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I Spy: Eminence Organic Skincare

8 Jun


You’ve no doubt seen Eminence Organic Skin Care around  a lot lately. Pretty much because it’s based out of Vancouver, but mostly because they have great products that are natural, organic, not tested on animals and free of fragrance, mineral oil, petroleum, parabens, sodium laurel sulfate and other harsh chemicals.  With ingredients like coconut, mango, guava, pineapple, chocolate mousse and ice wine, it’s hard to resist not licking your face!

Why the “I Spy”? Because I spotted a brand new building across from Lululemon Lab at 530 West Broadway with an ‘Eminence Organics” temporary signage. Could it be an office, flagship store or even better… a SPA????

Well before their doors open, you can still buy their products locally online, at spas or try their treatments:

Where to Buy Online:



Some of the products that you should check out or get a sample of:


  • Coconut Milk Cleanser
  • Eucalyptus Cleansing Concentrate
  • Sweet Red Rose Cleanser


  •  Mango Night Cream
  • Pink Grapefruit-C Gel
  • Guava & Bamboo Age-Defying Moisturizer
  • Wild Plum Eye Cream

Scrubs and Peels:

  • Pineapple Enzyme Pro Peel 10%
  • Yam and Pumpkin Enzyme Peel
  • Blueberry Soy Sugar Scrub

Masques :

  • Quince and Ice Wine Masque
  • Pink Grapefruit Clarifying Masque
  • Chocolate Mousse Hydration Masque


Wax on, wax off

27 May

I believe that an aesthetician who is a pro at waxing should receive the same level of reverence as a hairstylist.  I don’t know what it is about hair (maybe because it is such a large part of our identity), but when you find ‘the one’ that you trust and who understands your needs, they inspire fervent loyalty. Though you see them every 4 or 6-8 weeks, you spill the beans about everything in the 20 minutes or the 3 hours that you spend with them. They know all your secrets – things about your family, significant other, dating history, what your real haircolour is etc. … from that ‘scar’ behind your ear down to your netherregions. They won’t judge if you had a mishap with at-home bleach or have an ingrown – they’re there to hold your hand as they make it all better.  

If you find ‘the one’, the relationship and friendship that you develop with them can last longer (and could be more fulfiling) than the one with your significant other. And unlike your significant partner, they will know if you’ve cheated. =)

I will never go to another as she is the best:

Amy Luong
Aesthetician, Som Visao Spa
8-3195 Granville St.
Vancouver BC

When it’s hard to wake up

26 May

You know you’re having one of those Mondays (or for me, it was the Tuesday after a long weekend) when you start the day using eye cream as face cream and spritzing hairspray instead of Evian on your face. All before that morning cup of coffee. But you know it’s not the caffeine in that cup that gives you that instant perk – what it really is, is the aroma.

I’m a scent connoisseur. Not that I collect bottles and bottles of perfume, though I do have a scent wardrobe and am very discerning about fragrances, but scents and aromas for me sets an atmosphere, recreates a memory or invokes a feeling. Whether using Narciso Rodriguez For Her to set a sultry mood for a night out, or burning Nippon Kodo’s Happy Valley in a hotel room to remind me of home. I keep Chandler Burr on my nightstand and Lucas Turin near the tub. I know when you walk by if you overloaded on Victoria Secret’s Love Spell, or you’re one of those lucky ones who can carry off Thierry Mugler’s Angel. But I digress.

Using scents and music (or droning news if you’re not prone to depression) is what helps me get out of the groggy and get ready for the workday (this does not apply to weekends, vacations btw – that’s a totally different scent category).

Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser – Perfect for the mornings whether you’re groggy or not. The orange scent is perfect as a pick-me-up and the gentle exfoliating and cleansing removes all traces of last night’s face cream and sloughs off all the dirt, toxins and pollutants after a night of skin detoxing. Just not around the eyes, please.

Sephora Collection: Indulgences – Coffee & Cream Morning Body Scrub & Nyakio Kenyan Coffee & Sugar Body Scrub (line relaunching 2011). Not only is caffeine a cellulite-buster, but you get your coffee fix through your pores first thing in the morning. What could be better than that? Either works great, just depending if you prefer your coffee black or with cream.

Aesop Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream – the line is from Australia, but I discovered this in Asia where it has a major cult following. They are GREAT with samples, by the way. Buy on the continent online or at Barneys.

As for fragrance, that’ll be in another post. My music of choice to wake up these days is Annie Lennox’s Little Bird, Utah Saints Remix. Starts off mellow-ish, and within seconds you’ll be dancing around the room circa 1993.

So my years of suffering have been justified!

27 Apr

Seasonal Allergies, Foods, and Itchy Mouths

About 20 percent of the population suffers from the itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and sinus congestion that accompany seasonal allergies. Of those people, 25 percent also suffer from oral allergy syndrome (OAS). Symptoms include uncomfortable itchiness, tingling, or swelling in the mouth, lips, or throat when consuming certain fruits, vegetables, or nuts. The proteins in the pollens the person is allergic to are so similar to the proteins in certain types of foods, and this similarity creates the OAS reaction. Kind of creates a different meaning to “cross pollination.” The body recognizes those food proteins as an allergen, and as soon as the person eats the offending food, it triggers their sensitive immune system to release chemicals that cause cells in the mouth and throat to swell. These reactions, called cross reactions, are usually mild and last for 10 to 30 minutes. Only fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts can cause OAS reactions. Eating canned, cooked, dried, or frozen versions of those same foods usually cause no reaction. Also, just so you know, OAS is different than a nut allergy. In order for a person to have OAS, they must have an allergy to pollen.

Are you curious to know which foods are connected to which allergens? Then read more.

Note: Cross reactions may occur with some or all of the foods listed in the right-hand column.

Type of Allergy Foods That May Cause Cross Reactions
Birch Tree pollen Almonds, apples, apricots, carrots, celery, cherries, coriander, fennel, hazelnuts, kiwi, lychee fruit, nectarines, parsley, parsnips, peaches, pears, peppers, persimmon, plums, potatoes, prunes, soy, wheat, zucchini, walnuts
Grass pollen Celery, watermelon, oranges, peaches, tomatoes
Ragweed pollen Bananas, melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew), gourd family (cucumber, zucchini and squash), chamomile, echinacea, sunflower seeds, zucchini
Alder pollen Celery, pears, apples, almonds, cherries, hazelnuts, peaches, parsley
Mugwort pollen Celery, fennel, carrots, parsley, coriander, sunflower, peppers

Just because you have an allergy to one of the pollens listed above, does not mean you’ll automatically have a reaction to the foods listed to the right. If you’ve been noticing swelling, itching, or tingling in your mouth or throat, it’s best to get tested by an allergist.


Revolution Health

oral-allergy-chart in pdf

Dona Lucia Esthetics

22 Apr

Walked past the Dona Lucia Esthetics Salon on West Broadway on my way to Cupcakes today.

Saw that there’s a $5 eyebrow threading special – think I might make an appointment after work. Turns out she’s also the “Brazillian” Queen as well!! It’s another open space salon concept (a la Pure Nail Bar and Noir Lash Lounge) with long winding red leather seating.

Address: 2813 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC.

Phone: 604-736-5460 | Email:

Hours: Mon to Fri 9 AM – 7 PM | Sat & Sun 10 AM – 6 PM

UPDATE: Think the $5 eyebrow threading is everyday after 3pm? Ladies, if you live on the Westside, it sure beats going all the way to Main or Fraser and 49th!


12 Feb

Ultrasound fat melting technology

I’m thinking… Mother’s Day present?

Available at Skinworks in Kerrisdale, and Pacific Dermasthetics.

How to Get a Bikini Body

12 Nov

From Vancouver celebrity fitness trainer, Anna Wong.

The Fast Track to a Hot Bikini Body

Summer is finally here! Are you ready to bare those arms and legs with confidence, even fit into a bikini for the beach? This is the time of year when everybody wants to look and feel good but some of us may not be quite ready. Don’t you wish there were ways to help you get into shape fast? When Hollywood actress and MAXIM cover girl Emmanuelle Vaugier flies into Vancouver to do a project, we often have very little time to whip her into the tip top shape required for her film roles and photo shoots. Sometimes we have as much as a week, or even as a little as 24 hours, to do our magic. To make the most of our time, I’ve used a combination of techniques that have proven to be effective and have given us the results that we want fast. Listed below are proven techniques that will put you on the fast track to achieving the hot bikini body that you’ve always wanted NOW!


Drink Up!

Water is a natural diuretic. To avoid being bloated, drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Water regulates the body and flushes out toxins, salts and stored water. Not drinking enough water makes your body retain whatever moisture it gets. A great way to drink water is to add lemon. One of the major health benefits of drinking lemon with water is that it serves as a great weight loss remedy.

Eat Little and Eat Often!

Small frequent meals 3-4 hours throughout the day helps to fuel the body regularly and keep you from overeating. A good way to ensure that you’re eating just enough and not more is to eat only until you are 80 percent full.

Cut Out The Sugar

Digesting sugar throws your body’s blood sugar levels off balance, leaving you craving for more. This reaction also increases your appetite. Avoid it altogether! Sugar comes in many forms from sweet things to starches including things like: juice, ice cream, soda pop, muffins, rice, and even potatoes! Aspartame is also a type to avoid. Although aspartame is lower in calories than sugar, it still spikes your insulin levels. Instead, try the natural herb stevia. Stevia is sweet but it doesn’t disturb your blood sugar levels like sugar or aspartame does.

Drop the Alcohol

Alcoholic drinks are extra calories that your body does not need. It also increases your appetite and weight as well as age you. If you want a body fit for the gym, you need a person fit for the gym. Alcohol can leave you unmotivated, distracted, and lethargic. Avoid ALL alcohol!

Eat Your Fruits Wisely

Fruits are better eaten alone and on an empty stomach. When trying to achieve a lean look, limit yourself to 1/2 cup of fruit per serving, allowing 1-2 servings per day. The best choices are fruits with less sugar content like apple, pears, strawberries and blueberries. Avoid grapes, dried fruits and juice. Another note, be sure to eat your fruits and not drink them. Drinking juice, whether it be carrot or beet juice, does provide nutrients to the body, however, it gives you more calories and sugar than if you eat your fruit whole.

Eat Your Vegetables

Choose to eat a variety of fresh vegetables raw or lightly cooked. Vegetables that are canned, frozen or over-cooked are robbed of its vitamins and minerals, flavor and texture. Salads, stir fries or steamed or grilled vegetables are healthy low-fat choices. To avoid extra calories and fat, hold back on adding heavy sauces or using high-fat cooking methods such as frying to prepare your vegetables.

Pick Complex Carbohydrates

Stay away from refined carbohydrates like white-flour products, breads, donuts, chips, crackers, pastries, pizza, pasta, biscuits, muffins, etc. They are highly processed and have been stripped of most of their vitamin and mineral content. They also add inches to the waistline. Instead, choose organic varieties of unrefined complex carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, barley, oats, oatmeal, lentils, chickpeas and millet.

Choose Lean Protein Sources

Avoid red meats, pork, ham, lamb, and processed meats like cold cuts, pepperoni and sausages. These are all high in calories and fat. Instead, choose lean meats like fish, poultry and eggs. Be sure to eat organic, free-range, grass fed, hormone-and antibiotic-free proteins. Examples of good protein sources for vegetarians are almonds and seeds. Nuts and seeds can be high in calories and fat. As a general guideline, have no more than 12 almonds or 2 tablespoon of seeds per serving.

Don’t Eat Late

Calories from late night meals don’t get the chance to be burned away and are, instead, stored as fat. Remember to think of your meals as fuel for your daily activities. Your body requires very little fuel to dream, breathe, and sleep. As a rule of thumb, try to avoid eating after 8pm.

Avoid the Bloat

Know your body and its reaction to foods. By avoiding the foods that you may have an allergy or sensitivity to, you can avoid the chance being bloated. Examples of the most common food allergens are wheat, dairy, gluten and soy.

Choose Good Fats

Fat is an important contributor to good health. However, saturated fat is bad for health as it is a major cause of weight gain and is also proven to clog arteries and cause heart disease and stroke. Avoid saturated fats like hydrogenated fats or trans-fats such as lard, palm oil, margarine, biscuits, pies and pastries. Unsaturated fat is a healthier alternative to saturated fat and can be found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackeral and vegetable oils such as sesame, sunflower and olive.

Stay Away From Fast Foods

Fast foods are cheap and easy for a reason; they are made from unhealthy, low-quality ingredients that are high in calories and fat. While they may seem quick and convenient, consider how much energy you’ll need to use up on a cardio machine to burn it all completely. Fast food doesn’t seem so quick or convenient anymore, does it? If you want to get in shape fast, stay away from foods like burgers, hot dogs, burritos, and buttered popcorn.

Limit Your Salt Intake

Adding more salt in your eating can cause water retention. Avoid high sodium foods like frozen entrees, canned soups, chips and fast foods. Many people use salt because they need more flavor. A better way to achieve flavor is to use ingredients like lemon, a variety of fresh and natural herbs, garlic, ginger and onions.

Don’t Eat Fried or Overcooked Foods

Foods that are fried and overcooked have lost their nutrient value and are high in saturated fats. Examples of fried foods are fish and chips, fried chicken, chicken wings and spring rolls.

Mix Cardio and Weights Into One Session

Cardio training helps to burn calories and rid the flab while weight training helps to firm your muscles and increase your metabolism. For best results, mix the both into your training session. To achieve long lean muscles, work with lighter weights and higher reps. (Example: 1-3 sets of 12-25 reps with 30-60 sec rest between sets) Rather than sitting in between your sets, fit in 30-60 second bouts of jogging, jumping, hopping, doing steps or skipping rope in between each set of weight-training exercise. By also challenging your heart and lungs throughout your workout, you will increase your physical effort and burn a ton of calories.

Mix Upper and Lower Body Exercises

By alternating upper and lower body exercises or performing combination exercises that are movements of the upper and lower body all-in-one exercise (ex. biceps curl with squats), more muscles will be worked, your efforts would be increased and your calories burned would be higher.


To look slimmer and taller immediately, STRETCH! Stretching elongates the muscle and releases tension to give your body a lengthened look. Stretch your chest, sides, hip flexors, hamstrings and lower back. These areas are the most common areas of tightness for most people. Stretching the tight muscles in your body will balance your body for better posture which would keep you standing taller and naturally looking leaner. For a general guideline on stretching, stretch for 2-7 days per week. Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds. Perform 1-3 sets for each muscle group. Stretch to the point of mild tension, not pain, and progress once the muscle relaxes. Breathe properly by inhaling and exhaling throughout your stretch.

Every month Anna Wong, personal fitness trainer to the stars, will be writing a column for Asiance Magazine. This column is dedicated to your questions and concerns in health and fitness. Your suggestions and requests are welcome. This column is for you so your feedback is important. To contact Anna, email her at

Bug spray

23 Jul

I’ve always been wary of using DEET, but what are the alternatives besides rubbing a citronella candle all over you?

Escents Aromatherapy Bug Off Mist

Product benefits: Keep bugs away naturally with lemongrass and lavender. Fresh and clean smelling, may also be used to scent and deodorize any space.

Directions: Apply to affected area as needed.

Product Code | 354-202
Top Notes | Lavender, Lemongrass
Size | 125 ml / 4 fl oz


13 Jul

Ever since I could remember, whenever I got dark in the sun, I always turned greyish… like a dark ashy colour. Not a golden rich tan, but grey. Last year I spent time whole summer in a tanning booth, in a solar coffin twice a week paying $40/month. Plus the ultra expensive tanning lotions with technology blahblahblah that cost $50 each.

This year and armed with cheapy tanning lotion for less than $10 and not a shred of dignity, I went to Wreck Beach. And guess what? I TANNED!!! and spending the the better half of the day there ogling way too many peens got me a dark roasty tan pretty much for free!!!

Must have products:

  1. Banana Boat Dark Tanning Lotion Continuous Spray SPF – Just remember to press down hard and this will spray a light mist. If you don’t spread it or rub it in, the tan will be dark and rich, hence the difference between my back (dark!) and legs (white!). Cheap at $7.99. Smells fab. Better than those $50 cellulite busting technological lotions – I mean, you would have to use the lotion a lot to prevent cellulite. And always stick with the spray for those hard to reach places.
  2. Shoppers Drug Mart – Life Brand After Sun Spray. Cheap and it works.
  3. Roc Minesol Protect SPF 45 Multi-Position Atomizer – I think using this on my face is breaking me out, but I will use this for arms and neck. Aerosol spray for no mess. I also find that with creams, if you don’t exfoliate very well and apply, you will end up with balls of grey dead skin stuck on your back. Sprays are the way to go.
  4. Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 55 PA+++ – I think they only sell the spf 50 in Canada, but the higher the better, especially on your face, or else with sunglasses you’ll end up with reverse panda eyes. Lotion, not cream. This has never broken me out.
  5. Water atomizer – Evian, Uriage, Avene, Vichy – whatever suits your fancy.
  6. Bring: large sunglasses (to people watch), white towel (to cover face), cooler tote, beach umbrella (or rent), body towel to clean, beach towel (no plastic mats – they heat up), music, book, and cheapie bikinis from the Target clearance rack….