Thursday Favourites: June 11th

Hey everyone!

I’m starting off today’s post with a confession of sorts — I have always struggled with having super short, straight lashes and such light brown lashes and brows that they are practically non-existent without makeup. It’s honestly super frustrating — especially since my hair is so naturally dark, you’d at least expect I would have brows to match.

However, it was the short lashes that always bugged me the most. My lashes were so short and straight that wearing mascara honestly did little to help. I always wanted to have beautiful, long natural lashes — false lashes are fantastic, but wearing them every day is super time-consuming. Eventually last year, I started getting lash lifts — which really changed my daily makeup game. However, the results ultimately kinda depend on your natural lashes. While I’ve tried lash serums before, my lash lady suggested really making sure I was applying them every day, as well as adding castor oil to my lash tips before bed to help condition my lashes to keep them strong and healthy.

I’ve never really had a go-to lash serum — I was pretty bad about remembering to apply them every day anyway, so sometimes it was hard to see results. However, I think I’ve finally found my holy grail product all thanks to Shiseido and their absolutely bomb lash serum. Not only did I start to see serious results within just a month of using this product — I’ve been finding it a lot easier to apply than most serums. First of all, it dries pretty quickly; so many lash serums don’t, which gets annoying since I would have to wait around for it to dry before finishing my skincare. As well, this product uses a doe-foot applicator — maybe not really the most important thing when looking for a lash serum, but I actually love the way it applies product about my lash line and to my brows. I thought it was a little weird at first — almost every lash and brow serum comes with a brush — but after one use I totally got why. It just makes so much more sense!

Of course the real selling point is the effect it had on my brows — for the first time in my life, they actually look thick, full and dark. I finally feel like my brows match my face and hair, and look good even without makeup on. My lashes are definitely a lot longer, too — although I haven’t work mascara or gotten a fresh lift lately, so until then I haven’t even seen the full effect yet. My only regret is not taking before and after pictures so you guys could all see the real effect this serum has!

If you’ve been hoping for a serum that gives you real results, be sure to check out Shiseido’s Full Lash and Brow Serum at Sephora!

I hope June is off to a great start for you all! It’s crazy to think how much of 2020 has gone by already (it really has felt like the longest short year ever). I, for one, couldn’t be more excited for summer — I can’t wait to get outside, hit the beach, and hopefully do some hikes as well!

Much love,

Meredith

My June Bullet Journal!

Hey y’all!

A lot has changed in the world since I shared my May Bullet Journal last month. I talked all about how during lockdown, while I had absolutely nothing to keep me on track, my little journal was invaluable to keeping my routines, mental health and goals in check.

While I’ve used and loved bullet journalling before, the way it helped me stay on track over the last month has been incredible. I’ve kept up with old and new daily routines nearly every day without fail, gotten a lot of tasks I’ve been meaning to complete forever finished, and being able to visualize my mood over the last month has helped me check in on myself during a time when it really is the most important.

I don’t know that I’m going to be making a habit of sharing my journals each month, as I do feel that would be awfully repetitive. However, the world has changed completely, once again, over the last month — which poses new challenges and goals to keep track of. In Vancouver, restrictions are slowly being lifted — restaurants are slowly reopening, beaches are open to the public, and we’re all allowed to hang out with up to six people in person. It’s a slow start, but the world (for the time being) is starting to feel a little more normal.

As such, I have totally different goals for the next month — while I want to ensure I keep up the good habits I’ve formed over the last little while, I also need to start applying to new jobs, making more of a point to get outside and create new content, and hopefully even incorporate workout classes into my schedule. The point being — this month, while still not even all that close to being normal, is going to be crazy different from the last. It’s still just as important as ever for me to be keeping track of my goals and checking in with myself, so I wanted to share how I plan on doing that for others who are a little nervous for what June may hold!

Mood Tracker

I’ve already shared this one with you before, but this was my first time using a mood tracker for an entire month and actually sticking with it every day. I had started one just before May when I shared the tracker I’ve been using over the past month, but it was only for the second half of April and I wasn’t great about filling it in every day. This month, I’m taking my mood tracking a step further by adding a wider range of categories to help me determine my mood for the day more accurately.

New And Improved Habit Tracker

This habit tracker has been unparalleled in terms of being a useful tool to ensure that I stick to habits I’m hoping to create. Not only does it hold me accountable and increase the likelihood of me sticking to habits even on days when I have low motivation — it allows me to visualize how successful I’ve been at incorporating these habits into my life. As well, in terms of things such as skincare and taking my medications, it serves as a reminder to do these before bed if I haven’t already. This month, I’m adding a few mew categories — I’m breaking up workouts into yoga and workouts, as I intend to maintain my daily yoga routine while incorporating spin classes, running or HIIT into my days as well (but not every day — I know what I can handle!). As well, I’m breaking down medications into meds and vitamins, so I can hopefully have an easier time remembering to take the daily vitamins that I need, which I’m still not great about. I’ve added one to remind me to practice my Japanese on Duolingo (why? no reason — it’s something I tried a year ago and I love the idea of being able to speak three languages). As well, I left one blank — just in case!

Job Hunt Schedule

This one is a new one for this month — I’ve been working on creating a plan for applying to jobs to ensure I can be as efficient and successful with it as possible. Since this will be my first post-grad job and the job market is definitely a little weird right now, I want to make sure I’m staying on track and making daily progress.

June Goals

This one is pretty standard — I make a checklist of everything I want to accomplish before the end of the month to help me visualize and remember all of my goals. It makes it a lot easier to keep track of what I’ve done and what still needs doing — and even if they’re things that can’t be checked off until the end of the month, it still serves and an important reminder every time I check in to see the progress I’m making. This list is more for month long goals, rather than tasks, so this list more helps to remind me of things I should be constantly working towards.

June To-Do List

This list, on the other hand, is all the tasks I need to complete by the end of the month. Unlike the goal list, these are just things I need to get done and out of the way. I guess an easy way to think of it is that my goal list is for long-term tasks and activities, whereas this is for short-term — and once I complete a task it’s over and done with. This list helps me keep track of everything that I need to just finish up and get out of the way, and it feels great every time I’m able to check one off the list.

June Brainstorm & Blog Tracker

This month I’m taking my blog brainstorming a little further to really help me flesh out all my ideas, so that I can be free to be as creative as possible and work through all my ideas — whether they work or not, or just need to be saved for later on. As well, I’ll be including those blogging, Twitter and Instagram trackers I mentioned earlier, to help me visualize how frequently I’m creating content and utilizing social media.

June Chore Schedule

Since over this next month, it’s likely I’m going to be spending more time being out and about and a being a lot busier than I was thing month, I’m creating a chore schedule for the whole month to ensure I keep up with everything and keep my home clean and organized. I’m scheduling everything from weekly cleans to monthly deep-cleans and reorganizing, so I can be sure to complete them in a timely and appropriate manner to keep any of these tasks from being pushed aside for too long. Hopefully this will help bring balance to my life when it starts to get a little busier and keep me from getting overwhelmed with tasks, as I’ll know when to do stuff and whether or not it is done.

I don’t know about you all, but I’m both incredibly excited and nervous for what the next month is going to hold. On one hand, I’ll be able to see a few friends, maybe go for a meal out, and hopefully spend some time outside without worrying as much about everything going on. On the other hand, I’m really nervous that I’ve become too adjusted to my stay-at-home life, and that I’m going to have trouble finding the energy and motivation to stay busy and away from home all day, as well as putting in the effort to look put-together and maintaining my newfound routines. Having this journal ready to go for the next month at least has me feeling a little hopeful I’ll be able to use it to stay on track and make June a success.

I hope you’re all adjusting well back to normal life, whatever that means for where you live! It’s strange how some places in the world are now completely back to normal, whereas some still have full restrictions — whatever lies ahead for the next month, it sure will be interesting. I’m sending positive vibes out your way, and hoping that you’re all able to stay safe and have a successful June and achieve all your goals, whatever that may mean for you! (And if you want to share those goals, or your own methods for keeping track of them — drop a comment below! I’d love to hear all about it).

Stay safe out there, and happy end of May! No matter what you’ve been through this month, it’s finally almost over. We’ve almost made it through.

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: May 28th

Hey guys!

This post is going to be a bit of a first — it’s a little different from my usual Thursday reviews. I’ve been using Glow Recipe’s Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Eye Mask for about a month now, and while I absolutely adore it — I won’t be repurchasing. I have my reasons, though, and I would still vouch for the quality and performance of this product. While it may not be the product for me, there’s many people this product would be useful for — so I’m sharing it in hopes that it may be the product some of you have been searching for!

Anyone who’s been following my blog for a while probably already knows this, but when it comes to skincare my biggest concern is my under eye area. The skin under my eyes has always been chronically puffy, saggy and dark — it has absolutely nothing to do with my sleep or health. I’ve spent years looking for some magical eye cream that will solve all my problems — but sadly, I’ve yet to find it. Lately, I’ve been branching out in terms of ingredients used in my skincare products, hoping that trying out new things may open up possibilities for what works best on my face. One that I’ve been hearing about time and time again is Retinol — a synthesized Vitamin A ingredient meant to combat dark spots and aging.

I decided to test out this eye mask by Glow Recipe, as I was super curious about their brand (which I hadn’t tried at the time, but I’m now super in love with). I knew retinol probably wasn’t the ingredient I was looking for — my dark under eye circles are clearly not related to hyperpigmentation — but I still wanted to give it a shot.

Let’s start off with what I loved about this product. First of all, this stuff is SO creamy and luxurious. It feels so silky when you apply it — which is lovely. I was worried about it’s heavier texture at first, as I’m prone to milia under my eyes, but this cream didn’t even clog up my pores in the slightest. I’m often not a fan of how super thick and creamy products feel on my face, but this eye mask doesn’t give that suffocating feeling of other heavy products — which is amazing. Second of all, this stuff totally packs a lot of great nourishing and hydrating ingredients in it’s formulation. I’ve definitely noticed my under eyes are looking and feeling pretty smooth and hydrated lately, so that’s a win. Overall, my under eye area is definitely looking pretty bright and even ever since I started using this product, and I’d definitely vouch for it as an overall amazing eye cream.

The reason I won’t be repurchasing this specific eye mask is because retinol isn’t something I particularly need in my skincare routine (at least, not yet). While this eye cream is amazing for so many reasons — there are probably eye creams out there better suited to my personal needs. However, this doesn’t stop this product from being absolutely bomb — and if you’ve been looking to get into retinol-based skincare, I would totally recommend trying out some of Glow Recipe’s line. I’m totally obsessed with their all-natural products and the AMAZING results they give. When it comes time to start introducing retinol to my daily routine in the future, I’m definitely going to be giving the face mask version of this product a try.

If you’ve been looking to give retinol a try and don’t know where to start, or if this eye cream sounds like it addresses your skin’s specific needs, I honestly couldn’t recommend this product more. If you want to check it out for yourself, you can find it online at Sephora here!

As a final note before I go — I’m now about halfway through this eye cream so I’m going to be needing some recommendations for what to try next! Drop a comment below with your current eye cream or favourite product you’ve tried — I’d love to hear all your suggestions! In the meantime, I hope you’re all doing well. Stay tuned this Sunday to read all about my June Bullet Journal, and what I’m changing up this month to help me move through another crazy and unpredictable month — especially with how different June will be now that things are opening back up!

Much love,

Meredith

May Self-Care Ideas!

Hey everyone!

Often times when it comes to self-care, I’ve heard people repeat the concept that self-care is self-discipline. While I personally believe self-care can be so much more than that, I’ve really come to understand what people mean when they say this about self-care the last few months. While I still believe that concepts such as spa nights, taking baths and face masks are an important part of taking care of yourself and helping you stay relaxed — discipline is needed to take care of yourself of a daily basis.

During stay-at-home, while I have absolutely nothing but my own willpower to keep my life on track, I’ve really began to see the value in the idea of self-discipline as self care. The best way I can think of to explain is that good things are only good in moderation. For instance, as much as I love the idea of eating pizza and Chinese takeout every day — it would be expensive and wildly unhealthy. And as much as I really do love sleeping — if I don’t set alarms in the morning, I oversleep, leaving me feeling tired for the rest of whatever’s left of the day. As well, when it comes time to sleep the next night, I have trouble falling asleep — causing me stress and ruining my sleep schedule. And of course, as I explained a little in my stay-at-home routine blog, as much as it sounds like a great idea to sit around watching Netflix 24/7, it means I won’t complete any of my tasks, I’ll stay in bed all day, and I’ll eventually get extra-bored when I run out of shows to watch. I think you’re probably getting the point — while a lot of these things are great every once in a while, it’s the concept of moderation that keeps them from having a negative effect on my health, mental well-being and stress levels.

As such, I’ve kind of decided to take this self-care list in a bit of a different direction for this spring — and I’m sharing my favourite ways to maintain self-discipline in the face of having absolutely no responsibilities and nothing tying you down to your routine. If we can take the time to master these now, imagine how much more productive, relaxed, and happy we’ll all be with our new habits when we’re back to normal life!

Keeping A Routine

Okay, yes, I know I just went over this. But it’s really been crazy helpful in terms of holding it together. I think something that’s important when you’re trying to settle into a schedule is to remember you don’t have to have it down perfectly from the get-go. It’s hard! Trust me, it won’t happen overnight. It took me WEEKS to really get my schedule and wake up times to regulate — and then they ended up falling apart shortly thereafter. But even when you’re just starting out, having the routine will help you do everything you’ve been meaning to do, stay organized, have your own free time, and seriously help reduce stress. Plus, even when it’s not perfect, it’s still better than nothing.

Meditating 

This gets thrown around a lot on people’s lists, but I feel like it rarely gets taken to heart. I think a lot of people either mean to incorporate it into their life and forget, or don’t see how it will benefit them. If you have trouble remembering to meditate, but have been meaning to, start small! Try practicing every other night, or even just once a week. As well, with habits I’m trying to incorporate into my daily routine, I find it helps to do them first thing in the morning or right before bed — whichever you prefer. For those of those who don’t understand how meditating will help — that’s fair! But when was the last time you intentionally took a break, or checked in with yourself? Put aside all your responsibilities intentionally, and took a moment to relax? I’d suggest trying it once — there’s no harm, and if it doesn’t work out then it’s no biggie!

Morning Workouts

This is something I had always wanted to get into, but didn’t have the motivation to start before now. One of my biggest challenges with working out daily was the inconvenience of finding the right time — waking up early to do it was challenging (but otherwise the perfect time), the middle of the day really eats up a lot of time and leaves you feeling kinda gross and sweaty all day after. Early evenings after class ended up too close to dinner time (however I can see how after a 9-5 could be very convenient), and late night I just hated for so many reasons. I’m taking this time now to add in a little morning workout to my routine in hopes that I’ll stick with it once we’re back to normal. It’ll definitely be a challenge to keep it up every day in the future, but for right now, I love how refreshed it helps me feel, as well as how it’s trickier to put off and helps me get a good start on my day.

Positive Affirmations

This aspect of self-care is something I’ve really been trying to incorporate into my days lately. The way we speak to ourselves MATTERS. If nothing else, remember that “faking it ’til you make it” often works. If you don’t feel confident? Fake it. Saying positive things about yourself every day feels wrong? Fake it. There’s absolutely no downside to practicing positive affirmations, but so much to be gained. So go ahead, try it! Speak some good things into existence and try hyping yourself up every once in a while.

Eating Healthy 

Yes, this is another really obvious one — but it’s vital to feeling your best. It’s hard to get into the habit of eating healthy every day, but once you start it’s not hard to keep it up. The best way to maintain a healthy diet is to maintain balance — it’s next to impossible to never eat an unhealthy snack or meal EVER. I usually go for one unhealthy snack or meal per day, but the rest should ideally be healthy. As well, when you’re busy it’s almost impossible to maintain a healthy diet without prep — I always ensure to meal prep and have three breakfast/lunch ideas planned out and ready to make so I can switch it up when they get repetitive. I’ve found it really easy with my stay-at-home lifestyle to make all my food myself — with all my newfound time and energy, it’s actually a lot less stressful than ordering takeout — and the way it has me feeling is AMAZING.

Doing Things That Make You Feel Good About Yourself

This one is really anything you want it to be. Does doing your makeup every so often make you feel better about yourself? Maybe dressing up nice, or doing your hair, makes you feel a little more put together and normal during this absolute not-normal time? Who knows! It could be a face mask, or a hair cut, or whatever it’ll take to make you feel a little happier with your appearance. It’ll help you feel happier and more confident — which is important to maintaining good mental health right now.

Going Outside

This is extra important right now — get some fresh air! It doesn’t have to be anything huge — it can literally just be sitting on your front lawn, at a local park, or whatever your heart desires. Getting in some sunshine and getting out of our inside spaces is so important — it really will do your mental health a world of good. I’ve even been thinking of adding a little walk to my daily schedule to help me spend more time outside and to ensure I get a little fresh air every day.

Staying Organized

As someone who was formerly super-messy, totally unorganized and completely winging it in every situation, I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how much being organized reduces your stress. Even though I was a highly-functioning hot mess (never missed assignments, meetings or social activities, never lost or damaged items in my messy living space, never really felt my life was out of control), just knowing that everything is written down, planned out, or cleaned up just takes an extra load of worry off and frees up extra space in your brain. I know it’s all pretty obvious in theory, but you don’t really realize how helpful it is until you try it for yourself. No matter how organized you already are, take a day or two to deep-clean and re-organize all of your things, organize all your important deadlines and to-do lists, and schedule out everything you need to do. Not just once — doing this once a month will really help you keep everything under control and keep you stress-free.

+ Regular Self Care!

Don’t forget about taking time out of your schedule to treat yourself and unwind — it’s still important! Self-discipline isn’t the only kind of self-care out there. Plan a little spa night, take a day off to watch Netflix in bed, take a bath — whatever it is you love doing for self care most! This one’s really up to you, so feel free to free-style! (Plus, if you need any ideas, you can always check out my previous posts on self care.).

I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy, especially with everything beginning to re-open around the world. I’ve personally been finding re-opening weirder than quarantine — it’s strange having life at a different new-normal, and it’s hard to tell what’s actually safe or not. As such, I’ve kind of been leaning into my routines and habits even more lately — no matter what’s happening in the outside world, they remain consistent. As for what’s up in my life — I’m about to begin the job hunt for my first post-grad job! Getting started (especially with the world right now) is definitely a little daunting (but also incredibly exciting) — wish me luck!

Xo,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: May 21st

Hey y’all!

This week I wanted to share with you all a skincare product that’s relatively new to my lineup, but has quickly become a staple in my daily routine. I’m talking about Herbivore Botanical’s Lapis Balancing Oil — one of the many facial oils Herbivore offers in their skincare line. I had been itching to try Herbivore’s skincare products for a long, long while now (as many of you already know, I’ve been a fan of their body products for a while now). However, I sometimes find it difficult to work new products and brands into my routine — why mess with a good thing, you know?

I finally got my chance after receiving a sample of a different balancing oil from Sephora, which I ended up loving. I decided I could use a balancing oil in my regular line-up. And since I knew I wanted to add this oil in the future and change up my routine, why not give Herbivore’s version a try to see if I loved their skincare as much as I love their body products?

Initially, I purchased this product in a sample size from their little “True Blue” skin clarifying duo, so I could get a sense of what this product was like before committing to the full-sized bottle (which is HUGE, and I love how long I know this is going to last me). The duo also comes with a sample size of their Blue Tansy resurfacing and clarifying mask, so I got to try out both at once. When it came to the Blue Tansy mask, it was my first time using BHA products on my skin — and I personally was just so-so on it. I know others love this mask, and if you’re looking for a good BHA exfoliator, I’d still recommend giving this one a shot — it just wasn’t for me. The Lapis Oil, on the other hand — well, it was pretty much love at first use.

Balancing oil, in comparison to other facial oils out there, is meant to reduce redness and blemishes in the skin. As the name suggests, it is meant to help balance out excess oils — making it great for combo skin. Ever since I’ve starting using this oil, I’ve basically been able to kiss any remnants of my past combo skin goodbye — this oil helped neutralize both dryness and oiliness in my face to just leave my skin feeling normal in the mornings. As well, it really helped with redness in my complexion (particularly around my nose, where I always had redness no matter what I tried).

What I love most about this oil in particular, however, is how sheer and non-greasy it is. As far as oils go, it’s incredibly lightweight, and by the morning I always find it’s completely absorbed into my skin. It should be noted that I mix it with my other all-time fave facial oil, Biossance’s Vitamin C + Rose Oil, so I don’t actually know how this product is as a stand-alone. However, the two of these combined every night help reduce any redness in my skin, keep it blemish-free, build up my skin’s natural barrier, add radiance and keep my skin looking firm and beautiful. As well, these products mix together super well and have no problem absorbing by the next day. Together, this products have really upped my skincare game. If I had to choose my favourite part of my evening skincare routine, applying oils in the final step is 100% where it’s at.

If this sounds like the facial oil you’ve been needing to add to your daily line-up, be sure to check it out at Sephora here!

I hope you’re all doing well, and hopefully it’s starting to feel a little summery wherever you’re at right now. This May has been crazy hot for Vancouver, but honestly I’m kind of enjoying it — it’s a little much sometimes, but I love being able to go outside in my summer clothes and enjoy some fresh air for once. After the last few months inside, I kinda really needed it. (And for those of you still under stay-at-home orders or who just need to relax and get their life back in order, stay tuned for my post this Sunday on Spring Stay-At-Home Self Care!)

Much love,

Meredith