Category Archives: Tips & Trends

Spring 2014 Nail Trends


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


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


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!


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

Q&A with Glow Beauty Editor Tania Kwong


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 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.

What to Wear for A Spring Wedding


Spring has sprung, heralding the beginning of wedding season! Being a wedding guest has some definite perks, including dressing up in something fabulous for the occasion. The options are more or less limitless, just don’t wear white and to follow the dress code. This season’s trends are feminine and flirty, which makes choosing the right frock a breeze.

So what’s the dress code? Is the wedding semi-formal? Is it a formal, black-tie event? Or is it a destination luau? Here are our best tips for choosing the right wedding guest dress:

The Semi-Formal Wedding: This is the dress code for most weddings. A cocktail dress is always a great choice. Look for one that falls to the knee or slightly above it. For spring, try one in a floral print or a solid color (think: Lupita Nyong’o, the style queen).

The Formal Wedding: Even though spring is all about bright colors, evening formal wear is known to have a darker color palette, so make it shine! Shimmering metallics like gold and silver are totally on-trend and are a great choice. If you just can’t get enough prints, you can still rock a printed frock, but on a darker background like black or navy. Don’t be afraid to go for a sophisticated floor-length number.

The Destination Wedding: Destination weddings call for elegant but semi-formal dresses. If you’re going to a beach wedding, you definitely want to feel dressed-up, but still island appropriate. A ruffled and tiered look can be just what you need. Chiffon fabrics are a great way to look polished with a summery flair.

Now that you know how to choose the right dress, check out our fabulous spring frock events today here, here, and here!

Tips for Taking the Best Selfies

With the selfie craze as popular as ever (#selfie!), it’s helpful to know how to take your most flattering photo. This is especially true when it comes to your face. Most selfies, along with other portraiture, end up being from the waist up. Small adjustments in facial expression and body language can go a long way into turning the 3D you into a gorgeous 2D representation.

We asked Joshua Jones, our director of Photography and Video Production, to give us some pointers on how to take the perfect photo. Liz Leggett from our Imaging department assisted by being his model. With Josh’s tips, you’ll step up your selfie game in no time!


Hair: It’s important to strategically place your hair. You don’t want to hide your face behind your locks by having them draped over both shoulders, and you don’t want to create a triangular, unnatural shape either. Having hair draped over one shoulder frames your face in a flattering way and allows light to hit your face.


 Chin: The further back your chin is, the more rounded it will look. You want to create a definitive jaw line, and stretch out your neck in an elegant manner. In order to do this, bring your ears towards the camera without straining your neck, and then very slightly lower your chin. In the first photo, Liz’s face is further back, giving her a rounded jaw. In the second photo, her face is pushed outwards and her chin is slightly down, giving it definition. It is a small difference, but it’s an important one!


Arms: If your arms are at your sides, don’t hold them close to your body. It makes your torso look boxy by hiding the definition of your waist. Leave a gap between your body and your arm for an overall slimming effect.


 Waist: Angle your waist towards the camera for a slender-looking frame. Avoid standing in front of the camera head-on.


 Shoulders: Drop your shoulders while posing for a more relaxed look. If you drop one, drop the one closest to the camera. Angling your body the other way, away from the camera, is a much more masculine pose reserved for male fashion models.


 Eyes: Show off the beautiful color of your eyes, not the whites! Minimize the white part of your eyes by looking directly at the camera, or even just by smiling! This is definitely where Tyra Banks’ idea of “smizing” comes in!


 Nose: Angle your face in such a way that your nose doesn’t break your cheek. This means that you want to have ample cheek on both sides of your nose – great for any and all nose types.

Go ahead and practice all of these in front of a mirror, and you’ll never want to use photo filters again.

Post your best #selfie on Facebook here.

Must-Have Spring Accessories


Fight the winter doldrums by brightening your look with new spring accessories. As the weather gets warmer, it’s time to replace the monochromatic palette with bright spots of color. Layering with accessories allows you to express your individuality while achieving an effortlessly stylish look.

Today on BTR, we have just the right trimmings to make your spring wardrobe radiant.

Shop our Accessories to Complete Your Outfit event to add a little flair to any ensemble. A faux suede fedora is the perfect item to elevate a jeans and t-shirt duo from boring to exciting. Twine a printed scarf around your neck, throw on a jean or moto jacket et voila! You have an instant chic street look.

Add a pop of color with stackable rings and bracelets in bright hues. Don’t be afraid to adorn yourself in multiple bangles to truly embrace the bohemian trend. Choose gold as an accent color whenever possible for a hint of trendy glam.

Your spring wardrobe won’t be complete without flats. Our 50 Shades of Flats sale offers staple footwear in every color. So versatile that they can easily be paired with denim, skirts, or shorts for everyday wear.

And finally, get your vitamin D fix and soak up some rays with a new pair of Ray-Bans. These classic frames are the epitome of cool. They never go out of style!

Spring 2014 Hair Trends


The runways have spoken and there are plenty of reasons to look forward to the hairstyles of Spring 2014. The hair trends for this season are all about messy, seemingly-uncoiffed locks, however us girls know that it takes a little effort to look so effortless.

Here are the looks we’re most excited to start practicing:

Mermaid/Bohemian Waves and Mixed Textures: Models strutting the Versace, Calvin Klein, and Christopher Kane runways all sported tousled locks. The more randomly placed and textured, the better. To achieve this look, you can plait damp hair before bed. Or, try using mousse on dry hair; using a wet product on dry hair produces a slightly uneven, matte finish. Then blow-dry roughly, and wind random sections around a curling iron.

Windswept Updos: “The hair is a hot mess, like she had a really good night”, explained Orlando Pita, the hairstylist for the Michael Kors show. Rochas and Tom Ford models also displayed the loose tangles and halo of hair representative of this look. Simply curl sections of hair at front, away from your face, and then twist your hair up into a rumpled knot secured with hairpins. No need to be precise!

Old World/Milk Maid Braids: This hairdo, like the previous ones, is plucked right out of the Romantic past. Though less experimental than the plaits of last season (see: fishtail braids), they still stand-out. Alberta Ferretti, Rachel Zoe, and Rebecca Minkoff all showcased the messy structure. Braid your hair loosely and don’t worry about fly-aways.

Edgy Bobs: Models wigged-out on the runways of Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and Fendi. Unlike the other hair styles, this one is more contemporary. The uneven, erratic cut evokes a free-spirited and boyish attitude. Many of the wigs seemed as if “[the model] took the scissors to her own hair!”, exclaimed Guido who cut the Marc Jacobs bobs.

Get a style that is all your own with Bibasque Hair Tools – on sale today. And tomorrow, don’t forget to look out for our Brilliance New York event for curling and flat irons.

Do you have any styling tips for these ‘dos? Let us know in the comments or reply to our Facebook post here.

How To Wear: The Tulle Skirt


Let’s face it: tulle skirts are notoriously hard to style. It’s easy to go from prima ballerina to frumpy. When done right however, this piece is an adventurous and infinitely girly addition to your wardrobe.

Here are some of our best tips for incorporating this trend into your closet:

Embrace the Ballerina: Go ultra feminine and embrace the tulle skirt’s roots with one that is full and poofy, whether long or short. Pair it with a form-fitting top, a chunky statement necklace, and some heels.

Be Edgy: Throw on a rockin’ leather or jean jacket for a great contrast. Play up the rest of the outfit with metallic accessories and some combat boots.

Unexpected Plaid: This is probably the most surprising tulle skirt trend, but it definitely makes an impression. A dainty skirt with some plaid flannel is the perfect mix of casual and sophisticated.

Show a Little Skin: A crop top is a great way to transition into warmer weather and you can wear it with any color tulle. Get creative with different color combinations!

How will you wear your tulle? Post a comment to let us know!

Spring Trend Alert: The Crop Top


Ladies, it’s time to invest in some Pilates classes because come warm weather you might find yourself wanting to don some midriff baring ensembles. Seen all over the fashion week runways and already a favorite amongst Hollywood starlets, crop tops are making a big comeback. But these aren’t your 90’s belly-ring baring styles that were so popular with the teen stars of the time. Crop tops have evolved – and what a welcome evolution it is.

Midsections are now tastefully on display everywhere. But how do you keep it classy? There are a few simple rules to getting this trend just right.

Rule #1 – Know what makes you comfortable. If you’re on the shy side opt for a high-waisted skirt or pants to keep your crop top from showing too much skin. Check out Olivia Wilde’s outfit.

Rule #2 – This season’s crop tops are about being classy. So trade in your tight mini-skirt and go with something a little more refined. Selena Gomez’s outfit oozes sexy, yet she still looks quite the lady.

Rule #3 – Dare to be different! Kim Kardashian isn’t afraid to elevate her crop tops to evening wear.

Rule #4 – Wear lower-waisted bottoms with longer crop tops, and higher-waisted ones with shorter. Vanessa Hudgens and Beyonce rock very different looks, yet both are still impeccably styled.

Now that you’ve got the tricks of the crop top trade, the only question left to ask is do you dare to go bare?