Feb 17, 2016
Watch the Michael Kors Fall 2016 show LIVE
14 Canadian love experts weigh in with their most insightful advice.
REVERSE THE GOLDEN RULE “Treat your partner how they want to be treated. I like that this requires you to really get to know someone else’s needs and insecurities. We don’t all want the same things out of a relationship, but if you commit to someone and really invest in them, you owe it to them to figure out what they want from love and do your best to offer it.” – Mandy Len Catron, who’s based in Vancouver, is the founder of thelovestoryproject.ca, a blog about love stories.
LOSE AN ARGUMENT “Economists measure bargaining power in relationships as the probability that you will get your own way whenever there is disagreement. Happier relationships are those where that bargaining power is shared evenly. No one likes to constantly be on the losing side of a battle; that is just as true for the person you love as it is for yourself.” – Marina Adshade is an economist at the University Of British Columbia and author of The Love Market: What You Need to Know about How We Date, Mate and Marry.
FIND A FRIEND WITH BENEFITS “To meet new people, you need a friend with an ‘open world view.’ This means that he or she is open to chatting with people and doing silly, spontaneous things in new circumstances. Don’t go out with big groups to meet someone. Your best friend might not be the person to go out to bars or parties with if all you’re going to do is chat with each other. You need someone with a ‘say yes’ attitude.” – Alexandra Chong, who’s based in London, England, is co-founder of the dating app Lulu, which allows women to rate men on a variety of criteria.
CHOOSE WISELY “Do not compare yourself to other people or try to shape yourself to be like someone else. Often, people concern themselves with ‘Will this person like me?’ or ‘Will this person want to be with me?’ but think about the fact that you are not only being chosen; you are also the chooser.” – Barbara Morrison is a Saskatoon-based couples therapist.
WORK THROUGH YOUR PAST “A lot of people seek the love they didn’t receive when they were younger. Gaps, broken hearts that have been ignored or previous experiences that haven’t been unpacked don’t disappear. These things can break down a healthy relationship without us being conscious of it. We all have to be engaged in the process of working through our own histories so that we are able to be good to our partners and ourselves.” – Debra Macleod, who’s based in Calgary, is a therapist specializing in infidelity.
LOOK FOR WHAT’S EASY “It’s a lie that relationships ‘take a lot of work.’ When a couple is naturally compatible and motivated to maintain emotional and physical intimacy, relationships hum along pretty nicely. Yes, there are times when you have to recommit to each other and struggle through life’s challenges. But if you’re constantly fighting to get along or having to talk things out, then you’re not meant for each other.” – Kim Katrin Milan, who divides her time between Toronto and New York, is an educator who often speaks about love in the queer community.
BE THERE FOR THE GOOD STUFF “When we talk about relationship advice, we often focus on how to deal with the bad stuff: disagreements, setbacks and stressful events. But a growing body of research suggests that how you deal with the good stuff is just as important. Expressing excitement and enthusiasm when your partner succeeds, and being there to celebrate their achievements with them, can go a surprisingly long way toward making them feel supported.” – Samantha Joel is an Austin-based psychologist studying how we make decisions in relationships.
KNOW YOUR EXPECTATIONS “Mismatched or unspoken expectations are a big challenge in a relationship. This is directly linked to the myth of the soulmate and the idea that if your partner really loves you, he or she should just know what you need, want or mean – which is completely unfair. You can change this by regularly checking in about what you feel or want. This has to be a conversation, but it won’t be effective unless you understand where your own expectations come from.” – Reva Seth is the Toronto-based author of First Comes Marriage: Modern Relationship Advice from the Wisdom of Arranged Marriages.
STAY FOCUSED “Most people put their relationships on the back burner once they feel that that part of their life is locked down. But commitment is when the work really begins. Don’t say ‘Now that I’ve conquered finding love, it’s time to focus on my career, my friends, my car collection.’ Say ‘How can we keep our relationship healthy, fulfilling, stimulating and sexy?’ Set aside a weekly or biweekly date for setting goals for the future, talking about your interests and reaffirming your love.” – Kimberly Moffit, who’s based in Toronto, is a psychotherapist and couples counsellor.
EMBRACE CHANGE “I think one of the most challenging things a relationship can face is sudden, traumatic change. For us, it happened eight years ago, when my husband suffered a traumatic brain and spinal-cord injury at work. In a split second, our whole world changed. We survived by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and honest and kind with each other, and even when we were hurting, we made each other laugh. We advocated for each other, threw out the old expectations and committed ourselves to creating a new kind of life.” – Kara Stanley, who’s based in Halfmoon Bay, B.C., is the author of Fallen, a book about her husband’s injury.
DEAL WITH DIFFERENCES “Avoiding dealing with big issues out of fear of losing someone is a recipe for an unhealthy relationship. Ask yourself if you can accept and live with the differences in the long term. Address them up front, discuss them, talk about your reservations and see if there is room for compromise. If there is no willingness on either side to compromise, then gracefully end the relationship before making a major commitment.” – Edel Walsh is a Vancouver-based couples counsellor.
TEAR UP THE SCRIPT “Look beyond the ‘script’ that relationships are supposed to follow: meet ‘the one,’ date, have sex, get married, have kids, die. It helps to stand back and look at the big picture to see how society is feeding us these models and creating pressure to conform. If we resist the pressure to change ourselves, love will change to meet our needs and not vice versa.” – Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins, who’s based in Vancouver, is the founder of The Metaphysics of Love Project, which explores romantic love from a philosophical perspective, at the University of British Columbia.
DEVELOP UNSHAKABLE LOVE “The hardest challenge for interfaith relationships is gaining the acceptance and approval of families. But persistence and determination, driven by unshakable love for each other, helps people through it. In a world where divorce rates continue to climb and communities and countries continue to fight over differences, it’s refreshing and reassuring when you meet people in love who have overcome their differences by being open, respectful and accepting of each other’s beliefs.” – Jennifer Rodrigues is the Toronto-based project manager for The Interlove Project, which captures black-and-white images of interfaith couples.
EXPLORE MINDFUL MEDITATION (FOR BETTER SEX) “Pioneering research has shown that mindfulness techniques can help boost sensation and reduce distraction and negative thoughts during sex – common issues faced by women. In other words, it helps you be present. The next time you’re making love, try to focus your attention on the sensations in your body (rather than worrying about what you should be feeling) and see what happens.” – Sarah Barmak is the Toronto-Based author of Closer: Notes from The Orgasmic Frontier of Female Sexuality.
Text compiled by Sarah Treleaven
No, no, not like that.
Last night at the New York City Museum of Modern Art, Emma Watson celebrated the second anniversary of the UN Women’s HeForShe Initiative – a movement towards gender equality. Among the attendees? Our very own PM, who also gave a speech.
Right before Justin addressed the crowd, Watson presented him with a HeForShe pin on stage and gave him a hug, at which point host Trevor Noah amusingly announced, “He said yes!”
LOL. So cute, right?
WITH BEAUTY VLOGGER AND INFLUENCER ESTÉE LALONDE, PRESENTED BY SOREL
Over 1,300 of you rocked your personal style and entered the first #ECSTYLESEARCH on Instagram! Come celebrate with Estée Lalonde, Canada-born, UK-based beauty and lifestyle vlogger, who will share advice and inspiration from her new book, Bloom: Navigating Life & Style.
Join ELLE Canada, SOREL and our special guest Estée, for an evening of manicures, makeup, hand massages, photo ops, cocktails and delicious treats.
All guests will receive a signed copy of Estée’s new book and a GIFT BAG valued at $150!
Tickets: ONLY $40
Click here to purchase tickets. Space is limited.
MUST BE LEGAL DRINKING AGE
Thursday, October 20
7 – 9 p.m.
28 Logan Avenue, Toronto
Vanessa Craft discovers what it truly takes to innovate the beauty tools we take for granted.
I first got my hands on the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer at a media preview in Toronto last spring – a full six months before it was retail-ready. It was a cloak-and-dagger operation: The dryer, which was four years and $100 million in the making, was revealed in a Pulp Fiction-style padded briefcase, and I had to sign my life away with a contract promising I wouldn’t tell anyone about it until the global announcement in the summer. I kept the code of silence, but it wasn’t easy. I’ve seen a lot of beauty innovations in my time as an editor (battery-powered ionic hairbrushes, Shellac polish, online virtual make-overs), but this was truly a marvel. The humble hair dryer, with its loud, angry fan and bicep-burning heft, has been in need of an overhaul for decades, and here it was, completely reimagined by British inventor James Dyson into something resembling a pop-art-style space-age ray gun.
Adam Grant, who calls himself an “organizational psychologist,” studies people he refers to as “originals”: nonconformists who champion new ideas and drive creativity. He believes that originals share certain traits, one of which is that they are “improvers.” “To be original, you don’t have to be first; you just have to be different and better,” he said in his April 2016 TED Talk. If there’s one person who fits that description, it’s 69-year-old Dyson, a man who has made his fortune turning common household items like vacuums into coveted objects that people no longer shove in the closet but keep in full view of visitors.
A few weeks after the preview, I travelled to the Dyson home base (in the picturesque village of Malmesbury, England, about 150 kilometres west of London) to learn more about the company’s creative nature. Dyson HQ is impressive – it’s a long glass-fronted building with an undulating “wave” of a roof. As we approached, we passed a classic Austin Mini that had been sliced in half and mounted next to a water feature. There was a Bell 47 helicopter taking up three spaces in the parking lot, and – wait for it – a Harrier Jump Jet, a plane that can take off vertically, sat directly outside the entrance.
This is all by design. “The architectural environment and the engineering icons we have here are to inspire people – it’s important,” said Dyson when I asked about the impressive eye candy. But innovation isn’t just born out of an Insta-worthy workspace, even if this is a Millennial hotbed. (The average age of employees is just 26.) “I prefer naïveté to experience,” he said. “Experience means you tend to know why you can’t do something. If you want to do something different, that’s where the naïveté helps: You don’t know it can’t be done.”
I went to lunch with one of the “bright young people” Dyson referred to. Twenty-five-year-old design engineer Elise Fairholm is an Ontario native who studied mechanical engineering at the University of Waterloo before joining Dyson. Since childhood, she has had an unbridled curiosity about how things work. In fact, her first project at the company was working on the Supersonic prototypes: tweaking filters and testing functionality, including the (really cool) magnetic-attachment styling tools that never get too hot to touch. “It’s quite open here,” she said of the freedom to explore concepts. “There’s a lot of time to play around with things until you get it right. James wants people to strive for the best that they can do.”
While there, I also took a trip to London to meet with superstar stylist Akin Konizi, who serves as Dyson’s global hair ambassador. A self-described perfectionist, Konizi was brought in halfway through the development process and challenged Dyson to innovate and tweak everything from the ergonomics (the tiny motor of the dryer is in the handle, which completely changes the balance and the stress on the wrist) to the weight of the cord. Konizi pushed back on an early issue he had with the control buttons. “Women using this will have good nails; what if they’re too long to make these buttons work?” he inquired during one trial. Dyson changed them.
Regular dryers have power, but not focus. This is problematic because hair gets blasted everywhere, causing “the strands on the outside to flay,” which means it dries differently and ends up frizzier, explained Konizi. The Supersonic creates just a 20-degree “flare,” or radius, so the air not only has a more refined focus but also races out of the nozzle – a patented bladeless open sphere – more quietly. That the engineers found a way to get the sound pitched at a frequency more pleasing to the human ear makes it one of Konizi’s favourite things about the dryer. “I want to feel luxury and quality,” he said. “When I go at someone with a normal hair dryer, [that blast of air] feels like an attack. It isn’t a caress.”
And then there’s the heat factor. I’ve often smelled my hair burning when I get a blowout and chalked it up to the price you have to pay for pin-straight hair. Not so, said Dyson. As the wet hair heats up, the water in the follicle bursts, he explained. This causes damage “craters” in the hair shaft, which result in dull, lack-lustre hair. While you do need heat, he said, it doesn’t have to be set at the temperature of Mercury to work effectively. So they added a micro-processor that monitors the airflow temperature 20 times a second and keeps it consistent regardless of the setting. The result is shinier, softer and, the company claims, healthier hair. Putting a mini-computer in-side every dryer you make comes at a price: The Supersonic is $500. But, according to Dyson, innovation thrives when you take away barriers to creativity. “I want to make products that really work well and are a joy to use,” he said. “That makes them expensive, and that’s not everybody’s cup of tea. But that’s what we want to do. When the young members of our team say ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have this?’ I don’t say ‘No, it’s too expensive’; I say ‘Well, that’s pretty interesting. Let’s have a look at it.’”
The old faithful: Brush cleansers (that take forever to dry).
The new guard: Sephora Collection Color Switch by Vera Mona Brush Cleaner ($23, sephora.com). Glide a makeup brush over this rough, dry sponge in between shadows to remove pigment. It contains tiny pores that pull powder from your brush, allowing you to transition from neon night-out makeup to daytime taupe easily. It’s perfect for that 24-step eyeshadow tutorial you’ve bookmarked on YouTube for Halloween this year.
The old faithful: Your kinda sus face cloth.
The new guard: Luna Play by Foreo ($49, sephora.com). Shake up your skincare with this small silicone facial-cleansing device that vibrates and pulsates as you wash your face. The combination of the vibration and the silicone bristles helps clean your skin deeper than you scrolled on your ex’s Instagram feed last night. The side with thicker bristles works best on oily skin, while the finer bristles are ideal for those with a sensitive complexion.
The old faithful: Perching on your bathroom counter for a good mirror view.
The new guard: The Simplehuman 5” Sensor Mirror in Rose Gold ($150, thebay.com) has a sensor that detects when you are entertaining your vain side and automatically lights up when you approach, simulating natural light so you know exactly what your foundation will look like outside. It gives a 10x magnified close-up view – ideal for plucking stray brow hairs or getting your cat eye just right. It also folds up if you need to tuck it away when your Tinder date comes over for the first time. The only thing missing? Daily affirmations that you are, indeed, the fairest of them all.
The old faithful: Your mom yelling at you to get out of the sun.
The new guard: My UV Patch by La Roche-Posay (available at select Dermatologist's offices). To avoid coming home from vacay with an embarrassing (and painful) burn, try this personal UV-monitoring patch. With cutting-edge adhesive technology, it sticks to skin and monitors how much sun exposure you’re getting. Photosensitive dyes change colour when the patch is exposed to UV rays and will have you seeking more shade than a Kardashian sub-tweet. Scan your patch using the My UV Patch app for in-depth info on your exposure.