geekiviews: Leaves of Trees Deodorant (It’s the Best!)

Leaves of Trees Deodorant
Leaves of Trees Deodorant

I figured that short lasting and under-performing was status quo in the natural deodorant world. I tried different brands and delivery methods over the years. eventually I learned that I didn’t have much of a choice and gave up searching. Then I stumbled on the holy grail when introduced to Leaves of Trees deodorant.

Leaves of Trees is a luxury skincare line based in Toronto that uses all organic products. Brand founder, Roohi Qureshi, MD uses her extensive background medicine and chemical engineering to choose the best natural fair-trade ingredients that produce healing benefits. Leaves of Trees products are formulated using a base of the highest quality unrefined argan oil sourced from a woman’s cooperative in Morocco. The argan nuts are crushed and then cold pressed by hand which results in a higher concentration of antioxidants which prevent and repair skin damage caused by free radicals. All products are handmade in small batches at the Leaves of Trees Flagship store at 177 Queen Street East. Products are free of artificial fragrances, colours and preservatives.

I attended the press preview at the Leaves of Trees flagship store and there was a lot of buzz about the deodorant. Of course my ears pricked up and I was desperate to get my hands on some. There were two types, Lavender Tangerine and Eucalyptus Mint. Luckily the generous gift bag included some of the deodorant for everyone to test out. I got the Lavender Tangerine one. The Leaves of Trees deodorant uses Roohi’s argan lotion formula so it’s also moisturizing. Kaolin clay absorbs moisture and sodium bicarbonate is a deodorizer.

The Leaves of Trees deodorant doesn’t come in stick or crystal form. It’s packaged in a very smart-looking aluminum tube and it has the consistency of thick clay mask. It sounds weird and you are probably thinking there is going to be this huge weird clay looking patch on my pits. I can assure you there isn’t anything to worry about. A small pea size amount of deodorant is all that is necessary and it’s rubbed on the arm pit like lotion. The deodorant is almost totally absorbed and isn’t noticeable at all. The scent isn’t overpowering which is very important to me as a perfume wearer. I hate cross contaminating smells and I always try to find the skin products that are unscented or with the least amount of fragrance in them.

The Leaves of Trees deodorant blew any previous biases I held against natural deodorants. It kept me surprisingly dry and more importantly smell free all damn day long. I never experienced this before and it blew my mind. I’m a convert and I’ve already reordered the Lavender Tangerine and Eucalyptus Mint online. I highly recommend this product for anyone who is finding their current natural deodorant routine lacking in effectiveness.

The deodorants are in 37ml packages and retails for $15 which is available online or in person at the flagship store. Shipping is super fast if you live downtown, I placed my order on July 1st and it arrived on June 4A tube lasted me two months and while it’s more expensive than other natural deodorants, you really can’t put a price on the satisfaction of a smell free day.

The Leaves of Trees line also included argan oil, butters, lip balms, lotions, scrubs and soaps. They also have a custom program for events like weddings and baby showers. The customer can choose Handmade soaps and skincare flavours wrapped in custom designed and personalized packaging. In my gift bag there was a custom sample for each person. Really smart and cute gift.


geekiviews: Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer by Marc Jacobs Beauty

Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer by Marc Jacobs Beauty
Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer by Marc Jacobs Beauty

Marc Jacobs announced a beauty line earlier this year and the reaction was pretty massive. As a teaser, the press release included photos of of the packaging design. I was in love already. The design was so compelling. Black and silver dominated the packaging that played with long lines and curves. The design was simple but managed to capture a distinct, expensive look of its own. It didn’t matter what the product was like I would be buying some nail polish and mascara.

Marc Jacobs and Sephora are both owned by LVMH. Marc Jacobs Beauty is a collaboration between the designer and Sephora Originals, the company’s private label. This is first foray into cosmetic collaborations with designers from the LVMH family. Originals produced lines for Hello Kitty and a few smaller designers previously.

So fast forward to September and the collection is in Sephora stores. I’m on a mission to buy the Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer by Marc Jacobs Beauty. I spend an agonizing time figuring out which colours to buy. The selection of colours isn’t large and there are only 24 shades but man, they are gorgeous. I selected an army green called Nirvana and a metallic red called Desire Wine. Everyone asks me about the brush and if it was difficult to use. Thankfully, the rounded lid on the Nail Lacquer is just a cap. You pop it off and a regular brush is underneath, like Chanel or YSL bottles.

Marc Jacobs Beauty nail Lacquer gets thumbs up from me. It’s really, really good. The colours are very saturated and opaque. The formula is easy to work with and not too thick. The Lacquer dries flat like glass (similar to my favourite Chanel) and has the shiniest finish. It claims to have the shine of 30 coats. I can’t say that number is right but I couldn’t stop looking at my nails for days. I wore the lacquer for 5 days with minimal wear on the tips before I got bored and needed to change it up. I used three coats for my application because I’ve become a three coat junkie. You could get away with two coats no problem though.

Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer by Marc Jacobs Beauty is $22 and available at Sephora in Canada.

geekiviews: Sodastream


Believe the hype. The Sodastream is an amazing kitchen appliance. The Sodastream system allows you to carbonate plain old tap water at home. Pair this carbonated water with many of the different flavours of sodamix and you have an alternative to buying pre-packaged bottled and cans. Most Sodastream systems carbonates tap water without electricity or batteries. It uses an exchangeable CO2 carbonator that can be refilled with beverage-grade CO2 drawn from the air. The company also makes flavoured syrups so you can make your own drinks like cola, root beer and even tonic. The flavours have less calories and carbs than traditional sode and the major bonus of no awful aspartame and high-fructose corn syrup.


Weeks before I got my hands on a Sodastream system I heard nothing but praise. “It’s a game changer” is something I’ve heard from more than one person when describing the Sodastream. These incredible endorsements from people I trust peaked my interest, perhaps I should invest in a Sodastream. I love pop and my local convenience store can attest to this. The idea of creating my own pop while reducing my use of bottles of cans is something anyone can get behind. Apparently one reusable SodaStream bottle can replace 2,000 bottles and cans according to the marketing team from Sodastream.


I was lucky enough to be invited to the Kraft/Sodastream event that happened in May. Kraft being the smart company they are created flavours of their signature products like Kool-Aid that people can use with their Sodastream device. I raided the candy bar and received a Sodastream Source device which included the soda maker, carbonating bottle, carbonator and 6 pack sodamix taste sample. It retails for $149.99. Sodastream devices run from $99 to $279.

The Sodastream is super easy to use and I found myself making soda daily. My only complaint about the device is that it can be loud. I get nervous using it late at night but my neighbours haven’t complained yet. The carbonator lasted me about a month and a half and I was using the Sodastream about 5 times a week. I was wondering if finding new carbonator would be a huge pain in the ass but the Walmart in Dufferin Mall is an authorized Sodastream carbonator exchange centre. So thankfully it was close but I when I went to exchange my carbonator I learned that they had just gotten new stock in after a few weeks of being empty. The sales associate mentioned backorder delays with the company make it tough for a little bit. I decided right there to buy myself an extra carbonator. A refill costs about $21 and a brand new carbonator will set you back about $40.

I’m a believer in the Sodastream although I’m not the biggest fan of the syrups I have tried. I plan on getting some Italian Soda syrup to try out with it. I have a big soda habit and the Sodastream has done an amazing job with saving me money and steering me to healthier soda choices. It’s help me to consume more water too as I love having a sparkling water option right at hand.

images: me, courtesy of Sodastream

geekiviews: Tickled Pink Foundation Garment by Saxton Chayse

Tickled Pink Foundation Garment by Saxton Chayse
Tickled Pink Foundation Garment by Saxton Chayse

Foundation garments are a staple in my wardrobe. The use slips, camisole and tshirts are a common practice in my fashion world. I’ve added a new must have item to my foundational garment roster, the Tickled Pink undershirt. It’s the perfect garment as it works as an undershirt and prevents sweat marks and pit stains without resorting to using those underarm adhesive pads. Saxton Chayse sent me a Tickled Pink undershirt to test drive last summer. It wasn’t something that I thought of using during that season so I didn’t look at it until the fall. I was in love after our first outing, it was a miracle worker. I tend to sweat a lot and avoid wearing long sleeves some days because of embarrassing sweat stains. With Tickled Pink I no longer worry about it because of the triple layered pad sewn into the armpits. It’s not bulky which surprised me as that was one of my initial concerns. The deep v neckline and short sleeves accommodates all kinds of outfits. The synthetic fabric is similar to my slips and shapewear so you can be assured that clothing with drape correctly over top.

Tickled Pink Foundation Garment by Saxton Chayse
Tickled Pink Foundation Garment by Saxton Chayse

The amazing Tickled Pink undershirts are now part of my weekly wardrobe and I seriously can’t live without them. They are perfect for people that use natural deodorants instead of antiperspirants. The undershirts wash very well. I put them in the dryer and haven’t experienced any shrinkage or changes in shape of the garment. I’ve also gotten over my summer aversion to Tickled Pink undershirts and see the garment as a year round device.

Another benefit of Tickled Pink undergarments is reducing dry cleaning bills. I have a few dry clean only outfits that I usually end up wearing for a couple of hours at a party. It gets expensive drying cleaning after each wear but with foundation garments like Tickled Pink you can avoid this extra cost.

I loved Tickled Pink so much I ended up buying two more from the Toronto based online shop. They come in four colours: black, white, beige (I can’t call this nude) and pink. They retail for $39.99.

images: courtesy of Saxton Chayse

geekiviews: Microsoft SurfaceRT

Microsoft SurfaceRT
Microsoft SurfaceRT

I’m a Microsoft Girl. It’s not sexy and probably not cool but Windows is my operating system of choice since the DOS days. Now while I might be a windows junkie, I’m also very, very slow to adopt new versions. I ran Windows 2k and XP till the bitter end. I skipped everything in between XP and 7 and only reluctantly started using Windows 7 when it came pre-installed on a Dell laptop. So just as I’m getting comfortable with 7 here comes Windows 8. My aversion was at high alert again. I read about how differences in the OS, including the moaning of the missing Start button. I started thinking about how long I could put off upgrading again. The Start button is life on a Windows platform. A constant reassuring feature that every Windows user understands. Now that I’ve tried a flavour of Windows 8 I don’t have the same extreme aversion I used too. I got over myself a bit.

I don’t do well touch devices. I’m a staunch Blackberry lover. I need my keyboard, its life to me. Touch screens are too inefficient for my old school ways. I hate typing on them, with a passion. These quirks of mine keep me attached to my laptop as the workhorse and the tablets as playthings. I love my Kobo Arc but it’s better as consumption device. I don’t create on it, that’s my laptop. Yes, it comes back to the keyboard plus I like the flexibility of a mouse for fine movements.

I followed the launch of the Surface by Microsoft in June of 2013 and it surprised me. Of course I loved the cover slash keypad. They stressed that it’s a desktop replacement that can do all the work and still have tablet accessibility. I wasn’t in the market for a desktop replacement so that was it.

Microsoft SurfaceRT
Microsoft SurfaceRT

Fast forward to now and through the Work Your Game program, Microsoft Canada provided me with a 32GB SurfaceRT. My operating system change phobia wouldn’t allow me to jump right in and put Windows 8 on my Dell XPS. I needed to see it somewhere else first or have it forced up on me via a new computer purchase. So here I have this fun thing to play with and get to know Window 8.

From a hardware standpoint I love the SurfaceRT. It looks slick and durable. The kickstand is genius and pairing with the keyboard makes the happiest tablet user ever. There are two types of keyboards: Touch and Type which is perfect for old schoolers like me that crave tactile feedback. It’s light and small enough to fit in my Rider bag with the touch keyboard attached. The SurfaceRT has a USB 2.0 port, HDMI port and a microSDXC card slot that lets to add up to 64GB of extra storage.

Microsoft SurfaceRT
Microsoft SurfaceRT

The swipe gestures in WindowsRT are easy to learn and execute. It comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview. So you are ready to go with spreadsheets and word processing. IE10 isn’t a mobile browser you so get the full Internet browsing experience. With WindowsRT I find myself using the search feature much more. You just start typing on the Start Screen and the search automatically displays and allows you to search the device, your apps, the Windows store and the Internet via Bing.

Overall, I’m very happy with the SurfaceRT. However there are a few things that I’d like to change. I wish the SurfaceRT ran the full version of Windows 8. I don’t like being tied to app stores on my devices. I have control issues. The Windows Store is lacking a lot official apps and I’m finding this to be limiting as I can’t efficiently duplicate tasks I perform on my laptop. It would be really great to be able to use those applications with the tablet and keyboard combo. With time I imagine the selection will be better as more and more people start developing for Window 8 but it’s just not there yet. One bonus is the fully function browser for web apps that don’t have nd official presemce in the Windows Store. The camera was disappointing. It’s not good but this seems to be a common feature I run into with the various tablets I’ve interacted with or owned. Centralized social profiles can be unmanageable if you have a lot of contacts like me. It took longer than normal for WindowsRT to sync with my all social profiles.

Overall, I like the Windows 8 platform. I didn’t require a long period of adjustment which I liked. The Start button absence is a small shock. After I started looked at the Start Screen as my Start button it fell into pieces. I think the OS great for touch devices. It’s easy to navigate and I find myself using both the keyboard and screen together. I like navigation advantages of the touch screen but having that stability of an external keyboard. WindowsRT has a touch screen keyboard. I avoid it like the plague. I do like that you can choose different layout styles for it. I’m not sure how much I’d like to run Windows 8 on a non-touch device though, however the upcoming Windows 8.1 update might change my mind. Windows 8.1 is Microsoft’s response to customer demand for the return of the Start button. Shows you how important this featured introduced in Windows 95 is so fundamental to the user’s experience and expectations of a Microsoft operating system.

There are four versions of the SurfaceRT tablet available:
32 GB tablet – $499
32 GB tablet with black Touch Cover – $599
64 GB tablet -$599
64 GB tablet with black Touch Cover – $699
If you purchase any SurfaceRT tablet in June you will receive a free touch cover.

This post was sponsored by Microsoft Canada. The views and options expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

geekiviews: MARNI Fragrance

MARNI Fragrance
MARNI Fragrance

Way back in November I sat down with Trudi Loren who is the Vice President, Corporate Fragrance Development at Estèe Lauder Companies. She was in Toronto to introduce Marni’s first fragrance to members of the press. I’m a big fan of Marni and head designer Consuelo Castiglioni. I see her clothing in person at Holt Renfrew and I find myself coveting everything. I wanted to know if she could translate that feeling to a fragrance. Marni isn’t stereotypical feminine either, how would that translate into scent.

MARNI Fragrance Preview
MARNI Fragrance Preview

Trudi starts with the origins of the fragrance. Consuelo had specific ideas for the fragrance when she met with Estèe Lauder perfumers. They tweaked her custom fragrance after numerous design cycles using their knowledge to take the fragrance to market and still be true to Consuelo vision of Marni. She was very involved in every step of the design process, treating it like editing a collection.

MARNI Fragrance Preview
MARNI Fragrance Preview

The starting point was typically material: it was woods and spices and the incense that Consuelo wanted, somehow reminiscent the woody landscapes of her Swiss days in St Moritz. But that was just the initial input. Subtle contrast and sudden accents were what she was looking for. Consuelo worked intensively and extensively to arrive to the final olfactory narrative and its multifaceted subtleness. Her aim, always, is to avoid pre-conceived ideas. Typically, the perfume she had in mind was a bit masculine: woody and bitter. The addition of rose, smoothed and softened the scent, while pink peppercorn added an element of effervescent quirkiness, much like an accessory. The final result is unexpected. (source:press release)

MARNI Fragrance Preview
MARNI Fragrance Preview

The fragrance contains many things I love like Bergamot, Cardamom and Cedarwood. Marni skews more masculine and androgynous scent which I really like. I have a few mens fragrances in my collection that I enjoy wearing. Top notes are Bergamot, Pepper, Ginger and Pink Peppercorn. Heart notes are Cardamom, Rose and Cinnamon Bark. Bottom notes are Patchouli, Incense, Vetiver and Cedarwood. At the preview I received a sample of the Marni fragrance and I’ve worn it a lot since then. I had an instant connection with this fragrance, it pushed all the right buttons for me. I enjoy wearing it day after day and I’m usually someone who likes to switch it up.

The Marni fragrance collection is available at Holt Renfrew.

Marni Eau De Parfum 120 ml: $175, Marni Eau De Parfum 65 ml: $125, Marni Body Lotion 200 ml: $62,Marni Shower Gel 200 ml: $52, Marni Body Crème 200 ml: $95, Marni Purse Spray 10 ml with Huggy Doll: $60

images: me, and courtesy of Marni

geekiviews: Guerlain La Laque Couleur Nail Polish

Guerlain La Laque Couleur Nail Polish
Guerlain La Laque Couleur Nail Polish

Guerlain is introducing a new permanent nail polish collection to its makeup line up. The collection features 10 shades as well as a Gel Top Coat and protective base. Gel top coats are going to be the next rage in the nail polish world. They claim to give a similar finish to a gel manicure without the need of the potentially cancer-causing UV lamps. What makes a gel top coat different is that it contains polymers or epoxy resin that provides the coverage, protection and finish. Julep, Deborah Lippman and Dior all have gel top coat products on the market.

Guerlain La Laque Couleur Nail Polish
Guerlain La Laque Couleur Nail Polish

At the preview, I got to see the nail polish in person and I indulged in a mini manicure. Guerlain impressed me. The polish is very opaque and there was 95% coverage in the first coat. I love that Guerlain has the wide and flat brush design like Dior’s nail polish. The wide brush makes applying polish so quick and easy. Some people prefer a thinner brush but I’d love all my polish brushes to wide and flat. Guerlain’s Gel Top Coat is great. My nails do have a gel manicure finish. They are super shiny and flat like glass. It’s the kind of manicure you stare at for hours saying “shiny” to yourself while rocking back and forth in a chair at the office.

Guerlain La Laque Couleur Nail Polish
Guerlain La Laque Couleur Nail Polish

The colour palette for the collection is pretty safe with a range of pinks and reds of various shades and a few neutrals. It’s influenced by 60s pin-up calendars. There are no crazy colours but they are beautiful. The polish is heavily pigmented resulting in rich colours that really pop when applied. The colour palette also matches their 10 iconic lipstick shades just match up the style numbers.

Guerlain La Laque Couleur Nail Polish
Guerlain La Laque Couleur Nail Polish

Guerlain La Laque Couleur Nail Polish retails for $25 each. You can buy Guerlain at their shop in Yorkville at 110 Bloor Street West or at Sephora.

images: courtesy of Guerlain

Run, Don’t Walk to Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection at the Bata Shoe Museum

Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection
Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection

The Roger Vivier exhibit at The Bata Shoe Museum is coming to a close and if you’ve been putting off going you need to stop now. April 7, 2013 is the last day you can check out the work of this master shoemaker. I finally got off my ass and took in the exhibit this week. Roger Vivier’s work is of exceptional beauty and technical design. He invented so many of the classic shoe styles some of which are as popular as ever more than 50 years later.

Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection
Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection

Roger pushed shoe design to new levels with his creative and technical sides. Vivier perfected the modern stiletto in 1954. He never used the term stiletto but aiguille (needle heel). The Choc heel which looks like a concave stiletto came along in 1959. My favourite pair of the exhibit are a Choc heel and pictured above. Roger also debuted the Tibet heel in 1959. It’s shaped like a small inverted pyramid. The Polichinelle heel followed, it has a low hourglass-shaped heel. In 1962 he introduced another heel shape called New Style which was low, curvy and places directly under the heel of the foot. It was after this development that Dior and Vivier parted ways. During his time at Dior he solidified the lowered heel and square toe as staples of shoe design.

Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection
Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection

During his time of independence, Roger created the Choc heel’s design opposite, the Virgule or Comma heel. After Dior, Vivier moved on to design for Yves Saint Laurent. Together they debuted the thigh high boot and the low heeled buckle shoe. These modern designs are inspired by 17th and 18th century men’s shoe designs. The low heeled buckle shoe got the nickname the “pilgrim buckle” shoe. The shoe took on it’s final name, “Belle de jour” after Catherine Denueve wore them in the 1967 namesake movie. Cuissardes or thigh high boot produced by Vivier under YSL caused waves in the 60s with their sex appeal. Vivier reintroduced the Socle Choc or platform sandal in 1967 and they were part of YSL’s spring collection that same year.

Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection
Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection

It was a spiritual visit. The shoes are breathtaking. The details display the genius of Vivier. Many of the displays allow you to get a look at all angles of the shoe which I really appreciated as a details nerd. There are a lot of shoes on display that span Roger Vivier’s career. I felt satiated after the exhibit and was pleased with the selection on display. The official book of the Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection exhibit is amazing and I purchased one for myself. It has all the text on display in the exhibit as well as the shoes and images.

The French Consulate created a video of the exhibit where you can see the layout of the space.

Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection
Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection

So if you call yourself a shoe lover or snob you need to get to the Bata Shoe Museum before April 7, 2013 because this is an exhibit that cannot be missed.

Bata Shoe Museum
327 Bloor St. West
images: me,

geekiviews: Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish

08 Flash Black by Layla Nail Polish
08 Flash Black by Layla Nail Polish

I’m in love with Layla Cosmetics Nail Polish. It’s a 60 year old Italian company whose founder is responsible for bring nail polish to Italy in the 30s. I’ve tried a couple Holo like polishes but the Layla polish really delivers the perfect Holographic effect. I haven’t tried Nfu Oh yet but I’ve heard it’s good too.

I purchased the charcoal/dark grey holographic called Flash Black. I figured I should get a neutral looking one to start. I really love the colour. Layla says you don’t need a base coat for this polish and that buffing your nails before application should be ok. Holographic polishes have a notorious reputation of being hard to apply so I purchased the Nfu Oh holographic base coat. It worked really well and suggest buying it when using these types of polishes.

The application was very easy but I allowed more time to dry between coats. You have to allow the base coat to dry completely first for best coverage. The photo shows two coats but I’d use three for total coverage. Add a top coat and you are done. The effect is beautiful and mesmerizing.

You can see swatches of the polish at The Polishaholic And swatches for the entire collection at Scrangie. You can purchase this and other Layla polishes on The price is $16. I’m obsessed and now going to get some more adventurous colours.

geekiviews: Shoe Innovations: A Visual Celebration of 60 Styles

Shoe Innovations: A Visual Celebration of 60 Styles - Caroline Cox
Shoe Innovations: A Visual Celebration of 60 Styles – Caroline Cox

Firefly Books contacted me about a new fashion book called Shoe Innovations: A Visual Celebration of 60 Styles: by Caroline Cox. They also provided me with a copy for this review. Shoe Innovations is visual guide to the 60 most iconic shoe designs from the 20th and 21th centuries. Caroline Cox adds important social, historical and cultural context to the shoes in addition to the stunning photography and sketches.

This is not just a picture book, Caroline provides meaty descriptions of each design. It’s a perfect reference to modern shoe design that can be read from cover to cover or picked up for reference. There are numerous photos of the shoes from the historical to modern. Shoe Innovations was published in August 2012 so it’s pretty current.

I am very impressed with this book. It’s a great reference and guide that provides historical, designer, celebrity and cultural background to each style. It’s also a perfect size for a reference book. You can view some sample pages on the Firefly Books website. It can fit into a handbag as well as look good on a coffee table. I think it would make a perfect addition to anyone’s fashion library, especially the shoeaholic.

Caroline Cox is a London based Fashion historian and writer.

Shoe Innovations: A Visual Celebration of 60 Styles is 29.95CDN and available from and Chapters Indigo.

geekiviews: Love Beach Flip Flops

Love Beach Flip Flops
Love Beach Flip Flops

Flip flops are utility shoe for me. They have their place in my public life and that’s at beach or in a gym shower. Flat leather sandals are my preferred choice for summer footwear. I have no rugs, hardwood floors and two cats at my place so I wear flip-flops instead of wearing the cute knit slippers my cousin made me for Christmas. The knit skippers would just be a dust and hair magnet.

The random swag flip-flops I’ve collected over the years were all not very comfortable. I received an email about reviewing flip-flops that had some support features and I said why not. Bonus is that they are Canadian.

Love Beach is a Ottawa based company. They are striving to make the perfect flip-flop that can be dressed up or down. The fashion aspect of the shoes didn’t really interest me but the claims of “Gentle arch support, Gel cushion heels for optimal wear-ability, Triple layer EVA soles for softness and durability, Nice “huggy” fit – no floppiness, Supple TPU uppers help minimize rubbing and hold their shape” did.

I did select the Peacock Turquoise style for my test drive pair. Each pair of Love Beach flip-flops have little removable pendant. I like the peacock more than the flower option.

They were really pretty when they arrived. I wondered how the design would hold up since it’s a sticker and not embedded into the EVA sole. The peacock pendent is a fun addition and pretty sturdy. You have to be careful how about you place your feet in these flip-flops as those peacock pendants really hurt. I’ve worn the flip-flops daily for about two months. I get home, heels come off and Love Beach comes on. They really are comfortable thanks to the added arch support and the gel cushion heel. I love Love Beach flip-flops but not enough to make me wear them outside as a regular shoe. I fall on that side of the fashion fence.

My support is based on a totally utilitarian position. So it didn’t bother me when the sticker design started to peel off a month in. Eventually, I just peeled the remaining design off. The flip-flops are still great without the design. The pendant still looks brand new.

Love Beach flip-flops are $39.95. You can order them online with free shipping at They fit true to size and if you are outside of Toronto you might be able to find some retailers. Check on the Love Beach website.


geekiviews: Bring It On: The Musical

Bring It On: The Musical - Photo by Joan Marcus

I was in LA when I first found out that a there is musical based on the movie Bring It On. While driving to the Getty Museum, I noticed little Bring it On: The Musical flags attached to streetlights. How long this will take to migrate north, I thought starting out the window. Well, Six months is the answer because Bring it On: the musical is now playing in Toronto thanks to Mirvish.

Bring It On: The Musical - Photo by Joan Marcus

I’m not a fan of the teen movie genre. I avoid watching as much as possible. Of course, I enjoy a few like The Breakfast Club, Heathers and Pretty in Pink. So when I sat down to watch Bring it On for the first time I thought I would hate every minute. I hadn’t yet jumped on the Kristen Drunst bandwagon yet and she was just that kid from Interview with a Vampire grown. Bring it On was great to my surprise.

Bring It On: The Musical - Photo by Joan Marcus

The musical isn’t the same story as the movie but follows a lot of the themes and adds crazy ensemble singing and dancing. The dance sequences are pretty epic and they actually toss girls around a bit. It started off a bit too much like and some after school special program but it definitely picked up after the dancing Leprechaun sequence. It was the best thing I’ve seen in a long time and after that I was in love.

Bring It On: The Musical - Photo by Joan Marcus

The performances were amazing from both a singing and dancing perspective. The show looks exhausting. Tons of respect to those dancers were doing scenes back to back to back. I laughed a lot more than expected which is always a great thing.

Being it On, the musical has just enough ridiculousness to make it great. If you love the movie I really think you’ll love the musical. Extremely entertaining. I can’t get that Leprechaun dance out of my mind. Best thing ever.

A limited number of $25.00 Rush Seats will be available for all performances, 2 hours prior to curtain time, in-person only at the Ed Mirvish Theatre box office; subject to availability; 1 ticket per person.

Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly The Canon)
May 2 – June 3, 2012
Performance Schedule: Tuesday – Saturday 8PM
Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday 2PM
Added performance Thursday May 3, 2PM
Sunday May 6, 8PM
No Show Wed May 2, 2PM
Recommended Age: 10 +
Running Time: 2 hrs 27 mins (includes intermission)

images: Bring It On: The Musical – Photo by Joan Marcus (courtesy of Mirvish)
Thank you to Mirvish for providing tickets to see Bring it On: The Musical.

geekiview: Simons Online Shopping

A few weeks ago I received an email from a web consultant that was working with Quebec based Simons. He asked me to write a review of the shopping experience and would provide me with a $50 gift certificate to get started. Simons has always been a must visit on my trips to Montreal. I accepted his offer and hence this post.


The gift certificate came to me via email which I thought was excellent considering a physical card really didn’t serve a purpose in this situation. The website has a clean, simple layout and lots of white space. I hate websites will lots of bells and whistler or ones that use flash and play music automatically. It shouldn’t take the user many mouse clicks to get product into a shopping cart and I tend to give up on sites with lousy user interfaces. The user interface provides all the search functions I expect: colour, brand, price and date added.

I purchased the Trompe-l’oeil plunge-neck sweater and a large cowl neck striped tunic. I spent more than $50 but was pleasantly surprised that in addition to the regular credit card payment options you can choose Pay Pal or Interac. I used Interac to pay the difference and it was super easy. Simons offers free shipping for orders over $40 and free returns. They also gives you the option to pick up your order in store. I also like that I didn’t have to create an account to process my order.


Delivery was very fast. I ordered on the Friday and had my package on Wednesday. Some online retailers don’t put any effort into packaging. I think packaging is one of the most important aspects of an online shopping experience. I automatically think higher of companies that think of both the online and offline experience for the customer. My order came in a perfectly sized box branded with the Simons logo in its signature green. The clothing was wrapped in branded tissue paper and sealed with a Simons leaf sticker.


Included in the box was one of the coolest branded tote bags I’ve ever seen. The tote is included in orders for a limited time only. The last aspect of the packaging that I really liked was the envelope the invoice came in pictured above.

So, I give a big thumbs up for their e-commerce experience. I love that Canadian companies getting into online shopping cause I really hate shipping fees and duties. They are unavoidable in some situations but I’m happy that more options for Canadians are becoming available.

Categorized as Geekiviews

geekiview: The Pillow Boot by Cougar Boots

Pillow Boot by Cougar
The Old School

Last year, I reviewed some boots on the site. I made a flippant comment about not caring about Cougar because the don’t make my childhood pillow boot anymore. I was completely wrong. I learned at a preview that the classic boot was coming back for Fall 2011. The anticipation for the Cougar Pillow Boot has been building for months. I’m a such a sucker for some of these retro trends and thankfully Matchstick send a pair over to me.

Cougar Pillow Boots
The New School

In 1976, a Canadian classic was born. A tan leather, calf-high lace up with its famous red lining took an entire generation by storm. This fashion icon is the inspiration behind the new Cougar Pillow Boot.

Made with soft, supple leather this next generation Pillow melds a decidedly vintage look with a modern twist, while still giving you the option to romp through the deepest Canadian snow.(source: Press release)


The weather isn’t conductive to a functional review but I’ve been wearing them around the house and they are very comfortable boots. I like the updated design. The grip on the sole is much better than their 70s counterpart.  I can’t wait to take them out in the snow this year. Matchstick and Cougar Boots asked to me contribute a photo to their Pillow Boot Blogger Lookbook on their facebook page.


My Cougar Pillow Boot look is thick socks (I need to buy some work socks to really pull this look off) and a Philip Sparks dress. This is the only dress made in this fabric. I just had to have something different from everyone else. I would normally the boots with wool tights and a dress but I was a bit lazy at this point.

There are a number of retailers that carry the limited edition Cougar Pillow Boot. You can find them on the Cougar Website. Thanks to Matchstick and Cougar for making me feel like a kid again.

geekiviews: CND Shellac Manicure Part 1


I decided to put aside my fears of gel manicures as a TIFF experiment. High View Communications and CND invited me to Shellac SpaManicure Day where guests would be treated to a Shellac manicure and meet CND president and founder, Jan Arnold. The event was just in time for TIFF and I liked the idea of CND reps doing my nails.

There are a couple of things that make me wary of these types of manicures.

  • I like to change my nail polish up a lot. I worry about being bored with the one colour.
  • The colour palettes aren’t as extensive as regular polish
  • I’m pretty good at doing my nails myself. I don’t get a lot of manicures during the year
  • I have a large amount of nail polish colours
  • Hmm, I need to return to the salon to remove this stuff.
  • UV lamps, pure acetone and protective masks
  • Nail recovery horror stories

The CND team setup their manicure pop-up in the Hazelton Hotel. I browsed the CND lookbooks while waiting for my nail tech. I was feeling adventurous when I accepted the invite and the runway looks from the fall winter 2011 – 2012 season fueled the fire. I would give the nail tech free rein over my nails. My only condition was to use the new Hotski to Tchotchke colour which is a bright teal colour. It was the first time I found a colour I loved from CND. I also learned about the 15 effect polishes that combine with the base coat to produce finishes like shimmer, pearl and sparkle.

Jen Mather of Polished Nail Design Group was my skilful nail tech. She commented on how I didn’t have any visible veins on my hands. Black don’t crack she quipped at me. I laughed my ass off. I was an open canvas to play for Jen to play with. She used Hotski to Tchotchke as the base and Purple Purple (I think) on the tips. Gold foil was part of the initial plan but soon turned into fine blue and green sparkles which she placed in a way to create a sparkly blue-green gradient effect on my nails. I loved it.


The Shellac process is way faster than I expected. My nails had the glossiest shine I’ve ever seen. I was smitten with them and I couldn’t stop starting at them for days afterwards. I can see the appeal now in my pre-removal euphoria. The real test is will happen in a week or so when I book my removal at twitter approved, Tips Nail Bar. I’m hoping for an easy transition back to regular polish.

I love my nails but I’m getting a little bored with them 6 days later. They are holding up very well. There is some wear at the tips but not chips. The glossy shine has dulled a bit too. One of the great things about CND is that you can use regular polish over your Shellac layers. Regular polish can be removed with a non acetone based nail remover without damaging the underlying Shellac layers. Chanel Peridot here I come.

Look for Part 2 of this review, when I get my manicure removed.

Geekiviews: Rockport with adiPRENE by Adidas


Earlier in the summer I was sent a pair of Rockport sandals to test out. Rockport isn’t a brand I would normally wear but Adidas has partnered with them and have added the adiPRENE technology to make shoes more comfortable. I’ve had a passing interest in technology like this and wrote about Nike and Cole Haan’s collaboration efforts in the past. The technology has two parts: adiPRENE absorbs shock during walking in the heel and adiPRENE+ pushes on the ball of your foot to create a spring in your step.

The selections of shoes presented to me were definitely not my style as they were too tame and too uninspiring. I don’t look at this as a problem for Rockport because I’m really not their target market. The look of shoe usually trumps any comfort aspirations I have. I’m willing to suffer for fashion in many instances. There are many women who can’t wear the heels I do and are looking for something comfortable but not ugly. While I find Rockport’s adiPRENE selection a little uninspiring, there are shoes that can be incorporated in many wardrobes easily.


I finally decided on the Audry Quarter Strap Woven sandal in Coral. They say the colour is coral but it looks a lot like burnt orange to me. The colour is a great addition to my shoe wardrobe and adds a great pop of colour to outfits. They have a tiny platform at 0.8 cm and a small heel at 3.34. They seem like kitten heels to me compared to some of the crazy high shoes I currently own. I really do wish the heel was just an inch taller.

The sandal may lack in fashion forward style but they are amazingly comfortable. I joke that they are almost like wearing running shoes. The adiPRENE technology does a great job of making these shoes that you could wear all day and night. I’ve done this and can attest to it. At $140 these sandals won’t break the bank and your feet will probably thank you.

geekiviews: Cougar Boots

Matchstick sent me two pairs of Cougar Boots to review. One pair of rainboots and one pair of winter boots. There were a few styles to choose from and I was lucky to get my first choices.

Cougar Boots - Fall 2010

I was getting pretty bored of my Hunters so I was thinking of buying a new pair of boots. I’ve been looking around and thought about a big obnoxious yellow or purple pair. When I saw the Regal rainboot from Cougar, I needed to own them. They are rubber with a polar fleece lining. They are comfortable, warm and rated from 0°C to -24°C. I’ve only used them in above 0°C situations so I can’t comment on how they work in that weather. They are a sturdy boot, better made than my hunters. Most of all I love the motorcycle boot style. They look great. Regal’s retail for $85.

Cougar Boots - Fall 2010

The winter boot I selected is Ringo Star. I haven’t worn them outside since we have no snow yet. I can’t tell you about function but I love they way they look. They have a polar plush lining and nylon exterior. They are rated from -10°C to -30°C. The faux fur is nice feeling and looking. I probably won’t fold them over to expose the faux fur because then the boots come up to the knee. That feature will be very good in the winter, almost total coverage. Usually my 3 year old Stella’s are my goto winter boot but I think the Ringo Star will take over. The boots are lighter and the shaft is taller. The Ringo Star are easier to lace up than the Stella’s. They retail for $200.

I was surprised at how much I liked the boots when they arrived. I had totally written off Cougar, they weren’t making my childhood boots anymore so I didn’t care. The packaging was very nice and the green plaid liner paper was a nice touch.  I’m looking forward winter and the Ringo Star’s might come to Whistler with me.  They are easier to pack 🙂

Update: September 14, 2011 – I should update my review of these boots since I’ve had a whole winter and spring to use them.

The Ringo Star is an amazing winter boot. I wore them a lot the past winter and I expect the same this winter. I used the Stella McCartney boots infrequently and only used them on the very, very cold days. The Ringo’s were not warm enough. That’s the only weakness of the Ringo Star boots.

The fate of the Regal rainboot wasn’t so good. They weren’t waterproof and I went back to wearing my wellys. I did love the look of them though.

geekiviews: Zi8 Pocket Video Camera

Zi8 Pocket Video Camera
I received the Zi8 Pocket Video Camera just in time for LGFW this year. I’ve used the HD video feature on the Olympus E-PL1 so I was curious how these dedicated video cameras function. I guess the Zi8’s main competitor is the Flip video camera. I’ve never used the Flip camera before but I’ve held it. The Zi8 is a bit wider but they are very close in size.

The camera has the following features:

  • Capture video in 720p HD at 60 fps, or 1080p HD at 30 fps
  • holds a up to 32GB SD/SDHC card
  • External microphone jack
  • takes 5MP 16:9 Widescreen HD photos
  • built-in image stabilization
  • 2.5 colour LCD screen
  • Internal USB connector, no extra cables
  • Includes HDMI cables so you can hook it up to your HDTV
  • Included KODAK Li-Ion Rechargeable Digital Camera Battery
  • Compatible with PC and MAC
  • Includes video editing software

The Kodak site has a great video that explains the features that the Zi8 offers. In perfect lighting the Ki8 takes some great video. It packs a lot of punch for $200. Here are a few short clips I’ve created

Holt Renfrew Presents

I didn’t use the included camera software but I like that it’s preloaded on the device so you don’t need a CD. The software has easy to share to YouTube and Facebook features.  These things aren’t features I normally would use. The software is always available if you want to use the camera on a different computer. I don’t usually edit videos I take because I’m lazy, not very good at it and don’t have much time. Thankfully the software isn’t needed to copy video and I just use windows explorer to browse the device. I don’t have an HDTV so I never played with that feature either. I don’t usually use the included software in media devices unless absolutely necessary. I took a lot video of during Toronto Fashion Weeks. Some of it isn’t pretty but most of it is very watchable.

Denis Gagnon Spring Summer 2011

I do have some complains about the camera though.  I was trying to film the entire Denis Gagnon Spring Summer 2011 runway show at LGFW. Pressing the middle red button starts and stops recording. It’s also used for the zoom feature with up and down motions.  During the filming I was zooming in and out capturing details of the handbags and the clothing. It was after the show was complete did I realize that I only captured the first 3 minutes of the show. I turned off recording when I was zooming and it wasn’t really noticeable on the screen that I wasn’t in record mode. I was a bit steamed about that. This wasn’t the first time either.  I found it a bit difficult to film details with this camera.  Video is jerky when using the zoom. It doesn’t help that I don’t have the steadiest of hands either.  That’s probably more a critism of my technique more than the camera but I didn’t find it as easy.

The size of the Kodak Zi8 is a disadvantage to me. I’m already such a gadget whore that I hate adding another device to the mix. There were days when I was carrying my Blackberry, iPod Touch, Kobo eReader, Olympus E-PL1 digital camera and the Kodak Zi8. It’s too much. I can see myself bringing the Zi8 it along if I don’t carry the Olympus E-PL1. My Blackberry Torch doesn’t have HD quality video so the Zi8 is preferable. The Olympus takes very good HD video, so the duplication isn’t necessary. I acquired the Nokia N8 smartphone last week and the HD video and Dolby sound blows the Kodak Zi8 and many others out of the water. It also is way smaller. A geekiviews post for the N8 will come later.

This would be a good product for someone who doesn’t have HD gadgets like an iPhone or HD-ready camera already and is looking for something very simple and easy to use. It’s an all in one gadget which makes it easy for beginners. There are no cables to keep track of or lose. It seems pretty durable so it would be good for kids or travel.

There are some more videos taken with the Zi8 during Toronto Fashion Weeks after the jump

geekiviews: Hudson Jeans

Hudson Jeans Sandra
Signature Bootcut

Over the last few years I’ve seen Hudson Jeans infiltrated many denim bars in the city. The papers were talking about the death of designer denim but Hudson seemed to be thriving. It started in Los Angeles in 2002. It brings premium denim material from the best mills in Europe and Japan. The denim is constructed and hand finished in Los Angeles. The head designer and creative director of Hudson Jeans is Benjamin Taverniti who joined the company in 2007.  Hudson’s trademark is their fit and fabrics. There is both men’s and women’s lines for denim but they are also expanding into tops, dresses and jackets for women.

Hudson has a huge celebrity following. If you look at any of the denim blogs you’ll see celebs in Hudson Jeans. I just assumed it was a denim line for skinny girls. Now before you say “Anita, you are a skinny girl”, let me explain. I’m skinny, but my history as an athlete doesn’t give me your stereotypical skinny body. My thighs and calves are muscular and the cut of some denim just doesn’t work for me. The waist is right and the thighs are too tight or the waist is too loose and the thighs are right. It’s a battle which has left me without any loyalty to any denim company. There is no one brand that dominates my wardrobe like say Juma or Complex Geometries.

Hudson Jeans Devonshire
Five Pocket Skinny/Super Stretch

Enter The Mint Agency into this story. I received a couple Hudson Jeans lookbooks from them. I like Hudson’s no frills approach to denim. There aren’t any embellishments or rhinestones anywhere in the collection. The focus is on wash and cut. There are a variety of styles: bootcut, skinny, straight, jean legging, midrise and lowrise. A discussion over what styles I liked from the fall and holiday collection and their fit resulted in three pairs of Hudson Jeans arriving at my office.   Thanks Sam at The Mint Agency!  Now I would finally be able to find out for myself if this fit is as good as their marketing is.

I’m very impressed with Hudson Jeans. The Sandra and St. Martins styles brought bootcut back into my fashion vocabulary. I never thought I would wear a pair of  jeans again before trying Hudson. I was quite content in my straight and skinny denim cocoon with no plans to emerge from it.  Now I’m trying to be like a butterfly find casual to events to wear my Hudson bootcuts at.

Hudson Jeans St Martins
Five Pocket Bootcut

Putting on Hudsons feel like slipping into an old worn out pair. The fit of the 28s were perfect for me. It had a bit of give in the waist but the thighs were perfect;  formfitting but not sausage.  Overall the waist to thigh ratio tightness ratio that I use to gauge denim was very, very good.  The pockets are placed in an area that doesn’t make you butt look funny or larger than normal.  Skinny denim sometimes looks more like jean leggings than regular jeans on me.  Hudson’s skinny jeans look like jeans on me and give me some breathing room.  I love this.  There won’t be a day where I can’t wear these jeans because my weight fluctuated a few pounds higher.  I’m looking at you Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair.  I love you but you’re not very forgiving.  So I’m drinking the Hudson koolaid.  They are some of the softest denim I’ve ever come across and the fit of the 28s rock my lower body.  The style tag says “Trust Me” on it.  They aren’t kidding.

Hudson is available at TNT, Aritiza, Over the Rainbow and Holt Renfrew.  Holt’s has a line of couture Hudson Jeans that are exclusive to the store.  They are more expensive but have additional details the standard line doesn’t have.  The regular Hudson line is in the $220 – $265 range and the couture styles are from $295 – $500.  The designer denim market may have shrunk but some players are still thriving.

geekiviews: Cromwell and Cruthers Shaving Oil 2010 Redux

Cromwell and Cruthers Shaving Oil
This post is part old and part new. I had my friend The Grumpy Owl review Cromwell and Cruthers Shaving Oil back in 2009. It’s an awesome review which is reproduced in it’s entirety below. Cromwell and Cruthers have re-branded the product and I like the new slick look. I also like that Philip Sparks and Mackenzie James are involved in the advertising campaign. I have behind the scenes footage.

geekiviews: Cromwell and Cruthers Shaving Oil
Originally Published: 2009/01/02

This edition of geekiviews features a guest blogger, The Grumpy Owl. He’s a guy and the Cromwell and Cruthers Shaving Oil is for men. So it made sense that he review it instead of me.

I hate oiling up my body. It’s the sort of the thing that one should have a person for. Preferably young, buxom and foreign. So, when Geekigirl gave me a plastic vial of Cromwell and Cruthers Shaving Oil, I viewed the product with some trepidation.

Oil is bad enough but shaving is worse. The last time I combined the two, I spent an entire weekend cleaning hair, blood and assorted perfumes from my sheets. It was not an experience I was looking to repeat.

But geekigirl quickly explained that I was to use this product to shave myself. Specifically, my face. While alone.

I might not like oil or shaving but I do love my face. So I decided to give this shaving oil a whirl. Having used it for the past few weeks, I now feel competent to review the stuff.

It’s pretty good.

At four dollars and fifty cents a vial, it’s reasonably priced. Certainly much cheaper than hiring a barber to shave your face and not much more expensive than a can of foam. Although it lacks the proto-erotic thrill of having a man stroke your throat with a razor, it smells quite nice and provides a close shave. It also lasts quite a long time.

But I wouldn’t expect anyone to believe mere words. After all, I’ve been bribed with a five dollar vial of shaving oil. A lot of bloggers come cheaper than that. So I’m providing you with photo evidence.

Ryan Oakley Before Using Cromwell And Cruthers Shaving Oil

Ryan Oakley Before Using Cromwell And Cruthers Shaving Oil

Ryan Oakley After Using Cromwell And Cruthers Shaving Oil

Ryan Oakley After Using Cromwell And Cruthers Shaving Oil

I expect you can draw your own conclusions from that.

Cromwell and Cruthers Shaving Oil (a Canadian Company) can be purchased at Shopper’s Drug Mart and PharmaPlus

geekiviews: Sitamaa Spa

I had an amazing treatment at the Sitamaa Spa in Yorkville. It funny how it took a New York based twitter friend, @michellejoni to let me know about it. Michelle works at and contacted me with a Spa review opportunity. I love the spa so I said yes. I was amazed she was working with people in Toronto.

The owner is 15 year industry veteran, Vaidehie Mistry.  She is a regular guest on the Steven and Chris show.  She’s also active on the speaking circuit holding lectures and seminars on skin care and beauty treatments.

Sitamaa Spa

The Sitamaa Spa aims to be a knowledge centre for its clients. The environment is stark white which is deliberate. The client is to focus inward while at the Spa therefore the environment has minimal distractions. Vaidehie believes it’s time to refocus on the self. The Spa is there to make it easy for that serenity and concentration to happen.

I had the Kyoshi Detox Wrap ($95). You are given disposable underwear to wear and the treatment takes place on a heated table. The heated table is a very nice touch. The last time I had a body treatment was years ago but I remember there wasn’t a heated table. I get cold very easily so I was really happy to have this to keep me warm.

Invigorate your skin with this detoxifying treatment. Kiyoshi, meaning pure, is inspired by the bathing rituals of Japan. Steaming herbal compresses are applied along the liver meridian to draw out toxins. Sake yeast, Wasabi extract, nutrient rich seaweed and circulation-boosting red pepper all work synergistically to detoxify and rejuvenate your body and spirit.

The beginning and end of the treatment was signaled by a single chime. It began with a Tranquility spray that contained things like rosewood and sandlewood. Then a Jasmine body scrub for exfoliation and prepping the skin for mask penetration was applied. After the body scrub was the mask. It contained Sake yeast, wasabi extract and red pepper. These all have detoxifying properties. I was then wrapped with plastic and allowed to sit and mediate in the darken room. I had two hot compresses placed in my hands and then transferred to either side of my neck. I got to take these home after the treatment for home use. They contained lemon and ginger herbs. It’s weird being immobilized in these wrap treatments but it’s also kind of cosy. The mask was removed with hot damp towels. A final massage with ginger body oil finished off the treatment. This body oil isn’t available for consumer use and can only be found at Sitamaa. It also had detoxifying properties.

I have to admit, I felt really good after the treatment. My skin was very soft and I smelled amazing. A friend said I was glowing later. I loved that the Aesthetian talked only when she had to and left me to my own devices.   She was also sensitive to people’s comfort levels with the treatment.  It’s a vulnerable situation to be almost naked on a table for a treatment for some people.  The take home hot compresses were a nice touch. You put a bit of water on them and heat them in the microwave. After the smell goes, you can open them up and use them in the bath to get the last of that essential oil and smell.

Sitamaa carries Comfort Zone skincare, Akhassa skincare and Jane Iredale mineral makeup. They offer a full range of services from body, face, hand and footcare to threading.

Sitamaa Spa is one of many spas involved in the upcoming Toronto Spa Week, October 11-17, 2010. Amazing spa treatments will be available for $50. Sign up on to be kept in the loop.

55 Bloor St W.
Tel: 416-920-SITA (7482)
Hours :Mon – Wed 10-6pm,Thur – Fri 10-8pm,Sat 9-6, Sun 11-4

images: courtesy of Sitamma Spa

Categorized as Geekiviews

geekiviews: The Red Door

The Red Door

The Red Door provides foot massages for men and women. It operates out of the Che Bella Spa every Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 7 and 11 p.m. I missed the opening launch party for Red Door so rock-it promo provided me with a complementary couples treatment. I brought Danielle from Final Fashion and I learned that this was her first trip to a spa.

Massage therapists provide the treatment. It’s 45 minutes long and includes a hot foot soak and massage of feet and legs. Prices are $55 per person, $100 per couple and $185 for a group of four.

Che Bella Spa is in an old Victorian home. The space definitely has that homey and welcoming feeling. There are three treatment rooms available. Danielle and I had the attic like room upstairs that is totally private. It’s perfect for couples with the shared couch and quite tranquil.   Televisions are available for watching but we kept it off. When I’m at the spa I like to relax and focus on myself and the treatment. It’s my mediation break and I loved that the therapists weren’t chatty.  Beverages and mini cookies were available to snack on during the treatment.

The treatment itself was divine. Danielle and I visited on a Friday evening. It had been a heavy week of standing in 4 inch heels for me and this massage was the perfect remedy. My legs and feet felt great afterwards, like the days before never happened. I can see myself booking an appointment at the end of an event heavy week to give my feet and legs some pampering.  Of course, The Red Door has gift giving written all over it, who wouldn’t love a foot and leg massage.

The Red Door at Che Bella Spa
10 Castle Knock Road

geekiviews: Kushyfoot Fishnet Tights, Ultra Low Cut Foot Covers and Flats-to-Go

geekiviews: Kushyfoot Fishnet Tights, Ultra Low Cut Foot Covers and Flats-to-Go

Brittany from Lipton Publicity send me some samples from a company called Kushyfoot. They create tights and hosiery based on reflexology.

The unique massaging sole relieves tension and discomfort in achy feet—and stress and fatigue throughout the entire body. Kushyfoot has the perfect sock for evey shoe in your closet, from foot covers and toe covers to trouser socks and sheer knee highs plus sports socks and tights. Check out our shoe-to-sock selector to get started finding the right sock for even your most uncomfortable shoe.(source)

I was skeptical but I said yes to the pitch. I received a huge media kit and some samples of the Kushyfoot Fishnet Tights, Ultra Low Cut Foot Covers and Flats to Go. It took me only two wears of both the foot covers and fishnets to become a fan of their comfort. In addition to dress shoes and heels, the foot covers were a perfect compliment to my pink Converse. The low-cut covers were low enough not to be seen and stayed in place unlike others I’ve tried. The fishnets were the best I’ve worn. They have a small fishnet pattern which is much more acceptable for the office. It also had a solid fabric patch on the sole instead of the fishnet pattern. This made them so much more comfortable than the traditional fishnet.

I’ve tried these this type of low nylon sock from other companies and they looked like they just cut the toe off of a tight. The seem would follow the length of your foot. This is extremely annoying. Krushyfoot eliminates that and provides extra cushioning on the ball of the foot and the heel. I underestimated how much these little pieces of fabric would make in the experience and I’m a total fan.

I received the Flats to Go but I didn’t like these much. I felt way to exposed to the elements in them. They have a very thin sole. I did discover a good use for them, house slippers. I felt the Damn Heels product does a better job. The package is a bit larger but I feel more protected in their flats. The soles are much more substantial and I could see myself walking home in them after a long night in stilettos.

There are no Canadian retailers as of yet, but you can purchase them online at the Kushyfoot website.


geekiviews: D&G Anthology L`Amoureaux 6 Fragrance

D&G Anthology L`Amoureaux 6 Fragrance

I’m not a loyalist when it comes to fragrances.  I went from not wearing anything to having a whole collection (Thank you gift bags).  I don’t stick to one scent like some people.  I like the variety and the options I can play with.  Right now I find myself wearing the D&G Anthology L`Amoureaux 6 fragrance a lot.

D&G Anthology Fragrances

Dolce & Gabbana presents five perfumes of their collection The D&G Anthology, which arrives on the market in September 2009. Two other fragrances will join the collection next year.   The collection The D&G Anthology was inspired by tarot cards and their marks.

The fragrances of this collection were named: Le Bateleur 1 (Tyson Ballou), L’Imperatrice 3 (Naomi Campbell), L’Amoureaux 6 (Noah Mills), La Roue de la Fortune 10 (Eva Herzigova and Fernando Fernandes), La Lune 18 (Claudia Schiffer).(source)

D&G Anthology L`Amoureaux 6 Fragrance
L’Amoureaux 6 has fragrance signatures of spices, juniper berries, bergamot, pink pepper, cardamom, birch leaf, iris root, wood and musk. Since the model is Noah Mills (Hot!), I’m assuming the fragrance is more masculine. I can see it being a unisex scent.

Inspiration – Personality: The Charmer
An incurable romantic in possession of an inherent nobility, dashing L’Amoureux melts the most cynical of hearts. Desired by all he meets, this charmer is all about intensity.(source)

It’s a very light fragrance. It’s much softer than some of the florals I tend to gravitate too. It works well with my body chemistry.  It lasts a long time but it’s very faint by the end of the day.  I love anything with Bergamont in it.

There is a D&G Fragrance Anthology – Noah Mills 6 L’AMOREUX, commercial TV.  I’m not all jazzed about it, seems kinda cheezy until Noah drops the bathrobe. 🙂

geekiviews: Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics Nail Polish

I was sent a package containing some Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics Nail Polish. The package contain a base coat, top coat and four colours. The names are stewed in a lot of pop culture and rub some people the wrong way. Brazen Hussy = metallic dark fuschia; Camel Toe = medium dark neutral beige, Virginal Pink = light pink and Cougar = medium red with blue-orange. I’m ambivalent about the names to be honest. I like regular colour names, it’s easy. I guess I’m a traditionalist in that sense.

Brazen Hussy was my favourite of the bunch. It’s the type of colour I would wear normally. I like dark colours in nail polish like purples and blues with metallic finishes. I’m also a fan of neon and grey based shades. I decided to try something different and went with Virginal Pink, a colour I would never wear.

I applied the nail polish as laid out in the instructions with slight modification. Two base and top coats were needed. I went with three coats of Virginal Pink because  it didn’t cover my nails completely. It was a little streaky.  The top coat takes awhile to dry completely.  It’s not quick dry so be careful, I learned the hard way.

Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics Nail Polish

Virginal Pink and I still don’t get along. I don’t like the colour as a nail polish. The durability of Cheeky Monkey nail polish surprised the hell out of me, three days without any chips. The polish looked as fresh as the day I applied it. I didn’t push the polish to the limit because Virginal Pink was killing me and I had to remove it. I decided to go back to my roots and applied Brazen Hussy next.  It was a beautiful, rich purple colour.  I was in love.  There were no streaks and I only needed two coats.  This polish also stayed chip free for days.  Chip free is a big  thing for me.  Nail polish chips like crazy for me and to have one that lasts is huge.  I’m impressed with Cheeky Monkey.

Our quality and heritage in manufacturing has lasted over 20 years. Our quality assurance procedures, experience, values and personality help assure that you get the best product possible for the price. Our design and inspiration comes from Canada. All our products are quality manufactured in the United States and our onsite lab has created over 600 colors, using the highest quality base and colors, and a full line of nail treatments and cuticle oils which we’ve selected the top 39 for our initial launch. Most of our ingredients are from Europe, our brushes from Spain, our bottle glass from Italy, which is all then manufactured in our state-of-the-art facility in the USA. Extensive quality control checkpoints during and after the manufacturing process ensure the best quality available. All components are imported from Europe or manufactured in the United States. We adhere to US, European Union and Canadian standards for cosmetics and measurement.

All Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics are 3 Free containing no formaldehyde, toluene, or DHP. Our products are non-toxic and rank a one on the skin deep cosmetics safety database (a 1-10 scale with one being the lowest hazard score).

You can purchase Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics Nail Polish online and a few stores in Toronto.