So……. it happened again. For two years now, I’ve had my blog — and for two years, I missed my blog’s anniversary. (Although, I feel it’s important to add that I forgot I missed it last year, but remembered when I posted about my anniversary last year…… then went back to check what the exact day I started my blog was when I started this post and realized my mistake. Anyways, I digress).
These last two years have been, honestly, one hell of a rollercoaster. I started this blog right as I finished up what was supposed to be my final year of university, and well, we all know how that went. I could elaborate on the story all over again, but frankly, I’m tired of talking about it (and I’m sure you’re all tired of hearing it). All in all, I was really going through a rough time this time last year when I posted on my blog’s anniversary. While I made it out the other side, I don’t really know that it was all in one piece — a year later on, and I’m still kind of picking up the pieces from the last year and figuring out what it is I want to do next. (But seriously, after the last year we’ve all had, aren’t we all?).
This time last year, when I was thinking about what I wanted to share for my bloggiversary post, I decided to do a little “update” on my first-ever blog post, “10 Facts About Me“. I wanted to make something like this a tradition, but frankly — there really hasn’t been many changes to my original 10 Facts over the years, apart from their vibe being a little dated. They’re all more a less still true (save for my career goals), but they don’t really feel like they give a good summary of myself — to me, at least.
For that reason, this year, I wanted to start a new tradition — one that will hopefully stay a little more fresh year-to-year. Rather than updating my old 10 Facts post every year, I’ve decided to put together a little self-interview, Billie Eilish and Vanity Fair style — each year, I’ll update the same questions, and we’ll be able to see how my life has grown and changed since the previous year’s post!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Honestly, I’m still in such a weird place in my life that it’s hard to even visualize where I’ll be a few months from now. I guess in five years I’ll hopefully be a little more settled, if nothing else.
What’s changed since last year?
So much and nothing at all. I’ve decided on a new career path (!!!) so I’m going into interior design. Somehow I feel I’ve come a long way from the last year, but at the same time nothing has really happened. Its hard to explain, I guess.
Favourite social media?
Instagram, I guess…… does it count if I keep on forgetting to check it for weeks on end? (I guess it’s still kind of new and exciting, though, since I’ve started up my Art Instagram recently).
Favourite blog post from the last year?
Hmmmm…. I have a few, I guess. If I had to narrow it down, then probably my FabFitFun Unboxing from last summer, or my first ColourPop Haul Unboxing — or, possibly, even the post I mention down in the next answer (no spoilers!).
Most successful blog post from the last year? What about of all time?
Obviously it’s kind of hard to determine a “most popular” blog post, because that really depends on the specific metric you choose — is it views? Comments? Overall reception? I kind of went for a mashup between the three, so I guess my most popular post from the last year would be my ColourPop x Animal Crossing Collection Unboxing! (Which, to be fair, was a personal favourite of mine considering my love of both ColourPop and Animal Crossing). Oddly enough, I guess my most popular post of all time has probably been my Glossier Haul Unboxing from back when I first started my blog — I’m not too sure why, but it consistently still gets a good number of views every single month without fail. I will say that I’m still pretty damn proud of my photography for that post — though I kind of hate the photos of myself (the apartment I stayed in that summer had terrible lighting and backgrounds, which really hindered my ability to even take a decent photo when I was looking my absolute best).
Favourite memory from the last year?
Getting to hang out with my cat all December long (mandatory cat tax included at the bottom of the post).
Something you hope to accomplish this year?
I’m hoping to do well in school, now that I’m going back for Interior Design. I’m also hoping to finally get my career a little more on track. As well, I’m hoping to be able to finally dedicate more time to my blog and artwork and see my hard work pay off … which is a lot of things, I guess! But here’s to hoping.
Something to cross off the bucket list this year?
I guess that really depends on the pandemic, sadly… I have a couple of places I’m really hoping to/have some non-concrete plans to travel to once the world opens back up (Japan, Italy, Greece… some of my top bucket list locations!) but it’s really hard to know whether or not that’s going to be able to happen.
Something from the last year that I’m proud of?
I’m not too sure, too be honest. I guess just surviving it all. Little victories still count as victories, too!
How am I feeling about the upcoming year?
Positive, I think. I don’t wanna jinx anything, but hopefully by this time next year life will have returned to normal. This last month has already been kind of brutal with how busy I’ve been, so I have a feeling adjusting back to “normal life” (whatever that’s even going to mean) is going to be kind of rough. But I have a semblance of a plan, a general idea of where I want to go (and, most importantly, an appointment to get my vaccine!!!) so, not to get ahead of myself, but I think things are starting to look up.
What would I tell myself from a year ago?
Thank you, all of you, for sticking with me over the last year. It’s been a rough one, for sure — between C*VID (lol), job hunting, burn out and learning to cope with everything that has happened in my life, it’s been one hell of a learning curve. It certainly hasn’t been an easy year for blogging, either — between my burnout hiatuses, inactivity and plain old writer’s block (hard to run a lifestyle blog when life is on hold, am I right?) it definitely wasn’t the stellar blogging year I was picturing back at the start of 2020. I’ve adjusted my expectations a little, and I’m trying to be easier on myself for the sake of my wellbeing and mental health. Slowly, I’m starting to feel a little more normal, and a little more ready to get back into it.
So, here’s to two years, and hopefully this next year is better than the last. We really never do know what life is going to throw at us — we can only know that with a little patience, we can find the strength to make it through. Here’s to a better year for all of us — I think we all deserve it!
I hope you’ve all been doing well! This week definitely has me feeling a little unmotivated, but I was pretty excited to write and share this post with you all, so I managed to pull it together and get it all ready to go for you guys! I hope you all enjoy it — it was a really fun one to plan out and write.
As many of you know, I’ve been a MAJOR fan of FabFitFun since well before I ever started my blog. For the uninitiated — FabFitFun is a lifestyle subscription box that sends out four boxes per year (which equals one box per season). In their own words, “the FabFitFun box includes a selection of full-size products across beauty, fashion, fitness, wellness, home, and tech – delivered each season. In addition to the Box, FabFitFun members receive access to year-round perks including FabFitFunTV, a streaming video service that offers on-demand wellness content, the FabFitFun online Community, members-only shopping experiences, and more.” Between the sales, being introduced to new products and brands, as well as receiving little surprises in each box that have become absolute staples in my life — FabFitFun is all-around one of my fave brands and the only subscription box I receive (and need).
Each box contains about 8-10 products, and without an annual membership, each individual box costs $50USD — however, the value per each box is usually around $200USD, making it well worth your money. I’ve been a subscriber since 2018, and I’ve honestly never let a single product go to waste — everything I’ve received has been so fantastic, and I’ve discovered MANY of my favourite products and brands through their boxes.
Today, I wanted to share with you all my ranked top 10 products I received in my 2020 boxes! All of these items I’m sharing with you are things I use frequently and absolutely adore. Everything I’ve listed is a personal 11/10 for me — but enough about that, let’s get into each individual product!
This product ranks #1 on my list because frankly, not only was it one of the best products I received — it took me completely by surprise, too. I’m really picky when it comes to hair products (perhaps even more so than I am with skincare) after years of bleaching my hair blonde damaged it to the point that it needed constant care and attention to maintain any semblance of health. Even though my blonde hair has long since grown out and been chopped off, I still have a strong need to maintain a completely regular hair routine, complete with the same shampoo, conditioner, hair masks and a wide array of protective products to keep it looking and feeling it’s healthiest. Essentially, I have a bit of an aversion to trying new products as I’m (somewhat unnecessarily) worried they’ll end up damaging my hair. However, I was running out of my usual Ouai hair mask when I received this product and I certainly wasn’t going to let it go to waste, so I decided to give it a try. You guys — this may be the best hair mask I’ve ever tried. I love Ouai, but I’m seriously contemplating switching over (the only problem being shipping from the US). This mask leaves my hair feeling SO soft, it’s actually insane. My hair is usually pretty soft — after all, I put a whole lot of effort and care into it — but this mask has taken my hair to another level. I’m legitimately in love.
Okay, I absolutely LOVE these sunglasses. FabFitFun has always been pretty on the nose with great sunglasses in their boxes, but these are the best pair I’ve ever owned. They’re so flattering and oh-so cool — as soon as I put these on, no matter what I look like, my confidence increases about 150%. They go with any outfit, and would honestly look good on absolutely anyone. I love sunglasses — they’re probably my favourite accessory — so these being my favourite pair says a lot. (Plus, who knew TOM’s made sunglasses? I sure didn’t, but they should keep on doing it).
This robe makes me absolutely never want to get off my couch. It is SO COZY. I actually don’t think I’ve ever owned something so warm and comfortable. If you’re looking for a good, soft robe for lazy days, check this one out. I’ve owned plenty of silk robes for wearing when I’m getting ready, but this one serves a totally different purpose and I’m so glad I received it in my last box — I’ve already gotten so much use out of it since then that I’d absolutely be willing to pay full price for it.
These face masks were some of the best masks I’ve ever owned. The mud masks in particular made me feel like I had a whole new face after each use. They acted as a sort of charcoal mask, but instead of being harsh or drying (as many charcoal masks often do) they cleared out my pores WHILE hydrating my skin and leaving it soft and fresh after each use. And while I’m not a fan of physical exfoliators, the exfoliating masks were gentle enough I didn’t worry about them causing damage and left my skin feeling SO SOFT and brand new after each use. Plus, I’ve gotten so much use out of the little mask-applicator brush ever since I received this mask set — making it an all-around win and one of my fave FabFitFun gifts of all time.
This wasn’t actually something I received in a box per se, but an add-on I chose to receive alongside my summer box. For those of you who don’t know, FabFitFun offers add-on sales with each box that offer hundreds of different products at massive discounts. This year I decided to give add-ons a try, and I started off with this tote bag. Honestly, after looking through the options for add-ons offered I felt kind of silly for not checking it out before. I got this purse for only $30, and it’s become an absolute staple for me. I use this bag eery day — it’s so high quality, cute, and holds everything I need easily. Considering how long I’ve had it, I had kind of forgotten how cheap it was — when I went back to check for this post just now, it really blew my mind because of how well-made this bag is. (Moral of the story: if you have a FabFitFun subscription and you AREN’T already checking out the add-ons each season, you’re missing out!!!).
These straws, while not the most exciting thing I received at the time, have really proved their worth over the last year. These were an option I received randomly in my gifted items, and at the time I didn’t pay much attention to them — I already had some reusable straws, after all. However, all the reusable straws I owned were metal — making them bulky, tricky to transport and clean, and honestly kind of unpleasant to use. These silicone straws, on the other hand, are SO easy to carry around since they squish down pretty small AND came with a carrying case, are more pleasant to use than metal straws — and the fact that they’re super cute is just a bonus. I’ve been trying to add more reusable products into my daily life over the past few years, and especially in COVID when I don’t really want to be drinking out of glasses that may be contaminated, these straws have been a real lifesaver.
This was another item I was honestly a little unsure about that I ended up loving (which really seems to be a trend with a lot of my favourite items!). I’m really picky about skincare, so I didn’t really know how to feel about receiving a mask from a brand I’d never heard of — especially since I already own some hydrating masks that I use pretty frequently. However, this mask is more so an extra moisturizer than a face mask — it isn’t meant to be washed off, so you simply leave it on overnight as you would with any normal moisturizer. It’s super-lightweight and is made of a gel-like formula, which is always my favourite way to go for moisturizing products as I have super dry skin but also hate products that are too heavy. Whenever I have days that my skin is still feeling a little dry after I’ve completed my routine, I just throw on a little of this mask and wake up feeling good as new the next day — it’s really been a new favourite in my skincare lineup.
I’m sure I’ve made a post about the benefits of silk pillowcases before, but if you don’t already have one — you probably should. Silk and satin pillowcases are extra-gentle on your skin and hair, reducing overnight damage from tugging on them while you sleep. I’ve been using silk pillowcases for years, and I really noticed the difference immediately — especially for my hair, which used to be pretty damaged from frequent bleaching, as I mentioned above. I used to have 4 silk pillowcases that I rotated through between washes, but when I moved and redecorated my pink pillowcases no longer matched, so I stored them away for the time being and limited myself to one silk pillowcase a week up until I received this one in my summer box. As well, this pillowcase is specifically meant for travelling, meaning it’ll be extra convenient in a post-COVID world where I’ll finally be able to travel again.
Living in Vancouver, one of my fave summer pastimes is hanging out at the beach. This summer, especially, going and hanging out at the waterfront with friends became one of my fave summer activities, since it allowed me to meet up with others in a safe, COVID restriction-friendly fashion, enjoy the summer weather, and stay within walking distance of my home. For someone who loves the beach so much, however, I’ve never owned a cute beach towel (or, a lot of the times, I don’t even have a beach towel at all), so I was obsessed with this one from the moment I received it. Not only is it so pretty (and very on-brand with my personal aesthetic), but it ensured I always had something on hand for sitting outside to hang out with friends — and I cannot stress how much better that made my life last summer.
As someone who’s really no good at styling their hair, but really wants to learn — I’ve been loving this hair curler. It’s high quality, easy to use, and creates great curls and waves that hold — even in Vancouver’s humid winter weather. While I don’t style my hair often (but always wish I did), buying a high-quality hair curler always seemed like a really expensive undertaking — I want to learn how to curl my hair well and style it frequently, but it seems like a lot to unload $100+ dollars on something I may not end up using that often. Receiving this hair curler in a FabFitFun box was a total game changer for me, since it’s IRL price is about $100 — making it something I likely wouldn’t buy for myself. I’ve been loving it, though, and I can’t wait to get more use out of it in 2021!
If FabFitFun sounds like something you’d like to try (which I honestly couldn’t recommend more), you can check out their website and upcoming Spring 2021 box over here — with box customizations coming up soon, it’s the perfect time to sign up and give their boxes a try! I’m personally VERY fired up to customize my spring box — it’s always something to look forward to at the start of each season, and receiving surprises every three months always feels like a little gift to myself.
If you’ve tried FabFitFun before, drop some of your fave products that you received in 2020 below! I’d love to hear why you love their boxes and what products you got the most use out of.
Happy Sunday, everyone, and I hope you’re all gearing up to have a happy February! We’re so close to spring now — just hold on a liiiiittle longer, and winter will be over before we even know it!
It sounds strange, doesn’t it? That positivity can be toxic.
However, over the last year, it’s really become increasingly clear to me that our culture has an unhealthy obsession with being happy, perfect and productive 24/7. We see it play out time and time again in media and advertising, on social media, and blogging in particular. But it’s more than that — it plays out in the real world, too, and has serious effects on our lives and mental health. This mentality wreaked havoc on my life in 2020 — and frankly, I’m done with it.
Now I don’t mean this in any sort of a bad way — especially since doing so would make me a hypocrite — but overall, the vast majority of blog posts that lifestyle bloggers produce have to do with productivity, goal-setting, or somehow creating the perfect life. Which I guess is sort of the point — if you’re a lifestyle blogger, you’re selling your lifestyle. It makes sense that you want it to look as good as it can possibly be. After all, everyone shares only the absolute best parts of their lives on social media and many (if not all of us) have exaggerated here and there every once in a while. The issue I want to talk about isn’t sharing the best moments and images of your life on social media, though. What I’m talking about — and hoping to fix in my own life — pertains pretty specifically to blogging.
Think about it. How many times have you seen a lifestyle blogger (myself included) share a post listing the numerous different ways you can change your life to be productive, or organized, or successful? Posts that create an image of a lifestyle that the blogger is living where they wake up early, work out, eat healthy, take perfect care of their skin, hair, and makeup, are successful and their job, with full social lives to top it all off? Maybe it isn’t spelled out directly, but it’s often implied. “Do this, and your life will be perfect.” While some people post practical guides, many of these guides are impossible to follow to a T. Simply put — the lifestyle depicted in these blog posts is not a realistic one.
I know I’m not the only one guilty of making posts like this. But do you really know anyone in real life who lives like that? I know some crazy successful people — but I don’t actually know anyone who can “do it all”. There’s only 24 hours in a day, and everyone has to pick and choose. I promise you, regardless of how it may seem online, absolutely no one’s life is flawless 24/7. I know some of you out there won’t believe me, and I know some of you know this in theory but often forget it in reality. But I promise you no one’s life is as perfect as it looks on social media. Not that influencer you love who seems to always look perfect, or Kylie Jenner, or the girl who seems like she owns everything you could ever want — not even the small blogger who seems to have their life 100% put together. None of them.
So why are we pretending that our lives ARE perfect? There’s a good chance that even if you think you’re not, you still may be. I want you to ask yourself if holding yourself to this standard is helping you, or if it’s actually hurting you. Of course we all want to put out a good image on social media — it’s not like I’m going to start posting pictures of myself without my hair washed and in my grossest old PJs on my Instagram — but what is up with going above and beyond lately? Why do we have to pretend like we’re productive and positive 24/7? Like our lives are busy all the time? Even a pandemic didn’t seem to stop the tirade of pretending to be productive all the time. So what will?
It wasn’t until last year that it really became abundantly clear to me just how damaging toxic positivity and hustle culture can be. While it’s certainly been a problem far before 2020 ever began, watching the world lock down due to a global pandemic really shone a light on how deeply ingrained and problematic this issue is within our society. I didn’t see it at first — in fact, for the first half of the pandemic, during the most emotionally challenging time I’ve ever gone through, I fell victim to it. No matter what life threw at me, I felt the need to “bounce back” as quickly as possible. In reality, though, it was impossible to keep up.
Tw: Death. I get into some pretty personal stuff the next few paragraphs, so if you don’t want to read it for whatever reason, feel free to skip past the italicized text — I promise I return to the main point afterwards!
Back in March of 2020, I was dealing with the grief of losing two very important people to me over the span of 5 weeks right as stay-at-home orders were put in place. I studying for my Biopsych final, which would decide whether or not I graduated from UBC, and on top of that, I was coming off what had been one of the most stressful and uncertain years of my life. In early 2019, I received the news that despite all the times I checked my graduation requirements, and my friends checked my requirements, and I had university advisors check over my requirements, I was somehow missing a class that I needed in order to graduate. I’d heard stories from friends of the same thing happening to them, but I’d been so careful — I figured there was no way it would happen to me.
But it did, and it was kind of devastating. Any plans I had went up in smoke, and ever since I’ve distinctly felt as though I’ve fallen behind in life, and that I wasted an entire year. For the first time in my life, I was kind of left alone without any sort of plan. Eventually, I picked up a job at a sports bar, often working 7 days a week, while I finished up my classes. My job often asked far too much of me, and took advantage of the fact that I was so capable of being the only host at such a large establishment during their busiest season. Could I handle it? Yeah, sort of. But just because I could push myself to my limits didn’t mean that I should. Yet, due to the very same culture that forces us to act productive and happy 24/7, I felt like I had to power through.
As the pandemic shut down the world, the pressure I put myself under while studying for my final was crushing. I spent almost every day for the first four weeks of lockdown studying from when I woke until bedtime. I struggled heavily with insomnia during those weeks. I was often so tired and overwhelmed with anxiety that I would physically shake for hours as I did my work — even though I knew that I was excelling in the class, and there was no need to be so hard on myself. I cried about losing my friend every single day up until the day that my Grandma passed away — but after that, I simply shut down. The following day after my grandma passed, I stopped crying. I barely remember what the two weeks between then and my final were like — all I remember is I stopped crying and I kept studying.
Through it all, however, I kept posting semi-regularly on my blog. I’d say I did everything I could to keep posting regularly, but I did more than everything I could — I was pushing myself beyond my limits. But so much of blogging revolves around showing others how to live their best life, based on how “perfect” your own life is. So I kept up the facade. One of my closest friends in the world passed away, and I only allowed myself only one week off from posting blogs. At the time, I thought I was taking it easy on myself — I missed a couple blog posts here and there, and while I felt guilty about it, I shared some posts mentioning I was taking a week or two off and did my best to not fall behind. However, every time I missed a post I felt as though I had failed. I felt guilty sharing my Spring FabFitFun unboxing three weeks late — as if it really mattered.Immediately after I finished up my final, I resumed posting twice a week — I didn’t even give myself the slightest break. However, it wasn’t good enough to pretend to have it all together online — I truly believed I had to have my life perfectly under control offline, too.
Back in early lockdowns (and even still now), we were constantly being bombarded with advertisements from companies about “being productive” now that we had the time, and “getting on top of things” while we could. And very quickly, we all bought into it as well. Once one person starts doing it, we all feel the need to keep up. Even though we were collectively going through an incredibly uncertain and stressful period in our lives, we felt the need to keep up with what we saw others doing online. Perfecting a new skill, daily workouts, cleaning your whole house, social media challenges, keeping up with all the biggest Netflix trends, finding a side hustle — I’m sure we all felt the pressure to do one, if not ALL of these at some point back in March/April of last year.
But why? Why did we all feel the need to be as busy as possible in a time when there was, objectively, nothing to do? Why did I feel the need to only take a week or two off before launching into creating a strict routine, sleep schedule, workout regimen and blogging itinerary when I was coping with so much loss and stress? At the time, I thought I was doing what was healthy, what was best for me. In retrospect, however, I can barely even remember what May was like. And while I kept it all up for about a month, it didn’t take long for it all to start unravelling.
After only a few short weeks of following my schedule and staying “perfectly” on top of my life, I had event after event come along and disrupt my newfound routine. Which is life, of course — things happen. It only took a couple little bumps to have my plan fall apart completely. By July, I began this perpetual game of catch-up that lasted months. I was late to post almost every single blog post I shared for two months straight, and every time a post was shared behind schedule, I felt as though I had failed. I had no motivation to keep writing, but I felt I had to — and forced myself to keep going. I couldn’t hold focus for more than a few minutes and I honestly didn’t feel I had anything to share at the time, but it didn’t matter. I had set goals for myself that I felt I had to achieve by year’s end, and I wanted to keep up the appearance everything was fine. I think I felt at the time everything WAS mostly fine — but now I realize it really, really wasn’t.
By September, it all fell apart. After months of holding myself together with nothing but guilt and the belief that I had to keep going, I was too burnt out to continue. I only had energy to coast through life until December came around. However, after a real, proper break — a month at home where I essentially expected nothing of myself, nor did my family — I’m finally starting to feel a little better. I’m trying to get my life back on track — but it’s for myself this time. I’m taking it slowly, and adding things back in with time instead of rushing myself back into a full schedule. Do I still struggle with having heightened or unrealistic expectations for myself? Yeah, of course. However, I’m trying to identify these expectations and why I feel the need to set them for myself nowadays to help myself determine what’s a healthy goal that pushes me forward, keeps me motivated and makes me happy; rather than something I’m aiming for that’s detrimental to my mental health and well-being.
Of course, my example is a little different, and fairly extreme. Who knows why I reacted the way I did to everything last year — it was a difficult year for me, and perhaps it was just the only way I knew to react to such an unfamiliar situation. I’m not here to psychoanalyze myself — although I guess I may be trying to analyze society as a whole. What I’m really trying to say here is — you don’t need to do it all. Choose what you WANT for yourself, and focus on that. You don’t need to work out every morning to have your life together. You don’t need to work through the weekend to be successful. You don’t need to always be busy to be happy.
And not just that — not everything has to be for the sake of being productive, too! Perhaps it’s just some capitalistic belief that the things we do aren’t valuable if they aren’t somehow profitable. But that isn’t true! When was the last time you had a hobby just for the sake of having a hobby? Something that you, perhaps, aren’t even good at? Why do you have to be good at it, after all, if it brings you joy? Balance is key — and while I’ve definitely said it before, you need to balance giving yourself a break, too. But not just cute blogger self-care nights — sometimes you just need a night to do nothing and a nap. Not everything in life has to be picture-perfect — contrary to what I or other bloggers have made you believe.
As lifestyle bloggers, we get sucked into following a bit of a formula — a particular aesthetic, a particular lifestyle, and particular interests. Following April, almost every single post of mine had to do with productivity, routine, schedule, or lockdowns. I didn’t even know what else to write about, as I had pretty severe writers block from all the issues I was facing. So I just kept forcing myself to be productive, and wrote about being productive — as if I were someone who had it all together when really, I had no idea what was going on. But we don’t need to adhere to an aesthetic. Life is more than that! Of course, if your blog is your business, you want to build a specific brand. But just because you’re starting out, doesn’t mean you need to fall into the trap of narrowing yourself down into the very particular lifestyle blogger aesthetic. While the minimalistic, cute, and elegant themes are absolutely gorgeous, there’s no need to wedge yourself into them if it isn’t what fits you. If the typical blogger aesthetic is something you aspire to, or is one that comes to you naturally — go for it, obviously! It’s majorly cute and refined, and I personally adore it — even though it isn’t my personal vibe.
As for what my vibe IS exactly — I honestly don’t really know. I’m working on it. I want to be able to fit every part of me into it, without cutting parts away simply because they don’t match. I feel as though I’m a very different person that I’ve perhaps lead you all to believe — either directly or indirectly. It’s not intentional — after all, I do love makeup, skincare, online shopping, subscription boxes and staying organized — but I also love art, and anime (Attack on Titan fans HMU), and BLACKPINK, and Animal Crossing, and I don’t think these things have to be mutually exclusive. But who know — it’s not like I have to figure it out on a deadline, after all!
When I started writing this post out, I had no idea where it was really going to go, honestly. I had a vague idea in my head, and an issue I wanted to discuss, and past that I just let it take me wherever it needed to go. Writing all this out was kind of therapeutic, in a way — really just sitting back and letting your writing take you wherever it will is a great way to discover things about yourself and your story. So I hope you’ve all learned something here today — because honestly, so did I. It may be difficult to let go — I don’t think it’s a change I’ll be able to make 100% overnight — but I’m hoping to put in the work and identify these beliefs and behaviours when they come up in my life, in order to challenge them and make some positive differences in both my life and other’s.
I guess to sum up what I have to say — it’s not like I’m going to stop trying. I’m not going to stop trying to better myself, to be successful, to look my best, to surround myself with happiness. I’m still going to strive forward towards these things. And whatever advice I learn along the way I’ll absolutely share with you all. But I’m done with preaching advice I don’t take myself, or acting like some know-it-all with a perfect life. I’m not. You’re not. None of us are. Life is messy and while it can be beautiful, it isn’t perfect. So this is my little pledge — to stop forcing myself to fit a standard and chastising myself when I don’t reach it. To take real breaks, and not just push myself further after falling behind. And to always be honest with all of you, and share honest advice, and not just what I think sounds good on paper.
Sooooo, this post has been a really, REALLY long time coming. For those of you who follow my posts regularly, I’m sure you’ll remember me teasing this post as far back as December (or possibly even late November) of 2020. It’s taken a while, but it’s finally here! I honestly can’t even tell you all how excited I am to share this post with you — not only have I been DYING to try ColourPop out for a while now, but all the roadblocks and delays I ran into while making this post only made me more excited to finally be able to share it.
ColourPop is a brand that I’ve been hearing about since, like, forever — it really seems like every single makeup blogger, vlogger and Instagrammer was obsessed. However, due to the fact that I’ve been hesitant in the past about buying makeup online without seeing it in store (as well as the fact that I’m not American, and international shipping can be a pain), it took me a while to getting around to trying it out for myself. I took the leap in 2019 with buying cosmetics online from Kylie Cosmetics, and after having taken the leap once I realized it was no where NEAR as nerve-wracking as I was making it out to be. It takes a while to narrow down products when you can’t see them in person to decide, and yes, you won’t always get exactly what you’re picturing. However, so long as you stick to popular products (such as shadow palettes, highlighters, lip glosses or whatever the site your shopping from is known for) and read the colour description and reviews on products such as lipglosses that can be hard to see the nuanced differences in from photos online, you should be good.
At the end of 2019, I rated ColourPop as one of the brands I was most excited to try in 2020. With my fear of purchasing from online-only cosmetic brands out of the way, it was on the top of my list being one of the best-known makeup brands out there that I’d never tried. However, as we all know, 2020 de-railed pretty quickly, and my need to purchase loads of makeup suddenly dropped to zero.
I honestly kind of forgot about trying ColourPop for a while — after all, I maybe did my makeup like 10 times total last year — until one of their collabs caught my eye. ColourPop, after all, is kind of known for their numerous collabs with different influencers and brands. However, the particular collaboration in question that re-launched my interest in trying the brand was none other than their Sailor Moon collection. As a slightly-less-than-casual anime fan, while I’ve never watched Sailor Moon specifically (yet), I was kinda obsessed with how cute these products were and the concept of the collab overall — so I finally decided to give it a shot. (I mean, I was also kind of drawn in by their tie-dye shadow collection, too…… both collections seemed like they were totally made for me, TBH).
Between the international shipping and the fact that I placed my order only a few weeks before Black Friday, it ended up taking my package over a month to arrive. After all the anticipation, though, I did finally get to test it all out and I’ve finally written out all of my thoughts and first impressions to share with y’all. So without further ado — let’s get into it!
Sailor Moon Collection Eyeshadow Palette in Pretty Guardian
Did I really buy this eyeshadow palette simply because it has Sailor Moon on the front? Perhaps. But do I love it anyways? Absolutely! The colours are absolutely stunning, and while they aren’t a combination that I’d usually expect together, they go beautifully with each other. What’s more, this palette comes with neutrals, mattes and blending shades as well as bright, shimmery and bold colours, so you really can make any number of complete looks with this palette alone.
Sailor Moon Collection Glitter Gel in Moonlight Legend
This glitter gel is absolutely UNREAL. I feel like I’ve been searching for a product like this since, well, forever. (Seriously, where was this glitter before I went to Fvded in 2018?). I know ColourPop is far from the only cosmetic brand that sells chunky glitter in clear adhesive such as thing, but it’s certainly the most major brand to do so that I can think of offhand (and certainly the easiest to get your hands on). All that aside, though, this product actually works wonders. As in, when I swatched it on my hand, I expected it to rub off instantly or wash off entirely with water, as so many liquid-glitter type products do. However, this stuff stayed put. As in, it didn’t even budge on my HAND after a few hours. Which basically means that you’ll have NOTHING to worry about when you wear it on your face. Don’t worry, though — it comes off super easily with makeup remover, so it’s not like it’s one of those products that stays on because it’s impossible to get off. The glitter is soooo pretty, too — it’s not as pink as it looks here as the gel goes on clear, but the glitter chunks are a sort of iridescent blue-pink that I’m really obsessed with. Now all I need is for COVID to end and festival season to restart so I can get the most possible use out of this stuff!
In A Trance Eyeshadow Palette
This was the eyeshadow palette that really convinced me that I had to put in an order with ColourPop. While the Sailor Moon collection really caught my eye, when I saw this I knew I had to have it for myself. My favourite colours are blue, purple, and pink, so this palette was literally made for me. I gave it a test run on New Years Eve, and honestly I didn’t really know what to expect. I’d heard great things about ColourPop, but at their price point, I found it hard to believe that they’d blow my mind. However, I was overall pleasantly surprised. Some of the super pale-pastel shades were less pigmented than I expected, however, it’s kind of a classic problem that many pastel shadows seem to have. Even the most expensive and high-quality pastels of any brand will always turn out less pigmented than non-pastel shades of the same line. However, when I tested out some of the darker colours, such as the darker pastel blue, the colour payoff was INSANE. Like, I wasn’t ready. (Seriously, I went in HARD with this blue, expecting it to be less pigmented like the lighter pastel blue and almost messed up my whole look when it turned out to be pigmented AF). All the colours blend out really well though, and they aren’t patchy at all, so I’ll let the fact that the pastel shades aren’t as pigmented slide. After all, they’re still beautiful and 100% buildable, so they just take a little more effort (but it’s worth it).
Blush Crush Eyeshadow Palette
I saw this palette and just felt it would really make a great everyday palette for me. I’ve really been digging the pale pink vibe for day-to-day makeup lately, so I decided to give this one a go. I don’t always love how coral/warm toned neutral shadows look on me, so for daily use, I tend to go for more neutral pinks and neutral or cool toned browns, depending on whether I’m trying to go for a casual “day out” look or something more professional. Trying this palette out, it may be a winner — I do kind of find the ColourPop glitter shades to be a bit difficult to use, but the shimmer and matte shades are to die for and the made a great daytime look.
Super Shock Highlighter in Manifest That…
Wow. Okay, so, I actually don’t even know where to start with this highlighter. I’d heard about Super Shock highlighters before here and there, but NOTHING could have prepared me for how much I was going to LOVE this product!!! Seriously, I can hardly put it into words. I probably sound kind of weird right now, but this highlighter was a total game changer for me. If all of ColourPop’s highlighters are this good, I don’t know that I’ll ever buy a highlighter from another brand ever again. In all honestly, I was actually super skeptical before I actually tried it on. Not only does the colour look a little bland in-package, but the packaging itself was actually kind of broken — it doesn’t really stay shut on it’s own. However, I’m so blown away by how it makes my skin glow like I’ve never seen it glow before that I’ll just tape it shut — who cares!
Freckle Pen in Soft Brown
While I don’t really wear them often, I’m a huge fan of fake freckles. In the past I’ve applied them using cool-toned shadows and a tiny liner brush, however, even as I got pretty good at freckling my face, some freckles always ended up looking botched and I’ve never really ended up wearing them out in public. However, when I tested this pen out, it made applying freckles so easy I may actually give wearing them out and around a go. (I mean, I guess post-COVID since they’d be entirely covered by a mask, but still). This pen has a fine enough tip to give you itty-bitty freckles, but you can definitely create a whole variety of sizes with it. It’s easy to apply so they don’t end up looking weird or smudged, and the colour is cool-toned enough they actually look real. Basically, I’m going to be drawing on fake freckles a lot more often from now on.
Lux Gloss in Panache
Overall, this lip gloss is pretty solid. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly pretty decent overall. I did find it to be a little heavy and sticky — but at the same time, the colour is gorgeous and it’s really pigmented for a gloss. I haven’t gotten much of a chance to see how it lasts when I wear it out in public (because, you know, COVID and all) but wearing it around my house with a full face of makeup, it did seem to pass the reliable and long-lasting test. It’s not perfect, but I’d definitely consider trying ColourPop’s glosses again in the future.
Lippie Pencil in Another Round Pencil
While I’m not super knowledgable on lip pencils, I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with this one. I have a decent-sized collection of lip pencils from the last few years, but honestly — I never really used them up until a few years ago. They seemed kind of pointless to me. Now I realize how useful they are, but my collection is still a little small since I still have a hard time coughing up a whole load of money for a product that goes UNDERNEATH my lip products. Like, I know they’re worth it on one hand, but on the other …….. anything more than like $15-$18 for a lip pencil is just asking too much. But $8? I’m sold. This pencil is creamy, pigmented and overall great value for it’s cost. Next time I need a lip pencil, I’ll know where to look.
To sum up my overall opinion, I have to say — I’m kind of obsessed. These products would be pretty good quality for any price point, but to my knowledge there’s almost no where else you could get such high-quality products for such a low price. For the cost of my entire haul, I could maybe get an eyeshadow palette and a lip gloss from the average brand that Sephora carries. While I’m still going to indulge in more expensive brands from time to time, ColourPop is the perfect brand to fill in any missing items from your collection, or for hopping on the latest trend without dropping too much.
I hope you all enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you! It was a long time coming but honestly, it was worth the wait. Now that I’ve tested the waters with ColourPop, I’m honestly excited to give more of their products a try. (Fingers crossed I’ll get more chances to wear makeup in 2021!). If you’ve tried out ColourPop before, drop a comment below and let me know how you liked it, or which products and collabs were your fave! I’d love to hear all about it.
I hope that all of you are having an amazing week, and despite everything, that your January’s are going well so far. This year has been off to a rocky start for sure, but we still have 11 months to hopefully turn it around and make it better than the last one.
Stay tuned next week, where I’m going to be sharing a surprise post with a bit of commentary I have about the online blogging community and changes I’m making for myself and my blog. I’m kind of nervous to share it with you guys, so I hope you all read it and share your thoughts about if you feel the same!
First and foremost — HAPPY NEW YEARS! We’ve finally made it, and 2020 is now nothing more than a memory. I know that realistically, the issues that plagued us (no pun intended) in 2020 don’t magically disappear just because of the calendar change, but it DOES feel nice to have a fresh start.
While I am hoping that 2021 will help bring me out the funk that 2020 left me in, I know I have to be realistic. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and setting colossally large goals for the new year without a plan on how to achieve them often leads to disappointment, or simply forgetting your goals all together. Not that you should avoid dreaming large, of course — it’s important to know what you want and go for it. However, especially when the world is so unpredictable, managing expectations can be a useful skill.
While I did work on breaking down goals last year, I set my sights high with what I wanted to achieve in 2020 — and while some of my goals still pushed me to improve myself (whether I achieved them or not), others were left incomplete by the end of 2020. Whether it was simply a little out of my reach, effected by unseen circumstances, or due directly to COVID — it doesn’t really matter, as they incomplete either way.
So, this year I’m switching it up and taking a different approach. I still want to push myself to move forward and be able to track my progress, so I’ll still be setting goals for myself. But a lofty new years resolution? Not so much.
Breaking It Down
This year, I’m taking a bit of a different approach. I’m setting a couple of “wishes” for the end of the year (things that I’d like to work towards that can be changed or aren’t set in stone). In terms of goals, I’ll be setting them monthly based on what my life looks like. In the past, I used monthly goals as more of a to-do list, but this year I’ll be using them as more of a monthly resolution. For instance, whereas in the past I would list out things such as number of blog views I wanted to achieve or Instagram posts I wanted to make in a month, but this month I’ll be setting more holistic goals, and I’ll be focusing on getting back into a regular workout/yoga schedule and meal prepping.
Letting Life Lead Me
Right now, everything is far too up in the air right now for me to ever even predict what my life may end up looking like by the end of the year. Rather than limiting myself based on my expectations a year out, I’d rather play things by ear and see where life takes me. Considering how many ways my life could go from the point I’m at right now, making set life goals for the end of the year may only end up limiting me or blinding me to new possibilities. So, I’m taking it one month at a time. While this month I’m hoping to perhaps find a job and get back into a regular routine of working out and eating, next month my goals and needs may be totally different — I’ll see when I get there.
Not Playing The Numbers Game
In the past, many of my goals were based on numbers — gaining so many new followers, achieving so many blog views, etc. However, not only does setting number-based goals start to drive you crazy with the constant counting, it isn’t very motivating in the way I need it to be. Not only does it focus on the wrong side of things, but it’s easy to ignore until you start to fall behind — and then you just end up in a cyclical game of catch-up. I’d rather set more holistic goals that help improve my life as a whole, and watch more number-based results materialize as a result.
Not Making Everything About Productivity
This year has really shown me our culture’s toxic obsession with productivity. I know this shouldn’t really be a radical concept, but really — you don’t need to be pushing yourself 24/7!!! In the midst of a global pandemic, in a time that was stressful for all of us, it seemed almost every single piece of media out there seemed to be telling us how to keep busy, start our life-changing project, fix up absolutely every little thing around our homes, and become this theoretical best version of ourselves. Even our self-care had to be cute and perfect. I won’t lie — at the beginning, I kind of fell into this trap too. Everyone else seemed to be out there being to most productive they’d ever been in their lives — I didn’t want to be the only one taking a break. However, I can pretty much guarantee that all the other bloggers and influencers who make their life seem 100% perfectly in order 24/7 are lying to you (or at least enhancing the truth). You don’t need to have it together all the time. I’m honestly experiencing some of the worst burnout I have in years from trying to be perfect during such a stressful year. So next year, no matter what 2021 sends our way, I’m allocating some of my goals to legitimate self-care, hobbies and happiness — just for the hell of it. Not everything needs to be about being productive 24/7.
Using Goals to Check In With Myself
While I want to make sure I’m not pushing myself too hard in 2021, I still want to be checking in with myself to make sure that I’m on the right track. While it was a bit of a necessary break, the last new months of 2020 I kind of found my life falling apart — and it’s taken more effort to get back on track than it would have to simply maintain it. I’m hoping that in 2021, I’ll be able to turn my life around a little and get myself back on track. I’m hoping to build a routine, get ahead on my blog posts, start working out and feeling a little normal again — BEFORE I start a new job. So instead of setting goals with the aim of pushing myself, I’ll be setting goals to check in with myself and make sure that I’m keeping everything on track — no matter what ends up coming in 2021.
Happy new years, everyone! I know it can be kinda scary staring down a whole new year, especially since we really don’t know what this year will hold. I have hope that it’ll be a better year than 2020 was, but I also know that nothing much is going to change without putting in the effort. This time last year, I had a plan that was meant to push me tony limits and help me become my “absolute best self”. I thought I was being realistic — and who knows? Maybe if 2020 hadn’t turned out the way it did it may have been. But it wasn’t, and it’s caused me to reevaluate and hopefully make 2021 a better, more successful year.
So fingers crossed — 2020 was absolutely brutal, but with any luck 2021 will be our year. I’m keeping my expectations small and realistic — maybe I’m just a little jaded, but I don’t want to dream too big and end up disappointed. But hopefully with this plan, a vaccine, and a little luck, 2021 may just be my year.
Are you guys setting resolutions this year? If yes, how are you doing it? Are your goals similar to what they were in the past, or are you taking a whole new approach? Perhaps, even after reading this post, you’re feeling a little inspired to set goals monthly and forgo a resolution this year. Or maybe you’re just over it and not setting goals anymore after 2020 (which is totally fair). No matter what your plans are, drop a comment below and let me know! I’d love to hear all about your goals, and what’s changed for you in 2021. Hopefully, within luck, we’ll all end 2021 on a better note than we started it on.