At Proprlifestyle Korean Skincare and Accessories in Toronto, the specialty is K-Beauty. Shorthand for Korean skin care and cosmetics, K-Beauty has exploded in popularity around the world thanks to a reputation for advanced technology, natural ingredients and an elaborate 10-step skin-care routine. According to the store’s owner, Althea Johnson, however, such an extensive regimen is not required. “In fact, the new trend in Korea is doing three to five steps to simplify.”
Johnson was introduced to Korean skin care in 2017 through sheet masks, a K-Beauty staple, and was impressed by the immediate results. “I had eczema on my neck and jawline. By the next morning, there was improvement where the eczema was.” By coincidence, Johnson already had a holiday booked to Seoul that morphed into a K-Beauty research trip. “What I loved is that they would have a Black, a Caucasian and an Asian woman in all of their advertisements. It’s inclusive.” That year, Johnson launched Proprlifestyle as an online K-Beauty destination for Canadians and expanded to a brick-and-mortar space this past March.
Sitting at about 200 square feet, Proprlifestyle’s first storefront is a petite paradise for the skin care curious. “I have a few products that Canadians would be familiar with but I’m also trying to introduce them to products that they may not have heard of.” She caters to all skin types and tones, a direction celebrated by “Sisters,” a colourful mural on the side of her building by Leslie Phelan and commissioned through curator and founder Elizaveta Zhurkovskaya of Kefi Art Gallery.
Proprlifestyle Korean Skincare and Accessories, 458 Ossington Ave., Toronto, 416-827-7961, shop.proprlifestyle.com.
Huxley Cleansing Oil, $45.
COSRX Propolis Light Ampoule, $32.
D’Alba White Truffle Prestige Watery Oil, $65.
For the first time since its launch in 2018, Vessi is releasing a new collection of footwear. Its new Weekend Sneaker is a modern take on the classic court shoe silhouette that is 100-per-cent waterproof, vegan and machine washable. As of Aug. 12, shoppers can reserve a pair of sneakers online with a $5 deposit and pay the outstanding balance once the shoes are ready to be shipped. All deposits will be donated to mental health charities. Vessi is based in Vancouver and known for producing waterproof sneakers. For more information, visit vessifootwear.ca.
Canadian jeweller Birks has recently introduced a new initiative to celebrate first responders and essential workers. The Love Is Essential contest will gift an engagement ring to three couples across Canada. To qualify, at least one member of the couple must be a first responder or essential worker. Nominations can be made online by sharing how a deserving couple has given back to their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Birks will also assist in planning the winners’ proposal and hosting an engagement party for close family and friends. For more information, visit maisonbirks.typeform.com/to/GuShSY.
The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute (SRFI) in the Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University in Toronto has announced the fourth group of fellows to enter the program: current fashion design student Sara He and recent Ryerson fashion graduate Justine Latour. As part of her studies, He will be completing a semester abroad at Amsterdam Fashion Institute in 2021 while Latour, who is based in Berlin, specializes in print development for apparel. The SRFI supports 10 fellows, each making their way into the fashion industry at various academic and professional levels. For more information, visit srfi.ca.
Ikea has launched a limited-edition collection for the back-to-school season. Designed in partnership with Thai fashion designers Greyhound Original, Sammankoppla is a collection of home furnishings with a Bangkok-street-style aesthetic. Inspired by recycling, reusing and creative repurposing, the multifunctional pieces in the collection include a hoodie cover for chairs, flatwoven rugs made of recycled PET and a Frakta shopping bag, laptop case and storage bag made using a traditional Thai weaving technique. For more information, visit ikea.ca.
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