Babe in the biz: Pure + Simple’s Kristen Ma

Kristen Ma Pure + Simple Toronto

I’m introducing a new, hopefully semi-regular feature here at called “Babe in the Biz”—and I couldn’t be more thrilled that Kristen Ma is our inaugural beauty babe to kick things off!

A bit of background: if you’re anything like moi, you’re a bit of a voyeur (no, not in that way, silly!) about other people’s grooming routines. I LOVE hearing about what insidery types are using, doing and recommending when it comes to beauty. And I hope you do too! That’s why I’m opening things up for a few of my favourite beauty gals around town—and beyond—to share with us what they know. And you never know, I might toss a few guys into the mix as well.

Now… let me introduce Kristen!

kristen ma 2 Babe in the biz: Pure + Simples Kristen MaBeauty Insider Credentials As the co-owner of Pure + Simple Spas, I have amalgamated my experience as an esthetician (nine years of experience) with my background as an Ayurvedic practitioner. However, a lot of my knowledge has come from my own trials and tribulations with acne. You would be surprised how enlightening being a personal guinea pig for a plethora of products and treatments can be. But I also think being a beauty insider means that you not only have knowledge but [also] divulge precious little beauty secrets. Holistic beauty education is really important to me, and was what inspired me to write Beauty: Pure + Simple, which was recently published by McArthur and Co. [Ed's note: Kristen also writes a beauty blog, Holistic Vanity, which is a must-read if you're interested in holistic beauty.]

rachel mcadams 225x300 Babe in the biz: Pure + Simples Kristen MaBeauty Icon I really like Natalie Portman. She’s a vegetarian. She’s talented and makes interesting decisions. I also deeply respect Rachel McAdams. I have done her facial before, and not only is she very beautiful in person, but she also insisted on bicycling to the spa in the name of being environmentally responsible. I think that being beautiful is also about consciousness—not only picture-perfect features. That’s just boring. True beauty often radiates from people through their actions.

Top Five Beauty Products 1. I do not go anywhere without my Pure + Simple Organic Rosehip Face Oil. It’s amazingly restorative and excellent for sun damage. 2. Jane Iredale Black Plus Cream Eye Shadow. It is great for smoky eyes without making you look powdery. I also use a tiny amount on a brush to fill in my brows, because nothing is more important than great eyebrows. 3. My only unnatural indulgence is Kiss Me Mascara. I am so no-fuss that the easy removal of this mascara is a must-have. 4. Pure + Simple Flawless Complexion. This is a sheer liquid mineral foundation. It evens out your skin tone and gives you a great dewy finish. 5. Of course, a good natural sun block. I currently use the Anti-Aging SPF 30 by Pure + Simple. Sun is the most damaging thing for our skin—an SPF should be an essential for everyone.

flawless complexion pure+simple 300x247 Babe in the biz: Pure + Simples Kristen MaBeauty Splurge You need to splurge on a good moisturizer. It’s what feeds your skin as well as your protective barrier. It’s on your skin all-day, so you want something of quality.

Beauty Bargain Accessory items like exfoliants, which are not on your skin for long. Or just use something in your kitchen like baking soda.

First Fragrance My mother was always into natural beauty, so even the first fragrance I wore had to be pure. It was an organic, oil-based roll-on that was a blend of rose and citrus essential oils.

Current Fragrance I use an organic perfume from a French line called Maedy’s. Unlike other natural perfumes, even the base is made from organic plant-derived alcohol. I have a few, but my favorite is the Vetiver (I love citrusy smells).

Weird Beauty Habit LOL—I actually used Shatavari Ghee on my chest at night for bust firming. It’s clarified butter that has been infused with rejuvenating Ayurvedic herbs. It really works—and while it’s embarrassing to admit it—I swear by the stuff. You just have to get over smelling like a snack bar at the movie theatre.

pure+simple rosehip oil 300x300 Babe in the biz: Pure + Simples Kristen MaBiggest Beauty Fail LOL…I totally shouldn’t tell you this… I did an IPL hair removal on my bikini right before taking my mother to the Korean Body Scrub Spa for her birthday. I really wanted to fit the IPL into my schedule but promised my mom I would take her. Well, after any type of light therapy or laser you should never do anything heating. Saunas, hot tubs, steam, etc. Well, the Korean Body Scrub process involves all of the above. My bikini area was bright red for over a week and I was afraid I would scar. Thank God for Rosehip oil. [It was] such a ridiculous thing to do. Definitely a failure because I know better. It’s just so tempting to try to get everything done and off the weekly list. The worst is, even right after the IPL treatment, I was rushing it so much I told my IPL practitioner to skip the post-treatment cooling phase. I was like: “I’ll be fine—late for a meeting!” and jumped off the bed.

Beauty Pet Peeve I cringe when I see unkempt eye brows.

Best Beauty Secret Use facial oils. Forget what you may think about oils making you break out or [look] greasy. If you get a good quality vegetable oil, your skin will thank you. I even found that our Pure + Simple Pure Skin Face Oil clears up your complexion and regulates overactive sebaceous glands.

Beauty Career Advice Make sure you take time to ground, relax and restore your body despite how much you want to accomplish. You can’t promote a concept of beauty when you’re running yourself ragged. Plus, you risk burning out. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

Make sure you check out Pure + Simple if you’re in the Toronto area (or visit it online), along with Kristen’s book and blog! And let me know what you thought of this inaugural “Babe in the Biz” feature! Anyone else you’d like to see featured (or questions you want me to ask)?


Wednesday, May 5/2010 at 10:54 am

Love this feature – More please! Pure + Simple is a fav of mine so was excited to see it and Kristen Ma featured!


Arianne (Glitter Geek)
Wednesday, May 5/2010 at 11:37 am

Love the new feature! I went to Pure+Simple for my first ever facial last year — the Urban Renewal Facial — and it’s still the best facial I’ve ever had. :)

Do you have a favourite spa to go for facials?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, May 5/2010 at 4:45 pm

So glad you guys enjoyed this – thanks for the feedback!

@Arianne – Pure + Simple is actually my top facial place in Toronto too! They do an amazing job and I love that it’s not just face but hands, feet, shoulders and scalp massage too. I also like the Jurlique facial at Vikaspa.


Wednesday, May 5/2010 at 11:18 pm

Yes, please continue the Babe in the Biz feature! I love the whole concept behind Pure + Simple and it sounds like a great spa.


Michelle (LipstickRules)
Thursday, May 6/2010 at 7:17 pm

Love this new feature! I need to get a facial — been years since I have had one. Will have to check out Pure+Simple.


Chantel Simmons
Sunday, May 9/2010 at 7:04 am

Love this new column – and I’m a huge fan of Kristen’s and her book, so it was fun to have her kick it off!


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