Secrets from a Beauty Diva

Today marks the birthday of my stepmother Christine, who passed away almost two years ago. She would have been turning 58 this year. Given that she was a bathroom diva (she enjoyed long relaxing baths and luxury cosmetics), I thought it appropriate to celebrate and honour her special day by featuring some of her all time favourite products.

This unisex scent, Aqua Di Parma became a staple in Christine's early 50's. This is the epitome of luxury in scent, cited on the website as "the art of haute parfumerie". The combination of fresh citrus top notes, sweet floral heart notes and spicy, woody base notes makes it the perfect fall fragrance to cozy up with.

Diorissimo by Christian Dior. Her signature fragrance for the better part of the 1990's, and possibly before. While very light and springy, the Lilly of the Valley notes make it the ultimate feminine perfume.

Dermalogica--everything! One of her most preferred cosmetic brands, she cleansed, toned and moisturized with a range of these products. Special mentions: the clarifying Daily Mircorfoliant (which I still use). Rice-based powder mixes with water to release Papain (an enzyme from papaya), Salicylic Acid (a chemical exfoliator) and rice enzymes that micro-exfoliate dead cells (or so they say). In simpler terms, little granules slowly dissolve to create a very soft scrub that does not damage or tear your skin--as some of the more grainy, vigorous scrubs do. Christine also swore by the Age Smart range, including the super rich repair cream and multivitamin power firm eye gel.

Dr. Hasuka--The Lip Care Stick. Multiple tubes lived on Ms. Mooney's bedside table, in her purse and tucked away in the kitchen. Composed of natural plant, bee's and jojoba waxes with the addition of shea butter, it's smooth, natural and scented with just a hint of essential oils. I carry one in my purse at all times.

Lush--bath bars. Every night our house would be filled with the spicy florals of Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds. This bath bar (similar concept to a bath bomb) instantly transports you to a place far beyond your bathtub. With notes of patchouli (not overpoweringly hippie) and frankincense, time travel to the Far East is instantaneous. Makes for a nice relaxing soak.