10 Things Mela & Kera Founder Jason Lee Can’t Live Without

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When he’s not tending to his high-profile clients at his namesake Toronto salon or appearing cityline As a beauty expert, Jason Lee is plotting world domination with his hair care line, Mela and Kera. While the idea to start his own brand came from his “extremely practical accountant father”, who advised him that it was a sound business decision, Lee’s experience working with the likes of Marc Anthony and John Frieda during his career prompted them to imagine what their venture might take. She spent 15 years dreaming up the next generation of high-performance hair products and launched her seven-product collection—named after melanin, a pigment found in hair, and keratin, a protective chemical naturally occurring in hair. Protein – Last April.

At G Beauty and Harry Rosen in Canada, and at high-end retailers Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus in the US, garnering accolades in publications such as Mela and Kera forbes and beauty website byrdie—which earned the line the “Best Volumizing Conditioner” of 2022 award. This year, Lee plans to expand her products to more retailers as well as launch two new collections and additional products to existing ranges. Here are 10 things a child expert suggests for inspiration, energy, and getting things done.

vega protein energy drink

Lee mixes this plant-based powder with water and drinks it 20 minutes before his workouts, which he does when he’s finished the day at the salon. “I’m tired and this gives me a little extra pep in my step,” he says. He says he even chews it before his appearances. cityline,

(Photo: Vega)

boy de chanel makeup

Lately, Lee has been revisiting makeup — something she wore years ago when she was a contestant on a Canadian reality show in the early 2000s. superstar hair challenge– Filling in her brows and applying eyeliner under her eyes. “It just gives me extra confidence,” he says. “It makes me feel like I can take on anything.”

a picture of chanel eyeliner
(Photo: Channel)

Finally Enough Love: Number 50 by madonna

From the time he saw her “Borderline” video as a kid, Lee has been a Madonna super fan, and now he has her latest compilation, featuring 50 of her number-one hits, playing on repeat. “From a business perspective, his career has lasted for decades, and he’s consistently made money and sold products,” he says. “She’s intelligent, businesslike, artistic, creative and speaks up for herself. And she fights for the underdog—I really relate to her.

Madonna's Finally Enough Love album cover
(Image: Amazon)


When Tom Ford Was Gucci’s Top Designer 1994 to 2004, Lee was obsessed with the Italian fashion house—yet owning any Gucci clothing was beyond her budget. Luckily, he had the funds until Alessandro Michele took over in 2015; Lee was taken with the designer’s dramatic direction and acquired several pieces ranging from a simple hoodie to a silky orange blouse with a bow. “I really connect with Gucci because they make loud, confident and strong pieces,” says Lee. “That’s what I feel most comfortable in.”

A picture of the blue Gucci blouse
(Photo: Gucci)

Cafe Bustello Coffee

Every morning begins with a Cuban coffee that reminds Lee of winters he spent in Miami, where the brand was ubiquitous. “It’s a different experience than coffee,” he says. “It just tastes different. It gives a better feel in your mouth.”

A photo of Cafe Bustelo Coffee
(Photo: Amazon)

Asics Gel Kayano 28 Platinum

When you get a lot of your thoughts while walking—and when you average 30,000 steps a day—you need the right shoe. Lee has three pairs of these Asics sneakers on rotation and wears them all day long to the salon, to business meetings, and straight to the gym. “I couldn’t live without them, given how much I work and how much I’m on the move.”

A picture of gray asics running shoes
(Photo: Asics)

New York City

Lee has visited Manhattan every month for the past 20 years – and even lived there from 2003 to 2005 – because it continues to be a source of inspiration for him. It’s not just architecture and art galleries that he loves; Lee also researches by visiting retailers and observing what young children are wearing on the streets. “I think they’re generally ahead of the game in terms of what’s cool.”

a picture of new york city
(Photo: iStock)

Individual training

“It’s changed my body,” says Lee. William SallisHe meets with a Toronto-based trainer five days a week. And beyond the physical benefits, regular sessions have made Lee accountable for something to do over and over again. “I’m relating this to my business because that’s really how you build success,” he says. “Every day, just keep going at it and something will come out of that determination.”

A photo of Toronto personal trainer William Sallis
(Photo: instagram.com/williamswickedworkouts)

StriVectin SD Advanced Plus Intensive Moisturizing Concentrate

Lee is really into self-care, which explains her extensive beauty product collection. But this StriVectin moisturizer is one she swears by. “It’s hydrating, but not heavy and doesn’t break me out,” he says. “I’ve tried so many different things but I always go back to this.”

A picture of StriVectin Face Cream
(Photo: StriVectin)


From Byredo to Le Labo, in the salon or at home, summer or winter, candles are a constant in Lee’s surroundings. “A candle, especially when you’re working, sets the mood and elevates the room,” he says. He takes one with him whenever he has a business presentation. “At least one candle is always burning in the room.”

A photo of the Le Labo candle
(Photo: Le Labo)

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