Shay's favorite movie is Selena
Shay is double jointed in her hands.
Shay loves classical music.
Shay originally tried out for the role of Spencer on Pretty Little Liars before she landed the role of Emily.
Shay appeared in Sean Paul's video for "Hold My Hand."
Shay's mother is Filipino and her father is Scottish and Irish.
Shay: Personally, I don't really have a set style or look. It's pretty much what I feel like wearing that day, from a floral-print dress and high heels to ripped jeans and army boots.
Shay: My daily beauty regimen is definitely always in the mornings, and at night, always washing my face with a basic cleanser. I also use a moisturizer with SPF to follow up.
Shay: It didn't take me very long to realize that modeling wasn't very satisfying. I was always asking people, 'How are you going to set up this shot? How will it be lit?' And they'd say, 'Stop. Just pose.' I had a problem with that.
Shay: I didn't realize how many actresses have tons of extensions. Their hair is still pretty, but it blew my mind to find that out. I admire the girls who switch it up a lot like Rihanna. But I also love Gisele Bundchen because she found a style that works and never changes it.
Shay: In high school I was an outcast... I wasn't cool to hang out with. I ate my lunch in a bathroom stall because that was the one place I could go where I wouldn't been seen.
Shay: I work with a cause called the Somaly Mam Foundation, and that is my purpose in life, above anything else. Everything that I do, I'm thinking about girls. As strong as we are, we're also sensitive, and I feel like men take advantage of that.
Shay: I'm reading a lot of different books, but I always think I have to switch it up a little bit. It's like food - everything in moderation, same with my books, same with my reading. You read books that are good for you and you learn a lot of stuff, then you read 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' which is like candy.
Shay: After I finished high school I went to Hong Kong and Thailand and spent some time there. Just to get that whole experience of being out of the bubble that I was in from high school in Vancouver, to be able to travel around and be on your own was an amazing experience.
Shay: Growing up, I wish I hadn't tried so hard to fit in. I'd tell myself to just embrace what you were born with because it's beautiful and you were made like that for a reason. It's tough being a girl. I think we need all of the support we can get.
Shay: I can't live without mousse. When my hair is damp I put it at the roots. When I blow dry my hair it makes it so much bouncier. It gives you shampoo commercial hair and makes your blowout so much better.
Shay: One of the causes close to me is human trafficking, and I was first aware of it when I was modeling in Thailand. I came home to Canada and did more research and found out how big the problem was.
Shay: I was dating my first boyfriend in high school for a long time, and we broke up before prom. I hadn't met anyone else that I really wanted to go with, and my friends have always been amazing. So I went with my friends and got a million photos with them!
Shay: I'm a fan of designers and clothes that look beautiful, but more importantly, make me feel beautiful and confident. It's why I've always loved Stella McCartney, and more recently, Prabal Gurung. Their pieces are cool, yet timeless, and the fits are effortlessly flattering.
Shay: I grew up in a predominantly Caucasian community, and most of my friends had blonde hair and blue eyes. So I was always straightening my hair, wearing colored contacts, and I never tanned, if I could help it.
Shay: There's nothing worse than seeing someone chewing gum on the red carpet!
Shay: When I was in high school, I wanted to be a counselor and I wanted to work with kids. I've been through the worst of high school. And I want to motivate people to live the best life that they can, because we're only here for one life.
Shay: Once, I had to clip a jacket back to take a picture, and after they were done I forgot to remove the clip until someone noticed.
Shay: With fitness, I do Bikrams hot yoga. The gym that I have in my building is amazing. I love to do cardio and weights there.
Shay: It's kind of a shock to your skin, changing climates. It's new water, and new air quality.
Shay: To get rid of swelling... I put green tea bags on my eyelids. Or I grab cold spoons that I leave in the freezer and put them on my eyes.
Shay: I'll never turn down a red velvet cupcake.
Shay: Yeah, you know, if I'm having an emotional scene I do like to go off and be by myself; not to say that I'm a method actor or anything like that, but for scenes like that that are more emotional, I do like to take that night off and not be so social.
Shay: I would love to do a movie.
Shay: I love baking.
Shay: I hate dieting. Let's just say that.
Shay: I love to use beets as a lip tint. It lasts all day.
Shay: I grew up in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood, but my mom is Filipino-Spanish and my dad is Irish.
Shay: I am a foodie. I'm not afraid to say it.
Shay: But I've met a few fans from across the world who've had my name tattooed on them.
Shay: Being single is not as bad as everyone likes to make it seem!
Shay: The craziest thing I've done getting over love is skydiving. I had a really upsetting breakup. When I broke up with my boyfriend I needed to like do something different and so I actually went skydiving to turn over a new page.
Shay: For everyday, Rebecca Minkoff's collection is chic and comfortable at the same time.
Shay: If you can make me laugh, my heart is yours! I think there's nothing more attractive than someone who doesn't take themselves too seriously.
Shay: You lie when you're a teenager, I think, because your parents are treating you like you're younger and you - in your mind - think that you're so much older. You make up all of these lies because you think it's what you should do.
Shay: For my prom I really wanted to wear a bright color - something that was going to pop and stand out.
Shay: I feel so good after a workout. Any time you can be alone with yourself is really important.
Shay: I'm a huge pasta and pizza lover. I can eat those every single day.
Shay: Take that one thing you don't like about yourself and more often than not that's the one thing that makes you more special. Whether it's that gap in your teeth, or that mole you never liked, or your skin color.
Shay: I love working out. Dance classes are my favorite.
Shay: I like to layer when I fly - the climate always changes from the airport to the plane to the new city.
Shay: I actually just rock-climbed when I was away on vacation and now I'm searching out rock climbing gyms. That's my new obsession for 2013.
Shay: I'm a longtime fan of American Eagle, so when they approached me about joining their 'Live Your Life' campaign, it already felt like an organic fit.
Shay: American Eagle clothing is stylish, flattering and all about embracing your individuality.
Shay: I'm more comfortable in heels than I am in sneakers.
Shay: I see a cute guy in Starbucks and I'm like... 'Oh, okay,' and I walk out. But who knows? Maybe I will ask somebody on a date soon!
Shay: I realized that bullying never has to do with you. It's the bully who's insecure.
Shay: (On seeing herself on billboards)/em> Being in L.A. and driving by a main street and seeing our billboard is like, 'Oh my goodness' and I'm pinching myself. Everyday I'm like is this really happening because if it is that's great but if it isn't, don't ever wake me up because this is really cool.
Shay: (On living in Hollywood) It's so nice. I was living in Toronto before moving out to L.A., and before that I was living in Vancouver where my parents currently reside. So I've lived on the East Coast and I've lived on the West coast of Canada, and now to live on the West coast in the states is great. To have the beach right there, and I'm finding all these neat little pockets of Los Angeles that I'm falling in love with. It's really neat. I have my weekends off to discover all these great little places, so it makes it really fun. Then I go home to Canada too, which I"m doing next week. I miss Canada a little bit too. It'll be nice to go home and see my friends and family.
Shay: (On meeting the author of the books Pretty Little Liars is based on) Oh my gosh, yes, we did meet Sara Shepard. We met her actually in New York last March, end of March of this year, and she was so great. We met her twice because she came out to L.A. again and did the book signing with us that we had right before the show premiered. Sara is amazing. She is so much fun. We had a great dinner with her and then when we saw her in L.A. last time and even when she came on set for that episode that she did. So, yes, she is so great and we want to have her back to do another cameo.
Shay: I just worked with the Trevor Project, and I think it's an amazing organization where they have a hotline 24 hours every single day where you can call in and talk to somebody. And I think at times like that when you're getting bullied and you feel like you are alone and you're the only one, that is key. I feel like there are so many people out there that would help you and are willing to listen and talk you through it. And I think that you need a friend. Everybody needs a friend. And I feel like with these hotlines out, they're so crucial and that you should definitely call them. With everything else, I think with the bullying – in all bullies, you have to realize it's because they're insecure with themselves and really at the end of the day it has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with them and what's going on in their life and their need to make you feel bad. I think it's important, so crucial, and everything to life an authentic life, so I would say never change yourself or never fake being somebody or never want to be somebody or something different than who you are. So with all of those things, it's horrible and that's why playing this character, I've been very proud to do it.
Shay: (On her favorite parts of Pretty Little Liars) I think on-screen, the next couple of episodes that will air January 3rd, those are some of my favorite scenes up to date. So those were … characters and were scenes that I was really, really happy with everything, and that was kind of the best moments for me on screen. And then off-screen I would say everything was just driving up to Warner Brothers Films and getting to go to work with just amazing girls and amazing crew. It's just become such a great big family, so it's just lovely. There's too many things to list, but those are just some of them. Just getting to go to work every day.
Shay: (On her role in Pretty Little Liars)The feedback I have been getting from a lot of girls is that it's really helped them talk about their sexuality with their friends and with their family. And they're happy that Emily isn't a character who labels herself [as gay or straight]; she's just figuring herself out. And that makes her relatable to them. And to me, that's really awesome.
Shay: (On how she gets along with her Pretty Little Liars' co-stars)Whenever you work on a show, and especially when there's four lead girls, you expect some kind of drama. But we're all so different and we all bring something unique to the table, that it actually helped us bond more. Even when we're not filming, we hang out on the weekends. It's really, really nice. I'm so happy because coming over here from Toronto, I didn't know too many people. To be able to work with a really cool cast and still hang out with them on the weekend, that's really comforting because my old friends are back at home.
Shay: (On her character in Pretty Little Liars) She is the nice one. But she's also from a very conservative family, and she's trying to come to terms with whether she likes boys, girls or both. I don't really feel like there's a particular label that she falls under, but she's discovering who she is while having to hide it.
Shay: Grade 8 wasn't a really good year for me. Looking back at it now, I can see that it was just petty insecurity and dealing with their own stuff, so they felt they had to be mean to me. But I'm happy I went through it. I'm happy it was a struggle and I was on my own a lot, because going into high school, I knew a lot more about myself.
Shay: (On if she relates to her character on Pretty Little Liars)Emily has a lot of admirable qualities that I respect. I would love to say that we share some characteristics like her competitive nature in sports, her love for the water (I also swam when I was younger), and her loyalty to her friends.
Shay: (On where she'd like to travel) I want to go everywhere. Morocco, India, Tokyo, Greece, Spain… there are too many places to pick just one. I have traveled quite a bit but anywhere new is always great to explore and check out.
Shay: My ideal day would be to wake up around 10:30 (I rarely get to do that now) and to go to a cute café somewhere with a friend to have a delicious brunch. Then drive down the coast with my dog foxy in the back and find a remote beach so we could lay out on a blanket. I would hang out there all day then pull out a picnic bag and have dinner while watching the sunset.
Shay: (On if she was a fan of the book series Pretty Little Liars is based on) I definitely am now. As soon as I got later on in the audition process, I went online and realized they have a huge fan base, so I went straight to the book store and grabbed all the books. I've read them all, they're great books.