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Border Crossing Beauty Tips

Summer beauty advice from our northern neighbors

Dan Lecca
Natalie Penno, Vice President of Cosmetics & Beauty for Holt Renfrew shares her secrets to stellar summer beauty.

Even if you're a full-fledged fashionista, you may not know this high-end department store – unless you live in Canada, that is. Opened in 1837 as a hat shop in Quebec City, this chain now operates nine stores throughout Canada. Holt Renfrew's chic clientele are in good company – the store was once named Queen Victoria's official "furrier in ordinary," responsible for supplying her regal furs.

Many people think of Canada as a winter wonderland, but the climate actually varies greatly between seasons and regions, bringing Canadians plenty of heat in the summer. The long Victoria Day weekend at the end of May is the unofficial start of summer, when Canadians head to the beach and open their cottages on Lake Ontario for the season (not unlike Memorial Day in the States). Stylish Canadians stock up on beauty products at Holt Renfrew to ward off heat and sun damage through the first weekend in September, when Labour Day ends the season (not unlike Labor Day).

This season Holt Renfrew has compiled a new list of the best products to get you through the summer. And since we share a holiday (give or take a vowel) we thought why not trade shopping tips? It's the neighborly thing to do!

Here are Holt Renfrew's top picks for summer products no matter what side of the border you live on.

"A beauty trend that I am seeing come to life is chic jewelry that houses built-in beauty products. In particular, necklaces are extremely hot right now. Dior, for example, has designed a beautiful topaz jeweled pendant necklace, which opens to reveal a shimmering beige cream that can be used on the cheeks, eyes and lips. YSL has created an exquisite black bohemian beaded necklace which encases a hidden bronzing powder, perfect for sultry night touch-ups. Finally, Giorgio Armani himself has personally and meticulously crafted a luxurious black pendant, decorated with Swarovski crystals. The round sphere opens up to reveal a universally stunning beige ArmaniSilk lip colour," says Natalie.


Frederic Fekkai Salon Glaze Clear Shine Rinse

Between sun and chlorine damage, summer can wreak havoc on your hair. This clear shine rinse, inspired by professional salon glazing services, binds shine, recharges color, and adds silkiness to the hair. Its unique blend of conditioning silicones coat the cuticle to add shine and conditions the hair shaft. With its lightweight formula, Salon Glaze won't weight your hair down like traditional shine serums and it works on all hair colors and types. Available online at Sephora.

Kiehl's Leave-In Hair Conditioner

You know to lather on sunscreen to protect your skin, but what about you hair? Try Kiehl's Leave-In Hair Conditioner to protect hair from sun damage with a UV filter. Made with panthenol and cococut oil, it detangles and restores shine and suppleness to dry hair. Since it was created especially for thick, frizzy, dry, or damaged hair, it works great with even the most unmanageable tresses. Available at Kiehl's.


Lisa Simon

Inspired by the lavish natural beauty of Indian culture, Lisa Simon has developed a skin care line that combines the principles of ayurvedic medicine with the natural extracts and scents of local flora. Her facial care system includes a patented Precious Amethyst© complex, which blends amethyst powder, pink tourmaline powder from Ceylon, and wild indigo extract. The formula stimulates beta-endorphins to make your skin more radiant, and is meant to leave you feeling just as pleasant as when your body is bathed in sunlight. Available online at Beauty Habit.

Kiehl's Abyssine Cream + with SPF 23

Sun damage is known to age your skin, but with this anti-wrinkle cream with SPF 23 you can look younger and protect your skin from environmental damage at the same time. It is made with naturally derived ingredients such as Abyssine, a molecule that thrives under the extreme conditions in hydrothermal ocean vents, and Corallina Extract, sourced from a mineral-rich red alga with self-defensive properties. Together this anti-oxidant packed formula will help defend the skin from free radical damage. Available at Kiehl's.


Bobbi Brown Quick Face Collection

Summer is all about easy, natural beauty, which is why we're recommending Bobbi Brown's new Quick Face Collection. Designed to take minutes off your beauty routine, these products are easy to use and will make you look better instantly. The line includes Long-Wear Cream Shadow that can be applied with the fingers, a chubby Lip Crayon that matches the natural color of the lips and gives them a polished look, and Everything Mascara, an all-in-one formula that lengthens, thickens, and defines without smearing, smudging, or clumping. Available online at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.

Prescriptives AnyWear Multi-Purpose Makeup Stick SPF 15

For perfect skin during weekend getaways, toss Prescriptives' new portable foundation stick in your bag. With the SPF 15 coverage, buildable coverage and a smooth velvety finish it's a great foundation to get you through hot summer days. Available at Prescriptives.


Full brows have been spotted on all the runways and are the hottest trend right now. So, Stop plucking!! You can keep unruly brows looking polished with a slick of clear brow gel. Then, use a combination of powders and pencils to achieve the perfect frame. Powders are great for filling in sparse areas, while pencils are ideal for sculpting a defined arch. Finish by dabbing a little highlighter directly under the brow bone-you will achieve an instant eye-lift effect!

Damone Roberts Eyebrow Care Products

For perfectly sculpted brows, who better to turn to than the man known as "the Eyebrow King"? Damone Roberts is famous for tending to famous faces in his New York and Beverly Hills salons. In keeping with his philosophy that "every face deserves the perfect frame," Roberts has designed his own line of eyebrow care products that anyone can use at home. Products include The Tweezers, designed to grab even the finest hair, and the Brow Deluxe Angled/Spooly Brush, cut at an angle to allow powder to get in between the eyebrow hair. Available online at Damone Roberts.


In fashion, designers are constantly pushing the envelope, blurring the line between masculine and feminine. We're seeing more and more androgyny in clothes and the models that wear them in the ad campaigns. There is a mystique associated with unisex fragrances which entices both women & men alike. As this look becomes more mainstream and accepted, unisex fragrances fit perfectly into this aesthetic. We've known for years that women are a big purchaser of men's fragrances so the popularity of unisex scents is no surprise.

Bond No.9

Whether you're staying in the city or heading to your favorite vacation spot, Bond No.9's New York-inspired scents will add some extra sexiness to the summer. Each one of their new fragrances pays tribute to a specific neighborhood or citywide sensibility, such as Eau de Noho, Madison Soiree, or Fashion Avenue. With 31 scents to choose from, you're sure to find one that suits you perfectly. Available at Bond No.9.

By Kilian

Kilian Hennessy, the man behind the new perfume line L'Oeuvre Noire, the Black Masterpiece, has luxury in his blood. As the heir to the Hennessy cognac family and grandson of Louis Viutton founder Moet Hennessy, it's no surprise that he has found a way to capture elegance in a bottle. Check out his two unisex formulas, Liasons Dangereuses, with notes of Egyptian Geranium and cinnamon, and Cruel Intentions, which includes bergamot, rose, and vetiver. Available at By Kilian.

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