Category Archives: Tips & Trends

Our Top 3 Fave Summer Looks

summertrends_blog

Summer Look #1: Printed Maxis/Day-to-night

Style icon, Jennifer Aniston proves that comfort and fashion can actually mix! A casual maxi dress looks effortlessly chic and can take you from daytime to date night in no time. Shop our fab assortment of colourful maxis and find your perfect style.

Summer Look #2: Daytime Brunch – “The LCD is the New “LBD”

We absolutely adore Reese Witherspoon’s electric blue frock! Liven up your look, like Reese, with fun LCD’s (little colored dresses) and pair them with even brighter accessories – the biggest trend this summer! Find your next frock in our Designer Destination, Summer’s Best Party Dress, and Summer Dress Blowout events.

Summer Look #3: Punchy Accessories

There is no such thing as color overload this summer! Pack on the punchy hues. From bright bags to fabulously funky footwear – we just can’t get enough of this summer trend! Check out the following events for all your brightly colored needs: Prada, Carla Ferreri, and Shoe & Tell.

Father’s Day Gift Guide Part 2

FatherBlog

Are you still having trouble finding the perfect gift for dad? Well, put your worries aside because we have even more events with more ideas coming this weekend!

Check out our Father’s Day Special on watches. Buy one watch for him, get one for yourself for free! Just look for the BOGO stamp.

If a watch is too predictable, get him ready for outdoor cookouts with our Summer Cooking event. Find BBQ tools, grills and more.

Not the gourmet chef in the family? On Sunday, we are featuring Blanc Men’s accessories from ties to cufflinks. He’ll definitely look spiffy in the boardroom.

For the dad who enjoys comfortable lounging in style, shop for his next perfect chair on Sunday with our Comfy Chairs for Dad event.

Your dad is the most important man in your life. Treat him to something nice and show him how much you care!

Father’s Day Gift Guide

fathersday_blog

He’s been there to wipe away your tears, to brighten your days with laughter, and has probably fixed more things around the house than you can count. That’s right, we’re talking about your dad.

But what do you get for your number 1 fan and hero? Not all dads are the same, so whether he’s professional, casual, or hands-on, we’ve got some great Father’s Day suggestions for you!

A Premium Watch: Have you had to adjust your schedule to accommodate “Dad time”? Help him stay on trend with a quality watch. Our Men’s Premium event has a wide selection of designer styles that compliment suits or his favorite pair of jeans.

Travel Luggage: Is your Dad constantly on the go? Replace his old, world-weary luggage with a brand new set. Our Luggage for the Mobile Business Professional event features 3-piece luggage sets, laptop bags and briefcases – perfect accessories that make him look and feel the part of the executive.

A Dress Shirt: Our Max Lauren event has your dad covered if he needs to dress to impress. Choose a plaid or striped pattern for him to wear with jeans, and try a bright color to transport his wardrobe to the 21st century.

A Tie: It may seem obvious and overdone, but there’s nothing wrong with getting him a tie, as long as it’s a nice one! Our Prada tie event ensures luxury and style when he has to suit up.

Stylish Footwear: Many dads will wear out their shoes until they’re nothing more than a sole and some fabric. Don’t let him wait that long and give him the gift of stylish kicks this Father’s Day. Check out our Clarks for Men event.

Kitchenware: Whether he’s a culinary mastermind or a cooking show fanatic, he’ll appreciate having his life made easier with new kitchen accessories. Pasta makers and pizza stones in our Norpro event will get him excited about cooking, and you’ll get to taste the benefit! And for even more fun, get him a unique appliance like the Hot Dog Pop Up Toaster.

Jené Luciani’s Summer Essentials As Seen On The Today Show

bathingsuitbysize_blog

Summer is one of my fave times of year as a stylist because I love a good challenge and it doesn’t get much more challenging than swimwear! And many of the TV shows and media outlets come to me for advice because finding the perfect fitting swimsuit can be just as terrifying as finding the proper fitting bra, which is something I’m known for as the author of the bestselling book The Bra Book!

And most of the viewers who watch my TV segments also count on me as the one who can show them some great options within their budget. That’s why I call on websites like Beyond the Rack – because you can get some amazing designer fashions for a fraction of retail!!!

When dressing Gillian for the Today Show segment, she had recently lost 150 pounds (isn’t that amazing!!??) and needed to find the perfect summer look for her new shape!

I love Spanx (who doesn’t??) and their swimwear line does not disappoint. Beyond the Rack is offering this adjustable swim dress style for under $50!!!! It has tons of flattering features like a v-neckline and strategic shirring throughout and I love the bright beachy color! I added these red wedges for a fun contrast and because what lady doesn’t love a little added height?

Of course, no beach look is complete without a great floppy hat (for fashion and function –gotta protect ourselves from the sun ladies!!) and a fun beach bag. I chose this one for $19.99 because of its adorable saying – anyone who watches Hoda and Kathie Lee knows that they certainly love their wine!!!!

Finally, it’s so important to have a great pair of shades. Whether you prefer a big plastic pair, wayfarer style or some classic Ray Bans, protect your peepers from the sun and make a stylish statement at the same time. It’s an investment that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on!!

Makeup Brush Maintenance

makeup_brush

How often do you clean your makeup brushes? It tends to be the one thing we overlook, yet it’s completely essential! Leaving your brushes to sit on the counter between concealing and contouring sessions, means that they unfortunately collect bacteria. This bacteria and product build-up can clog pores and cause breakouts. Make cleaning brushes a part of your beauty routine to help reduce breakouts and keep skin more fresh and radiant.

In order to clean your brushes, you don’t need expensive brush cleaners from cosmetic stores.

All you need is the following:

– A Bar of Soap

– Hair Conditioner

– Baby Shampoo

– Rubbing Alcohol

– Olive Oil or Almond Oil

Use an unscented, pure, white soap. With lukewarm water, wet the bristle part of the brush, and then swirl the brush on the bar of soap until it has lathered nicely. As an alternative to a bar of soap, try baby shampoo. Make sure to clean the entire brush head, not just the tips! Gently squeeze out any excess water from the brush and lay it out to dry for at least 6 to 8 hours. To avoid a wet laundry smell, let your brush dry near a window or a heater.

If your brush is heavily caked with makeup, olive or almond oil will help. Pour a little bit of the oil onto the brush bristles, and then swirl them into a clean paper towel. Don’t use too much oil, just enough to break down the makeup. Afterwards, clean the brush using the process noted above.

The brush should be soft and supple after being cleaned and dried, but if it isn’t hair conditioner can help. Take a small amount and massage it gently into the brush. Rinse in lukewarm water and allow to dry. This should give your brush a velvety feel against your skin!

Now that the bristles are taken care of, don’t forget the handle! By using rubbing alcohol and a paper towel, you can rub down brush handles to disinfect and clean.

You should clean your brushes at least once a week: makeup will apply easier, your brushes will last longer, and your skin will feel healthier!

BTR’s beauty events continue today with Lise Watier, Michael Todd True Organics, Color Secrets makeup, Mekar Organic Cosmetics, and CHI and FHI Heat. Shop them all now!

Glow Magazine Editors’ Picks

glow_editor's-picks

In partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix, the editors at Glow have picked out some of their favorite BTR looks for spring. Shop for these items and more on our BTR Optimum site, and get optimum points with every purchase!

Here’s what the Glow editors had to say:

Stock up on spring’s most sought-after pieces—from classic capris to printed scarves that’ll come in handy on flights, here’s how to wear the hottest items of the season.

Nothing’s quite as versatile as a pair of classic capri pants. Wear them with tropical prints or a fitted linen blazer and wedges to the office and look spring ready. Get the look.

Glow tip: Rock a boho braid to complement your casual look. There’s a a braided look for every occasion.

Mix and match prints or wear statement pants with flat sandals in camel color to anchor vibrant hues. Asian-inspired prints in the same graphic family wear well together, whatever the colour palette. Find the perfect sandals here.

Glow tip: Too shy to wear colour? Check out these eyeshadow shades that’ll flatter every age.

Investing in a good straw bag will help you be spring-ready with everything you’ll need for the season (SPF, umbrella, sunglasses, sweater, etc.). Try this one.

Glow tip: Going away this season? Find out what Glow editors are packing for their getaways.

Add a touch of whimsy to your look this wedding season. A beaded headpiece complements printed dresses and wavy hair. This headpiece is feminine and timeless.

Glow tip: Need makeup inspiration for your big day? Check out celebrity-inspired picks.

Spring 2014 Nail Trends

nail_blog

Spring apparel isn’t the only thing that changes annually. Get in on the hottest spring nail trends of 2014! Colored and patterned nails are a great way to add to your individual sense of style, and unlike clothing, it’s easy to remove polish and change it up on a whim.

Here are some nail ideas we love this season:

Stripes: This minimalist and chic look was seen on the runways for Tibi. Get creative with lines at different angles on a base of white or lighter colored polish.

Subtle Ombre: A classy nail design that will look great with office attire, as well as casual spring outifts. You can use two different polishes, or you can use the same one and use multiple coats for the darker portion.

Modern French Manicure: Keep your nails sheer and forget about pink and white. Use a dark blue or black polish and add a diagonal sliver at the tip of your nails. We think it looks completely rad!

Half-Moons: Half-moon manicures aren’t new. However, for 2014, we are seeing neutrals and pastels instead of bold and dark hues. The lighter colors are perfect for spring, and we love how the nude background makes the design pop.

3D Add-Ons: Once again, we see the same color palette, but now amped up with some 3D embellishments! Add some bling to your digits for a cool, innovative look. Rhinestones and small beads work really well.

Which of these are you looking forward to trying? Let us know in the comments.

Be sure to check out our OPI sale today for stunning, professional quality nail lacquers!

Tips for Great Wine and Food Pairings

wine_blog

Spring and summer are the seasons of entertaining! Whether you’re planning an intimate dinner party, or an informal outdoor BBQ, it’s important to have the right wine at hand.

Here are our best tips for effective wine and food pairing:

Sparkling Wines:

Sparkling wines are refreshing and versatile. They are light on the tongue and go well with a greater variety of dishes than any other wine. Sparkling wines have a touch of sweetness to them, which makes them extra refreshing when paired with salty foods. For summer BBQs, try prosciutto wrapped melon and Champagne for a tasty treat.

Recipe to Try: Smoked Trout and Caper Cream Cheese Toasts

Citrusy, Light-Bodied Whites:

The tang of these whites wake up your taste buds, perking up dishes that might otherwise seem bland. Also, they’re the only wines that work well with foods that are already tart and tangy. Try a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Grigio, and always make sure the wine is at least as tart as the food, or else you will lose the flavor of the wine.

Recipe to Try: Scallops with Grapefruit Onion Salad

Ripe, Full-Bodied Whites:

These types of wines tend to come from warmer climates, with their richness coming from the oak casks they spend a lot of time in. The full-bodied flavor of a Chardonnay or a Chenin Blanc can sometimes make food pairing difficult. Drink them with heavier dishes like roast poultry, meaty fish, and pasta.

Recipe to Try: Buttery Crab Bread Pudding

Juicy, Medium-Bodied Reds:

These wines have a diverse flavor, and they are certainly crowd-pleasers. There’s a reason why so many people love Pinot Noir: it is fruity, yet nuanced in taste. All of the wines in this category have a vibrant acidity to go well with mushrooms, lighter meat dishes, and tomato-based recipes.

Recipe to Try: Shiitake and Scallion Lo Mein

Rich, Full-Bodied Reds:

From a Bordeaux to a Malbec, these rich wines all pair beautifully with meat. The taste of the wine will play delightfully on the palette when matched with ribs or steak. These wines are bold enough to go well with foods heavily flavored with BBQ sauce or other spices.

Recipe to Try: Sticky Barbecued Beef Ribs

Starting at 4pm, we are featuring our buyers’ picks for outdoor entertaining. Shop a wide selection of camp chairs, picnic baskets, coolers, and the Vino 2 Go: a stylish way of making sure your wine doesn’t spill when you’re out adventuring!

Tania Kwong’s Beauty Answers + Spring Makeup Tips

makeuptipsandtricks_blog

Last week, we sat down with Glow beauty editor, Tania Kwong. She answered our questions and gave us some great tips. We then turned the tables over to you on Facebook, and she’s answered all your questions!

1) My hair is pretty dry and brittle. Is there a good solution? Should I wash it less? The problem is that my hair gets oily when I go more than 2 days without washing.

Winter’s known to make our hair dry and brittle. Your best bet is to try a hydrating hair mask to revive your hair after the cold weather damage. Also, make sure that you choose hydrating shampoos and conditioners that moisturize your hair as you wash your locks. It should say “moisturizing” or “hydrating” on the bottle.

2) I’m looking for a great and affordable BB or CC cream, one that hydrates and has relatively good coverage. Which ones do you suggest?

Glow actually did a story on the best BB and CC creams to try, check it out!

3) Do men need to tone? I don’t mind, but I’d rather not my slather my face with products if I don’t have to.

It’s good to find products that are multipurpose. Certain toners are also really great for oily and blemished skin and helps balance oil production, giving you an incentive to add it to your skin care regimen.

4) Is there a good solution to acne scarring?

Look for skin care products with vitamin E to help heal the scars. Squeezing or trying to pop the pimple can cause further damage so avoid doing that.

5) Why do I get bacne (acne on my back)?

Excessive sweat from exercising mixes with the oils and toxins at the skin’s surface and can cause you to break out. Aside from choosing gentle body washes, choose loose, breathable fabrics for working out.

6) What’s the best (and cheapest) way to reduce the look of pores?

Avoid bars of soaps and opt for gentle cleansers that contain salicylic acid. Anything that’s thick and super creamy should be off limits.

7) When looking for a good face wash, is an abrasive/exfoliating one better for your skin?

Although you might love the clean feeling a gritty exfoliating face wash provides, I’d only use it 1-2 times a week. You can over exfoliate which is not great for your skin.

8) Most of us in Canada are suffering from the never ending winter, and so is our skin. It’s a constant battle against dull, dry and tight skin. Do you have any recommendation for getting that sun-kissed glow to your skin even in the dead of winter?

Select a bronzer that has golden undertones and stay away from anything too orange. I prefer to use a matte or satin finish bronzer rather than anything too shimmery. Too much shimmer can accentuate imperfect skin or fine lines and can make you look shiny.

When changing your makeup and skincare routine for spring, Tania advised the following:

Spring and summer are all about radiant and fresh skin that doesn’t look cakey.

Always use a tinted moisturizer as your base in the summer because you want to see the skin. Then apply concealer with a brush on uneven areas before setting with some powder for a natural looking glow. Cover up any imperfections with a long-wearing cream concealer because it blends well. Lightly dust on a bronzer in a ‘3’ shape on cheekbones and jawline for a great highlighting effect. Here’s a trick I love: for a “glow from within” effect, apply a bright cream blush before you even put on your tinted moisturizer. The result is a natural-looking hue that doesn’t look painted on.

The best way to cover up blemishes and imperfections without looking made up is to use a concealer that’s one shade lighter only to areas that need coverage. Following up with a powder foundation is the best way to control shine while keeping your look fresh. Glowing skin is not only beautiful but it looks healthier than dry skin. If you have any problem areas, a creamy concealer is your best bet. The trick is to touch the blemishes very lightly. Accentuate the area above the cheekbones with a highlighter, that spot is always flawless.

Happy spring!

Tania

For even more beauty trends check out glow.ca and Glow‘s Facebook page.

Q&A with Glow Beauty Editor Tania Kwong

glow_tania_blog

Glow, Canada’s premiere beauty and heath magazine, is full of great beauty and style tips, as well as informative product reviews. It’s definitely worthy of the title “Canada’s Beauty Expert.” For Beauty Day at BTR, we were lucky enough to catch up with Glow beauty editor Tania Kwong.

Tania directs both cover and beauty shoots, acts as a beauty ambassador to media outlets, and writes as well as edits a number of beauty features. She is the recipient of a 2011 P&G Beauty and Grooming award for Best Creative Feature in a magazine or newspaper, and has also appeared on Steven & Chris, ET Canada, and In Fashion. With over eight years of editorial experience, Tania continues to thrive on her passion for beauty.

So what tips does this beauty maven have for a spring refresh? Let’s find out:

1) With spring right around the corner (hopefully) women are getting ready to refresh their looks by updating their makeup bags. What are the biggest beauty trends for spring 2014 and what are some budget-friendly ways to achieve them?

One of the easiest and quickest ways to embrace spring beauty is with a bright lipstick. Vibrant orange was particularly hot on the spring runways, but since it’s a trendy shade, go for a mass brand that packs an intense pigment (like Maybelline or Revlon). Pastels and metallics are also major colour trends that can be easily introduced through inexpensive eye shadow.

2) The same makeup doesn’t always work for both day and night. But we don’t always have time to run home for a refresh. Can you give us some makeup tricks that will work around the clock?

Apply primer in the morning to keep your foundation from fading fast and carry a powder or blotting papers in your purse for banishing shine. Keep it simple when your’re going from day to night and choose one feature to emphasize. I always have a bright lipstick or black eyeliner (that I can smudge around my eyes) in my bag for this reason.

3) Beauty foods! Truth or myth and what are some good ones for your skin, hair and teeth?

I’m no doctor, but personally, I find that my skin and hair are more radiant when I load up on antioxidant-rich produce like spinach and kale, as well as good fats (omega-3 fatty acids) from avocadoes, fish and nuts.

4) Cellulite… It’s a reality that many women have to face. With so many products on the market and so many different skin types how do you choose the one that will work for your body?

The right cellulite cream for your body is the one that you’re going to like to use—often. They typically feature similar ingredients, like caffeine, which work temporarily, so the more or longer you use something (like twice a day for a month), the better results you’ll see. I prefer gel formulas because they dry quickly.

5) Different age groups have different priorities when it comes to beauty, but not everyone get these priorities right. What should women in their 20s, 30s and 40s focus the most on to maximize their daily beauty routine?

In your 20s, it’s all about adapting to your skin’s changing needs. Some women are acne-prone, while others have fine lines creeping up. I would say the focus should be on preventative products, like daily sunscreen. For those in their 30s, adopting an anti-aging regimen that includes antioxidants (to fight free-radicals caused by factors like stress, sun exposure and smoking), is the best bet. It can be as easy as adding a vitamin-enriched serum before your moisturizer. For women in their 40s, especially those concerned with wrinkles or loss of collagen, retinol-based products are considered the gold standard because they have proven skin-rejuvenating results.

Discover even more tips on glow.ca and on the Glow Facebook page.

Do you have a question for Tania that wasn’t answered here? Ask your question by commenting on our Facebook post. The most popular questions will be answered in a follow-up blog post on Monday, March 31st, along with a special guest blog by Tania on changing your skin and makeup routine for spring.

And don’t forget to check out BTR’s Beauty Day events today. We’re featuring Vivo Per Lei, Bdellium tools, Brite Brush system, Epilady, and Caroline Chu.