If you're anything like me, you LOVE hearing what other people are using, doing and recommending when it comes to beauty. So I'm introducing a new interview series, featuring some of my favourite beauty experts—and I couldn't be more thrilled that Kristen Ma is the first to kick things off!
Kristen is a certified esthetician, certified Ayurvedic practitioner and the co-founder of Pure + Simple, a Canadian holistic spa chain and manufacturer of natural skincare and mineral makeup. (Her facials are simply AMAZING, by the way.)
She is also the author of Beauty: Pure and Simple: A Holistic Guide to Natural Beauty—a must-read for anyone looking to learn more about Ayurveda and natural skincare—and runs Holistic Vanity, a natural beauty blog.
Here's the lowdown on Kristen's favourite products and more.
What would you consider your all-time best beauty secret?
Use facial oils. Forget what you may think about oils making you break out or look greasy. If you get a good quality vegetable oil, your skin will thank you. I even found that our Pure + Simple Pure Skin Face Oil clears up your complexion and regulates overactive sebaceous glands.
What are the beauty products you can't live without?
I do not go anywhere without my Pure + Simple Organic Rosehip Face Oil. It's amazingly restorative and excellent for sun damage.
Jane Iredale Cream to Powder Eyeliner in Black Plus is great for smoky eyes without making you look powdery. I also use a tiny amount on a brush to fill in my brows, because nothing is more important than great eyebrows.
My only unnatural indulgence is Blinc Kiss Me Mascara. I am so no-fuss that the easy removal of this mascara is a must-have.
Pure + Simple Flawless Complexion is a sheer liquid mineral foundation. It evens out your skin tone and gives you a great dewy finish.
What's your favourite beauty bargain?
Accessory items like exfoliants, which are not on your skin for long. Or just use something in your kitchen like baking soda.
What was your first fragrance?
My mother was always into natural beauty, so even the first fragrance I wore had to be pure. It was an organic, oil-based roll-on that was a blend of rose and citrus essential oils.
Which fragrance do you wear now?
I use an organic perfume from a French line called Maedy's. Unlike other natural perfumes, even the base is made from organic plant-derived alcohol. I have a few, but my favourite is the Vetiver. I love citrusy smells.
What's your beauty pet peeve?
I cringe when I see unkempt eye brows.
Do you have any weird beauty habits?
I actually used shatavari ghee on my chest at night for bust firming. It's clarified butter that has been infused with rejuvenating Ayurvedic herbs. It really works—and while it's embarrassing to admit it, I swear by the stuff. You just have to get over smelling like a snack bar at the movie theatre.
Who are your beauty icons?
And Rachel McAdams.
What is your best advice for those seeking a career in beauty?
Make sure you take time to ground, relax and restore your body despite how much you want to accomplish. You can't promote a concept of beauty when you're running yourself ragged. Plus, you risk burning out. Trust me, I learned the hard way.