Two Bunnies and a Buttercup

I got the running bug in high school, running cross country through the woods of suburban Montreal.  One of the things I enjoyed most about the experience (apart from that amazing runner’s high) was that compared to other sports that I had played like soccer and gymnastics – all you needed was running shoes!  The sports gear was radically minimized.  Also, there was no schedule; one could take off at any time.  Running could also be an exploratory sport if you were so inclined.  Years later,  running through the neighbourhoods of Paris on a sunny spring morning remains one of the most enduring highlights for me, embodying the spirit of adventure that bonds many runners.

When I moved to Toronto in 1984 and joined the YMCA, I began running more seriously, but I favoured speed, over distance.  The new YMCA was built on Grovenor St. in the late 1980s.  On the rubber track, outdoors on the roof, I could do 12 fast laps before my IT bands started to bleed.  Then in the early 1990s I got two beautiful English Setters.  Being forced to take them out for walkies in all types of weather made winter enchanting all over again.  I started running with them year round and thus began the foundation for the distance running that I enjoy today.

With the guidance of my pal Elaine McRae of Toronto’s Runner’s Shop, I have completed a 10k,  two half marathons and the Ottawa Marathon in 2001; my time of 3hours 10minutes surprised her, but I remarked it was just proof of her talent as a trainer!

What I'm running in - New Balance Glow 980 from Runner's Shop
What I’m running in – New Balance Glow 980 from Runner’s Shop

On Sunday November 1st, I will be running the New York City Marathon – a dream since I began racing!  Coach Elaine is also running New York, which is her 28th? marathon!  I didn’t get a berth through the lottery system they have set up, so I have joined a New York City group called Fred’s Team that raises funds for cancer at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  I have chosen their prostate cancer division and have committed to raising $3500.00 before race day!  If you would like to help me, please click Fred’s Team — to find my personal fundraising form.  Click on my name to highlight it and then follow the simple directions.  Anything you contribute would be greatly appreciated!!!  This could be my year for some dazzling Movember activity!  

By the way, it is always a gift out on the running paths to come across wild furry creatures and flowers.

Anatomy of a Makeover – A Photo essay.

Fantastic Toronto actress Emily Niedoba, who has starred in two hit TV series Mr. D and the Property Brothers, contacted us at worldSALON to discuss a change in her look.  Emily was tired of her blonde bob and was ready for some excitement!  We all decided to have some fun.

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Emily was recommended to worldSALON by our friend Michelle Gallant who runs Looks Image Consulting.  Michelle has great personal style, can whip your wardrobe into shape and will actually go shopping with you to help find those pieces to pull your whole look together – joy!


Emily decided she wanted to get rid of the blunt cut and work towards a longer look.  She had some extensions put in and we felt a darker, richer tone for her hair would be more complimentary.  I layered in the extensions and Gary Allen formulated a warm mahogany colour that brightened up Emily’s piercing blue eyes and made her skin look beautiful.  Next it was time for our makeover photoshoot!  Emily touches up her make-up.


For the photoshoot, I wanted to do something summery, fresh and easy for Emily to replicate,  So many people fight their natural texture and in the summer months when the air is so much more humid, it is a perfect time to explore your texture.  Products like our OCEAN spray can help!  I used OCEAN spray to bring out Emily’s waves and UP spray to hold them while I heat styled.


Michelle loved the soft grey tones on Emily.  You can see how well they bring out her skin tone and compliment her mahogany hair!


Emily’s new look – understated cool and definitely very sexy!


Emily has just had some new headshots done – stay tuned for a striking before and after!



I love my job

One of the things I enjoy most about being a hairstylist is working with models.  It might sound naf, but every now and then someone truly spectacular walks through the door of worldSALON and after years of “imaging” or crafting the hair looks for agency models, I can identify the special ones immediately.  In 2003 Jessica Stam was picked up by Giovanni Models in Toronto and they sent her to me for imaging.  Her hair was really damaged from over-highlighting and not enough trimming!  After cutting and colouring, I took a polaroid of the finished look and got her to sign it – I knew she was destined for great things:Read More »

Twenty Five Years And Beyond …

It is only February, but 2015 is already proving to be an incredible year.  We have broken all sorts of cold temperature records, but the light is shining bright in worldSALON , which on October 6th, 2014, began it’s 25th year in business!  When I tell people this it seems impossible, especially since my mental age is 29.  Running a business for 25 years is a magical concoction of naivety, true passion, hard work, dumb luck and many sleepless nights.  It is not for the faint at heart but the rewards are immeasurable.  So many details of when we first opened are as clear in my mind as the day they happened.  One of the best features has to be – all the people that I have had the opportunity to teach and learn from – so full of gratitude for this!

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brian phillips

Personal Ecology


After ten years of being a hairdresser my skin started to fall apart. Contact dermatitis, which I discovered three months after the initial red rash showed up, was due to perm solution and hair gel.  My hands cracked, bled and itched like hell.  Steroidal cream, antibiotics, latex gloves… all proved useless.  A client and naturopathic student at the time saved my career by advising that the problem must be due to something I was using daily. Through a process of elimination I discovered the culprits and the perms stopped at worldSALON in1993. Twenty plus years later, worldSALON is known as a leader in sustainable, healthy practices in the salon and small business sector.  Our worldPRODUCTS personal care line was borne of this desire to work with and promote healthier products and now the line is selling in NYC as well as throughout Canada.

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What We Put On Our Bodies


I’m sure by now that many of you know about all the toxic chemicals in our environment.  Maybe you found out about this issue by being touched by illness, either personally or through someone else close to you. Or perhaps you learned about it when you had your first child and were researching about what could your baby’s health.

Once this education begins, as I have heard so many times, you are astounded to find out how pervasive and insidious these harmful chemicals are. They’re found everywhere – in vehicle exhaust, second hand smoke, food etc… making us sick. We all have a limit of how much of these chemicals our bodies can tolerate.  It is known in healthcare as “bodyburden”  and I am not going to bore/scare you with stats.  The bottom line is that the toxics you can control – the ones entering your home/place of work — you should really avoid. Think about balance. If you work in a print shop or dry-cleaner for instance, your home should be pristine; no  mattresses with flame retardants, teflon cookware or cleaningproducts with formaldehyde and you should also be buying organic, non GMO food as much as possible.  Personal care products have a big impact too.  All the chemicals in the products we slather and spray on our bodies everyday end up building up in our systems along with all the rest.

I am very proud to be on the cabinet of Environmental Defence’s Just Beautiful Campaign because this call to action is hopefully improving people’s lives.   From the BPA ban in plastic bottles to the phthalate ban children’s toys, ED has been at the forefront of the battle against toxics in Canada. In the personal care product sector, through the JustBeautifulPledge companies, worldPRODUCTS included, Canadians have a great resource to explore healthy alternatives that are free from the toxic ten chemicals – present in most mass market brands.  With worldPRODUCTS, you have a luxury line that encourages a minimal approach to personal care – gentle and effective.

Knowledge is not only power, but health, so arm yourself with the information you need to navigate our toxic world.


Follow Brian Phillips on Twitter.

worldSALON Reno March 2013

After 24 years in business in downtown Toronto, worldSALON is continuing our green focus and getting an eco-makeover.  With a focus on the three R’s, using healthy non toxic materials and supporting local businesses as much as possible, follow our video diary to watch the whole thing unfold.  Can it all be completed in 11 days?  Stay tuned:  –  DAY 1  –  DAY 2  –  DAY 3  –  DAY 4  –  DAY 5  –  DAY 6  –  DAY 7   –  DAY 8  –  DAY 9  –  DAY 10

Toronto’s worldPRODUCTS


Toronto’s worldPRODUCTS personal care line, created by celebrity stylist Brian Phillips and launched in 2001, is unique in many ways.

Phillips worked diligently with a chemist and aromatherapist to design a minimal series of products that can be used on hair and skin.  The result is a healthy, multi-use, and scent free, line that  you can personalize by adding the worldBLEND essential oil blend of your choice.  These oils are of the highest quality organic and wildcrafted plant essences which will help remove pollution and buildup while balancing and deeply purifying hair and skin.  Adjust how your worldCLEAN cleanser (hair, skin, shaving) and worldPROTECT moisturizer (skin, detangler, leave in) perform seasonally by using the more astringent, exfoliating worldBLEND 1 and 3 in the summer (peppermint and citrus based respectively) or calm, soothe and contract in the winter with the lavender, bergamot and blue tansy present in the worldBLEND 2 and 4.  Instead of increasing your body burden with the harmful chemicals in other products, your senses will be awakened and your spirits will soar.

Gentle enough for the whole family, worldPRODUCTS will reduce the clutter in your home as well as save you money with re-fillable larger sizes.  worldPRODUCTS are truly a luxurious blank canvas that you can add your special touch to!

Now available in Ottawa at and New York City at

For up to date info follow Brian Phillips on Twitter

The Bang / Fringe Debate

A raucous debate ensued recently at the salon – about the history of the “bang”.  Why the word bang?  A British client commented that the term “fringe” was much more appropriate as it is representative of the head framing feature – “like curtains for the face.”  The term “bang” in comparison, with it’s blunt, sexual connotation is clumsy and unrefined.

As a detail in costumes, fringe has been used since Mesopotamia to decorate garments like skirts and shawls.   Whether separately attached or unravelled from the body of the fabric, this adornment was appreciated for it’s movement and used to impress.  At some point in the 1800’s, the “bangtail” became known as the squaring off of a horse’s tail  and in certain circles referred to racehorses.

Moving out of the Stone Age and into the Bronze Age (3500 B.C. ish), as civilization blossoms in Sumeria and ancient Egypt, we start to see styles incorporating face framing elements, perhaps due to a new ability to smelt sharper devices to hack away hair.  By 40 B.C., the Madonna of her time – Cleopatra – brought bangs to the masses and we haven’t looked back since.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fringe as : 1 – an ornamental border consisting of short straight or twisted threads or strips hanging from cut or raveled edges or from a separate band.  Bang is defined as : 1 – a strip of banged hair – origin – short for bangtail, the cropping off of horse’s and dog’s tails.  However you cut it, if you are looking for a bang-up job, the right fringe should frame the situation nicely.





ImageCanadian glass artist Gundi Viviani-Finch has been creating exquisite glass sculptures for over twenty years in her studio in the Norhtumberland Hills, just east of Toronto.  Through a meticulous technique of bonding small pieces of plate glass with a powerful adhesive, she builds large works of art that dance in the light, an effusive blending of nature and technology – an organic pixillation. Galleries and private collectors worldwide have commissioned these works that are at once modern and timeless.
“Castells”, Gundi’s latest collection, marry art and recycling in pieces reminiscent of North African minarets.  Castells are created with found glass objects, mostly of a utilitarian nature.  Candy bowls, vases, dessert plates and punch bowls are re purposed as glittering towers that demand attention and space while sending a powerful message of re-invention.  Says Gundi “My glass towers are a whimsical collection of pieces of diverse heritage.  Travel with them as they reach skywards.”
For more information on Gundi Glass visit