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Why I can’t survive winter without my fresh face mask

during horrific daily treks to the bus stop. Well, that’s part of it – but it’s not the only reason. I hate winter because of what it does to my skin. As a makeup artist, I’m pretty confident that I can


double my makeup brush as a magic wand on even the least fortunate of complexions, but in the dead of winter when the frigid temperatures drain the will to live from your soul, the dryness that goes along with it sucks the moisture out of your skin. And truth be told, there’s very little that can be done to camouflage the resulting blackheads and, uh, flakiness. Exfoliants work won-

Twist Me Toned Tannis Miller

ders to slough off the pesky, unwanted texture that tends to bear its ugly head in our arctic- like temperatures, but it won’t solve the root of the

problem. And a good moisturizer? It’s a start, but still not the magic answer. Your skin is an organ – the largest one you have,

in fact. Treat it well and it will treat you well back. I could go on and on about the benefits of pounding your H2O (seriously, I will write an entirely separate article on the benefits of water intake and radiant skin), but that’s not where I stand today. Today I want (need) to tell you how much I’m in

love with Lush Fresh Face Masks. Recently, my skin and I were at odds, and I

definitely lost the battle – but only briefly. Acne reminiscent of my (unfortunate) Grade 8 days went on a rampage with a dry, peeling frenzy, and I was desperate to take control. Scrubs, coconut oil, and spot treatments – I tried it all, to big financial loss and no avail. For any of you who have suffered from skin problems of any kind, you’ll sympathize with the desperation I had. And then there was Lush.

I sauntered into Lush with only a morsel of hope

left, and decided to check out its Fresh Face Mask – what the heck. I think I’d tried one years back, but had no real recollection of my opinion on the product, so I started perusing the goopy paste-like substances. A clerk was with me right away and began asking

me what I needed out of a mask. After I frustratedly spewed a long list of my skin’s wonky issues to the poor girl, we came to the conclusion “Catastrophe Cosmetic” could be a good fit for me and my trou- bled skin.

She was right. A couple days post-mask, and voila, my skin and

I were in the clear. Since it also doubles as a “main- tenance mask,” I continue to reward my skin’s good behaviour by lightly exfoliating and using it about once a week, but the tantrums have subsided. (At least for now.) For those who are interested in what Lush has to

say about this particular little paste-form gem, here’s its official description: “Prevent disasters by taking regular care of your

skin with our deep-cleansing, nutrient-rich blue- berry mask. Te little blue bulbs are packed with vitamins, and blended into calamine, rose absolute and chamomile blue oil to soothe redness, irritation, and cleanse the skin without stripping it of its natu- ral oils. Tis one is wonderfully soothing on sensitive skin. Treat your face to Catastrophe Cosmetic as often as you can to keep your skin looking its best.” I believe there’s eight Fresh Face Masks at Lush, so

you can find one that perfectly suits your particular skin type. Check them out and let me know your favourite – one thing I know we can all agree on: flaky’s not sexy. Tannis Miller is a personal trainer and business

owner at, and an experienced self- taught makeup artist and beauty guru. Tannis’ work has been published in and on the covers of It’s Love Winnipeg, Status Fitness Magazine, and Inside Fit- ness magazines.

16 Smart Biz

hate winter. And it isn’t just because of our grue- some winters that are legitimately too cold for human life, that leave me questioning my sanity

Cacao is not just food – it’s A SUPERFOOD

Photo by Evert-Jan De Kort. “T

here’s nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate.” – Linda Grayson

Cacao (chocolate) is one of the most delicious

and healthy superfoods that exist. It is beneficial with PMS symptoms, good for metabolizing glucose, keeping the heart healthy, easing de- pression (yes, for real) – and it also helps as a delivery agent for many other superfoods like mushrooms, goji berries, and spirulina. In addition to supporting cardiac health and

lifting moods, cacao may even help prevent colon cancer. In its most natural form, cacao is a seed.

Everything chocolate comes from a seed and is called cocoa beans. Chocolate does not have sugar or dairy unless you add it. If you want a delicious, high-energy weight loss food, choco- late is your bean!

Enjoy it raw There are also many good reasons to eat

1 tsp coconut oil 3 tbsp chia seeds ½ cup cacao powder 1 tsp reishi mushroom 1 tsp chaga mushrooms 1 tbsp spirulina 1 handful of spinach 1 handful frozen strawberries 1 handful goji berries a very small pinch of raw vanilla bee pollen or cocoa nibs (optional)

Preparation: In a mixer, soak chia seeds with

Alive & Aware Patti Sliwiany

chocolate only when raw – the oxalic acid and omega 6 fatty acids become problematic when cooked (adding trans fat and oxalates). Luckily, there are a lot of delicious ways to use raw cacao.You can buy nibs, powder, and cacao butter. One of the special qualities cacao has is to hide the flavour

of foods that don’t taste so great. You can eat spirulina with cacao and never even notice it. One of my favourite foods with raw cacao is so easy, healthy and delicious that you won’t believe it. Tis protein immunity pudding can be added to or subtracted from and you can’t mess it up (exactly what you need in the kitchen). It’s too good for me not to share, so here it is:

Chocolate protein immunity pudding

½ cup coconut milk 1 little chunk of cocoa butter

coconut milk for 30 minutes, then add in the rest and blend. Sprinkle with cocoa nibs or bee pollen (both yummy and so healthy). You can also make maca bars – these are one

of my favourite treats! Raw cacao, maca, maple syrup, macadamia nuts, coconut… mmmm. Tey make a delicious (and good for you!) treat. You can make protein bars with raw cacao

and hemp protein, and a few other wonderful ingredients including coconut oil. Tere are so many raw goodies you can make with cacao that are really healthy. Te one feeling I can say that I consistently get when eating

chocolate is “decadence” – it’s a frivolous and lovely indul- gence of the sweetest and healthiest kind. I make smoothies with cacao, coconut milk, banana, spin-

ach – and that’s it. It is healthy as can be and it tastes delicious! David Wolfe’s recommended moderate daily intake is one cacao bean per 11 to 17 lbs. of body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, you could eat about 10 cacao beans a day. What is your favorite chocolate food? Please share! Patricia Sliwiany is a board-certified holistic nutritionist

and founder of Alive & Aware Holistic Health. To find out more about its programs, please visit, or contact or 204-997-2031.

Slip into the ease and style of leggings A

ccording to many fashionistas, leg- gings are the new jeans. Tey had a rough start with a lot of backlash

for not being “real pants,” but now, every- where you go, no matter what the venue, someone is wearing leggings. Tere are several reasons to celebrate

this favourite fashion trend. Firstly, most women of all sizes can wear these – and secondly, they are so comfortable. And versatile. No matter what your

fashion needs; you can dress them up and you can dress them down. Our winter climates may not seem

conducive to leggings, but no one seems to have noticed… Tey are thicker than tights, and can easily be worn under a miniskirt or dress. Tey up the ante to your casual look because you can add them to so many wardrobe pieces, giving your outfits a whole lot of mileage. More and more women

are retiring the traditional panty hose, because to- day’s shoe styles are suit- ed for the barefoot look. Gone are the days when a woman would be shunned for going out sockless or hosiery-less in her winter boots. Leggings can be worn with almost any

leggings. You can choose a bright colour scheme for your dress with a complemen- tary-coloured legging, or vice versa, as there are so many patterns and colours of leggings to choose from. Tey also allow you to be less self-conscious when trying to sit with a mini – eliminating the whole hem-tugging process. Knee-length tops/dresses pair just as

well with leggings. You can wear them with your high boots, making for a much more comfortable feel inside the boot than if you were wearing tights. I find tights tend to ride down, while

leggings are more like well-fitting pants. If your boots are a little loose, you can get away with wearing a nice warm sock and no one will know. A large variety of skirt

shapes are compatible with leggings. I prefer the neutral, lighter fabric leggings with skirts made of lighter fabrics. Te materials do not chafe or cause your skirt to turn. Find skirts and leggings

In Vogue Ally Champagne

length from mid-length to mini-dresses, tunics, or long sweaters. Living in the Winter City, you can also pair these up with your maxi dresses for some additional warmth (on those days with horrid wind- chills). Just make sure your leggings are a neutral colour and match your coat to your hemline to avoid a faux-pas. (You don’t want yards of your maxi dress hangin’ down below your jacket.) Mini lengths also look fabulous with

with similar waistbands so that they sit approximately at the same place. Leggings with flat waistbands work the best, as they do not create a bump under the skirt waistband. Light and soft fabrics will

show bumpy waistbands. Make sure they’re just right

Te secret to a good fit is finding leggings

which are tight enough, yet not too tight where they appear see-through. (Tis is crucial, ladies.) Te saggy baggy look is not attractive either, especially when paired with a skirt or dress. Again, matching your fabrics and styles

will give you that put-together look you crave. And for the brave-at-heart, rather than wait for warmer weather, you can

Leggings with texture are a great look for the cold months. Photo by Helga Weber.

pair up three-quarter-length leggings with a dress skimming your knees. Te illusion created will be one of a longer dress hem and slimmer calves. Tere are certain areas where leggings

should be avoided. Cocktail parties and semi-formal events are non-casual out- ings, and more formal attire should be worn. But if there are no red carpet soirees on

your agenda, enjoy leggings, which exude comfort and ease – and still make you look fabulous. Need fashion advice? Contact Ally at

March 2015

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