Love It or Leave It: Brow Tinting!

Thanks to @Dizzyd718 for making this photo available freely on @unsplash

Hey y’all!

So, if you’re an even semi-avid follower of beauty trends on Instagram nowadays, you’ll already know that semi-permanent makeup solutions are all the rage. Every day it feels like you hear of something new — lash lifting, eyelash extensions, microblading, ombre brows, brow laminating, makeup tattooing, lip injections, the list goes on.

These trends have often had my attention since the very beginning, but I’ve yet to really take the leap and try them out as it does seem like a commitment. However, as I begin to get busier with my current job, which requires I look put-together almost daily, the idea of stopping in for an appointment once a month becomes a lot less daunting compared to having to have flawless makeup applied every day.

However, when I finally took the leap it was entirely on a whim — while getting my eyebrows threaded about a month back, my brow lady finished up, and casually suggested that I should give brow tinting a shot — and I did.

This was really unlike me for so many reasons — I’m really not one to take such a permanent approach without fair research and prep, as my appearance is rather important to me. I also have a lot of allergies to non-food items, meaning there was a VERY likely chance I could have reacted negatively to the dye.

Luckily, not only did everything work out — it went amazingly. My brow lady reminded me a little hesitantly that sometimes people freak out about how dark their brows look, but after a day of getting used to it she was sure I would love it. However, it didn’t even take a day. I took one look in the mirror and was immediately sold — and honestly felt a little silly for not taking the leap on semi-permanent makeup for so long. My brows looked FANTASTIC, as if they were naturally perfect, and took an entire step out of my makeup routine going forward before work.

If you’re someone who doesn’t love wearing lots of makeup, or find you constantly are in a rush to get ready, give brow tinting a shot. In terms of semi-permanent brow solutions, it’s a lot cheaper and significantly more low-commitment than many alternative options. (While obviously prices change between salons, this service cost me $15.00). Ultimately, if you don’t love it, it’ll wear off in a couple of weeks — but if you do love it, you’ll be saving all kinds of time and money on daily makeup application.

For those of you, like me, who’ve never given semi-permanent makeup a go, I hope this review of my experience was helpful! Stay tuned for more posts like this — since I’m definitely going to be trying out more of these services in the near future.

Xo,

Meredith

Me, Sans Makeup, Post Brow Tint

How To: Look Your Best Every Day!

Hey y’all!

As someone who previously spent many years actively being the definition of a “hot mess” I spent years in University going out in public looking pretty rough, which always made me feel super self-conscious. You know those people who go out looking “terrible” but still look pretty decent? Yeah, that’s not me. Without hair and makeup, I honestly look like a seventeen year old who hasn’t had a proper night’s sleep in months. I would stress about running into people I knew, who often wouldn’t recognize me because I looked THAT BAD.

However, over the years I’ve come up with a couple basics to make sure I at least look a little put together every time I leave the house. These may not all apply to you, but hopefully if you’re struggling to go out feeling good about how you look, some of these tricks will help!

Step One: Remember You Don’t Have To Look Perfect Everyday

Honestly, this one was a huge learning curve for me. I either went out with a perfect outfit and full-face of makeup or bare-faced and gross — there was no middle ground. If you’re busy and don’t have time to spend hours getting ready in the morning (or just value your beauty sleep!), remember you don’t have to go all-out every day. It’s going to help you look better AND feel better, trust me.

Step Two: Take Steps To Enhance Your Morning Routine

This one is a bit more of an undertaking, and something I’m just starting on myself. However, it helps SO MUCH to help you get ready and look great everyday. I’m taking about anything that’s semi-permanent, that’ll take steps out of your morning routine. Whatever this may be is completely your choice. Some possibilities are getting your eyebrows done (ex. tinting or microblading), lashes done (lifting or extensions), and hair done (perm or straightening). These treatments may seem expensive up front, but the money and time they’ll save you every day much outweighs the cost. Plus, if you ever have to roll right out of bed and go, you’ll be already looking great!

Step Three: Hygiene, Hygiene, Hygiene!

This is the most important step, IMO. Making sure you’ve showered daily and have clean hair will make you look waaaaay more put together than all the other steps combined. (Obviously you don’t have to wash your hair every day, but make sure you keep up with having it clean all the time. Personally I wash my hair every other day but you know your hair best!). Now, I know this can be daunting for those of us who are busy, or those of us who suffer from depression — I’ve been there so I know. But if you’re going to do one thing before you leave the house, let it be this. You’ll feel 110% better knowing that you’re clean and fresh.

Step Four: Create A Basic Makeup Routine

As much as I’d love to have the time to put on a full face every day, I really don’t. Depending how much time I have to get ready on any given day, I have different makeup routines that require more or less time decided by what I have available. The best way to determine these routines is to take the time to find what features, makeup, and looks are most important to you and what you wish to focus on. For so long I felt the need to do a whole routine every time I did makeup with foundation and everything — which didn’t necessarily focus on the features I feel I need to define most, but rather just a watered-down version of my full routine.

Now I have different routines for every situation. For myself, I have VERY light brows and lashes, but my skin is overall pretty nice and my other features (besides my eyes) are generally pretty well-defined. If I’m REALLY pressed for time, I just go for liner, mascara and brow gel. If I have a bit more time, I take my Glossier concealer, skin tint, cloud paint blush, lidstar and highlighter and add those in as well. If I have a normal amount of time, I do my regular routine, and for special occasions I’ll do a full-face look, lashes and eyeshadow and all. As much as I’d love to have time to do a full-face every day, I really don’t have that much time often — but I do have a solid plan for no matter how much time I have available.

Step Five: Have A Go-To Hair Do

This is one I’m still getting the hang of, honestly. If you’ve followed the other steps above, you’ll already be ahead of the game here; as long as you’re hair is clean (and ESPECIALLY if you have some kind of permanent treatment) you’re already good to go. If not, try to put whatever effort in it takes to get your hair to look nice — hair makes up such a large proportion of our overall appearance that sometimes (especially if you’re like me, and can’t do hair to save your life) it can be easy to forget how big an impact it can have. For myself, if my hair is looking a little less-than-wonderful on a certain day, I’ll quickly straighten it before I leave. Whatever your basic hairstyle is is up to you — but try to pick something quick and easy that looks polished enough to work for every day!

Step Six: Keep Your Outfits Simple

There’s really only three basic steps that I find crucial for putting together cute and put-together outfits on the fly. Firstly, if you can, try to plan your outfits out the night before! Yes, okay, I know this kind of contradicts the whole “on the fly” concept, but we all know that panic when you’re on your fifth outfit that just doesn’t seem to be working and time is running out. Eliminate this stress entirely by picking out an outfit the night before, and throwing it on before you leave the house! It’s SO much easier in the long run.

The second step is to avoid leggings if you want to look put together. Yes, there are some LITERAL goddesses out there who can make leggings look amazing. But if you’re like me, and not one of them — try to at least throw on a pair of jeans or pants. It takes just as long to do, and if you’re worried about it being “less comfortable”, try to find a pair that are just as cozy as any leggings ever could be! The jeans I’m wearing in the picture above i just recently purchased from Topshop, and they’re SO comfy I’ve literally slept in them once. (No judgement please — I get really tired after work!). Anyways, the point is if you need to be comfy, there’s pants out there for you that look a little more presentable than leggings! I love leggings as much as the next girl, but I’ve been trying to cut them out of my day-to-day wardrobe lately and feel 100% more put-together when I leave the house.

The final step is, if you’re crunched for time, stick to basic colours (or better yet — no colours at all!). Black, white and grey all mix and match so easily that’s it’s easiest to throw them on and not even worry about it. Plus, keeping an outfit simple can help make it look a little classier — colours and patterns can look fantastic sometimes; but generally take more effort, thought and planning to make them look spectacular. If you still want to wear colours some days, know which colours always look best on you in advance. This way, you won’t have to worry about throwing something on and having it look a little off. For me, I tend to stick to olive green or light blue, and I choose one or the other depending on the outfit. However, you know what colours suit you best! But just remember, when in doubt — keep it simple. It’s so much less stress anyway!

Step Seven: Accessorize!

Fall is the best time for looking fashionable on the fly because it is SO EASY to make any outfit cute just by having a cute jacket, purse and pair of shoes. All you need is one of each and you’re good to go for absolutely every day for the next few months. If you’re on a budget, one jacket, pair of shoes, good jeans and a cute bag is really all you need for the season — just make sure they all match! My go to is my black leather jacket, black heeled booties and a black bag. This final step really pulls your outfit together and makes you look put together every day if you do it right. For cheap options, check out Fashion Nova, Instagram shops or hit up Forever 21’s liquidation sale!

Step Eight: Keep Your Nails Cute And Maintained

The final step in keeping yourself put-together, cute and ready to take on the world every day is cute nails! As someone who gets acrylics religiously, having to take them off and give my nails a breather is always so sad for me — I literally sit around counting the days until my nails grow out and I can get a fresh set! If you’re not one for long acrylics, anything that makes you feel like your nails look nice will do — whether it be gel polish, regular nail polish or even nothing at all! Just ensuring your nails look clean, healthy, smooth and taken care of will ensure you’re looking and feeling your best.

And there you have it! Eight simple steps to ensure you’re looking and feeling your best before you leave the house every day. If this is something you’re already in the habit of — you’re already ahead of the curve, you go girl! If not, it may all sound kind of daunting, but once you get into the habit of these steps, it gets a whole lot easier.

Just remember these are not hard and fast rules, they’re just what I’ve found are the 8 foundations for myself. My list may be missing a step that you consider crucial, or you may completely disagree with one or more of the points I’ve made, and that’s okay! But if you’ve been feeling like you want to make sure you look presentable every day, and feel you’re missing something (or don’t know where to start), I hope this list helps! Remember we are all works in progress, I don’t have all these steps down and it will take a while to make them a routine.

I hope you guys are all gearing up to have a fantastic week, go out there and accomplish whatever goals you have for the week and overcome any obstacles that lie in your path. And for my fellow Canadians, happy Thanksgiving! If you’re lucky enough to have a long weekend, hope you enjoy your extra day off! Spend it well — whether that’s with family, with friends, or just taking a self-care day to yourself!

Xox,

Meredith

Tuesday Favourites: October 8th

Fenty Beauty Contour Stick

Hey friends!

This week I’m going to share with you a product I recently bought and instantly fell in love with: The Fenty Beauty Contour Stick!

I was honestly a bit on the fence about this product when I bought it — not only had I not contoured in years, I had never used cream contour. I was rather daunted by it, and super uninformed. I thought that the matte look of this product wasn’t what I was looking for, as I’m not a huge fan of matte skin products. (Or matte anything, really. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how down I am for glowy, dewey looks).

However, this product turned out to be just what I was looking for! It contours beautifully — it has a great cool shade that mimics shadows naturally and doesn’t come off looking too orange or grey. I do find it a bit challenging to blend into my foundation with a blender, but so long as i touch up my foundation on top there’s no issues whatsoever.

If you feel daunted by how dark the shade is, don’t be! I was too at first, as I am incredibly pale. However, this product still looks natural on me and would certainly look fantastic on darker skin tones as well.

So for the first time in years, I’m finally able to create a sharp, contoured look for myself; my features look SO sharp and I get to avoid any fake-contour lines and blending errors. If you’re looking to try a creme stick to sculpt out your features, look no further!

If this sounds like the product for you, be sure to check it out at Sephora here!

Have a great day, lovelies!

Xo,

Meredith

Tuesday Favourites: September 24th (October 1st!)

Lilly Lashes in “Hollywood”

Hey friends!

Okay so a little disclaimer, this was the post I had intended to make last week. I had it completely written out and everything, but hadn’t scheduled it, and was too busy at work to post it. I know it’s probably a little weird to post this in this context since obviously it’s no longer my birthday, but I still wanted to share! So without further ado, enjoy!

For this week I wanted to choose a very special product, because for me it’s a very special Tuesday — today is my 23rd birthday! I really wanted to share with you guys my all time favourite product, so I really put a lot of thought into what I would share with you guys this week. After a while, I started to realize that it was waaaaay too hard to find the perfect product, especially since I’m committed to only sharing the best with you guys, so really all of these products are special.

Around the time that I was writing this post, I shared a poll on my twitter account asking my followers which makeup product they could absolutely not live without. For me, it was easy — while I do LOVE highlighter with all my heart, I cannot go out feeling as I’m looking my best without lashes. I’ve tried many mascaras in my lifetime, but none of them blew me away to the extent that I felt that I could go without lashes. For me, falsies are the most important step to creating a polished, finished makeup look.

So this week, I’ll be sharing one of my all-time fave lash brands with you — Lilly Lashes! As you guys may remember from my last Tuesday Favourite lash post, I generally like a more natural look to my falsies. While the Sephora lashes look 100% natural, these lashes certainly look a lot more extreme — which can be exactly what you need for certain makeup looks.

I love pairing these especially with winged eyeliner, as it not only keeps the lashes from looking too extreme, but the lashes themselves are long enough you can still see them perfectly from a distance, even with heavy liner. They make a great bold look, and pair especially well with heavier makeup looks. (Edit: I ended up wearing these on my birthday and got endless comments from my coworkers about how fabulous they looked, so they really are fantastic!).

So, if the natural look isn’t really your thing, or you’re looking to try something a little more bold, give these lashes a shot! Not only are they beautiful, but they last forever so long as you care for them properly.

If you want to check this product out, you can find it on Sephora here!

Lots of love guys, thank you so much for reading!

Xo,

Meredith

Tuesday Favourites: September 3rd

My (Rather Well Used) Function Of Beauty Shampoo

Hey guys! Welcome back!

So, for this week, I figured I’d elaborate a little more on a product I wrote about after trying, but fell more in love with the more I used it. For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you may remember when I posted my blog about Function of Beauty back in June. (If not, feel free to click the link and read all about it!). At the time, I gave it a week to test it out before sharing the results with you guys. I hadn’t switched hair products in years, and didn’t really consider how long it would take to start seeing changes being made — a week certainly wasn’t enough time to see full results.

However, two months later it’s safe to say I’ve now thoroughly tested out this product, and I love it. As in, I’m so sold I honestly don’t know that I’ll ever switch shampoo or conditioners again — and with Function of Beauty’s model, I probably won’t have to. When choosing your products, you select your hair type — including texture, structure and moisture, as well as your five main concerns you wish to see improvements in your hair. Meaning, if you see something you want to change, all you have to do is select a different concern more applicable to your current needs in your next batch!

On top of all this, you get to choose from a variety of scents and colours, truly customizing the products and making them your own. You even get to label the bottle with a nickname — everything about it makes it feel so personal and cute.

I heard about this brand months before I got the chance to test it out — I literally waited as patiently as I could for my old products to finally run out so I could give these a try. As I noted in my initial post, I certainly saw some immediate effects — enough to keep me interested in buying more. I wasn’t sure if it was just that I was so hyped up about trying out this brand, but at first even with the results given, I still felt it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

Unfortunately, I sometimes tend to be a bit impatient. The fact that I saw immediate results, really, should have said it all. Two months later, my hair is the healthiest it’s been in — well, possibly forever. It’s smooth, shiny, and constantly looks the best it ever has. On top of that, even though its been a few months since I had a hair cut, my hair almost feels as fresh as if I had just returned from the salon — I have minimal problems with split ends and tangling, which is almost always a problem for me. Furthermore, my ends look just as healthy as my roots, which is a nice change from what my hair has been from the last few years (especially with all the bleaching I put it through) — fried at the top, and fried-to-straw at the bottoms.

This product, no joke, has transformed my hair. It is the most beautiful and healthy it’s ever been — I always envied girls with long, shiny, healthy hair, but for the first time in years my hair is finally transformed into one of my favourite features. Plus: their products are Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Cruetly-Free and Vegan! This means these products are better for you, your hair, the animals AND the environment! It’s a win-win.

If this sounds like the change your hair has been needing, be sure to check out Function of Beauty here!

I hope you’re all having a lovely Tuesday!

Xoxo,

Meredith