Imaginative Play with Princess Expressions and Artistic Studios

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BTR loves kids, and today we’re fostering their creativity and imagination with the launch of our Princess Expressions and Artistic Studios events.

Princess Expressions features tutus, boas, wands, gowns, and more. You’ll find everything you need to outfit your little princess. She’ll love flouncing about in her pretty tulle skirt, and adorning herself in a regal tiara. At such low prices, it’s easy to fill your child’s dress-up trunk for fun, imaginative play. Invite a few friends over and host your own princess party!

Artistic Studios brings you officially licensed art and activity sets for kids. The sets feature all their favorite characters: Disney princesses, Marvel superheroes, etc. Your child will always have fun creating their next masterpiece!

Tomorrow, make sure to look out for our Summer Campout with Disney event starting at 9am ET. You’ll find camp chairs, sleeping bags, and more; all the gear you need for outdoor summer fun!

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April Fool’s Day Scavenger Hunt

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It’s April Fool’s Day and BTR is giving you a chance to win a $750 shopping spree. It’s time to play our Shoe Day Scavenger Hunt!

Forget golden tickets, we have golden shoes!

Find the first and second golden shoes in 9am events, and the final golden shoe in a 5pm event. Don’t worry, even if you miss a start time, the events will be live all day! Decipher the riddles below to figure what kind of shoe I am and which event I’m hiding in.

HINT #1: I won’t be hiding in a shoe event! Too obvious!

HINT #2: The first part of the riddle describes the type of shoe I am, the last line points to the correct event.

Riddle #1: Event starting at 9am EST:

Your vantage point will change, but you’ll still be quite comfortable when you slip me on.

Mechanics call me a simple machine, and indeed, I enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

You can find me amongst items made for something that has a head, a foot, but no body.

Riddle #2: Event starting at 9am EST:

I enjoyed twirling the night away before the clock struck 12.

I’ve chosen to hide amongst a sea of fabric from a country who still has a Queen.

Riddle #3: Event starting at 5pm EST:

I’m the type of shoe that exudes confidence and gives you shapely calves.

Yes, I’ll draw all eyes to you in the center of a room, but I won’t be the room’s star.

That honor is reserved for the items in my hiding spot.

They are big or small, can be any hue of the rainbow, and can twine a hundred sheep in a row.

Once you’ve found all three shoes, take a screen shot of each (instructions below), or let us know which event and page you found them on, then, e-mail btrblog@beyondtherack.com with the info. We will be choosing a winner at random.

Contestants must be a BTR member to win. Contest ends at midnight April 1st, EST.

How to take a screenshot:

Windows:

1)

Press PrtScn to copy your screen onto your clipboard.

Paste into Microsoft Paint and save.

2)

Use the Snipping Tool

Mac:

Hold down command and shift, and then press 3. The screenshot has now been saved to your desktop.

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Tania Kwong’s Beauty Answers + Spring Makeup Tips

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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.

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Q&A with Glow Beauty Editor Tania Kwong

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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.

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What to Wear for A Spring Wedding

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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!

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BTR Goes to the Movies

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The summer movie season is upon us and it looks like it’s going to be a rollercoaster of fun! The trailers for the next Hollywood hits have made it to the silver screen, inducing what we like to call “temporary entertainment amnesia” (TEA). There is an epidemic of TEA around this time of year. It strikes suddenly when you go to the theater and are blown-away by the trailers before your movie, prompting you to lean over and ask the person next to you “What movie are we seeing again?”.

Here are some movie trailers that have been giving BTR employees TEA:

Comedies:

Neighbors, May 9th
Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, and James Franco

22 Jump Street, June 13th
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, and Nick Offerman

Marvel:

X-Men: Days of Future Past, May 23rd
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, April 4th
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Anthony Mackie

Guardians of the Galaxy, August 1st
Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel

Sci-fi/Dystopian Action:

Divergent, March 21st – See it this weekend!
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, and Miles Teller

Edge of Tommorrow, June 6th
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, and Jeremy Piven

(Some) of the Sequels:

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, August 22nd
Starring: Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Jessica Alba

How to Train Your Dragon 2, June 13th
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Kristen Wiig, America Ferrera, and Cate Blanchett

Which movies are you looking forward to this summer? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Posted in Employee Picks | 1 Comment

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!

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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.

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 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!

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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

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

shoulders

 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.

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 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!

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 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.

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LA Fashion Week – Spotlight on West Coast Designers

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Los Angeles is one of the most dynamic, fashion-forward cities in the world. Although LA Fashion Week isn’t as well-known as Paris or New York, it definitely still bears watching. Some of the most up and coming designers show off their imaginative creations, and many of the garments translate more easily to ready-to-wear than the bigger fashion weeks.

The trends were vastly different, with some designers opting for flowing fabrics and feminine lace, whereas others fully embraced leather and shimmering metallics. M the Movement featured accents of shiny black in shorts and jackets. Michael Costello, designer of Beyonce’s latest Grammys dress, showcased elegant fluid gowns.

There were also many more progressive spectacles. Kicka Custom Design wowed onlookers with elaborate Gothic-style, Victorian frocks. Furne One presented sophisticated, Asian-inspired apparel that hearkened back to clothing from the 1800s, but with a futuristic flair.

Nuvula continues this avant-garde trend with their apparel line. Their self-defined philosophy “merges original illustration, rebellion, poetry, theater, and a bit of madness”. And indeed, their designs look to be something out of a sci-fi comic, and happen to be made with sustainable materials to boot. But that is what makes Nuvula amazing. They walk the line between haute-couture art and wearable street clothing, and they do it masterfully. They try to reinvent fashion staples by partitioning a women’s silhouette in new ways. Refreshing, sensual, and compelling are just a few of the adjectives that can be used to describe their line.

The Tart Collection, on the other end of the spectrum, brings you West Coast cool with a dose of poolside glamour. Their line is full of classic style to look great at the beach or out gallivanting in the sun. Their apparel is quintessentially Californian, and transitions well from day to night wear. Heidi Klum, Kourtney Kardashian, and Katy Perry all have some Tart pieces in their arsenal.

Look out for our “LA Fashion Week” stamp on events all weekend to add a little West coast vibe to your wardrobe. We will be featuring Nuvula today, and the Tart Collection on Sunday.

Whether you’re into the surprisingly eclectic, or laid-back chic, BTR has you covered.

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Must-Have Spring Accessories

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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!

Posted in Events, Tips & Trends | 1 Comment

Spring 2014 Hair Trends

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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.

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