music. beauty. fashion. life

Panicland Quick 5 with an HMV Shopping Experience

Posted on: Sunday, October 23, 2016

Panicland, bad word, canadian music, band, rock music, Hmv, Shopping

Winnipeg pop-rockers Panicland are making waves with their summer release Bad Word. The band consists of Braedon Basseo (vocals and guitar), Riley Basseo (guitar), Ian Willmer (bass) and Travis Hunnie (drums) are busy fellas! This month, they have been on morning TV, performed live at HMV‘s headquarters and went shopping with us! As musicians ourselves, it was awesome to hang out with the guys and chat about music while shopping for vinyl, CDs and books! It turns out that Panicland and HerCastleGirls have so much in common as far as musical preferences. Bon Jovi, Green Day, David Bowie, Etta James, just to name a few, were mentioned during our shopping trip! Yep, they know their music. Check out our Autumn Quick 5 questionnaire with vocalist Braedon Basseo. After the Quick 5, check out some pics we took while shopping!

Let’s get the important question out of the way first. Do you like Starbucks? If you do, are you a fan of their seasonal coffees? (Maybe you fancy yourself a tea drinker?)

I sure do like Starbucks! I usually only get Starbucks in the fall so every coffee there is a seasonal coffee to me, haha. I think I’m going to go basic with this answer and say I love pumpkin spice (no shame)!

Tell us a bit about your fall fashion wardrobe. What do you enjoy wearing once it gets chilly that you can’t wear in the summer?

I’ve been loving silk jackets with the embroidery on the back. I just bought one in Vegas which was a shame because you can’t wear it in that weather! I’m obsessed with jackets so I have enough now to just wear all black underneath and switch up the jacket style every day. I’ve been really loving James Dean’s style so I try to steal what I can from him… the boots, sunglasses etc.

What was your favourite Halloween costume as a kid? And how do you celebrate Halloween now?

Hmmm, probably Angus Young from AC/DC or Rocky Balboa. I got into character for about a month with each of those, haha. This year I think the band and I are going to be KISS for Halloween but I’m not sure how we’ll show off the costumes yet!

Your latest single, Bad Word has really resonated with your fans. What is it about the song makes it such a favorite?

Thank you! I’d guess it’s because this single came 100% from us – no outside producers or writers, which makes it more real. Kids are smart and they can tell if something is real or if it’s just capitalizing on the trends. We wanted to rebel against the boy band label. I think it worked!

You are currently in the studio with Keith Harris working on new material. What has that experience been like and when can we hear more new music?

Whenever I go into the studio with someone I like to take it as a learning experience; forget everything I know and adjust to the person. I think it’s important I step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself, which is what I love about working with Keith! The music we made sounds really cool and nothing like what we’ve done before so I’m pretty excited to put it out. We have dozens of new songs right now; we just have to time it out right!


Panicland, bad word, canadian music, band, rock music, Hmv, Shopping

Panicland, bad word, canadian music, band, rock music, Hmv, Shopping

Panicland, bad word, canadian music, band, rock music, Hmv, Shopping

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Sharing is Caring, But How Much is Too Much?

Posted on: Thursday, October 20, 2016

kim kardashian west, paris, paris fashion week, social media, oversharing, instagram, twitter

Earlier this month, reality star Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in her rented apartment during Paris Fashion Week. Apparently, robbers got away with $11 million dollars worth of jewels. After this event went public, everyone including celebrities and your cousin made conclusions. The comment that made me think hard was that of famed fashion designer Karl Langerfield. Basically, Karl said Kim shares too much on her social media.

“It’s a very bad thing for Paris, but I don’t understand why she was in a hotel with no security. If you are that famous and you put all your jewelry on the net, you go to hotels where nobody can come near to the room. You cannot display your wealth and then be surprised that some people want to share it with you.”

I began to think about the millions of people, like us, who have made social media a huge part of their lives. I’m not talking about Facebook and sharing your picnic photos with your friends. I’m taking about the images you shared of your new born baby before the umbilical cord was cut, and the closet full of free samples you share with your Instagram followers. Today, we share every bit of our lives with perfect strangers and yes, the majority of followers are curious viewers who just want to show their appreciation with a double tab. But when the lines become blurred what do you do?

Kimmy K West has made millions by oversharing. It may be hard to remember that Kim’s career started due to the release of a sex tape with Brandy‘s brother, Ray J. Since gaining attention with that tape, Kim has kept on doing the same thing, only on television with her family. Social Media only helped and now she’s everywhere, all the time. Kim Kardashian’s success has changed the way the world looks at marketing and branding; Share to keep consumers engaged.

As an entrepreneur, you are no longer allowed to hide your work space or studio and we need to meet your spouse and see what’s for dinner. If you don’t do this, you brand will suffer, because your competitors are willing to show every aspect to their lives to make a sale. Who cares about talent and skills? I want to like you and envy your lifestyle. This is the world Instagram has created, with the help of the Kardashians and Jenners. Even with recent events, Kim carries on to release More Me, the continuation of her selfie book, Selfish.

Let’s leave Kim and her crew out of the discussion and look at our friends we know, personally. Would you ever post an Instagram picture of the expensive new ring your hubby brought with along with the price tag? I wouldn’t. It’s no one’s business. But when your career is to overshare, you don’t even think about it.  Regardless of robberies or chances of being robbed, I think this situation should teach us to be more thoughtful of what we post and check our emotions. Several studies show, such as Jonah Berger‘s 2011 study here, that we post overly personal information because of our emotional state at the time. Mindfulness will take you far guys. You better think. I mean, does posting the date of when you leave your home for a 2 week vacation really help your personal brand? Alerting strangers of your empty home along with previous posts of your town and street? Think about it.

You always have to think, one day, you may want to be president, prime minister or hold a great job. Social Media is a den for mistakes. Here is a quick list of what is at stake when you don’t think your social media posting through. The consequences could be the end of you.

Consider This Before You Over Share 

Reputation – This is the reason I feel sorry for America right now. The reputation of the candidates running for office are tainted. It is difficult to call them Trustworthy or honest because of past decisions and behavior. Save yourself the explanations and embarrassment and keep your Instagram images and opinions in check. This is why you will never see a glass in my hand in a picture, unless it has to do with the brand I’m working with at the time. Too many images with a glass and you start to look like an alcoholic or binge drinker.

Career – You want to work with children, or you want to collaborate with a certain company that has specific morals. Depending on what you post, you could literally ruin your chances of ever working with desired brands or companies. Look at Billy Bush‘s situation. He didn’t even say anything really, but he engaged in a controversial conversation with Donald Trump and this resulted in him losing his high paying job and now having to rebuild a career that originally took him 20 or more years to build.

Personal Relationships – When I started blogging, I decided early on not to post images of my family (unless it made sense to the story) or boyfriends. I’ve seen what can occur when you post specific people. What if you and your Bf break-up? What if his job doesn’t like the idea of his face appearing on your Instagram page at certain events? Communicate with your loved ones and be clear about what is okay. We both have friends who ask not to post certain images on our instagram of them. Not everyone is into sharing their life on social media and you’ve got to respect that.

Security – Remember, when you let people know about your work, personal income and relationships through your social media you are endangering yourself and the people you share your life with. We used to post where we would be for events before hand, but quickly stopped for the reasons of  security. People don’t need to know where you are at every waking moment. Be wise when sharing your whereabouts.

kim kardashian west, paris, paris fashion week, social media, oversharing, instagram, twitter

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Event Alert! Northbound Leather Presents XXX

Posted on: Monday, October 17, 2016

Northbound leather, canadian fashion, designer, leather

This week, October 22, 2016, Northbound Leather will be throwing its 20th Fetish Fashion Show at celebration, XXX at The Phoenix Concert Theatre, featuring renowned Japanese-American Bondage artist, educator and writer Midori. Designed by Marty Rotman (who designed for the brand previously, for 19 years) and produced by Paul Ciantar (who had produced previous shows Scandal and Chakra), XXX will showcase 18 fashion designs in addition to a retrospective collection of apparel commemorating Northbound’s erotic aesthetic over the last 30 years.

Northbound is not only a fashion brand, but a lifestyle brand that caters to high fashion, ready to wear, casual, club wear and fetishists. To make the event extra special for the supporters of Northbound, guests of the XXX show will be able to shop the collection the following weekend for one day before the general public can partake of the collection.

This Saturday, doors open at 9:00 p.m. and the fashion show begins promptly at 11:00 p.m. Following the fashion show, guests enjoy a dance party, featuring music by Deko-Ze and Jimi LaMort.

Tickets for XXX are $45 in advance and $55 at the door and can be purchased online at or at Northbound Leather, 7 Nicholas Street.

northbound leather, leather, canadian design, high fashion

leather, northbound leather, canadian designer, high fashion

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How can YOU support Canadian Fashion?

Posted on: Wednesday, October 5, 2016

cabinet ephemere, fashion, montreal, toronto, fashion industry, rally gallery, pop-up

Right now, the Toronto Fashion Industry is at a crossroads. With Toronto’s Fashion Week gone, industry insiders are becoming creative and finding alternate ways to save Toronto’s Fashion statues.

Toronto, christened as the Major Fashion hub of Canada had a serious beating in 2016. Along with my beloved David Bowie and Prince, Toronto’s Fashion Week left us. Reason? The short answer was, “Funding, Lack of Sponsorship.” I felt embarrassed for our city. I mean, Miami still has a Fashion Week, along with small cities and islands with no major backing. What did Toronto do wrong? Why is it that corporations devalue Toronto Fashion? My answer to that is “No opportunity for Monetization”.

Simply put, Designers pay out a lot of money to send their collections down the runway and get nothing back in return as far as dollars. Yes, exposure is great, but the exposure is local and it’s the same publications every year.  Like a musician, the designer needs an opportunity to sell their merchandise. The truth is, not enough Canadians buy Canadian. If Canadian Fashion was supported as much as Canadian Sports we’d be gearing up for Toronto Fashion Week right now.

Fashion insiders and Designers are coming together to save the industry by creating easy ‘grab and go’ opportunities for consumers to shop Canadian. This week, Québec’s top designers join forces with their Toronto counterparts to offer a glimpse into their vision with the 7th edition of Cabinet Éphémère  at Rally Gallery, 12 Ossington Avenue, Toronto. Shoppers can purchase items from various Canadian designers under one roof.

The pop-up starts today and runs to October 8th. Buyers can shop Fall/Winter 2016 direct from the rack and pre-order Spring/Summer 2017 from some of Quebec’s and Toronto’s most respected women’s, men’s and accessory designers. Personally, I feel this event is more valuable to branding Canadian fashion while introducing unknown designers to a new market place.

Below, see images of the VIP Reception, hosted by Glen Baxter, along with a list of featured designers.

clothing rack, fashion, toronto, montreal, pop-up

Designers include:

Amanda Maria, Anne Marie Chagnon, By Kilani, CARA CHEUNG, Christopher Bates, ELAMA, LAMARQUE, Les Poupounes de Luxe, Louve Montreal, Marie Saint Pierre, Pedram Karimi, Rush Couture, WALLO, WRKDEPT, Xian

glen baxter, Toronto, montreal, Cabinet Ephemere

wrkdept, toronto fashion, montreal, fashion, pop-up

pop-up shop, toronto, montreal, fashion industry toronto fashion designers, montreal fashion designers, cabinet ephemere

Elana Camille, Hercastlegirl, cabinet ephemere, bloggers, illustrator, vocalist, singer

cabinet ephemere, designer pop-up shop, toronto, montreal

photos by Nick Lee

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Dermablend for Canada, Officially!

Posted on: Friday, September 30, 2016

dermablend coverage

We recently met with the people of Dermablend Professional to toast to the brands’ Canadian launch. October 8th, Dermablend will be available to English Canadians at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations. The beauty brand truly changes lives for those who have prominent blemishes, skin problems, or body art. Along with excellent coverage capabilities, products from this brand come in a variety of shades, covering many skin complexions. This is the only brand on the market that can truly say it is a camouflage brand. We saw it with our own eyes, the darkest tattoos disappear when Dermabrand coverage is applied.

The cosmetics brand has been recognized for over 35 years as the expert in transformative cosmetics, offering products that provide superior coverage, wearability and skincare benefits for all skin types. All Dermablend products are dermatologist tested and allergy tested. We instantly saw the difference in Dermablend’s concealer over our preferred brand choices. As for me, I have a tendency to get shiny by noon, but with wearing Dermablend, my face stayed matte and the color didn’t transfer on to my clothes or hands. See images below of the launch event below.

dermablend, makeup, coverage, concealer hercastle, dermablend, makeup, beauty blogger, singer and blogger 4 dermablend hercastle, dermablend, makeup, beauty blogger, singer and blogger 6 dermablend sister selfie, hercastle, dermablend, dermablend canadian launch

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| essence fw16 | Forbidden Garden

Posted on: Saturday, September 10, 2016


You can try all the risque, rebellious beauty trends without breaking the bank. Essence has some great products coming for Fall Winter 2016, including Forbidden Volume mascara collection, innovative eye products like 2 in 1 pallets and more from their famous NUDE collection. Have you ever tried Essence mascara??? It truly matches the behavior and quality of higher price-point brands and we always keep it in the purse for quick glam touch ups. Toronto’s Crown Flora Studios was sprinkled with new Essence items for us to test and try. We saw some of our favorites from previous seasons, among new items while sampling desserts and chatting.

During the event, I had the opportunity to speak with an Essence rep about the collection of facial products they offer. Unfortunately, the tones offered to us Canadians are limited to fairer complexions and women of color don’t get to experience the quality of Essence facial makeup. I mentioned that Italians, Latinas, Asians and Black girls like myself are missing out and I simply asked, Why  and when can we find makeup suited to our complexions? The answer is, make it known in your local stores that you want essence for your skin. I was told that makeup hues in our tones are available, but orders are not made in Canada by the store buyers. In certain areas of Europe, Essence can be purchased in a variety of colors to suit the locals of that community. As my mother always said, “You don’t know unless you ask.” If the store is lacking something, let the managers and owners know. If enough noise is made, buyers will recognize the need for more hues in makeup choices. I’d love to one day say, I’m wearing concealer from [insert brand name here]. I thought I’d share this with you all, just so you can be a smart consumer overall.

Wanna try some new items from Essence? Check out Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada and let us know what you think!

ege 1


Anesha of Memoirs of Anesha and I joked around in front of a video camera that took enough images to make a flip book of us. Such a cool take-away!


I’m all smiles at Crown Flora Studios where we previewed the latest with Essence cosmetics.

ege 2 IMG_7918 IMG_8008 IMG_8067 IMG_8083

 Some photography by Lauren Hildebrand, Faulhaber Communications.


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Quick 5 with The Cat Empire’s Drummer Will Hull-Brown

Posted on: Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Cat Empire Live!

The Cat Empire Live!

We remember the first time we heard an album by  The Cat Empire. Some songs were played on repeat! Some songs got turned up even higher for volume. It was an experience! If you like a strong beat, elements of jazz, funk, rock and ska, this band is for you. If you have been keeping up with Music in the News you would have seen The Cat Empire performing on morning shows! The Australian band has a strong following due to their high-energy festival performances. Part of the magic is due to the heart beat of the band, The Drummer, Will Hull-Brown. Will took some time out of his busy Summer schedule to answer our Quick 5 Questions! Check it all out below!
The Cat Empire

The Cat Empire

 It’s finally Summer! What are your favorite summer activities?
Just the thought of summer right now seems like a dream because it’s so cold back here in Melbourne right now! I love just being outdoors in summer. Feeling the sun on your skin. I like to get to the ocean as much as possible too, especially with the whole family. The kids love the beach, and there’s nothing quite like cooling off in the sea during a hot summer day. The other great thing about summer is the long daylight hours. It’s great to be able to eat dinner outdoors while it’s still light.
 If you could jump into a Winnebago for a road trip where would you head? And whom would you bring as your navigator?
I’ve always wanted to explore New Zealand. That’s where I would go. The landscape there is so amazing and dramatic. It’s no surprise that they filmed The Lord of the Rings there. As a navigator I would take Sam Neill, he’s a New Zealander. His local knowledge would be great. I would also enjoy just listening to him talk because everything would sound like a quote from a movie!
Summer is usually the most happening / busy time for musicians. What live performances / appearances are you gearing up for this Summer?
We have quite a busy Summer Tour ahead of us in Canada. It’s mostly Festivals – Le Festif in Baie St Paul, Rock the Shores in Victoria, Calgary Folk Fest, Osheaga in Montreal, Edmonton Folk Fest, and the list goes on! I think playing festivals is the best part about summer touring. We’re also doing our own headline shows in amongst that schedule.
When you think of a ‘Song of The Summer’ from previous years (and by another artist), which one do you recall as your “Song Of The Summer” and why?
I’d probably have to go with ‘Mr Bobby’ by Manu Chao. It’s from the album ‘Esperanza’ and was released in 2001. As a band we used to listen to this album a lot over the summers of the early 2000′s. Manu’s quirky style of Spanish meets Reggae meets Ska has such a summer flavour about it. I still put this album on every now and then and it always feels like the best representation of the warm weather to me.
While on the road, you meet a lot of new supporters and fans. When they ask you to describe your music, what do you say?
To be honest, I find it very hard to describe our music. I always think that’s best left up to the fans, and that’s often what I say to anyone who asks that question. If I really have to say something, then I guess I feel like The Cat Empire is about energetic, rhythmic world music with a jazz spirit because of the level of flexibility the music has in terms of spontaneity and style.
Rising With The Sun is the bands latest album release.

Rising With The Sun is the bands latest album release.


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Quick 5 with Singer-Songwriter Andrew Allen

Posted on: Thursday, July 14, 2016

singer songwriter, canadian music, andrew allen, bruno mars, john mayer, the grammys

Andrew Allen is a charismatic, singer-songwriter from British Columbia who has scored 3 Top 10 Hits (I Wanna Be Your Christmas, I Want You and his biggest single Loving You Tonight) and has shared the stage with acts like Bruno Mars, Train, One Republic, Andy Grammer, and The Barenaked Ladies. Although Allen will be on the road this summer, he took time to answer our Summer questions! See who would sit in the passenger seat during a road trip. He made a great choice.

It’s finally Summer! What are your favorite Summer activities?

Woohoo! I’d say my favorite things to do in the summer besides outdoor concerts, are beach days with friends, stand up paddle-boarding, and camping. Camping is my favorite.

If you could jump into a Winnebago for a road trip where would you head? And whom would you bring as your navigator?

I’d go to the Grand Canyon. I’ve never been there, and I think it’d be a super fun journey. I’d probably go the long way, all the way through California, down the Oregon Coast, and end up at the Grand Canyon. I think if John Mayer was the navigator, that’d be pretty amazing. I feel like he’d have a lot of really great stories.

Summer is usually the most happening / busy time for musicians. What live performances / appearances are you gearing up for this Summer?

Yeah, it’s definitely busy! I’m doing a really fun outdoor festival in Toronto on July 9th at Dundas Square I’m stoked about, a few wineries out West, all fun shows and, of course, a few dozen house concerts, ‘cause they’re my favorite.

When you think of a “Song of The Summer” from previous years by another artist, which one do you recall as your “Song Of The Summer” and why?

Oh man, that’s a tough one. I think one that I remember real solidly was Monkey Wrench by the Foo Fighters. I have no idea if that was even a song of the summer, but it was mine!

While on the road, you meet a lot of new supporters and fans. When they ask you to describe your music, what do you say?

I say it’s singer/songwriter pop thing. Kind of like if John Mayer,Maroon 5 and Bob Marley had a musical baby.

andrew allen, canadian singer, canadian music

Andrew Allen on Social Media:

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