Tag Archives: vancouver

Got2B Hit and Miss – Review of Got2B Hair Products

11 Apr
Photo Credit:  Fabulously Innovative Marketing

Photo Credit: Fabulously Innovative Marketing

So here’s the deal. Schwarzkopf makes both a professional line of hair care products and one that is available in retail store. I was very familiar with their professional line but had never used the non-pro line got2B until I was given the opportunity to at the “Come Fly with Me” beauty event put on by London Drugs. I was given the got2B Oil-licious shampoo, conditioner as well as the got2B POWDER’ful volumizing styling powder.  The results were hit and miss.

Let’s start with the miss. I didn’t love the Triple Oil Shampoo and Conditioner as it isn’t hydrating enough for my extremely damaged hair, I also don’t love the smell.  But if you are a big fan of incense smell or don’t have extremely damaged hair then you may love it, it all comes down to personal preference and hair type.

Now the hit. I absolutely love POWDER’ful volumizing styling powder! Even though my hair is damaged it still can get oily from all the products I use and well, no one wants a greasy head. This powder is awesome for adding texture to your hair without the goop or grease. I highly recommend it and will definitely be buying it again when this bottle is done.

 All got2B products can be found at London Drugs.

(This post was originally featured on Fabulously Frugal in Vancouver)

A Celebration of Dignity – A Gala Fundraiser

25 Nov

On December 15th, The HiVE Vancouver will host “A Celebration of Dignity” – a gala fundraiser benefiting Beauty Night Society to celebrate and showcase the lives positively affected by this incredible cause and to celebrate the 12 year anniversary of this charitable organization. The evening will feature a runway show to showcase eco fashions, modeled by the women who have participated in the Beauty Night program and will be emceed by Canadian motivational speaker and comedian, Jessica Holmes.

Beauty Night’s mission is to build self-esteem and change lives for women and youth living in poverty through three streams of programming: wellness, makeovers and life skills. Founded in 2000 by Caroline MacGillivray, Beauty Night has given over 26,000 life makeovers to foster positive self-image and motivate inner self-renewal.

Tickets for this event are available to purchase from The HiVE Vancouver or Eventbright for $99. The event includes entertainment, a wine reception, a selection of hors d’oeuvres and desserts, door prizes and a raffle draw. Catering is being sponsored by PiDGiN Restaurant.

All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to help the Beauty Night Society fulfill its mission and expand its wellness programming.
Want to help but can’t make it out? The organizers are accepting all sorts of donations. Be it cash, a prize or a service, every little bit helps. And yes, 100% of the proceeds go directly to Beauty Night Society, so you really are making a big difference.

Need more information?

Aaron Cruikshank, ED Hive Vancouver



p: 778-908-4560

And to check out Beauty Night Society:


Hairkraft Studio

31 May

ImageIf you have read my post What It Takes To Be A Blonde then you already know about Simona Heger and how great she is. Well she is now out on her own, technically she is out with her business partner, another amazing stylist, Sabrina Allen. They have started a great little salon called Hairkraft Studio at 155 8th Ave in East Vancouver.

Simona is an incredible stylist. She has great ideas, but also really knows how to listen. She helps her clients figure out what they want and what would look best so that they always leave happy. She is both a gifted colourlist and hair cutter.

Another things that really sets Simona apart is her speed. She gets me in and out of there in about half the time it takes other stylists, making her the perfect person to see if you have a tight schedule.

For colour, Hairkraft studio is using a combination of L’Oreal Professionel and Wella, two great lines. For styling products they are using Kevin Murphy.

So if you’re looking for a new salon this is definitely a place I would recommend. There is no attitude, no pretension, just talent and good times.

You can find Hairkraft Studio online here:


Twitter: @HairkraftStudio

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hairkraftstudio

Gel Polish – A Manicure I Really Like

19 Jan

I may have mentioned that I am not generally a fan of getting manicures?  I mean I love all things spa and I certainly love pedicures, but manicures tend to be a recipe for disaster. Firstly I’m a fainter, and I have been nicked several times resulting in me passing out onto the floor and waking up to screaming and panicked women. Not too mention that if the equipment isn’t sterile it’s kinda asking for a communicable disease. Yes I realize this is also true for a pedicure, but I tend not to get cut when that’s being done. That being said, I am never afraid to ask to see how things are sterilized regardless of the service I’m getting. The other reason I don’t love manicures is that they never last and it feels like a gross waste of money.

When my friend Carly @carlz8 suggested we buy a deal off of MyDealBag Vancouver for a manicure using gel nail polish I was very curious. To clarify gel nail polish is different from gel nails. There is no plastic bits added to your nails; the gel is only applied to the natural nail.

Gel Polish Application

The manicure started off the same as any other really, nail shaping and cuticle trimming but where is differed was in the polish application. The polish is applied layer by layer with a paintbrush and in between coats your hands are placed in a UV lamp to set the polish. Several layers are applied including a base and topcoat and after the final application they are wiped down with rubbing alcohol. So this is where I was really impressed, the nails are actually 100% set after the final curing. Too me this is a huge bonus since I tend to be that girl that nicks her nails getting her wallet out of her purse.

UV Setting of Polish

I had previously heard that this polish can last up to two weeks without chipping and I found this really hard to believe, but it’s TRUE. My polish never chipped. About a week and a half later my nails had grown and my nails needed to be done again. Around this time I actually noticed that the polish was starting to peel off. And because I’m apparently a child I decided to pick it off instead of using acetone to remove it. Huge mistake. My nails were thin and soft, similar to after having acrylics done, not to mention that they were no longer smooth.

Finished Nails

I now consider this a spa treatment that I really enjoy and one that is worth the investment. But I have learned from subsequent applications that the skill of the technician and quality of the product used makes a huge difference. I have had applications that started to peel almost right always because the technician had painted onto my skin.

So stick to good clean places with skilled technicians and I suggest you go somewhere where they us OPIgel polish.

OPI Gel Polish

Not Your Average Massage

23 Jun

Massage using techniques from Osteopathy? It sounded intense and frankly scary. For interest’s sake I figured I had to be tough and check it out. Lucky I did because I now consider it to be one of my favourite treatments.

Cody Cummings works out of Glow Acupuncture and Wellness Centre in Vancouver. He is a practising Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) since 2003. He just finished his 4th  year (out of 5) of Osteopathic Manual Therapy non-physician.

Cody Cummings Registered Massage Therapist

His room is clean, bright and calm with thankfully no overpowering “aromatherapy” smell. Cody himself is very calm and pleasant. He really makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.

My treatment started with an assessment, probably the most thorough I have ever had. This part was done with my clothes on. He asked me to bend, rock and move in different ways in order for him to observe/feel any restrictions in motion or asymmetries that I may have. It turns out that I had both, mostly in my hips. Not only are my hips asymmetrical (common) but also one side’s movement was quite restricted. Once he had identified this he left the room, and I got undressed and under the sheet.

Although this was one of the most pleasant massages I have ever had, it was not just a relaxation massage. Massage using techniques from Osteopathy is actually extremely beneficial for your health and is designed to actually correct problems, not just rid you of the symptoms.

No lotions or oils were used; the massage was less rubbing and more pressure, rotation and breathing. I played a passive role for most of the massage but at times I was asked to push against resistance. Breathing was also a big part; I was asked to breathe in and out at specific moments for specific techniques. For example he pushed on my ribcage as I breathed in deeply and let then let go, allowing for air to come very quickly out.

During the massage, four specific techniques were used:

Osteoarticular Techniques: These techniques address the alignment of bones and the joint surfaces. Some may find this similar to chiropractic techniques but in fact they are very different in that they are much more subtle, having far less velocity and amplitude.

Muscle Energy Techniques: This group of techniques uses the energy of muscle contraction and inhibition to bull bones back into alignment using the client’s own innate energy to do the normalisations.

Craniosacral Therapy: This addresses the bones of the cranium/skull and tissue that supports the central nervous system (dura), the connection between the head and pelvis.

Visceral Manipulation:  This group of techniques is to help normalise the position and function of the organs in the body.  The purpose of which is to normalise the circulation to the structure (arteries, veins, nerve, and lymphatic flow).  By helping the circulation function better, the organ itself will do its job better, allowing the body to attain homeostasis and auto-regulate.  Organ dysfunction often goes unnoticed, and can be the underlying cause for many aches and pains in the body and postural imbalances (somatic dysfunction).

All the techniques used actually felt good; at no point was there any pain. When the massage was done I felt lifted, taller, straighter and lighter. I was really impressed and frankly… surprised. Visually you could even see that my hips were more even and symmetrical.

Treatment frequency depends on the condition being treated; even a healthy person can benefit from regular visits as often as every 6 weeks to as little as 4 times a years.

I have had a lot of massages, many different types, and I have to say that this massage, using techniques from Osteopathy, was one of my absolute favourites. It was enjoyable the entire way through and left me with an overall feeling of well-being. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, if you want to improve your health or even if you just like to be massaged, massage with techniques from Osteopathy is the treatment to try and Cody Cumming is therapist to see.

Why A Patch Test Is So Important

31 May

There’s a scary trend happening in the hair removal world. It seems almost as if we have forgotten that there are potential risks in having laser hair removal done. Many clinics and technicians have gotten to a comfort level where they have actually stopped doing a patch test before a laser hair removal treatment. Now you may think to yourself “That’s great! It saves me a trip to the clinic.” You may also feel that since you have had laser hair removal done in the past that you don’t really need a patch test. Let me explain to you why a patch test is so very important.

Laser hair removal is quite safe, but nothing is without risk. Not to mention that laser hair removal is not nearly as regulated as we think it is. In Canada, any person, regardless of experience or education, can buy a laser hair removal machine, receive training from the manufacturer and go straight to work. Now yes, if they are opening their own business there are steps they need to take, but they are fully capable of working out of an existing business. In case that isn’t reason enough to get a patch test, here are two more.

The first reason you should always get a patch test is safety. Even if you have had laser hair removal in the past, all machines are different. Even the same type of machine may have a slightly different calibration or may be a different version and thus the output is different. Your skin may not have reacted to one machine, but that doesn’t mean it won’t react to another. What do I mean by reaction? I mean burn. I have had it happen to me and I have seen it first hand. It’s very unlikely that it’s going to happen, but so is a car accident and you still wear a seatbelt. It is always best to protect yourself. Burns from laser hair removal can be minor but they can also be very deep and result in PERMANENT scarring.

I can already hear someone interrupting and saying that the technician watches for burns as the treatment is being administered. When I was burned it did not show up until the next day and it certainly scabbed. Thankfully it did not scar.

When a patch test is NOT done, to limit the possibility of burning, a technician will use a lower output from the laser resulting in a less effective treatments and possibly the need for more treatments. A patch test ensures that you get a higher level of laser while still being protected; it’s almost like skipping ahead several treatments. Think of it this way: generally a patch test uses three different settings of laser, from lowest to highest to determine which levels your body can withstand. Without this patch test you are starting at a lower, safer level, but had you had the patch test you could have started your treatments at a  level as long as you demonstrated no reaction. This means that you are very likely to get results faster.

Many clinics have sold deals on daily deal sites for extreme discounts, resulting in a drastic increase in clients that often the clinic is not able to handle. Their solution can often be to cut corners. Patch tests are being forgone, as is attention to detail. What do we do to protect ourselves? Ask for a patch test, any professional technician should be happy to oblige, without charge. Make sure that the technician is writing down the results and keeping them in your file. Don’t be afraid to ask about your technician. Ask about their training and their experience. I have had some very skilled technicians who have not been to school but have the experience to compensate. When in doubt, go with your gut. If your technician makes you uncomfortable don’t let them treat you. Politely excuse yourself and explain that you have changed your mind. Always inform management of your experience, the feedback helps them improve their service.

I think that in general laser hair removal is great, but that we have forgotten that it is in fact a laser. A laser that’s only purpose is to damage tissue (your hair.) We need to make sure that we treat it as so and that we are protected and safe. With a quick patch test we can limit the possibility of injury and increase the effectiveness of the treatment. Kind of seems like a no brainer.

For information on the safety of cosmetic laser treatments you can always consult Health Canada.

Miraj Hammam Spa – A Vancouver Oasis

17 May

Since moving to Vancouver I have always wanted to try the Miraj Hammam Spa, but for some reason it just never happened. So finally when I opened my email from MyDealBag and saw that they had an offer on Dealathons for a Hammam and Gommage I figured I had to buy it.

Miraj Hammam Spa

Right now most of you have the raised eyebrow: Hammam? Gommage? What is she talking about? Well, according to their website, “This is a steam and exfoliation treatment in the authentic traditions of the Middle East.” And it is quite the experience.

This is not a treatment I would recommend for someone who is shy, and it’s also the reason you won’t find many pictures in this post—this is a sans clothing treatment, although they do have disposable undies if your are not one for being in the buff.

When my therapist, Katherine, was ready, I was guided to a change room where I was given a locker and left to undress. I was also asked to wet down in the shower and cover myself with the provided sarong. I was asked to follow her into the Hammam. The Hammam is a beautiful marble steam room, and looks like something you would see in an ancient bathhouse. The entire room is made out of beautifully detailed marble with built in benches. Katherine guided me to a glass-enclosed corner of the room where I would have my steam. She was very careful to explain everything very thoroughly as the steam is very thick and can make people quite nervous. She told me to lie out my sarong on the marble bench and get comfortable, as I would be there for about 12 minutes. She showed me where I could turn the steam off if it became too much for me to handle. We decided to keep the door of the glassed-off area open as I was a little nervous that with it closed I might get panicked. She brought me some ice-cold water and left me by myself.

During my 12-minute steam, two things became abundantly clear to me. One, I simply cannot relax. What is one supposed to do for 12 minutes without a phone or anyone to talk to? Two, I watch way too many horror films. I was convinced that something or someone was going to emerge from the thick steam and murder me. (This cannot be a normal thought.)

The steam is hot and thick and smells of eucalyptus and lemon. I was told that it’s normal to cough when you breathe it in, but I felt fine. But, as mentioned, it’s hot! I was a tiny bit nervous that I might faint…because, really, that’s what I do. But, surprisingly, I actually felt great. Katherine informed me that she always tells people it’s best to move slowly as the heat suppresses your nervous system and fainting can sometimes occur—perhaps I’m not alone in the world!

I grabbed my sarong and walked out of the glassed area headed to another marble bench where, again, I laid my sarong down. This time I lay down as well. Katherine covered me with a thick black soap that contains eucalyptus. She then put on some exfoliating mitts and proceeded to scrub me down. She did both the back and front and was very thorough. I’m usually disappointed with scrubs—I find therapists just don’t put in the effort—but Katherine did a truly excellent job. She even took the time to rinse me off.

I was then shown back into the change room where there are all the little things you may need to freshen up and get back into the world.

My only disappointment was of my own doing: I wish I had bought an add-on massage to my treatment. The receptionist (who, by the way, is just lovely) informed me that the massages are amazing, and, that when you do the whole package, you get tea and sweet bread in the lounge.

Miraj is unlike anything I have experienced. I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy the steam, and, yet, I loved it. And the scrub is very exfoliating. When I left my skin was glowing and I felt amazing. This is certainly something I would suggest for those winter months in Vancouver when you need a pick-me-up.

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