BEAUTY INTERVIEW: Top 5 with Charlene Gill


Winnipeg, Manitoba


“My love of fashion probably came first before that of beauty. I definitely got it from sitting on my parent’s bed while my mum used to do mini fashion shows for me every time she had a big event [laughs] but my love or beauty has far surpassed it since. I have very sensitive skin and more or less every major skin issue you can imagine (eczema, acne, rosacea, allergies etc.) it’s such a treat. So my main skincare priority is to keep everything balanced, hydrated and happy. I’m big on that natural dewy glow and putting as few products as possible on my skin. Less is so much more!


The best beauty advice I’ve ever received would be to sunblock & sleep. Every. Single. Day.



I came across Miranda Soap by Lush the same way I come across 80% of the products I try; I wander into a shop and pepper the sales staff with questions. The day I discovered this soap I explained to an associate that I either go for a run or do hot yoga every day so I needed a soap that 1. Really scrubbed me clean 2. Didn’t dry out my skin 3. Made my skin glow but didn’t leave a film 4. Didn’t smell weird or super floral and 5. Had as few steps as possible. I didn’t want a three step soaping up process – I mean who has that kind of time? Like a wizard, Sarah, the lovely young lady from Lush, smiled and walked me over to this product. This soap meets all my requirements. Grain in the bar lightly exfoliates, the kiwi cleanses, tones and brightens, juniper helps clear congested skin and it has a really great subtle citrus scent that lasts. My skin is smoother and softer since I’ve started using this soap, and those random little pimples I’d get on my arms or back or wherever, I just don’t get any more. The nice thing about Lush soaps is they can cut them to size for you. You can literally say, “Hi, I’d like to spend $3 on soap.” and they’ll cut you a bar that’s three bucks. They also normally have pre-cut bars that generally range from $5-$10. I usually buy one for $7 or so and it’ll last me about 3 months. The fact that it’s natural is one of the main things that drew me to this soap versus a typical mainstream soap. The more I’ve learned about beauty and skincare, the more important it has become for me to make sure whatever it is I put on my skin be as natural as possible.


My hair is naturally very straight and smooth, so of course, I want it to be effortlessly messy and texturized, and because we all want what we think we can’t have. My Drybar Triple Sec Texture Spray adds that messy texture to whatever style I want so I finally can have the hair I’ve spent ages trying to master. When using this product, I tend to first dry my hair fully then spray it at the end to get some grit and bounce as I’m running out of the house. Sometimes just before my hair is dry I’ll spray some of it on my roots then finish drying. I find doing so adds a bit more volume to my very fine hair without weighing it down. I keep a travel size of this spray in my purse to use throughout the day. I’ll be honest and say once in the morning is more than enough to keep my hair going, but I love the smell of it! My friends think it’s my perfume at this point [laughs]. You’ll find me constantly spraying it in my car in between destinations for a scent boost. I go through it pretty fast, but other than shampoo it’s one of only two hair products I use, so I get great value for the price. This texturizing spray is my go-to hair product for giving my hair some personality and to achieve that perfectly imperfect look.


Since I liked the triple-sec spray so much, I decided I should probably check out other Drybar products. Thanks to the Drybar Texas Tea Volume Spray, my hair actually has volume, which trust me, is a huge deal for hair as limp as mine. I had been searching for years for a product that would give my hair the added all-day boost it needed to look like it’s awake and showing up, but with the least amount of effort possible. This product so far is my favourite answer to every dilemma that fine, thin and limp hair faces. I use this product on damp hair, spraying along the crown followed by lifting my hair half-up and then doing one more spritz around. Sometimes I’ll do the ends if I want really big hair for a night out. I usually use about 5 spritzes of product to cover my whole head. I use this regularly and one bottle usually lasts me two months. Most of the time I just spray it at the roots and either blow dry with a round brush for sleeker hair or use my hands when I want a messier look. This spray gives my hair its much-needed volume but without the extra weight or crunchiness a lot of other products tend to add. I love how this doesn’t weigh my hair down and I constantly get compliments on how good I smell. I know it’s the Drybar hair products because I never wear perfume.


I’ve been using Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner by Lush almost daily for about three years. It’s virtually my main source of moisturizing in the mornings. This product is very important to me as weather in Winnipeg is either cold and dry or hot and dry, there is no in-between. This product hydrates me through harsh winter winds and painful summer sunburns. Anytime any bit of skin even looks like it’s considering flaking or peeling, you better believe I spread a healthy layer of this stuff on. I think of this product the way I do hair conditioner. Rub it on, rinse it off. I use about a quarter-sized blob of product, or loonie-sized if I need a little extra oomph that day, to cover my whole body. I rub it in; paying a little extra attention to the areas that may need it, then let it soak in while I put actual conditioner in my hair. Then I rinse off all the conditioner from top to bottom in one shot and pat dry. This product makes taking care of my skin easy. To me, moisturizing after a shower is one step I want to skip or think I can skip once in a while, and then end up eventually ignoring it all together. This conditioner makes moisturizing a no-brainer. I slap it on while I’m still half asleep in the shower and I don’t have to think about it again all day. I swear my skin still feels soft and moisturized the next morning in the shower. I’ve used other in-shower body conditioners and moisturizers before but none have felt like this one. To me, the others usually felt like they have left a film, but this one always leaves my skin feeling light and silky. Some added bonuses of this product include the ability to use a thin layer of it as shaving, as well as the fact that it smells like sweet roses and makes my skin glow.


I’ve tried a multitude of different concealers but my Becca Ultimate Coverage Concealing Crème in the shade ‘honeycomb’ takes the cake. This is one of the few products I use on my skin that isn’t natural, but it’s pretty close. They use as many natural ingredients as possible and they’re cruelty free, which I love! This concealer doesn’t just melt off my face throughout the day, and I can definitely appreciate something with some staying power. It has a creamy feel to it without being heavy or pooling in the creases plus it’s completely buildable. My main concern with any product I try is that it doesn’t make my sensitive skin react, and of all the concealers I’ve tried, this one has been the nicest to my skin. This concealer comes in the little pot, but it wasn’t designed to go straight from pot to face, which is something I had no clue about the first time I used it. To use I take a small amount out and warm it up a bit by rubbing it in little circles on the back of my hand. You’ll be able to feel the consistency change; it becomes creamier and smoother. Once I learned the trick of warming it up first it definitely upped how much value I got for the price; there is little product waste and it takes significantly less product to get the job done. I maybe go through a pot every 6 months, and that’s a pretty big maybe. Once I’ve warmed up the concealer I dab it on where I need a little extra coverage. I don’t actually wear foundation; truthfully the reason is I haven’t found one I love yet, so this concealer is more or less my catchall. I use it for any areas that need a little help with tone or discolouration but I also use it under my eyes or as highlight on those days I didn’t get nearly enough sleep and need a little extra help to go from zombie to human. Oh and get this, it’s waterproof! I’m pretty sure it’s designed for your average surfer girl, but I’ve tested it out myself. I’ve gone out in the pouring rain with it. The kind of rain where you’re pretty sure your entire face has been washed off and is a puddle around your shoes. Blush, bronzer, and mascara were all gone but this stuff held true. I did dab it dry and yes a little came off but nothing like what I’m used to. After the day in the pouring rain I went swimming with it on. Same thing, some came off but for the most part it held strong and didn’t let me down. It might not be completely magic, but it’s definitely magic adjacent.”

– As told to the GRR


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