Fashion & Beauty

FLARE Faves: Our Top Buys This Month

Shop the simple pleasures that are getting us through life in a pandemic

Back when the FLARE team shared an IRL office space (RIP to my abandoned aloe plant…), my mornings looked a little 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 have become 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.

Read this next: How to Build a *Realistic* Capsule Wardrobe in 2020

Here, the best things we bought in August.

Ria’s picks

Best bike shorts

editors favourite products: bike shorts

“Last month, I was gifted a few pairs of bike shorts from Thigh Society. They have been my go-to ever since—perfect for working from home, running errands, hiking, anything you could possibly think of.”

The Cotton Slip Shorts, $39,

Best moisturizer

editors favourite products: moisturizer

“For the longest time, I’ve been on the hunt for a moisturizer that gets the job done, is lightweight, fragrance-free and cheap. The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA ticks off all of those boxes. Plus, it’s vegan and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.”

Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, $7.70,

Best kitchen cart

editors favourite products: kitchen cart

“I live in a small studio apartment, so my kitchen counter space is almost non-existent. Thankfully, I found this affordable kitchen cart from Ikea. It has a wood top and two adjustable shelves. It doubles as storage for my pots and pans, and I’m able to have more counter space for cooking and baking.”

Stenstorp Kitchen Cart, $169,

—Ria Elciario, acting social media editor

Read this next: 10 Kitchen Tips From Your Quarantine Icon Ina Garten

Jenn’s picks

Best mules

editors favourite products: best mules

“I snagged these animal-print slip-ons at the beloved Nordstrom Anniversary Sale—on until September 3—and I love them because they satisfy two of my most essential Taurean qualities: 1) They’re a mule. I am lazy and loathe buckles, laces and straps. 2) They look so much more expensive than they are. (I love luxurious-feeling things, what can I say?) This exact pair sold out quickly online but I found sound comparably cute mules here, here and my Madewell style in a different colour here.”

Madewell Remi Mule, $69 (regular $116),

Best hair mask

editors favourite products: hair mask

“My first impression of this deep-conditioning hair mask is that it feels something like marshmallow fluff without the stickiness and smells like a rosemary mint essential oil fragrance I’d love to wear daily. But aside from its sensorial excellence, the silicone-free (and Canadian-made!) mask with over 98% plant-based and naturally-derived ingredients over delivers on its promise to leave hair feeling soft and shiny without any of the heaviness or residue that some hair masks can impart. I noticed this especially when blow drying my thick mop after letting it air dry a bit—the usually torturous task was noticeably more pleasant due to the light, silky quality of my hair. (That’s thanks, in part, to snow mushroom extract that absorbs up to 500 times its weight in water, delivering intense hydration to thirsty hair.) My very long, colour-treated, kinda parched hair has never looked or felt better than after its weekly treat.”

Nourish Mask, $26, or

Best bedding set

editors favourite products: bedding set

“I don’t know about you, but about three weeks into lockdown I wanted to torch every item of furniture and decor in my home and start over. This crisp 100% cotton duvet set helped give my bedroom a mini-makeover while levelling up my snooze time coziness. Things I love: Envello is a Canadian, female-founded company; Envello is Better Cotton Initiative (BCI®), OEKO-Tex® and ISO® certified and committed to responsible sourcing, fair wages and safe working conditions; lightweight cotton percale, which is both breathable and soft, is perfect for warm (read: sweaty) sleepers like moi. (And, yes, I got the matching sheets, too, I’m not a lunatic.)”

Premium Percale Duvet Set, $178,

—Jennifer Berry, managing editor

Katherine’s picks

Best bag

editors favourite products: bag

“I’m obsessed with this locally-made bag from Vancouver brand Bronze Age, because it’s an interesting shape and fun pop of colour. It’s a statement piece, but also functional and is the perfect size to carry all my essentials (including my mask!). Also, it reminds me of Janelle Monae’s iconic “PYNK” vagina pants—and who doesn’t want that?”

Read this next: WTF Do You Wear to WFH? One Writer Finds Out

Kiku Croissant Bag, $175,

Best serum

editors favourite products: serum

“For someone who’s prone to dark spots (thanks to acne that never heals properly!), this serum is legit liquid gold. It may be pricey, but only a few weeks into using a small amount daily and I’ve noticed a huge difference in my skin.”

Dr. Brandt Bright Biotic Dark Spot Minimizing Serum, $73.13,

Best carryall

editors favourite products: mesh bags

“This set of mesh bags is super versatile. They provide a cute (and space-saving) way to store fruit by hanging them in my kitchen *and* also can be used as an equally chic and on-trend summer bag!”

Kungsfors Mesh Bag, $6.99 for a set of 2,

—Katherine Singh, assistant editor

Charlotte’s picks

Best robe

editors favourite products: robe

“This duster has become my sweatpants replacement, and is arguably even more comfortable. Somewhere between a blazer, a dress and a robe, it literally couldn’t be easier to throw on, is roomy but still looks polished, and I’m already imagining all the ways I’ll style it for a crisp fall outing. (Knee-high boots and a vintage chunky leather belt are ready to go!)”

Duster, $90 (regular $189.50),

Best brow tool

editors favourite products: brow pencil

“I love makeup, but have always been a bit lazy about it. Now that I spend most days indoors, I’ve pared back even more on my already minimal routine. But one thing I always do is my brows, and this new tri-tip pencil from Benefit makes it possible to get that job done in just a few second, imparting multiple hair-like strokes in a single swipe.”

Benefit Brow Microfilling Pen, $33,

Read this next: Shadow Brows Are the Key to Faking Full, Fluffy Eyebrows

Best dinnerware

editors favourite products: dinnerware

“Like everyone, I got way more into cooking at the beginning of lockdown, but found that when I went to snap a pic of my creations, my plates were really ruining the shot—they’re a few years old and have been through one too many runs of the dishwasher. So, I was thrilled when I was recently gifted this beautiful set of Portuguese-made dishes and bowls from Vancouver-based brand Fable. They’re so chic and are just begging for over-the-top garnishes and sauce smears. Stay tuned for an obnoxious number of food posts on my IG….”

The Dinnerware Set, $205 (regular $228),

—Charlotte Herrold, editor-in-chief

Elham’s picks

Best slippers

editors favourite products: slippers

“My older house slippers are much more suitable for the winter since they’re closed toe and really warm. These lightweight babies are a much needed upgrade for while the weather is still warm.”

Waffle Room Shoes, $19.90,

Best lip balm

editors favourite products: lip balm

“I’m lazy when it comes to wearing lipstick, and this really does just feel like a balm with a cute natural stain that stays on all day.”

Lip Fetish Balm in Flesh 3,

Best record

editors favourite products: record

“I don’t even have a record player (yet) but I cried when Lianne La Havas’s self-titled vinyl was released, and just know I want to hear this beautiful album for a long, long time.”

Lianne La Havas “Lianne La Havas” LP, $19.99,

—Elham Numan, contributing graphic designer