Sun care, safely: LASPA mineral sun care protection products

So although the weather has been really nice lately in Canada, I’ve been in need of sunscreen early this year since I’ve been travelling a lot this month. I’m currently in San Francisco, but just got here via Texas (Houston and Austin), where the sun was shining and the temperature was super hot.

Since I was in need of sunscreen, thankfully these new products from Canadian-made LASPA arrived early, making them perfect to toss in my bag as I headed on vacation.

LASPA’s products are made only from plant-based ingredients, minerals and essential oils, without artificial fragrances, colours, or parabens, and are also gluten free, nut free, fragrance free, and hypoallergenic. Since traditional sunscreens use chemicals (which to be ironic, aren’t good for you either), LASPA uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which are natural mineral sun blocks that sit on your skin and stops both UVA and UVB rays from penetrating it. In comparison, chemical sunscreens use synthetic chemicals to reflect the sun’s rays after they have penetrated the skin’s surface.

LASPA SPF 20 Daily Sun Protection Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

Currently the brand has two products in their line, an SPF 30 Moisturizing Mineral Sunscreen (C$40) for face and neck and a SPF 20 Daily Sun Protection Mineral Sunscreen Lotion (C$44) for face and body.  Although it is recommended that you should apply sunscreen everyday, I have to say that I’m one of those people that doesn’t follow that rule.  To be fair though, I don’t even like the feeling of moisturizer on my skin during the daytime. For the face, I do try to incorporate a sunscreen into my routine in the summer (although this should technically be something you do year round), whether that is an SPF in my moisturizer or a sunscreen primer. I did pack the SPF 30 since it’s 80 ml (perfect for travel), and to be honest, I didn’t realize that this is technically for face and neck since it doesn’t say that on the bottle.  I did use it on my body as well and found that it applies really nicely and doesn’t feel slimy or greasy at all, which is what I hate about sunscreens.

As for the LASPA Daily Sun Protection, this one is also light and translucent, and can be applied on both face and body, where it also applies moisture.  When used as a daily regimen, it counteracts the aging and damaging effects of the sun’s rays and the antioxidants help to protect your skin. Total win-win.

LASPA SPF 30 Moisturizing Mineral Sunscreen

When it comes to sunscreen, I typically go for something inexpensive and easy to find (like Hawaiian Tropic, Coppertone, etc.). With that being said, mineral sun care products have been on the rise lately as you should definitely be concerned about not only what you’re putting in your body, but also what you’re putting on it. Since sunscreen typically contains chemicals, I would so rather go with something that is made from natural ingredients rather than stuff found in a lab.

You can find LASPA products in salons or on their official site. 

Please note, this post contains products sent by PR. All opinions are my own.

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A perfect match: Finding the most flattering red and nude lipstick with Ton Cosmetics

I’ve been saying on here forever that my favourite shade of lipstick is nude and my least favourite is red.  This is because of a variety of factors; I find nude to be the most flattering and least maintenance, and red cause it can be tricky to pull off and has the tendency to wear off easily.

When I heard about Ton Cosmetics I was intrigued in the fact that they only offer two colour, reds and nudes, and you take this online quiz to find the shade that best suits your skintone. Interesting concept, right? Well, since I have a million reds and nudes, I was totally intrigued on what they would pick for me, so I instantly hopped on and did the test to find my perfect shade.

Their nude collection is split up into three categories: fair, medium, and cool, with three shades in each collection (cool, neutral, and warm). There are red-toned nudes, beige nudes, pink nudes, purple nudes, you name it, so it’s not just that typical “nude” shade you would first think of.  The red collection is also split up in the same categories, and just like the nudes, don’t let the name “red” fool you. Some lean more on the orange side, others on the pink side, and there’s even a berry-toned one in there.

Lipsticks by Ton Cosmetics

After seven questions ranging from the colour of my veins on the inside of my wrists to what colour of jewelry looks best on my skin, I landed on my perfect tones: Fair Cool 2 for the red and Fair Cool 1 for the nude.  Fair Cool 2 is described as a red perfect for those with a fair complexion and bluish undertones.  The slight pink tint is what makes the red lip colour work for my skintone. I do have to say that the shade is quite nice and flattering and leans more towards a tomato red. It’s not as harsh as other reds I have tried and for the most part, stayed on quite well through eating and drinking.

As for the nude, Fair Cool 1 is designed to neutralize bluish hues and is perfect for fair, cool complexions. I haven’t really found a nude I haven’t loved, so as soon as I saw this one in person I knew I would love it.

Both lipsticks are incredibly comfortable to wear since they include shea butter. The colour glides on the lips and the satiny smooth finish makes your lips appear slightly larger as well.  I also love the white packaging with silver detailing, including a gem on the top of the lid.

Ton Cosmetics Fair Cool 1 nude Ton Cosmetics Fair Cool 2 red

In case you haven’t heard of Ton Cosmetics yet, they are a Canadian company based in Montreal. All the products are made in Canada, however, they do ship to the United States as well.  Overall, I’m very impressed with their products since I love the concept of taking a quiz to find the right shade for you.  The brand will also be releasing a collection of pink lipsticks as well later this year.

Each lipstick retails for C$19 and can be found on their website. They were also nice enough to hook me up with a promo code for 20% off, using SHAYNA20.  Stay tuned on my Instagram as I’ll also have a contest popping up where one lucky follower will win a nude and red to suit their skintone!

Please note, products provided by PR. All opinions are my own.

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I <3 NY: New York City trip recap

A destination that’s at the top of big city travel lists? Definitely New York City.

Although I have been to the Big Apple once before during a Grade 11 performing arts trip, I wanted to make my way back since I loved the energy and the endless supply of things to do.  Since my boyfriend had work-related stuff to do there, I thought I would join in since it’s been years since I was there last and I was in desperate need of a vacation.

We flew in last Wednesday through Westjet via Toronto, where the flight is only about an hour long, then grabbed an Uber to my boyfriend’s friend’s place in Williamsburg where we stayed.  The last time I was in New York we didn’t go to Brooklyn (Williamsburg is a trendy neighbourhood in Brooklyn), and to be honest, it was never on my radar of places I would want to check out. I had this preconceived notion of what I thought Brooklyn was like just based on what I’ve seen on TV and the movies, and it was the complete opposite.

Anyways, more on that later… I had a list of things I knew I wanted to check out so on Thursday morning we got up super early since my boyfriend had work stuff Thursday night and Friday day, so we wanted to hit up enough things we could do together before we went our separate ways.  We grabbed an Uber and went into Manhattan and stopped off in SoHo to go to Jack’s Wife Frieda, this middle eastern-inspired brunch spot that you’ll find high on the list of restaurants in New York. Afterwards, we walked around SoHo then decided to walk to the 911 Memorial since when I was there in 2005 it was still a construction site by that point.  In case you haven’t seen photos of the memorial, it’s two large black fountains that are the shape of the two World Trade Center buildings. Around the edges are names of the people that were killed on September 11, 2011 during the World Trade Center attacks.  There is also a museum, which I ended up coming back the next day to check out.  If there are only a handful of things you’re able to do in New York I definitely recommend checking this out.  I still remember that day so many years ago and it’s a very emotional spot to go to.

Cherry blossoms in New York Jack's Wife Frieda Cherry blossoms in New York City Cherry blossoms in front of the Brooklyn Museum Brooklyn Bridge Sitting on the Brooklyn

Afterwards we walked back to the Brooklyn Bridge and then across it for some photos and also because we got tickets to go see the David Bowie Is exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. I’m not a David Bowie fan, so although I didn’t appreciate it as much as my boyfriend did, it was still a pretty cool exhibit.  Prior to that though, we made a stop at the TKTS booth in Brooklyn since I had Thursday night free and thought I would check out a Broadway show. Unfortunately all the shows I really wanted to see were either sold out (Hamilton) or too expensive (Mean Girls), so I wasn’t really picky on what I would be seeing. I ended up getting a ticket to Waitress, which is based off a movie and starred Katherine McPhee. I didn’t know anything about the show really, but it was funny and the music was really good (Sara Bareilles wrote the score). If you aren’t picky in what you want to see, I highly recommend going to TKTS the day of the show. I paid half price for my ticket ($91 USD) and was 10th centre, so it was an awesome experience.

After the show on Thursday, since I was so close to Times Square, I popped by there and checked out some of the shops. I didn’t really do any shopping in New York since the Canadian dollar is so bad and at this point we have most of the stores already.  My boyfriend ended up meeting me in Times Square afterwards and we took the subway back to Brooklyn.  This was my first time on the New York subway and after seeing how much easier it was than an Uber (cost and time – the traffic in NY is insane), I used my Metro pass for the rest of the trip since it was way more convenient.

The next day, I went back to the 911 Museum and spent a few hours in there.  You walk down into basically the foundation of the World Trade Center and it was so crazy seeing all the things that survived the attacks. It was quite crowded in there, but I again I highly recommend checking this out, as you see parts of the building, listen to messages from that day, see parts of the plane that went into the buildings, and more. It was also interesting to read about the backstory of the attack, the heroes from that day, and how it affected the world.

Afterwards, I walked to SoHo to eat at a New York vegan chain called By Chloe and then walked around and visited the shops in the neighbourhood. At that point I had crossed off a lot on my list of things I wanted to see and do, but since the Flatiron Building was so close (about a kilometre away), I walked that way, got some gelato at Eataly, and then headed to Fifth Avenue.

I had read about this place called 260 Sample Sale before the trip but wasn’t sure where it was. As I was walking I ended up seeing it with a line outside, but thankfully I didn’t have to stand in line for too long. 260 Sample Sale is a big space where different brands host sample sales, which are sales where their items are considerably marked down. That day Swell, Moleskin, and Nest were the products, and since I already have two Swell bottles, I ended up picking some up for my friends. To give you an idea of how good the prices were, the regular size Swell bottle was $12 USD, whereas it’s like C$45 regular, so those were a total steal. I picked up a couple Nest candles for myself, and a Moleskin notebook for a friend. In total, for two Swell bottles, a notebook, a couple candles, a First Aid Beauty holiday set (this one was randomly there), it came to like $50 something dollars, American. If you’re travelling to New York and planning on hitting up Fifth Avenue, I highly recommend checking out to see which brands will be there the days you’re travelling.

Afterwards, my boyfriend at that point was done his work stuff and he was around there so we met up on Fifth Avenue and then walked towards Central Park. We hung out a bit around there before grabbing the subway back to Brooklyn, where we hung out the rest of the night.

Sitting in Central Park, New York City Sezane in SoHo, New York Pietro Nolita in SoHo Flat Iron Building in New York City Tulips in Central Park Times Square Sitting in Times Square

The next day, we just ended up walking around Williamsburg for the day, which used to be filled with a bunch of warehouses, but is now a trendy neighbourhood full of cool restaurants, bars, and hotels (and a lot of street art and murals). We grabbed a drink at the Wythe Hotel at their rooftop bar and then grabbed Mexican food at Casa Publica since it was Cinco de Mayo.   Afterwards, we wanted to check out the rooftop bar at the William Vale Hotel, but since the line was long we ended up just going to Mr. Dips, this cute ice cream truck, there instead.  Afterwards, we make a stop at Milk Bar so I could pick up a few goodies and then back to where we were staying for the rest of the night (and the end of the trip for myself, I flew back early Sunday).

Although there were a few more things I would have loved to check out in the city, I had an awesome time and can’t wait to visit again. I find the flights to be relatively cheap from Winnipeg, but no doubt it is a very expensive city.  Hotels, food, and drinks are all pricey, so if you’re planning on visiting make sure you save up well in advance. On the Wednesday night when we got in we met up with a friend of my boyfriends and went cocktail hopping and it was $16-17 a drink at each place.  Keep in mind that’s American dollars, so you’re looking at around $20 Canadian for one drink. Granted, there’s ways to find anything for cheap, but definitely save up if you’re planning on visiting.

Mister Dips in Williamsburg Brooklyn Bridge Instagram inspo

Like I said, I covered the majority of things I had wanted to do there, but the city is so large that I can’t wait to go back and explore the regions that I didn’t even touch on.

Have you been to New York before? What were your favourite spots?

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