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THE BULLET 2018 GIFT GUIDE: GIFTABLE GADGETS
Gone are the days when techy gifts were reserved for computer geeks and first adopters — because now, we’re all computer geeks and first adopters (and darn proud of it). In the second edition of our 2018 Bullet Gift Guide (missed the first one? Catch it here!), we’ve rounded up the best of the best in devices that actually deliver on the promise to use digital technology to make our lives better. From the fitness fanatic to the world traveller to the analog holdout (yep, even them), there’s a high-tech gift for everyone on your list.
For the millennial whose smartphone is permanently attached to their hand, this study should be evidence enough to make them appreciate the gift of a UV-light powered phone sanitizer. For the budding beauty YouTuber, the ring of LED lights built into simplehuman’s fancypants makeup mirror can simulate over 50,000 colour temperature variations to ensure flawless makeup in any lighting situation. And basically everyone on your list (including us) could benefit from Dodow’s Sleep Aid device, which aims to lull its user to sleep in 2.5 times faster through the hypnotic ticking of a metronome combined with a light-guided breathing exercise.
• Material Morals
2018 has been a good year for animals. Responding to shifting cultural ethics (and lagging sales to match), tonnes of luxury designer labels have finally smartened up and sworn off the use of real fur in their garments and accessories, including the likes of Versace, Gucci and Michael Kors. Now, Chanel is stepping up with a promise of its own: to stop using exotic skins in its collections. The design house announced this week that along with giving up fur, it’s ceasing its use of crocodile, lizard, snake and galuchat — the name given to the skin of sharks and stingrays. In a statement, the brand said it was finding it more and more difficult to source these materials in ways that “match [their] ethical standards.” (The buckskin stops here.) Fashionista
• Lip Service
Yet another fashion brand is making the jump to cosmetics. This week, Zara launched a clutch of 20 (!!) matte lip colours in a range of rich, ultra-pigmented shades (wallflowers need not apply). The collection includes 12 shades of “Ultimatte” lipsticks ($16) and eight shades of “Hi Matte” liquid lipsticks ($11), along with the three-piece “Behind The Scenes Kit” — the line’s only neutral offering — which consists of a lip pencil, lipstick and liquid lipstick in a creamy beige pink. The dramatic colour palette is said to have been inspired by the bold looks makeup artist Pat McGrath created for the brand’s fall/winter campaign. Independent
Image Credit: Zara
🌟 PRO TIP
Hydration is super important for how well your skin will age over time and how many wrinkles it will accumulate. If during winter, you’re never quite in the right hydration range, that will have a long-term effect.
– Principal scientist for Olay Dr. Frauke Neuser shares the super devastating finding that cold winter weather (read: Canada’s natural state) irreversibly accelerates the onset of skin aging. She recommends stocking up on products loaded with vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide) to strengthen skin’s moisture barrier. (We would prefer to head south for the winter.) The Kit
• Hollywood History
Cinephiles will get a kick out of the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures slated to open in late 2019. In dimly lit rooms, guests will feel like they’re at the movies while learning about the history behind one of mankind’s most successful media forms, from the early days of silent films all the way to the present. While that might sound yawn-worthy, movie-lovers will get a kick out of being inches away from the typewriter that Psycho was written on, or seeing the doors to Rick’s Cafe American from the classic Casablanca. Luckily, the museum’s largest collection features the props, costumes, and scripts from Hollywood’s heavy-hitters — if you can make it through the museum’s history lessons without falling asleep first. Hollywood Reporter
• Prairie Sipper
Over the centuries (millenia?), humans have found ways to create alcoholic beverages from pretty much whatever ingredients we have on hand. In this spirit of resourcefulness, a Saskatchewan distillery has concocted a new kind of vodka from an unusual local grain. Rolling out to Canadian liquor stores next week, Stumbletown Distilling’s Purple Wheat Vodka is made from a Canadian wheat developed in the 1990s. “The purple wheat provides a sweet, silky flavour profile which is different from any other vodka on the market,” says owner Craig Holland. The distillery says it’s also just refined its botanical gin recipe, with plans to introduce it in time for Christmas. Eat North
Image Credit: Stumbletown
• Reservations Required
‘Tis the season of “best of” lists and OpenTable isn’t one to be left out of the fun. The booking site has just revealed its top 100 restaurants in Canada for 2018. Unlike other lists voted on by “critics” and “experts” (’cause who needs ’em?), the #OpenTable100 is generated solely from diner reviews submitted to the site and is presented in alphabetical order, rather than as a 1–100 ranking. “We are excited to see Canada’s array of cuisines reflected in this year’s list,” says Caroline Potter, OpenTable’s chief dining officer. She adds that many of the honourees’ menus feature locally sourced dishes and vegetarian options, and “showcase the country’s multiculturalism and natural diversity.” Highlights from the round-up include buzzy Niagara Region newcomer Pearl Morissette, Vancouver seafood joint Oddfish, Calgary “wine and snack bar” Pigeonhole and upscale Syrian stop Damas in Montreal. (We’re ready to chow down!) OpenTable
• Alternative Treatment
We’re blessed with pretty darn good healthcare coverage here in Canada and it’s about to get even better for residents of the Greater Toronto Area. Following the success of a pilot project run by the Alliance for Healthier Communities launched earlier this fall (more on that in a minute), the Royal Ontario Museum has announced a new Social Prescription Program in partnership with the Alliance — yep, your doctor can soon issue you a prescription to visit the museum. The concept of “social prescribing,” started in the U.K., seeks to remedy the health impacts of issues like social isolation, low income, unemployment, and disability by handing out doctor’s orders for things like exercise classes, nature walks, pottery lessons, and yes, museum visits, in order to boost mental health and physical activity. The idea takes the current self care trend and blows it way up as part of a therapeutic, holistic approach to health and medical care and we, for one, are totally here for it. Beginning in January 2019, the ROM will give out 5,000 free passes (valid for up to four people each) throughout the year to visitors “with a referral from associated ROMCAN healthcare, community or social service professionals.” BlogTO
OTHER COOL SH*T
• Colour Me Coral
We’re still wrapping our minds around the fact that Pantone’s colours of the year aren’t randomly selected based on an eeny-meeny-miny-moe process, but believe it or not, Pantone’s colour consulting unit has thought long and hard about 2019’s colour of the year, and it’s “Living Coral.” (We don’t hate it.) Drawing on inspiration from the depths of the ocean and the influence of environmental concerns, the selection reflects a “snapshot” of influential pop culture rather than predicts what will be big in the months to come; 2018 also saw similar peachy tones appear on fashion runways and in various aspects of design, helping solidify Pantone’s choice. Pantone hopes that the happy vibes emanating from the peach-gold shade bring a little positivity to our lives amidst the sh*tstorm that is our regular day-to-day. Quartz
Image Credit: Pantone
• Unrealistic Rations
We’re definitely eating more than six french fries this weekend, thankyouverymuch.
Remember that thing we said about comebacks? (Missed it? Go ahead and scroll back to the link at the top of this post, we’ll wait.) Well, we weren’t kidding.
Illustrations by the lovely and talented Monica Smiley.