Archive for November, 2012

The 3 B’s with Erin Ireland

erin-ireland-karolina-turekErin Ireland is a food reporter and lover of cuisine who aspires to spend the rest of her life eating all that’s to die for. She is a regular guest on Shaw TV’s The Rush, a Vancouver entertainment talk show. Erin and hosts Fiona Forbes and Michael Eckford discuss to die for food and Vancouver restaurants each month. Aside from running To Die For Fine Foods, her most current project is a video series for The Vancouver Sun featuring local food carts. To Die For Banana Bread is the first product in her line of baked goods under the To Die For Fine Foods brand. You can find it at these 38 locations in Vancouver.

I first met Erin back in 2010 during a charity event for  “Run for the Cure“. We both participated in the event and I also had the pleasure to be interviewed by her. It was also that very day that she introduced myself to the fabulous and one of my all time faves Yves Saint Laurent, their Rouge Pur Couture #49. From the moment I met Erin I was instantly drawn to her energy, ambition, drive, elegance and grace. She is a savvy business woman with a solid head on her shoulders. Erin knows what she wants and she is determined to keep moving in high gear with her eyes set on the prize.

(The above image was taken by Karolina Turek, who also shot the photos of Erin holding her banana bread).

During the course of the past few years, I have had the opportunity to talk with Erin about life, business and what matters most. I have been inspired by our conversations and she has shown me key important tools in keeping on track with it comes to your business. I can’t tell you how much it meant for her to take the time to in a way help mentor me on a few occasions. Sometimes in this big old world things can seem complicated and overwhelming, she showed me how to keep it simple and always stay true to what you believe in. It is for these reasons and so many others that I felt Erin would be a great fit for a Beauty Q&A.

So go grab your favourite “to die for” snack (Erin’s BB recommended) and get cozy as Erin opens up about the 3 B’s~ Beauty, Business and Banana Bread.

BB411~ When did you know you wanted to become a host and be in front of the camera?Screen shot 2012-08-14 at 6.46.33 AM

EI~ It was less about wanting to be in front of the camera and more about wanting to tell stores or share information. I’ve always loved to pass along the good word, share recommendations, and tell stories.

BB411~ What was your earliest memory?

EI~ My parents teaching me how to cook my own scrambled eggs. I had to use a step stool because I couldn’t reach the stove.

BB411~ You’re a food reporter and look for things that are “To Die For”, how did this all come about?

EI~ I’ve always been obsessed with food…and one day I realized I could make my passion my career. So I started my site, started writing columns, and really started to focus. I cut out all other topics of content that I tweeted about, attended events, etc.

BB411~ Why are you so passionate about food?Erin-2

EI~ Oh I cannot explain this! I was born with it. But maybe it has a little something to do with almond croissants, white chocolate, red wine, wagyu steak….

BB411~ Chef’s that inspire you?

EI~ Thomas Haas – he is a perfectionist and keeps an amazing sense of humour while doing. Walk into his shop – the displays of pastries, macarons and chocolate are immaculate. I swear his employees feel like the luckiest people on earth to be working under his roof.

BB411~ If you weren’t a host and you could be anything in the world what would it be?

EI~ News Anchor. I used to work at CTV news but veered off that path towards entertainment and then food. Host actually isn’t my main position at the moment – but I can’t wait to focus on it once I’ve gotten banana bread off the ground.

BB411~Tell us about the best banana bread in the world (yours!)  What inspired you to create this line?

pumpkinbb5

EI~ It all started really naturally. I never ‘worked on the recipe’ or strategized about how to turn this into a business. It was simply a gift I gave to friends and colleagues, and word seemed to spread. Before I knew it I was getting daily requests for the bread. I realized there was a major opportunity knocking at my door. Never in a million years could I have guessed this would become my career path – but I couldn’t be happier now that I’m running my fine foods company.

( Pumpkin Banana Bread ~ Photographer Joann Pai)

BB411~ The one food you could not live without (ok top 3)?

EI~ Oatmeal, Avocado, Olive Oil

BB411~ Where do you see your business going in the next 1, 5 & 10 years?

EI~ One year – distribution to all fine food retailers in Vancouver (choices, whole foods, urban fares, etc), initial research in the TO market being done, the launch of several new to die for products.

erin ireland_edited_2IMG_0364

Five years – full ‘to die for’ product line launched. I’ll be less involved in operations at this point and more focused on high level operations, will be entrenched in broadcasting career at this stage (to die for show).

Ten years – fine foods company running smoothly, national distribution, network tv show in full swing.

BB411~ There is no doubt in my mind that someone who is as strong and determined as yourself will accomplish all this and more. I can’t wait to see this all unfold!

BB411~ Greatest accomplishment to date?

EI~ Obtaining a ‘real life’ business degree over the past 15 months working on my fine foods company. My real degree is a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication (focus Broadcasting), but I have learned so much from my experiences with my fine foods company – much of which I can credit to my partner, who holds a business degree. He is one of my greatest supports.

BB411~ Have you always been in love with fashion and beauty?

EI~ I wouldn’t say that I am. I have no patience for shopping (unfortunately! wish I had it in me) but of course it must be done – and it’s so important because if you look good, you feel good and more confident. Feeling and looking great is empowering and helpful in business. As humans we gravitate towards things that are attractive to us.

BB411~ What is your skin care regime?

EI~ Pretty simply – I use Riversol face wash, serum, moisturizer and eye cream. I’ll always trust a respected dermo above pharmacy lines/beauty lines.

BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?

EI~ I am a ‘no purse’ kinda girl – so it’s all about what I can fit into my pockets. I don’t often leave the house without my MAC concealer pot (for the light lip look).

BB411~ #1 beauty product you could not live without?

EI~ MAC shimmer – I’ve recently discovered what a little highlighting can do to the face. I love dusting a little above my brows and on my nose. I am super picky with my makeup and have always done it myself until I met Jackie Brown of Envy Me Studio. She is so great!

 

 

BB411~ Favorite lip color?erin-ireland-karolina-turek-isolde-semple

EI~ My old long-time fav was YSL #49 but lately all I wear is MAC “Costa Chic” mixed with my concealer – it’s the super light peach look

BB411~ I still remember you introducing myself to this lipstick, I am still in love with it (see post Here)

BB411~ Favorite fragrance?

EI~ Gucci Rush

BB411~ One of my favourites as well

BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood?

EI~ My Mom’s perfume – Lancome “Tresor”

 

BB411~ You have great hair, what do you use as your go to products?

EI~ Thanks! My hairstylist Isolde Semple is full of great tips and she encourages me to spend the money on good quality hair products because I’ll notice the difference. She’s right. I use Redken shampoo and conditioner, Sebastian hair spray. My trick is to not over-wash my hair. It’s always better three days after a wash.

BB411~ How do you stay fit with eating all this fab food?

EI~ I run outdoors or go to the gym 4-5 times a week. This has always been my lifestyle since I grew up playing sports.

BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?

EI~ Beauty is nothing without confidence and class.

BB411~ What inspires you and keeps you balanced?

EI~ My vision of the future – a nice home on the North Shore, two kids, a dog or two and a beautiful kitchen filled with beautiful things from The Cross Design

BB411~ Do you have a best kept beauty secret that has been passed down to you (say from your Mother or Grandmother)?

EI~ Don’t pluck your eyebrows thin – My Mom has always preached this. She is so right – eyebrows do so much for the face. Sometimes I add brown eye shadow to make them more bold.

BB411~ You speak about your Grandma and her love in the kitchen (I remember the note she left before going in the ambulance to the hospital to take care of the bread) how has she influenced you? Tell us a little about her?

EI~ She is 91 and bakes almost daily. She doesn’t waste a single bite of food, she will bake anything for anyone and is always ready to share a recipe. She is just such a good person and I’m lucky to have gotten so close with her. Here’s a post of us baking together . She insisted on using the flowers in the food photos – she’s so artistic.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

BB411~ Are you involved in any charities, are any close to your heart?

EI~ I’ve worked with the Canadian Cancer Society on their ‘Tanning is Out Campaign‘ and have contributed to Breast Cancer Research Campaigns, but the cause closest to my heart lies in the realm of eating disorders and specifically, extreme dieting. Soon I’ll be touring high schools in Vancouver to speak to young girls and boys about the dangers of extreme dieting. There are so many young girls out there with eating disorders – and I believe there are even more out there who are just on the brink, but ‘not skinny enough’ to attract the attention and help that they need. I’ll share the story of my five-year stint extreme dieting and hope to connect with young girls and offer the support they need.

BB411~ What does it mean to give back?

EI~ Paying it forward. We’ve all been grateful for the actions of someone else at some point in our lives and it’s our duty to pay that forward and do something significant for someone else.

BB411~ Greatest wish still to check off on your bucket list?

EI~ More traveling. My favorite destination is Italy but I really want to get to Japan (sushi and ramen) and Argentina (steak and malbec).

BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you have learned and know now what would it be?

EI~ Save your money and always reference check.

BB411~ What would you tell someone following their dreams and pursuing their passion (entrepreneurs)?

EI~ Trust your gut and always be yourself – we know deep down when we’re not being ourselves. It doesn’t feel right and there’s a reason for that.

BB411~ Fun facts that your fans may not know about you?

EI~ My favourite way to spend a friday night is watching dateline while eating chocolate and drinking red wine. Also in university my fellow student athletes knew me only as ‘Jeter’ – it was a nickname from my freshman year that stuck

erin-ireland-jesse-kovacs-jacob-kovacs

 

BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?

EI~ trustworthy, confident, fun-loving

To keep up to date on Erin and her To Die For Fine Foods brand empire follow her on TwitterFacebook, or email (erin@itstodiefor.ca).

 

 

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

“Every Conversation Counts” with Riaz Meghji

You know when you meet someone and their energy is so magnetic, the conversation seems to flow and you don’t want it to stop? Well that’s what you get when you sit down with Riaz Meghji! Not only is he incredibly charming (with great skin I must say), he carries himself with such confidence and class. I remember the first time I sat down with Riaz and how engaging he was to talk to. He truly was so present in the moment and such a good listener. He described how “Every Conversation Counts”, that everyone has a story worth hearing. I just love this and feel the same, you never know who you will meet or what opportunity will arise. There was no doubt in my mind that Riaz would be a perfect fit for a Beauty Q&A on BB411. He really shows how living in the moment and giving back is really what resonates beauty within us all.

Riaz’s career started out with a degree in Finance and soon turned to the world of entertainment. “Riaz worked in radio at Z953FM before making the shift into television working for MTV Canada interviewing A-List celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, Pink, and Kevin Smith”. He joined CTV News as a weathercaster on their evening news and after moved to Ontario to anchor an entertainment show on SUN TV.” In 2008 he joined the Citytv family as co-host on Breakfast Television in Vancouver.

BB411~When did you know you wanted to go into TV?

RM~In 2002, I had a conversation with a friend that saw me give a presentation in Quebec City at a conference. I was just finishing my finance degree at Simon Fraser University and he challenged me to take a year of my life to get into the entertainment industry in some capacity. It was by far one of the most pivotal conversations of my life, as at that moment I started to believe I could bring something unique to the small screen. Once I had that belief, I knew I wanted to present on camera and started the creative process to get my foot in the door.

BB411~What was your earliest memory?

RM~Earliest memory in television was my very first screen test for MTV Canada. I had no broadcast experience or formal training and just walked in there like I knew what I was doing. Definitely not a home run audition, but the director saw something he could work with and gave me an internship.

BB411~If you weren’t a host and you could be anything in the world what would it be?

RM~This is a toss up…..Professional public speaker or Michael Jackson impersonator.

BB411~Have you always been into fashion and beauty (you always look so stylish)?

RM~I owe a lot of credit to the boys at Harry Rosen for helping clean up my act. For years we have worked together and they have introduced several types of looks for me to sport on camera.

BB411~Favorite Designer?

RM~Tough to name one but here are some of my favourites: John Varvatos for the pants and shoes, Etro and Zegna for the stylish blazers and Robert Graham for the shirts that will stand out.

BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?

RM~Two words: Halle Berry

BB411~Favorite Cleanser?

RM~Dove Soap

BB411~Favorite Moisturizer?

RM~Ponds

BB411~Do you exfoliate

RM~No. Should I start?

BB411~ Absolute! One of my favourite inexpensive ways is mixing coffee grounds with either almond oil or olive oil. I’ll give you a demo 😉

BB411~Favorite cologne?

RM~L’Homme- YvesSaintLaurent

BB411~You hair seems to be a signature for you (Love it by the way) what do you use as your go to products?

RM~My hair doesn’t move! But on occasion I might use d:struct molding creme

BB411~ What do you do to stay fit?

RM~If I’m not bike riding the seawall, I’m in crossfit 3x week at Tactix Gym and usually hit Yyoga once or twice a week. I also play in the Vancouver Ball Hockey League. On Sept 29, I competed in the Tough Mudder Competition in Seattle. I trained hard and there was lots of pain!

BB411~What charities are you involved in and are any dear to your heart?

RM~In 2012, I launched 1Karma, a charitable partnership with my good friend Jason Sarai. We threw an event at the Hastings Racecourse in August in support of Camp Goodtimes and were able to raise 10k. It was a proud moment and will only get bigger as every year we will focus on a different cause to create an awareness and build partnerships with those that want to give back. Outside of 1Karma, the Aga Khan Foundation Canada is an organization I always get behind and I’ll support Free the Children where I can as well.

BB411~ I was lucky enough to be able to attend 1Karma in August with @LipglossnParfum and it was such a great event. So very proud of you and can’t wait until next year.

BB411~What does it mean to give back?

RM~Giving is living in my eyes. I have the privilege of using my voice for good and to be able to give back to those less fortunate is very fulfilling.

BB411~If you could tell your younger self something you know now what would it be? (a lesson learned or wisdom gained?)

RM~People are only willing to accept the love they feel they deserve. Choose wisely, but be vulnerable to get the most out of the experience.

BB411~What inspires you?

RM~Risk takers with the ability to be present in the moment and smile in both the good times and bad.

BB411~Fun fact that your fans may not know about you?

RM~I’m gave my first TED talk at SFU on Sept 22. The theme was “Against the Grain”.  Ten years ago, I finished my degree and it was an awesome moment to go back and speak about what I did to go after my dream. (check out video here)

BB411~Favourite quote?

RM~” Seek to understand before being understood”

Honestly, I look forward to each time I get together with Riaz, I always know I will leave inspired and challenged to dream bigger (and with a few recommendations for some great books)!

To find out more about Riaz and keep up to date with what he has going on, watch him on Breakfast Television Vancouver, check out facebook or follow him on Twitter

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

“Balanced and Fit………a fitness journey”

These past 9 weeks have been such a learning experience for myself. I can’t believe how fast time has gone by! Over these past 2 weeks I have struggled with being a little under the weather, but that hasn’t stopped me from allowing my body to rest a few days and then getting right back into the swing of things. My upper body and back continue to lean out and show definition. My lower half  (meaning my legs) are definitely building muscle but not leaning out as quick as I would like. I know that I have to be patient and your lower body and stomach (especially) take longer, these are the trouble/stubborn areas for woman. With this said though my core stability and strength is developing and I continue to chisel away at my ultimate goal! 6 pack abs!

This week I have 2 inspiration pictures, the first has no quote, it’s simply one of my favourite pictures lately of No doubts lead singer Gwen Stefani. She has always had amazing abs, but this picture inspires me in so many ways. I love how Gwen has been a top fashion icon for years and she continues to Rock It. I love the whole outfit, her blond hair in a bun (my old go to do which I’m aiming for again) and beautiful healthy abs. Once I have achieved my fitness goal and have rock hard abs, I will remake this shoot. So in my eyes this picture represents a 1000 words and inspiration.


This week with being on the go and still feeling under the weather, I did not have a huge appetite and found it hard to eat as much as I have been. I made sure to eat as much protein as I could handle and small meals more often. One thing I could stomach was my oatmeal in the mornings. I added berries and nuts to make sure I loaded up on my nutrients and antioxidants. I decided to add juicing this week to make sure I was getting my veggies in my system. My favourite came from an inspiration from Jugo Juice~ kale, spinach, berries and beets, it’s called “Can’t Beet This”. One thing when you are feeling run down or sick is to make sure to stay hydrated, this is even more important when your not feeling well.

I love my second picture quote, I now realize how to incorporate fitness into my every day and there really is no more excuses.There is no such thing as quitting anymore and I plan to finish what I started. All anyone really has to do is get over the mental struggle we all go through and check self doubt at the door. Anyone can accomplish anything the set their mind to. On this past weeks check-in with my trainer Hanan, she asked me to send my pictures wearing a bikini (which was a scary thought). Well I have to say that I bought this bikini that was a few sizes too small a few years back and it’s finally starting to fit. It was so encouraging and exciting to think of bikini shopping for the summer. Alright week 10, I’m ready for you~ BRING IT ON!

Thank you to my personal trainer Hanan Arabatlian from Hanan Fitness  for my fitness program &Steve Nash Fitness Clubs for sponsoring my training at their various gyms.

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

Look Good and Feel Great with MASC

One thing that Beauty Buzz 411 is constantly on the look out for is fabulous men’s skin care. I have spoken to many men and skin care is not much of an importance on their list. Usually because they want to keep it simple, don’t have time and most don’t know what’s best to use. Beauty Buzz 411 is pleased to be working with MASC, a one stop shop in Vancouver for everything when it comes to skin care for the boys. Their online shop is amazing and I love how they are selective on which brands they carry. From The moment I stepped foot into the Vancouver store (in the heart of Yaletown) I felt right at home. It doesn’t hurt that Owners Patrick Levesque and Jamie Beuthin are incredibly knowledgeable and are such amazing guys. I still remember the moment I first met Patrick, it was an instant connection and I knew that we would work on something great together. As the months rolled on I have had the chance to get to know Patrick more and realize how down to earth he is and passionate he is about mens skin care needs.

Beauty Buzz 411 will be working with MASC and testing out the latest and greatest skin care for men. There will be on going monthly posts on what products and lines are a “MUST HAVE”! Recently I had the opportunity to indulge (along with my male panelists) in some amazing beauty products that were an instant hit. First was the Jack Black “Beard Lube” Conditioning Shave. I have to say this was a HUGE Winner for both myself and the boys. I used it on my legs and was blown away, I actually think it may be the best I’ve ever tried! As for the men they found it incredible, a 4 day hair growth shaved as easily as 1 day (without the razor catching the hair). With jojoba, eucalyptus and macadamia nut oil your skin will be left feeling clean and soft. Beard Lube is a pre-shave oil, shave cream and skin conditioner all in one. Not only does it go on clear making it easy for the men to see the hair, but it rinses easily and won’t leave a film or clog your blade.

Now you all know I am an advocate for exfoliation, well Menscience “Microfine” Face Scrub is a great addition to any skin type regime. I love how this product contains glycolic acid to remove dead cells, salicylic acid to clear pores and allantoin/aloe/glycerin to soften and soothe skin. It’s gentle for the face but still worked great on the chest and back! For the men it was great to prepare the skin for shaving. Also from the same line, another absolute MUST HAVE was Menscience “Advanced Face Lotion”. This lotion was ultra light-weight yet provided mega moisture, perfect for the men (especially those travelling on planes a lot). Not only is it formulated with advanced water-binding agents and skin-refining ingredients, It helps renew and restore your complexion. It really nurtures and protects your skin.

Last but not least I wanted to find a new cleanser that would be great for everyday use without stripping the skin of moisture. I discovered Kyoku “Daily Facial Cleanser” , it is inspired by Japanese herbal skin remedies and is designed especially with a mans skin in mind. I loved the way it felt on my skin and the scent of peppermint was uplifting. I was very pleased with these 4 beauty finds and look forward to searching out and bringing you all more. There was one more product that I tested out, Evolution Man Conceal and Treat and I feel it’s the perfect concealor for Men. It isn’t greasy and has a matte finish, making it great for providing coverage without looking like you’re wearing make up. I highly recommend picking one up as you never know when a late night or blemish will throw your complexion for a loop.

I recently had the chance to interview Patrick and find out the 411 on what’s to know when it comes to skin care for the boys!

BB411~ You and Jamie are the founders of MASC, how did the idea come to be?

PL~We graduated with Bachelor of Commerce degrees in Entrepreneurial Management, with no specific ideas of how we were going to apply that in the real world. We worked at several different jobs and gained some invaluable experience before it dawned on us about getting into men’s skin care & grooming. We both found ourselves having a hard time finding products  that were on the market, but were just not easily accessible. We also disliked having to go into a women’s shop or department store to find one shelf of product for men, which seemed more of an afterthought than anything else.

BB411~You carry select product lines, what do you look for in deciding which ones to carry?

PL~We consider the reputation of the brand, if it’s unique in comparison to other brands we carry, whether or not the product works well, the quality of the ingredients, whether it’s tested on animals, and of product packaging. We also really strive to offer our customers something unique and thus don’t see the point in offering a brand they can easily buy at the drug store.

BB411~ What do you want people to feel when shopping in the store or online with Masc? What makes you different from other stores?

PL~ We want people to feel comfortable and informed at masc. We are not about pressuring a guy to buy something, or the most expensive product, but rather finding the best products for their skin or to address their specific concerns. We take the time to ask questions, and are always happy to provide samples if he’s uncertain. Our store caters specifically to men, is run by men, we are knowledgeable about our products, and obviously have direct experience with skin care and grooming for men. We know what works. Online we try to provide as much information, including videos where we talk about the products so that they can feel like they’re in the store, even when they are not. We are renowned not only for our extremely high level of customer service but also for our unique assortment of quality products. Most of our brands will not be found anywhere else in Vancouver, and in some cases even in Canada.

BB411~How important is skin care for men?

PL~Men tend to underestimate the importance of a good skin care routine. If you consider the fact that men take blades to their face when shaving, I’d almost say it’s even more important for men. There are various skin complications that can arise from improper shaving techniques or poor quality products.

BB411~What are some key points for men in taking care of their skin?

PL~Cleanse & moisturize daily, both morning and night. Use a good shaving cream and exfoliate a few times a week right before you shave. Not only with this improve the appearance of your skin, but it will also allow for a smoother and less irritating shave. Just remember, your shave can make or break the appearance of your skin so it’s important to really figure this part out. Also, your under eye area can be the first area of your face that will show signs of aging. Using a good under eye product daily, morning and night will go a long way. The key is consistency with all of this. Get into a good routine and stick to it. The more you take care of your skin now, the more benefits you’ll reap in the future. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes.

BB411~Does nutrition and fitness play an importance in healthy skin?

PL~It’s all connected. If you don’t take care of your body by eating healthy, keeping hydrated, and exercising, it will reflect on the health of your skin as well. Just like if you work out like crazy, but eat takeout every night, you’re not achieving the optimal results that you could be.

BB411~#1 mistake men make when it comes to taking care of their skin?

PL~Not moisturizing. Guys have either never been told they should moisturize, and never experienced the benefits, or have had a bad experience with a poor quality moisturizer that made them feel greasy. There are some great moisturizers available that will make your skin look and feel great, and it is so important to moisturize daily.

BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?

PL~I don’t necessarily carry any beauty products with me on a day-to-day basis besides a Jack Black Lip Balm. If I had to choose another, I’d select a hand cream. More often than not I don’t have a bag with me so I have to keep it simple. Oh, one product that is good to keep at work though is a jar of toner pads. Sometimes if you’re going somewhere straight after work and want to freshen up without having to wash your face, toner pads are great for that.

BB411~ #1 beauty product you could not live without?

PL~ The Vitamin E Moisturizer from (Malin+Goetz). I’ve been using it for years and it works so well. It’s oil-free and they use fatty acids as the primary moisturizing ingredient, so it absorbs into the skin very well.

BB411~ Favorite cleanser and exfoliant?

PL~ My favorite cleanser right now is the Menscience Daily Face Wash and my favorite scrub is the Urth Face Scrub.

BB411~ Favorite Cologne?

PL~ Duro by Nasomatto

BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?

PL~ Good question. I’d have to say that beauty comes from the inside out. I know that’s cliché, but I know that for me, if someone is an awful person, it changes the way I see them. The same goes for someone with a big heart. I think someone who respects others and themselves is also the same person that will take care of themselves and try to reflect on the outside how they are on the inside. It doesn’t always go hand in hand though.

BB411~ What does it mean to give back?

PL~ It means helping those that are less fortunate or that need a helping hand of some sort. There are so many organizations out there that need support and we feel really good about being able to help whenever we can.

BB411~ What charities or causes are you involved in or that are dear to your heart?

PL~ I’m definitely a supporter of anti-bullying and different causes that go along with that. We have and continue to support many Out In School events put on by Friends & Company. Also, we support the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation as well as they are such a fantastic organization. Another one that is important to me is Autism Speaks. My niece has autism and it’s becoming more and more common and requires a lot of support and awareness within the community because there’s still so much unknown about it. Families with kids that have autism need all the help they can get. We support other causes, including different sports teams etc, but those two are ones that stand out in my mind.

BB411~ What inspires you?

Wow, that’s a good one. I think I’m inspired by the fact that all limitations are self-imposed. When someone says I can’t, I want to prove them wrong. Being an entrepreneur, there are no limits and it’s all up to us how big we want to dream. The other day I was at the gym after having not made it a priority for a while, and I saw a blind man working out, with his guide dog helping him navigate through a busy gym. People like THAT inspire me.

BB411~ That is truly inspiring, WOW!

BB411~ Favorite quote?

PL~ “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

BB411~ You are also one of the founders of Homorazzi, can you tell me a bit about that?

PL~ Homorazzi started about two years into Masc being open. I started it with my friend Donovan and a bunch of our friends were eager to join in as well. It’s  an entertainment site where we write about the latest in TV, movies, music, celebrities, gay issues, and of course, intermixed with some eye candy. It’s been an exciting ride and we’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many cool people along the way. We also have a show on OUTtv now where a panel of four of us talk about the same sorts of topics that we cover on our site.

BB411~ You are openly gay, has that been a struggle for you in your life?

PL~ Every since I’ve come out of the closet, being gay has never been a struggle. The struggle was when I was still in the closet and having to constantly lie to myself and others. When I was true to who I was, the world opened up many doors and I am a much happier person for it.

BB411~ What advice would you give to the younger generation that may be struggling with coming out?

PL~ We grow up hearing the phrase “be yourself” and it couldn’t be more true in this scenario. There is no rule for when you should come out, so do it when you feel ready, but know that your life will get better in the long run once you do.

BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you know now what would it be? (a lesson learned or wisdom gained?)

PL~ I would tell my younger self that my family and friends will love me for who I am, regardless of my sexuality. I would also say to myself, “Follow your dreams and do what makes you happy in life.”

BB411~ Fun fact that people may not know about you?

PL~ I just found out last year that I was adopted! The news brought my family closer together so it was a positive experience.

To find out more about MASC and all the faboulous products check out their website, visit the store , follow on  facebook and  Twitter

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

Red Carpet Manicure at the AMA’s

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Ever since I was a kid, I have loved watching the many awards shows. Whether it be music (AMA’s, Grammy’s, ACMA’s, WMA’s, MTV) or TV and Film (Golden Globes, Emmy’s, Oscars or the  SAG Awards). Each year has brought amazing performances from incredible artists and stunning fashion/beauty from the red carpet. This year is no exception. To kick off the awards season we celebrate The American Music Awards 40th birthday!

Happy Birthday AMA’s 

With all the fabulous styles and fashion, I always look forward to seeing the who’s who and what they are rocking. From their hair and makeup to their eye-catching nails, it always seems to impress. This year there were a few favorites that stood out when it came to style and beauty and most of them took home a AMA. Here are my top all around picks that had it dialed in~ Taylor Swift (won Country Music: Favorite Female Artist), Pink, Carrie Underwood (won Country Music: favorite Album), Stacy Keibler, Jenny McCarthy. As for Makeup, I absolutely became obsessed with Ginnifer Goodwin’s eyes and lashes (very Twiggy inspired). Last but not least, Cyndi Lauper  will always hold a special place in my heart. When I was a little girl and still to this day I have been a HUGE fan of her music. No matter how crazy her outfit may get, her style will always inspire me to be myself and think outside the box.

When it came to groups or couples with the hottest fashion, my picks went to~ Luke Bryan (who won Country Music: Favorite Male Artist) and wife Caroline, Gwen Stefani and No Doubt bandmates and Lady Antebellum (won Country Music: Favorite Band, Duo or Group). Justin Bieber  has great hair and eyebrows (what can I say)! He brought his Mom Pattie as his date and she looked great in her burgundy red dress. Justin cleaned house taking home awards for his new album Believe (Artist of the year, Pop or Rock Music:Favorite Album and Pop or Rock Music:Favorite Male Artist). In one of his acceptance speeches he had some heart-felt words to his Mom and all that she has done for him and believes in him. It was really sweet.

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2634349-amas-2012-red-carpet-pink-617-600  2634399-amas-2012-red-carpet-carrie-underwood-617-600  x700-2x700-5  x700-1  photo 1  2634409-amas-2012-red-carpet-lady-antebellum-617-600  GINNIFER GOODWIN at American Music Awards2634229-amas-2012-red-carpet-cyndi-lauper-617-600x700 7569449.bin gty_mom_justin_bieber_ama_awards_thg_1211119_wblog The 40th American Music Awards - Arrivals

The night included amazing performances that lit up the stage and tore down the house. Some of the top performance picks that had me dancing in my seat were~ Pink, in which she performed an emotional contemporary dance of her new song Try while covered in paint. Taylor Swift transformed the stage into a scene right out of Phantom of the Opera with her song I knew you were trouble. She started out in a white dress and then switched it up and tore it off revealing a edgier red bustier and black tulle skirt. Cyndi Lauper introduced Ke$ha as she performed Die Young with a group of dancers beating drums. It had a very tribal feel to it. Carly Rae Jepsen introduced top winner of the night Justin Bieber as he and his guitarist Dan started out performing an acoustic version of As long as you love me . He then broke into an electric performance of Beauty and a Beat in which Nicki Minaj (who won Rap/Hip-Hop Music: Favorite Artist and another for Favorite Album) stepped out on stage in a tight black outfit and crazy, big, curly black wig (#lovethis) for her part. Carly Rae Jepsen also had her chance on stage where she performed This Kiss with dancers all around her and the screens behind her displaying lots of multi colored lips. I loved this set as it reminded me of a candy store. She then busted out into a song everyone knows Call Me Maybe where she danced around and climbed up on top of yellow, pink and blue phone booths. It was a big night for Carly as she took home the win for New Artist of the Year. Carrie Underwood had us all Blown Away (like always) singing her new hit Two Black Cadillacs. She rocked black gloves, a stunning black dress, smokey eyes and her gorgeous blonde hair blowing in the wind machines. This girl always looks put together and can we talk about those legs……… Pitbull created a dance part with his hit Don’t stop the Party and Christina Aguilera came out to finish with a belt on song Feel this Moment. Christina performed herself to Let there be Love with a group of performers that represented people individuality and beautifulness. Gwen Stefani and No Doubt performed Looking Hot  and years and years of bringing us hit after hit they still deliver. I don’t know if it’s the great music they put out or Gwen’s incredible abs! What ever it is I will probably be a fan for life. Gwen Stefani is a powerhouse business woman, role model and truly inspiring. All these artists belted out their songs and didn’t hold back.

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822x My absolute favorite part of the night was the tribute to the late Dick Clark. Ryan Seacrest has some touching words about the life he led and the many accomplishments Dick Clark had in his career. He was a huge part of music and paved the way for many. Dick Clark loved the great Stevie Wonder as a friend and Artist for 49 years and to have him perform was the perfect fit. Stevie started out by saying he remembered Dick’s friendship, kindness and his love for music and people. Stevie then broke out into songs where the back screen displayed pictures of events and moments that represented Dick Clark’s life. Everyone was on their feet remembering a great Man and Friend. It was very moving and my eyes filled with tears when the camera showed his loving wife Kari enjoying the music and watching and remembering her late husband. It was such a beautiful thing to watch and be allowed to be a part of.

Now to Beauty~Red Carpet Manicure, LLC announced the limited edition shade “Set In Stone,” with four carats of genuine diamonds, exclusively for the 40th Anniversary of the American Music Awards® Gift Lounge. This announcement comes on the heels of Red Carpet Manicure’s launch of “Your Fortune Awaits,” an exclusive ruby filled polish, which was also at the lounge. Celebrity manicurists Michelle Saunders and Kimmie Kyees gave nominees and presenters the real red carpet treatment in Los Angeles. Red Carpet Manicure will donate $1,000 per gem-studded manicure to the American Red Cross.

“We wanted to kick off award season with a polish that highlights the fun and fearlessness of nail art with a worthwhile cause,” said Barry Shields, partner of Red Carpet Manicure. “Whether you are being photographed by the swarms of paparazzi or just watching the show at home, anyone can be red carpet ready with the gem trend as a consumer version is now available called ‘An Evening to Remember’”.

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Pictured here is Rihanna wearing “Your Fortune Awaits,” and Cyndi Lauper at the AMA’s showing off “Set in Stone.”  I was able to test out the consumer version of both polishes called “Draped in Rubies” and “An Evening to Remember.” The Gel Polish Starter Kit  gave salon ready nails in minutes in the comfort of my own home. Red Carpet Manicure was the first at-home-gel manicure system on market. I fell in love with “Draped in Rubies” and ” An Evening to Remember.” They both left my nails shining bright like diamonds and ready to paint the town. This system is easy to use and they have a great selection of amazing colors too. Next polish to try is “Wow” I’m thinking.

Let me know what your favorite shade is

Remember to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

“Balanced and Fit……a fitness journey”

It’s official, I have pasted the 2 month mark and could not be prouder of myself. In such a short amount of time I have learned so much about myself and that my fitness goals are in my reach. I absolutely love, love, love this quote pic as it sums up the mental struggle I have dealt with my whole life when it comes to my fitness. There have been so many times that I have doubted my ability to be able to workout as hard as I have and to achieve the results I have done. Honestly I now know that anything I dream off or wish to accomplish I can do!

Over this past week I have had some long work days and previous to starting this fitness journey may have let temptations win, but not now! I had a few circumstances where I was tempted by food and still stayed focused and managed to avoid them. I haven’t really had any major cravings like I use to have and find that creating new healthy recipes is becoming fun and more easy to do.

This past week I started experimenting with what I was cooking and decided to post a picture of one of my dinners. I am obsessed with kale at the moment and just can’t seem to get enough. As we all know eating any vegetable in the raw form is always better than it being cooked as it can lose some of the nutrients. So what is it that I did with my dinner you ask, well let me tell you. I took ground turkey breasts, mixed a bunch of herbs from my kitchen, added a few egg whites and formed into patties. I then grilled them. Next I took brocoli slaw salad (prepackaged) and added an apple and a bit of avocado to it. For the dressing I mixed together small equal amounts of olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, yellow mustard and a drop of honey. So tasty, easy to make and not a lot of calories. For the Kale I took raw kale (broke into pieces) and a dressing I made and marinated it for 30 minutes. The dressing was really simple, mix raw garlic, crushed chilli flakes, raw grated parmesan, lemon juice, olive oil and ground pepper to taste. The lemon juice in the dressing slightly cooks the kale while still keeping it crisp. I can’t tell you how great this meal tasted, so much that I crave it every night. I felt full and had tons of energy. Kale has so many health benefits including iron which I run low on with not eating any red meat.

This past week I had numerous people start to tell me that they have noticed how I’m looking more fit. It’s really encouraging to look in the mirror and see the transformation, but to have others compliment you on the hard work you’ve put in gives you some added boost. I am noticing my stomach starting to get definition and the start to a 6 pack. I have gained a lot of muscle in my legs and each day feel stronger and stronger. With feeling run down this past few weeks and fighting a bug, I am just starting to increase my cardio, but with this added strength I’m finding it easier to do. I am continuing to take my BCAA’s and Glutamine and definitely recover after each workout faster. My three favourite exercises are 21’s, one leg squats and sumo squats.

I’m looking forward to starting my week 9 and seeing my body continue to change. Seeing that only a few months have passed, I can not wait until Summer when I will be 100% beach ready!

Thank you to my personal trainer Hanan Arabatlian from Hanan Fitness  for my fitness program &Steve Nash Fitness Clubs for sponsoring my training at their various gyms.

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

Tea Party with Tracy Stern

As little girls (and some little boys too), I think we can all look back and remember playing dress up and having tea parties. I also remember my grandmother’s exquisite china tea sets, hand crafted and designed with beautiful roses. Tea time held such wonderful memories, it’s probably because of that I still get such a feeling of love sipping on a warm cup.

In May of this year I was invited to the opening of New York- based Tracy Stern’s SALONTEA, which opened its first ever Canadian boutique in Vancouver (with President Sarah Ambrose). I had heard about the New York location and tea before as Oprah is fond of the brand. I wasn’t sure what the night had in store but soon found myself in my very own “Alice in Wonderland”. I took the occasion to dress up in one of my big Betsey Johnson dresses all decked out in black frilly lace! Upon arriving I was instantly mesmerized by the decor and colors that filled the room~burnt orange, hot pink and chocolate-brown. I wanted to find out more about the concept and was directed to the entrance wall. There laid out before me were seven different cut out mirror images~ The Writer, The Society Hostess, The Romantic, The Lover, The Artist, The Musician and The Fashionable Dandy. I was told to see what image grabbed my attention and that would be the tea of choice. I was of course drawn to “The Writer“, which I found out was Oprah’s favourite too (love this)! I mingled and engaged in wonderful conversations while enjoying a selection of teas, an array of delicate sandwiches, sweet treats and some sparkling champagne. My attention then turned to a display in the middle of the shop, on the shelves sat BEAUTEA products and perfumes which are made from tea. I was very curious and had to learn more.

I had the opportunity to meet Tracy Stern that night and I can honestly tell you she was beyond lovely, gracious and the perfect hostess. I was drawn to Tracy’s concept, devotion and love for the essence of beauty. We sat and chatted for quite some time and she indulged me in her world of tea. The conversation soon turned to beauty talk and we ended up sharing our favourite lipsticks, hers being Tom Ford’s Red and mine (at the time) YSL’s Coral. I explained what a huge fan of tea I was and that I loved taking baths. She mentioned that I should definitely try “The Writer” tea bath sachet and roll on tea perfumes. The perfumes were amazing, with such captivating, enticing and alluring scents. I took some of the tea sachet’s home and it was like indulging in a cup of chai tea (see a previous post here). I was in total heaven.


I picked up a copy of Tracy’s new book “tea party” and she graciously signed with a personal note. The whole night was a fabulous experience and I absolutely love the concept. It really is a perfect place to relax during an afternoon or to host a tea party. This takes tea parties to the next level. From the moment I met Tracy I knew without a doubt that she would be someone who I would like to feature on BB411 for a Beauty Q&A. So go grab your favourite cup of  tea, sit back and learn more about life and beauty with Tracy Stern.

BB411~Have you always been in love with fashion and beauty?

TS~Since I was a little girl, barbies, fashion and simple luxuries like taking bubble baths were always my world. My mother dressed me well & I have an award from kindergarten for “BEST DRESSED AWARD”! Today in a NY magazine I am still voted best dressed.

BB411~What is the story that brought you to creating “tea party” and the beauty line?

TS~”tea party” the book-I have and always have a million ideas and inspirations for creating special events, decor and gorgeous table top ideas. Plus I love people and being surrounded by friends . I love the element of surprise and fantasy and want to create that for my guests while being old-fashioned and bringing people together.

BB411~What is your earliest memory with tea and tea parties?

TS~As an only child I would have tea parties for my dolls and remember my grandmother cutting out circle tea sandwiches for me with egg salad. Very sweet and simple.

BB411~Do you use tea for your skin care?

TS~I love beauty and purity. Using tea which naturally rejuvenates the skin cells on skins first layer of epidermis. You can actually spray brewed tea to balance the ph levels. As well it actually helps sunburns too.

BB411~Where do you see your business going in the next 1, 5 & 10 years?

TS~I would like to organically approach building several tea apothecary’s for the people to understand the lifestyle component of tea

BB411~3 beauty products you carry with you always?

TS~lipgloss, chai perfume roll on, lipstick

BB411~#1 beauty product you could not live without?

TS~My pure oils

BB411~Favorite lip color?

TS~TOM FORD RED

BB411~How do you stay fit?

TS~Eating healthy, juicing, drinking tea and walking the world over

BB411~What does beauty mean to you?

TS~It’s lifestyle encompassing visual, scents, tastes & it’s a feeling to make life more beautiful and wonderful

BB411~Are you involved in any charities, are any close to your heart?

TS~I am involved in numerous charities in NYC and internationally . My latest NFTE just honored me for helping young entrepreneurs & I’m especially fond of all my charities to help children and women in need.

BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you know now what would it be? (a lesson learned or wisdom gained?)

TS~I would tel my younger self that everything that happens is the way its meant to be. Let go and enjoy life and all opportunities that come your way.

BB411~Fun fact that your fans may not know about you?

TS~People don’t know I’m a skateboarder! I have been skating and doing tricks since high school – freestyle and old school. I love to travel internationally and now will start writing a jet set blog and national column for travel at pink memo.

Tracy Stern has created the popular SALONTEA and BEAUTEA product lines, which are sold at specialty shops and boutiques around the world and on her website. She hosts a tea salon in Manhattan and organizes bridal showers, banquets, and themed parties around the country. Stern and her products have appeared on numerous national television programs as well as in publications such as O Magazine, People, Harper’s Bazaar, and the New York Times.”

To find out more about Tracy and keep up to date with what she has going on, check out SalonTea or follow her on facebook &  Twitter

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411