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

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

Thursday Favourites: August 13th

Hey y’all!

Hope everyone’s been having a fantastic week so far! I’ve actually been pretty busy these last few weeks, between finishing up tasks and trying to squeeze in some socializing before fall (and a potential second wave comes). However, I do have some exciting news — not only have I finally finished decorating my room, but also I’ll be getting my first tattoo this weekend! Stay tuned the next two weekends, where I’ll be sharing posts detailing both more in depth for you all!

But that’s for later on. Today, I wanted to share a new favourite product of mine — NARS Laguna Paradise Found bronzer!

When it comes to makeup, my favourite part to complete is my cheeks. I’ve never had the chance to share any of my favourite cheek products with you all, as I haven’t used up/replaced any of my absolute staples since I began this blog. After all, I want to make sure I can take pictures of these products when they’re pretty and fresh for you guys! In the last year, though, I’ve been branching out and trying new products on my cheeks — and while my staples remain my favourites, I’ve tried out a couple new products that I absolutely adore and still think are worth sharing with you guys.

One of these products is NARS’s Laguna Bronzer — the one I have is their Paradise Found limited edition version with a golden overspray on top. I won’t lie — I actually bought this product on a complete whim. I already use two bronzers in my usual routine, which seemed like enough as is. But NARS is one of my favourite brands, especially for cheek products (one of their blushes is my holy grail everyday go-to) so when I saw this product, I just decided to go for it.

When I initially received and swatched this product, I honestly didn’t think I was gonna like it at first. The sheen of gold glitter coated on top seemed odd, and the swatch didn’t seem like it was all to pigmented. However, when it comes to makeup, there is more than matters about pigmentation — which is definitely true of this bronzer. Lower pigmentation can actually be a good thing for cheek products — as counterintuitive as that sounds. It can be really easy to go a little overboard with bronzer, blush and contour — so having a product that’s buildable rather than pigmented can actually make life a lot easier.

That’s exactly what I ended up loving most about this product — it’s so blendable and buildable that it almost looks as if it was airbrushed on when you apply it. Not only does that make it easy enough for anyone to use (even those who aren’t super familiar with using bronzer), but allows a truly flawless sunkissed look no matter what makeup look you’re going for. While it’s a powder, it has a rich, creamy texture that gives it a really seamless-looking effect when applied. Plus, it doesn’t take much to build this bronzer up to a good amount of product — it isn’t so light that it’s impossible to build. Ultimately, it’s lighter pigmentation just makes it easier to build and blend — rather than an ineffective or difficult product.

Unfortunately, this exact product was limited edition — but that only means you can’t get it with the golden glitter spray on top. If you’ve been needing a bronzer like this to add to your collection, no worries — NARS offers it in both matte and shimmer.

I hope everyone’s been doing well and staying healthy! These last few weeks have been kind of hectic but I feel like I may finally be on the verge of getting my life just a littttllleeee back on track (I don’t want to jinx it though!). I’m so excited for the next couple blog posts and the content I have planned out to share with you all, so be sure to stay tuned this and next Sunday to read all about everything I’ve been up to! I’ll be sharing how I decorated my bedroom with you all this weekend — I hope you’re all ready to see how it turned out!

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: August 6th

Hey everyone!

Today marks the third and final part of my skincare tools series! I hope you’ve all been enjoying reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together. For those of you wanting to check out the entire series, you can check out my post on Mount Lai’s Textured Jade Facial Roller and Herbivore Botanical’s Rose Quartz Roller as well!

Today, I’m going to be sharing the final tool I use in my skin care routine: the classic jade Gua Sha! Now, unlike the other tools, my current Gua Sha is just one I picked up from Amazon when this trend first came out, and I was looking to give it a try but not feeling ready to commit. However, at this point in my skincare tool journey, I’ve been looking into purchasing a new one — and I’ve had my eye on Mount Lai’s Gua Sha in particular. Even though I don’t exactly have a specific brand to share with you all at the moment, I still wanted to share what it is exactly that I love so much about the Gua Sha as a skincare tool, as truth be told, it’s my favourite out of all three.

The Gua Sha, unlike crystal rollers, is a simple curved jade tool that is used to help massage, brighten, and even sculpt the face. Unlike jade rollers, which can help with many of these but area ultimately a tool for de-puffing and soothing skin, the gua sha can really help to boost circulation and really physically push blockages down the lymphatic system. Most importantly, however, it can really help to break up muscle tension in the face, release tight areas and relax the skin of the face.

However, what makes me love this tool the most is how it actually provides a deep massage for your face. When you use this tool, you can actually feel your facial tension slowly being released and your circulation being boosted immediately (I always love the little tingly feeling you get post massage when you know it worked). Especially when it comes to areas that can contain some serious and deep-rooted knots and strain, such as your jawline, cheekbones, eyebrows, and temples, you can feel this tool popping knots and actually making a difference in your skin. Plus, relieving facial tension will help you feel more relaxed by proxy — just as being stressed will increase tension in your face, the psuedo-placebo effect of having knots in your face will cause you to believe (and therefore feel) stressed out.

And, as promised — I wanted to share a little about skincare tools that you should typically avoid as well. Now, obviously, if you’ve already been using these tools and they work for you, by all means keep using them. But rest assured, I will be explaining why to avoid them and what it is that makes them poorly suited for use of your face.

The first tool that generally should be avoided are the vacuum-style electric tools advertised to remove all the excess dirt from your pores. While I love a good deep-clean as much as the next person, these types of machines (as with basically every other method I’m going to mention) should really only be performed by a professional. There are all kind of face masks you can use to combat blackheads and clogged pores safely at home, but these tools are not only dangerous to use in terms of damaging your skin with their powerful suction — but also, you’re not trained to use them. Aestheticians go to school for a reason — these tools are challenging to use, and when used improperly can do more harm than good.

Another tool I’d generally recommend staying away from are Micro-Needle facial rollers. Once again, these types of procedures can have numerous benefits and stunning results when performed by a professional, but you should avoid attempting this one at home. Not only does the “roller” style of micro needling damage your skin, but without the proper tools to care for and sanitize your roller, all you’ll be doing is pushing bacteria that collects on the needles deep into your skin. When this procedure is performed as part of a facial, the needles are administered straight onto your skin, and the quick and direct in-and-out movement is what helps to avoid harm to the delicate skin of your face. When you use a needle roller, however, the rolling action drags the needle through your skin, creating micro-tears — which are damaging, ineffective and can even lead to scarring.

The last technique is one that I have actually tried myself, so I can speak on my own personal experiences. Microdermabrasion is a technique that has become all the rage lately, and many people try to get similar effects at home with face razors — which definitely work for some people but do require a lot of care to be used properly. While I’ve used face razors in the past on my upper brows and upper lip, there’s a couple of things you need to consider if you’re actually going to try to use a face razor on the entirety of your face.

First of all, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re doing — so make sure to do a little research, or maybe watch a couple YouTube videos first. Second of all, you’ll want to be sure you have a good, clean and sharp razor that’ll be safe to use on your face. Finally, you’ll want to consider that there’s risks to performing this by yourself (since, once again, you’re not a professional). Shaving off your peach fuzz will make it easier to apply makeup, sure, but scraping away at your face too much can create micro-tears (or full-size cuts), ingrown hairs, and most importantly — when you remove hair from the hair follicle, it leaves it open and vulnerable to dirt and other foreign substances to make their way into your skin. Basically, I wouldn’t recommend this one either — I never used it myself more than five times, and I haven’t tried it in about a year (nor would I bother to again). Basically, what I’m trying to say is be careful with skincare tools; while some are useful, others may be damaging and should only be used by aestheticians and dermatologists. Be sure to pick what you use on your face carefully!

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this little segment on skincare tools — I know it’s been a little different from my normal content, so hopefully you all felt you learned something new from these last three posts. If you have any fave skincare tools of your own, drop a comment below and tell me all about them! As well, if you’ve been inspired to try any of these tools out for yourself, I’d love to hear how they work for you!

Happy Thursday, everyone! I hope August is treating you well. I know everyone’s been talking all year about how strangely time has been moving, but I really can’t believe it’s August already. I feel like the last three months specifically have been such a blur, but on the bright side — we only have four months left until we get a fresh start with 2021! I don’t want to jinx anything, but fingers crossed things will feel a lot more normal by then.

Love you all,

Meredith

UPDATE: Got my hands on the Mount Lai Gua Sha in Rose Quartz, I’m in love!

Thursday Favourites: July 30th

Hey friends! Happy Thursday!

This week marks part two of my three-part skincare tool series, and this week I’m going to be sharing a classic with you: my Rose Quartz roller from Herbivore Botanicals!

Yes, I really do use two separate rollers in my routine — one in the morning, and one at night. Because of the similar appearance of this product to my Mount Lai Jade Textured Facial Roller, I can see why a lot of people would mistake them as the same. However, the two have two distinctly different uses. The textured jade roller I shared last week is meant to massage your face and help your skincare products penetrate deeper into your skin, making it the perfect tool to incorporate into your nighttime skincare routine. The rose quartz roller, on the other hand, is smooth and a perfect addition to any morning routine.

This über-smooth, cooling roller helps to de-puff your skin in the morning, leaving you fresh-faced and looking your best. This rose quartz roller, which is naturally cool to the touch, helps to soothe your skin, while also helping over time to diminish fine lines and tone your skin. As well, this little tool helps with lymphatic drainage, which clears any residual build up of toxins or waste in the skin and helps to clear up your skin overall! Plus, the cool crystal on your skin really helps to wake you up in the morning, which is just another added bonus.

For those of you who keep hearing the term “lymphatic drainage” thrown around but don’t really know what it means, hopefully my little explanation can provide a little clarity. When you use a crystal roller on your face, it can help to manually push fluid in the system along, which paired with the cooling effect helps reduce inflammation and boosts circulation. I found an article in the Washington Post that explains it a lot better than I can — as well, it helps build up realistic expectations for using crystal rollers. While they are amazing and I love the results mine brings me, many people tend to overhype them or label them as some type of miracle anti-aging tool. Rose quartz and jade rollers help to properly massage your face and cool your skin, and I think I’ve done a good job of outlining their benefits here. However, they won’t do anything impossible like completely erase wrinkles or completely change your face shape. That isn’t to say that they have no benefits, they absolutely do. However, if you’re looking for some kind of magic cure, you’ll likely only find it in a surgeon’s office.

If this sounds like the facial roller your skincare routine has been missing, you can check out Herbivore Botanical’s Rose Quartz Facial Roller online at Sephora, as well as their original Jade roller, too!

However, for whatever reason, if you’re looking into purchasing a jade roller elsewhere — I’m going to share with you a little tip I’ve learned for making sure you’re purchasing a proper, good-quality crystal roller.

While I mainly purchased the rose quartz roller for the ~aesthetic~, since I trust Herbivore to provide high-quality tools with proper ingredients, not all Jade roller sellers are quite the same. There’s definitely people out there who sell completely fake jade rollers and price them as though they are made of real jade. Apart from wasting your money, fake jade rollers are often made of glass and do not have the same innate cooling effect (and therefore will not have the same results). However, at any price point your roller likely isn’t real jade — the real deal is awfully expensive. As such, you don’t likely know what exactly your roller is made of.

On the other hand, rose quartz is a much more common and inexpensive crystal, meaning that barring your roller being made of glass, it will more likely be true authentic rose quartz. As well, rose quartz rollers are said to have extra benefits — such as being less influenced by skin temperature and staying cool for longer, as well as more anti-wrinkle benefits. A quick Google search will tell you everything you need to know about the difference between jade and rose-quartz rollers, however, both for the added benefits and the likelihood that you’re getting exactly what you think you are out of the product, I’d have to recommend rose quartz rollers as my personal choice. If you want to know more, Mount Lai has a guidebook online that answers all kinds of questions about crystal rollers and related products!

Are you a fan of using a roller in your skincare routine? I’d love to hear all about how you use yours, what type it is and what results you’ve seen long term! Drop a comment below and share your experience — good or bad! I love hearing all of your different opinions on products that I share.

Stay tuned next week, for the third and final facial tool that I use in my skincare routine! I hope you guys have been enjoying this little series — I know it’s a little different from my usual Thursday reviews, but I’ve really loved putting it together for you guys! I really love using these skincare tools, and since they make up such a large element of my skincare routines, it seemed like it was only right they all get their own posts.

Happy Thursday, everyone! A little reminder to power through tomorrow and finish this week strong! The weekend will be here before we know it.

Much love,

Meredith