Thursday Favourites: August 27th

Hey y’all!

I don’t know about you guys, but lately, I have been seeing these new silicone hair brushes absolutely EVERYWHERE. Maybe it’s just me, but they’ve been catching my eye all over different platforms, from different creators — and the more I heard about them, the more interested I became.

They’re a pretty simple concept, but the more I heard about them, the more genius they sounded. Finally, a few weeks ago, I decided to just bite the bullet and try one out for myself. It probably doesn’t even need to be said, since I’m sharing this with you today, but I’m pretty glad I did. These silicone brushes are little multitaskers — and I absolutely love them for it. This one (cheap AND durable) brush not only helps you to deep-clean your scalp, it also helps to exfoliate away potential dandruff and give you a little head massage while at it.

I’ve shared all the benefits of exfoliating your scalp in the past — and how, interestingly enough, it’s not a more popular concept. I mean, we already exfoliate pretty much the entirety of the rest of our bodies — why not your scalp as well? After all, not only does it help to combat dandruff, it helps to really deep-clean your hair like it’s probably never been cleaned before. Seriously — if you haven’t tried exfoliating your scalp before, you should give it a shot.

While I did love Ouai’s Scalp and Body Exfoliator (it does work wonders), I eventually fell out of purchasing it due to not really having the time to exfoliate my scalp regularly. While I loved their product, it took time to work it into your hair deep enough to reach your scalp, and washing it out wasn’t the quickest process either. I kind of forgot about scalp exfoliating at all, honestly, until I came across these silicone brushes on social media — but it’s quickly reminded me what a game-changer deep-cleaning your hair can be.

What I love most about this brush is how easy it is to use — it doesn’t add any extra steps to your shower routine. I was honestly worried it would be difficult to use before I tried it — I pictured it tangling my hair or being unable to reach my scalp whenever I imagined what it was like to use. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to realize that not only does it reach through your sudsy strands with ease, but it actually hasn’t caused me any issues with tangling my hair yet. As well, since it’s used to lather shampoo into your hair, it doesn’t add any extra time to your shower routine, which is a HUGE bonus IMO.

From the first time I used this brush, I could feel what a difference it made to my hair. My hair felt SO clean and fresh compared to how it normally feels, and I noticed less issues with dandruff following it’s use. However, I especially loved how it gave me a little scalp massage — I tend to get a lot of facial/scalp tension as I have issues with clenching my jaw, and it really helped to actually relieve some of the tension and improve how I feel overall. You guys already know how much I love and regularly use skincare tools to massage out my face, so why doesn’t my scalp deserve a little love too?

You can find these silicone brushes all over the internet, but the one that I purchased (and would totally recommend!) was by Ethradia. If this sounds like the scalp massager you’ve been needing, be sure to check it out on Amazon!

I hope you’re all having a good week to wrap up the end of August! The last week of August is always such a bittersweet time for me — on one hand I love summer and I never want the warm weather to end, but on the other I love so many things about fall, from the fashion, to the holidays, to the cute and cozy fall vibes and most importantly, the sense of change it inspires. And while I am going to miss summer, and we all certainly have an interesting fall ahead of us with COVID-19 this year, I’m kind of excited to shake things up and hopefully get a fresh start. Anyone else with me?

Much love,

Meredith

A Virtual Tour Of My Bedroom Decor!

Hey y’all!

Soooooo, it finally happened! After a whole year of slowly working away at decorating my apartment, I’ve finally finished up decorating my bedroom. For those of you who’ve been following my blog since last summer, you may remember that I moved into my current apartment in September of last year. Back when I moved in, I was in the middle of a huge transitional period in my life (that I’m still only now really starting to come out of) and I really didn’t have a lot of free time to myself. Between working my full-time job, figuring out and beginning classes for my final year at UBC, and moving from campus to downtown, I was pretty much swamped. When I moved into my apartment, I had just about nothing in the way of furniture — all the furniture from my on-campus apartment had to be sold as I was subletting an apartment for the months in between moves and I had no where to keep it all.

So, September rolls around and I move into my completely empty apartment. On one hand, it was a total dream — I’ve always wanted to furnish and fully decorate my own place. But on the other hand, as I’d come to discover, decorating from scratch is no easy task. It takes a lot of coordination, planning, and effort to pull it off. My apartment is a relatively small space, so not only did I have to ensure that everything would actually fit into my apartment, I had to envision how everything would look together in the space before committing to purchasing things, and of course, I had to assemble everything myself.

This all turned out to be a MUCH larger undertaking than I anticipated. It would have been challenging at the best of times, but I generally only got one day off a week, and I had a lot of other important matters to take care of in September and October while I got settled in. On top of that, it turns out that I find visualizing spaces (for example, to imagine how my place would look with certain furniture I was considering) very difficult. I essentially had to resort to slowly acquiring one piece of furniture at a time and wait until it was arrived and assembled before I could even think about picking out something else — which, of course, ended up taking forever considering my limited amounts of free time.

However, nearly a whole year later on, my apartment has finally started to really come together. While my mailroom only feels about 50% complete, it has all the furniture it needs to be a functional for everyday use, and has a couple decorations that help to make it feel like my own. My bedroom on the other hand — well, after a whole year, it’s finally complete! While I may add a couple of other decor items here and there in the future, these things will come as I happen across them, and not because I am actively searching for them.

So, I’m going to break it all down for you bit by bit — I want to explain a little bit about where everything I found is from and my process in putting it all together. In general, I found Pinterest to be the greatest tool for generating ideas, finding decor themes, and envisioning how everything would look all together. If you’re looking to decorate a space anytime soon, it’s worth checking out — it can really be invaluable if (like me) you have a hard time visualizing how things will work out. As well, I’ve linked almost everything below — some items I didn’t buy online, or I had from before and may no longer be carried by the brand. However, I linked everything I could find and attached the company I found it at and the item list on their website for those I could not!

My Bed Area

Due to the size of my bedroom and the fact that I personally wanted the largest possible bed I could squeeze into it, the only real furniture in my bedroom is my bed and bedside table. If I had opted for a single, I guess I could have fit more — such as a desk, or a chair perhaps — but honestly, I value both my comfort and sleep FAR too much for that. Out of all the furniture in my apartment, these were definitely the two trickiest — they were big and heavy, and I ended up not being able to assemble the bed frame myself. However, it came together in the end and I could not be happier with how it turned out!

Bed: Structube

Quilt: The Bay

Throw Pillows: The Bay & Wayfair (the little white one is from Amazon and I unfortunately bought it years ago but you can find similar on almost any decor site!).

My Bedside Table

This is the one piece of furniture in my whole apartment that didn’t require assembling of any sort, which was a huge blessing honestly. While I’ve had this side table for a while now, I only just settled on the decor on top recently after I had a little epiphany to use my little marble tray here instead of where I had been using it in my bathroom storage shelves previously.

Bedside Table: Structube

Marble Tray: The Bay

Vase: Anthropologie

Diffuser: Saje

Lamp: Ikea

Aloe Plant: This was from a local grocery store, unfortunately, but there’s plenty of cute plant pots you can find just about anywhere — from Canadian Tire to Amazon to local shops!

Wall Decor

This was definitely the most stressful part of decorating my room — putting stuff up on the walls feels so permanent, so it really felt important to slowly work out exactly what I wanted. As well, I spent a loooooong time measuring out where I wanted everything to go — its so challenging to get picture frames to align perfectly, and I didn’t want to make any mistakes. This was actually the final step I took in decorating my room, but I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out — it really brought everything together.

Picture Frames: Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Wall Art: AgataCreate on Etsy (you have to print them yourself, but IMO Etsy prints are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get cute and versatile wall art).

Plant Pots: Umbra at Indigo

Final Touches

While I may not have had space for other furniture in my apartment, I still added some extra items to help bring it all together! Namely, my lamp and mirror — which were kind of necessities (there’s no ceiling lighting or other full-length mirrors in my room/apartment) and then my rug to simply help tie everything together.

Lamp: Ikea

Mirror: Ikea

Rug: Wayfair

The Finished Product!

And there you have it! It may have taken forever, but I’m absolutely in love with my room — I really love the minimalist, clean aesthetic. I find it really relaxing, which is important for me to have in my space. After all, your room is the one place that’s totally your own, and your space to wind down after a long day — I personally like mine to be a place that brings me peace and is comfortable.

Hopefully, for those of you who’ve been getting into redecorating during lockdowns, you’ve found a little inspiration from this post! If you guys have any advice for decorating in the future, please drop a comment below! I still have a little ways to go on my main room (which I’ll be sure to share with you all when it’s done) and I’d love to hear all of your best tips and tricks!

I hope you’re all having a good week! Can you believe we’re already halfway through August? On one hand, I feel like I havent even gotten a chance to enjoy summer yet, but on the other I’m honestly kind of fired up for the Fall vibes ……. I can’t be the only one who loves summer but gets crazy excited for fall come August, right?

Much love,

Meredith

Holiday Gift Guide #1: Self-Care Edition!

Hey everyone!

This week I’m kicking off the first part of my three-piece Holiday segment — Holiday Gift Guides! Each week will have it’s own theme, and comes with plenty of recommendations of all my favourite products and gift ideas! My hope is, for those of you who absolutely hate Christmas shopping, that you’ll be able to find a couple great ideas from this post.

Even at the best of times, Christmas shopping can be an ordeal. Picking out gifts for anyone can be stressful — yet alone those who are simply impossible to buy for. As well, aimlessly walking around crowded malls is unpleasant to say the least. No matter how much you love shopping, when it comes to Christmas crowds, we all have other things we’d rather be doing. Hopefully, with these lists, you’ll be able to go in with a plan, get all the gifts you need — and the reward of seeing how much joy these gifts will bring will make up for all the struggle.

This week’s theme is self-care, so if you have someone in your life who’s been feeling a little overwhelmed this year and really needs to spend time over the holidays relaxing and recuperating before 2020, this list has you covered. Any one of these items would make a great gift, or for a particularly special someone — feel free to package them all together into a little self-care basket!

For Someone Who Loves A Little Luxury

Who doesn’t love a good candle? Candles make the easiest and most ultimate home-decor/self care gift for so many reasons. They’re cute, simple, create a cozy atmosphere in the winter. Plus, they make cute decor even if you don’t want to light them. I personally ADORE Jo Malone candles over any other brand — they may be expensive, but they smell AMAZING, can burn forever. These candles make absolutely stunning additions to any room they’re in, and don’t overwhelm too much with a heavy smell.

Feeling inspired? Check out this product here!

For Someone Who Loves Smooth Skin

Okay, we all already know that I adore the Herbivore Crushed Amethyst Body Polish. It makes the perfect gift for anyone in need of a little extra TLC this holiday season for so many reasons. First of all, weekly exfoliation is super important to maintaining clear, soft, healthy skin — especially in the wintertime. As well, this exfoliator smells like lilacs (!!!!), comes loaded with all kinds of hydrating oils, and provides a fantastic exfoliation. It’s not too rough, nor does it dissolve in water as you use it. There’s very few products in the world I would deem completely perfect — but this is definitely one of them.

Feeling inspired? Check out this product here and at Sephora here!

For Someone Looking To Decorate

I can’t even count how many times I’ve been referred to as a “plant mom”. My apartment has more plants than any other kind of decoration — I can’t help it, I just love them! Plants make a perfect gift for so many reasons. First of all, as decor, they go with just about everything. As well, plants are great for filtering air in stuffy apartments, and have been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression. So whether its a little aloe or an extra-large Philodendron, consider plants for anyone in your life who could use a little decor and a pick-me-up!

I’m not going to link to any online shops, but some good plants to consider are aloes, cactuses, snake grass, rubber plants, miniature palms, dracaena, or money trees!

For Someone Who Struggles With Winter Weather

In many places, winter is just a truly brutal time for your skin. Besides the cold, it can often get incredibly dry — leading to all sorts of problems for your skin, face, and lips. Luckily, in Vancouver where it rains all winter, its not too much of a problem — but I still remember how dry winter can get from my years in Toronto very well. So, for anyone who may need a little help tackling winter dryness, I have a couple solutions that would make great gifts!

The first item on this list is the Fresh Sugar Hydrating Lip Balm. I’ve been using this lip balm for over a year now, and I’m pretty convinced its the best one there is. This lip balm hits all the necessities for me — it’s ultra hydrating, incredibly smooth, and not a little bit sticky, greasy or heavy. Plus, it smells amazing! I guarantee this lip balm would make a great present for anyone who hates suffering from dry, cracked lips this winter season.

As for those suffering from dry skin in the winter, the “Sleepy” Lush body moisturizer makes a great gift! It’s a little on the heavier side, which I’m usually not a fan of, but it’s not too heavy — and really helps with keeping skin soft if you let it absorb overnight. Plus, it smells like lavender, making it the perfect, relaxing end to any self care night!

As for hand cream, I’ve always been a big fan of Crabtree and Evelyn. Their luxurious hand creams come in all kinds of scents from neutral, to floral, to citrus, to herbal, so there’s guaranteed a scent for everyone on your list. They especially make fantastic add-ons to a gift, or a little gift when you’re gifting for multiple people (ie. teachers, coworkers, etc). Who could ever dislike having silky-smooth hands in the middle of winter, right?

Feeling inspired? Check out the Fresh Sugar Coconut Hydrating Lip Balm here (available in other flavours), the Lush Sleepy Body Lotion here, and the Crabtree and Evelyn hand creams here!

For Someone In Need Of An At-Home Spa Day

Nothing says “self care time” like a long, relaxing bath. For anyone in need of a good night off to unwind, consider bath bombs as a gift!

An absolute classic is the Lush bath bombs, you really can’t go wrong with these. They smell amazing and come in so many fun colours, there’s absolutely one for everyone here. A couple of my personal favourites are “Big Blue” and “Avobath“, but really, you can’t go wrong with any bath bomb from Lush. Plus, they have plenty of holiday-themed options to choose from!

These next two I haven’t tried personally, but I’ve been dying to get my hands on them and both look like they would make absolutely fantastic gifts. For someone looking for a true spa experience, Ouai’s new Chill Pills make the perfect gift! Not only are they supposed to smell amazing, but they’re formulated with Jojoba Oil, Safflower Oil, and Hemp Seed Oil, making them fantastic for your skin. As well, I’ve tried a number of other Ouai bath products and all of them were incredible — so I doubt you can go wrong here.

For someone looking for an insta-worthy soak, consider a bath bomb from WWFCO! I’ve been following them on Instagram for ages, and not only are their bath bombs beautiful — they’re handmade, and come loaded with unique and great ingredients in every bag. They have all kinds of rave reviews, so I’d be willing to put my money on these making an absolutely wonderful Christmas gift for anyone who needs a good, relaxing night off.

Feeling inspired? Check out Lush’s line here, Ouai’s Chill Pills here, and WWFCO on Instagram here!

For Someone Needing To Feel Special

This one is a particularly special one for me, as it was actually a Christmas gift I received last year from my little sister that I wear absolutely every day.

Kate Spade necklaces are so beautiful and simple, all of them make a fantastic gift. However, what makes this one in particular so special is how personalized it is. On the front, it’s engraved with an “M” (for Meredith!) and the back reads “one in a million”. Something this personalized is so sweet and special, and I can tell you firsthand makes an incredible gift for someone who needs to feel a little special this holiday season.

Feeling inspired? Check out this product here (and other Kate Spade necklaces here)!

For Someone You Want To Spend Time With

@element5digital on Unsplash

A manicure day is a great gift because it can also offer the gift of spending time with the person you give it to! A great way to pull this gift off is to make a little coupon to give to whomever you’re sharing it with, make plans to go sometime in January, and enjoy hanging out while pampering yourselves! This gift is also great because it works for just about everyone — whether its for an extra AF friend who want long, blinged out acrylics, someone who never gets their nails done and could use a pick-me-up and a bit of polish, or for guys who like to take good care of their hands. For an added cute touch, if you and the person you’re buying the manicure for are both getting polish, get matching nails!

As An Extra Little Add-On

@julianamalta on Unsplash

Gift cards can seem like a bit of a cop-out as a standalone gift, but when added in addition with something else can seem like a nice extra touch. Plus, I don’t know about you guys but I love online shopping — when it arrives it’s like a little gift to yourself, plus you don’t have to deal with crowded stores. For an extra special touch, add a note with something along the lines of “treat yourself to something nice” or anything else you feel works! Some great ideas for gift cards to add on can be Amazon, Sephora, FashionNova, Nordstrom, Aritzia, Glossier, The Bay, or UrbanOutfitters! Obviously, it all depends on who you’re buying for, but hopefully these options give you some ideas.

Hopefully some of you guys got some great inspiration from this post for your Christmas shopping this year, or at least got a little more in the Holiday spirit! Stay tuned for next weeks list — with a new theme and all kinds of new ideas!

Hope you’ve all had a relaxing weekend, and are gearing up for a productive week!

Much Love,

Meredith

Heatless Hair Curlers: Love It Or Leave It?

Beachy Waves With Heatless Hair Curlers

Hey everyone!

So to preface, I apologize for the lack of quality in this week’s posts photos — I wasn’t intending this post for this week, and therefore had to prep photos for this super last minute. However, this means that next week you’ll be getting TWO posts on Sunday, so stay tuned for that! And, without further ado, lets get into it!

This weeks post is for everyone out there who LOVES curly hair, but can’t style their hair to save their life, or anyone trying to avoid heat damage to their hair at all costs.

One fact that I’ve found to be almost universally true is that almost everyone who’s outstanding at a certain aspect of beauty now, started with it young and went through all the terrible learning phases while in high school, meaning they came out into the adult world already having that skill down. Every makeup expert you know probably went through a number of TERRIBLE eyeshadow or brow phases back before the age of Instagram. Every fashion guru probably has an album stashed away of mildly embarrassing photoshoots of themselves in tacky 2000’s style outfits. And every girl who’s seemed to master casual, every day waves has probably owned a flat iron and curler since they were in middle school.

I, however, had short hair for most of my grade school days. After cutting off over twelve inches of hair to donate to cancer wigs when I was eleven years old, I was so taken with my newfound short hair after YEARS of being obsessed with having it as long as it would be that I kept it that way until the twelfth grade. Sometimes it looked cute, a lot of times it looked terrible, but most notably it was too short to do anything special with — much to my dismay every time a fancy event rolled around and I wanted to do my hair. It was uncurlable, and took every hack in a hair stylists book if I ever asked for an updo.

As such, I really never learned how to do my hair or thought to incorporate it into my daily routine — a fact that still haunts me to this day. OKAY, maybe that’s a little dramatic but not only do I always underestimate/forget how much time I’ll need if I want to make my hair look nice before leaving the house, but I also, for years, had NO IDEA how to do anything as basic as even curling my hair. Luckily, with years of trial and error and tips from my hair dresser I’ve gotten a lot better, but i’m still far from being excellent.

This is all exactly why I was so curious when I came across a review on Buzzfeed absolutely singing praises for these heatless hair curlers. People were absolutely raving about them and how simple they were. On top of that, anything I can do to reduce heat damage to my bleached-out ends sounds amazing.

Heatless Curlers

Still, I was pretty skeptical. I tried heatless curlers once before (but a very different style) and it was an absolute mess. Still, after reading enough reviews, I decided to just take the leap. Thank god I did — these curlers are AMAZING. Not only are they super easy to use, you can sleep with them in and it’s not even uncomfortable. They give the same look as using a curling wand, and only a little bit more effort. The only downside is that you do have to wait — it’s not as instantaneous as heat curlers. However, if you’re prepared to sleep with them in it’s no problem — plus, if you take the time to put them in before doing your makeup you can still get a great curl out of them.

As well, your hair should be at least a little damp first. You don’t want to have your hair totally wet either, and it’s a little hard to find a good medium, although freshly blow-dried hair should work just fine. I learned the hard way today that if you don’t dampen your hair first the curls don’t last nearly as well — a good learning lesson but a little unfortunate as I was using them to take photos for this post.

The final result of these curlers is stunning though — it looks just the same as if you spent all kinds of effort with a wand (just minus the burns). I tend to use the medium-large ones to get a more natural wave, but if you’re looking for a tighter, ringlet-style curl this pack includes curlers small enough to give you that exact look. These curls hold fantastically too — which I was incredibly surprised by. Maybe it’s just my lack of knowledge when it comes to hair styling, but I always thought heat was essential to a curl’s hold. Turns out that’s not the case at all — these work fantastic without frying your strands.

The Final Result!

If this sounds like the product you’ve been needing, be sure to check them out on Amazon here!

Be sure to stay tuned for a two-special post next week — my Tarte Custom Makeup Kit unboxing, as well as the first part of my surprise 3-piece holiday segment!

Hope you’re all having a lovely week,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: Halloween Edition!

Best Halloween Makeup

Hey y’all!

This week I’m taking this post in a bit of a different direction — as it’s Halloween, I want to discuss ALL my favourite costume makeup! I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with crazy coloured makeup; I’m always so drawn to it when I see it in stores, but seldom buy any because I know I’m not going to have a lot of opportunities to wear it.

While I’m trying to branch out a bit, I almost never wear anything other than neutral, peach, smoky or gold eyeshadows save for Halloween, costume parties and music festivals. Still, it’s hard not to be tempted by bright bold palettes and shimmery duo-chrome eyeshadows every time you set foot in Sephora.

So, this week I wanted to share with you guys all the craziest coloured makeup I’ve ever bought that I consider to be the best of the best! That way, if you’re looking for a last minute palette to help create tonights look, or just LOVE crazy coloured makeup looks and are looking for something new, hopefully you’ll be able to find something for you from my list!

NYX Ultimate Brights Palette

NYX Ultimate Brights Palette

One of the biggest problems with colourful makeup is it’s hard to find a palette that covers the whole spectrum of colours without breaking the bank. It’s important to have something that covers every colour you’d ever need to ensure you can always blend out any look accurately. However, it seems wasteful to drop a whole lot of money building a palette of individual pots for this, as well, many colourful palettes offered at Sephora are expensive and only cover a certain range. This palette is AMAZING because it has so many colour options, as well as having an affordable price. The colours are bright and beautiful — they aren’t the most pigmented, but blend fairly well and can build up to look as bright as you need them to. If you’re looking for a good basic colour palette to cover all your needs, be sure to check this one out!

Check out this product here!

Huda Beauty Neon Obsessions Palettes

Huda Beauty Neon Obsession Palettes in Pink and Green

Okay. I am OBSESSED with these palettes (Get it?). Seriously though, even though I had no need to buy these, I knew I had to get my hands on them the moment I saw them. Huda Beauty eyeshadows are so smooth and pigmented, they blend flawlessly and always look fantastic. These neon palettes come perfectly fitted with colour combos that will help you nail ANY neon look, whether it’s for a Halloween costume or just a bold statement on a night out.

Check out this product here!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Single Pot Shadows

ABH Single Pot Shadows

These shadows are expensive, but oh-so worth it. Not only do they have SO many high quality options, but you can mix and match to create your perfect combo. Plus, they have duo chrome colours (!!!) which are one of my absolute favourite kinds of eyeshadow. These can really add that perfect colour and finishing touch to any crazy, colourful eyeshadow look. They’re so high quality, for crazy colours or natural smoky shades, you really can’t go wrong.

Check out this product here!

Chunky Glitter

Last but not least, chunky glitter is a MUST in your costume makeup collection. Not only does it instantly amp up any look — it has so many uses! My personal favourite is creating glitter freckles, but chunky glitter can also be added to your hair, highlight, collarbones, or even eyes and lips (given that it’s makeup grade and safe). A huge bonus on top of all that is that it can be super inexpensive. I own so much glitter, and most of it I got off Amazon, but if you’re looking for plain craft glitter you can find it in just about any Michaels or related craft store.

Check out this product here! (Or simply search Moon Glitter on Amazon for more options!).

I hope you all have a fantastic Halloween, whether you’re planning to go out, have a night with your family, trick or treat, watch horror movies or just have a nice fall-themed self-care night. If you’re dressing up, I’d love to hear all your creative costume ideas (or if you took inspo from my last-minute Halloween costume ideas, I’d love to see how they turned out!). I hope you’re all ready for November, and fingers crossed you achieve all your goals for the upcoming month!

Happy Halloween!

Meredith