Thursday Favourites: July 16th

Hey friends!

Happy Thursday! I hope everyone is having a productive and positive week — and if not, at least it’s almost Friday! I’ve still been feeling a little low on motivation lately, but the weather has finally started to turn around in Vancouver and feel like summer (which is kind of a huge blessing, but I also don’t have AC in my apartment, so it’s a bit of a curse, too). However, I’m kind of hoping to find some motivation and turn the second half of July around — there’s still time!

This week, I’m returning to more regular content and sharing a brand-new product with you all. I wanted to share a product that I’ve only started using recently, but have quickly fallen in love with. Have you ever stumbled across a product that filled a void in your skincare or makeup routine that you didn’t even know existed? Yeah, that’s this product for me: Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip Primer.

Not that I wasn’t using primer before — that would be crazy. I just didn’t know how much primers could DO before I tried this product. I honestly just tried it on a bit of a whim — I didn’t really need a new primer just yet at the time, but as this product grew in popularity I began seeing it popping up everywhere and decided I had to try it. I had been feeling just so-so on my old primer for a while — it was fine, but it was more of a moisturizer than something to really keep makeup in place. I already have more than enough moisturizers in my skincare routine, so I felt it was time to branch out and try something new (after all, I can always put down a layer of my everyday moisturizer before my primer to fill the need).

I really didn’t know what to expect when I tried out the Hydro Grip primer — I’d been using my last primer for years, and I honestly didn’t remember what it felt like to USE other primers with my makeup. (I guess Tarte’s Timeless Smoothing Primer would be the exception, which I only used on special occasions — but I still stand by and love). And while it wasn’t like my old primer had no grip to it whatsoever, I definitely did NOT know what grip really felt like until I gave this primer a go.

This primer is almost like a layer of glue that keeps your makeup stuck down on your face once you apply it. That definitely sounds like a bit of a weird way to describe something, because it does sound a little unpleasant, but I swear it’s not. This primer is also super lightweight, and once you’ve applied your makeup you absolutely cannot feel it, so don’t let the whole “glue” thing deter you — it really just means that it’s going to help your makeup stay put all day. (Which it does do an amazing job at — I can’t wait to be able to go out more and really test out what this stuff can do because while I’ve gotten a chance to see it in action, all the reviews say this stuff keeps your makeup in place like no other).

As well, this product does an amazing job of smoothing out skin and adding a little boost of hydration — which are two things I find are really important for a primer to do. There’s nothing I hate more than the look of my makeup when my foundation settles in to every fine line, pore, and bump — it really drives me crazy, as sometimes it actually makes my skin look WORSE than it did without makeup. As well, as someone who’s prone to dry skin, I’ll take any and every moisturizing product I can when it comes to my makeup routine. Overall, this product really helps my skin and makeup look smooth and fresh, while also keeping my makeup locked down all day long.

If this sounds like the primer you’ve been needing in your life, be sure to check it out at Sephora!

Stay tuned for this weekend’s post, where I’m going to be sharing with you all how to have a productive self-care day! It’s hard to carve out time for self-care when you’re feeling overwhelmed with life — but with my day plan, there’s ways to achieve both at once! That way, for those of us feeling little overwhelmed lately (I know I certainly am) you can kill two birds with one stone and relax AND get ahead on your tasks!

Much love,

Meredith

Life Updates: July 2020!

Hey y’all!

Sooooo, even though I’ve managed to be a little more active these last few weeks I still haven’t been around much — so I wanted to share a couple of life updates for you all! I’m finally feeling pretty recovered from my wisdom teeth surgeries, and am slowly getting back into a rhythm and routine in my daily life. The last month really kind of threw all of my habits into the wind and my routine that I had built kind of fell apart — but I’m getting back on track, which is all that matters, really. We can’t expect perfection from ourselves 100% of the time — especially not now, with how uncertain and turbulent this year has been.

This month has definitely been interesting with job hunting and all — I knew it was going to be rough finding a job right now with the state of the job market, but honestly, it’s been tougher than I expected. Event planning jobs just straight up don’t exist right now, and unfortunately, I still have to get my driver’s licence to even be a competitive applicant — something I had to put on hold when lockdowns started. I started looking into jobs in “similar fields”, many of which I really do not qualify for at all, considering I never planned to look into them as career paths. However, the other day my parents called me with what was kind of a brilliant idea — why not look into writing jobs? So, for the time being, I’m going to be looking into freelance writing. Which, unlike so many of the jobs I’ve been looking into lately, I’m actually qualified for on paper considering my university degree and my blog (and yes, I’m absolutely kicking myself for not even coming up with this idea sooner).

However, I’ve been taking this time to actually really get back into my hobbies, which I’ve kind of been intending to do since March — but I’m serious about it this time. Back in high school, I was the girl with endless hobbies and extracurriculars — I played 3 musical instruments, I was in choir, practiced archery (which is always my fun fact about myself to this day whenever anyone asks), started up a film club, taught myself digital art, and more. However, as soon as I began university, I dropped every single one of my hobbies — I just didn’t have the time or the access anymore.

Now that I’m a post-grad, I’ve finally got a little more time again, and I’ve narrowed my hobbies down to the one I miss the most — drawing. I’ve been an avid artist since I was a toddler — it’s always been my greatest hobby, and while I’ve dabbled in it a little here and there in my time in university, I can’t remember the last time I had really taken it seriously since my first year art classes. So, I went out, bought myself some fancy new alcohol-based markers and fine-liner pens — and I’m finally getting back into it. It’s definitely been a little frustrating up front — without practice, it doesn’t come as easily to me as it used to. However, I saw a quote the other day on Instagram that really stuck with me — I can’t find it, so I don’t remember exactly how it goes or who said it. I do remember, however, that it was along the lines of “the price of admission to being a graceful master is being a clumsy beginner”. It’s so easy to give up on things that don’t come perfectly to us on the first try, but no one starts off as a master. Being a pro at something is not natural talent (which helps, but isn’t everything); it is determination and practice.

Anyways, I guess this is all just a really deep way of saying I know with practice I’ll be able to be as good as I once was, if not better. I just have to be be patient. But who knows! Maybe I’ll be sharing my artwork with you guys in no time at all.

So that’s just about where my life is at right now. This year has been messy — it’s had more ups and downs in the first half of the year that I’ve experienced possibly ever. I’m really hoping to be able to get back on track with the second half of this year, and with my newfound career path potential and re-investing time in my hobbies, things are starting to look up. I don’t want to speak too soon and jinx it, but as soon as I manage to get all my old habits back in line things really should start to fall into place (fingers crossed!).

I hope you’ve all been doing well lately — take some time to focus on yourself sometime this month, as best as you’re able to. Time seems to be passing in the blink of an eye lately, so slow it down by taking some time to focus on yourself a little, whether it’s for a full weekend, or an afternoon, or simply a few minutes a day. I’ve been trying this out for myself by meditating more regularly lately — I’ve been doing 15 minutes a day to help keep me relaxed, focused and mindful. What are your fave ways to take time to yourself/perform a little self-care? Drop a comment below to let me know, I’m always on the search for new ideas!

Happy Sunday everyone! Sending out the best vibes for you all to have an amazing week ahead!

Xo,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: July 9th

Hey friends!

Happy Thursday! This week I’m going to be sharing my last little re-share of my favourite products that I shared at the beginning of my blog. As I’ve mentioned in my last few posts (just in case you missed it), I’ve been re-writing reviews that I wrote on some of my all-time favourite products. Back in the first few months of my blog, I shared numerous posts on products that have been some of my truest, holy-grail products that I really feel I didn’t do justice at the time. Seriously — most of these products I’ve been using religiously for years. However, a year later with more writing experience, blogging knowledge, and audience outreach under my belt, I felt it was only right to share these products with you guys!

This week’s product is one I’m sure many of you are already a little familiar with — Urban Decay’s All-Nighter Setting Spray with Pollution Protection! Urban Decay, overall, is pretty well known for their setting spray — hence why I’m sure, if you’re a regular makeup user, you’ve at least heard of/tried out one of their setting sprays before. Over the years, I’ve actually tried pretty much every single one of their setting sprays at some time or another — but this one is definitely my fave.

What makes this setting spray stand out to me among the rest is, first and foremost, how effective it is. This stuff has held up my makeup even in the most extreme situations. Even within more “normal” situations, I’ve gone long days without makeup touch-ups, gone to hot and sweaty night clubs, and even on occasion accidentally slept with my makeup on — and honestly, with this setting spray, it doesn’t budge. However, if we’re talking REAL extremes — this product has helped my makeup through everything from the rainiest days on my vacation to Disney this past winter, to the absolutely glaring sun when I went to the Calgary Stampede a few summers back. It kept my makeup intact during long days at Fvded, the popular BC Music festival, and even survived the hottest, muggiest days during my trip to South East Asia. Basically, this stuff works miracles. I don’t know how it managed to hold my makeup together through all these situations, but I sure am grateful for it!

The other thing I adore about this particular setting spray, however, is the added Environmental Protection. One of the biggest causes of skin problems is the fact that our skin is constantly taking in air pollutants, which damage and irritate the skin. I’ve found that, ever since I’ve started using this setting spray, the incidence of bad skin days I’ve had has gone down immensely. Just having that little extra layer of protection when I go out has really changed my skin for the better. While the original formula All-Nighter setting spray is definitely a classic, I just feel this product takes it a little farther, adds even more, and just makes it that much better.

If this sounds like the setting spray you’ve been looking for, be sure to check out at Sephora!

I hope you’re all having a great start to July! Also, my apologies for my only half-finished post last weekend. Stuff has been a little hectic this week and I was feeling a little overwhelmed with the job hunt and all. However, I already have this Sunday’s post written up and ready to go, so I promise it won’t happen again!

Have a fantastic end of the week my loves,

Best,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: July 2nd

Hey friends!

Today I’m going to be sharing another one of my absolute favourite skincare products. I’ll be honest — this one has been a staple in my routine for so long that I actually don’t even remember when I started using it. I do know, however, that it was at least six years ago — making it the skincare product I’ve been using for the longest. I guess branching out and trying new stuff can be important, but in this case when I really think I’ve found the perfect holy-grail product — why mess with a good thing?

The product I’m talking about is Clinique’s Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, which has been my moisturizer for as long as I can remember at this point. Before I even describe what makes this product so damn good, I should mention the fact that I’ve stuck with this moisturizer unwaveringly for 6+ years — which should kind of speak for itself about how utterly amazing it is.

I’ll be honest — I’m the kind of person who’s often super indecisive, and I feel like when it comes to sticking with one product continuously, it really shows. I’m constantly getting distracted by products that are shiny and new, even if I know that what I’m using is so much better for my personal needs. So many elements of skincare, at some point or another, I’ve ended up experimenting with a bit even if I adore the product that I’ve been using for the long term — but not with moisturizer. Since buying this product for the first time I have stuck with it, unwaveringly, for years. With the exception of free samples, I have never purchased any other moisturizer since I first tried this one out, since I know without a doubt it’s just about as good as it gets.

My favourite part about this moisturizer is it’s formulation — it’s a super lightweight gel, instead of a cream like many moisturizers are. Even though my skin tends to air on the drier side, I’ve never been a fan of heavier moisturizers — I hate how heavy they are on my skin. I kind of find that they leave a layer that I can feel all day long, which I’m really not a fan of. It’s almost as if they never feel as if they’ve dried in. Even lightweight creams seem to leave a little film behind, but unlike cream moisturizers, once this moisturizer has set in it’s as if it was never there. It dries incredibly quickly, too, because of how light it is. There’s no waiting with this one — it sets quickly and then it’s good to go.

The other thing that’s truly amazing about this product is how much hydration it packs into such a small amount of product. It isn’t watery, like so many other gel moisturizers — it actually leaves your skin feeling super hydrated and healthy. This moisturizer, which is effective for up to 72 hours (!!!), contains caffeine, hyaluronic acid, activated aloe watering a “Super-Holding Matrix of Humectants and Polymers” to helps support skin’s own rehydration system, plump the look of skin and reduce water loss and seal in moisture, according to Sephora’s site. Basically, this stuff is magical and works wonders on the skin without leaving your skin feeling congested, coated or gross. (I told you — it really takes a perfect product for me to stick with it for 6 whole years without question!).

If this sounds like the moisturizer you’ve been waiting for, check it out on Sephora!

I hope you all have been kicking off July on the right foot! It’s been crazy cold and rainy in Vancouver the last two days, but I’ve been trying my best to make the most of it. I’ve been a little lazy, I won’t lie — but I do have a good feeling about this month. If you have any big plans or goals for July, drop a comment below! I’d love to hear what you’re all up to lately.

Much love,

Meredith

#CommunityOverCovid + Vancouver

COVID-19 Street Tag in Downtown Vancouver, May 2020

Hey y’all!

Today’s post is actually a project I’ve been working on for quite some time now, and I’m really excited for it to finally be ready to share with you all. Over the last few months, I’ve used whatever time I’ve spent outside to document how Covid-19 has affected my local community and downtown Vancouver. These photos span over months, and capture everything I’ve seen — the positive, the scary, the wholesome and everything in between.

Boarded Up Entrance To Nordstrom in Pacific Centre Mall, April 2020

This moment in our lives, however we may feel about it, will likely be history. Nothing like this has ever happened to the world, and with any luck, nothing like it will ever happen again. We live in a time where documenting and sharing information has never been easier, and as such, I wanted to encapsulate my personal experience with Covid-19 and how it impacted my little slice of the world.

A Sign Enforcing Social Distancing Rules, David Lam Park, May 2020

The other side of this project is creating a collective of similar projects from people across the world. If you, or someone you know, has created a similar project for your own city, I would love for you to share it with me to be added to the collection. Whether you documented your experiences through photos, videos, words, or art — and no matter what platform you’ve shared it on — if you send me a link to it, I will link it at the bottom of this post to create an anthology of sorts, encapsulating how Covid-19 impacted cities all around the world. One last thing that’s important to note — I will not be linking any projects without the creator’s permission, so please only share other’s posts with me if you have talked to them about it first. As well, if for whatever reason your post was shared with me without your permission, I’ll take it down — no questions asked.

Boarded Up Storefronts Along Granville Street, April 2020

If you have a project that you’d like to share, please DM me the link via Instagram or Twitter, and I’ll link it to this post right away! Thank you in advance to everyone who participates — this project has been a few months in the making, so it would mean the world to me to have it impact others and become fully realized.

STAY OPEN MINDED Tag, Granville Street, April 2020

Along with these photos capturing Vancouver’s new normal, I figured I’d share a little bit about how Covid-19 impacted my life. I’m going to preface all this with a note that I did not really feel any direct impacts, and I did not lose anyone to the virus directly. I can only speak on how lockdowns and stay at home orders affected my life — and all in all I’m pretty lucky. My thoughts and prayers go out to any of you who’ve lost someone to the virus, and if you ever want to chat my DMs are open.

Social Distancing in the Park, David Lam Park, May 2020

I first heard about Covid-19 when I came down with a truly brutal case of the flu back at the end of January. My life had been so hectic with my job and school that for the first time in a long while, I neglected to get my flu shot — something I sorely regret and a mistake I will never make again. I had to take over a week off of school and work and was completely bedridden until my symptoms subsided (however, residual symptoms such as exhaustion persisted for weeks following). During this time, the novel Coronavirus in Wuhan was just starting to hit the news. I followed it a little out of morbid curiosity — in my mind, it wasn’t a big deal at all and frankly it didn’t even sound that bad.

Storefront Artwork at Cinema Public House, May 2020

Over the month of February, I witnessed more and more people begin to “overreact” about this virus that hadn’t yet reached Canada that (and yes, unfortunately, I was one of these people) was essentially just the flu. People discussing online how they weren’t going to show up to work, or no longer wanting packages they ordered that were shipping from China — it was definitely all a little overboard, but as someone who severely underestimated what was coming, I really can’t judge.

Social Distance Guidelines Poster, Downtown Vancouver, April 2020

While I may not have experienced any losses from Covid-19 directly, I’ve experienced many other losses this year. On February 29th, one of my closest friends passed away. My life, as I knew it, changed forever. I hadn’t dealt with death much in my life — the last time someone I cared about passed away, I was eight years old. And then one day, all of a sudden, one of my best friends was just gone. I would never be able to talk to her, or see her face, or hear her laugh ever again — and there was nothing I could ever do to change that. She was only 21. I don’t really want to discuss any more than that here — it’s all very personal to me, and is something I’m still learning to cope with. The point of it all is just to share how my life was kind of completely thrown into turmoil at the beginning of March. Restrictions were not put into place before her funeral, luckily, but in the time in between I didn’t really pay attention to the news or the world around me — I was consumed with grief, as well as trying to be there for my friends who were also coping with the loss.

Storefront Artwork, ARCTERYX, May 2020

Lockdowns began happening just a few days following the funeral. I, honestly, didn’t even have a clue what was going on. Everything was changing so quickly — the weekend before lockdowns people showed up at the bar I worked at dressed up for the Rugby Sevens tournament as “Coronavirus Drinking Teams” and it was still something people would find humorous. That weekend at work was one of the craziest I had ever worked — lines out the door, the bar hitting full capacity, and many of the most intoxicated customers I had ever witnessed. It’s so crazy, thinking back, that within a week of that weekend how everything changed. At the time, we never would have known.

Food Delivery Service Advertisements at the Social Corner, April 2020

With everything going on in my life, I was extra oblivious to everything else going on in the world. It wasn’t until the day before things began to lockdown that I realized what was happening. That next day, I awoke in a panic — there was so many rumours and falsehoods circulating about what was happening in Vancouver. I rushed out of my apartment with my giant grocery cart, feeling like I was in some kind of race against the clock to grab all the essentials. I was so overwhelmed and confused I didn’t even go to the grocery store — I did a full grocery run of non-perishable foods and supplies at my local Shoppers Drug Mart. Maybe it was a little crazy, but in the last 24 hours the rug had been pulled out from under my feet — I had no idea what was going on. Rumours of full quarantine, closures of all stores and more were swirling around the whole country, and just a day prior the one and only thing I was concerned about was dealing with the grief of my loss. It honestly kinda gave me mental whiplash.

Storefront Artwork at Lululemon, May 2020

Everything, around that point, began happening so fast. Following the Sevens, sports got shutdown pretty quickly — and all of my work shifts for the following week were cut (it was a sports bar, after all). Only a few days after that, I was laid off. My roommate got pulled from a school trip in New Orleans and had to quarantine for two weeks. My other roommate was told to work from home on account of us living with someone who had been travelling. Stores and restaurants across the city shut down, and restrictions were put in place for socializing in public outdoor spaces — all within a few days.

Storefront Artwork at Sala Thai, May 2020

At first, it all seemed to me to be a blessing in disguise — I had my exam to prep for, which was just about a month away. I had put off studying while coping with my grief, but this exam was the only thing that stood between me and my degree and it was crucial that I pass the class. I had taken enough time off that I really wasn’t even close with my studying to where I wanted to be — but now I had endless time to do my readings and study my notes.

YOU ARE LOVED Artwork, Downtown Vancouver, May 2020

The following month was honestly one of the most challenging I’d ever been through. My exam became a constant source of anxiety and studying for it was honestly all I did for a whole month. I mean I literally studied 8+ hours a day, and I rarely took a day off. The state of the world also caused me a huge amount of stress, and the dramatic change in my lifestyle and being stuck inside all day took a toll on my mental health. I took a little hiatus from blogging to cope with it all (as you all probably already know). I was really struggling to keep up with everything in my life when things, once again, took a turn for the worse.

Boarded Up Storefronts, Granville Street, April 2020

Back at the beginning of April, two weeks before my exam, my grandma ended up passing away. Not Covid-19 related, but still impacted by it — in Toronto (as with all of Canada), full lockdowns were in action. This meant, sadly, that there couldn’t be a funeral at the time. I wasn’t able to fly home to be with my family and didn’t ever really have a chance to even process what happened. I still wasn’t even close to having dealt with the loss of my friend — after this, I kind of just went numb. I doubled down on my studying, because the last thing I wanted to do was have anything else in my life go wrong. I wouldn’t have been able to cope with it, honestly. I just wanted my exam to be done.

STAY SAFE Artwork, Downtown Vancouver, April 2020

Eventually, it happened. I wrote my exam, in my apartment, remotely proctored, which was stressful in itself — my apartment isn’t exactly quiet, my roommates were not allowed to enter the only communal room in my apartment, and over the 3 1/2 hours allotted for my exam there was so many things that had the potential to go wrong. Ultimately, it all ended up being okay — not only did I pass the class, I actually did really well. By now, my graduation application has been accepted and my time at UBC is officially 100% complete — but the month leading up to that exam, as well as waiting for my grades and my final graduation acceptance afterwards were some of the most stressful times in my life.

STAY SAFE Artwork, Downtown Vancouver, April 2020

All I wanted the entire time leading up to my exam was for it to be done so I could have a break for the first time in over a year. However, when it finally happened, the reality of what was going on in the world finally set in. Not leaving the house, studying constantly and not socializing is kind of just how life during finals is — and honestly, when lockdowns started I was under the impression it was going to last for 2-3 weeks maximum. However, in the days and weeks that followed my exam, I realized that we were all really in it for the long haul. I had been dealing with so much that I really had no idea what was going on in the world — but it was really starting to hit me. As I started venturing out a little more for groceries and walks, I really started to see how Covid-19 was impacting the city around me — so I decided to start this project and document it all as best as I could.

Empty Granville Street, April 2020

With time, I’ve adjusted to this new normal. My anxiety is starting to go down as I actually take a break for the first time in a long, long while. I’ve been working on creating a good routine and new habits to hopefully keep up once this all is done. Slowly, I do believe I am learning to cope with the losses I’ve endured over the last two months. The weather is getting nicer, and restrictions in Vancouver are slowly being lifted. We have no way of predicting what the future may hold, but at this exact moment in time, things seem pretty okay.

Empty West Georgia Street, April 2020

While I always intended to share these pictures of how the city of Vancouver was impacted by Covid-19, I didn’t really know I was going to share my own personal story until I really started piecing this post together. Maybe it’s silly, or boring, and maybe no one will read it — but it’s MY story. We’ve all been impacted by Covid-19 in different ways. Some of us have gotten sick. Some of us have lost someone. Some of us have lost jobs, or opportunities. Some of us have had important events we were looking forward to cancelled. Some of us have been deemed essential workers. Some of us (myself included), lost our graduation ceremonies. Some of us have had serious repercussions of lockdowns impact our mental health, or finances. I could go on forever — no one has the same story about how these last few months have changed their lives, but there’s pretty much no one in the whole world who hasn’t felt the effects. So while this is still just one story — it’s my story, and it’s a part of history.

Empty West Georgia Street, April 2020

With time, if more of you chose to share your stories, photos, videos, or however you’ve documented the last few months with me, I’ll share them here below. In the meantime, I hope you’re all staying safe, and if you’ve made it this far I hope you enjoyed this post. This has all been a few months in the making for me — and probably one of the longest and most personal posts I’ve ever shared. Maybe no one will read this — or maybe one day it will become documented as important part of history. Realistically it’ll fall somewhere in between, but who knows. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that none of us truly know what the future holds.

#CommunityOverCovid Around The World

Share your stories with me, and I’ll share them here! This way we can archive personal stories and views of how Covid-19 impacted the world.

QUARANTINE DREAMIN’ by @Renataoleo
60 THINGS TO DO DURING QUARANTINE by @JahSincerely

Much love,

Meredith

STAY SAFE Graffiti Tag, April 2020

And now for some bonus pics! I had too many to share all in one post, so enjoy a couple more photos of a very empty downtown Vancouver! It’s so strange thinking back on it — it was almost like a ghost town, since the sidewalks and roads are usually packed. It’s cool having been able to document it, since the city has never looked like this before, and possibly never will again. Enjoy!

Empty Smithe Street, April 2020
Empty West Georgia Street, April 2020
Empty Bute Street, April 2020
Empty Granville Street, April 2020
COVID-19 Regulation Reminders at Construction Site, Downtown Vancouver, April 2020
Storefront Artwork, Lululemon, May 2020
Empty Burrard Street, April 2020