Fall Quarantine Self-Care Must-Haves!

Hey friends!

September has just begun and fall is upon us! While it’s kind of sad to see summer go, I love fall and I can’t help but to get excited for the season. While I love summer for it’s warm weather and carefree vibes, fall has so many specific elements I just love — Halloween (my favourite holiday!), Thanksgiving, cozy vibes, falling leaves, fall-themed food and drinks and superior fashion. (Oh, and my birthday, of course!).

However, this year, it seems fall is probably going to be a little different. In Vancouver (and I’m sure in many other places around the world), COVID-19 is still prevalent with flu season about to start ramping up, it seems more likely than not that we’re going to start seeing more restrictions, lockdowns and work-from-home. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not exactly looking forward to it — I feel as though it’ll probably be a lot more challenging the second time through. Between the cooler and darkening weather, potential seasonal depression, uncertainty and restlessness of a second quarantine, it definitely seems like we may have a rough few months ahead.

Rather than fearing it, though, I’m trying to embrace it — life is unpredictable even at the best of times, so who knows what’s coming next — so why worry now when things are still good? It’s not always possible to avoid anxiety about the future, but right now there’s no need to be negative now about situations that don’t exist in the present. Besides, half the fun of fall is staying in and being cozy — so while we may miss out on certain elements this year, it’s not the end of the world.

Either way, fall self-care is absolutely some of my favourites — there’s just something about the season that caters SO well to self-care concepts. Nights in, getting cozy — it’s just such a vibe. And while I already believe that self-care is more than a luxury and should be practiced even in the most normal of times, with everything going on in the world, I think we have a bit of an excuse to really indulge this fall. So if you’ve been looking for some new to spice up your self-care routine, look no further for your latest inspo! I’ve got you covered.

Soothing Body Moisturizer

While dry skin isn’t as much of a concern in Vancouver as it is elsewhere in Canada (after all, our Fall and Winter seasons are full of rain and humidity), it’s still important to take good care of your skin. Personally, I’ve been LOVING this body cream by Deew I found at Indigo — it’s full of essential oils, vitamins, and Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil making it uber-relaxing to apply. Not only does this cream keep your skin feeling super soft, it’s made in Canada with ethically sourced materials (meaning you can feel guilt-free about splurging on one for yourself). I apply this cream daily after showering or before bed, and it really does help to calm me right down after a long day. 10/10, would totally recommend.

Skincare Tools 

Some of you may remember the segment I did a few weeks back on my favourite skincare tools — but seriously, these tools are the perfect way to keep up a small self-care ritual morning and night while also taking care of your complexion. My personal favourites are Mount Lai’s Gua Sha (which I have recently purchased for myself, and adore) and Textured Jade Roller, as well as Herbivore’s Rose Quartz Facial Roller. If you don’t have any sort of skincare tool, I can’t recommend them more — they’re great for your skin, incredibly relaxing, can help massage out any knots in your face and as they are made from crystals, they last forever. I’d definitely have to recommend splurging on one as a little self-care gift to yourself.

Fall Scented Candles

Ah, candles. The ultimate decor for cozy vibes and self-care. While I usually use a diffuser for more day-to-day aroma use, I love scented candles for special occasions. They’re great to light during a self-care night, or when you’re settling in for a bath, or just need to burn off any negative vibes in your space. Investing in a couple good fall-scented candles is a good, universal form of self-care and really set the mood for the upcoming Fall season.

Fall Teas

Anyone who knows me knows that I am OBSESSED with tea. As in, 3-4 cups of tea every day kind of obsessed. My favourite place to get tea is hands down David’s Tea — not only is the amount of selection they offer completely unparalleled, but their teas are SO high quality, too. They offer all kinds of flavours of specialty fall teas, and I’d totally recommend picking up a few to brew up on cool fall nights amp up the cozy vibes of your self care night. While David’s Tea offers endless great selections, if you’re going to only get one fall tea — I’d have to recommend Forever Nuts. It’s not fall-specific, but has a flavour that’s fitting for the Autumn season and is absolutely one of their best teas of all time.

Cute Plants

On top of being a dedicated tea lover, I’ve also been dubbed as a crazy plant mom. Not only do I have plants all over my apartment, but I take great care in keeping them healthy and thriving. I’ve found this to be especially useful in lockdown, however. Not only does having the plants give you something to actively care for — the fruits of your efforts are something that become visible with time and leave you feeling accomplished. Also, while I’m not 100% sure of the science behind this, I’ve heard that having more indoor plants helps to decrease depression. As humans, we weren’t really made to be cooped up inside all of the time, and having plants helps to simulate a little more of a natural environment. Or something like that — I don’t really know, but they make cute decor and anything that helps combat seasonal depression is worth a shot, right?

Fall Decor 

My favourite part about the last few months of the year is absolutely the seasonal decorating that comes with it. The photo above is of a couple of the decorations I bought last year — but this year, I’m going to go all out. After all, if I’m going to be inside all the time, I might as well take advantage and make sure I get to experience all the fall I can, considering there’s certain things I’ll likely be missing out on this year. So basically, catch me at the local corner store buying all the pumpkins, leaves, gourds, and anything else fall-related I can get my hands on.

Face Masks

No, not the kind you wear to the supermarket. I’m talking about skincare masks. Before we all get locked in, be sure to stock up on a couple nice multi-use face masks (and maybe even some sheet masks too!) to ensure you have enough to get through all the rough days, self-care nights, and lockdown breakouts over the course of the next few months. I’d totally recommend checking out some of my personal faves, such as Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Mask, Dr Jart+’s Lover Rubber Masks, or one of my new faves — Biossance’s Squalane + Tea Tree Oil Detox Mask! (Stay tuned this Thursday to read all about it!).

Bath Soaks

Is there anything more relaxing than a good old-fashioned bath? While bath bombs have been all the rage for a while now, I used to love salt-soaks as a kid and wanted to give them another shot. I’m super excited to try out these salt soaks by Rocky Mountain Soap Co. that I picked up at Indigo the other day — the scents sound heavenly and they really seem like exactly what I’ve been needing lately. As we move deeper into fall, though, I know I’m really going to appreciate a warm bath on cold and rainy days — so I know I’ll be getting good use out of these soaks.

I hope all of your September’s are off to a good start! Between the latest full moon and my horoscope, I’ve been told this is going to be a month full of changes for me — which I’m welcoming with open arms. I’ve already been having a couple crazy shake-ups this month, but it’s all for the best. (And yes, that’s why I missed this Thursday’s post — my bad!). Anyway, no matter what, I’m pretty excited for fall this year, and I’m so excited for the season to be started. Fingers crossed this fall holds good things for us all!

Much love,

Meredith

Mask-Friendly Makeup Tutorial!

Hey friends!

Can you believe it’s almost the end of August? This year has absolutely been flying by — its crazy to think back to how different things were even a month ago, yet alone back at the beginning of this year. One of the biggest changes to our world this year is requiring (and possibly normalizing) wearing masks in public. Wearing masks in public has been popular in many countries for years as an act of courtesy if you’re feeling sick, and while it wasn’t entirely uncommon in Vancouver, going forward I think it will become more normalized than ever.

Personally, I’m all for it. If you’re feeling sick, it’s only polite to protect others and limit spreading illness. I don’t find wearing a mask to be that much of an inconvenience, plus, you can get some pretty cute and custom ones to complete your outfit and express yourself! You can find all kinds of different masks anywhere nowadays, but for really unique designs and essentially unlimited options, RedBubble has you covered — I’m waiting on an order of masks I put in from them recently and I couldn’t be more excited! They really have something for just about anyone, given how many artists are active on the site.

The only things I find tricky about masks are 1) wearing them with glasses (which of course, I can always just wear my contacts — but it’s a pain if I don’t want to) and 2) wearing them with makeup. While you can get away with wearing a full face of makeup under a mask if you’re only wearing it for a short period of time or are careful not to exert yourself too much (and you know, end up fogging up the inside of you mask) — you really can’t get away with wearing a full makeup look if you have to wear the mask for a while. It’s pretty much impossible to not have your makeup get at least a little messed up under there, especially when you’re wearing foundation and a full cheek look. It’s impossible to keep your mask from wearing away your makeup when wearing it long-term, which can leave your makeup looking pretty rough after a while.

So, yeah. Masks can be a bit of a pain. But what’s a little inconvenience in the grand scheme of things? It may be a pain, but it’s better than the alternative of spreading disease and accelerating the pandemic. While you can easily choose to go makeup-free, I’ve also come up with a simple makeup look that’s a lot less prone to smudging under your mask for anyone who’s determined not to let their masks stop them.

I’ve found, personally, the trick to having your makeup stay relatively intact under a mask is to forgo foundation. I know this probably sounds unappealing to a lot of people, especially if you were looking for a tutorial to maintain your makeup under your mask exactly as you wear it normally. Sure, you may have to go a little more ~au natural~ for this look, but it still ends up looking like a full face in the end.

Step One: Prime

This is the first step to most people’s makeup looks, but given the mask (and thus the increased likelihood your makeup is going to wear off over the course of the day), it’s more useful than ever. I’ve been using (and loving) Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip primer, however, whatever your go-to is works best for you!

Step Two: Conceal + Set

Next up, dab a little concealer of your choice underneath your eyes. My holy-grail under eye concealer is Tarte’s Creaseless Concealer, but once again — whatever your favourite concealer is works perfectly as well! I apply my concealer under my eyes in a triangular shape, and then blend it as best I can into my skin. The line between concealer and your face doesn’t have to be flawless — blending that out comes next. However, you’ll want to get it as diffuse as possible. Once you’re done, use a powder to set your concealer and keep it locked in before moving on to the next step.

Step Three: Bronze + Blend

Once your concealer is set, take a matte bronzer and apply it all over your face. Try to choose one that’s a more natural shade and isn’t too dark compared to your skin tone (this way, you’ll avoid turning out orange). You don’t want to use too much — it’s more meant to give you a little glow and blend the line between your concealer and your skin rather than acting as foundation. Make sure to get your eye area, too — you want it to look uniform with the rest of your face, after all! My go-to is Too Faced’s Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer — I haven’t made a whole post for this one yet since I’m waiting to finish and repurchase it, but it’s one of my faves. (After all, I want it to be all shiny and new and looking it’s best when I show it off to you guys!).

Step Four: Blush + Highlight

This step is kind of up to you, and whatever you want your finished look to be. If you need to blend your concealer a little more, you can add some more bronzer to your cheekbones. If you want to look fresh and glowy, feel free to add a little highlighter to the look. And if you want a cute and rosy glow, throw on some blush! It’s really up to you. I’d recommend keeping it as natural looking as possible, though — since this is where your mask sits, it’s the more prone to getting smudged throughout the day. Whatever you end up going for, be sure it won’t be too noticeable if it ends up being wiped away.

Step Five: Eyes

This step is totally up to you — feel free to style your eyes however you please! Whether you’re just looking to stick with your go-to everyday eye look, or go big and bold, or stick to simple and natural — the choice is yours! De to the natural look of this makeup, I like to stick to something simple and light — which I love the Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk Instant Eye Palette for.

Step Six: Set + Complete!

For the final step, you’re going to throw on whatever finishing touches you normally add and finish up with a setting spray! My go-to, of course, is ran Decay’s All Nighter Pollution Protection. This step is pretty crucial, since it really helps to hold everything in place — making your makeup more resistant to being worn off over the course of the day. As a final note, if you want to wear lipstick/gloss, I’d recommend bringing it with you and applying it after you’ve taken your mask off — at best, it may stay in place under your mask but it’ll probably feel pretty gross all the while. Save yourself the stress and just bring it along with you!

And there you have it! A simple, easy, six-step makeup look that will keep looking fresh, even if you have to wear a mask all day. The feeling of taking off your mask and having NO idea how messed up your makeup looks underneath is the worst — but with this makeup look, you can avoid the stress altogether. Even if it does get a little damaged after long-term mask wear, it’s simple enough that the difference won’t be noticeable. As well, after step three its more a less up to you how you want to finish the look — so while I often pair my natural every-day eye makeup to achieve a natural look, you can still go all-out on the eyes for something more bold — or go no makeup on the eyes, if that’s what you love. No matter what look you’re going for — this tutorial leaves your options open!

I hope you guys are having a good wrap-up to this summer season! I can’t believe we’re so close to September, but I adore fall, so I’m not mad. I can’t wait for fall to get into full-swing, after all, I’ve been needing a bit of change lately. August has me feeling super burnt out, which is pretty fair considering what a rollercoaster this year has been. I’m hoping to be able to shake things up this September and get back on track for all my goals for 2020!

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: August 27th

Hey y’all!

I don’t know about you guys, but lately, I have been seeing these new silicone hair brushes absolutely EVERYWHERE. Maybe it’s just me, but they’ve been catching my eye all over different platforms, from different creators — and the more I heard about them, the more interested I became.

They’re a pretty simple concept, but the more I heard about them, the more genius they sounded. Finally, a few weeks ago, I decided to just bite the bullet and try one out for myself. It probably doesn’t even need to be said, since I’m sharing this with you today, but I’m pretty glad I did. These silicone brushes are little multitaskers — and I absolutely love them for it. This one (cheap AND durable) brush not only helps you to deep-clean your scalp, it also helps to exfoliate away potential dandruff and give you a little head massage while at it.

I’ve shared all the benefits of exfoliating your scalp in the past — and how, interestingly enough, it’s not a more popular concept. I mean, we already exfoliate pretty much the entirety of the rest of our bodies — why not your scalp as well? After all, not only does it help to combat dandruff, it helps to really deep-clean your hair like it’s probably never been cleaned before. Seriously — if you haven’t tried exfoliating your scalp before, you should give it a shot.

While I did love Ouai’s Scalp and Body Exfoliator (it does work wonders), I eventually fell out of purchasing it due to not really having the time to exfoliate my scalp regularly. While I loved their product, it took time to work it into your hair deep enough to reach your scalp, and washing it out wasn’t the quickest process either. I kind of forgot about scalp exfoliating at all, honestly, until I came across these silicone brushes on social media — but it’s quickly reminded me what a game-changer deep-cleaning your hair can be.

What I love most about this brush is how easy it is to use — it doesn’t add any extra steps to your shower routine. I was honestly worried it would be difficult to use before I tried it — I pictured it tangling my hair or being unable to reach my scalp whenever I imagined what it was like to use. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to realize that not only does it reach through your sudsy strands with ease, but it actually hasn’t caused me any issues with tangling my hair yet. As well, since it’s used to lather shampoo into your hair, it doesn’t add any extra time to your shower routine, which is a HUGE bonus IMO.

From the first time I used this brush, I could feel what a difference it made to my hair. My hair felt SO clean and fresh compared to how it normally feels, and I noticed less issues with dandruff following it’s use. However, I especially loved how it gave me a little scalp massage — I tend to get a lot of facial/scalp tension as I have issues with clenching my jaw, and it really helped to actually relieve some of the tension and improve how I feel overall. You guys already know how much I love and regularly use skincare tools to massage out my face, so why doesn’t my scalp deserve a little love too?

You can find these silicone brushes all over the internet, but the one that I purchased (and would totally recommend!) was by Ethradia. If this sounds like the scalp massager you’ve been needing, be sure to check it out on Amazon!

I hope you’re all having a good week to wrap up the end of August! The last week of August is always such a bittersweet time for me — on one hand I love summer and I never want the warm weather to end, but on the other I love so many things about fall, from the fashion, to the holidays, to the cute and cozy fall vibes and most importantly, the sense of change it inspires. And while I am going to miss summer, and we all certainly have an interesting fall ahead of us with COVID-19 this year, I’m kind of excited to shake things up and hopefully get a fresh start. Anyone else with me?

Much love,

Meredith

My Experience Getting My First Tattoo!

Hey friends!

Sooooooo, it finally happened! I went out last weekend and got my first tattoo. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I haven’t until now — so this is a pretty big deal for me.

Getting a tattoo has been something I’ve wanted to do since high school, but due to my indecisive nature I often got tired of designs before I could even get them done. As I’ve gotten older I’ve had a couple of ideas for what I’d like that I knew I’d love long-term, but I never really had the motivation to find an artist or book an appointment.

Now, while I don’t believe that tattoos need to have meaning — I’m a huge fan of tattoos just because they’re art, or of things you love — in this case, it was a great motivator for finally just going for it. I’m really glad I did, too — I love my tattoo and honestly? Getting it was no where near as bad as I thought it would be.

Getting a tattoo in the middle of a pandemic was certainly a little interesting — not only were all of the “consultation” aspects done online or via email, but when I showed up I had to remain in a mask the entire time and I wasn’t allowed to bring anyone with me. It was a little nerve-wracking having to go alone, but it ultimately ended ip being totally fine. While it probably would have cooled my nerves leading up to the appointment if I had a friend with me, honestly, getting it done wasn’t all too bad either way.

I wanted to share a little about my experience so that those of you considering getting a tattoo in the future know what to expect! Honestly, the scariest part of getting it all done was simply not knowing what the whole experience was going to be like. Once I was there and we had gotten started, all of my fears washed away pretty quickly and I adjusted to the whole process pretty quickly.

My tattoo artist, Vanessa (for those of you in Vancouver — she was amazing, so be sure to check her out!), had drawn up my tattoo in advance. She printed out a couple of size options for me and held them up to approximately where I wanted my tattoo to be, on the left side of my ribcage. After we got it all lined up, and the outline imprinted on my skin, she gave me a little test line so I knew what getting the tattoo was going to feel like — which I really appreciated, because not knowing how it would feel was the source of most of my nerves.

All in all, the whole thing only took about an hour — including aligning the design, doing the outline, and colouring in the shading. However, I’m sure the part most of you are interested in hearing is how much it hurt. Ribcage tattoos are notorious for being one of the most painful, and all of my tattooed friends (and even my tattoo artist) warned me that it was going to be pretty tough to sit through. To be completely honest, though — I don’t know if it was how much everyone hyped up the pain of the process, that I got lucky and have anatomy that makes my ribs less sensitive, or if I simply have a high pain tolerance, but I honestly didn’t really find the process to be painful. There was occasional moments where it did feel pretty painful, but overall I’d compare it to the pain of plucking you’re eyebrows. Some moments were worse, some weren’t as bad, but it wasn’t something that brought tears to my eyes, made me consider leaving partway through or would deter me from getting another tattoo. Basically — it isn’t fun, but it certainly isn’t anything bad enough to stop you.

All in all, I’m so happy I finally took the leap and got a tattoo and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I love the idea of being able to decorate my body with artwork and being able to personalize myself with drawings, memories, or whatever it is I feel like. It really looks amazing, too, and since it means so much to me it felt like a good place to start. (Start because I’m probably going to get more in the future …………. Mom if you’re reading this ………….. sorry! Love you.).

If any of you have any other questions about what the whole process was like, I’d be more than happy to answer any questions. The scariest part about getting a tattoo is not knowing, so while nothing can change that fundamentally I’d love to clear up as many questions or concerns as possible! It’s really not that bad, and it’s only for a few hours at most — which when you consider that tattoos are for life, seems like a pretty great deal.

I hope everyone’s doing well! I feel like we may be about to head back into lockdown in BC, so I’ve just been preparing for that mentally. But whatever, if we can do it once we can do it again! Just remember to stay safe out there and try to follow guidelines as best you can — this will end one day, it isn’t forever. Let’s just power through it so going back to real life will be that much more exciting when we make it to the other side.

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: August 20th

Hey friends!

Hope you’re all having an amazing week! Honestly, my motivation has been pretty low this week, but I’m trying to power through it and get things done so I can enjoy the last few weeks of summer. Can anyone else believe it’s already nearly September? I swear, the timeline of this year has been all over the place. New Years Eve feels so recent, but thinking back to March feels like another lifetime ago — it’s really been a rollercoaster of a year.

It’s hard to feel like I’ve really been taking advantage of summer since we’re all supposed to be spending so much time inside — I guess it’s just a part of 2020’s reality we’ll have to accept, but this summer really has flown by without me even noticing it. I feel as though summer has just begun, even though we’re kind of nearing the end of it, and I guess it’s because I haven’t really done much during these summer months this year. Especially when I was in university, summer was a time of freedom, friends and exploring. Even with summer classes, summer jobs, or both, I always spent all kinds of time with friends and outside, and I usually went on one mini-adventure every summer. This year, however, between my wisdom tooth surgeries, lockdowns, and job-hunting, summer has passed me by without me even noticing it.

With summer coming to a close, I haven’t really gotten the chance to sit out in the sun and enjoy it (and likely won’t, now that I have a fresh tattoo — I guess it’ll depend how long into September the weather stays sunny and warm). However, it’s still nice to sport a nice, healthy sun-kissed glow — even if you haven’t gotten a chance to leave your house much this year.

I’m certainly no stranger when it comes to self-tanners, and I’ve tried a few out over the years with very mixed results. Every single tanner I’ve tried has had some sort of flaw that made it difficult to use. Where one would be a dark coloured cream that would apply evenly, yet stain my sheets — another would apply clear and develop over a few hours — but always seemed to turn out streaky (and often smelt terrible). It was always a bit of an uphill battle constantly fighting against smelling of fake tanner or keeping my white sheets unstained.

However, I feel as though I’ve finally found the solution. I’d been hearing about these new face tanning drops for a while now — it felt like so many people I knew had tried them out. I’d been hearing good reviews, so I decided to give them a go for myself.

Something pretty cool about these Isle of Paradise and their tanning products is that they come in three shades — light, medium and dark. I opted for light, since I didn’t really know how they were going to look, but I’d definitely go for medium next time around. These drops are fantastic due to their versatility — they’re made to be added to moisturizer, so you can choose exactly how dark you want to go and simply add them to your other daily products. Something that’s always frustrated me about self-tanners is how it can be challenging and annoying to use them on your body AND moisturize, but using them individually isn’t as good a moisturizer as creams. However, since using this product just means adding it into my usual moisturizer, it’s been no problem using this product daily. As well, I’d absolutely NEVER put self-tanner on my face — my whole body cringes imagining what that would do to my skin. However, I’ve found this product is gentle enough that mixed in with my usual Clinique moisturizer, it doesn’t have any ill effects on my skin whatsoever.

Another thing I adore about this product is how it doesn’t rub off and stain everything you own, while it also doesn’t have any nasty fake-tan smell to it. I usually find most tanning products either have one or the other, but this one actually manages to avoid both. It’s nearly clear and doesn’t tan your skin through simply staining it darker (which is what I find often leads to it marking up your clothes and sheets) and doesn’t particularly have much of a smell to it, so it just ends up smelling like whatever product you’ve chosen to mix it with.

So far, I’m totally obsessed with this product. Between how totally customizable they are, paired with the fact they seem to have solved the problems that arise with most other self-tanners, they’re a huge win in my books. To top it all off, I’ve yet to have any issues with streaking or uneven tanning. This product looks SO natural, I almost was worried it wasn’t working at first since unlike so many other tanners I’ve tried, it didn’t streak or look orange. It really just looks like a light tan — as if you’ve just naturally gotten a bit of colour by going about your day-to-day life (minus the weird tan lines). If you wanted a more dramatic effect, you can always go for a darker shade or a higher volume of drops-to-moisturizer, as well. It’s completely up to you!

If this sounds like the self-tanner you’ve been needing, be sure to check out Isle of Paradise at Sephora!

I hope you all get the chance to enjoy the last few weeks of the summer to the fullest! I’m a little sad and bewildered by how fast this summer went, but at the same time, I won’t lie — I love Fall, and I’m starting to get pretty fired up for some cozy Autumn vibes. (Out of curiosity, what are your favourite seasons? Mine is summer, but the older I get the more I start to prefer Fall … I love the carefree summer feeling and the warm weather of summer. On the other hand, I hate when it gets too hot, and I love Fall clothes, holidays, cozy vibes, the changing leaves and basically everything else Fall has to offer (except the rain, of course). Anyways, I digress. Let me know in the comments below what your fave season is!).

Much love,

Meredith