My Spring 2021 FabFitFun Unboxing!

Hey friends!

It’s officially that time of the season! Spring is beginning (finally), and that means warmer weather, fresh flowers — and the start of each new season means a new FabFitFun box!

If you’ve been following me for a while now, you already know how much I love FabFitFun — they’ve introduced me to SO many of my favourite products and brands (many of which I wouldn’t have even heard of in the first place otherwise). This season’s box has been no exception — I receiving all kinds of products that I’m already loving, or can’t wait to be able to try. I could go on and on about how great it is, but I think it would be better to just break it down for you guys!

Tech Candy Clean Slate™ UV Sanitizing Bed

Since COVID began, I’ve become increasingly paranoid about germs on my phone — so when I saw this device being offered in this season’s box, I knew I had to have it. Thus far, I’ve been really cautious about germs, hand washing, mask wearing, and social distancing since lockdowns began last year, but it’s kind of impossible to leave the house and not end up touching your phone once, and I just can’t shake the feeling that I’m contaminating everything I own and undoing all my hard work whoever I use my phone after I leave the house. (Maybe that’s just me being paranoid, but still). Either way, I’m looking forward to being able to simply pop my phone in this little device every time I come home from now on and being able to rest easy knowing that my phone is 100% clean and safe. (Crazy to think that a year ago, a product like this would have seemed like a silly little luxury, but now it’s something so incredibly useful!).

Alice + Olivia Reversible Bucket Hat

This bucket hat is SO cute and absolutely perfect for spring. I’m always on the hunt for new accessories — especially ones that are low-maintenance and work with a variety of outfits — since it really is the easiest and best way to elevate an outfit. Since this hat is reversible (the inside is plain white) I’m sure I’ll be able to get use out of it in a whole variety of ways. But, to be honest, I don’t even think I’ll need to reverse it — the black daisies are just so cute, and bucket hats are the perfect casual vibe for spring.

PUR Cosmetics Iconic Glow Illuminating Face & Body Dry Oil

Okay, I won’t lie, the packaging on this product had me MAJORLY confused at first. This oil comes in a glass dropper, as many oils do — but it has a metal pump on top to fill up the dropper, unlike the normal rubber tops. So, yes, as you’re probably already imagining — I did, in fact, sit around for 5+ minutes trying to pump it and figure out where the oil was supposed to come out of. Packaging aside, I’m sort of just lukewarm about this product. It’s VERY glittery, and definitely takes a while to absorb — although it does leave my skin feeling soft once it does. Maybe it’s just that I’m not crazy about body oils, but I’m just so-so on this one. I don’t hate it, I’ll totally use it — but I’m not in love with it.

SfGlow Sun’s Out, Pouts Out Lip Mask

These little lip masks are SO fun, you guys. Lip masks aren’t something I use often, and the ones I have used in the past have all been just alright — but these masks may have just sold me on the concept. I really didn’t expect much before trying them out, but they really left my (and the time) sort of dehydrated lips feeling good as new. I was a little hesitant at first, because the mask comes coated in a somewhat heavy product that has a bit of a weird consistency, but once it’s on it doesn’t feel that weird at all. You do have to have the time to sit around for 10-15 minutes with the mask on (and you obviously can’t eat, drink or sleep when you’re using it) but its the perfect time to slap on some eye masks as well and really pamper yourself before whatever you’re planning on doing that day.

M·A·C COSMETICS Powder Kiss Lipstick Duo

Receiving this product in my spring box immediately made me remember how much I miss MAC. Growing up, MAC was like, the holy grail of makeup stores for me — Sephora too, but something about MAC just felt so cool. As Sephora started getting bigger, though, MAC kind of fell behind, since obviously as Sephora carries multiple brands, they have a much wider variety of products. There’s a MAC store in downtown Vancouver that I still visit on occasion (or did, rather, pre-COVID — in fact, I actually went to MAC of the last day before lockdowns began) but overall, I don’t own as many products from their brand as I once did. These lipsticks have really reminded me of how great of a brand they are, though — they’re really amazing. They’re matte, but not TOO matte — I personally am not a huge fan of the ultra-matte liquid-lip sort of look (and if you are, this lipstick probably isn’t what you’re looking for). This lipstick, however, is matte (but more in a non-shiny way than a pure, ultra-matte way) but at the same time, is super hydrating. I’ve only tried out the pink shade so far, but it’s SO cute and honestly looks pretty natural, which I’m digging. For me, this matte lipstick is kind of the perfect matte for me — it’s super cute, and reminded me of why I loved MAC so much.

Grown Alchemist Body Cream – Mandarin, Rosemary Leaf

Something I’ve learned about FabFitFun is that the body moisturizers they gift will absolutely never do you wrong — and this moisturizer is no exception. I was already pretty excited about receiving this item, since my current moisturizer is running low and I was hoping to switch stuff up. Basically, I would have used this moisturizer even if it wasn’t totally amazing — but it absolutely is. It’s super hydrating, but it manages to avoid being to heavy, slow-absorbing or sticky — my absolute biggest pet peeves with body lotion. As well, this stuff smells FANTASTIC — mandarin and rosemary is one of my favourite fragrances, so perhaps I’m biased — but I’m obsessed with how this lotion smells. Overall, a 10/10 lotion, and FabFitFun has impressed me again.

Earth Harbor Marina Biome Brightening Ampoule

I won’t lie, I was a little nervous when I saw this product in my box — skincare is really important to me, and while I enjoy testing out new products sometimes, I don’t really like to mess around with my routine too much. However, when I tested this product out I immediately realized there was really nothing to worry about. First of all, this product has some similar ingredients to Herbivore’s Lapis Balancing Facial Oil, which I already use and love. However, this product is more directed at brightening and evening out the skin, versus Herbivore’s oil which is aimed at combatting redness and excess oil. I tried applying it in the mornings, and it’s a light enough oil that it seems it would totally work to wear under makeup, PLUS it had an immediate smoothing effect that made applying the rest of my skincare feel better than usual. On top of all of that, Earth Harbour seems like a really great brand, and one that I’d absolutely consider supporting and purchasing from in the future. All of their products are, as stated on their website, “purely natural + nontoxic + certified cruelty-free + vegan + ethical trade & sustainable ingredients (all certified organic, non-GMO and/or wildcrafted), ocean nutrients, food-grade plant-based therapeutic-grade oils, scientifically-proven botanicals, zero-waste + plastic-negative packaging with upcycled ocean waste, artisan small batches, love and island vibes”. Furthermore, they donate a portion of their profits to helping care for our oceans. I’m already kind of loving this product, so depending how it works out in the long run I may just end up purchasing other products from this brand in the future.

Saie Beauty Makeup Rounds 3 Pack

Somewhat ironically, I was about to repurchase my usual makeup cloths they other day as mine were getting a bit old, but something stopped me. Was it fate? Forgetfulness? Who knows, but either way it worked out really well. While these rounds are a little different from the types of reusable cotton rounds and makeup remover clothes I normally buy, they seem pretty neat and I’m excited to give them a try. The website states that these rounds can be used as “a light exfoliator with cleanser, as a toner pad, or as a makeup and face mask remover,” which is a lot more than my old makeup remover cloths did. I haven’t had the chance to try them out yet, however, whether it be as makeup remover rounds, toner pads or as a means of washing away face masks, I know I’ll get good use out of these.

ADD ON: Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit

This highlighter palette was honestly something I had always wanted back when it came out, but never got around to buying. After all, it was SO beautiful, but the colours didn’t really seem like anything I’d get the chance to wear that often. I knew they’d be high quality and all, since at the time Anastasia Beverly Hills was my fave go-to for highlighter — but the colours were a little “out there” so I was worried I would just buy it and never end up using it. However, seeing it being offered at a discount during the Add-On sale, paired with the fact that I’ve really been trying to branch out and get creative with my makeup lately, basically made it seem like the perfect time to finally add it to my collection. I’m so happy I did — I just love all of the colours included in this palette. They’re so dreamy and unique, and I know I’ll be able to get good use out of them both as a classic highlighter as well as an eyeshadow.

ADD ON: Stila Little White Lies Liquid Eye Shadow

These little liquid shadows are SO PRETTY! For those of you who haven’t tried out Stila’s Liquid eyeshadows before, I’d totally recommend it. Since I’ve already tried this product before and know that I love it, I felt safe grabbing this shadow in two colours knowing that I’ll get good use out of them. Stila liquid eyeshadows are always stunning and super pigmented, and unlike many other liquid shadows I’ve tried in the past — they don’t flake off and actually last. I’m absolutely obsessed with the colour of these shadows, as well — they both look like a similar white-silver shade, until the light hits them — and then they turn blue and pink, respectively. These shadow colours are right up my alley, so I knew I had to grab them when I saw them offered as add-ons.

ADD ON: Knesko Nanogold Repair Face Mask 

I was really on the fence about adding these face masks to my box — I’ve never heard of the brand before, but honestly, my curiosity got the better of me. After all, these masks are originally four for $150 — although they were only $49 with the Add-On sale. Maybe it was a silly reason to get them, but I’ve never purchased sheet masks that were this expensive and I was excited to see what made them worth that price (or, rather, if they were even worth the price). The most expensive single use masks I’d ever used prior to now were Dr. Jart’s Cryo Rubber Masks (which are, to be fair, a favourite of mine) but even then, purchasing four would end up costing about as much as these four did DISCOUNTED. (To put it all in perspective, without the sale price, these face masks would end up costing nearly $50CAD EACH!!!). At the end of the day, though, they did sound like great masks that I’d get some good use out of, so I decided to give them a try. I’ve used one so far, and I am pretty impressed — the mask really did leave my skin feeling soft and VISIBLY lifted immediately after. I’m excited to give the rest of them a try to see how I feel about them a little better than simply a first impression, but they definitely seem to have a visible effect on your skin’s firmness. As for whether I’d cough up $50 to buy these masks regularly, though…well, perhaps not. It’s hard to say after one use, but while these masks are pretty spectacular, $50 is a LOT. I think they’re probably worth the money, however, as they do work so well. If you’re looking for a nice firming mask that actually gets the job done and have $50 to spend on a single use mask — then by all means, go for it!

So, I guess it’s official — happy spring, everyone! To be honest, I’m actually looking forward to spring a little more than normal this year. I’m kind of hoping that eliminating seasonal depression from the list of things making my life difficult right now will help get me back on top of my life (at least, compared to how February had me feeling). As well, with any luck, between the end of flu season, warmer weather and more people being vaccinated, things may finally start to return to normal. I’m kind of worried that after all this time, going back to normal is going to be a challenge, but I guess we have to start somewhere! (Plus, I’m sure I’m far from the only person feeling this way ……right? Maybe? Let me know if you’ve also got mixed feelings about returning to normal life in the comments, please! Help me feel a little less alone here!).

If you’re looking a way to celebrate the start of spring for yourself, or if the products in this post really spoke to you, be sure to check out FabFitFun for yourself — it’s not to late to grab a spring box of your very own! Personally, I couldn’t recommend it more — the value you get for your money is insane, the products are always amazing, and I’ve managed to get use out of everything I’ve received thus far. It really is the perfect little way to branch out and try new brands, get all of your lifestyle item needs at a discount, or just treat yourself!

Stay tuned for next week, when I’ll be sharing my personal 3-step plan to mastering any skill (yes, you heard that right!). I’ve been planning on writing this post out for a looooong time now, so it feels really exciting to finally share it with you all! I hope you all love it and find ways to apply it to any and all skills you’ve been hoping to perfect (especially those you’ve been inspired to try over the last year!).

Much love,

Meredith

My ColourPop x Animal Crossing Collection Unboxing!

Hey friends!!!

Soooo, it’s finally happening! From the moment I saw ColourPop announce their collab with Animal Crossing, I knew this post had to happen. For those of you who live under a rock or something, Animal Crossing: New Horizons quickly became all the rage just about this time last year when lockdowns began. With our lives and busy schedules pulled seemingly out from under our feet, immersing ourselves in an adorable virtual world with all kinds of stress-free tasks to take up all of our newfound free time was the perfect way to spend lockdowns. However, my history with Animal Crossing goes back even further — back to Animal Crossing: Wild World, which was my absolute favourite video game growing up. Seriously, I was obsessed with it (and frankly, still am. The only difference now, 10+ years later is that, for better or for worse, my mom can’t limit how long I play each day).

Basically, the point is when I saw ColourPop announce they were releasing this collection, I knew it was going to be absolutely perfect for me. I decided pretty quickly that I was going to buy the whole collection when it dropped, which is something I’ve never done before (both buying a whole collection AND buying it right as it’s released). And, of course, I couldn’t just test out the whole collection without sharing it with you all! So, without further ado, here’s my first impressions of the ColourPop x Animal Crossing collab!

What a Hoot Eyeshadow Palette

Ironically, I wasn’t the only one who knew I needed this collection in my life — my sister actually ended up buying this palette for me as well. (Which is fine, as it allowed me to give away the one I originally purchased for myself to my other makeup and Animal Crossing friend Erin as a gift!). This palette is definitely the most everyday-appropriate in the set of four shadow palettes (each of which, in turn, contains four different shadows). The orangey-brown and bronzes make it a great mix of colours that can be used to create an everyday OR bold night-out look. They’re all highly pigmented and blendable, as ColourPop shadows usually are, and in particular I love the shade Meteor Shower (top-left), which looks like a normal gold shade on the surface level, but has a stunning chunky-glitter look to it when you swatch it.

5 Star Island Eyeshadow Palette

This palette is a super-cute, pink and yellow themed quad that not only has some colours that, to me and my personal makeup collection, are super unique — but I also feel that will be perfect for spring. I personally adore pink eyeshadow — it can be a tricky one because the wrong shade can end up making you look really tired — but it makes a really cute and simple every-day look when you find the right shades for you. For this palette, I’m particularly excited for the shades Isabelle and Island Designer (both on the left), as I’ve never tried out yellow eyeshadow before and the chunky pink glitter look is just so stunning.

Labelle of the Ball Eyeshadow Palette

I was particularly excited about this shadow quad, as pastel purple is one of my absolute most favourite colours — both as a colour and as an eyeshadow shade. I was a little worried, since I already own the Huda Beauty Pastel Obsessions palette in both lilac and mint green that I was going to end up with shades that were similar to shadows I already own, but the shadows in both this palette AND the Nook, Inc. mint green palette are so unique that they’re different from any other shadows I’ve seen around. I really love all the shades in this palette, but particularly the chunky iridescent purple glitter and the darker duo-chrome shades Able Sisters and Custom Design (on the left of the palette) are incredibly stunning shades unlike anything I own that I can’t wait to test out.

Nook, Inc. Eyeshadow Palette

The fourth and final shadow quad in this collection is the mint green Nook, Inc. shadow palette. While the overall look this palette gives off is a minty-green tone, each shade is really different and overall this palette looks like it’ll help me create some really cool new looks this spring. In particular, I love the shade “Made in the Shade” (top right) which took me by surprise as it didn’t look the most interesting of the bunch in the pan. As well, the glitter shade CEO (bottom left) is such a pretty colour IRL — the photos don’t really capture what a complex glitter it is.

Balloon Pop Super Shock Shadow

This collection, as well as offering the four shadow quads, also has one single super-shock shadow in a somewhat bronzey shade. The glitter in this shadow, however, is incredibly dimensional — it comes in a huge range of colours that add up to create the shadow’s overall bronze-hue. The effect of having such dimensional glitter shades in one colour gives off one of my fave effects in a shadow shade — the look that the shadow is so glittery and reflective, it’s almost like it’s wet. It just looks so beautiful and vibrant, and really creates a stunningly deep colour IRL that I can’t wait to try out and use more.

Bellionaire Glitter Gel

As you all already know, I’m kind of obsessed with ColourPop’s Gliterally Obsessed Glitter Gels. They make applying and wearing chunky glitter so EASY in a way that loose glitter just cannot ever compare to. This shade is pretty different than the Sailor Moon glitter gel I have — it isn’t as sheer, so it definitely appears a little darker on the skin. It gives off a beautiful golden colour, but it has a lot of depth, as well. Rather than just being plain gold, the glitter has a bit of a rainbow cast when the light hits it, which I think is absolutely stunning. I’m totally obsessed with ColourPop’s Glitter Gels, honestly, and I can’t wait to add even more shades to my collection.

Flower Power Pressed Powder Blush

This blush is a super cute, dusty pink shade that could honestly be flattering on just about anyone. Blush is a tough one to create a universally flattering shade in, but I feel as though no matter what your skin’s undertones are that this blush would end up looking pretty damn good. It’s very neutral and delicate — it’s pigmented, but a very light shade making it easy to work with — and it has some darker pink glitter lightly sprinkled in to give it some extra depth that I absolutely adore. Overall, I’m really happy with this shade and I can’t wait to be able to experiment with it more.

Flower Tender Pressed Powder Blush

I’m particularly excited to give this blush a proper test run, as it’s completely unlike anything I currently have in my collection. I absolutely LOVE blush — after all, contour/bronzer/blush/highlighter really is my favourite part of doing my makeup — and lately, I’ve really become enamoured with super blushy makeup looks. All the blushes I have in my collection, however, are different varieties of the same pink hue — so while switching up which shade I use definitely has an effect on the overall look, it’s nothing as dramatic as going for a different colour all together. This shade, however, is completely different from anything I own — it’s a true coral, and way more warm and orangey than anything I’ve owned in a while. Experimenting with blushes can definitely be a challenge, as they really change so much of your overall look — but I’ve been looking to branch out more in my use and repertoire of blushes lately, and this is the perfect colour to add to my collection.

Fruit Basket Lip Tint Mini Kit

Okay, these lip tints are SO. CUTE. I really didn’t know what to expect when I purchased them, as I haven’t tried anything similar from ColourPop (or any other brand, really) to give me an idea of what this product was like. After all, I’m pretty dedicated to my lipgloss collection. While I was kind of expecting these products to essentially be a lipstick, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that ColourPop’s “lip tints” are essentially VERY pigmented lip balms. Basically, they end up being a very light wash of colour on your lips, making it look like they’re almost just the colour of the lip tint naturally. The shades from the “Fruit Basket” duo are both pink-ish shades, based on Animal Crossing’s cherry and apple trees, and both colours essentially make your lips just look naturally pinker, even, and soft. I’m kind of in love with all of the lip tints I received, but I’d definitely say that this duo is the most universal of the three, and the safest bet if you were looking to try these lip tints out for yourself. However, since these kits are more of a “tint” than a lipstick, they’re really versatile and I think it would be hard to go wrong with any of the duos, honestly.

Fruit Roots Lip Tint Mini Kit

The second dup in the bunch is based off of the peach and orange trees in the Animal Crossing game universe. These are super fun, more peach and coral-based tones, that I also think would pair with the “Flower Tender” blush in a beautiful way. After being really obsessed with coral shades back in high school, I kind of avoided anything even vaguely orange-looking in makeup for years, but it really is a fun and summer colour and I’m really happy to be able to experiment with it more and add it back into my collection. These lip tints, again, aren’t crazy dark — so it’s a good way to experiment with colours I wouldn’t normally use without it being too intense. (As well, all of the lip tints smell like the fruit they represent in the game — which only makes them that much more fun and adorable!).

Pick of the Bunch Lip Tint Mini Kit

Honestly, I was a little nervous before trying these shades out — they were the one item in the collection that made me consider not buying it as a whole. Brown and neutral shade lipsticks aren’t really my thing, not only in terms of my personal style but also in terms of how well they suit me. The dark brown and neutral shades seemed like something that probably wouldn’t end up looking so great on me — in particular, the darker shade was the one that caused me the most concern. However, since it was cheaper to buy the entire collection as a package deal, I just went for it — and I’m honestly pretty happy I did. As I’ve mentioned, these lip products are more like very tinted lip moisturizers — they help make my lips feel super soft while adding a nice, sheer colour to them. There are two shades — a darker colour, based on Animal Crossing’s coconut palm trees, and a lighter shade, based on the pear trees in the game. The dark brown shade, as it turns out, didn’t end up looking like I was wearing dark brown lipstick — as well, the colour isn’t purely brown, but has some dark cherry red hues to it. As a result, it ends up looking more like a nice, dark red tint — the colour specifically reminds me of how your lips look after you eat too many cherries. I’ve actually ended up loving these shades, and I’m really glad I ended up purchasing them as they really took me by surprise and ended up being super cute and completely unlike any other shade or lip product I already have in my collection.

If you, like me, are a big enough fan of Animal Crossing to purchase this collection for that reason alone (or, you know, you saw something in this review that caught your eye), you can check out the entire collection on ColourPop’s website here! They just restocked the collab pretty recently, so most of the products are available right now. If you haven’t tried ColourPop out for yourself, I couldn’t recommend it more! Not only is their makeup pretty consistently good quality, but it’s affordable — whereas a large palette may cost anywhere from $12 to $24 — a palette of the same size would end up costing you about $50 – $100 from the average brand carried at Sephora. So if you’re looking to expand your collection and stick within your budget — ColourPop is a great place to check out.

Happy Sunday, everyone, and a very happy last day of February! Can you believe it’s actually going to be March tomorrow? I really can’t wrap my head around it, but after all — time really has no meaning anymore since COVID lockdowns began in March of last year. (I still laugh to myself when I think about how different it all seemed back then — I really thought that lockdowns would last for two weeks, or maybe three at most — and look at us now! What a weird year it’s been.). However, I’m hoping to really make the most of spring this year and set some good goals to keep me motivated, active and moving forward in order to put the last year behind me. As well, I already have some exciting posts planned for you all next month — including my Spring 2021 FabFitFun unboxing — so stay tuned!

Much love,

Meredith

100 Prompts for When You’re Suffering Writers Block!

Hey y’all!

So — writers block. As bloggers, we’ve all been there. There’s absolutely nothing more frustrating than wanting to write, or trying to meet deadlines, but having absolutely no idea where to start. Since last year, when COVID hit, I started experiencing writers block WAY harder than I ever had in the past. Pre-2020, while I had rough weeks here and there, I was always able to find SOMETHING to share for each of my Sunday blog posts. However, as a lifestyle blogger, it got challenging to find inspirations when life came to a stop. Many of my posts felt straight up monotonous, and many weeks I felt as though I couldn’t come up with anything at all.

We can all agree that the frustration that writers block creates is just about the worst feeling ever. However, no matter what’s going on in your life in the moment, the reality is as a lifestyle blogger you always have a wealth of source material waiting to be tapped into. Life isn’t just what’s happening in the moment, after all — it can be past lessons learned, goals for the future, little things that make you happy or the hobbies and interests that make you who you are.

That’s why, this week, I decided to compile a list of 100 prompts for bloggers suffering writer’s block. I’ve chosen various topics, from fashion, to wellness, to budgeting or even blogging itself that pretty much covers at least one topic for every type of lifestyle blogger out there. No matter who you are and what your niche is — there’s a prompt in here that’s perfect for you. The prompts vary a little between them — some of them are more open-ended, some are meant to inspire your own fresh ideas for a post on a related topic, and some are meant to be a question that can be answered directly in a simple and concise way. However you interpret these prompts is really up to you — so I hope you enjoy reading through them and getting inspired for your future posts! Feel free to save this post for future reference, as well — so that even if you’re overflowing with ideas now, you’ll never have to worry about your creative well running dry ever again.

Media & Culture Prompts

  1. A list of the best TV shows for when you’re in a specific mood
  2. Music recommendations and playlists
  3. A list of movies that would make the best movie marathons
  4. Your take on the latest pop-culture drama
  5. TV shows/Movies/Music everyone should check out regardless of what genres they usually stick to

Fashion & Style Prompts

  1. Your favourite fashion trends for the upcoming season
  2. Your fave fashion staples that never go out of style
  3. Shoes and bags that work with any outfit
  4. Hair accessory trends for the upcoming season that you love
  5. Sharing your specific style and favourite clothing items & accessories

Skincare & Makeup Prompts

  1. What are your favourite brands and why?
  2. What is your skincare routine?
  3. What is your everyday makeup look?
  4. What secret tips do you have for completing your perfect makeup look?
  5. What’s some skincare advice you’d share with beginners?

Lifestyle and Advice Prompts

  1. How you’d plan out the perfect self care night
  2. Your favourite ways to take a break when you’re feeling overwhelmed
  3. Organization tips and tricks that helped you get your life/living space/time management under control
  4. Positive mantras and affirmations you use when you’re feeling down
  5. Activities and advice to help get out of a mental health funk

Blogging about Blogging Prompts

  1. What did you wish you knew when you started blogging?
  2. What are some of the best hidden resources for bloggers you know of?
  3. What did you do that made your blog take off?
  4. What are YOUR favourite posts to read as a blogger?
  5. How you started to monetize your blog and grow your reach

Social Media Advice Prompts

  1. Best locations in your city for Instagram posts
  2. Best poses for people who hate taking photos
  3. Best ways to utilize Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest for outreach
  4. Best apps for perfecting your Insta pics and feed
  5. How to best utilize Pinterest (seriously, someone please write this! I’ve been using Pinterest for over a year and I still don’t understand how it works)

School and Education Prompts

  1. Studying hacks that have helped you ace classes
  2. Your best advice for surviving high school/first year/university
  3. How to handle tough situations in high school/university
  4. How to take legible, organized notes
  5. Your morning routine to ensure you’re ready and organized for the day (+how you wind down at night!)

Work and Careers Prompts

  1. How did you decide what career to pursue?
  2. Advice for people joining the workforce right now
  3. Advice on how to be successful in your specific field
  4. Secrets about your field the general public doesn’t know
  5. How to perfect a resume (+anything else related to applying to jobs in your field!)

Friends and Social Situations Prompts

  1. How to meet new people (+ especially if you’re not meeting people from school, university or work!)
  2. How to deal with friendship drama
  3. How to identify toxic relationships
  4. What do you think makes someone a good friend?
  5. What are some little things your friends do for you and each other that help you feel loved?

Love and Relationships Prompts

  1. What was something you wish you knew before your first relationship?
  2. What advice would you give your 16 year old self when it comes to love?
  3. What are the best ways to prep for a first date?
  4. What are some great date ideas for long-term couples looking to try something new?
  5. How did you know when your partner was “the one”? (+do you believe in soulmates?)

Making It Through Bad Situations Prompts

  1. What’s something you’ve been through in your life that was particularly challenging? What advice would you have for others facing similar situations?
  2. What is something you knew about life when you were 16 that you learned the hard way?
  3. What is some life advice you have for others based on what you’ve experienced in life?
  4. What was a mistake you made in life that you learned from?
  5. How has the last year of your life changed who you are or how you view the world?

Self-Reflection Prompts

  1. What are some life lessons you learned that you’d like to share?
  2. What was a toxic trait you had that you reflected on and changed?
  3. How did you learn to break a bad habit?
  4. How did you become your authentic self (both in person and through your online persona?)
  5. How have you actively worked to improve yourself? What worked and what didn’t?

Cooking, Baking, and Drinks Prompts

  1. What’s your favourite recipe?
  2. How do you make the perfect menu (charcuterie, appies, drinks food or dessert).for hosting dinner parties?
  3. What are the best recipes you’ve learned since lockdowns?
  4. What are some great recipes for those with limited time/beginners/people on a budget?
  5. What are some go-to recipes that never fail you?

Travelling & The World Prompts

  1. What is your current travel Wishlist?
  2. What are your favourite places you’ve ever been to?
  3. Where are the best places for tourists to visit in your city?
  4. Think of a location you travelled to in the past. Where would you recommend someone visiting there go?
  5. Where are the best ways you’ve learned to travel on a budget?

Home & Decor Prompts

  1. How did you decide how to decorate your first apartment?
  2. How do you find your perfect design aesthetic?
  3. Where should you start when decorating on a budget?
  4. What are some cheap/easy decor additions to make your living space more homey?
  5. Share your apartment decor + specific niche style!

Budgeting Prompts

  1. What are tips they don’t teach you in school about saving money?
  2. How did you learn to manage your savings and control your spending?
  3. If you coupon — what are your best tips and tricks for finding the best deals?
  4. What is your best advice for avoiding unnecessary purchases/compulsive shopping?
  5. What are they best ways to stay stylish on a budget?

Adulting Prompts

  1. What is something you wish you knew before entering the “real world”?
  2. What advice would you give your 16-year-old self about practical, real-life adulting skills?
  3. What are some secrets about being an adult that no one tells you (or admits to — even when you’re all adults!)
  4. What are some of the best hacks you’ve discovered for handling adult life?
  5. What is the best advice you can offer for those in their early adulthood?

Lockdown 2020/2021 Prompts

  1. How has your life changed over the last year?
  2. What are your favourite COVID-safe/at home ways to keep in touch with loved ones?
  3. What are the best new hobbies for those who are looking to try something new?
  4. What new skills and hobbies have you tried over the last year? Which ones did you like best?
  5. What tips do you have for maintaining good mental health during bad times?

Organizational Prompts

  1. What are your favourite hacks to keep your living space organized?
  2. What products changed your life in terms of staying organized?
  3. How do you go about keeping your personal space clean, even when you’re at your busiest?
  4. How do you organize your planner and schedule your daily life?
  5. What routines do you maintain that help you stay on top of everything?

Health and Wellness Prompts

  1. What are your favourite quick and easy healthy recipes?
  2. What are some great exercise routines for beginners?
  3. How did you get started on your fitness journey? What did you wish you knew before you started?
  4. What are some realistic ways to stay active and motivated day to day?
  5. What are your favourite tools (ie. meditating, exercise, sleep) for mitigating stress and maintaining your health?

As always — happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you’ve all been doing well and staying safe. We’re really closing in on one year since COVID lockdowns hit now, which is absolutely insane to think about. This time last year, I was away on Mexico on vacation, life was good and I had absolutely NO idea what was about to hit me in the weeks to come. It’s been a long year, but I’m finally feeling like I’m going to make it out in one piece. How are you all feeling about the one-year anniversary of lockdowns coming up? Drop a comment below and let me know — it’s going to be an interesting and difficult time reflecting on it all, certainly. At the very least, with any luck, we’re nearing the end of the pandemic — so at least we’ll have something to celebrate sometime soon. I, personally, truly believed that lockdowns were going to last two, maybe three weeks at most — and look at us now! If I could go back a year and tell myself what was coming, there’s no way I’d ever believe it.

Much love,

Meredith

Winter Roundup: My Fave Products So Far in 2021!

Hey y’all!

So, as some of you may remember from what feels, honestly, ages ago (even though it’s only been a few months — has COVID really messed up anyone else’s internal timeline or is it just me?) I used to share two weekly posts on my blog page — a post on Sunday, and a post on Thursday (ever-so-creatively dubbed “Thursday Favourites”) where I highlighted one of my personal favourite makeup or skincare product in a segment each week, going into detail about what it was about each product that I loved so much.

These segments were something I came up with when I first started my blog (back when I used to post THREE times a week……. I honestly don’t know how I did it). At the time, I didn’t really know where I was going with my blog, what kinds of posts I wanted to make, or really — what I was even doing. I grew attached to my little segment — it felt like my own little gimmick — even though I found it challenging to write out long, thoughtful and creative reviews on new products every week.

Then, later on, as most of you know — I started falling behind on my posts. Writing out a review to share every week started to feel like a chore — there was absolutely nothing enjoyable about it anymore, it was just a task I had to complete each week. Eventually, the stress of falling behind and the pressure I was putting on myself surrounding my blog simply became too much, and resulted in me going straight up radio silence for almost two months. It wasn’t an intentional break — I just couldn’t do it anymore.

When I finally took the time to recuperate and make my return to blogging, I knew that (at least temporarily), the weekly reviews had to go — they were the part of blogging I had found to be the most grating over the months leading up to my hiatus. I thought that the segment was something I still wanted to keep up with, so my original intention was to delay sharing them until I had built up enough of a backlog that I wouldn’t have to stress about falling behind anymore. However, once I got back into blogging 100%, I started to realize the VERY distinct difference in how I felt writing out my regular posts, compared to how I felt writing out reviews. Honestly? There wasn’t really anything fun about it. What’s more — it often took a lot more time and energy than my regular Sunday posts, as I always wanted to take and edit my own original photos of each product I was sharing each week.

After spending some time writing out only my Sunday posts and seeing my love of blogging slowly begin to return, I realized it was time to bring the Thursday Favourites segment to an end. I thought I would be sad to see it go, but honestly it’s been a bit of a relief. That being said, I still want to share my favourite products with you all — so I’ve come to a bit of a compromise. Similarly to how I’ve shared annual round-ups of all my favourite products of the year in the past, I’m now going to be doing seasonal round-ups of both new favourite products of mine, or old returning favourites I had yet to share. This way, I’m hoping I’ll still be able to share all the products I’ve been loving with you all — without the stress of writing out lengthy, blog-length reviews each week.

So, basically, we’ll see how this goes. That’s the great thing about having my own blog is that at the end of the day, what I share is ultimately up to me (and there’s no reason I should feel the need to share posts that exhaust me just because I’ve decided I’m “supposed to”). Anyway, without further ado — here’s seven of my most favourite products that I’ve tried and loved since my last Thursday Favourites update!

Sulwhasoo’s Bloomstay Vitalizing Eye Cream

My under-eye area has pretty much always been the bane of my existence. I’ve definitely mentioned this before (many, many times) on my blog, but to summarize for those of you who don’t know — for whatever reason, my under-eye area has always had seemingly perpetual dark circles which no amount of sleep or skincare ever seemed to fix. As well, the skin under my eyes has always been very delicate and has always maintained heavy creasing — basically making me look like I’m constantly exhausted (even in the best-rested, most relaxed time of my life). As well, years of trying to aggressively fix these problems basically just ended up with me clogging up all my pores under my eyes, leaving me with seemingly permanent milia (verrryyyy tiny clogged pores, for those of you lucky enough not to know. Essentially, you can’t pop them — you have to solve them with proper skincare). I wasn’t even aware that my skincare routine was causing the milia under my eyes — I thought it was just something that was permanently a part of my face.

I tried out a couple of eye creams over the years, but honestly, I never found what I was looking for. A lot of the eye creams I tried had seemingly no effect — I honestly couldn’t tell what, exactly, I was spending all this money for. However, I finally found one that was worth it. This eye cream has actually made noticeable changes to my under eye area — since trying this cream, my dark circles have mostly vanished, my skin has firmed up, and while I’m still struggling to be 100% rid of all my old milia — this product hasn’t done anything to add to the issue. (It’s taking a while to resolve, but I’m getting there!). Anyway, this stuff is expensive but it really is the best — I’m pretty sure I’ve found my forever eye cream here.

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at Sephora!

Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

I won’t lie — this product was a bit of an impulse purchase that I was pretty certain I was going to regret, but ended up obsessed with. When this product first launched, all the posts I saw about it and it’s natural, makeup-free highlighting abilities really sold me — but immediately after I purchased it, I began worrying about whether or not it was something I really, truly needed. I figured, ultimately, that I would give it a try and I could always end up returning it if it turned out to be something that was unnecessary (which isn’t something I normally do, ever, because it can be pretty wasteful). However, when I actually got this product and tried it out, all my worries washed away. (I don’t even know why I was stressed — Glow Recipe has never done me wrong). This product has so many uses — it’s hydrating, adds a glow to your skin naturally, and can be worn with makeup to give your skin a little extra boost. As well, niacinamide acts to remove any hyperpigmentation and scarring from the skin — which I ended up loving, since it’s not a skincare ingredient I had used before. Ultimately, this has made a fantastic addition to my morning skincare routine — it leaves me looking fresh, awake, and glow — while also serving a purpose in my skincare. I was so nervous that this product was going to be something that I wouldn’t use or need, but it honestly gives me something new to look forward to every morning when I wash my face.

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at Sephora!

Biossance’s Squalane + Tea Tree Detox Mask

This mask has got to be one of my all-time faves. Before trying this mask out, I’d been going years using harsh charcoal and clay masks to unclog my pores — which can be super useful, but harsh on sensitive skin. While I do love charcoal masks for occasional use, I was really needing something solid help unclog my pores regularly without being too harsh or stripping the oils from my face. For anyone else out there who feels the same way, and has sensitive skin like me — you need to try this mask out for yourself. As the name suggests, it’s purpose is to detox your pores, but it does it without being too harsh — in fact, it actually hydrates your skin as you use it! I always can feel AND see a noticeable difference in my skin after using this mask. Seriously, it’s like I have baby skin after. 10/10, would recommend.

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at Sephora!

Laneige’s Lip Glowy Balm

Laneige is a brand I’m pretty new to, but have been absolutely loving. I already use and love their overnight lip mask, and I’ve tried out a sample of their overnight hydration mask (which I adored). So when I was in need of a new lip balm, I figured — why not give this one a shot? When it comes to lip balms, I often find there are two kinds — ones that double as a gloss, and ones that actually work. This is, honestly, the first lip balm I’ve ever tried that does both. This lip balm has a glossy-like sheen to it, but isn’t sticky or gross. It actually lasts, too — unlike so many lip balms that need constant reapplication. It’s pretty thick, however, that type of thing doesn’t really bother me with balms (and it definitely isn’t the heaviest lip balm I’ve ever tried). Most importantly, though — it always leaves me lips feeling softer after I use it.

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at Sephora!

Glow Recipe’s Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Mask

This is another face mask I’ve tried in the last year that’s definitely made it into my permanent collection. Retinol is a pretty renowned ingredient in skincare nowadays, and for a lot of good reasons. There’s all kinds of cool benefits to using it — the main ones being preventing (and minimizing existing) wrinkles, brightening and exfoliating the skin at a cellular level by increasing cell turnover rates, help regulate oily skin, prevent breakouts and even help with hyperpigmentation. Which is a lot of benefits! However, it definitely has some downsides too — it can be pretty intense on the skin, and overuse can lead to redness and peeling, as well — it does tend to make your skin more sensitive to the sun. I’m always nervous about trying out hardcore active ingredients in my skincare routine, but I decided to give this mask a shot. This mask is PERFECT for people with sensitive skin, or who are looking to give retinol a go and want to dip their toes in. Not only can it be used as frequently or infrequently as you need, but it can also be used as a wash off OR overnight mask, depending on your needs. Personally, I use this mask as a wash-off, but it’s totally fine to wear it overnight as well — Glow Recipe has a special retinol recipe that helps it release slowly overnight, so it won’t be damaging your skin or anything. No matter what, it definitely can take your skin some time to adjust to retinol — but the benefits really do seem worth it. If you’re new to retinol, though, this mask is 100% the perfect place to start.

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at Sephora!

ColourPop’s Super Shock Highlighter

I recently tried ColourPop for the first time ever, and I have to say, I’m obsessed. All of their makeup has impressed me so far (especially considering the price), but none of them blew me away the same way their Super Shock highlighter has. This highlighter is INSANE. It creates a look that’s so dewy and dimensional — they describe it on their website as “bouncy”, and they definitely aren’t wrong. This stuff is PIGMENTED, and the colour is absolutely stunning. I know I’m definitely going to be buying more in the future — because this really may be the best highlighter I’ve ever used (and that says a lot, coming from a highlighter enthusiast such as myself).

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at ColourPop!

ColourPop Glitterally Obsessed Glitter Gel

This was another one of ColourPop’s products I tried in my recent haul that really blew me away. I absolutely LOVE glitter, but using it in makeup can be a real pain. Loose glitter is nearly impossible to apply well, and you often end up needing special glue or other products to apply it right and make it stay. This gel, however, totally takes all the stress out of glitter — while it may look super pink, the gel itself is actually clear — so you can simply dab this glitter on wherever you’re feeling it. And that’s it! It stays SO well. While I guess I really don’t have many opportunities to wear glitter out lately with COVID and all (this stuff would be PERFECT for festival season), I’m definitely going to find ways to work it into my makeup looks because I just adore it.

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at ColourPop!

Happy Sunday everyone, and happy Valentine’s Day! No matter what you ended up doing today, or who you spent the day with — I hope you all had a great day. Holidays don’t have to be big and over-the-top to be special, after all — I had a great day today, and all I did was treat myself to some bubble tea and watch the latest episode of my favourite show.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post — I’m hoping that this segment ends up working out, and helps me to share my favourite products with you in a way that’s stress-free and enjoyable to me! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the format, so drop a comment below and let me know what you thought!

Much love,

Meredith

Stay-At-Home Valentine’s Ideas For Singles and Significant Other’s!

Hey y’all!

So, it’s finally February, which can only mean one thing — it’s almost Valentine’s Day.

I’m definitely in the minority on this one, but personally — I’m actually pretty indifferent to Valentine’s Day. I feel like it’s a holiday that causes a lot of heightened emotions for a lot of people — there can be crazy high expectations for those in relationships, and feelings of absolute dread for those who are single. It’s kind of sad, however, to see a holiday that’s supposed to be love turn into something that causes so much stress in others, though. Which is why, since starting my blog, I’ve made it a mission each February to make posts to help alleviate some of the stress surrounding February 14th.

In all honesty, I really couldn’t tell you what I’ve done on Valentine’s Day the past few years — I’ve been single for a while now, and I guess my apathetic attitude towards the holiday makes me kind of lucky, since it doesn’t really cause me any trouble. However, I did used to be a bit of an Edge Lordtm about the whole thing a few years back, so I do know how much it can suck to feel as though everyone is rubbing their happiness in your faces.

Truth be told, however, the one time I actually was in a relationship on Valentine’s Day was actually kind of crappier than any year I’ve spent single. For a holiday that should simply be about celebrating your relationship, it sure as hell comes with a lot of extra baggage. This year, however, all of our expectations for just about anything have gone out the window — so I’m hoping that with stay-at-home restrictions, limited open public spaces, and all the other crazy stuff going on in the world, we can all take it back to the basics and remember why Valentine’s Day should be celebrated in the first place.

So, whether you’re in a relationship and looking for some COVID-safe activities for the 14th, or single and looking for a way to celebrate yourself this Valentine’s Day, here are ##### ideas that work for singles, couples, AND friend’s this Valentine’s that will help you celebrate love and happiness in a safe and stress-free way!

Make an Elaborate Meal

If you’ve been taking up cooking since COVID began or have really been missing going out to fancy restaurants lately, this is the perfect Valentine’s plan for you. Rather than just eating whatever you’ve meal prepped for the week, plan out a multiple-course dinner for yourself, your significant others or your household complete with a little menu, entrées, desserts, and maybe even some fancy drink pairings. If you really want to go all out, make a Spotify playlist for the night, decorate your dining area and dress up to the nines — why not, right? Even if you live alone and you’re celebrating by yourself this year, I’m a big believer that you don’t always need an excuse to dress up or treat yourself. Going all-out to recreate the fine dining night-out experience in your own home is definitely a night you’ll remember — and you’ll be able to cater your own little restaurant experience perfectly to your own tastes, too!

Have a Spa Night

I know I suggest this one a lot, but it’s a great way to treat yourself, and works well as a night in with your SO or friends, as well. If this is the vibe you’re feeling this 14th, go all out and plan an elaborate self-care night, tailored towards your personal plans! Feel free to decorate, prep some snacks, make some tea (or grab some wine), light some candles, and set up a Spotify playlist full of some chill vibes. To really relax fully and enjoy your night, plan out what you’ll be doing in advance so when the time comes, you don’t even have to think about it! Some great ideas are face masks, mani/pedis, warm baths, a little meditation — it’s all up to you!

Plan a Movie Marathon

For a chiller night in with a less planning, the best way to go is often a good old-fashioned movie marathon. Order a pizza, grab a bottle of wine and some snacks, and you’re basically set for the night. One of the best ways to make a movie marathon feel like an occasion is to choose a theme, or franchise, to stick to for the night. As for what that is — it’s up to you and whoever will be joining you this Valentine’s Day! Some good ideas may be classic Golden Age Hollywood movies, Rom-Com’s, cheesy horror movies, animated films such as Disney or Studio Ghibli, or fantasy franchises such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and the MCU.

Explore the Outdoors

Depending on where you’re located (and weather-depending), spending the day outside can be a great way to spend Valentine’s Day by yourself or with those who are special to you. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with nice enough weather, you can plan a picnic or spend the evening watching the sunset — and for those of you in cooler climates, you can always try out heading out on a walk or hike, or taking some time to drive somewhere isolated and go stargazing. Outdoor activities really vary depending on where in the world your located, so if this sounds like something you’re feeling down for, give your local outdoor attractions a quick google and see if you can find something special!

Make a DIY Cocktail Bar

This is basically the same idea as making an elaborate home meal for those of us looking to have a boozier night on the 14th. Instead of planning out a meal, search up some recipes for some of your fave fancy cocktails and gather up all the ingredients you’ll need. Plan out a little menu with a couple options, and you’re good to go! Some ways you can really help create the atmosphere of being out at a classy bar establishment is setting up a little charcuterie or cheese board, decorating your space, getting all dressed up, and making a playlist for whatever vibe you’re going for.

Bake Some V-Day Treats

If you’re one for baking, skip the chocolates this year (or not — why not both?) and bake your own Valentine’s treats. There’s all kinds of ways to pull off this little Valentine’s Day plan — depending on what you and others in your life enjoy, you can either surprise the important people in your life with some homemade Valentine’s snacks, spend the day baking with your SO, friends or family — or just bake up a bunch of treats for yourself!

Have an At-Home Wine and Paint Night

This is a super fun and cute idea if you’re looking to spend your Valentine’s doing an activity that’s a little more elaborate and hands on, IMO. It’ll take a little bit of prep — you’ll need canvases/paper, paint, paintbrushes (and wine, obviously) to really pull this idea off. If you’re really looking to go all out, make sure you also pick up some snacks, maybe even a little decor, and prepare the perfect Spotify playlist to set the mood. The best part is, this activity actually works perfectly, no matter who you end up spending your night with (even if it’s yourself!). As a bonus, afterwards you also have a sweet little keepsake to help you remember the night forever (even if you may not remember it yourself! I won’t judge.).

No matter how you guys end up spending your Valentine’s this year, regardless of who you end up spending it with, I hope you all end up having an amazing day (even if this Valentine’s is just going to be another Sunday for you). No matter what, just remember that while Valentine’s is a lovely holiday meant to celebrate happiness and love, it isn’t the be all to end all — and just because it doesn’t end up going the way you pictured it being doesn’t always mean it was a total bust. My hope for all of you is that this year, no matter what your circumstances are — Valentine’s ends up being fantastic at best, or just another day at worst. Even if, for whatever reason, you really are dreading Valentine’s this year — at the end of the day, it’s just another day and you will get through it.

Happy Sunday, everyone! For those of you big on sports, I hope you all had fun this Super Bowl Sunday (I personally could not care less as a non-American, non-sports fan who used to work at a sports bar — but that’s just me!). If you did something really fun and COVID-friendly today, drop a comment below and let me know how you spent it! I’m always looking for new, fun, stay-at-home friendly ideas to use in my own life.

Much love,

Meredith