Travelling has always been something that was really important to me. Ever since I was young, I’ve always wanted to see the world, experience new cultures, and explore new places. I’m pretty fortunate — I’ve already gotten the chance to see so many different countries in my lifetime — and yet, I still can’t wait to see more.
Then, of course, 2020 happened. While I didn’t have any solid plans to travel anywhere at the time that lockdowns hit, I certainly had a trip or two in mind to celebrate graduating and enjoying my time between finishing university and setting out into the “real world”. However, the last year of being at home has given me plenty of time to reflect on the places I have been lucky enough to visit, and all the places I hope to go as soon as COVID and lockdowns have become a distant memory.
Below are all the travel blogs I’ve posted since beginning my blog nearly two years ago now — during which time I was fortunate enough to visit everywhere from my own hometown to South East Asia. Hopefully for all of you who’ve been feeling impatient to break out of your routine and go experience new things after this last year of being at home, you’ll be able to find plenty of inspiration, recommendations and ideas from my little collection of blogs in this post!
This was the last vacation I went on pre-COVID, but it was a great one to have experienced as my last trip for a while. Puerto Vallarta makes for a great relaxing beach holiday, while also having plenty of adventurous places to visit and local areas to explore the culture.
Bangkok was both the first and last stop on my trip to South East Asia, so while we didn’t see that much of Bangkok during our first few days there per se, you can get a good sense from this post of what it was like acclimating to travelling to the opposite side of the world on my first trip without my family!
The title here may be a little confusing, since I didn’t actually make a “Things To Do in Bangkok: Part One”. However, this post shares what I did in Bangkok the second time around, and how I spent the last few days of my travels in South East Asia.
Koh Phi Phi is, hands down, one of my absolute favourite places on earth. Not only is it an absolutely stunning landscape, but it’s full of great little cafes, restaurants and shops AND every single shop owner on the island owns a cat. No joke, I’ve never seen so many cats in one place in my life (which was fantastic for me, as I really love cats). I really couldn’t recommend visiting Koh Phi Phi more, I’d probably live here if I could.
Koh Phi Phi is a great adventure spot, and has loads of snorkelling, hiking, and all sorts of other exploring options for those of you who enjoy a little hands-on adventure. There’s SO many adventure options for all types of different comfort zones, as well — so don’t worry if you’re not looking for anything too extreme. If this sounds like your thing, check out this post to get a better sense of what it’s like to take a day trip boat tour of the island!
Chiang Mai is a city in northern Thailand, and a great place to visit to be able to see some really stunning architecture and buddhist temples. It’s a really beautiful place, and visiting the Old City is unlike anywhere else I’ve ever visited.
My time in Cambodia was short, but I did manage to fit in a lot of things while I was there. I really didn’t know what to expect of Siem Reap, but it really took me by surprise and ended up being one of my favourite places I’ve ever travelled to.
Perhaps the best-known travel destination in Cambodia, Angkor Was and the surrounding temples are really one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever experienced — they’re really different from any other temples in South East Asia as well. It’s usually packed with people, but if you go in the summer (as I did) it ends up being a lot emptier, which really made the experience more special.
Vietnam was one of the coolest places I’ve ever visited, and if it isn’t already on your bucket list I’d definitely recommend adding it right now. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is absolutely full of all kinds of amazing food, history, and culture — the city itself, and the entire country of Vietnam, was really one of the most unique and interesting places I ever visited.
Ninh Binh was a real stand out for me in terms of places I’ve visited in my life. I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone in a whole lot of ways, but it was all really rewarding at the end of the day. The town is absolutely beautiful, and there’s no shortage of beautiful places to see in the Vietnamese countryside.
To be honest, Hoi An is definitely more of a “party” location in terms of places I visited in Vietnam — at least for me. It was crazy fun, though, and I met all kinds of people from around the world while I was staying here.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, and very different from Ho Chi Minh City. It was really interesting being able to visit both in my time in Vietnam — I loved them both so much, and for very different reasons. There’s all kinds of cool things to do and see in Hanoi, but the food in particular is to die for.
Ha Long Bay is by far the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen in my life. Honestly, I’d give anything to go back right now. There’s all sorts of ways to see and experience it, but one of the most popular is spending time on an overnight cruise — which I have to say, I’d highly recommend.
Okay, I know I’ve pretty much said that everything on this list was my favourite thing in one way or another, but Laos was really one of the best places I’ve ever visited — and you should probably consider adding it to your bucket list, TBH.
Does it really count as travelling to visit my own hometown? Probably not, but I’m still counting it. Plus, for those of you who’ve never been to Toronto and want to experience it as a local would — then my guide will definitely help you do that!
For all my fellow foodies, Toronto is a must-visit. There’s just so many great options. It has a little bit of everything — as it is the most multi-cultural city in the world, after all — so no matter what you love, there’s something here for you.
Okay…I won’t lie, I’d be pretty hesitant to be going somewhere as crowded as a theme park anytime soon. That might just be me, though. So for everyone who’s been looking forward to a Disney vacation when this is all over, feel free to check out how I spent my weekend there and all my fave things to do and see at Disney World!
This was more of a trip to visit with my family, but we still managed to squeeze in a little sight-seeing of the local area surrounding our AirBnB while we were visiting West Palm — and we spent a lot of time at the beach, too!
Do you guys have any plans in place to go travelling post-COVID? If so, I’d love to hear where you’re planning on visiting! I, personally, am not making any solid plans until I have my vaccine and the end is “officially” in sight, but in the meantime it’s fun to imagine everywhere I’ll go when we’re free to travel again. I’d love to be able to visit either Japan, Singapore, Italy or Greece (or all of the above!) but honestly I’m not even picky — I’d be happy to go on a trip anywhere at this point. I’d love to hear all of your dream travel locations, so drop a comment below and let me know where in the world you would go right now if you could choose from absolutely anywhere!
Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you all have an amazing week ahead to look forward to.
It sounds strange, doesn’t it? That positivity can be toxic.
However, over the last year, it’s really become increasingly clear to me that our culture has an unhealthy obsession with being happy, perfect and productive 24/7. We see it play out time and time again in media and advertising, on social media, and blogging in particular. But it’s more than that — it plays out in the real world, too, and has serious effects on our lives and mental health. This mentality wreaked havoc on my life in 2020 — and frankly, I’m done with it.
Now I don’t mean this in any sort of a bad way — especially since doing so would make me a hypocrite — but overall, the vast majority of blog posts that lifestyle bloggers produce have to do with productivity, goal-setting, or somehow creating the perfect life. Which I guess is sort of the point — if you’re a lifestyle blogger, you’re selling your lifestyle. It makes sense that you want it to look as good as it can possibly be. After all, everyone shares only the absolute best parts of their lives on social media and many (if not all of us) have exaggerated here and there every once in a while. The issue I want to talk about isn’t sharing the best moments and images of your life on social media, though. What I’m talking about — and hoping to fix in my own life — pertains pretty specifically to blogging.
Think about it. How many times have you seen a lifestyle blogger (myself included) share a post listing the numerous different ways you can change your life to be productive, or organized, or successful? Posts that create an image of a lifestyle that the blogger is living where they wake up early, work out, eat healthy, take perfect care of their skin, hair, and makeup, are successful and their job, with full social lives to top it all off? Maybe it isn’t spelled out directly, but it’s often implied. “Do this, and your life will be perfect.” While some people post practical guides, many of these guides are impossible to follow to a T. Simply put — the lifestyle depicted in these blog posts is not a realistic one.
I know I’m not the only one guilty of making posts like this. But do you really know anyone in real life who lives like that? I know some crazy successful people — but I don’t actually know anyone who can “do it all”. There’s only 24 hours in a day, and everyone has to pick and choose. I promise you, regardless of how it may seem online, absolutely no one’s life is flawless 24/7. I know some of you out there won’t believe me, and I know some of you know this in theory but often forget it in reality. But I promise you no one’s life is as perfect as it looks on social media. Not that influencer you love who seems to always look perfect, or Kylie Jenner, or the girl who seems like she owns everything you could ever want — not even the small blogger who seems to have their life 100% put together. None of them.
So why are we pretending that our lives ARE perfect? There’s a good chance that even if you think you’re not, you still may be. I want you to ask yourself if holding yourself to this standard is helping you, or if it’s actually hurting you. Of course we all want to put out a good image on social media — it’s not like I’m going to start posting pictures of myself without my hair washed and in my grossest old PJs on my Instagram — but what is up with going above and beyond lately? Why do we have to pretend like we’re productive and positive 24/7? Like our lives are busy all the time? Even a pandemic didn’t seem to stop the tirade of pretending to be productive all the time. So what will?
It wasn’t until last year that it really became abundantly clear to me just how damaging toxic positivity and hustle culture can be. While it’s certainly been a problem far before 2020 ever began, watching the world lock down due to a global pandemic really shone a light on how deeply ingrained and problematic this issue is within our society. I didn’t see it at first — in fact, for the first half of the pandemic, during the most emotionally challenging time I’ve ever gone through, I fell victim to it. No matter what life threw at me, I felt the need to “bounce back” as quickly as possible. In reality, though, it was impossible to keep up.
Tw: Death. I get into some pretty personal stuff the next few paragraphs, so if you don’t want to read it for whatever reason, feel free to skip past the italicized text — I promise I return to the main point afterwards!
Back in March of 2020, I was dealing with the grief of losing two very important people to me over the span of 5 weeks right as stay-at-home orders were put in place. I studying for my Biopsych final, which would decide whether or not I graduated from UBC, and on top of that, I was coming off what had been one of the most stressful and uncertain years of my life. In early 2019, I received the news that despite all the times I checked my graduation requirements, and my friends checked my requirements, and I had university advisors check over my requirements, I was somehow missing a class that I needed in order to graduate. I’d heard stories from friends of the same thing happening to them, but I’d been so careful — I figured there was no way it would happen to me.
But it did, and it was kind of devastating. Any plans I had went up in smoke, and ever since I’ve distinctly felt as though I’ve fallen behind in life, and that I wasted an entire year. For the first time in my life, I was kind of left alone without any sort of plan. Eventually, I picked up a job at a sports bar, often working 7 days a week, while I finished up my classes. My job often asked far too much of me, and took advantage of the fact that I was so capable of being the only host at such a large establishment during their busiest season. Could I handle it? Yeah, sort of. But just because I could push myself to my limits didn’t mean that I should. Yet, due to the very same culture that forces us to act productive and happy 24/7, I felt like I had to power through.
As the pandemic shut down the world, the pressure I put myself under while studying for my final was crushing. I spent almost every day for the first four weeks of lockdown studying from when I woke until bedtime. I struggled heavily with insomnia during those weeks. I was often so tired and overwhelmed with anxiety that I would physically shake for hours as I did my work — even though I knew that I was excelling in the class, and there was no need to be so hard on myself. I cried about losing my friend every single day up until the day that my Grandma passed away — but after that, I simply shut down. The following day after my grandma passed, I stopped crying. I barely remember what the two weeks between then and my final were like — all I remember is I stopped crying and I kept studying.
Through it all, however, I kept posting semi-regularly on my blog. I’d say I did everything I could to keep posting regularly, but I did more than everything I could — I was pushing myself beyond my limits. But so much of blogging revolves around showing others how to live their best life, based on how “perfect” your own life is. So I kept up the facade. One of my closest friends in the world passed away, and I only allowed myself only one week off from posting blogs. At the time, I thought I was taking it easy on myself — I missed a couple blog posts here and there, and while I felt guilty about it, I shared some posts mentioning I was taking a week or two off and did my best to not fall behind. However, every time I missed a post I felt as though I had failed. I felt guilty sharing my Spring FabFitFun unboxing three weeks late — as if it really mattered.Immediately after I finished up my final, I resumed posting twice a week — I didn’t even give myself the slightest break. However, it wasn’t good enough to pretend to have it all together online — I truly believed I had to have my life perfectly under control offline, too.
Back in early lockdowns (and even still now), we were constantly being bombarded with advertisements from companies about “being productive” now that we had the time, and “getting on top of things” while we could. And very quickly, we all bought into it as well. Once one person starts doing it, we all feel the need to keep up. Even though we were collectively going through an incredibly uncertain and stressful period in our lives, we felt the need to keep up with what we saw others doing online. Perfecting a new skill, daily workouts, cleaning your whole house, social media challenges, keeping up with all the biggest Netflix trends, finding a side hustle — I’m sure we all felt the pressure to do one, if not ALL of these at some point back in March/April of last year.
But why? Why did we all feel the need to be as busy as possible in a time when there was, objectively, nothing to do? Why did I feel the need to only take a week or two off before launching into creating a strict routine, sleep schedule, workout regimen and blogging itinerary when I was coping with so much loss and stress? At the time, I thought I was doing what was healthy, what was best for me. In retrospect, however, I can barely even remember what May was like. And while I kept it all up for about a month, it didn’t take long for it all to start unravelling.
After only a few short weeks of following my schedule and staying “perfectly” on top of my life, I had event after event come along and disrupt my newfound routine. Which is life, of course — things happen. It only took a couple little bumps to have my plan fall apart completely. By July, I began this perpetual game of catch-up that lasted months. I was late to post almost every single blog post I shared for two months straight, and every time a post was shared behind schedule, I felt as though I had failed. I had no motivation to keep writing, but I felt I had to — and forced myself to keep going. I couldn’t hold focus for more than a few minutes and I honestly didn’t feel I had anything to share at the time, but it didn’t matter. I had set goals for myself that I felt I had to achieve by year’s end, and I wanted to keep up the appearance everything was fine. I think I felt at the time everything WAS mostly fine — but now I realize it really, really wasn’t.
By September, it all fell apart. After months of holding myself together with nothing but guilt and the belief that I had to keep going, I was too burnt out to continue. I only had energy to coast through life until December came around. However, after a real, proper break — a month at home where I essentially expected nothing of myself, nor did my family — I’m finally starting to feel a little better. I’m trying to get my life back on track — but it’s for myself this time. I’m taking it slowly, and adding things back in with time instead of rushing myself back into a full schedule. Do I still struggle with having heightened or unrealistic expectations for myself? Yeah, of course. However, I’m trying to identify these expectations and why I feel the need to set them for myself nowadays to help myself determine what’s a healthy goal that pushes me forward, keeps me motivated and makes me happy; rather than something I’m aiming for that’s detrimental to my mental health and well-being.
Of course, my example is a little different, and fairly extreme. Who knows why I reacted the way I did to everything last year — it was a difficult year for me, and perhaps it was just the only way I knew to react to such an unfamiliar situation. I’m not here to psychoanalyze myself — although I guess I may be trying to analyze society as a whole. What I’m really trying to say here is — you don’t need to do it all. Choose what you WANT for yourself, and focus on that. You don’t need to work out every morning to have your life together. You don’t need to work through the weekend to be successful. You don’t need to always be busy to be happy.
And not just that — not everything has to be for the sake of being productive, too! Perhaps it’s just some capitalistic belief that the things we do aren’t valuable if they aren’t somehow profitable. But that isn’t true! When was the last time you had a hobby just for the sake of having a hobby? Something that you, perhaps, aren’t even good at? Why do you have to be good at it, after all, if it brings you joy? Balance is key — and while I’ve definitely said it before, you need to balance giving yourself a break, too. But not just cute blogger self-care nights — sometimes you just need a night to do nothing and a nap. Not everything in life has to be picture-perfect — contrary to what I or other bloggers have made you believe.
As lifestyle bloggers, we get sucked into following a bit of a formula — a particular aesthetic, a particular lifestyle, and particular interests. Following April, almost every single post of mine had to do with productivity, routine, schedule, or lockdowns. I didn’t even know what else to write about, as I had pretty severe writers block from all the issues I was facing. So I just kept forcing myself to be productive, and wrote about being productive — as if I were someone who had it all together when really, I had no idea what was going on. But we don’t need to adhere to an aesthetic. Life is more than that! Of course, if your blog is your business, you want to build a specific brand. But just because you’re starting out, doesn’t mean you need to fall into the trap of narrowing yourself down into the very particular lifestyle blogger aesthetic. While the minimalistic, cute, and elegant themes are absolutely gorgeous, there’s no need to wedge yourself into them if it isn’t what fits you. If the typical blogger aesthetic is something you aspire to, or is one that comes to you naturally — go for it, obviously! It’s majorly cute and refined, and I personally adore it — even though it isn’t my personal vibe.
As for what my vibe IS exactly — I honestly don’t really know. I’m working on it. I want to be able to fit every part of me into it, without cutting parts away simply because they don’t match. I feel as though I’m a very different person that I’ve perhaps lead you all to believe — either directly or indirectly. It’s not intentional — after all, I do love makeup, skincare, online shopping, subscription boxes and staying organized — but I also love art, and anime (Attack on Titan fans HMU), and BLACKPINK, and Animal Crossing, and I don’t think these things have to be mutually exclusive. But who know — it’s not like I have to figure it out on a deadline, after all!
When I started writing this post out, I had no idea where it was really going to go, honestly. I had a vague idea in my head, and an issue I wanted to discuss, and past that I just let it take me wherever it needed to go. Writing all this out was kind of therapeutic, in a way — really just sitting back and letting your writing take you wherever it will is a great way to discover things about yourself and your story. So I hope you’ve all learned something here today — because honestly, so did I. It may be difficult to let go — I don’t think it’s a change I’ll be able to make 100% overnight — but I’m hoping to put in the work and identify these beliefs and behaviours when they come up in my life, in order to challenge them and make some positive differences in both my life and other’s.
I guess to sum up what I have to say — it’s not like I’m going to stop trying. I’m not going to stop trying to better myself, to be successful, to look my best, to surround myself with happiness. I’m still going to strive forward towards these things. And whatever advice I learn along the way I’ll absolutely share with you all. But I’m done with preaching advice I don’t take myself, or acting like some know-it-all with a perfect life. I’m not. You’re not. None of us are. Life is messy and while it can be beautiful, it isn’t perfect. So this is my little pledge — to stop forcing myself to fit a standard and chastising myself when I don’t reach it. To take real breaks, and not just push myself further after falling behind. And to always be honest with all of you, and share honest advice, and not just what I think sounds good on paper.
We’ve finally made it! This post is officially my last of 2020. It’s certainly been one hell of a year. It’s been emotional, scary, stressful, and even boring –but to be fair, there is more to be learned from the hard times than there is from the good.
It’s kind of hard reflecting back on this year — it was a really rough one for me, personally. I lost a couple of people who were very important to me, graduated at a time that the job market is at it’s worst, and put up with many difficult situations at my job, with my roommates, and friends whom I had to let go of and leave in the past. That being said, it wasn’t all bad — I graduated university, got to go to Mexico back in February before COVID lockdowns, made some new friends, rediscovered some old hobbies and got some much-needed time off.
And at the end of of the day, this year may have had some ups and (plenty of) downs, I did learn some important lessons that I’d like to share. My hope is that, at the very least I can save someone out therefrom learning these lessons the hard way by sharing them with you now
Take time to appreciate what you have.
Tell your friends and family how much you love them, honestly and often.
Nothing is certain. Planning is important — but you can’t anticipate everything.
Practice compassion. Everyone has something difficult happening in their lives — big or small. Be kind.
It’s okay to take breaks. Burn out is real, and just because you don’t feel like you’ve worked hard enough to earn it doesn’t mean you don’t need it.
Set goals — but don’t get too down on yourself if they don’t work out. It’s important to keep moving forwards. If you miss the mark on a goal, set some new ones!
Take time to discover what it is that makes you happy.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Nothing you see on social media is real — so don’t get down on yourself because your life doesn’t look like other’s Instagram posts. Odds are, their lives don’t either.
Prioritize your mental health.
Try not to worry about what others expect of you. It’s tough to break expectations at first, but you’ll be happier for it in the long run.
Sometimes it isn’t about you. This applies to so many things — from taking a step back when someone’s in a rough place and needs your support, to following COVID lockdown protocols.
Actions speak louder than words. Telling others how much you care about them is important, but you need to show it, too.
Self-improvement comes from the little things. Working out regularly. Eating healthy. Staying organized. Being productive. Taking breaks and practicing self-care. It all adds up.
Spend time on your hobbies. It’s hard sometimes — there are only so many hours in a day. But try to take time to rediscover things you love — such as writing, reading, drawing, or music — whatever makes your heart happy.
Nothing is forever. Appreciate the things and people you have in life while you can. But alternatively — a bad situation is only temporary.
Be kind to others.
A positive mindset influences everything. Going into a situation with a positive mindset will alter the experience as a whole, as well as the results.
It’s okay to say no. Standing up for yourself can be hard, but boundaries are important.
Don’t worry about what others think of you. There’s always going to be someone who may judge or try to tear you down. Do what you love, regardless.
Always remember to love yourself first. Growth is always uncomfortable. It’s okay — be patient with yourself. You’re getting there. And you’re doing better than you think you are.
Happy New Years, everyone, and here’s to better vibes in 2021! It’s been a tough year but we’ve made it through. Let’s not forget to bring all the lessons we learned this year into the new year, to help improve ourselves, our communities and our world.
Personally, my goals for the new year are to keep my expectations small. I’m setting a couple big goals for the year at large, but I think this next year I’m going to try taking it month by month so I can manage my goals and expectations a little better. (Besides, I’d rather be pleasantly surprised by completely smashing my goals rather than feeling a little down if I don’t manage to achieve them).
Sending you all so much love — I hope that all of you have a better year ahead of you in 2021 than you had in 2020. I’m curious — are you guys still setting goals for the next year? If so, how have they changed from the goals you set for 2020? If you feel like sharing, drop a comment below — I’d love to hear how 2020 has changed your perspective!
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.
So to start off, its actually been a while since I got my first lash lift — I actually wrote this post in late November, however, I had all my next few posts already planned out until January so I decided to save it for a little later on. No worries, though — I wrote this just hours after may appointment so it was all still fresh in my mind! So, if you’ve been curious about lash lifts in the past, hopefully this answers a few of your questions!
Something that’s important to consider before any serious beauty appointment is to look into the best, safest places to get your procedure done. This goes for all kinds of related things; such as microblading, injections, lash extensions, facials, etc. It might seem a little excessive, but since lash lifting deals with your (very sensitive) eye area, you really want a pro doing it. Better safe than sorry, am I right?
After looking into it a little, I found a nearby aesthetician who came highly rated and really only specialized in lash lifting (which was reassuring to me, since it meant she would be highly skilled and well-practiced). If you live in Vancouver, you can find her at Yumi Studios and if you’re thinking of trying this procedure out, I couldn’t recommend her more. She was extremely professional and gentle, and my lashes turned out WAY better than lash lifts usually look in photos.
The Lash Lift
The day of, I showed up sans-makeup and contacts, as recommended. If you’re getting this done, I’d also definitely suggest washing your hair and face beforehand, as you aren’t supposed to wet your lashes for the following 24-48 hours.
When I showed up at Yumi Studios (which was run out of the aesthetician’s apartment) I took in my surroundings and was impressed by the cleanliness and professional vibes from the space — which is really important to me before I trust someone with my lashes. She had me lie down and get comfortable on a bed complete with support pillows and a heating pad — which was super nice considering she told me to expect the appointment would be about two hours long.
If you’ve never heard about lash lifts before, they’re essentially little perms for your lashes with tinting to follow. They essentially make it appear as if you have the worlds longest, most healthiest lashes (and eliminate the need for mascara!). They don’t give quite as dramatic an effect as lash extensions do, but unlike lash extensions, they’re fairly low maintenance, less damaging, and they don’t look so obvious as they fall out. (Plus, I’m waaaaay too in love with false lashes to ever give up on them).
The procedure starts off with placing little rubber covers over your eyelids, and brushing your lashes up onto them. From there, several layers of different products are applied to help curl and tint your lashes. Majority of the reason it takes so long to complete is that there’s a lot of sitting around waiting for products to work their magic — as well as the time and care my aesthetician spent brushing my lashes perfectly into place.
My two biggest fears going into this were being allergic to the products, and it being uncomfortable having someone touch my eyes. However, I can safely say now I had nothing to be worried about. I do have a tendency to be really sensitive to products, so when the perm chemicals were applied to my lashes caused my lash line to tingle a little, I started to freak out a bit internally. However, this feeling was little more than a tingle (it really didn’t hurt at all), and went away after a couple of minutes. By the time I was done, my eyes were not the least bit sore, red, or swollen — I figured they would be at least a little irritated, but that was not the case. If you’re considering this for yourself, be sure to do a little research on the products your aesthetician uses beforehand if you’re sensitive/allergic to certain chemicals and materials. All the products used on my eyes today were 100% natural and vegan — however, some places use a lot harsher and unnatural chemicals to create the permed curl. However, as long as it’s a safe, clean environment and you don’t have any specific sensitivities, you should be just fine.
As for the whole part where someone had their hands around my eyes for two hours — it really wasn’t uncomfortable at all! In fact, I actually found it pretty relaxing. My aesthetician was so incredibly gentle, I never once felt any discomfort. I know people say lash lifts and extensions are no where near as uncomfortable as you’d expect — but you don’t really realize how true that is until you take the leap for yourself.
So, why lash lifts? They’re still a pretty new and uncommon procedure, especially compared to lash extensions or tinting. However, I have a couple reasons for choosing this specific procedure.
First off, compared to lash tinting — lash lifts have all the benefits of this procedure and more. As someone who has rather long, blond, straight lashes, a lash tint would probably help my lashes appear a little more full, but wouldn’t do much for me otherwise. Seriously, without an eyelash curler my lashes are straight as a pole — if I apply mascara without curling them first, they still hardly even appear. If you have naturally beautiful and curled lashes, tinting would likely work a lot better for you overall. I, on the other hand, never realized how long my lashes actually were until today — but I’m loving their new look!
Second of all, why not extensions? I have a few reasons for that, honestly. First of all, lash extensions are SO high maintenance. While you only have to go in for touch ups on a lash lift every 2-3 months, lash extensions more a less have to be touched up every couple weeks. As well, there’s so much extra care involved — you have to constantly brush out your lashes, avoid getting them wet, and you can’t even sleep on your stomach — which I’m incapable of not doing. Lash lifts, on the other hand, require much less maintenance — you’re supposed to brush them out occasionally over the first 48 hours, and avoid wetting them, but after that you’re good to go. It’s recommended you add serum or castor oil to your nightly routine as well — but I already did that, so its nothing additional to my current day-to-day.
Lash extensions can also be incredibly damaging to your natural lashes, unlike lifting. Basically everyone I know has or had lash extensions, but I’ve had so many friends complain or had to stop over damage to their lashes. The extensions falling out can often cause your real lashes to fall out — and potentially damage the hair follicle below. Once your lash lift is complete, your lashes will continue to fall out in their regular cycle — meaning there should be no damage done afterwards.
Finally, and to me, most importantly — you’re really not supposed to wear makeup with lash extensions. Excess water or scrubbing can cause them to fall off, which means you have to be SUPER careful if you’re removing makeup, or even washing your face. While I could maybe forgo eye makeup on a regular day with extensions, I really wouldn’t want to give up doing my eyeshadow and liner on occasion. With lash lifts, after 24 hours you’re good to go live life and apply makeup as normal — which is a huge plus for me. Does all this mean I’m never going to try lash extensions? Maybe, maybe not. But for right now, getting a lift makes to most sense for my own personal lifestyle. That being said, if you have lash extensions or are thinking of trying them, by all means go for it! However, if you’re looking for something a little lower maintenance, maybe lash lifting is exactly what you need.
Honestly, I was blown away when I looked at myself in the mirror following my procedure. I honestly couldn’t stop staring at my new lashes, as self-absorbed as that may seem. Not only did they look fantastic, they looked incredibly natural — my lashes actually appeared longer than they do with just mascara, plus there’s no clumping whatsoever. While it does lack the added volume of mascara, you can always apply it on top anyway — but the tint and spread of my lashes makes them look fuller than they ever have naturally. Overall, I was just completely blown away — I already know I’m going to go back the second my natural lashes start to grow back in.
The best part about writing this post so far in advance is that I also get to share with you how my lift lasted with time! So now lets jump ahead to the future — it’s now been a few months since my first lift, and I’m officially sold for life. Even though it doesn’t give as intense an effect as lash extensions (especially since my normal lashes are a little sparse) it definitely helps with avoiding daily makeup and just overall makes my lashes look curled and beautiful and makes me look fresh and awake. I absolutely love this treatment and I’m absolutely sure I’m going to be getting them for a loooooong time to come.
And there you have it! If you’ve been curious about lash lifting, or didn’t even know what it was previously, I hope you learned a lot from this post! (As well, if you’re located in Vancouver, be sure to check out my lash tech, Jag Sangara-Gill, she really was the best!). If you’ve been considering getting this procedure done and have more questions for me about my experience, be sure to drop a comment, message, or reach me on twitter at @lifewmeredith.
I hope you guys all had a lovely week, and have had a great start to the new year! Stay tuned for my next Favourites post coming this Thursday.