a loop though, when it looked like Emily was going to send both the Wolf-man and Doug-the-Dad home in one shot. In reality, Chris Harrison (we haven’t seen enough of this man this season, where the f have you BEEN) brought out another rose at the last second, meaning both got to stay.

Hooray. What a happy ending.

God, isn’t this show great. Fear, humour, confusion, heartache, pain, sorrow and joy all in one. Sigh. It has it all.

And with that Bachelor fans, I PROMISE that next week when Emily finds out Arie used to date one of the producers (like, seriously wtf!?), s&!* is going to HIT the fan.

Can’t. even. wait.
Bach pool results:

Meghan (hating Doug the Dad for being in the negatives) Brown: 27 points

Kelly (praying Arie keeps up the makeouts) Michael: 36 points

Kate (loathing that Chris dropped an l-bomb) Lalumiere: 61 points

Cat (still cartwheeling after losing two men) Kitts: 87 points

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