I Let a Stranger from the Internet Have Complete Control of my Hair

This post is so overdue and I am so ashamed. I waited a while trying to set up a photo shoot to capture my hair, and then I kept putting it off because I didn’t have good photos. Then I realized they weren’t going to happen and I put it off because I was ashamed of how long this took. Which is way worse. I’m so so so sorry.

Back in November, I started chatting with Brodi from Aveda Civello here in Vancouver. I was on the hunt for a new stylist, and she asked me to collaborate with her. She brought me into the salon and she was so warm and welcoming and I knew immediately that I liked her. We talked about my comfort zone, and she snipped off some of my locks for a colour test. We then booked for me to come back in Mid-December for a transformation.

I walked into the salon about a month later having a very vague idea of what was going to happen. I knew we were going orange/red and we were cutting off some length. Otherwise, I had no clue.

I showed up that day looking a MESS (see above). She sat me down and immediately started colouring my hair. I was there for about 4 hours, still having no idea what was happening. It was kind of like the makeovers in What Not to Wear where the stylist elevates the subject to her best self, but she’s terrified. I had this strange sense of trust for this woman who I had briefly met one time. But Brodi talked to me through everything and kept making exciting sounds whenever she checked on my colour which definitely made me feel way less nervous.

Once she washed it out, she started cutting. This part made me way more nervous all over again. I’ve had almost every cut under the sun, but for some reason I was terrified. I had really only trusted a select few people with my hair in my life and the few times I strayed without vetting, I was mortified. But alas, this woman who I hadn’t truly vetted had my hair in her hands and there was nothing I could do.

Once all was said and done, and I saw the finished product I was truly over the moon. The colour is something I would have never chosen for myself, but it has changed my entire life. I HATED warm tones with a passion for most of my life, and then this hair colour happened and everything in my life started turning warm toned (hence the colour change on my Instagram feed and blog – all thanks to Brodi).

I left the salon that day a little unsure of the fringe (as I am every time I get a fringe) but felt like the colour was perfect. Apparently, according to Brodi, I was wrong and I went back about week later to fix some of the colour that I hadn’t noticed was darker, but was costing her sleep. This is the kind of stylist I trust with my hair, the kind who is more concerned about the imperfections than I am.

I trusted a total stranger from the internet with my hair, and I couldn’t be happier.

*disclaimer – these services were provided to me free of charge. That being said, all opinions are my own.

Review – Celebrity Facial at The Skin Girls

First off, I want to start by saying thank you to Jen at The Skin Girls in Vancouver. They treated me to the Celebrity Facial which was such a luxurious and relaxing experience.


As soon as I walked in my jaw dropped by how beautifully designed their waiting area was. I filled out a consent form where I alerted them of my gluten allergy, and everything was just easy regarding that.

Once we got into the room they put this futuristic light mask on me. Generally it includes red light as well as blue light. The red light is for anti-aging, which thankfully I don’t need quite yet. Jen opted to just use the blue light on me, which kills acne-causing bacteria – which lord knows I need.

After the light mask was on for about 15 minutes we continued with the rest of the facial. After performing microdermabrasion on my face, which removed all the dead skin cells, Jen used a three-step program on me. The three steps included an activator which helps products permeate the skin, a detoxifier and an oxygenator which helps generate collagen as well and promotes circulation.

After the facial was over, Jen let me look at my microdermabrasion filter, which I was thrilled about because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing all the gunk that comes out of your face. It was disgusting and I loved it.

I left The Skin Girls glowing and feeling like I had a brand new face. I stayed super hydrated all day. I wish I could do this all the time, because no matter how hard I try – I cannot achieve this at home.

I’m super not prepared ever – so I don’t have any before photos, but I do have a couple snaps of my glowy AF skin after. In short, would totally recommend this facial if you’re looking to treat yourself and really love your skin.

Immediately after the Celebrity Facial at The Skin Girls
Later that night


Review – basd Body Care

I was lucky enough to stumble across this gluten-free, plant based, Canadian brand. basd Body Care is run out of Guelph, Ontario, but their products are made in Vancouver, BC. basd prides themselves on being cruelty free, paraben free and non-gmo as well. All the good things that you can feel good about putting on your body.

They come in two scents: Invigorating Mint and Indulgent Creme Brulee. In hindsight, I should have ordered the mint, as it’s more my type of scent – but alas I ordered Creme Brulee because I preferred the colour of the packaging.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Now, hear me out – I hate sweet scents, they give my headaches and make me super nauseous. BUT this scent doesn’t do that to me. It also doesn’t give me a rash like many lotions and body washes do.

The soap and lotion aren’t what I’m super excited to tell you about, though. What I am excited about is the coffee scrub.

I’ve been meaning to try a coffee scrub for years, I knew it would be easy to make one or buy one – but I just never got around to it. I knew to expect excellent physical exfoliation, but what I didn’t expect was the way the oils from the coffee would make my skin feel. The creme brulee smell mixed with the coffee was also heavenly – I smelled like a toffee nut latte.


I love that this line is gluten free though, it’s amazing what a piece of mind it gives you to know that a product won’t break you out, burn or make your skin itchy. It feels so good to use all natural products and not think twice about the ingredients that you’re putting all over your body. My skin feels soft and I smell really good.

Note: These products were provided to me by basd body care, but all opinions are my own.

How I Keep my Hair Healthy After my Perm.

I’m so excited to be working with REDAVID Hair for this post and featuring my favourite products out of the Orchid Oil line for Curly or Extremely Damaged Hair.

REDAVID is a company local to Vancouver, Canada and is owned by Leonardo Redavid. Leonardo started as a hair stylist, and has been working in the hair industry for over 30 years. He is very involved with his company and product and runs each new product through three years of vigorous testing before putting it on the market.

All of the products are Sulfate and Paraben free and claim to:

  • Control Frizz
  • Detangle
  • Add radiant shine
  • Make hair soft and manageable
  • Restore moisture to normal levels
  • Achieve faster blowouts
  • Make hair stronger

I’ve had a lot of chemical treatments done to my hair, so it needs all the TLC it can get. I’ll touch on how I feel about these claims at the end of the post (except the blowouts thing, because I’ve never had one.)

Note: This product was given to me, but all thoughts and opinions will be my own.

I have used some of this product line in the past, namely the Orchid Oil Treatment and the Orchid Oil Curl Defining Cream.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have to be very careful with products that touch my skin, due to gluten reacting poorly with my body. These products are great, they don’t cause me to react, they don’t cause my scalp to get flaky, and as a oily girl, the oil is light weight enough that it doesn’t make feel like a grease ball.

This is a newer product to me, that I have only tried out for the purpose of this review and let me tell you. I LOVE THIS. This is the Orchid Oil Dual Therapy, which is a two-part system. It includes REDAVID REPAIR and REDAVID SHINE. Redavid Repair is loaded with nutrient rich botanical ingredients to help restore moisture, whereas Redavid Shine seals in the hair structure to reduce frizz and fly-aways. I like to use it before bed and sleep with it in as a super nourishing hair mask. I also used this on my cousins hair after she got out of the shower, she has a sensitive scalp so we use a lot of products to make brushing less painful. Brushing her hair after the shower didn’t seem any different, but the morning after when she was brushing her hair for school she asked me what the product was because she said he hair felt soft, weightless and tangle-free. Straight from the 9 year-old’s mouth, my friends.

I have been using the Orchid Oil Curl Defining Cream since shortly after I got my perm in September. I tried a couple other products before finding this one, and it is the ONLY PRODUCT that makes my curls as soft, defined and non-frizzy as I like it. It claims to build internal strength, while increasing body and fullness, and I have definitely found this to be true.

I have also been using the Orchid Oil Treatment daily since getting my perm. It helps tame the frizz, and also is amazing for when I straighten my hair. Everyone I know loves this product specifically for getting that sleek, straightened look when straightening out their curls. It’s lightweight enough that it doesn’t weigh down my curls, but it leaves my hair SO SOFT. I also use it with the Curl Defining Cream for really nourishing my curls.

I have also just recently started using the Orchid Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. So far I’ve found these to be the most hydrating shampoo and conditioner I’ve ever used and I’m very picky with my shampoos and conditioners. My major issues with shampoos is that they come in direct contact with my scalp, and if there’s gluten in them it makes my flakiness even worse. This product does not do that! As with everything else in this line, the shampoo and conditioner have a blend of botanical extracts that are rich in minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids to increase strength, body and fullness.

Even though I’ve had a chemical perm, bleaching and colouring in my hair I really need this kind of nourishment. My hair feels just as healthy as it was before any chemical treatment.

I can honestly tell you, I love this line and the claims listed at the top of this post, I’ve found to be true. I understand that it’s not as cheap as drugstore products, but it’s worth the money. I also want to note, that everything in this line SMELLS INCREDIBLE. I wouldn’t say that you need to go and buy the entire collection right away, but I will say you NEED the Orchid Oil Treatment in your life. It comes in small sizes as well, and is such a great introduction to this line. If your hair has been exposed to chemical treatment, or is just feeling a dry or frizzy this is absolutely the product for you.

Unfortunately, you can’t buy REDAVID Hair Care online at this time, so please use the store locator to find a retailer near you. 

Gluten Free Skin Care (Updated May 2017)

Essentially, the blog I wish I could have found a year ago.

About a year ago, I wrote this post, and I also wrote this one. I want to create a little go to so girls like me don’t feel like “that girl”. (TL;DR: I’m a celiac and I get rashes on my skin from gluten. Yes, it’s gross)

So over the past year I’ve been experimenting with gluten free products on my skin, and I’ve compiled a regime that doesn’t make my skin worse, some things actually make it better – so other girls or guys, like me, don’t have to waste money and time and “self confidence” like I did. Again, the blog I wish I found a year ago.

So, if you’re not a gluten free make-up/skin care freak, feel free to leave now.

*DISCLAIMER* This is what works on MY skin, it may not work for everyone, but it’s a starting point.
*DISCLAIMER 2* These aren’t cheap products, cheap = gluten in my experience, sorry.

Here we go!

Best GF Foundations: For a matte/full coverage, I recommend tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation. For a dewy/lighter coverage (my summer love), NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation.

Update July 2016: Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer THIS STUFF IS AMAZING. The perfect middle ground to the two above. Full coverage, natural finish, not heavy at all!

Best GF Face Moisturizer:  Hands down – Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Facial Cream (I only know of London Drugs, so if you’re outside of Canada – I’m so sorry!). Not only does this feel awesome, and not have any gluten, it’s got vitamin C so it helps clear up scarring from all the lotions that have wronged us in the past (and the late night chocolate binges)

Update July 2016: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – I use this one at night, and still swear by the Andalou in the morning as it’s lighter to wear under make-up. The First Aid Beauty one is much heavier, but it works wonders!

Best Make-up Removal: For waterproof mascara and liquid eyeliners: Bioderma (Again, not sure where it’s available outside of Canada). No debate there. Even if you have a healthy relationship with gluten, this stuff is everything. If you don’t use waterproof make-up, or you don’t mind a little extra work, coconut oil is life.

Best Skin Care Line: Just kind of a sidenote/umbrella statement, Andalou Naturals does a KILLER GF skin care line. I personally love their brightening collection. They can be found at Whole Foods.

Best Cleanser: COCONUT OIL. Thats all. Coconut Oil, hot water, and repeat.

Best Mask (May 2017): Vichy Pore Purifying Clay Mask, I use this twice a week now, and my skin has never been happier, and it’s doing some serious ground work on making me feel better about the scars that gluten left behind.

Best Lip Balm: I’ve only been loving EOS (I’m not going to link it, you can get it anywhere). I know a lot of people have been getting rashes from it, but I’ve been using if for over a year without any issues – and I have issues with EVERYTHING.

Best Make-Up Line (July 2016): OKAY GUYS. I recently learned that Cover FX is COMPLETELY GLUTEN FREE. I’m currently using a sample of their Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment and it’s great. BUT. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with their Matte Bronzer in Suntan. It’s perfect. Just trust me.

I also try to keep up to date with Gluten Free Makeup Gal‘s website, but find she posts a lot of more obscure brands, and I’m tired of always having to search for obscure gluten free brands in health food stores (except for Andalou).

Anything I didn’t mention, I haven’t found the perfect ones yet, and I’m still playing around. If you guys have any recommendations, or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! I’ll update this again once I find more holy grail GF products.

Update May 2017: I have yet to find anything else I love as much as these products (save for the Vichy mask, over two years later and these are all still my go to products!

Note: This post is not sponsored or affiliated with anything mentioned above. None of these links are affiliate links and I purchased everything myself.