<strong>SMOKING POTS<br /><br />
Ciaté </strong>caused a small riot over its 3-D caviar manicure, inspired by an editorial shoot in which creative director Charlotte Knight adhered loads of tiny pearls to nail tips. But the British label’s basic Paint Pots (<em>$14 each, <a href="http://www.ebeauty.ca" target="_blank">ebeauty.ca</a></em>) are also pretty impressive, with a solid spread of toxin-free shades.
<strong>TWO-FACED<br /><br />
</strong>Even though we’re partial to lipstick, it doesn’t mean gloss is dead to us. <strong>Jacob</strong> Lip Duos (<em>$10 each, <a href="http://www.jacob.ca" target="_blank">jacob.ca</a></em>) feature both in one tube, in the event that we feel like a swipe.
<strong>EXTRA CREDIT<br /><br />
</strong>The latest concealers have bulked up their CVs with some extracurricular activities. <strong>Perricone MD</strong> No Concealer Concealer (<em>$45, at Sephora</em>) packs SPF 35 and hyaluronic acid to plump fine lines, while <strong>Clinique</strong> Even Better Concealer (<em>$23, at drugstores</em>) is infused with skin-brightening vitamin C.
<strong>FASHION LOVES<br /><br />
Smith Farms</strong> Vitamin-Rich Hand Cream (<em>$18, <a href="http://www.smithfarmsproducts.com" target="_blank">smithfarmsproducts.com</a></em>), because the sisters behind this homegrown green skin-care line not only harvest ingredients such as lavender from their family farm in Quebec, but also source locally made eco-friendly packaging.
<strong>SHIP IN A BOTTLE<br /><br />
</strong>A beachy spinoff to her first fragrance, <strong>Diane von Furstenberg</strong>’s Sunny Diane (<em>$65, at department stores</em>) blends mandarin and frangipani. It’s also laced with sea-breeze accords, which we imagine is a nod to the designer’s sailing trips on her supersize yacht.
<strong>DOUBLE VISION<br /><br />
</strong>Wielded by makeup artist Tom Pecheux at Derek Lam’s Fall 2012 show, <strong>Estée Lauder</strong> Sumptuous Two Tone Eye-Opening Mascara (<em>$32, at department stores</em>) features both a regular-sized and a tiny brush that each dispense a different shade. Making the top lashes darker than the lower ones is an eye-widening trick that Pecheux has had up his sleeve for years.
<strong>NEW CANVAS<br /><br />
</strong>French-Canadian artist Corno paints strong women with abstract brush strokes in saturated chemical shades. Her muse (“a woman who is free, at peace, happy in her body, and trying to be happy as a human being, evolving and learning”) would likely approve of the artist’s collaboration with <strong>Lancôme</strong>, which has yielded a neutral eye palette and retina-burning tangerine and fuchsia blushes (<em>from $16, <a href="http://www.lancome.ca" target="_blank">lancome.ca</a></em>). Corno, who happens to bear a striking resemblance to Gloria Steinem, is drawn to bright shades in her work because they attract so much light, and they do the same on the face. “It’s fun to wear colour like that because it’s fresh, young and happy,” says Corno from her SoHo studio. She’s gearing up for Soon is Now, her appearance at Toronto’s Luminato (June 9), where she’ll be painting one of her large-scale masterpieces in front of a crowd. “It’s going to be about colour, light and movement. I want to create that kind of girl who is dancing her ass off and having a good time.”
<strong>SHELL SHOCK<br /><br />
</strong>Like zebra stripes and snowflakes, no two pearls are alike. The same can be said for a bottle of <strong>Armani Privé</strong> Haute Couture Edition Nacre (<em>$750, <a href="http://www.holtrenfrew.com" target="_blank">holtrenfrew.com</a></em>), a bespoke perfume that is so pricey, we imagine its collector’s level of obsession would rival that of a Comic Con fan. Plucked from New Zealand oysters, coveted mother-of-pearl has been fused and stamped on the front of every blown-glass bottle. The scent is just as precious; it contains natural Iris Absolute, which requires 40 tons of the flower’s roots to make 100 grams of the extract. While the brand’s 2011 scent, La Femme Bleue, never made it to Canada, this time we have dibs on 21 bottles out of a limited-edition batch of 1,000. Get your Centurion Cards and cashmere-lined sleeping bags ready.
<strong>ACCESSORIES CLOSET<br /><br />
</strong>Every season, we’re blown away by the nail art at <strong>Ruffian</strong>. And we aren’t the only ones coveting those signature moon manicures—designers Claude Morais and Brian Wolk have seen models trying to steal the press-on nails after their shows, which gave them the idea to team up with <strong>M.A.C.</strong> They’ve created take-home versions of some of their greatest hits, like Fall 2010’s black-and-gold combo and Spring 2011’s beige with noir tips (<em>$30 for a set of 24, <a href="http://www.maccosmetics.com" target="_blank">maccosmetics.com</a></em>). The designers place so much value on nails that they admit to arguing about them more than any other element of their presentations. For Fall 2012, they showed velvet nails on the runway. “We came up with them long before we starting sketching that collection,” admits Wolk during a visit to Toronto. The dual-citizen designers (Morais is Canadian and Wolk is a Yank), who cut each other off and finish each other’s sentences like an old married couple, consider nails and lips inseparable, so they’re also launching three lipsticks (<em>$18 each</em>): an olive-based nude, a glittery gold and “Ruffian Red,” the same frenzy-causing claret bullet that came out of the label’s 2009 limited-edition collab with the beauty brand.