Archive for the ‘Charity’ Category

Beauty on the West Coast with Erin Cebula

Call it destiny and hard work, or passion with a purpose, Erin Cebula has been gracing our TV screens since 2000 with her infectious smile and charming personality on Global BC. As the go-to reporter on the West Coast for Entertainment Tonight Canada, Erin brings a high level of energy to her interviews. When Erin’s not in front of the camera, she’s giving back by lending her genuine heart to rewarding everyday heroes and changing lives with the various charities she is involved with (Spokesperson for the BC Children’s Hospital Lottery and Host of HGTV’s Makeover Wish , to name a few). Erin shares a passion for life, from her love for animals (especially her late dog Lenny), beautiful marriage to her wonderful husband, strong bonds with her girlfriends and indulgence for everything entertainment. This “former farm girl” & “undercover jock” brings beauty and style to everything that surrounds her!

When she’s not filming you can find her cooking up a storm in the kitchen, enjoying the outdoors or spending quality time with family and friends. I had the chance to speak with Erin and find out a little more about beauty, life and the things she loves……

BB411~Have you always loved fashion/entertainment?

EC~Dress-up has always been part of my life and I still have a well stocked tickle-trunk.  In 86’ I started interviewing my poor family at Christmas Dinner, and I guess I just never stopped.

BB411~How would you describe your style?

EC~I suppose I strive for “sophisticated bohemian”, but I can be really lazy too. My go-to look when I’m not working are leggings, gumboots and a toque! Stilettos just don’t belong in the dog park.

BB411~You rock short hair! Do you ever think you will grow it long?

EC~My short do’ has become a bit of a trademark over the years, but I am open to long locks. I’m just not sure I have the patience to make it through the dreaded “inbetween” stage. Shudder.

BB411~What is your favourite hair product?

EC~I was recently introduced to the Oribe texturizer and I’m hooked.  It gives my hair some grittiness without being sticky. It’s magic.

BB411~Does any certain scent remind you of your childhood?

EC~I wore Samsara by Guerlain when I was a teen, and when I do catch it in the air (which is very rare) it takes me back to awkward high school dances and bush parties.

BB411~Do you have a best kept beauty secret that have been passed onto you?

EC~Healthy food was big in the Cebula home and it’s just as important to me now. I avoid junk food and splurge on good wine and cheese instead. I eat organic when I can and I am a really good sleeper!

BB411~3 beauty products you carry with you always?

EC~Quo Lipgloss in “Captive Fascination”, Jane Iredale Mineral Powder and a big old tube of Great Lash Mascara.

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

EC~Dermalogia Microfoliant

BB411~ I Love, Love, Love this product too (see post)

BB411~You are in amazing shape, what’s your secret?

EC~First of all thank-you!  But the props should go to my trainer Tom Taylor at T3Athetics. He kicks my butt and Moksha yoga keeps me balanced.

BB411~What does giving back to charities mean to you?

EC~I love to be a part of positivity, and helping others makes the world a better place.

BB411~What does beauty mean to you?

EC~To me, beauty is health and confidence.

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

EC~I can limbo like a hot damn!

BB411~Favorite quote?

EC~ “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching”.-Unknown

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

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

Trista Sutter: Happily Ever After

133Now a Vail, Colorado resident with her husband Ryan, Trista Sutter (formerly Rehn), was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. After receiving a Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science from Indiana University, she went on to earn a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami. She enjoyed Miami so much that she ended up calling it home for five more years, with four being spent practicing pediatric physical therapy at Miami Children’s Hospital, and two years as a Miami Heat dancer.

Looking for something new and exciting, Trista applied for a new show called “The Bachelor”. After being chosen to appear as one of 25 bachelorettes on the ABC hit, she achieved overnight fame as the runner-up who was not ultimately picked as The Bachelor’s dream girl. Not being chosen proved to be the best thing that ever happened to her, because she was then asked to become the first Bachelorette. On this spin-off, she not only met the man of her dreams in handsome firefighter Ryan Sutter, but said “yes” to his televised marriage proposal that over 30 million people tuned in to witness.

After a long engagement they planned a dream wedding with the industry’s best for a special that was shared with the millions that had watched their love story unfold. Along with Jason and Molly Mesnick and Ashley and JP Rosenbaum, Trista and Ryan Sutter are only a few couples from “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” to actually tie the knot, and one of few to even remain together.

IMG_7271As icing on the proverbial cake, they gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Maxwell Alston Sutter, on July 26, 2007 after 2 long years of trying and 20 months later were doubly blessed with the birth of Blakesley Grace Sutter on April 3, 2009. Their family of 4 ½ (including their 5 pound Yorkie, Tank) live a happy life in the Vail valley where Ryan is currently a Lieutenant with the Vail Fire Department and Trista works as a stay-at-home-and-work mom. In December 2013, they celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary renewing their vows to include their children. Life is good.

In addition to her involvement on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Trista has graced the covers of People, Us Weekly, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style, Modern Bride, TV Guide, and Woman’s World. She was a contestant on the first season of the Emmy-nominated Dancing with the Stars, appeared on Marriage Bootcamp: Reality Stars, and has co-hosted The View, Good Day Live, VH1’s All Access, and Trista and Ryan’s Honeymoon Hotspots on the Travel Channel. She has also worked as a correspondent for Extra, Miss America, and Good Morning America. She appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ellen, The Tonight Show, Howard Stern, Fear Factor, The Rachael Ray Show, According to Jim, and Less than Perfect.


In December, 2013, she penned a book all about the benefits of gratitude called, Happily Ever After: The Life-Changing Power of a Grateful Heart. As a newlywed, she wrote a column in Redbook entitled “My Life as a New Wife”, has since written multiple blogs for outlets such as E! Online, and has been featured hundreds of times in national press, including: Woman’s World, People, The Oprah Magazine, Parade, Maxim, MOM magazine, In Style, Good Housekeeping, TV Guide, In Touch, Ok!, Life & Style weekly, and US Weekly.


Trista tries to connect daily with her fans daily on  Twitter, Instagram and Facebook fans. And stay tuned for exciting new projects in the works, including her continuing gift, jewelry, and home collection with Glory Haus called The Grateful Heart Collection!!

I have been a fan of the Bachelor since it first aired and remember feeling for Trista as she got her heart broken on National TV. So I was beyond thrilled when it was announced  that they chose her for the original Bachelorette. I, along with millions watched as her fairy tale came to life and she found her prince-charming. Sometimes you see people and you just know that they are meant for each other, and Trista and Ryan are a perfect match. I had the honours of reading Trista’s new book “Happily Ever After, The Life-Changing Power of a Grateful Heart” and it was completely inspiring. I love how she can embrace life’s ups and downs and continue to have a compassionate heart. She sees the beauty in the little things and allows the lessons to teach her. Happily Ever After is a book that will warm your heart and encourage you to find more gratitude, grace and happiness in your everyday life. This is one, of many favourite quotes I love from her new book, “Sometimes it’s the smallest gestures and the most unassuming things that can have the greatest effects.” This interview really was a full circle moment for me, and I feel grateful to share it with all of you…………….BACHELOR-ETTE-TRISTA-REHN-2

BB411~ What was your experience being on the Bachelorette, what did you learn and would you have done anything differently (Now looking back)?

TS~ I have learned to be true to myself and life will happen as it’s supposed to. Life has changed drastically as I am now a dedicated mommy and wife and that wouldn’t have happened in the way that it did had I not met and married Ryan. If I could go back, I would let Ryan know how I was feeling before the final rose ceremony. He had a hard time because I wasn’t giving him any verbal reciprocation of his feelings and I’ve always regretted that.

BB411~ What do you love most about Ryan?

TS~ There are too many to mention! The thing I fell in love with most was that he was so kind and genuine. Now, I LOVE that he is such a wonderful and giving father, that he always makes me laugh, and that he is such a dedicated hard worker.

FullSizeRender-8BB411~ What are the key points to having a happy, loving marriage? What are the must do’s in every relationship?

TS~ Love, commitment, respect, trust, forgiveness, friendship, communication, laughter, attraction, fun, support, faith, and gratitude. Must do’s are making your relationship a priority, constantly working to better your relationship, encouraging each other to do what they love, and dedicating time to each other.

BB411~ Who did you admire today?

TS~ My husband. He is the best, most genuine, kind, funny, beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful person I know.

BB411~ You have 2 beautiful children with Ryan, what do you love most about being a mom?   What do you want to teach your children most about life?

TS~ I love the pure beauty of unconditional love. I want to teach my children to be grateful for the blessings in life, about the beauty of the world, to be good friends and good people, enjoy this life, and that they should never take their time on here or the people surrounding them for granted.IMG_7307

BB411~ Would you consider another reality tv show, if so what would you like to do?

TS~ We always say “never say never”. There is always a possibility, but it would have to be something that could fit into our lifestyle and not be too intrusive into our children’s lives.

BB411~ How did your parents influence the person you are today?

TS~ They showed me through their example, how to be dedicated, loving, family oriented, and respectful of others.

BB411~ First, Congrats on your new book and the tour! What was the inspiration behind    “Happily Ever After”?

TS~  I wanted to write something with meaning…something that would hopefully inspire people. Gratitude has always been a powerful force in my life’s happiness and I wanted to share my stories, along with those of others as well as tons of research on how you can live a happier life if you embrace a grateful heart. And, with the holidays approaching, as well as the more inexpensive version out Dec 2014, I hope people will pick it up and make the new year their best one yet!


BB411~ What did you learn about your self from writing this book?

TS~ I learned that I can do anything that I set my mind to. I’m not a writer by trade, but I didn’t give up even with massive writer’s block and a household that needed mommy. I know it’s not a new concept or even always grammatically correct, but I’m still proud to say that after lots of hard work…it’s mine.

BB411~ Describe your style?

TS~ Classic with a touch of trend.


BB411~ What are the key ingredients to throwing a great party?

TS~ A great guest list, fun theme, beautiful location, lots of yummy treats, activities galore to minimize boredom and of course, the well thought out details.

BB411~ What are the top 3 designers that grace the space of your closet?

TS~ Everyday: Splendid, So Low, and Forever 21. Higher End: Jimmy Choo, and Louboutin.

BB411~ What are the 5 key pieces that every woman should have in their wardrobe?

TS~ Jeans, White tanks, Spanx, Nude heels, and my staple…yoga pants.

BB411~ How do you stay motivated with life’s daily stresses that come up?

TS~ I let myself stress, vent to my husband or friends, then pick myself up and keep moving along. Music doesn’t hurt either.1403817511_469232673_trista-sutter-zoom

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

TS~ Definitely. I remember wanting to be a model when I was younger because I was in love with the beauty in magazines and wanted to be part of that world.

BB411~What does beauty mean to you?

TS~ Confidence, expressions of pure joy, and uninhibited love.

BB411~ What inspires you personally and professionally?

TS~ My family and anyone who attempts to fulfill their dreams all while having a grateful heart.

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

TS~ Yes. First Descents – it’s an organization that fund adventure programs for young adults, ages 18-39, who are suffering from or have survived cancer.

BB411~ What does it mean to you to give back?

TS~ I think it’s the responsibility of everyone…especially those in the public eye.

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

TS~ All your dreams will come true. Just believe.

FullSizeRender-9BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?

TS~ Loyal, nurturing, and grateful.

BB411~ What is your skin care regime?

TS~ Wash with Purpose Soap, moisturize and tighten with Cetaphil or Hydropeptide products and repeat. Occasionally fit in a facial.

BB411~ How do you stay fit?

TS~ Hitting Dogma Athletica (my gym in Edwards, CO) for interval training classes, or popping in a BeachBody dvd as much as possible. That, and ending the day with push ups and sit ups.

BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?

TS~ Lip gloss, mascara, and tweezers.

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

TS~ VisineIMG_6681

BB411~ What is your favorite fragrance?

TS~ I love Jo Malone Orange Blossom

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

TS~ Other than how to do your mascara in the car, no. 😉

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

TS~ I read magazines and catalogs from the back to the front.

BB411~ Favorite quote?

TS~ “I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” – Og Mandino

IMG_0198BB411~ Favorite food?

TS~ French fries

BB411~ Favourite book/movie?

TS~ “Happily Ever After: The Life Changing Power of a Grateful Heart”/ Despicable Me 2

BB411~ #1 thing you want to cross off your bucket list?

TS~ Writing a children’s book.

BB411~ What has been your biggest Aha Moment so far in life?

TS~ That Ryan was the one.

BB411~ Describe your perfect day when you have some down time?

TS~ Sleep in, hit the beach (assuming I’m at the beach), eat, hit the pool, eat, snuggle with my kids and hubby, and hit the sack.

BB411~ What advice would you give entrepreneurs starting out that are following their dreams?

TS~ Be realistic, work hard, and never give up hope.

BB411~ Where do you see yourself in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years?

TS~ Pretty much in the same place, just with older children, more experiences, more wrinkles, and a 11 year, 15 year, and 20 year marriage.

BB411~ When I say the words #lovethis, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

TS~ #myfamilytrista_sutterfamily

To keep up to date on Trista: follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Get your copy of “Happily Ever After” at Booksellers Nationwide

Remember to say you heard it first here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

Fur Crying Out Loud

Fur Crying Out Loud-1

My heart is so full with love as I get to share a recent collaboration I did with Big Love Ball and 13 amazing, strong-minded women and 1 rocking dude. Along with these beauties, we bundled up in-between shots while we had our pictures taken to launch this new project founded by uber talented, artist Wendy Williams Watt. When Wendy called and asked me to be a part of this great cause, I screamed with excitement. I have so much admiration for everything Wendy, her team and Big Love Ball are creating.

Fur Crying Out Loud’ is an expression of exasperation towards the ongoing senseless mistreatment and neglect of animals. Big Love Ball has created a T-shirt to deliver a straightforward message – be as good to our non-human friends as they have been to us.


Our animals are our family. Asking nothing in return, they shove their wet noses into the palms of our hands when we don’t even know we want them to. They intuit how we are managing emotionally and watch over our loved ones as life sprints along. They put up with our bad driving, silly holiday traditions, histrionic pet voices and foolish attire (sometimes involving chin straps).

Fur Crying Out Loud-4

On a recent cold November afternoon, Big Love Ball invited 15 ambitious animal lovers to sit for a photo in an abandoned brick depot to launch Fur Crying Out Loud. Wearing T-shirts and holding furbabies in lieu of handbags, these local leaders took the time to stand shoulder to shoulder with one united voice. This group consists of confident influencers who all support rescue, adoption and ethical treatment of animals. They chatter about what matters. If one small phrase paws its way into our psyche, this is a start.

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Make your fashion statement a passion statement and show your support for animal rescue and adoption. Buy your own Fur Crying Out Loud T-shirt with a portion of all proceeds going to support the rescue and adoption organization, Paws for Hope.

I can’t thank everyone involved enough for making this day one to remember, nothing but love.

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A great big THANK YOU to Wendy Williams Watt, William Byma, Photographers Bob Garlick & Eyoalha Baker, Lorena Ponis, Stephanie Langston, Erin Ireland, Charlie Kerr, Mariel Armstrong, Lauren Armstrong, Sunny Lenarduzzi, Megan Williams, Cora Chok, Michelle Hutchinson, Kate Horsman, Natalie Langston, Caolaidhe Lundy and all the fur babies in attendance.

Fur Crying Out Loud-15

And finally, thank you to Wendy’s daughter Rachael (which the t-shirt is dedicated to) for, at eleven, told her Mom of this idea to raise money during recess at her school for the S.P.C.A. It was because of Rachael’s vision that all of us had the honour and blessing to be a part of this joyful day. This beautiful girl knew the only way to make a change, was to be the change. Rachael is twenty now and volunteers for the SPCA and Vokra. I admire all those that give their time, energy and heart to great causes that make the world a better place.

Oh and did I mention, these T’s are super comfortable. I seem to be living in mine these days.

Photo Gallery by Bob Garlick and Eyoälha Baker (minus BB411 Furbaby photo)

Remember to say you heard it first here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411 


Finding Your Strength with Rita Catolino

photo by paul buceta_1504

When I found out that I would be interviewing the woman who helped take Tosca Reno to the next level, I was beyond ecstatic. I have admired Tosca for years and all that she has accomplished, but there was something different that seemed to transform when she started to train with her trainer and coach Rita Catolino. As I followed their journey and read Rita’s own story of personal struggle, I couldn’t help but have this urge that I wanted to experience this transformation too.

After contacting Rita for our interview (She is so sweet and genuine by the way), I began to think what if she could train me. I have said this before and will say it again, there is something about having a positive force in your corner helping to drive you. I started to post pictures of Rita for daily inspiration and during my first phase of my contest prep, used her encouraging words as I pushed harder at the gym. Rita’s physique is what I envision as my set goal.

With Rita and Tosca’s drive, determination and motivation speaking loudly in my ear, I decided to pursue hiring Rita as my Coach. Lucky for me she said YES! We will begin our training the beginning of June and with the help of following the Eat-Clean Diet lifestyle and Rita’s program I am sure to discover a new-found strength and take it to the next level.

Having the opportunity to interview 2 of my role models was something beyond words. I am very grateful and blessed to be able to share this interview with you. May it inspire you to conquer your fears and  live the best life you can. You only have the now, so why not make the most of it. Here is (in Rita’s own words) how things came to be and the incredible journey that lead her to where she is today~ Confident, Strong and Beautiful!

“It’s ironic to see the title of my web page – Rita Catolino, Fitness Model! This would have looked much different 6 years ago when fitness, nutrition and posing in a bikini or fitness wear was the farthest thing in my life.  My fitness journey started after having my little girl in 2007. I grew up watching my own mother experiment with every diet on the market.  I watched as she lost and gained weight uncontrollably and realized as I matured that this aspect of her life in turn, affected every other.  I didn’t realize that I could be heading down that same path if I didn’t do something about it. It was this huge milestone that pushed me to change. This new “precious package” in my arms made me realize that I wasn’t happy with my health choices. I needed energy and a positive self-image to be able to pass that on to my daughter and break the cycle of yo-yo dieting in my family.

I went to the gym, started doing group exercise classes, picked up Tosca Reno’s The Eat Clean Diet and was on my way!  Okay, it wasn’t quite that easy. Initially, I struggled to make it to the gym, often caving in and eating my white pasta and cheese. Did I mention wine? Weekends (Thursday- Sunday) were still my cheat times, and I struggled with the new commitment of motherhood. But, the hard work paid off.  Slowly and steadily I started to see progress over the months, and so did my friends. A friend of mine who noticed my progress recommended I get started on a free weight routine and offered to show me some workouts.  After that first session, I was hooked on iron! I loved the pump and aggression of lifting weights. I started putting on lean muscle mass and toning my body quicker than I thought was possible, and Angela suggested I sign up for my first fitness competition…and I did. In May of 2009, I stepped on the stage for the first time. I didn’t win, nor did I place in the top 10, but I felt like a winner and I was hooked.


Now, 4 years later, competing and fitness modelling are part of my lifestyle.  They keep me focussed and motivated. I am constantly training to evolve and become a recognized presence in the fitness industry.   I am now a certified personal trainer and eating clean is a huge part my life, as well as my client’s and family’s. I still find time to enjoy the odd glass of full bodied red and some yummy Gorgonzola cheese, but in moderation.  I hope to continue learning on this journey and inspire people to do the same.” ~Rita Catolino

BB411~ You struggled with your weight, what was the turning point when first getting into shape?

RC~ There wasn’t one specific moment; it was an accumulation of moments in time that led to my decision of taking my life back into my own hands.  The most prevalent were the birth of my daughter and wanting to be a healthy role model for her.  I also didn’t want to fit into the stereotypical “mom” role of “letting yourself go” after having kids. I had a desire to be strong both mentally and physically for this new being for which I was responsible for. ~Rita Catolino

BB411~ How did becoming a Personal Trainer/Fitness Coach and Fitness Model come to be?

RC~ I never planned on becoming either. It was passion that brought me here. As I started transforming my own body, women at the gym would ask for my help. I started guiding them and found that the nurturer and teacher in me (I was an ESL teacher and preschool teacher) were unleashed. I decided to leave my teaching career and jump head first into a new industry and soak up all that I could! The modelling came after doing a few fitness shows and being approached by photographers. I slowly worked up my portfolio and voila!

BB411~ How did you meet and come to work with Tosca Reno (How did the Eat Clean Diet change your life)?

IMG_0090-669x411RC~ The Eat Clean Diet was recommended to me after approaching a girl at the gym who had the body I had always dreamed of.  I approached her and asked; “which exercises should I do to look like you?”- She laughed and responded with heavy weights, but my secret is the Eat Clean Diet. I don’t think I have ever run to Chapters so fast.  I bought the book, read it front to back, and changed my life from that moment on. No questions, no excuses, no adapting. Something about the way it was written and laid out made it seem attainable and doable. I became a die-hard Tosca fan from that moment. After years of hard work and dedication, I was called on by Oxygen Magazine to shoot as their fitness model. I became to grow close to the photography team and make-up artists. When Valeria Nova, one of the artists inquired about getting a trainer, I jumped on board and started working with her. As Tosca’s makeup artist, it became aware to Tosca just how much Valeria changed her body. Curious to how, Tosca asked how she sculpted this new body. A month later, I had an email from Tosca asking to help prepare her for a Fitness show in honour of her late husband, Robert Kennedy. The rest as they say, is history.

BB411~ Where does your drive and focus come from?


RC~ I think it is an innate character trait. I have always been very self-demanding from as young as I can remember. I believe it is an intrinsic quality that can be improved upon, or forgotten about. Luckily for me, I had the example of two incredibly hard-working parents to follow by their example. My father came to Canada from Italy when he was 18, and had to work extremely hard to fit into his new culture. He taught me tenacity, dedication and to never give up through his own actions. My mother, intrinsically a very passionate woman, instilled in me at a very young age that anything was possible. I thank them both for helping nurture an already feisty soul.

BB411~ If you weren’t in the career you are today and you could be anything in the world what would it be?

RC~ I would definitely be an actress.  I grew up going to special theatre schools and music schools. I would have loved to be a theatre actress, or even do movies.  I love calling out my alter ego and being able to become another character.


BB411~ Which fitness and athletes did you admire growing up or do today?

RC~ I grew up in a culturally rich household where cooking, traditions like wine making, tomato sauce and sausages kept us busy. Music, theatre, piano and violin lessons were all part of our spare time. I don’t remember having any specific fitness or athletes that I looked up to.  I do remember watching the Nadia Comaneci biography as a young girl and being very inspired by her. I went on to dabble in gymnastics because of her. Nowadays, I look up to Rafael Nadal for his amazing work ethic and of course in my industry, to Tosca Reno for her being one of the biggest motivators for my own personal journey.

BB411~ What is your fitness regimen what supplements are important to take when training?

RC~ My training is always changing depending on the season, if I am competing, travelling, or if I have an upcoming shoot. Generally speaking, I strength train 2 times per week (heavy dead lifts, squats, ring pulls, push ups, sled work). I also train my posterior chain 2 times per week, upper 2 times per week. I like to incorporate hot yoga 2 times per week. When I have the time, I will do HIIT (high intensity interval training). There are many supplements on the market. I stick to fish oil, vitamin C and D and Branched Chain Amino Acids (Rivalus). I also take a good probiotic for healthy gut flora.

interviewBB411~ Favorite body part and favourite exercise to do?

RC~ I love to train shoulders. Such a beautiful body part, especially on a woman (the best accessory to any top). The Overhead push press is my favourite right now.

BB411~ Are there any key points you would give for someone prepping for a fitness competition?

RC~ Give yourself enough time to train for a show- if it is your fist time, don’t try to smash it all into 8 weeks. It takes time to build a physique worthy of stage. Hire a coach and get some proper guidance.

BB411~ What are the top reasons you would recommend an individual hiring a Coach?

RC~ It takes the guessing out of the equation. It is very hard for people to self-evaluate.  There already comes a lot of self-doubt with the process, but if you have someone on your team reassuring your, telling you what to do and when, it makes the process and journey that much more enjoyable and doable.

BB411~ What has being a Mom meant to you?paris

RC~ EVERYTHING! Aside from the joy and daily pleasures I get from this amazing little being, I am also given daily lessons. If you really sit and listen to young children, they can teach you so much. They have uncensored thoughts and have not been jaded by life or circumstance yet. They are the truth and they will tell you like it is. She keeps me grounded and reminds me that at the end of the day, no matter what happened, I have her and she has me. It is the best relationship.

BB411~ How do you stay motivated with life’s daily stresses that come up?

RC~ There are days when I just want to stay home, stay under the covers and ignore the world- but those are precisely the days that I need to push extra hard and prove to myself that I CAN DO IT. I know the feeling of post workout endorphin rush- that feeling is undeniably the best feeling in the world. Every time I leave a session, I feel better, more energized and ready to tackle the daily list of things to do. I try to remember those feelings when I just don’t want to get to the gym.. I also give in to those feelings from time to time as well- and that is okay too.

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

220779_10150177949254790_502059789_6970938_4354083_oRC~ YES I can remember from a young age sitting for hours with my mother’s jewelry and shoes and just being in awe of their wonderful colours and shapes. Growing up we visited Italy every summer, and as a young teenager, that is where my true love of style, fashion and beauty began.

BB411~ Describe your style?

RC~ A mix between boho-chic and euro classic.  My go to is black, but it is not rare to see me in coral, green, yellow….

BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?

RC~ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But the most beautiful woman is one with confidence.

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

RC~ I support St.Joseph’s Hospice in London Ontario. I also donate and volunteer for many local based charities whether it is by emceeing, being a model or by giving monetarily.

BB411~ What does it mean to you to give back?

RC~ I have the honor of being able to help women daily with their self-image and confidence.  After struggling myself, and now being on the other side, I feel blessed to give back to women and share my strategies and secrets to get their lives back and become the best version of themselves.

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

RC~ To not worry so much about what others think and follow your own passion. Stay true to yourself and your goals.

BB411~ 3 words that best describe you? IMG_1605

RC~ Passionate, Driven, Nurturer

BB411~ What is your skin care regime?

RC~ I am now obsessed with eye cream. I wash my face before bed with NeoStrata, use a Clinique toner, Estee Lauder Advanced Night repair Serum, Night Cream by Dr Renaud and Estee Lauder eye cream.  Morning consists of day cream, eye cream and once a week a mask from Dermalogica. I try more as I get older as I am started to see changes….eek!! I go to the gym everyday and I don’t wear foundation but I do put the Dermalogica Skin-Perfect Primer on everyday.

BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?

RC~ Christian Dior Addict Lip Glow (Lip gloss brings out the natural hue of your lips, perfect for the gym), Bath and Body Works Vanilla body spray, Bert’s Bees hand cream (For cold Canadian winters). I can’t leave out YSL’s Touche Eclat.

BB411~ #1 beauty product you could not live without

RC~ Guerlain Bronzer/Highlighter

BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood and what is your favorite fragrance?

RC~ Yes.  My nonna (grandmother) used to wear an Estee Lauder sparkly scented powder in a crème box that she kept in her bedroom. I loved her so much as well as the scent.  I can’t find it anymore, but my mom had one for years; I used to stick my nose in it all day when she passed. I love intense smells, chocolatey with cinnamon, coffee and patchouli notes. Angel is my favourite winter scent, while POISON by Dior is my current scent.

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

1297359124410_ORIGINALRC~ My Father’s mother, Lucia who recently passed and lived in Italy, swore by Olive Oil.  She used it on her skin, hair and nails.  Whenever we had dry knuckles, elbows and nails growing up, my mom would slather it on my sister and I.

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

RC~ A lot of my fans don’t know that I speak fluent Italian and Spanish and that I lived in Spain for over 5 years. I also have my grade 8 piano and played the violin for 7 years.  I also am a foodie who loves to cook!

BB411~ Favorite food?

RC~ Seafood (scallops).

BB411~ Favorite cheat meal?

RC~ Charcuterie board with artisanal cheese, pate and spreads.

BB411~ Favorite smoothie recipe?

RC~ Spinach, beets, ginger, apple, avocado, cinnamon and some pure cocoa nibs.

BB411~ #1 thing you want to cross off your bucket list?

RC~ Write my own book.

BB411~ Favourite Quote?

RC~ I don’t have one I’m not a quote girl, but Tosca said something to me last week when we were at lunch. I was thanking her for everything she’s done for me, even though I was prepared she gave me the opportunity. She said “Success is when preparedness and opportunity meet”.IMG_1002

BB411~ What has been your biggest Aha Moment so far in life?

RC~ I think when I left Canada to study in Spain for a year by myself with no real knowledge of the Spanish language. After living there for a year and fending for myself, having immersed myself in the language and conquering my fears, I knew that there was nothing in life that was impossible.  It gave me the confidence in life that I had lacked until then.

BB411~ What advice would you give entrepreneurs starting out that are following their dreams?

RC~ Do it headfirst without looking back. Make sure it is something that you are truly passionate about. When you work for yourself, you will be working at all hours of the day, days of the week. No 9-5 ~ Your brain is constantly working. This is great if you LOVE what you do, but if you don’t, then you will end up regretting it.

BB411~ Where do you see yourself in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years?

406818_335583813127494_182824181736792_1350301_771970678_nRC~ I see my online program growing to include more videos, tutorials and expanding to reach more women worldwide. In 5 years, I see myself becoming more internationally known, especially in Spain where I am just starting to break ground. I envision the Spanish community welcoming me as their fitness expert. A book will definitely happen too; that could happen in 1, 5 or 10 years. I will continue to evolve and stay current in this ever-changing industry with the ultimate goal of helping people, specifically women, find their optimal self. I am here to stay!

BB411~ When I say the words #lovethis, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

RC~ Spain

To keep up to date on Rita be sure to follow her on Twitter , like on Facebook, check out You Tube, Pinterest and Website.

Remember to check back in and follow my journey as Rita helps me take it to the next level!

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

Beauty Buzz 411 Gives Back to “Fuck Cancer”

FCI_logo_doc_horAfter months of planning, the day has finally arrived for the Beauty Buzz 411 2nd Annual Charity Gala. There has been so much buzz and support, my heart is overflowing with love.

Two years ago when Beauty Buzz 411 launched, I knew that I wanted to celebrate my anniversary each year by giving back to charity. BB411 has blessed me with the opportunity to work with amazing companies and I have met incredible people along the way. I believe that one person can make a difference and no amount of giving is too small.

Last year on BB411 Anniversary I cut my hair and donated 11.5″ to Locks of Love, the proceeds raised went to the Make a Wish Foundation. With such a great turn out,  the hype for this years event has been building for months. We hope to beat our success from last year and give back by bringing awareness to an amazing organization for a cause that has affected so many people. 545684_10152582073880621_111483793_n

When scouting out what charity to support for this years gala, I kept coming across Fuck Cancer. There was just something that kept drawing me to the organization and it felt very dear to my heart. From the moment I got in contact with the team they have opened their hearts and supported me in so many ways. I love the community they have and their focus on education and early detection. As the weeks went on I soon realized that Fuck Cancer was not just a charity, it was a family. Fuck Cancer educates Gen Y on early detection, prevention and the communication of cancer.

With the help of an incredible team I wanted to create a photo shoot that would show my support and capture the raw beauty of this amazing charity. I wanted to take a stand and not only be a voice that supported the cause, but be part of the change I want to see in this world. I had the absolute pleasure to be shot by Photographer Martin Szabo, Stylist Crystal Carson, Make Up Artist Allison Giroday and Hair Stylist Simon James.

After doing our shoot I went through a health scare with the C word and lost a friend to Cancer. This event soon became closer to my heart. Stay tuned for the in-depth story

I want to send a great BIG THANK YOU to the following individuals and companies, your generous support and beautiful hearts made this night possible. To all those that are attending I look forward to a great night ahead.

Fuck Cancer, One1One magazine, Pink Pearl PR, Empress Avenue, Brendan Brazier and the Vega Team, Tosca Reno and the Eat Clean Team, Bernadette Leno, Smell This Aromatherapy, Dermalogica, Justin Pasutto, John Frieda, Amanda Beisel~SKN, Fresh Vancouver Magazine, Leo B Originals, Jennifer Williams Photography, Lisa Marie Skin, Golden Event Tanning, Chef Ned Bell, Shine Jewels, Pop Chips, Flying Flips, Lejum Dead Sea Skin Care, Beauty through Balance by Ancient Secrets, Di Morelli, Korres, Will from Marram Fine Wines, Michelle Sayour & Crossroads Dental Wellness, LOLO, My Pakage, Anna and Kristina ~The Shopping Bags, Sheek PR, Monica Blichar, Martin Szabo Photography, Robert Wilson, the Volunteers and Coast Restaurant.

Make sure to check out Twitter tonight @beautybuzz411 for live coverage of the event~ #BB411GivesBack #BB4FC

And don’t miss post event coverage to see all the pics

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

A Twist on Linen…..Whitney Linen @WMCFW

GP4_0926-1Whitney Linen is an on-line shopping boutique focussing on linen from fashion & clothing, to table linens and bedding.  We design and manufacture all our products, using raw linen from the Baltic States, one of the largest exporters of linen in the world.

“Linen is one of the world’s oldest fabrics.  It is made from the flax flower (Linun Usitatissimun), which grows wild in the Baltic and now, under cultivation, in endless fields in the countryside.” 

Whitney Westwood, founder of Whitney Linen, has been involved in the fashion world for almost two decades. Westwood got her start in the industry as an international model with Elite, and has worked in fashion representation, event planning, marketing and PR over the years. More recently she worked as a partner in an online fashion and lifestyle magazine. As a result, she has had the opportunity to work with such fashion and entertainment icons as Gucci, Hermès, Valentino, Lenny Kravitz, P Diddy and Maxwell, to name a few.

Her deep well of experience and boundless dedication to fashion provided the passion to launch Whitney Linen. “My love of fine garments and timeless classics started when I was a child.  My parents brought the first Hermès store to Toronto and ran it for 15 years.  I grew up with Hermès, so to speak, and the colours and textures of the beautiful silks and leather goods have had a profound influence on my own design aesthetic,” says Westwood. “I have spent a lot of time in Europe and am always fascinated by the elegant men and women, dressed in linen, walking the cobbled streets of France and Italy. The more linen is worn, the better it looks. I want to introduce the comfort and confidence of this image to North Americans, but with a twist that’s decidedly ‘Whitney’,” she says.

Franciska Veress, designer for Whitney Linen, immigrated from Hungary to Toronto in 2001 where she worked towards establishing herself in the Canadian fashion industry. She got her start as a fashion show production assistant with Monarch Events Group, and there she gained invaluable experience learning the ins and outs of the inner workings of fashion in Canada.

In March 2010, Franciska founded her own fashion design company, Veress Couture, and launched her “Corset Collection” at a fundraiser event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. Her designs were an immediate success, and led to the production of a Fall/Winter collection of real fur accessories in both 2010 and 2011. Her designs have been featured at events like Catwalk Cure and Bell Celebrity Gala. Whitney and Franciska paired up to design the couture collection for Whitney Linen because of their mutual love for the fabric. “I’m passionate about pushing boundaries and creating the unexpected with linen,” says Veress.

Whit HS_150                   Fran headshot

I had the pleasure and honour to meet both beautiful ladies at World MasterCard fashion Week and fell in love with their infectious energy. It is so refreshing to meet strong-minded business women who live life in the moment. These two designers share their passion and creativity to produce breathtaking comfort.

BB411~ When did you know you wanted to be a designer?

WW~  I have always been involved in the fashion industry. My parents brought the first Hermes store to Toronto years ago so I was surrounded with beautiful things since I was a baby and this opportunity sort of fell into my lap close to two years ago so I went with it….

FV~ I knew that I wanted to be a designer since I was about 3 years old, when I was drawing the same princesses but always with different dresses and details on the dresses.

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

WW~ I am so happy being a designer presently this is it for me right now.

FV~ My dream was always to become a high-end fashion designer, so being anything else would be settling for something that is not my dream. I guess the next best thing for me would be an opera singer.

BB411~ Which designers did you admire growing up?

WW~ Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld to name a few.

FV~ All of them! Mostly Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci , Versace, Roberto Cavalli, later on John Galliano, Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen.

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

WW~ Yes it’s a part of me.

FV~ Yes. You know that you have love for fashion when your last thoughts before you go to sleep are imagining models walking down the runway in new designs, and your first thoughts of the day are remembering the clothes that you dreamt of during the night.:)

BB411~ What kind of person does your line represent?whitney-linen-ss-2013-2-mpi-jpg

WW~  Elegant, chic, Strong, intellectual and fun-loving individual.

FV~ Whitney Linen represents a woman who is well established, knows and appreciates quality and luxury, and likes to set trends instead of following them. When wearing Whitney Linen, a woman feels beautiful, sophisticated, chic.

BB411~ Who is your favourite celebrity to dress?

WW & FV~ Gwyneth Paltrow she is a perfect muse for WL.

BB411~ What was your favourite moment from showing Spring/Summer 2013 at World MasterCard Fashion Week?

WW~ Fav moment being backstage and seeing our first piece strutting down the runway on the screen wow it’s 4 Real!!

FV~ When we were backstage during the show, and watched the models walk down the runway on the monitor, Whitney and I were holding hands, and were ecstatic, as every single model looked as gorgeous as we envisioned them to be.

BB411~ What was the inspiration behind the Beauty Looks during the show (make up & hair)?

WW~ Sun-kissed Mediterranean sexy beauty.

FV~ Chic European ladies, walking down St. Tropez. We went for a sun-kissed, natural look, to enhance the natural beauty of our models.

BB411~ What is your favourite season to design a collection for?

WW~ Spring/Summer because of the nature of the fabric, but we are working with some linen blends for our first Fall/Winter Collection coming up which will be challenging but exciting.

FV~ Spring / Summer, due to the nature of linen. However, we are looking into designing linen clothing for Fall/Winter, which will be a challenge as linen is a very summery fabric. We do love challenges, so I think designing a linen collection for fall/winter is going to be a lot of fun!

BB411~ What do you look for when creating each collection?


WW~ Inspiration and pieces with timeless elegance.

FV~ I dream about the designs, inspiration and ideas just pop in my head out of nowhere. However, the collection needs to be wearable as well, so sometimes I have to tone down what I come up with. The overall look is always very ladylike, with a lot of class.

BB411~ Favourite colour?

WW~ Don’t have one there are way too many beautiful colours and hues in this world to have a favourite.

FV~ I don`t have one. Love all of them.

BB411~ What are the 5 staple pieces every woman should have in their wardrobe?

WW~ Great sexy pair of jeans, a WL classic blazer, a crisp White linen WL shirt lol, a kicking pair of stiletto boots and an amazing purse.

FV~ A little black dress, a beautifully tailored blazer, a pencil skirt, a tailored pant, and jeans.

BB411~ Describe your style?

WW~ Pretty much the above is my style~ natural,sexy and elegance

FV~ I am very girly, love wearing dresses, skirts and high heels (always high heels). I always have a few backup heels in my car as well.

BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?

WW~ Inner beauty it has to come from within and shine out in order for it to be true beauty for mewhitney-linen-ss-2013-mpi-jpg

FV~ Someone who takes care of themselves is beautiful to me. I think that there are also a lot of people who have an inner beauty that shines through , just because they are wonderful people. It doesn’t matter if someone is a size zero or size 16, a woman who is confident in herself is gorgeous.

BB411~ What inspires you personally and professionally?

WW~ Pleasure, love, happiness, excitement and passion.

FV~ I am lucky as I am surrounded with wonderful people, who inspire me to always be better. To be a better person, better at my job, in my personal life, to try to help as many people as I can. Erika Larva (my role model) has been one of the biggest inspirations for me both personally and professionally. She is THE Top fashion show producer in Toronto, a busy business woman, who does everything she does to perfection, and is also the kindest, most caring and amazing person that I have ever met in my life.

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

WW~ Windfall Basics, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Free The Children.

FV~ Yes, Windfall Basics, Raise the Rhythm (Helping autistic children).

BB411~ What does it mean to you to give back?

WW~ Giving your time, patience, love, forgiveness and understanding.

FV~ I strongly believe in Karma, so I help everyone I can , whenever I can. I also never forget how hard it was to start out in the fashion industry, and how much help, kindness and advice I received from a group of people who I worked with throughout the years. I always try to help people who are just starting out and have a vision but don’t know how to bring it to life with my advice and connections. Basically anything they need help with. That is my way of giving back.


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

WW~  Be true to yourself….

FV~ Keep believing in your dreams, keep working hard, it will happen!

BB411~ 3 words that best describe you

WW~ Loving, Joyful and a big optimist.

FV~ Honest, loyal and living life to the fullest.

BB411~ What is your skin care regime?


WW~ I use Soya products from the Soya Boutique. My best friend owns the line and it’s all natural, amazing for your skin and makes it glow.

FV~ L’oreal day cream every morning, L’oreal night cream every night, Nivea for sensitive skin for the rest of the body every morning.

BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?

WW~ Soya Boutique lip balm, Evian spray and Dior black Mascara.

FV~ Nivea handcream, L’oreal lipbalm , and L’oreal hairspray.

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

WW~ Mascara

FV~ Perfume (love Issey Miyake, Hugo Boss, Escada).

BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood and what is your favorite fragrance?

WW~ Amazone perfume by Hermes, my mum wore always and I love patchouli.

FV~ My favorite fragrance is different every year, right now I love Issey Miyake, it is light, fruity, a beautiful scent. Versace Red Jeans definitely reminds me of my childhood.

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

WW~ Less is more and smile all the time, be genuinely happy!!

FV~ It was always Nivea for me, and I still swear by it.

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


WW~ Can be very very silly…..

FV~ I am a bit of a chameleon. I love going to the Opera, and watching Ballet, and also love electronic music. I love to read books at home, but also to snowboard off of huge cliffs, do bungee jumping, horseback riding. I used to do figure skating and ballet for 15 years, but also love going to a hockey game , or just a girls` night out in town. I am interested in everything, and I believe in living life to the fullest, so I am never afraid to try new activities and love challenges.

BB411~ Favorite quote?

WW~ “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”Ambrose Redmoon

FV~ Have lots, but can’t think of any right now.

BB411~ What advice would you give entrepreneurs starting out that are following their dreams?

WW~ Make sure it’s something you love to do and have passion for. It’s not easy and you will be hopefully doing it for the rest of your life if you’re lucky you got to be happy with what you choose to do!!!

FV~ If you believe in yourself, don’t give up, it will happen. Don’t expect things to happen overnight, and be prepared to work 24/7 for it. Always have morals and don’t step over people. Don’t focus on the money, focus on giving your best at all times, and the money will follow. At the end of the day, it is only worth it, if you wake up in the morning (and all you had time to sleep was four hours), but you still have a smile on your face when you say to yourself “I am going to work to achieve my dream”.

To keep up to date on Whitney Linen follow them on  Twitter, Become a Fan on Facebook and Visit their Website.

You can also see Whitney Linen collections from World MasterCard Fashion Week Here.

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411


A Beautiful Mind with Dr Joti Samra

MG_5441_web-2-200x300Dr. Joti Samra is an innovator in the area of psychological health and wellness. She is a leader in the conceptualization and communication of psychological health issues and the creation of related treatment manuals, clinical tools, and training resources. Dr. Samra is a passionate advocate for organizational change. Her research catalyzes fundamental improvements in the psychological health and safety of work environments throughout Canada. She presents her work extensively at the invitation of organizations across Canada and the United States. Dr. Samra is a frequent media commentator and writes prolifically for a wide range of scholarly, professional, and popular publications.

Dr. Samra is a featured clinical expert in all three seasons of the Animal Planet docu-reality series Confessions: Animal Hoarding, developed by the producers of the critically acclaimed A & E series Intervention. Dr. Samra is a host and financial expert in Million Dollar Neighbourhood, a docu-reality series produced by Force Four Entertainment for OWN:Oprah Winfrey Network and a psychological consultant for CityTV’s The Bachelor Canada. She also writes a weekly“Ask a Health Expert” column for The Globe and Mail. The second season of Million Dollar Neighbourhood which was filmed in Bowmanville, Ontario, aired Sunday January 6th.url1

I had the pleasure to get to know Dr. Joti Samra at my Anniversary Charity Event last February and I can honestly tell you that she is such a sweet person. She is a great listener, genuine, confident, funny and has a strong business sense. Joti is a person that you can talk with and she makes you feel so comfortable, like you’ve known each other for years. I have seen her work and I have so much respect for what she does, and she does it so well. Since I believe beauty really starts from within, I thought it would be a perfect fit to feature Dr. Samra who lives and breathes it every single day.

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

JS~ Funny, people ask that all the time and it wasn’t something that was intentional or planned, it kind of just happened. I’m a clinical psychologist and a  number of years ago (6 or 7), I was doing a number of national research projects and started getting contacted by Media sources to comment on the research I was doing. As I started, I realized how much I loved and enjoyed this. I was able to target so many people in the media. I was then contacted a few years back to be a Dr. on “Confessions Animal Hoarding”, which was filmed in the US. Then I was contacted a year and a half ago for the show on OWN. Its funny I use to joke and say to all my friends that I would love to have my own tv show, I just need to meet Oprah once and convince her to give me a tv show.

BB411~ When you were growing up did you know you wanted to be in the career you are today?

JS~ I use to always say to my parents I wanted to be a doctor, but hated dirty things and would pass out at the sight of blood. Growing up I would have all my friends confide in me and come to me with their problems. I was then a peer counsellor and did volunteer work starting at a young age in a senior citizen’s home. I knew in high school that traditional medicine wasn’t what I was going to do (mostly because of the blood factor). I just gravitated to being a psychologist (which took me 11 years to get to the point of where I wanted to be).

BB411~ Who’s the one person (role model) you haven’t met that you would like to sit down and have lunch with and why?1306188246oprah-winfrey-1

JS~ The one person and this is even before any of what I do, is truly Oprah. I would have said that even years before I started this. For so many reasons, she’s a woman who fought all the odds against her. Here’s a woman who had adversity in her background, a minority woman in this day and age. I still notice it, it’s an industry that’s still male and caucasian dominated. She has done so much to help people, she essentially is a psychologist. She helps people feel comfortable, she navigates them to tell their story in a way that helps other people. She has made such a tremendous impact on so many people. I have a lot of respect for what Oprah has done (especially for issues related to woman).

BB411~ If you weren’t a Doctor (Host) and you could be anything in the world what would it be?

JS~ I’d say an entertainer, singer/dancer (laughs). I Love Beyoncé ! That would be my dream to be this big pop star entertaining everyone. Unfortunately I have zero talent when it comes to those areas.

BB411~What does it mean to you to help people?

JS~ I feel very fortunate to be in a position to help people. I feel very humbled with people who are able to share their life stories with me. That feeling of being able to help someone when they’re  at their worst moment, you can’t even put that into words. My patients will say  “you are the 1st person I have told this to”. They will be in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s or 60’s and they’re sharing things with me that they have never told another human being. They can share without judgement. It’s so therapeutic for all of us, we want to tell our story and not be judged for it and accepted for it. I get to do that through my work and when people tell me that I’ve made a huge difference in their lives and they’ve been able to work through things.

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

JS~ The causes I am involved in are mental health related. I have had to take a pause since moving to Toronto but I was on 6 different committees, all for things that promote mental health. I have been heavily involved with The Canadian Mental Health Association and National quality institute. My passion is in various mental health, groups and organizations that are really reducing stigma about mental health issues and how people are coping with it.

BB411~ Are you involved in any Volunteer work?

JS~ I’m the clinical expert spokesperson for Bell’s “Let’s Talk” campaign.

BB411~What inspires you?

JS~ I guess love! Some days I work hard (I work a ton) and I know a lot of my friends look at my life and are living totally different lifestyles (married and kids) and go “how do you work all the hours that you do”. But I just love making a difference. When I’ve felt like I’ve touched people’s lives and left an impact, it has a reach that’s much greater whether its minutes, days, weeks that I’ve been with them~ that to me is why I keep on doing it.

BB411~What does beauty mean to you?

JS~ Beauty is being a good , positive, happy person. You can take someone who say in a photograph looks like a beautiful person, but if they’re mean, negative, hateful or egotistical~ to me it goes out the window. There’s nothing about that person that looks attractive. You can take someone who isn’t say the norm (quote/unquote) super-attractive person superficially and  if they have a fantastic personality, happy, positive and a caring person it makes a world of difference.

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

JS~ Trust your insides way more. Don’t get caught up in worrying what other people are going to think or say or all those insecurities. Just do what you need to do to make yourself happy and what you know in your heart is the right thing.

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

JS~ I’ve always been a girly girl. Growing up my sisters were more tomboy’s and you could see in pictures that I was always dressed up. I’d have a little dress on, my hair done and a purse in my hand (laughs~ at 3 years old). Now I get to do it for a living, it feels like I’m getting married everyday. Over the years as I get older, I feel I’m getting more and more comfortable in my own style. Being a young female I had people not taking me serious. They would say are you actually a doctor or do you just play one on tv. Ten years ago I didn’t feel as comfortable as I do today, I’m more comfortable in my own skin.

BB411 ~3 beauty products you carry with you always?

JS~  I always have to have a lipstick or lip gloss (Vasanti ~”Baltic” & “Coral“~they are great for different ethnic backgrounds), Bobbi Brown’s corrector/concealer (with being darker skin I have genetically darker circles, no matter how much I sleep). Finding one that works really well has been a challenge for me. Last is perfume, I feel totally naked without perfume. I love Pink Sugar, it’s sweet, girly and feminine. Oh and I  also love Dior Highlighter and Skin Shimmer Powder.


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

JS~ Concealer! I could not live without it. The other thing I could not live without that I started using this past year is the Clarisonic Mia face brush. When I’m filming I have so much makeup on me and I was a little skeptical thinking is this a gimmicky thing. I love it, it’s so good for your skin and takes all the makeup out. I will do experiments and wash my face as good as I can and then use the Clarisonic and there’s still make up coming out. You should get one. I also love St Ives Apricot scrub.

BB411~ Yes the scrub smells so good. The Clarisonic also is  definitely a Must Have, I have interviewed others and it too is a favourite of many.

BB411~ What is your skin care regime?

_MG_5553_PrintJS~ I have really sensitive skin (Eczema) so I have to be careful what I use , but the products I love are Avene. I use their eye makeup remover, cleanser and toner. And I also love a Vancouver based moisturizer called Linacare, I use the body one and use it on my face.

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

JS~ Jessica Viel has been doing my hair for this past year but since moving to Toronto I have had to find someone temporary. But with Jessica’s consultations I was able to get the colors. I have big hair which everyone recognizes, it’s a big part of my personality~ I’m a Leo. I have to really moisturize my hair cause it’s so thick. I use to use and love Moroccan Oil, but now that I’m on all Loreal products Jessica got me onto the Mythic Oil. I use their purple shampoo to make sure my streaks don’t go brassy. When I’m not working and on set I wash, deep condition and blowdry my hair and put in a ton of Mythic Oil, then curl with a wand curler. It goes crazy if I just leave it, but my hair holds curl very well.

BB411~ Have you ever had short hair?

JS~ No ever since I was little my Mom would never let me cut my hair. In grade 7 I was crying wanting my hair cut cause my sisters and Mom were able to and my Mom said that my hair was so nice she wouldn’t let me cut it.  But because I was crying they eventually let me and I regretted it as it didn’t suit me. Had a few other times a shorter style but not as short as yours.

BB411~ For my new followers~ Jessica Viel (Joti’s Stylist) was the talented, beautiful stylist that cut my hair when I donated it last year to Locks of Love at my charity event in February.

BB411~How do you stay fit?

JS~ I love Pilates and dance (Burlesque and Stiletto Fit). In Vancouver I go to a studio call Exhale in Yaletown. I don’t like regular gym workouts, I get bored. It’s a good stress release and its fun when your dancing.

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

JS~ Definitely “Ponds” moisturizing cream reminds me of my grandma and “Charlie” perfume my mom use to wear. And my dad (who has passed away) use to wear “Old Spice”.

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

JS~ My Mom is low maintenance, but my grandma (mom’s mom) would always be dressed up, she’d always have lipstick on and I love lipstick.

BB411~ Favourite Color?_MG_5532_Print

JS~ Purple

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

JS~ I thought I didn’t like heights and then a year ago I did a 60 second free fall (skydive) from 14,000 feet without any thought. Oh one more thing, I have a big tattoo of a Buddha sitting in a Lotus flower, its got my favourite saying from Thich Nhat Hanh ~ (not many people know, I hid it from my Mom for the longest time). She accidentally busted me over the last year. The tattoo is on my right hip (no one knows that) My Mom only saw a little tiny part, I never showed her all of it and I got in trouble (laughs).


BB411~ What is the saying on your tattoo?

JS~ Smile, breathe and go slowly. I got it during a very difficult time in my life. I think if we can bring that to any part of our life that’s difficult , you go through the motions. I tell patients to do this all the time, even when you’re not feeling well you want to do the opposite of what your mood is. Smile! Breathe~ we go-go go and we don’t stop to actually really truly take a breath. Go slowly ~when we’re stressed,  we act without thinking. When we slow that down, it makes a world of difference. I wanted the tattoo to be private so my day-to-day life you wouldn’t see it.

BB411~ Who would you say is the coolest person you’ve met?

JS~ Coolest person I’ve met is Dr Wayne Dyer, he wrote the book “The Power Of Intention” and you have to read it.  The law of attraction, putting out there what we want and then it comes to you. I so believe that! He was giving a talk and he came up to me to talk to me as I was on my way to watch him speak. I knew I was going to meet him! Then months later I ended up running into him in Hawaii and I again knew I was going to see him when I went out there. He remembered me and we started talking. So if New York is where you picture, I say you just keep putting it out to the world.

BB411~  For those of you that have been following the blog and read my tweets on twitter, you know that I am drawn to New York and feel a connection with the city. I feel I am destined to either live there or visit on a regular basis. Dr. Samra references it above as we talked about Serendipitous moments.

BB411~ Where do you see yourself in the next year, 5 years and 10 years?

JS~ Having my own show!caterpillar

BB411~ Favorite Quote?

JS~ “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly….”

I want to thank Dr. Joti Samra for a great interview and allowing Beauty Buzz 411 to share her personal stories and experiences with all of you. It truly was inspiring and therapeutic all in one. She makes you feel so comfortable, like sitting down for drinks with a girlfriend. She is a beautiful person inside and out and I can’t wait to see all her success soar. This girl is going places~Trust me!

To Keep up to date on the many adventures this power house has going on, check out her Website , Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin,  You Tube and don’t forget to tune in to see her on Million Dollar Neighbourhood on OWN!

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

Eye Catching Design with DUY @WMCFW

Duy Portrait B&W-1DUY, the eponymous Montreal-based high-end ready-to-wear line created by Duy Nguyen in 2001 has won numerous fans for its sharp tailoring and impeccable cuts. Duy has always experimented with the best in quality fabrics and pattern-making. His unmistakable precision, his mastery of cut and his high precision tailoring have created a unique tailoring approach that has become his signature. His timeless pieces have made him a favourite amongst women looking to be beautifully dressed, no matter the time of day or the season and with fashion editors and industry players who have been rightfully impressed with his edgy contemporary styling.

Born in Vietnam, raised in Montreal, Duy studied fashion design at Collège LaSalle and has worked with some of the biggest names in Canadian fashion design. Duy is the winner of the 2012 edition of the Mercedes-Benz Startup prize.

Clothes should be simple but well thought. I love menswear for its tailoring qualities and womenswear, because it makes me dream. Great style happens when it really reflects who you are. My clothes are edgy and innovative yet very wearable. They have a refined sensibility with unexpected details to catch the eye says Duy.

I had the pleasure to watch Duy win the Mercedes-Benz Startup show at World MasterCard Fashion Week in October. I met with him backstage after his win and he was so lovely to chat with. Here is a look at our interview and the inspiration behind the brand~DUY.

BB411~ When did you know you wanted to be a designer?

DUY~ After reading American Vogue March 1994 issue.

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

DUY~ A restaurant owner or a florist.DUY_Feb062012_0432

BB411~ Which designers did you admire growing up?

DUY~ Cristobal Balenciaga

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

DUY~ Yes, when I was young, I shampooed my sister’s dolls.

BB411~ What kind of person does your line represent?

DUY~ Confident and individualistic people.

BB411~ Who has been your favourite celebrity to dress?

Karine-Vanasse-Marcelle-BBDUY~ Karine Vanasse, she’s tall and nice.

BB411~ What is your favourite season to design a collection for?

DUY~ Fall/winter. I love jackets and coats

BB411~ What do you look for when creating each collection?

DUY~ Interesting new details or silhouettes.

BB411~ What was your favourite moment from showing Spring/Summer 2013 at World MasterCard Fashion Week?

DUY~ Winning I guess.


BB411~ Favourite colour?

DUY~ Light grey

BB411~ What are the 5 staple pieces every woman should have in their wardrobe?

DUY~ Wool pantsuit for fall/Silk suit for spring, a white shirt, a black shirt, a cocktail dress and an evening gown. KEEP everything basic and simple but very well cutted.

BB411~ Describe your style?

DUY~ Chic, classic with a twist.

BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?7438583.bin

DUY~ That you are comfortable with yourself.

BB411~ What inspires you personally and professionally?

DUY~ People who keep challenging themselves.A2NmSJlCAAAoK1j.jpg-large

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

DUY~ Helping homeless people

BB411~ What does it mean to you to give back?

DUY~ Help people in any way when you can.

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

DUY~ Everything happens for a reason.

BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?

DUY~ Easy going, obsessed (with work) , honest (with myself).

BB411~ What is your skin care regime?

DUY~ I just wash my face twice a day with a cleanser with a citrus smell and use a moisturizer when my skin is dry.

tumblr_m9xrk8hBez1r4vi64o1_500 1_Duy-MONTREAL_fashion_Week_photo_by_Jimmy_Hamelin

BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?

DUY~ Lip balm, a small size eau de toilette spray and wipes.

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

DUY~ Lip balm

BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood and what is your favorite fragrance?

DUY~ Ariel, a famous detergent sold in France. I wear Jil Sander for men

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

DUY~ Good sleep.

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

DUY~ I am a very shy guy20110330-DUY23

BB411~ Favorite quote?

DUY~ Be rich or have a lot of friends.

BB411~ What advice would you give entrepreneurs starting out that are following their dreams?

DUY~ Marry rich or make a lot of friends.

To see more of DUY collections, visit the Website or follow on Twitter

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

Design the Life you want to Live with Rachel Roy

Rachel Roy, designer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and mother, designs to inspire women to feel smart, confident and individual. Raised in Northern California by an Indian father and Dutch mother, Rachel grew up immersed in the issues of Vogue magazines she collected and dreams of being a designer. After attending college in Washington, DC, Rachel moved to New York City and began styling magazine shoots. Her feminine aesthetic with a twist quickly earned her a reputation for knowing how to enhance a woman’s body without revealing too much. After almost a decade at a global urban brand, where she rose to Creative Director overseeing seven licensees and running all of design departments, Rachel launched her own brand.

Inspired by the strong, confident working women she knew, the Rachel Roy New York collection debuted in Spring 2005. The collection embodies an effortless, elegant and exotic lifestyle with Rachel’s design hallmarks of print/pattern mixing, the pairing of opposites and defining details that take women from day to evening. From the very first collection, Rachel has created modern iconic pieces – the trench, the blouse and the dress – that are, and continue to be, the cornerstones of women’s wardrobes.In August 2009, Rachel launched RACHEL Rachel Roy, a downtown, youthful companion to her designer collection featuring affordable contemporary sportswear, footwear, handbags and jewelry that has quickly become a destination brand.

A frequent lifestyle, fashion and culture contributor to various publications, Rachel is a featured monthly columnist for InStyle Magazine and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. Rachel has appeared on numerous national TV programs; The Oprah Winfrey Show, Project Runway, The Nate Berkus show, Lifetime’s Catwalk 24/7, Sundance’s All on the Line, and Extra TV as the red carpet style correspondent for the 2011 Oscars. Rachel and her work has been featured on leading blogs like The Cut, Refinery 29, WhoWhatWear, and The Glamouri to over 200 million web viewers annually. Fascinated with technology and how it enhances women’s lives, Rachel has created a robust social network that engages women and acts as a research and laboratory to test new designs and ideas that includes Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.

Rachel has garnered editorial acclaim in publications such as Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, W, Vanity Fair, Glamour and InStyle. Rachel has had the honor of dressing First Lady Michelle Obama, Eva Mendes, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner, Iman, Halle Berry, Sofia Vergara, Christina Hendricks, Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow among other esteemed actresses, musicians and businesswomen.

Giving back is one of Rachel‘s greatest passions and one of the founding principles of the Rachel Roy brand. Rachel always looks to create opportunities to give women and children in need a voice. As you can see Rachel really embodies true inner beauty.


Rachel Roy has teamed up with Deepak Chopra to collaborate together on a collection of tshirts featuring Chopra’s inspirational quotes and a jewelry line showing her favorite evil eye symbol. “I have a vision of vintage rock-and-roll tees, but instead of the title of the album, it would be the saying,” Roy said. “Even girls who don’t know Deepak will think they’re wearing a cute shirt.” . And the collection involves charity: All proceeds will be donated to the Chopra Foundation to support education in India. I think it is truly remarkable what they are doing~ to see more on their collaboration click Here. I am absolutely in love with the pieces and am having a hard time deciding which one I want!




In September I was invited to meet Rachel as she unveiled the most coveted items for fall with her latest RACHEL Rachel Roy collection 548815_10151217488354228_958447699_nat the BAY. The evening consisted of an informal fashion presentation where the models stood on platforms displaying her beautiful creations. There was refreshing sips, sweet treats and hot dj beats. I had the opportunity to try on most of her collection, her designs are a perfect fit (for us shorter girls too!). I fell in love with her purple and black banded cut out dress (on the mannequin in the video and photo), it fit like a glove and hung perfectly on my body. I actually came out of the change room and Rachel gave me her approval with a smile and nod. You can’t get a better compliment than from the designer herself. She was such a sweetheart, I was captivated by her elegance, grace and beauty. Rachel is even more beautiful on the inside with her heart of gold. I was definitely a fan before, but after attending this event I have a whole new level of appreciation and admiration for her. I was beyond excited when Rachel agreed to be featured for a beauty Q&A. So get cozy while we get up close and personal with Designer Rachel Roy, she may just inspire you to give back and dream big!

photo 2BB411~ When did you know you wanted to be a designer?

RR~ I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be designer. Vogue magazines were my escape and really inspired me to design the life I wanted to live – and that life, for me, was design.

BB411~ Have you always been in love with fashion and beauty, what is your earliest memory?

RR~ Always! I was the young girl who was always styling her family members, my poor brother! I was also the girl who took a job in fashion at 14 and begged my bosses to let me style the mannequins in the store window.

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


RR~ A travel writer. I love exploring new places around the world and sharing it.

BB411~ You collected Vogue magazines growing up, what did it mean to you to be featured in Vogue?

RR~ It was one of the highlights of my career. To have the support of something that was so influential and instrumental in my development as a designer means a great deal to me.

BB411~ Which designers did you admire growing up?

RR~ I am inspired by Coco Chanel and her story. She was an orphan who grew up in a completely different world than those she ultimately designed for and did it with such grace and strength. She did not let her beginning dictate her ending and that’s something that has always stayed with me.

BB411~ I absolutely am inspired by her as well and I love the statement “She did not let her beginning dictate her ending”.

BB411~ What did it mean to be inducted into the CFDA?

RR~ It’s another highlight of my career to be able to stand next to such talented designers and help make the industry a better place, not just for now but for the next generation of designers.

BB411~ Describe your style?

RR~ I’m a bit of a chameleon. Getting dressed in the morning is an opportunity to play to how you are feeling that morning. A little sexy, rocker girl, I love it all as long as you feel like an individual – that’s my goal with how I dress and how I design for women.

BB411~ What kind of woman does your line represent (including Rachel)?

RR~ I love helping women find their individual style – whether they are just entering school or the job market or are established in their career and life. My goal is for women to feel, smart, confident and individual through what I design.

BB411~ Who has been your favorite celebrity to dress?

RR~ I love the relationship that I form with women when I dress them. I learn a great deal from them – entrepreneurs who are starting or running established businesses to amazing actresses and political leaders.

BB411~ What is your favorite thing about fall?

RR~ The change of season – the cooler air, the leaves changing colors. It’s a great time to escape from the city with my girls and take a drive in the country.

BB411~ What are the 5 staple pieces every woman should have in their wardrobe?


  • An amazing dress that fits you like a glove.
  • A thin black turtleneck that you can wear under a dress to get more mileage out of it.
  • An office to cocktails blouse.
  • A trench coat in a soft fabric that can double as a dress.
  • A caftan. You can wear it a hundred ways from beach to street.

BB411~ What is the #1 fashion mistake a person does?

RR~ I don’t believe in fashion rules

BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?

RR~ I think beauty starts within us. We all choose to express it differently on the exterior but it starts within us.

BB411~ What has being a Mom meant to you and what do you want to teach your daughters about beauty?

RR~ I live for my girls and it’s important that I teach them to be citizens of the world by taking them on trips to other parts of the world to experience different ways of life, cultures and how beauty can take on many forms and expressions.

BB411~ What inspires you personally and professionally?

RR~ I think it’s the opportunity to give women a voice through what they wear, to create a look/style that makes them feel like individuals.

BB411~ What do you look for when creating each collection?

RR~ Each collection starts with a specific inspiration, a story, and builds from there. I personally fit every piece I design – I want my pieces to feel as amazing as they look.

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

RR~ Margherita Missoni introduced me to OrphanAid Africa about 5 years ago and it’s been such an important experience for me. I think of the kids there often and every holiday season we do a book wrapping paper to send to them. Recently I traveled to Haiti with Martha Stewart to visit an artisan colony to develop product to be able to feature on my website. It gives the Haitian artisans a platform for telling their story and showcasing their amazing talents.

BB411~ What does it mean to you to give back?

RR~ I think it’s one of the most important things you can do both personally and professionally. Donating your time personally to local shelter, food banks, or reading programs are simple ways to get involved. One of the goals of my business has been to help create jobs for women and give them a platform in which to create a better life for themselves.

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

RR~ I think sometimes as young women we tend to hold our voices and not speak loudly enough on things we truly believe in because we think it’s going to hurt others feelings or not be the popular opinion.

BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?

RR~ Loyal, honest, inquisitive.

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

RR~ My mother passed down the importance of a good classic scent. Hers was Chanel #5 and
so is mine.

BB411~ You have great skin, what’s your secret (skin care regime)?

RR~ Make-up artist Cynde Watson gave me a Clarisonic skin care system. When I have time at night it helps ten-fold with the appearance of dark circles and tired skin. I swear by it!

BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?

RR~ Bobbi Brown concealer, ESOS lip balm, RICH cosmetics lip pencil.

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

RR~ Water.

BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood and what is your favorite fragrance?

RR~ I love Jo Malone Grapefruit and Red Roses candles.

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

RR~ I swear by everything Ted Gibson makes – especially his hair sheets which I travel with.

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

RR~ I do a bit of comedy acting in the videos my team and I produce.480289_10151280699994228_2143956638_n

BB411~ Favorite quote?

RR~ “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” – Oprah Winfrey

BB411~ What advice would you give entrepreneurs starting out that are following their dreams?

RR~ The road will be harder than you expected, it may take more time you expected but it is
possible to design the life you want to live – just never take no for an answer.

Meeting Rachel was a highlight of my career as I have been a fan of hers for so long. It was such an honour to interview her and I am very grateful to have been able to share this feature with all of you. I look forward to having her designs continue to fill my closet and can’t wait to see all her collections to come. To stay connected and see all the updates on Rachel, be sure to check out her website and follow her on all her social media ~ FacebookTwitterFlickrYoutubeTumblrInstagramPinterest and Google+.

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

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?


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



BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?

EI~ trustworthy, confident, fun-loving

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