Top 5 Uses for Activated Charcoal Powder

You’ve probably seen tons of influencers on social media using charcoal powder for a variety of reasons. I’m gonna tell you all the benefits and the different ways to use it.

OrganikaMask
What is Activated Charcoal Powder?
It is a powder form of coal that has a lot of positive effects on our bodies. It is commonly used to rid our immune systems of toxins or poisons. Since it is a pure and natural substance, it is a healthier alternative to other products that are chemically produced. I use the one by Organika, which they were kind enough to send to me – check it out here.

Ways to use it
1. Face Mask: Take 1tsp of honey, 1tsp charcoal, a few drops of water. Mix mix mix. Then apply it to your face (avoiding eye area). Leave it on for 10 mins or longer. Rinse off with warm water. Treats acne and dark spots.
*you can just mix it with water, but I tried it this way the first time and did not like the consistency of the mask + it was a lot harder to wash it all off. The second time I added the honey and not only was the application a lot smoother but washing it off was also a breeze.
2. Teeth Whitener: Mix 1tsp with a few drops of water to create a paste. Brush teeth for 1-2 mins. Rinse. Brush again with your regular toothpaste. For best results do this 3 times week. It works to whiten teeth by attacking plaque and teeth stains, it’s much more cost effective and natural compared to something like branded teeth whitening strips.
3. Alleviates Gas and Bloating
Another use that is often overlooked, it helps prevent or get rid of gas and bloating.
Just mix 1tsp with a glass of water, and then drink a regular glass of water right after for every glass of charcoal water you consume.
4. Treats Hangovers and Alcohol Poisoning
The powder helps to quickly absorb toxins in your body that contribute to poisoning. Take the same steps as #3
5. Digestive Cleanse
Another reason to drink activated charcoal is if you simply want to cleanse your body of toxins that cause allergies, tiredness, weak immune system, high cholesterol, among many other health concerns. Basically it benefits everyone, and harms no one.
Take the same steps as #3

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Why You Need to get a HydraFacial

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Now there’s facials.. and then there is HydraFacials. They are basically the Beyonce of facials. I’d been seeing them all over the internet lately, and decided to see what all the hype was about it and whether it’s really worth it. I went to Starlight MedSpa (check out their website here), since I had heard a lot of good things about them. Kaye, who was my aesthetician, was so knowledgable that she picked up on all my skin problems just from a glance. She gave me all the facts and I’m about to share them with you guys!

What is a HydraFacial?
In simple terms it is a new technology that is meant for skin-resurfacing without having to laser. It combines cleansing, exfoliating, extraction, hydration and antioxidant protection, leaving your skin smoother and clearer almost instantly. It works to improve the appearance of congestion, fine lines, enlarged pores, acne and hyper-pigmentation. No matter what your skin issues are, HydraFacial addresses all of them and it works for any skin type.

Why you need it.
First off, before the facial even starts you get to learn about your skin type. Kaye measured the amount of hydration in my skin which was 24%, the ideal number is 40%. That right there tells me I’m not drinking enough of water.. (is ittoo late to add a new years resolution?). Then she informed me that I have broken capillaries in my skin which are caused by the sun and tanning. So pretty much no more tanning beds (ever), and sunscreen is essential every single day. Another really important point she stressed was to constantly exfoliate your skin, now whether you do it daily or a few times a week really depends on the sensitivity of your skin. This is what will get rid of all the dead skin cells, and give your face that smooth glowing look. We went over my skincare routine and the products that I use to decide whether they are doing more harm than good. For the most part they were okay – but now I have a better sense of what ingredients to look for in a product.

Now a HydraFacial will do all of the above, but in a much more intense way that our hands could never do. Even if you just do it one time to give your skin a deep clean, and then use products to maintain it, it’ll make a big difference. It’s only been a few hours since I did mine and I’ve already noticed; smaller pores, brightness, less redness, super smooth to the touch. At the end of my facial my skin was at 41% moisture level, which means it increased the hydration level of my skin by 17%. Plus your skin apparently looks the best 2-3 days after the facial!! Seriously if I knew it was this relaxing and effective I would’ve done it a long time ago!
And for the last part, they give you complementary Red Light Therapy; a skin rejuvenation treatment that increases collagen in the skin which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, decreases acne, and results in all around firmer looking skin. Doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone will benefit from such a treatment.. cause ain’t nobody tryna get wrinkles.

If you live in Toronto or the GTA, make sure to check out Starlight MedSpa, not only is the clinic beautiful but they have cozy heat up beds, which was a highlight for me LOL. Also, the girls are so helpful and know exactly what they’re doing, it’s comforting to know you’re in good hands. Mention my name (Nina) for 20% off!!! I’m off to drink eight bottles of water, hope this was helpful! xx

Workout Wear Essentials

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As you can tell I’m very much into fitness and working out…….. just kidding I hate it but I force myself to go anyways. My trick is that I like it to use clothes as motivation to actually get up and go to the gym. If I have cute workout clothes then I have an excuse to workout, sounds kind of pathetic now that I’m acknowledging it -_-
I’ve tried a lot of different brands and styles as a result, and I’ve realized it’s definitely quality over quantity. So I thought I’d share with guys my go to pieces and how to snag the best deals.

Leggings
This is the most important piece of clothing when you are exercising, as your legs are doing the most work. So if you’re not comfortable you’re not gonna have a good workout. I’ve tried a lot of different brands of leggings, in all price ranges, and by far without a doubt Lululemon makes the best/softest/most comfortable/breathable ones of all time. They’re a bit pricey, but they will last you forever AND they don’t lose their shape or stretch out, which is so important!!!  What I noticed about cheap leggings is the material is awful because 1. they’re not breathable so when you sweat your skin feels like its itchy and burning 2. the fabric feels very plastic-y and constricting 3. they lose their shape over time. So do yourself a favour and invest in a clean black Lululemon legging because it is a staple. You can look at them here. 

Running Shoes
For the longest time I always wore the traditional Nike or Adidas shoes for any type of physical activity, which are classics and a great option. Until I bought myself a pair of APL’s… which stands for Athletic Propulsion Labs, founded by twin brothers with a mission to create a sneaker combining technology, performance and fashion. I noticed a lot of celebs wearing them, as well as the Kardashians always raving about them, I decided to invest in a pair.
The shoes are made of a very soft stretchy cashmere material and they slide on like a sock. The fabric is quick-drying and breathable so you’re feet do not sweat at all. The cushion in the sole makes the ultra comfortable, so you can train or run in them for a long time without getting sore feet. My favourite part of the shoe is the style, they’re very sleek and come in so many different colours and styles. I started out with a neutral colour for my first one… but defintely got my eyes on the pink one next. They also have created a variety of models depending on the type of sport you want them for, whether it’s just training, running, or sports, the technology of the shoes vary.
These are the model I have.

Tops
Now this is the part where you can save some money and not splurge. Because you’re sweating and constantly re-wearing workout tops, it’s better to find inexpensive styles, that why you can recycle them once they’re worn out. In terms of brands, I like to check out the Nike or Adidas outlets cause they always have great deals, or their online sales tend to have great discounts as well. Also, Forever21 makes some really cute and cheap activewear (I would stay away from the leggings though). In terms of sports bras, I only have a couple I always use, and those are by Nike, although I do use ones without cups or padding, I find the the padded ones provide more comfort and durability.

Best Restaurants in Toronto

If you’re from the 6 like me, then you know nobody here actually calls it the 6 lol, cause that would be kinda weird. You might also know that there is not much to do here. And by not much I mean literally nothing ever at all. Especially when it’s winter and going outside means potentially dying from hypothermia. But then there are the odd days, where you are so tired of only going to work and watching netflix (basically living like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day), that you are willing to suffer through the cold wind that burns your face just to get out the house. Sooo I thought I’d make a list of all my favourite spots to eat in the city, in case you are just as winter depressed as I am and need food to make life just a little easier.

  1. Cactus Club
    Probably my favourite restaurant in the city, as it excels in every aspect. Amazing food, great music, cool crowd, not to mention the BEST drinks (the Brazilian is my go to)!!
  2. King Taps
    A newer spot, located in the same building as Cactus with the same sort of vibe. The pizza is a must.
  3. Nervosa
    No doubt the best food in Yorkville. It’s one of the more quaint spots, and in the summer the rooftop patio + sangria is the perfect combination. Try the mushroom pasta or steak with salad.
  4. Sassafraz
    Another yorkville spot, this one has a really great brunch menu that includes a huge stack of blueberry pancakes and this to die for mushroom and brie toast.. can you tell I like mushrooms?
  5. Wish
    More of a daytime vibe, the interior of this place is so rustic and adorable, that the food being good is just a bonus. The french toast will leave you speechless.
  6. Chop
    An amazing steakhouse with locations in the GTA. This is good place for when you want a delicious steak without paying an arm and a leg for it. The burger is also delicious.

    Upscale Dining

  7. Buca
    The King St. location has a great menu, consisting of many things you’ve probably never heard before. If you aren’t a big foodie, the pizza is really good!
  8. Lee
    One of the better asian fusion restaurants. Really cool vibe inside with great music. You have to order the slaw salad and spring roll burgers!!
  9. Morocco Chocolat
    This is one of my favourites for sure. It has a really good variety in deserts as well as good, depending on what you’re in the mood for. I always go for the tea and macaroons… obviously

REVIEW: Amika Triple Rx Hair Mask

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Studies show that 9 out 10 women have damaged hair. I just made that statistic up but I feel like it’s probably true. Most of us have a harmful hair routine; whether you dye, highlight, straighten or curl your hair on a regular basis, it’s not healthy!!! I literally do all of those things all the time so you can just imagine how damaged my hair is. The obvious way to treat this is by getting hair cuts pretty often, but most hairstylists can’t be trusted. How do they translate “I want just a little trim” into “just shave my head Karen” LOL. If you don’t want to take that risk, I suggest trying hair masks! I’m surprised at how underrated they are, or maybe I’m just new to them. I’ve been using the Amika Triple Rx Mask for a few months now and I looove it for so many reasons.

First of all, it smells freakin’ amazing. If you’ve ever smelt the Viva La Juicy perfume, that’s basically what it smells like. That was my go-to scent in high school so using the mask makes me feel all nostalgic.
Secondly, it makes your feel like a softness you’ve never felt before. I’m trying to think of something to compare the softness to but I can’t. You’ll have to see for yourself.
Also, the shine THE SHINE!!!!! I’ve gotten so many compliments on the shininess of my hair since I started using it. And it’s not like a oily type of a shine, it’s like a Jennifer Aniston type of shine.

This one is a little pricey, but you only have to use once a week so it’ll last a few months at least. You can buy it here. If you know any other good hair masks comment down below!

OOTD: earth tones

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I never believed in love at first sight, until I laid my on eyes on this jacket. I was on the hunt for a wool coat that was classic but still unique, and I found it at Zadig and Voltaire. If you’re not big into fashion brands, you may not have heard of it before. Zadig is a french contemporary brand, with trendy and edgy designs inspired by a Parisian lifestyle. If you live in Toronto, pop by the new boutique at Yorkdale mall, major modern vibessss. Back to the coat, the sliver foiling and buttons are what really got me, and I love olive because it really is an all year round colour. I paired the jacket with a cozy Belstaff sweater, J Brand Jeans, brown Sam Edelman booties and a Goyard Bag. Links to everything below.

NJ x

Zadig and Voltaire Karne Coat  (it’s like half price nbd)
Belstaff Katriona Sweater
J Brand Alana Crop (similar)
Goyard – not available online

OOTD: sweater dress club

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Not sure if you guys know, but there is nothing I love more than a soft sweater dress. And this one right here feels like the best thing I’ve ever worn. It’s a cashmere turtleneck dress by Equipment, this one is nice cause it’s so simple and versatile. You can style it however you like, dress it up or dress it down. I threw on some fishnet tights, an Alexander McQueen scarf, and sock booties from Zara. Link to the products below. 🙂

Alexander McQueen Scarf
Zara Booties
Equipment Dress