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Winter 2021 Editor’s Picks

Words by Sara Harowitz

  • vitruvi. Photo by Christie Graham.

    vitruvi. Photo by Christie Graham.

  • Superbolt.

    Superbolt.

  • House Concepts.

    House Concepts.

  • General Assembly.

    General Assembly.

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If winter has to come (and it does—we asked), at least we can ease the cold-weather woes with this exciting list of items and experiences. From skincare to linens to scents, here’s how to warm up your winter.

Orage MTN-X collection

Whether you’re hitting the slopes or are partaking in apres, Orage’s gorgeous MTN-X collection has the perfect gear. This Canadian brand designs pieces at the intersection of function and form, ensuring that technical materials and performance do not sacrifice aesthetics.

East 29th Valia Cleanser and Verse Lotion Mist

After launching its cult-favorite Vital Serum, natural skincare brand East 29th is back with two new products. Made with sea buckthorn extract and willow bark extract, the purifying Valia Cleanser is a soft gel that works to remove dirt, improve texture, and replenish the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Then there’s the soothing Verse Lotion Mist, made with sugar kelp extract and ginseng extract, which calms redness, tightens, and improves hydration.

Jones Road

Jones Road—iconic makeup artist Bobbi Brown’s new line of clean cosmetics—offers an array of easy, no-fuss essentials. From the Miracle Balm (which gives a subtle blush, shine, or bronze, depending on your choice) to The Best Pencil (enough said), this brand is safe, cruelty-free, and so easy to use. It’s the epitome of no-makeup makeup.

Matriarch Movement x Paris Jewellers

Matriarch Movement x Paris Jewellers

Indigenous activist, thought leader, and influencer Shayla Stonechild has released her second limited-edition collaboration with Paris Jewellers. With 100 percent of the net proceeds being donated to Stonechild’s organization Matriarch Movement, which is dedicated to amplifying Indigenous women’s voices, the collection features a sterling silver necklace and a pair of earrings. Both including ethically-sourced diamonds as well as an arrowhead pendant that honors Stonechild’s late grandfather, these pieces are timeless, elegant, and truly special. Run, don’t walk: their first collaboration sold out.

General Assembly Pizza subscription

It’s a holiday miracle: General Assembly Pizza has launched its pie subscription service in B.C. This Toronto pizzeria is known for its gorgeous thin-crust zas, and more recently for its online ordering and delivery service. Getting frozen pizzas delivered right to your door on subscription? We call that an absolute dream. These pies bake from frozen in less than 10 minutes and taste perfectly fresh; they’re not your average frozen food. The classic pepperoni is a hangover cure—perfect for the day after your staff holiday party.

House Concepts

Adding something truly different (and luxe) to Vancouver’s workout scene is House Concepts. It makes an entrance right from the, well, entrance, which is located on the seventh floor of the opulent Vancouver House building (designed by acclaimed architect Bjarke Ingels). Big windows, open space, and elegant design touches make this arguably the most beautiful gym in Vancouver. The space includes multiple rooms for every kind of class, including boxing, yoga, and bootcamp. It’s a choose-your-own adventure and it’s top-notch.

Parade

Sustainable, affordable, and inclusive intimates brand Parade has made its debut in Canada, and we love to see it. From briefs and thongs to the comfiest bralettes—all in ethical, oh-so soft fabrics—Parade is fun, playful, and supportive in all the right places.

Mifa Vitamin Sea Essence and All-Over Oil

New from clean skin and body care brand Mifa is a refreshing essence and a soothing oil. For starters, the Vitamin Sea Essence is a calming and relaxing face spray that smells subtly floral and instantly cools the skin; it’s made with vegan collagen, rose water, and neroli water to moisturize and nourish. Then there’s the All-Over Oil, which includes Vitamins A, B, and C to regenerate the skin, improve elasticity, and give a natural glow. Use it on cuticles, hair, or body—this is a one-stop shop.

Versed Firm Ground Retinol Body Lotion

Versed body lotion

Clean and affordable skincare brand Versed has added to its already impressive lineup with a new body cream. Called the Firm Ground Retinol Body Lotion, it’s a super lightweight and effective all-over moisturizer made with cocoa butter, squalane, Vitamin E, and encapsulated retinol. “It came together out of our community’s needs,” Versed’s senior director of product development Tamerri Ater explains on a recent video call. Boasting “results without irritation,” this lotion helps to smooth the skin, encourage cell turnover, exfoliate bumps, spark collagen production, reduce the visibility of dark spots, and retain the skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Sangre de Fruta Botanical Hand Wash

Turn hand-washing (everyone’s favorite thing since 2020) into a luxurious affair with Sangre de Fruta’s decadent soap. The Botanical Hand Wash is made in small batches on quaint Bowen Island off the coast of Vancouver; we’re especially loving the Neroli Noir scent, which includes neroli, petitgrain, and spikenard.

Straight and Marrow

Meat-eating Vancouverites should pull up a seat at Straight and Marrow: a cozy restaurant tucked away on the east side of the city. Order the octopus carpaccio, the braised lamb neck, and the bone marrow, of course (plus a cognac luge to wash it all down). Dark and intimate, Straight and Marrow is perfect for date night—whether that be with your significant other or a long-lost friend.

Yum Sweet Shop

For any holiday sugar cravings, look no further than Vancouver’s Yum Sweet Shop. This place has it all: from ice cream, to house-made baked goods, to built-it-yourself candy boxes. Pick up some candy cane-covered pretzels for you, some chocolate pops for the little ones, and some gummy bears for everyone.

Plenty Hard Kombucha

Treat your guests (and yourself) to something different at your next holiday party with Plenty Hard Kombucha. Made from organic green tea, this kombucha is naturally fermented to be alcoholic (just five percent); it also has zero preservatives, and is gluten-free and low-calorie. Coming in flavors like the perfectly tart and refreshing grapefruit-hibiscus, Plenty is a guilt-free sip that is good for your gut (and for your good times).

The Pacific Gallery at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

Encompassing multiple walls, rooms, and floors, The Pacific Gallery at the Fairmont Pacific Rim is a shining example of the intersection between art and hospitality. Launching with an exhibit by renowned artist and novelist Douglas Coupland, the gallery showcases large and mixed-medium works across its Lobby Lounge and second floor. In typical playful Coupland fashion, the exhibit—called “Green Light Red Light”—explores the close of the 20th century through sculpture, painted muscle-car hoods, and more.

Pure Design Retail Shoppe

New from celebrated interior designer Ami McKay, owner of Pure Design, is an online and in-person Retail Shoppe. Just in time for the holidays, the store is stocked with a curated selection of artisan-made goods—from pillows made of naturally-dyed Mexican wool to wooden plates hand-carved in Appalachia by an 89-year-old. Browse, discover, and delight.

Athleta

Newly opened at West Vancouver’s Park Royal mall is Athleta: a Certified B Corporation athletic and sleepwear brand. With exciting color stories and innovative fabrics, Athleta provides a nice alternative to the more well known athleisure brands. But what really makes the store stand out is its inclusion: mannequins in a diverse range of sizes, for starters. It’s about time.

The Kent

New on Vancouver’s event-space circuit is The Kent: a gorgeous three-level building with top-tier art, stunning furniture, and all-around sexy vibes (no, really). Designed by Wendy Williams Watt, The Kent is a taste of New York in Vancouver, with high ceilings, big white walls, and an industrial feel throughout. From the basement kids’ room complete with pillow nook, to the top-floor lounge and DJ area, this is a space unlike any other in the city. At a recent launch event with The Lazy Gourmet, guests were treated to a menu preview (the pumpkin-spice sazerac is a surprising delight) and first-look tour. This is a space to watch.

Re-Up Recovery Deep Tissue Cream

After a hard workout (or even a hard day at your desk), rub Re-Up Recovery’s Deep Tissue Cream onto tired and sore muscles. The soothing scent of Eucalyptus and Peppermint will instantly put your mind at ease, while the strong cooling sensation will provide relief for aches and tightness. By reducing inflammation and increasing circulation, the cream works to relax your muscles, helping them bounce back faster.

vitruvi Holiday Collection

For the first time ever, vitruvi has launched a special, limited-edition Holiday Collection. Featuring exclusive seasonal blends and of-the-moment Move Diffuser colors, this festive drop is not one to miss. We’re especially loving the Move Diffuser in pearly Charm, as well as the sweet and inviting Afterglow Blend. Our year-round staple Clean Sweep Blend is perfect for the holidays, too.

Flax Home Vancouver showroom

Popular home linen brand Flax has launched its first permanent showroom in East Vancouver. Open by appointment during the week and for walk-ins on weekends, the gorgeous, light-filled, clay-colored space is an homage to all things linen. From the brand’s flagship bedding, to its waffled towels, to its cocktail napkins and luxurious robes, everything is on display here and can be purchased right in the space to take home immediately. While you’re there, spot the vitruvi Stone Diffusers in Blush. This is what linen dreams are made of.

Kafka’s house-roasted coffee

Beloved Vancouver cafe Kafka’s has started to roast its own coffee; sourced from high-quality farms and roasted right in East Vancouver, these new beans are a treat for at-home coffee-makers. From the caramelly, malty Milagro El Crucero to the floral Yirgacheffe Kochere, Kafka’s coffee is full-bodied, fresh, and delicious.

Sansorium

For the sober, sober-curious, or simply sober-sometimes, Sansorium is a treasure trove for finding new zero-proof drinks. The online marketplace sells an array of non-alcoholic beverages, from cider to wine to spirits. Expertly curated, these offerings are superior and well branded—meaning they’ll look just as good on a bar cart as your regular whisky.

My Sister’s Closet

Retail therapy takes on a new meaning at My Sister’s Closet, a social enterprise in Vancouver that works to divert clothing from the landfill and support marginalized women at the same time. The online and in-person store sells used clothing as well as a selection of artisan-made goods, and all revenue goes towards programs at Battered Women’s Support Services.

Jeane & Jax Blake Jacket

Luxury vegan leather goods brand Jeane & Jax has released a new bomber jacket with some serious panache. Made in Montreal using animal-free performance fabric, the Blake is a chic piece featuring princess seams, front pintuck pleats, and cuffed sleeves. Perfect for throwing over your holiday dress.

Superbolt tea

Certified organic, non-GMO, and all-natural, Superbolt is a new line of performance tea designed to help your body feel its best—whether you’re hitting the gym or putting in a long day at the office. A proprietary blend of traditional teas and remedial herbs, Superbolt boasts increased mental focus and sustainable energy among its benefits. To celebrate its love for all things movement, the brand created a special capsule t-shirt in collaboration with Vancouver Running Co. So that you can have your tea and run it, too.