Thursday Favourites: July 9th

Hey friends!

Happy Thursday! This week I’m going to be sharing my last little re-share of my favourite products that I shared at the beginning of my blog. As I’ve mentioned in my last few posts (just in case you missed it), I’ve been re-writing reviews that I wrote on some of my all-time favourite products. Back in the first few months of my blog, I shared numerous posts on products that have been some of my truest, holy-grail products that I really feel I didn’t do justice at the time. Seriously — most of these products I’ve been using religiously for years. However, a year later with more writing experience, blogging knowledge, and audience outreach under my belt, I felt it was only right to share these products with you guys!

This week’s product is one I’m sure many of you are already a little familiar with — Urban Decay’s All-Nighter Setting Spray with Pollution Protection! Urban Decay, overall, is pretty well known for their setting spray — hence why I’m sure, if you’re a regular makeup user, you’ve at least heard of/tried out one of their setting sprays before. Over the years, I’ve actually tried pretty much every single one of their setting sprays at some time or another — but this one is definitely my fave.

What makes this setting spray stand out to me among the rest is, first and foremost, how effective it is. This stuff has held up my makeup even in the most extreme situations. Even within more “normal” situations, I’ve gone long days without makeup touch-ups, gone to hot and sweaty night clubs, and even on occasion accidentally slept with my makeup on — and honestly, with this setting spray, it doesn’t budge. However, if we’re talking REAL extremes — this product has helped my makeup through everything from the rainiest days on my vacation to Disney this past winter, to the absolutely glaring sun when I went to the Calgary Stampede a few summers back. It kept my makeup intact during long days at Fvded, the popular BC Music festival, and even survived the hottest, muggiest days during my trip to South East Asia. Basically, this stuff works miracles. I don’t know how it managed to hold my makeup together through all these situations, but I sure am grateful for it!

The other thing I adore about this particular setting spray, however, is the added Environmental Protection. One of the biggest causes of skin problems is the fact that our skin is constantly taking in air pollutants, which damage and irritate the skin. I’ve found that, ever since I’ve started using this setting spray, the incidence of bad skin days I’ve had has gone down immensely. Just having that little extra layer of protection when I go out has really changed my skin for the better. While the original formula All-Nighter setting spray is definitely a classic, I just feel this product takes it a little farther, adds even more, and just makes it that much better.

If this sounds like the setting spray you’ve been looking for, be sure to check out at Sephora!

I hope you’re all having a great start to July! Also, my apologies for my only half-finished post last weekend. Stuff has been a little hectic this week and I was feeling a little overwhelmed with the job hunt and all. However, I already have this Sunday’s post written up and ready to go, so I promise it won’t happen again!

Have a fantastic end of the week my loves,

Best,

Meredith

My Skincare Routine!

Hey y’all!

At this point, I don’t think I even need to tell you guys how much I love skincare. I’ve been sharing my favourite products, tips and techniques with you all for over a year now — and honestly, it’s pretty fair to be overwhelmed by it all. Skincare is not something that you learn overnight — it takes years of trial and error, learning ingredients, and knowing your skin type to master it all. The one problem with skincare is that there is no magic solution, no “one size fits all”. Everyone is different. Some people benefit from the simplest of routines and products, whereas some may need more complex and multitasking products to achieve clear skin. Some people may love their oils, or serums, face masks or creams that other people found to be incompatible with their skin type. Some people are blessed with naturally perfect skin, whereas some people may require help from aestheticians and dermatologists to put them on the right track. (And if you’ve really been struggling — consider seeing a dermatologist! They’re really the most knowledgeable people out there on the subject).

My skincare routine was not something that I came by easily — it honestly took me years to land on staples for the basics alone. From there, I added in different products, with different ingredients to target different things and experimented with how they worked for me. Some products I totally hated, whereas some were almost what I needed — but I had to search through different brands to find the perfect match for my needs.

I’m sharing my routine with you guys not so you can copy it down step by step and and replicate it perfectly (I mean, if you want to, by all means do!) because what works for me will not work for everyone. I just wanted to show you all not only the type of products I use and how frequently I use them, but how each product benefits my own skin. As well, I wanted to show the trial and error that went into creating this routine, and how I discovered what worked for me. For reference, my skin is dry/combo — so if you have a similar skin type a lot of these products may work for you as well!

One last little tip — while I am familiar with my skin type and the products that benefit it, it’s not the only important aspects of skincare. We all have specific concerns we try to target that differ between us all, no matter what skin type we have. For those of you who may be starting from scratch — I think what matters most is finding staples that benefit your skin type, and then adding steps in that target your specific concerns. For instance, your face wash, toner, and moisturizer (the three most basic steps) should focus on complimenting your skin type — whether it be oily, dry, normal, or combination. From there, if you have specific concerns, you can try adding in serums, face masks, eye creams, or oils that target these specifically. In terms of my own specific concerns, I buy products that focus on fixing my puffy/dark/hollow under eye area, my dry skin, balancing my t-zone and dry areas, and keeping my skin firm and bright. However, this one is really up to you — it’s really where skincare becomes the most tailored to you personally.

Step #1: Exfoliation

Product: Peter Thomas Roth’s FirmX Peeling Gel Exfoliant

Skin Type: Normal

Use: 1-2 times per week

This product has been my go-to exfoliator for over a year now, and I’m still impressed by it every time. I personally prefer enzyme peel exfoliators to physical exfoliators when it comes to my face — they feel gentler and more effective to me. This exfoliator is my fave because of how easy it is — you just rub it onto your dry face and all your dead skin just rubs away! I’ve never found it irritating, either — it leaves my skin feeling soft and fresh every time.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #2: Oil Cleanser

Product: Shu Uemera’s Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil

Skin Type: Good for all skin types

Use: Night

This was a recent addition to my line up — but I already can’t really imagine my routine without it. This oil-based cleanser helps to remove any makeup and impurities from my skin, and I’ve noticed how much cleaner my skin feels ever since I began double-cleansing. Oil-based cleansers can remove pollution-based and other unwanted grime that water-based cleansers cannot — which is why it’s important to use both daily.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #3: Gel Cleanser

Product: Tula’s Purifying Face Cleanser

Skin Type: Oily, Normal and Dry

Use: Night

This water-based cleanser has been my holy grail face wash for over a year now. Not only is it super effective in terms of removing impurities, it’s gentle and worked well to help clear up my combination skin. Plus, the probiotic element definitely worked wonders on my skin’s natural balance. It’s a bit of a pain to get your hands on in Canada, but the bottle is so large it lasts at least a year.

Buy it at Tula’s Online Store or Nordstrom!

Step #4: Face Masks

Products: Dr Jart+’s Shake and Shot Rubber Masks, Dr Jart+’s Lover Rubber Masks, Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, Fresh’s Rose Face Mask, Fresh’s Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask

Use: Night

I’ve included a whole bunch of my favourite masks here, so I’ll keep this short and sweet to help keep this as clear as possible. The two Dr Jart+ masks are single use and come in a wide variety of formulations — meaning you can choose whichever one sounds best for you based on your own skincare concerns. Glow Recipe’s mask aims to refine pores and provide light exfoliation while combating dryness and oiliness, leaving skin plump and soft. Fresh’s Rose Face mask is a fantastic and speedy hydration mask — as well, it would work well on sensitive skin, IMO. The other mask by Fresh — their Black Tea Instant Perfecting mask — helps maintain skin’s youthfulness, adds glow and evens out skin textures. All of these face masks work with all skin types, so it just comes down to choosing what you want based on your personal skin concerns. As well, there’s many fantastic masks out there that I have yet to try — masks really are one of the best ways to personalize your skincare and tackle issues that other products don’t address, so experiment and find what works best for you!

Buy it at Sephora! Dr. Jart+ Shake and Shot | Dr. Jart+ Lover Rubber | Glow Recipe | Fresh Rose | Fresh Instant Perfecting

Step #5: Hydrating Toner

Product: Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner

Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination and Oily

Use: Day and Night

This toner is absolutely fantastic if you’re looking for a non-drying, alcohol-free product to add to your skincare routine. You have to be kind of careful with toners as they can often be sort of drying — but this one definitely has a solid hydration aspect that really helps my skin feel soft and smooth after use. It does a good just of wiping away any excess product or impurities, leaving my skin perfectly clean each night.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #6: Brightening Toner

Product: Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir

Skin Type: Normal, Oily, Combination and Sensitive

Use: Day and Night

I won’t lie, when I first starting starting using this product I wasn’t really aware it was a toner — hence why I use two! Two toners isn’t at all essential to a good skincare routine, but these have both improved my skin and using them together has made my skin super soft and glowy. At this point, I’m so used to using two toners that I’m just sticking with it — I can’t imagine giving one up because they both help me so much! Plus, neither of these really add much time to my skincare routine so it doesn’t matter much either way.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #7: Collagen Serum

Product: Murad’s Rapid Collagen Infusion

Skin Type: Normal, Oily, Dry and Combination

Use: Day and Night

I’ve only been using this serum for a few months, but I’m already obsessed. I’ve actually just purchased my second bottle, because I (tragically) have run out of this product already. Not only is this stuff great at anti-aging, but it smells fantastic and keeps my skin looking fresh. Plus, it’s cream formulation makes it easy to apply morning and night without leaving behind any weird residues or messing with my makeup.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #8: Moisturizer

Product: Clinique’s Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator

Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination and Oily

Use: Night

This has been my holy grail moisturizer for as long as I can remember. I just love everything about it — it’s light, non-greasy, leaves behind no residue but still packs a crazy amount of moisture. I love the gel formulation — it just feels so much better than heavy cream-based moisturizers IMO. I really feel like this product is the true definition of “works for all skin types” — I really can’t imagine this moisturizer NOT working well for someone.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #9: SPF Moisturizer

Product: Origin’s A Perfect World™ SPF 40 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea

Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination and Oily

Use: Day

It’s universally true that everyone should be wearing SPF every day. Whether you’re outside all day or not, certain UV rays can still filter inside and cause unseen damage. Better to wear sunscreen now than to pay the price down the road, am I right? This is a great morning moisturizer due to it’s high SPF content, so it’s become a staple for me. I have, with time, found it a little to heavy for my skin, which sometimes leaves it irritated — so I’m probably going to be branching out to new brands in the future. But in the mean time, this is a pretty solid product that adds necessary sun protection to my skin!

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #10: Eye Cream

Product:

Skin Type:

Use: Night

Eye cream is super important to my routine, as my under eye area is my biggest area of concern for myself and my skin. I’ve yet to find the perfect eye cream for me, sadly, but this one is overall a pretty great product. I don’t know that I really need to be using retinol on my skin just yet, so it’s not for me, but if retinol is something you’re looking to try I couldn’t recommend it more.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #11: Lash & Brow Serum

Skin Type:

Use: Night

Lash serums are another product that I’ve never really found a solid holy-grail product to use consistently over the years — but I finally think I’ve found the one. I’ve actually noticed CRAZY growth in my lashes and brows in the month that I’ve been using this product — for the first time ever, my lashes look really long and healthy, and my brows look nice and full. Plus, the applicator for this product — a doe-foot appliactor — seems a little weird at first, but actually makes applying the product sooooo much easier. I’m worried that I’m going to burn through this product fast since the package is awfully small, but I still think it seems 100% worth it and I’ll definitely be repurchasing.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #12: Balancing Oil

Product: Herbivore Botanical’s Lapis Balancing Oil

Skin Type: Normal, Oily and Combination

Use: Night

Ugh, I am absolutely obsessed with this stuff. I’ve been using it for a while now, but I still look forward to applying it every night. It’s really helped “cure” my combination skin and has helped eliminate the redness from my complexion. Seriously, if this sounds like the kind of product you need you should give it a go!

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #13: Brightening and Firming Oil

Product: Biossance’s Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil (Original review here!)

Skin Type: Normal and Dry

Use: Night

And finally, the last part of my routine — my favourite, holy-grail Vitamin C + Rose Oil. This product really was a game-changer for me. It’s really helped to firm up and brighten my complexion, as well as rebuild my skin’s natural barrier. My incidence rate of zits and blemishes PLUMMETED after I started using this product. If you don’t already have a way to incorporate squalene into your routine, I’d really recommend it — it really changed my skin exceptionally for the better. If this exact product doesn’t sound like what you’re looking for, every product in Biossance’s line includes squalene — so you can take your pick from a crazy range of skincare products!

Buy it at Sephora!

Final Steps

Use: Night

Finally, after I’m done with all my skincare, I finish up for the night with a handful of final steps — I moisturize my body and hands, apply my usual hair oil, rub on a thick coat of lip balm and slick castor oil over my lashes. This way, I can guarantee that not just my face, but my whole body is hydrated and cared for — which leaves me looking and feeling my best.

Thursday Favourites: July 2nd

Hey friends!

Today I’m going to be sharing another one of my absolute favourite skincare products. I’ll be honest — this one has been a staple in my routine for so long that I actually don’t even remember when I started using it. I do know, however, that it was at least six years ago — making it the skincare product I’ve been using for the longest. I guess branching out and trying new stuff can be important, but in this case when I really think I’ve found the perfect holy-grail product — why mess with a good thing?

The product I’m talking about is Clinique’s Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, which has been my moisturizer for as long as I can remember at this point. Before I even describe what makes this product so damn good, I should mention the fact that I’ve stuck with this moisturizer unwaveringly for 6+ years — which should kind of speak for itself about how utterly amazing it is.

I’ll be honest — I’m the kind of person who’s often super indecisive, and I feel like when it comes to sticking with one product continuously, it really shows. I’m constantly getting distracted by products that are shiny and new, even if I know that what I’m using is so much better for my personal needs. So many elements of skincare, at some point or another, I’ve ended up experimenting with a bit even if I adore the product that I’ve been using for the long term — but not with moisturizer. Since buying this product for the first time I have stuck with it, unwaveringly, for years. With the exception of free samples, I have never purchased any other moisturizer since I first tried this one out, since I know without a doubt it’s just about as good as it gets.

My favourite part about this moisturizer is it’s formulation — it’s a super lightweight gel, instead of a cream like many moisturizers are. Even though my skin tends to air on the drier side, I’ve never been a fan of heavier moisturizers — I hate how heavy they are on my skin. I kind of find that they leave a layer that I can feel all day long, which I’m really not a fan of. It’s almost as if they never feel as if they’ve dried in. Even lightweight creams seem to leave a little film behind, but unlike cream moisturizers, once this moisturizer has set in it’s as if it was never there. It dries incredibly quickly, too, because of how light it is. There’s no waiting with this one — it sets quickly and then it’s good to go.

The other thing that’s truly amazing about this product is how much hydration it packs into such a small amount of product. It isn’t watery, like so many other gel moisturizers — it actually leaves your skin feeling super hydrated and healthy. This moisturizer, which is effective for up to 72 hours (!!!), contains caffeine, hyaluronic acid, activated aloe watering a “Super-Holding Matrix of Humectants and Polymers” to helps support skin’s own rehydration system, plump the look of skin and reduce water loss and seal in moisture, according to Sephora’s site. Basically, this stuff is magical and works wonders on the skin without leaving your skin feeling congested, coated or gross. (I told you — it really takes a perfect product for me to stick with it for 6 whole years without question!).

If this sounds like the moisturizer you’ve been waiting for, check it out on Sephora!

I hope you all have been kicking off July on the right foot! It’s been crazy cold and rainy in Vancouver the last two days, but I’ve been trying my best to make the most of it. I’ve been a little lazy, I won’t lie — but I do have a good feeling about this month. If you have any big plans or goals for July, drop a comment below! I’d love to hear what you’re all up to lately.

Much love,

Meredith

#CommunityOverCovid + Vancouver

COVID-19 Street Tag in Downtown Vancouver, May 2020

Hey y’all!

Today’s post is actually a project I’ve been working on for quite some time now, and I’m really excited for it to finally be ready to share with you all. Over the last few months, I’ve used whatever time I’ve spent outside to document how Covid-19 has affected my local community and downtown Vancouver. These photos span over months, and capture everything I’ve seen — the positive, the scary, the wholesome and everything in between.

Boarded Up Entrance To Nordstrom in Pacific Centre Mall, April 2020

This moment in our lives, however we may feel about it, will likely be history. Nothing like this has ever happened to the world, and with any luck, nothing like it will ever happen again. We live in a time where documenting and sharing information has never been easier, and as such, I wanted to encapsulate my personal experience with Covid-19 and how it impacted my little slice of the world.

A Sign Enforcing Social Distancing Rules, David Lam Park, May 2020

The other side of this project is creating a collective of similar projects from people across the world. If you, or someone you know, has created a similar project for your own city, I would love for you to share it with me to be added to the collection. Whether you documented your experiences through photos, videos, words, or art — and no matter what platform you’ve shared it on — if you send me a link to it, I will link it at the bottom of this post to create an anthology of sorts, encapsulating how Covid-19 impacted cities all around the world. One last thing that’s important to note — I will not be linking any projects without the creator’s permission, so please only share other’s posts with me if you have talked to them about it first. As well, if for whatever reason your post was shared with me without your permission, I’ll take it down — no questions asked.

Boarded Up Storefronts Along Granville Street, April 2020

If you have a project that you’d like to share, please DM me the link via Instagram or Twitter, and I’ll link it to this post right away! Thank you in advance to everyone who participates — this project has been a few months in the making, so it would mean the world to me to have it impact others and become fully realized.

STAY OPEN MINDED Tag, Granville Street, April 2020

Along with these photos capturing Vancouver’s new normal, I figured I’d share a little bit about how Covid-19 impacted my life. I’m going to preface all this with a note that I did not really feel any direct impacts, and I did not lose anyone to the virus directly. I can only speak on how lockdowns and stay at home orders affected my life — and all in all I’m pretty lucky. My thoughts and prayers go out to any of you who’ve lost someone to the virus, and if you ever want to chat my DMs are open.

Social Distancing in the Park, David Lam Park, May 2020

I first heard about Covid-19 when I came down with a truly brutal case of the flu back at the end of January. My life had been so hectic with my job and school that for the first time in a long while, I neglected to get my flu shot — something I sorely regret and a mistake I will never make again. I had to take over a week off of school and work and was completely bedridden until my symptoms subsided (however, residual symptoms such as exhaustion persisted for weeks following). During this time, the novel Coronavirus in Wuhan was just starting to hit the news. I followed it a little out of morbid curiosity — in my mind, it wasn’t a big deal at all and frankly it didn’t even sound that bad.

Storefront Artwork at Cinema Public House, May 2020

Over the month of February, I witnessed more and more people begin to “overreact” about this virus that hadn’t yet reached Canada that (and yes, unfortunately, I was one of these people) was essentially just the flu. People discussing online how they weren’t going to show up to work, or no longer wanting packages they ordered that were shipping from China — it was definitely all a little overboard, but as someone who severely underestimated what was coming, I really can’t judge.

Social Distance Guidelines Poster, Downtown Vancouver, April 2020

While I may not have experienced any losses from Covid-19 directly, I’ve experienced many other losses this year. On February 29th, one of my closest friends passed away. My life, as I knew it, changed forever. I hadn’t dealt with death much in my life — the last time someone I cared about passed away, I was eight years old. And then one day, all of a sudden, one of my best friends was just gone. I would never be able to talk to her, or see her face, or hear her laugh ever again — and there was nothing I could ever do to change that. She was only 21. I don’t really want to discuss any more than that here — it’s all very personal to me, and is something I’m still learning to cope with. The point of it all is just to share how my life was kind of completely thrown into turmoil at the beginning of March. Restrictions were not put into place before her funeral, luckily, but in the time in between I didn’t really pay attention to the news or the world around me — I was consumed with grief, as well as trying to be there for my friends who were also coping with the loss.

Storefront Artwork, ARCTERYX, May 2020

Lockdowns began happening just a few days following the funeral. I, honestly, didn’t even have a clue what was going on. Everything was changing so quickly — the weekend before lockdowns people showed up at the bar I worked at dressed up for the Rugby Sevens tournament as “Coronavirus Drinking Teams” and it was still something people would find humorous. That weekend at work was one of the craziest I had ever worked — lines out the door, the bar hitting full capacity, and many of the most intoxicated customers I had ever witnessed. It’s so crazy, thinking back, that within a week of that weekend how everything changed. At the time, we never would have known.

Food Delivery Service Advertisements at the Social Corner, April 2020

With everything going on in my life, I was extra oblivious to everything else going on in the world. It wasn’t until the day before things began to lockdown that I realized what was happening. That next day, I awoke in a panic — there was so many rumours and falsehoods circulating about what was happening in Vancouver. I rushed out of my apartment with my giant grocery cart, feeling like I was in some kind of race against the clock to grab all the essentials. I was so overwhelmed and confused I didn’t even go to the grocery store — I did a full grocery run of non-perishable foods and supplies at my local Shoppers Drug Mart. Maybe it was a little crazy, but in the last 24 hours the rug had been pulled out from under my feet — I had no idea what was going on. Rumours of full quarantine, closures of all stores and more were swirling around the whole country, and just a day prior the one and only thing I was concerned about was dealing with the grief of my loss. It honestly kinda gave me mental whiplash.

Storefront Artwork at Lululemon, May 2020

Everything, around that point, began happening so fast. Following the Sevens, sports got shutdown pretty quickly — and all of my work shifts for the following week were cut (it was a sports bar, after all). Only a few days after that, I was laid off. My roommate got pulled from a school trip in New Orleans and had to quarantine for two weeks. My other roommate was told to work from home on account of us living with someone who had been travelling. Stores and restaurants across the city shut down, and restrictions were put in place for socializing in public outdoor spaces — all within a few days.

Storefront Artwork at Sala Thai, May 2020

At first, it all seemed to me to be a blessing in disguise — I had my exam to prep for, which was just about a month away. I had put off studying while coping with my grief, but this exam was the only thing that stood between me and my degree and it was crucial that I pass the class. I had taken enough time off that I really wasn’t even close with my studying to where I wanted to be — but now I had endless time to do my readings and study my notes.

YOU ARE LOVED Artwork, Downtown Vancouver, May 2020

The following month was honestly one of the most challenging I’d ever been through. My exam became a constant source of anxiety and studying for it was honestly all I did for a whole month. I mean I literally studied 8+ hours a day, and I rarely took a day off. The state of the world also caused me a huge amount of stress, and the dramatic change in my lifestyle and being stuck inside all day took a toll on my mental health. I took a little hiatus from blogging to cope with it all (as you all probably already know). I was really struggling to keep up with everything in my life when things, once again, took a turn for the worse.

Boarded Up Storefronts, Granville Street, April 2020

Back at the beginning of April, two weeks before my exam, my grandma ended up passing away. Not Covid-19 related, but still impacted by it — in Toronto (as with all of Canada), full lockdowns were in action. This meant, sadly, that there couldn’t be a funeral at the time. I wasn’t able to fly home to be with my family and didn’t ever really have a chance to even process what happened. I still wasn’t even close to having dealt with the loss of my friend — after this, I kind of just went numb. I doubled down on my studying, because the last thing I wanted to do was have anything else in my life go wrong. I wouldn’t have been able to cope with it, honestly. I just wanted my exam to be done.

STAY SAFE Artwork, Downtown Vancouver, April 2020

Eventually, it happened. I wrote my exam, in my apartment, remotely proctored, which was stressful in itself — my apartment isn’t exactly quiet, my roommates were not allowed to enter the only communal room in my apartment, and over the 3 1/2 hours allotted for my exam there was so many things that had the potential to go wrong. Ultimately, it all ended up being okay — not only did I pass the class, I actually did really well. By now, my graduation application has been accepted and my time at UBC is officially 100% complete — but the month leading up to that exam, as well as waiting for my grades and my final graduation acceptance afterwards were some of the most stressful times in my life.

STAY SAFE Artwork, Downtown Vancouver, April 2020

All I wanted the entire time leading up to my exam was for it to be done so I could have a break for the first time in over a year. However, when it finally happened, the reality of what was going on in the world finally set in. Not leaving the house, studying constantly and not socializing is kind of just how life during finals is — and honestly, when lockdowns started I was under the impression it was going to last for 2-3 weeks maximum. However, in the days and weeks that followed my exam, I realized that we were all really in it for the long haul. I had been dealing with so much that I really had no idea what was going on in the world — but it was really starting to hit me. As I started venturing out a little more for groceries and walks, I really started to see how Covid-19 was impacting the city around me — so I decided to start this project and document it all as best as I could.

Empty Granville Street, April 2020

With time, I’ve adjusted to this new normal. My anxiety is starting to go down as I actually take a break for the first time in a long, long while. I’ve been working on creating a good routine and new habits to hopefully keep up once this all is done. Slowly, I do believe I am learning to cope with the losses I’ve endured over the last two months. The weather is getting nicer, and restrictions in Vancouver are slowly being lifted. We have no way of predicting what the future may hold, but at this exact moment in time, things seem pretty okay.

Empty West Georgia Street, April 2020

While I always intended to share these pictures of how the city of Vancouver was impacted by Covid-19, I didn’t really know I was going to share my own personal story until I really started piecing this post together. Maybe it’s silly, or boring, and maybe no one will read it — but it’s MY story. We’ve all been impacted by Covid-19 in different ways. Some of us have gotten sick. Some of us have lost someone. Some of us have lost jobs, or opportunities. Some of us have had important events we were looking forward to cancelled. Some of us have been deemed essential workers. Some of us (myself included), lost our graduation ceremonies. Some of us have had serious repercussions of lockdowns impact our mental health, or finances. I could go on forever — no one has the same story about how these last few months have changed their lives, but there’s pretty much no one in the whole world who hasn’t felt the effects. So while this is still just one story — it’s my story, and it’s a part of history.

Empty West Georgia Street, April 2020

With time, if more of you chose to share your stories, photos, videos, or however you’ve documented the last few months with me, I’ll share them here below. In the meantime, I hope you’re all staying safe, and if you’ve made it this far I hope you enjoyed this post. This has all been a few months in the making for me — and probably one of the longest and most personal posts I’ve ever shared. Maybe no one will read this — or maybe one day it will become documented as important part of history. Realistically it’ll fall somewhere in between, but who knows. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that none of us truly know what the future holds.

#CommunityOverCovid Around The World

Share your stories with me, and I’ll share them here! This way we can archive personal stories and views of how Covid-19 impacted the world.

QUARANTINE DREAMIN’ by @Renataoleo
60 THINGS TO DO DURING QUARANTINE by @JahSincerely

Much love,

Meredith

STAY SAFE Graffiti Tag, April 2020

And now for some bonus pics! I had too many to share all in one post, so enjoy a couple more photos of a very empty downtown Vancouver! It’s so strange thinking back on it — it was almost like a ghost town, since the sidewalks and roads are usually packed. It’s cool having been able to document it, since the city has never looked like this before, and possibly never will again. Enjoy!

Empty Smithe Street, April 2020
Empty West Georgia Street, April 2020
Empty Bute Street, April 2020
Empty Granville Street, April 2020
COVID-19 Regulation Reminders at Construction Site, Downtown Vancouver, April 2020
Storefront Artwork, Lululemon, May 2020
Empty Burrard Street, April 2020

Thursday Favourites: June 25th

Hey y’all!

This week, I wanted to share a review on another product that I initially posted about when I first started up my blog, that I believe could use another post to really do it justice. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been wanting to re-write out some of my old Thursday Favourite posts from when I first started my blog, where I covered a lot of my all-time favourite products in my very first posts. However, not only do I believe my writing has come a long way since then — but my audience has grown a lot, too. Since so many of these original products are some of the best I’ve ever tried, I feel like it’s worthwhile sharing them again now that there’s so many more of you to potentially benefit from learning about them!

This week’s product I’ll be sharing is Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration Toner. Toner is one of those aspects of skincare that’s a little confusing to most people; while being considered a bit of a staple in terms of skincare products, most people don’t really know what it is or what it’s purpose is meant to be. To put it simply — toner is essentially just the final step in removing any excess grime and dirt from your skin. When used daily, it helps to refine the look of pores, too — and some even describe it as a primer for all your other skincare products, to help them work more effectively.

The main reason people who tend to avoid toners do what they do, is that not so long ago, the main component of toners was usually just alcohol. I’m sure many of you may remember, as I definitely do, using toners 10+ years ago that stung your face, smelt super harsh, and dried out your skin to no end. Toners, not so long ago, essentially just used alcohol to essentially sterilize your skin. However, not only is that super unnecessary and can throw your skin totally off balance, alcohol is incredibly drying — and generally should be avoided in skincare products.

Luckily, toners have come a looooong way since then. Nowadays, toners can provide that last gentle cleansing step while balancing your skin and even adding moisture and a wide array of other beneficial ingredients. However, not all toners are created equal — or even alcohol-free — so it’s a good idea to find a gentle one that’s suited to your skin.

This is, essentially, exactly what I love about Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration toner. Not only is it non-stripping and alcohol free, it’s formulated with hyaluronic acid to really help pack a lot of hydration into one single step of your skincare routine. Using this product always leaves my skin feeling refreshed yet deeply nourished — it can even be a good way to help it feel cleansed if my skin is feeling a little worse-for-wear before it’s time to wash my face at night. It’s hard to describe a product that you can feel just wiping dirt away with a single step that manages to not only not leave your skin feeling stripped or unbalanced, but rather actively hydrated and refreshed. It really is the perfect primer for all your other skincare products, and best of all — it’s pretty much perfect for all skin types.

If this sounds like the toner you’ve been needing in your life, be sure to check it out at Sephora here!

I hope you guys are all having a great week! And if not, keep in mind that it is the last week of June after all, and we’re about to hit the halfway point of 2020 (which, considering what a crazy time this year has been, I personally count as good news). I’ve actually been feeling pretty meh this week, so I’m really hoping to just ride out the rest of the month and use these next few days to prepare myself to have a better month in July. I know I’ve really been feeling thrown off from all of my goals and plans that I set at the beginning of the year for 2020, so I’m going to be taking this time to reevaluate and get back on track for the second half of the year so I can hopefully finish this year strong. What are your goals for the second half of this year? Share them below, and hopefully we can all motivate each other to stay on track through the second half of 2020!

Have a great week everyone, and happy end of June!

Much love,

Meredith