And just like that, winter is behind us (thank goodness—but who’s counting?). To welcome the onset of warmer weather, we rounded up some of our favorite things right now.
Anyone in the haircare game knows that Dyson’s products are unparalleled. It all began with the Supersonic hair dryer (which this author has and swears by), and continued with the Airwrap curling iron; latest in the brand’s offering is the Corrale, a straightener with state-of-the-art engineering that cuts hair damage by an estimated 50 per cent. With cordless technology and flexing plates that contour to the hair, the Corrale is great for curls, waves, and of course pin-straight locks. Because of its innovative design, it drops “the chances of creating a dent in your hair to almost none,” says celebrity hairstylist and Dyson brand ambassador Matthew Collins on an informational video call. Better control, better results—hard to beat.
It’s no secret that fermented things are having a moment. From sourdough to kombucha, the health-conscious (and flavor-conscious) are becoming wise to the many benefits of consuming fermented foods and drinks. Taking this to heart, “gut with gastronomy” company Acid League has an incredible selection of natural vinegars (and wine proxies) that make eating significantly more fun. We’re loving the Meyer Lemon Honey flavor, which is tart and a little spicy, full of depth with a sweet edge. Drizzle it on grain salad or blackened veggies, or mix it into a citrusy cocktail or homemade dipping sauce—you really can’t go wrong. Other notable Acid League options include the floral and punchy Strawberry Rosé (ideal for grilled salmon and crunchy salads) and the spicy and earthy Garden Heat (perfect with fries and roasted chicken). This is our kind of “doing acid.”
Okoko Cosmétiques Diamant Bleu
Even opening this product for the first time is a delight. With a bright blue color reminiscent of that old-school bubblegum ice cream, the Diamant Bleu clarifying moisturizer from Vancouver-based clean skincare brand Okoko Cosmétiques is luxurious and smooth. Made with blue tansy and niacinamide, this whipped, airy face cream is a dream—it instantly calms redness, soothes breakouts, and improves tone. (It also smells like a fancy cupcake with floral icing.) Like all Okoko products, Diamant Bleu is made by Okoko’s in-house team at its new L’Atelier Okoko boutique in Gastown—which means locals can pick up their skincare and see exactly where it’s produced.
Fig Face Main Street
Vancouver’s beloved clean skincare bar Fig has opened a second location in the city, and it’s a beauty. While the first iteration served westsiders in Kitsilano, the new Fig Face caters to the Mount Pleasant crowd and does so in style. Kits Main Street is much larger than West 4th, with an expansive waiting and shopping area complete with shelves of the best in clean skincare (think goop, Venn, Li Organics, Tata Harper, and even the above-mentioned Okoko). There is also a breathtaking hanging botanical installation by Carl Otsberg, and vitruvi Stone Diffusers pumping scent into the space. If you’re in Vancouver, stop by for a Collagen + Texture facial that stimulates cell renewal and evens tone.
Hunter Play Clog
Hunter is known for its Wellies, but this iconic luxury brand is really an expert at all things all-weather footwear. Take its latest offering: the Play Clog. Fully waterproof and vegan, this chic clog can be worn in spring, summer, even fall—and both indoors and outdoors. We love the elevated silhouette and chunky heel.
The Maple Box
Luxury, but make it Canadian—that’s the ethos behind The Maple Box, a subscription service packed with all kinds of high-quality, natural goods. Curated seasonally, The Maple Box is a great way to discover the latest and greatest in local wellness; the winter 2020 box featured goodies such as the Eye Bright serum from Wildgold; the Black Gold coffee body scrub from Céla; the Facial Balm from Somerset Moss; and the Hand Sanity sanitizer from Pocean.
The latest in healthful alcohol-free drinks comes in the form of Daydream: an adaptogen-infused brand of sparkling beverages that have zero added sugar, caffeine, or chemicals. Added instead is schisandra (helps relieve stress); ginseng (helps with concentration and mood); hemp (helps with heart and brain health); and moringa (helps protect the body against free radicals). Daydream is also vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free, and currently comes in three tasty flavors: Cucumber Lime, Blackberry Chai, and Peach Ginger (this author’s favorite). Designed to help you relax and to open your mind, Daydream is a great choice for anyone who wants to sip something more interesting than plain water. The cotton-candy-colored branding alone will instantly boost your mood.
“With the access to information we have today, not being aware of our environmental crisis or simply not acknowledging it is being part of the problem,” says Paradis Perdus cofounder Thomas Poli. “Consumers can no longer take a brand’s words or promises as fact––consumers need facts and transparency.” This is the driving force behind the luxury knitwear brand, which takes a radically different approach to production; it’s slow fashion at its very best. Take the Celestin sweater, which is made in Italy with 100 percent recycled materials. With a chic stripe pattern that almost looks as if it has been coiled around the wearer, it’s a sophisticated and eco-friendly take on a closet staple.
Coffee—the nectar of the gods. It’s the perfect wake-up (alongside some Boost Blend, maybe); the quiet moment before the day begins. There is such a special ritual around coffee, and we all have our own quirks and preferences. For some, it’s that first cup alongside the news. For others, it’s a sleepy-eyed click of a button while the lights in the kitchen are still off. To make the process streamlined while remaining luxurious, Nespresso has the Vertuo: a sleek and intuitive machine that makes five different cup sizes and finishes each one with that perfect layer of crema. Opt for Melozio for something smooth and decadent, or Giornio for something more floral; the beauty of Nespresso is that its single-serve coffee pods mean you can change it up throughout the day. Plus, you don’t have to worry about waste—Nespresso has a program that works with your local recycling centers to collect used pods and turn them into new products such as pens (this writer has one and it’s lovely). The brand is also targeting 2022 for carbon-neutrality, meaning that making a Vertuo coffee would generate zero carbon emissions. “We are very close to reaching that goal,” says Nespresso communications director Caroline Duguay via video during a recent morning event. Eco-friendly coffee? It just tastes better.
Ethically made in Canada, Mayana Genevière is an inclusive lingerie brand focused on providing sensual and body-positive options for pregnant women and nursing mothers. Beautiful lace makes up the brand’s bras, bralettes, bodysuits, and underwear, all centering around comfort and the female form.
Sandhill 2020 Rosé
The year’s first sip of rosé is like a promise: a whisper of good things to come. And Sandhill winery’s 2020 Rosé is a worthy contender. Winemaker Sandy Leier expertly crafts this tart and dry wine, with gorgeous notes of white peach and red berry. Ideal for your pandemic-friendly patio hangs, your park picnics of pasta with pesto, your pintxos snacks, your bright, fresh salads. Spring in a bottle? This is it.
Dally hand soap
Slow down and elevate a simple hand-washing moment with the gorgeous products from Dally. Made with natural ingredients and free from synthetic fragrances and colors, they’re an easy way to make a simple routine more green—and more fun. “We believe in using scent to elevate everyday moments. Some of our strongest memories are tied to scent; it can be so transportive,” explain Dally founders Elizabeth and Kevin Egan. “We enjoy lengthening our hand-washing ritual by stopping to deeply inhale the unique botanical scents from our Dally hand wash. Mixing botanical scents into our laundry also makes the folding experience elevated and more meditative.”
Birch + Fog CBD sleep aids
There is a growing body of both research and anecdotal evidence about the promising effects of taking CBD for sleep. If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, consider Birch + Fog’s Nighttime CBD Tincture or CBD Sleep Capsules—both offer full-spectrum, high-quality CBD (the part of the cannabis plant that doesn’t get you high) combined with nourishing MCT oil for a calming and anti-inflammatory effect. To help you drift off to dreamworld.
Optimist non-alcoholic spirits
Want to sip something delicious this season that walks like a cocktail and talks like a cocktail—but is zero-proof? Consider whipping something up with the non-alcoholic spirits of Optimist. This Los Angeles company takes beautiful botanicals and distills them into flavorful, expertly-crafted, and alcohol-free drinks. We’re especially loving Bright, which is blended with lemon, jasmine, turmeric, lavender, tangerine, and more for a light, sweet sip; it pairs great with ginger beer and a splash of tonic. Winter is gone, and well, that’s enough to make anyone an optimist.
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