music. beauty. fashion. life

| essence fw16 | Forbidden Garden

Posted on: Saturday, September 10, 2016


You can try all the risque, rebellious beauty trends without breaking the bank. Essence has some great products coming for Fall Winter 2016, including Forbidden Volume mascara collection, innovative eye products like 2 in 1 pallets and more from their famous NUDE collection. Have you ever tried Essence mascara??? It truly matches the behavior and quality of higher price-point brands and we always keep it in the purse for quick glam touch ups. Toronto’s Crown Flora Studios was sprinkled with new Essence items for us to test and try. We saw some of our favorites from previous seasons, among new items while sampling desserts and chatting.

During the event, I had the opportunity to speak with an Essence rep about the collection of facial products they offer. Unfortunately, the tones offered to us Canadians are limited to fairer complexions and women of color don’t get to experience the quality of Essence facial makeup. I mentioned that Italians, Latinas, Asians and Black girls like myself are missing out and I simply asked, Why  and when can we find makeup suited to our complexions? The answer is, make it known in your local stores that you want essence for your skin. I was told that makeup hues in our tones are available, but orders are not made in Canada by the store buyers. In certain areas of Europe, Essence can be purchased in a variety of colors to suit the locals of that community. As my mother always said, “You don’t know unless you ask.” If the store is lacking something, let the managers and owners know. If enough noise is made, buyers will recognize the need for more hues in makeup choices. I’d love to one day say, I’m wearing concealer from [insert brand name here]. I thought I’d share this with you all, just so you can be a smart consumer overall.

Wanna try some new items from Essence? Check out Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada and let us know what you think!

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Anesha of Memoirs of Anesha and I joked around in front of a video camera that took enough images to make a flip book of us. Such a cool take-away!


I’m all smiles at Crown Flora Studios where we previewed the latest with Essence cosmetics.

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 Some photography by Lauren Hildebrand, Faulhaber Communications.


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Quick 5 with The Cat Empire’s Drummer Will Hull-Brown

Posted on: Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Cat Empire Live!

The Cat Empire Live!

We remember the first time we heard an album by  The Cat Empire. Some songs were played on repeat! Some songs got turned up even higher for volume. It was an experience! If you like a strong beat, elements of jazz, funk, rock and ska, this band is for you. If you have been keeping up with Music in the News you would have seen The Cat Empire performing on morning shows! The Australian band has a strong following due to their high-energy festival performances. Part of the magic is due to the heart beat of the band, The Drummer, Will Hull-Brown. Will took some time out of his busy Summer schedule to answer our Quick 5 Questions! Check it all out below!
The Cat Empire

The Cat Empire

 It’s finally Summer! What are your favorite summer activities?
Just the thought of summer right now seems like a dream because it’s so cold back here in Melbourne right now! I love just being outdoors in summer. Feeling the sun on your skin. I like to get to the ocean as much as possible too, especially with the whole family. The kids love the beach, and there’s nothing quite like cooling off in the sea during a hot summer day. The other great thing about summer is the long daylight hours. It’s great to be able to eat dinner outdoors while it’s still light.
 If you could jump into a Winnebago for a road trip where would you head? And whom would you bring as your navigator?
I’ve always wanted to explore New Zealand. That’s where I would go. The landscape there is so amazing and dramatic. It’s no surprise that they filmed The Lord of the Rings there. As a navigator I would take Sam Neill, he’s a New Zealander. His local knowledge would be great. I would also enjoy just listening to him talk because everything would sound like a quote from a movie!
Summer is usually the most happening / busy time for musicians. What live performances / appearances are you gearing up for this Summer?
We have quite a busy Summer Tour ahead of us in Canada. It’s mostly Festivals – Le Festif in Baie St Paul, Rock the Shores in Victoria, Calgary Folk Fest, Osheaga in Montreal, Edmonton Folk Fest, and the list goes on! I think playing festivals is the best part about summer touring. We’re also doing our own headline shows in amongst that schedule.
When you think of a ‘Song of The Summer’ from previous years (and by another artist), which one do you recall as your “Song Of The Summer” and why?
I’d probably have to go with ‘Mr Bobby’ by Manu Chao. It’s from the album ‘Esperanza’ and was released in 2001. As a band we used to listen to this album a lot over the summers of the early 2000′s. Manu’s quirky style of Spanish meets Reggae meets Ska has such a summer flavour about it. I still put this album on every now and then and it always feels like the best representation of the warm weather to me.
While on the road, you meet a lot of new supporters and fans. When they ask you to describe your music, what do you say?
To be honest, I find it very hard to describe our music. I always think that’s best left up to the fans, and that’s often what I say to anyone who asks that question. If I really have to say something, then I guess I feel like The Cat Empire is about energetic, rhythmic world music with a jazz spirit because of the level of flexibility the music has in terms of spontaneity and style.
Rising With The Sun is the bands latest album release.

Rising With The Sun is the bands latest album release.


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Quick 5 with Singer-Songwriter Andrew Allen

Posted on: Thursday, July 14, 2016

singer songwriter, canadian music, andrew allen, bruno mars, john mayer, the grammys

Andrew Allen is a charismatic, singer-songwriter from British Columbia who has scored 3 Top 10 Hits (I Wanna Be Your Christmas, I Want You and his biggest single Loving You Tonight) and has shared the stage with acts like Bruno Mars, Train, One Republic, Andy Grammer, and The Barenaked Ladies. Although Allen will be on the road this summer, he took time to answer our Summer questions! See who would sit in the passenger seat during a road trip. He made a great choice.

It’s finally Summer! What are your favorite Summer activities?

Woohoo! I’d say my favorite things to do in the summer besides outdoor concerts, are beach days with friends, stand up paddle-boarding, and camping. Camping is my favorite.

If you could jump into a Winnebago for a road trip where would you head? And whom would you bring as your navigator?

I’d go to the Grand Canyon. I’ve never been there, and I think it’d be a super fun journey. I’d probably go the long way, all the way through California, down the Oregon Coast, and end up at the Grand Canyon. I think if John Mayer was the navigator, that’d be pretty amazing. I feel like he’d have a lot of really great stories.

Summer is usually the most happening / busy time for musicians. What live performances / appearances are you gearing up for this Summer?

Yeah, it’s definitely busy! I’m doing a really fun outdoor festival in Toronto on July 9th at Dundas Square I’m stoked about, a few wineries out West, all fun shows and, of course, a few dozen house concerts, ‘cause they’re my favorite.

When you think of a “Song of The Summer” from previous years by another artist, which one do you recall as your “Song Of The Summer” and why?

Oh man, that’s a tough one. I think one that I remember real solidly was Monkey Wrench by the Foo Fighters. I have no idea if that was even a song of the summer, but it was mine!

While on the road, you meet a lot of new supporters and fans. When they ask you to describe your music, what do you say?

I say it’s singer/songwriter pop thing. Kind of like if John Mayer,Maroon 5 and Bob Marley had a musical baby.

andrew allen, canadian singer, canadian music

Andrew Allen on Social Media:

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New Stuff! We introduce The HerCastle Project

Posted on: Friday, July 8, 2016

Myself and Telly are venturing back into our musical careers and we couldn’t be more excited! This week, we released a video of us singing, Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone, originally recorded by Bill Withers for his Just As I Am album in 1971. Check it out below. We will be rehearsing and songwriting to produce some new tunes and hopefully, we will see a special event happening to launch The HerCastle Project on the right foot. It feels good getting back into the industry we love so much. Fashion will always be here, Beauty will always be here, but Music is the Mother of this space. To hear our previous work, follow us on SoundCloud.




That is The HerCastle Project

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Quick 5 with Recording Artist DRU

Posted on: Thursday, July 7, 2016

dru, canadian music, recording artists, toronto music, r&b music, pop music, dance music



Since being lauded as Canada’s #1 Emerging Artists in 2012 by Billboard, DRU has been on the rise, touring with artists like LMFAO, to Usher and Ludacris. Now, DRU has a new single for the summer, Don’t Be Afraid. This soulful song is about committing to a relationship after being burned by one previously. We all know how that goes, which makes this track suitable for everyone. Although Dur is busy promoting his new music, he made to answer some Summer Quick 5 questions! See what he had to say below!

It’s finally Summer! What are your favorite Summer activities?
Some of my favorite summer activities include traveling to exotic
destinations, going to the beach and soaking up the sun, going on boat cruises and spending time with my daughter. A big part of my summer is performing and touring, so it’s a good thing I love what I do.
If you could jump into a Winnebago for a road trip where would you
head? And who would you bring as your navigator?
I think going across Canada would be a dope road trip. From the busy cities to the beautiful mountains and scenery, a lot of us do not realize how beautiful our country is. Often while I’m touring I do not get the chance to stop and appreciate my surroundings, so to be able to just take in this beautiful country would be amazing and very inspiring. My navigator would be Steve (Hollywood) Dorego, my producer. Not only is he my producer but he is also my friend. He is patient and wise and you can hear that in his music.
Summer is usually the most happening / busy time for musicians.
What live performances / appearances are you gearing up for this
After touring with Sean Paul this past Spring and debuting my new single Don’t Be Afraid, I am now gearing up for a busy summer to promote the new single. I am excited to say that there are possible plans of touring with Flo Rida, and Shaggy and I am also setting up dates in the U.S, Atlanta and L.A, for the fall. I am also traveling to Vancouver at the end of June to shoot the video for Don’t Be Afraid.
When you think of a Song of The Summer from previous years (and
by another artist), which one do you recall and why?
Jazzy Jeff  & Fresh Prince Summer Time. It makes me think back to when I was a kid, the short sets we wore, kids playing at the basketball courts, family BBQs, washing your car to get it ready to go out that night and just all around really good vibes and happiness.
While on the road, you meet a lot of new supporters and fans. When
they ask you to describe your music, what do you say?
Words I would use to describe my music are: emotional, honest and soulful R&B. Music that makes you feel something and not used to numb your senses. My sound is sincere and simply written for the masses. I trusted myself more than ever when making this album for the first time I feel like I’m giving my fans 100% the real me.
Dru, Music, Toronto Music artist, Canadian music,

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Quick 5 with Singer + Actor Kolton Stewart

Posted on: Wednesday, June 29, 2016

context, kolton stewart, singer, actor

Inspired by Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, The Monkees, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and John Mayer.

With a lead role on YTV and Netflix’s smash hit Some Assembly Required and supporting roles on Saving Hope, The Next Step and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Ontario, Canada native Kolton Stewart is one to watch in 2016. The rising singer comes from a musical family, and after landing a coveted performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show at thirteen, Kolton used his acting skills mixed with his musical talents to land roles in The Music Man, West Side Story, Macbeth and the Lion King as Young Simba. Now, Kolton has made his debut in mainstream music with his single Context, co-written with Matthew Tishler (Ashley Tisdale), Phil Bentley (Christina Aguilera and Jordin Sparks) and Jesse Weeks. Get ready to dance because this track will be playing on all the patios and beaches this summer! Kolton took time to answer some of our Summer themed questions, so check it out below and head over to Itunes to purchase Context!

It’s finally Summer! What are your favorite Summer activities?

Yes! I am so excited for this summer. I love playing sports so I plan on playing as much sports as possible. I especially love football and basketball so my friends and I plan to get a lot of pick up games going! I also joined Soccer in an organized league so that should be a lot of fun. I really enjoy camping as well and would love the chance to get out in my trailer for a few weeks.

If you could jump into a Winnebago for a road trip where would you head? And who would you bring as your navigator? (Explain why you chose them).

I would choose to go for a week road trip to British Columbia. I have lived in British Columbia for the past 3 years while I was filming my YTV/Netflix show Some Assembly Required. It is such a beautiful place and I would love the chance to drive up there and go through the Rockies. I think British Columbia would be a great place to go camping and I would probably bring my two friends Neil and Simon as the three of us always have great times together and it would be awesome to go on a road trip with them. Also they are fairly good with directions. :)

Summer is usually the most happening / busy time for musicians. What live performances / appearances are you gearing up for this Summer?

In between promoting the new single, acting commitments, writing new music and recording I won’t have much of an opportunity to be out touring but I certainly plan on being out on the road in 2017!

When you think of a Song of The Summer, from previous years (and by another artist), which one do you recall and why?

I would have to say that last year my two songs of the summer were Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd and Where Are You Now by Skrillex and Diplo featuring Justin Bieber. These songs would have to be my songs of the summer in 2015 because they just had these killer beats and always made me want to get up and dance! I am excited to see what songs will keep me dancing the most this summer. Can’t Fight the Feeling by Justin Timberlake is looking like a very high contender!

While on the road and doing media, you meet a lot of new supporters and fans. When they ask you to describe your music, what do you say?

I would say that my music has a wide array of styles. I have a side of me that is very rnb/pop oriented but then there is another side of me that is very passionate and vulnerable. I always say that my three artistic influences are Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, and Ed Sheeran.

Thanks so much for taking the time to interview me ladies, I look forward to

meeting you both soon :) .



Kolton online & on social media

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Newness with Arbonne!

Posted on: Thursday, June 9, 2016

skin care, eye shadow, arbonne intelligence, makeup, beauty products

Our great friends at Arbonne invited us to their Launch Event recently. As you may know from following us, we love Arbonne products. We shared our love for Arbonne Intelligence Rejuvenating Cream and were introduced to Arbonne Intelligence Nourishing Facial Oil. We tested it out the product and it truly nourishes the skin. Right now, more and more beauty fans (including us) are using essential oils for their facial skin care. Along with skin care products, we were introduced to Arbonne’s latest Eye makeup. Expect a review of these items soon! In the meantime, check out images from the event below.

Eye collection, cont'd

Carcia and Telly Campbell

Intelligence Nourishing Facial Oil It's a Fine Line Pencil Eyeliner It's All in the Eyes Eyeshadows Selfie Smoothed Over Lipsticks

Photos provided by Jesson + Company Communications Inc.

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Quick 5 “On The Go” GAIAM Giveaway with Kaylee Johnston

Posted on: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Kaylee Johnston EP Cover


With warmer weather right around the corner (warmer weather is coming guys, we swear) it’s time to choose your summer anthem! Good thing you visit because we’ve got a essential new track for you along with a wonderful prize pack for you to win from GAIAM! We recently chatted with Canadian recording artist Kaylee Johnston who has gained quite the following with songs like, Are You The One and Gone. Her latest offering is an inspired song called Getting Over You, which is part of her infectious new self-titled EP to be released June 3. When Kaylee isn’t sharing the stage with artists like Carly Rae Jepsen, Marianna’s Trench or One Republic, she’s taking meetings with producers, travelling to perform and working on her music. To keep balanced and on-track, Kaylee incorporates Yoga into her weekly routine.


1. Tell our readers and followers about your current single, “Getting Over You”.

“Getting Over You” is the first single off my new EP! It’s about what’s on the other side of heartbreak. Whenever something ends in our life it can be so painful, and that’s how I was feeling when I wrote the song. What I’ve learned since is heartbreak is AWESOME in that it’s an opportunity to let go of the things that aren’t working for us, and fall even more in love with who we are and what we have to offer!

2. As we listened to Getting Over You, we felt you were encouraging us Ladies to be empowered through any obstacle or situation. We think that part of that includes taking care of ones self. We know you practice yoga. How long have you practiced and what does yoga do for you?

So glad you picked up on that! Haha. Yes, I am all about empowerment, and I think it starts from within. We have to be able to believe in ourselves to get through the never-ending obstacle course of life. For me, yoga is like my re-set button. I’ve been practicing for over 10 years. When I’m feeling burnt out or stressed, yoga rejuvenates me.

3. Let’s cover some getting to know you questions in! As an on the go girl, is there if there was any place in the world that you could go, where would it be and why?

I am dying to go to Bali. I live such a fast pace life, and I would love to go away for an extended period of time and just chill out, drink tea, meditate, and watch sunsets.

4. When it comes to Netflix, What have you been bingeing on recently?

Last Tango in Halifax! It’s about this old couple who loved each other when they were in high school but never told each other. Then they meet up later in life and pick up where they left off. It gives me the feels every time!

5. If you could only be one, Would you prefer to be smart or happy, and why?

HAPPY! I’d like to think I’m both, but sometimes the ‘smart’ side of me over-analyzes and over-thinks. I’m always looking for ways to shut my brain off and just be present.

gaiam, yoga, lifestyle, active lifestyleNow that you know what Kaylee does to stay balanced while she handles her day, GAIAM invites you to do the same! Enter our contest today for a chance to win the Following Prize Pack!

The prize pack includes:

• CD of new Kaylee Johnston EP

• Gaiam On The Go Yoga Mat Carrier

• Gaiam 5mm Premium Reversible Yoga Mat

• Gaiam Yoga Block


Follow Instagram @HerCastleGirls

Like the picture of GAIAM Prize Pack on @HerCastleGirls instagram. Share with your friends using the hashtags #GAIAMxKaylee #OnTheGoYoga

Contest is open to Canadian followers only (Sorry US Peeps), and contest closes June 3rd, 2016 at 8pm eastern time. Winner will be announced on Instagram & Twitter.

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