Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What Makes Her A Natural Beauty?

Platinum blonde and the fake n’ bake are a thing of the past. This rang true to me during a recent visit to Vancouver Island, where hippie-chic, au-natural beauty is the norm. In a city where most would tell you that a male:female ratio of 1:7 makes for a highly competitive dating market, its reassuring to see that indeed less is more. Less makeup, less product, less pressure to be anything but the natural beauty that they are.

Today’s women are celebrated not just for the natural look but for the embodying beauty holistically. And men, though we certainly do not need their approval, are just as happy as we are to ditch the superficial exterior created by chemical based cleansers and lost hours with straighteners for essential oil extracts and natural-curl comebacks. Even more, for some men, natural beauty lies not in mineral makeup and algae mascara as the natural beauty industry may have us believe, but rather – according to the handsome young man seated next to me in this cafĂ© - natural beauty is “that which is there when your looks fade away.” The glowing goddess beside him reiterates that natural beauty is the “natural glow that we women exude when we are able to define ourselves and simply be real”.

The city of Victoria, B.C. proudly houses many naturally beautiful faces and spaces. Women wander with Pacific Ocean infused locks and sulfate free skin – shining amidst the gloomy backdrop that is West coast weather. One natural beauty explains

“I moved to Victoria because I felt I could be me here. Everything is more natural. When you bike to work and head to yoga at lunch, you don’t worry so much about uncomfortable shoes and eye liner. You usually get rained on anyway and end up looking worse. We have some of the lowest cancer rates here in B.C. and one of the healthiest populations. Natural beauty just works..."

With endless options for natural clothing stores, natural skincare stores, natural health food stores and even natural jobs, its not surprising to me that the women on Vancouver Island are paving the way for women everywhere to uncover their pores and unearth the beauty within.


Are All Natural Beauty Celebrations The New Tupperware Party?

21st century ladies are spending less time playing with plastic and parabens and more time nurturing their natural beauty. The 1950s marked an era where plastics were proclaimed to empower women as they returned from working in warzones to hosting tupperware parties and earning their own income in the private sphere of the home. Though the traditional Tupperware party – where a host invites over all their friends to see the product, earning profit from any sales made – still has its aficionados, the modern woman is shifting away from plastic and progressing towards purity.

Though acclaimed business-wymn Brownie Wise was the Vice-President of Tupperware and the mastermind of the Tupperware Party, this does not negate the questions raised by some feminist theorists who critique the Tupperware era for restricting women to the private sphere of the home, reinforcing traditional female roles (cooking, cleaning, homemaking) and using women as tools for consumerism and marketing. The Tupperw-era has been declared by some as a way of “preserving domesticity” (Vincent, 2008: 171) or commodifying identity and “reinforce the sexual division of labour in the family” (Banks and Zimmerman, 1987: 85). Thankfully, the modern take on the tupperware party is filled with women liberated not by food storage but by the celebration of all-natural beauty.

Spa pamper parties, natural beauty retreats, natural makeover suarez, organic pamper parties – you name it – are finding their way into women’s lives throughout Canada. Unlike the tupperware party, these gatherings contain no harmful chemicals, preservatives or synthetic additives. Nicole, a natural beauty babe from Victoria, B.C. boasts:

“We host our natural beauty parties to celebrate our respect for ourselves based on the all-natural products we choose to use on our skin. We share products, tricks (have you tried coconut oil in your hair?), tips and ultimately just enjoy the company of like-minded women who are doing something for themselves!”

Many natural beauty parties go beyond consumerism into a realm of healing and creativity. They provide a space for women to share their understandings of natural beauty. Natural beauty parties often integrate the use of natural products in massage, facials and aromatherapy and can even incorporate herbal teas, yoga, chanting and crystal healing rituals as well. What does this say about the wymn of today? Has she ditched the polymers of the past in the pursuit of purity? Judging by the attendance at our first ever Thann Natural Beauty Bash, I would certainly say so.

Until next time,

Ashley McEachern, Thann Canada


Vincent, Susan. May 2003. Preserving Domesticity: Reading Tupperware in Women's Changing Domestic, Social and Economic Roles in Canadian Review of Sociology, 40:2, 171-196.

Banks, Jane and Patricia Zimmerman. January 1987. The Mary Kay Way: The Feminization of a Corporate Discourse. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 11:1, 85-99

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sweetlife: Live in Style

All-Natural Thai Beauty Products at Thann

Sometimes an intoxicating aroma is all it takes for us to fall in love.

And that’s exactly how we fell for Thann, the country’s only store dedicated solely to all-natural, Asian-inspired skin-, hair- and body-care products from Thailand.

A heady mix of exotic scents, including orange, nutmeg and lemongrass, greeted us when we walked in. The store’s Zen ambience prompted us to linger and try some of the products.

The best-selling Shiso Body Butter ($52/350g), made with delicious-smelling cocoa butter and licorice and Shiso extracts, hydrated our thirsty skin. The Oriental Essence Aromatic Salt Scrub ($41/350g) with lemongrass oil left our skin smooth and replenished.

Truly love at first whiff.

829 Bank St.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Get Kissable Lips Before Valentines Day!

So you woke up to winter lips – cracked, bleeding, sore and anything but kissable. Well, you have one week to soothe those puckers back to succulent for Valentines Day dessert. Here are some tried and true au-natural tips for getting back those kissable lips!

Why Do Lips Crack?

First and foremost, let’s get to the bottom of this chap attack. The skin on your lips is much thinner then elsewhere on your body. What this means is that there is just no room for those magical little oil glands to protect, hydrate and moisturize your lips when they are attacked by free radicals. When we say free radicals, we are talking about heat (indoor and outdoor), wintertime chill, the wind, the sun and even that inevitable process of aging. Indeed the primary cause of most skin damage comes from sun damage, so slap on the sunscreen all year long, but there are loads of other tricks to stay soft this season.

Are There All-Natural Solutions To Cracked Lips?

Of course! Here are a few of the easiest all natural saviors to get you back to soft:

1) The primary cause of dryness being UV rays, make sure that your all natural balm comes with UV protection.
2) Do not bite, lick or chew your lips. This includes licking off chapstick or trying to moisten your lips. It will only make it worse.
3) Fill up on H20! Another primary cause of dryness is dehydration, so drink up – 8-10 glasses a day!
4) Renew your lipstick (or, better yet, ditch it for an all natural lip balm like Thanns’ Rice Extract Lip Balm
5) Breathe out your nose, and save your mouth the work.
6) Do not smoke. If you are smoking, chapped lips are the least of your problems. For help on quitting, check out
7) Exfoliate without over-exfoliating. Find that happy balance, because either extreme and your lips will notice. Do a scrub 2-3 times (max) per week, and even less if you have particularly dry skin.
8) Show in warm – not hot – water.

What All-Natural Products Can Make My Lips Kissable?

Lots! The logic is simple – you want to pack your pretty lips with vitamins b, c and e – which you will find in many natural product ingredient lists. Stick to the tried and true with hydrating lip balms based in any or many of the following natural lifesavers:

- Rice Bran Oil: Rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E to moisturize and protect skin from free radicals.
- Aloe: Anti-inflammatory; Great for soothing lips and enhancing suppleness.
- Shea butter: Combats sun damage and adds softness.
- Almond butter: Relaxes skin tissue to prevent dryness and flakiness.
- Wheat protein: Contains proteins & amino acids.
- Beeswax: A renowned all-natural emulsifier.
- Mango: Creates a protective film over the lip that helps keep moisture in.
- Honey: An incredible moisturizer for healthy lips.
- Coconut and Sunflower Oils: Packed with Vitamin E to moisturize and hydrate.

So there it is. You have one week before puckering up and with a few minor changes to your bad habits and your natural health cupboard, your lips will be as kissable they deserve to be.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Spice Up Your Love Life This Valentines Day

The holidays are over and the dreary winter has fallen upon us. As we roll back into routines – kids to school, full time hours, months away from vacation prospects – many couples see a drastic decline in their love life. Suppose that is why nobody ever sang songs about “winter lovin’”.

Alas, the world of natural healing has come to your rescue yet again. Jumping on the Valentines Day bandwagon, natural beauty companies across the country are promoting paraben-free products to revitalize your spirit and your love life. Massage oils, candles and aromatherapy just may be the simple secret to brightening up your winter blues.

Can natural health and beauty products really live up to these expectations? Simple science, tradition and experience would argue they can if they are 1) based in aromatherapeutic essential oils; 2) applied regularly and 3) used in massage and other forms of touch therapy. If these strategies are applied by couples, relationships will benefit tremendously.

The power of scent is the guiding principle behind aromatherapy: the use of scented oils and lotions through massage to soothe, relax and heal. Once inhaled through the nose, the essential oils stimulate the organs, which are linked to the brain that control emotions. Lavender can counteract insomnia while bergamot will promote more restful sleep and nutmeg will treat stress. When such essential oils are used in couple massages, the benefits are endless.

Essential oils are best utilized when blended together and applied in massage therapy. Here is a glimpse of just a few of the benefits of using essential oils in massage:

- Decreased levels of pain and anxiety for those suffering from chronic diseases, such as cancer, autism or depression;
- Reduction in blood pressure, tension, anxiety, joint pain and discomfort during pregnancy;
- Smoother breathing patterns and;
- Improved immune system;

Physical benefits aside, there are countless mental advantages to be garnered from the use of essential oils, aromatherapy and massage therapy. Like yoga, meditation and chanting, aromatherapy can lead to an overall more peaceful state of mind, increased relaxation, improved ability to manage stress, emotional calmness, increased body-mind awareness.

Everyone from traditional Chinese Healers to the publishers at Elle Magazine Canada agree that facial massaging - which causes facial muscle relaxation – can increase blood circulation, thus reducing the effects of aging. Including massage and aromatherapy as part of a continuous care regime can soften ones body, skin and spirit.

Considering the physical and mental benefits explained above, adding essential oil based massage therapy to your weekly routine will unquestionably spice up your love life. Enjoy a massage for two with essential oils and escape from all of the stress and anxiety of everyday life together. By committing to aromatherapy massage, couples will spend more quality, relaxing time together as they rediscover the healing power of touch.

Spice up your love life with Thanns Aromatic Wood Bath and Massage Oil, on sale now for 20% off at

Happy Valentines Day


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Miracle Moringa Tree: A Natural Health Secret

The natural health market is saturated with supposed products that can help us look ten years younger while simultaneously helping us to lead happier lives. Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Well, a closer look into the actual properties of certain natural health products sheds some light on the truth of these suppositions. This article will explore moringa oil – a natural beauty superstar that has recently landed in the Canadian market.

What is Moringa Oil?

Moringa oil is derived from the Moringa tree, which typically grows in tropical regions, and is celebrated worldwide for its myriad of uses. While some praise the Moringa tree oil for its ability to fight off viruses, others have integrated it into their diet as a food source. However, here in Canada, Moringa oil is being adopted as the hottest new ingredient in natural health products and the buzz word in aromatherapy circles. Companies such as Thann Canada have infused many of their top selling all-natural products with the infamous Moringa Oil and consumers are reaping the benefits.

What are the benefits of Moringa Oil?

Why is it that Moringa Oil has become a primary ingredient in the natural health industry? What is it doing in our cleansers, shampoos and soaps? Well, Moringa Oil is used in natural health products because it is packed with antioxidants, including Vitamins A, C and E.

The use of antioxidants in all natural skin care and all natural body care is the key to anti-aging, and it has been suggested that everyone’s skin care regimes should include all natural skin care and all natural body care products based in antioxidants. Through the application of antioxidants, people can protect themselves from the mass of free radicals they are exposed to on a daily basis.

It is not hard to understand why Moringa Oil is becoming the natural goddesses’ favorite ingredient. Not only will topical antioxidant application protect against aging and heal sun spots, fine lines, wrinkles (it increases collagen levels thus firming the skin) and damaged skin, it is also the most natural and gentle way to provide this protection, unlike the many harmful chemical products on the market.

Now that you have heard the benefits of Moringa Oil in all natural skin and body care, what are you waiting for? Try it out for yourself -