Back when the FLARE team shared an IRL office space my mornings looked a little Flare Faves something like this: rush to get up the elevators in time for our 8:30 a.m. Daily meeting (for which, I admittedly showed up to at approx 8:32 most days).
Hit the button on my Nespresso machine, roll my chair over to our meeting table and start discussing the trending news items of past 24 hours with my brilliant colleagues. We’d assign a new story or two, check in on the status of our scheduled posts for the day and then invariably our attention would turn to what new outfit, eyeliner or gadget one of us was debuting.
Since WFH became our new reality, there’s been less opportunity to share sale scores and new obsessions. For one, most of us put a hard stop on unnecessary shopping; and furthermore, we found ourselves wearing sweatsuits much of the week.
But now that things are opening up (and we’re opening up our wallets again) we decided to take our conversation online—like everything else right now—and a new series was born. Introducing FLARE Faves, where we’re sharing our top fashion, beauty and home buys from the past month.
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Here, the best things we bought or were gifted in September.
Best face mask
“As we move into fall and it becomes increasingly clear that we’ll be taking precautions—including wearing face masks in public spaces—into the winter, I’m keeping an eye out for masks that aren’t only effective, but also aesthetically pleasing. And these handmade masks by Toronto designer Eva Parrell are A+! Parrell’s masks—which can be purchased via her Instagram account—are super cute (my favourite patterns are cow print and green gingham!), really comfortable for long-wear (I love the scrunchie-like straps around my ears) and don’t break the bank. I also love that purchasing from her means supporting a small, female-owned business and designer.”
Face Masks, $25 each or 2 for $40, evaparrell.com
Best eye shadow
“This was an impromptu purchase while I was cruising Glossier’s website to restock my tried and true Boy Brow gel (another must have), and was fuelled purely by my desire to keep the warmth of summer going in some way. This eye tint is easy to apply and makes me feel like I’m subscribing to a more adult version of the popular Euphoria makeup trend.”
Skywash in Valley, $22, glossier.com
“This was the September pick for the book club I have with my friends, and is now one of my favourite books of 2020—if not of all time. It’s been on pretty much every ‘it girl’ booklist you can imagine; and while I’m sometimes skeptical of those seemingly ‘trendy’ novels, this one lives up to the hype.”
Writers & Lovers by Lily King, $15, amazon.ca
—Katherine Singh, assistant editor
Best lounge set
“I’ve been living in this wonderful matching sweatsuit from Encircled for weeks. It’s luxuriously soft, breathable and super cozy. I honestly wish I had this set in every single colour because it’s the perfect loungewear for fall. Bonus: It’s sustainable *and* Toronto-made!”
Fair Jogger, $142, and Hoodie, $136, in Heather Oatmeal, encircled.ca
Best face mist
“No matter what the season, a facial mist is always a must-have for me! I tend to get hot flashes when I’m out and about, so a good spritz instantly cools me down. It also quenches my dry and thirsty skin during colder months, so it’s definitely a great product to have all-year round.”
Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray, $22, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Best Mask Chain
“These days, there’s nothing more annoying than having to let your face mask dangle from one ear (or rocking a weird chin strap sitch) when you’re walking outdoors, so this mask chain has been a life saver. Stay safe and chic, folks!”
Amelia Face Mask Chain, $60, jomamijewelry.com
—Ria Elciario, acting social media editor
“Ah, to need a bag for lugging around a bunch of stuff from your house to different locations! In the Before Times, I would have wept softly upon discovering this Canadian-designed, PETA-certified vegan leather backpack with tons of compartments, including one that fits a 17-inch laptop (poetry) and a change of shoes.
While my longest work commute is currently about 30 feet, this carryall has been perfect for taking longer walks around the neighbourhood and grabbing necessities along the way.”
Lambert Charles Vegan Leather Backpack, $145, designlambert.com
Best fall nail polish
“Two words: sweater weather. These deliciously earthy hues look right at home with my chunky fall cardigans and cozy cashmere pullovers. (Yes, I’m in the minority that’s always happy to say “see ya next year” to summer dresses.) And while I was in a committed, if a bit obsessive, relationship with bi-weekly shellac manicures for the better part of five years, your girl is now embracing that DIY mani life.
Vinylux, with keratin, jojoba oil and vitamin E, is a bit of a no-brainer for home paint jobs; the long-wear formula doesn’t need a base coat and the shine you get from the Long Wear Top Coat is the next best thing to gel.”
CND Vinylux Long Wear Polish Autumn Addict Collection (Cherry Apple shown here), $12.50 each, cnd.com
“There may not be quite as many stress cocktails being guzzled frantically as the first month of lockdown but that doesn’t mean I’m abstaining from a little tipple here and there. When I’m not tucking into a nice Pinot Gris, I love me a crisp gin and tonic.
This gin, made in small batches in Victoria, B.C., looks as pretty in a rocks glass as it does on my bar cart thanks to the butterfly pea blossom that gives the booze its luscious purple colour. But don’t worry, the taste is classic London Dry gin. Cheers!”
Empress 1908 Gin, $50, lcbo.com
—Jennifer Berry, managing editor
“I’m late to upgrading my WFH attire (hello and goodbye to sweatpants that should never see the light of day again), but I’m glad I’ve upgraded to something I feel OK leaving the house in.”
Studio Joggers in Powder Grey, $52, reebok.ca
“I have mildly sensitive but very dry skin, and was on the hunt for something that would provide hydration without exacerbating my rudely flaky face. I came across this toner, and so far I’ve been really enjoying it! Products that I apply after feel extra moisturizing, so I think that means it’s working.”
Etude House SoonJunh pH 5.5 Toner, $16 USD, sokoglam.com
Best Picture Shelf
“I have a lot of small art prints I’ve collected over the years that I wanted to display in my room somehow, but it’s difficult finding wall-safe hanging solutions that also fit my small space. A million scrolls later and I came across these shelves that so far have held up well!”
Command Picture Ledge, $28, staples.ca
—Elham Numan, graphic designer
Best (vegan) leather pants
“I think I’m ready to wear real pants again?! Honestly never thought I’d see the day, but fall is making me long for tailored clothing in rich tones that—who knows—I may even leave the house in. I recently fell hard for these vegan leather pants from Toronto-based size-inclusive designer Hilary MacMillan.
I love that the navy colour sets them apart from the ubiquitous black leather trousers of last year, and their perfectly cropped length looks great with kicky little ankle boots.”
Faux Leather Pants in Navy, $225, hilarymacmillan.com
Best lip crayon
“Anyone else starting to get sick of staring at themselves on Zoom calls all day? I’m trying to remedy that by wearing a different lipstick for every meeting. Lately, I’ve been shopping my stash and recently rediscovered this flattering pink-y nude lip crayon from one of my all-time-favourite brands, Bite. It glides on smoothly, is surprisingly hydrating, and has full coverage that lasts.”
Power Move Creamy Matte Lip Crayon in Leche, $24, bitebeauty.com
“I know, toothbrushes aren’t really that sexy but, trust me, this is one to get excited about. Bruush is a Vancouver-based DTC company that is disrupting the electric toothbrush market with a product that actually doesn’t look terrible on your bathroom vanity. In fact, it’s kind of chic.
Also, it really works: I just went to the dentist for the first time in over a year (thanks, COVID…) and was told by the hygienist that my teeth looked ‘surprisingly good.’ I’ll take it!”
Electric Toothbrush Kit + Refill Plan, $79, bruush.com
—Charlotte Herrold, editor-in-chief