How To: Plan The Perfect Fall Self-Care Night!

Hey y’all! Happy Sunday!

Fall is in full swing now, which certainly has its ups and downs. I personally love fall, because it means cute clothes, cozy vibes, my birthday and the holidays. However, it certainly has some rough patches too — cold weather (and rain, for my fellow PNW readers), work and school stress, seasonal depression, and cold and flu season.

The best way to make fall as easy going and enjoyable as possible is to ensure you’re taking care of yourself. And the best way to do that is to plan out a self-care night! Even with my crazy-busy schedule, I try to plan out a night for self-care every week or two. Especially with stressful times, it’s important to take some time to unwind and rejuvenate yourself — while it may seem worthwhile in the moment to spend all your time constantly working and pushing towards your goals, it can lead you to become tired, sick, and slow you down in the future.

Step One: Clean Your Space!

I’ve definitely gone over this one before, but it’s really just not possible to fully relax in a messy space — it’s uncomfortable and you’ll be worrying about having to clean it in the future. Start off your night by taking the time to tidy up, clean your sheets and towels, take out the garbage, and take a shower (or a bath, even!). Make sure to take care of all the little tasks stressing you out in this time as well — if it takes half an hour or less but has been causing you a lot of stress lately, just get it done! It’ll help to get you into a space where you can fully unwind and enjoy yourself.

Step Two: Pick Out A Fall Scent!

One of the best ways to eliminate negative vibes in your space and let go of the week’s stress is to light up a scented candle or use a diffuser. If you don’t already, try to go out and pick some fall scents to help you get into the seasonal spirit! Once you’ve cleaned up your space, this is the next step in fully reviving good vibes in your space and life. If you’re not a fan of scents, I find using a regular, unscented candle still has the same effect.

Step Three: Get Cozy!

For this step, you’re going to want to get into your comfiest clothes and do whatever you can to make your space as cozy as possible. Layer up on blankets, get some ambient lighting going, adjust your thermostat, play some music/ambient noise, whatever makes you feel the most comfortable and at ease.

Step Four: Make Some Fall Snacks!

This next step is to pick out a fall food and drink of your choice. One of my favourite snacks for a self-care night is this edible cookie dough recipe, but you can choose whatever you want — Pillsbury cookies, pumpkin flavoured snacks, even just popcorn, whatever it is your craving! Then, you’re going to want to choose a drink as well — maybe it’s just me, but I find that this is a huge aspect of self care nights. I’m personally a HUGE fan of tea, so I’d usually go for that (and make one of David’s Tea’s special fall flavours, just to make it festive)! However, you can pick anything you want — apple cider, chai tea latte, pumpkin spiced latte (or even just a nice glass of wine!).

Step Five: Choose A Self-Care Activity!

Now you’ve just got to pick out whatever activity (or activities) you want to spend your night on. If you want to get into the festive spirit, you can pick out a fall/Halloween movie or show — lately I’ve been watching Buzzfeed Unsolved Supernatural because it’s got the spooky Halloween vibes I’m looking for, without being actually scary. Otherwise, this is pretty much up to you — watch a movie, read a book, do a hobby, listen to some music, dance it out — whatever your heart desires!

Step Six: Unwind!

This step is just to ensure you’re completely relaxed before the end of the night, and ensuring you reap all the benefits of taking this night off for yourself. This can be done in any number of ways; you can meditate, stretch, listen to relaxing music, watch some relaxing ASMR — just be sure to end the night on a calming note to relieve any residual stress you may still be holding before bed.

Step Seven: Get Some Sleep!

For this final step, you’re going to go to bed early and get some rest. There’s no point in doing all this work to relax if you’re just going to wake up feeling exhausted tomorrow! On top of that, staying up late and pushing your body too hard makes it a lot easier to get sick, so as nice as it is to enjoy this time to yourself — get to bed early, rest up, and try to make time for yourself again soon.

And there you have it! Seven easy steps to the ultimate fall self-care night. I hope all of your October’s are going well so far, and you’re all out there working hard, achieving goals, taking care of yourselves and hopefully avoiding flu season! If not, I hope you get to put this list to good use soon.

Much love,

Meredith

Tuesday Favourites: October 15th

La Biosthétique Expert Treatment Protection Cheveux Complexe Express Care Volume and Ouai Leave-In Conditioner

Hey y’all!

Quick update — when I started this weekly segment, I simple chose Tuesday because that was the day I wrote my first review on. At the time, I scheduled my other blog posts around this — Sunday’s made the most sense for a weekly post, with a post on Thursday as well to even out the week’s schedule. Since then, however, I took a step back and limited myself to two posts a week — something that has really been working for me and I’m likely going to stick with.

So, now, I’m looking for some feedback. While it feels strange to change the day of a weekly segment I’ve had since the start of my blog, I also feel it would make a lot more sense to move this segment to Thursday and have my posts be spread more evenly throughout the week. What do you guys think? Have my reviews impacted you at all? Do you have a preferred topic — makeup, skincare or haircare? Are you still enjoying this segment, or would you like to see something new? Or, alternatively, would you rather I put all my effort towards one great post a week and abandon this segment entirely? I’d really love to hear from you guys about what’s working for you and what isn’t, and I’ll be sure to update depending on the feedback you guys give me! If you’re really loving the posts and still want one every Tuesday, let me know! Otherwise, I’ll continue the segment on Thursdays from now on (or whatever else your feedback and advice suggests is best!).

Anyways, let’s get into this weeks review. This Tuesday, I decided to discuss some of my hair favourites — the La Biosthetique Expert Treatment Protection Cheveux Complexe Express Care Volume spray and the Ouai Leave-In Conditioner!

As I’ve discussed before, I used to bleach my hair and still have problems to this day with the bleached portion being uber dry and damaged. It takes a lot of effort to care for bleached hair, and for years the products I used just weren’t cutting it. My hair was so dry and frizzy, nothing seemed to help.

With enough time (and a lot of trial and error) however, I found a combination of products that helped my hair grow in healthy and stay healthy, even with all the processing my hair had been through. Since i’ve returned to being brunette, luckily, my hair has already started to grow in more healthy naturally, but these products still do an amazing job of taking care of my bleached-out ends.

The first product, from La Biosthetique, is a leave-in treatment meant to help restructure, strengthen, and moisturize hair. I love this treatment because its so easy — you just spray it into your roots before drying your hair and massage it down to your ends and voila! Since i’ve began using this product, not only has my grown-out, bleached hair become stronger and more resilient, but my hair growing in is so much stronger and healthier than my hair has ever been before, even before I started bleaching it.

The second product, Ouai’s Leave-In Conditioner, is pretty self-explanitory from the name. However, what I love about this specific product is how light-weight it is — it doesn’t leave any residue at all, and doesn’t weigh down the ends of your hair one bit. I was nervous to try this product initially for these exact reasons; I had received this product in a FabFitFun box and had never heard of the brand before. I should have known better, because FabFitFun has honestly never let me down, and neither does this product. I spray a little in my ends before blow-drying, and it helps keep them shiny and moisturized despite how damaged they are.

That’s it for this weeks review! If either of these products sound like just what you’ve been looking for, be sure to check out La Biosthetique’s Leave-In Treatment here and Ouai’s Leave-In Conditioner here!

Thanks for reading y’all! I hope you’re enjoying these segments, and I really would appreciate any feedback you could give, big or small, in the comments below so I can tailor these posts to your best interests!

Stay tuned for this Sunday’s post, and to keep updated on what I choose for the future of this segment!

Lots of Love,

Meredith

How To: Look Your Best Every Day!

Hey y’all!

As someone who previously spent many years actively being the definition of a “hot mess” I spent years in University going out in public looking pretty rough, which always made me feel super self-conscious. You know those people who go out looking “terrible” but still look pretty decent? Yeah, that’s not me. Without hair and makeup, I honestly look like a seventeen year old who hasn’t had a proper night’s sleep in months. I would stress about running into people I knew, who often wouldn’t recognize me because I looked THAT BAD.

However, over the years I’ve come up with a couple basics to make sure I at least look a little put together every time I leave the house. These may not all apply to you, but hopefully if you’re struggling to go out feeling good about how you look, some of these tricks will help!

Step One: Remember You Don’t Have To Look Perfect Everyday

Honestly, this one was a huge learning curve for me. I either went out with a perfect outfit and full-face of makeup or bare-faced and gross — there was no middle ground. If you’re busy and don’t have time to spend hours getting ready in the morning (or just value your beauty sleep!), remember you don’t have to go all-out every day. It’s going to help you look better AND feel better, trust me.

Step Two: Take Steps To Enhance Your Morning Routine

This one is a bit more of an undertaking, and something I’m just starting on myself. However, it helps SO MUCH to help you get ready and look great everyday. I’m taking about anything that’s semi-permanent, that’ll take steps out of your morning routine. Whatever this may be is completely your choice. Some possibilities are getting your eyebrows done (ex. tinting or microblading), lashes done (lifting or extensions), and hair done (perm or straightening). These treatments may seem expensive up front, but the money and time they’ll save you every day much outweighs the cost. Plus, if you ever have to roll right out of bed and go, you’ll be already looking great!

Step Three: Hygiene, Hygiene, Hygiene!

This is the most important step, IMO. Making sure you’ve showered daily and have clean hair will make you look waaaaay more put together than all the other steps combined. (Obviously you don’t have to wash your hair every day, but make sure you keep up with having it clean all the time. Personally I wash my hair every other day but you know your hair best!). Now, I know this can be daunting for those of us who are busy, or those of us who suffer from depression — I’ve been there so I know. But if you’re going to do one thing before you leave the house, let it be this. You’ll feel 110% better knowing that you’re clean and fresh.

Step Four: Create A Basic Makeup Routine

As much as I’d love to have the time to put on a full face every day, I really don’t. Depending how much time I have to get ready on any given day, I have different makeup routines that require more or less time decided by what I have available. The best way to determine these routines is to take the time to find what features, makeup, and looks are most important to you and what you wish to focus on. For so long I felt the need to do a whole routine every time I did makeup with foundation and everything — which didn’t necessarily focus on the features I feel I need to define most, but rather just a watered-down version of my full routine.

Now I have different routines for every situation. For myself, I have VERY light brows and lashes, but my skin is overall pretty nice and my other features (besides my eyes) are generally pretty well-defined. If I’m REALLY pressed for time, I just go for liner, mascara and brow gel. If I have a bit more time, I take my Glossier concealer, skin tint, cloud paint blush, lidstar and highlighter and add those in as well. If I have a normal amount of time, I do my regular routine, and for special occasions I’ll do a full-face look, lashes and eyeshadow and all. As much as I’d love to have time to do a full-face every day, I really don’t have that much time often — but I do have a solid plan for no matter how much time I have available.

Step Five: Have A Go-To Hair Do

This is one I’m still getting the hang of, honestly. If you’ve followed the other steps above, you’ll already be ahead of the game here; as long as you’re hair is clean (and ESPECIALLY if you have some kind of permanent treatment) you’re already good to go. If not, try to put whatever effort in it takes to get your hair to look nice — hair makes up such a large proportion of our overall appearance that sometimes (especially if you’re like me, and can’t do hair to save your life) it can be easy to forget how big an impact it can have. For myself, if my hair is looking a little less-than-wonderful on a certain day, I’ll quickly straighten it before I leave. Whatever your basic hairstyle is is up to you — but try to pick something quick and easy that looks polished enough to work for every day!

Step Six: Keep Your Outfits Simple

There’s really only three basic steps that I find crucial for putting together cute and put-together outfits on the fly. Firstly, if you can, try to plan your outfits out the night before! Yes, okay, I know this kind of contradicts the whole “on the fly” concept, but we all know that panic when you’re on your fifth outfit that just doesn’t seem to be working and time is running out. Eliminate this stress entirely by picking out an outfit the night before, and throwing it on before you leave the house! It’s SO much easier in the long run.

The second step is to avoid leggings if you want to look put together. Yes, there are some LITERAL goddesses out there who can make leggings look amazing. But if you’re like me, and not one of them — try to at least throw on a pair of jeans or pants. It takes just as long to do, and if you’re worried about it being “less comfortable”, try to find a pair that are just as cozy as any leggings ever could be! The jeans I’m wearing in the picture above i just recently purchased from Topshop, and they’re SO comfy I’ve literally slept in them once. (No judgement please — I get really tired after work!). Anyways, the point is if you need to be comfy, there’s pants out there for you that look a little more presentable than leggings! I love leggings as much as the next girl, but I’ve been trying to cut them out of my day-to-day wardrobe lately and feel 100% more put-together when I leave the house.

The final step is, if you’re crunched for time, stick to basic colours (or better yet — no colours at all!). Black, white and grey all mix and match so easily that’s it’s easiest to throw them on and not even worry about it. Plus, keeping an outfit simple can help make it look a little classier — colours and patterns can look fantastic sometimes; but generally take more effort, thought and planning to make them look spectacular. If you still want to wear colours some days, know which colours always look best on you in advance. This way, you won’t have to worry about throwing something on and having it look a little off. For me, I tend to stick to olive green or light blue, and I choose one or the other depending on the outfit. However, you know what colours suit you best! But just remember, when in doubt — keep it simple. It’s so much less stress anyway!

Step Seven: Accessorize!

Fall is the best time for looking fashionable on the fly because it is SO EASY to make any outfit cute just by having a cute jacket, purse and pair of shoes. All you need is one of each and you’re good to go for absolutely every day for the next few months. If you’re on a budget, one jacket, pair of shoes, good jeans and a cute bag is really all you need for the season — just make sure they all match! My go to is my black leather jacket, black heeled booties and a black bag. This final step really pulls your outfit together and makes you look put together every day if you do it right. For cheap options, check out Fashion Nova, Instagram shops or hit up Forever 21’s liquidation sale!

Step Eight: Keep Your Nails Cute And Maintained

The final step in keeping yourself put-together, cute and ready to take on the world every day is cute nails! As someone who gets acrylics religiously, having to take them off and give my nails a breather is always so sad for me — I literally sit around counting the days until my nails grow out and I can get a fresh set! If you’re not one for long acrylics, anything that makes you feel like your nails look nice will do — whether it be gel polish, regular nail polish or even nothing at all! Just ensuring your nails look clean, healthy, smooth and taken care of will ensure you’re looking and feeling your best.

And there you have it! Eight simple steps to ensure you’re looking and feeling your best before you leave the house every day. If this is something you’re already in the habit of — you’re already ahead of the curve, you go girl! If not, it may all sound kind of daunting, but once you get into the habit of these steps, it gets a whole lot easier.

Just remember these are not hard and fast rules, they’re just what I’ve found are the 8 foundations for myself. My list may be missing a step that you consider crucial, or you may completely disagree with one or more of the points I’ve made, and that’s okay! But if you’ve been feeling like you want to make sure you look presentable every day, and feel you’re missing something (or don’t know where to start), I hope this list helps! Remember we are all works in progress, I don’t have all these steps down and it will take a while to make them a routine.

I hope you guys are all gearing up to have a fantastic week, go out there and accomplish whatever goals you have for the week and overcome any obstacles that lie in your path. And for my fellow Canadians, happy Thanksgiving! If you’re lucky enough to have a long weekend, hope you enjoy your extra day off! Spend it well — whether that’s with family, with friends, or just taking a self-care day to yourself!

Xox,

Meredith

Tuesday Favourites: October 8th

Fenty Beauty Contour Stick

Hey friends!

This week I’m going to share with you a product I recently bought and instantly fell in love with: The Fenty Beauty Contour Stick!

I was honestly a bit on the fence about this product when I bought it — not only had I not contoured in years, I had never used cream contour. I was rather daunted by it, and super uninformed. I thought that the matte look of this product wasn’t what I was looking for, as I’m not a huge fan of matte skin products. (Or matte anything, really. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how down I am for glowy, dewey looks).

However, this product turned out to be just what I was looking for! It contours beautifully — it has a great cool shade that mimics shadows naturally and doesn’t come off looking too orange or grey. I do find it a bit challenging to blend into my foundation with a blender, but so long as i touch up my foundation on top there’s no issues whatsoever.

If you feel daunted by how dark the shade is, don’t be! I was too at first, as I am incredibly pale. However, this product still looks natural on me and would certainly look fantastic on darker skin tones as well.

So for the first time in years, I’m finally able to create a sharp, contoured look for myself; my features look SO sharp and I get to avoid any fake-contour lines and blending errors. If you’re looking to try a creme stick to sculpt out your features, look no further!

If this sounds like the product for you, be sure to check it out at Sephora here!

Have a great day, lovelies!

Xo,

Meredith

Aritzia Warehouse Sale Haul!

Hey guys! Hope you’re all gearing up to have a great week!

First of all, I know this post is super late. As I discussed last week, I’ve been feeling crazy overwhelmed lately and haven’t been able to keep up with blogging regularly. But honestly, better late than never!

For those of you lucky enough to live in Vancouver, you may have already heard of, or been to, the annual Aritzia Warehouse Sale. Every year around labour day, Ariztia hosts a multi-week sale featuring 50-90% off an entire warehouse worth of their products, and it’s as crazy as it sounds. People have been known to line up for hours to get in, or even camp outside the venue in the days leading up. It’s THAT good.

Now, unfortunately, I don’t really have the time to sit around in line all day, so my best friend Nylah and I opted to check it out on the last day. Even then, it was still crazy and overwhelming, with thousands of discounted options for offer.

When you arrive at the sale, you have to be ready for the hunt. Chances are, it’ll be near impossible to find anything in your size, or cute things in your size, or anything at all amidst the sea of people without some serious dedication. After a couple of hours, I collected a couple of purchases I was quite happy with. The biggest success, however, is the savings: I managed to buy $400 of clothing for just $170 (plus a couple accessories which lack the original price tags).

So, without further ado, I figured I’d share my findings with you, modelled with a few accessories! (Not too many though, so you can still get an idea of what each garment looks like). I hope you enjoy, and when next year’s sale rolls around, you’re able to check it out for yourself!

**LIL DISCLAIMER** — I’m hoping to get a better camera/photoset up (/photographer?) soon, so I apologize for the quality of these photos (read: mirror selfies in my empty bedroom) — I hope you still get the idea!

Item #1: White Pantsuit by Little Moon

Original Price: $178.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $60.00

Personally, I’m crazy about the bodysuit/pantsuit trend — it looks so classy and professional! This item, more so than any of the others I bought, is clearly a summer piece — but at this discount, it’s worth stashing it away in my closet for a year! I love this because it COULD be worn to a fancier event — but can also make a great everyday outfit as well.

Item #2: Red Bodysuit by Wilfred

Original Price: $50.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $20.00

Okay. I am LIVING for this bodysuit. Hands down, this was my favourite purchase this year. I was a little worried it would be too small, but the fabric is so stretchy it fits perfectly. The best part about this is it has a somewhat classic look to it — I’m not too worried about it looking dated by next summer. Plus, it’s not so strongly tied to summer that I won’t be able to get some use out of it before then!

Item #3: Yellow Dress by Wilfred

Original Price: $138.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $60.00

I’m pretty excited for this dress because as a blonde, I shied away from yellow for so long. It really didn’t suit me all too well, and for years I didn’t own a single yellow item of clothing. But as a brunette, I find yellow suits me much better. I love this dress, both because it’s ADORABLE, something totally new for me, but the mustard shade of this yellow means I may be able to pull off this dress in the fall! It’s all a win-win-win, really.

Item #4: Blue Skirt by Babaton

Original Price: $98.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $30.00

Okay, I know I already apologized for my poor-quality photos, but I really do apologize for this one. I really loved this skirt, so I went ahead and bought it even though it was a little large. It’s super cute, so I’m happy I did, but I haven’t gotten the chance to tailor it yet. No worries, though — I’m sure it’ll be ready in time for spring! Plus, tailoring a cheap skirt is SO much better than buying the same thing full price in a few months.

Item #5: White Shirt by Babaton

Original Price: $35.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $15.00

Lately, I’ve been noticing how my closet is missing a lot of basics. I feel like I’m always losing a battle between having basics and statement pieces — when I have all sorts of one, I have none of the other. This shirt is great because it’s simple, but still super cute! Plus, it fits so perfectly — if Babaton still carries these, I’d definitely be down to buy more. (I really do have a thing for shirts that are meant to be tied, though, so maybe it’s just my bias).

Items #6 & 7: Accessories

And last but not least — accessories! By the last day of the Aritzia Warehouse Sale, the accessories are super picked over — while they ensure that the sale is restocked daily, some items sell out FAST. A lot of people go on the first day and load up on cute accessories (especially the blanket scarves), so by the last day the pickings are awfully slim (compared to, say, the Super Puff jackets, which there was still plenty of. To be fair, it is a little depressing to spend the last days of summer investing in a winter coat).

All that being said, I still found this cap and belt! I love plain caps, especially for when I’m having a bad hair day (we’ve all been there, right?) but I don’t really have a whole lot of them — many of mine are colourful, or come embellished with logos and the like. Needless to say, I’m super glad I found this one!

As for the belt — I’ve recently become obsessed with how quickly you can turn an outfit from average to adorable simply by adding a belt, so I leapt at the chance to add one to my collection! (You really can’t say no when the prices are THAT good).

And that’s my little haul! Overall, I saved about $230 overall at this sale, and I got some super cute stuff. If you ever get the chance to attend this sale, I couldn’t recommend it more! Yes, it’s crazy, and even a little overwhelming — but it’s also pretty much an experience unlike any other and you’re bound to find some amazing steals if you’re willing to dig through the rest.

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post, especially considering how long it took me to prepare it for y’all! In better news, I’m starting to get my life a little more on track and have plenty of exciting posts planned for the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Much love,

Meredith