Thursday Favourites: April 30th

Hey y’all!

Happy last day of April — it’s been a long month, but we’re finally almost through! 2020 has certainly been a strange year so far, but hopefully May will bring good news and good weather and we can all start to feel a little normal again.

But back to the topic at hand — today’s product! This week kicks off a bit of a two-part segment I wanted to share on the face wash products I use. I’ve recently gotten into double cleansing and I have to say, I’m really into it. I was always worried before I tried it about it damaging my skin somehow or being too time consuming to keep up with every night. But when I finally took the leap and gave it a shot, all my worries about it melted away — not only did it really not add much time and effort to my skincare routine, but the oil cleanser I decided on was non-striping and so far hasn’t effected my skin negatively in any way.

When I was choosing which cleanser I wanted to use, I decided to go for Shu Uemera’s Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil. If your going to start double cleansing, the general idea is to choose an oil/balm type cleanser as your first product and a water-based cleanser as your second. This way, the oil-based cleanser can break down any makeup and dirt, keeping them from clogging up your pores. As well, oil cleansers work surprisingly well to balance the oils in your skin, meaning that (unintuitive as it sounds) it works great for those with oily skin as well. From there, you’d use your regular water-based cleanser based on your skin’s specific needs, which will help remove any stubborn remaining particles from your skin and ensure you’ve washed away all the oils from the first cleansing.

I chose Shu Uemura as I’d actually used one of their cleansers before, a couple years ago. It had been recommended to me by someone at Sephora, and while I really liked it, I was always a little unsure if I was using it properly. Double cleansing wasn’t a concept I had heard of at the time, so I used it as my sole face wash. I shied away from using too much product as I was worried about making my skin oily (spoiler alert: it never happened) and ultimately ended up switching to a water-based cleanser a few months later.

However, since I was already familiar with the product and I knew it was one that worked for me, I decided to give it another go. This time, I had a lot more confidence that I was using the product correctly, and so far it’s been working out better than I expected. While I admittedly haven’t actually worn makeup once since social distancing was enacted (yet…I wrote this post about a week in advance of posting and I’m hoping to have some time to practice my makeup skills over the next few days) the few times before that I used this product to remove makeup it seemed to work out well. By the end of my second cleansing, all traces of makeup seemed to have been wiped away. Now, I’ve only gotten to test this cleanser’s makeup removing abilities about three times, but when I try it out some more I’ll be sure to report back and update you all on if it works as well as I remembered.

On top of that, this product has been doing a great job of keeping my skin clear and blemish-free. I have had a very stressful couple of months and even with all my stress and occasionally opting to get right to bed and letting my nighttime routine slide, my skin hasn’t looked much worse for wear. The cleanser itself is super lightweight and rich, so while it does everything that an oil-based cleanser should do it isn’t particularly challenging to wash off and my skin certainly hasn’t gotten any oiler since I began using it. For reference — my skin is somewhat combination, but overall it’s definitely on the drier side, in case you were considering if this product would work for your skin’s specific needs.

If you’ve been looking to try double cleansing out for yourself and think this product sounds right for you, be sure to check out Shu Uemera’s Anti/Oxi Cleansing Oil at Sephora! (They also have five other oil-based cleansers, so if you want to try the brand but are looking for something different based on your skin type, they have plenty of options.)

Are any of you guys fans of double-cleansing? I’d love to hear about what products you used, and what the results were when you tried it. Stay tuned for next week’s post, where I’m going to be sharing my holy grail water-based cleanser, which has been a staple in my skincare routine for over a year now.

Have a great week, you guys! I hope you’re all as excited for May as I am — while life is super unpredictable right now, take some time to write out your goals for the month to help keep you on track! If you’re feeling a little lost on how to do this, feel free to check out my post I shared on bullet journaling and keeping track of your life during Social Distancing!

Much love,

Meredith

My Picks: Sephora Sale Spring 2020!

Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash

Hey y’all! Happy Sunday!

This week marked the beginning of Sephora’s Spring sale, and now kind of feels like the perfect time to treat yourself. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve actually been saving a lot of money ever since Social Distancing was enacted, and it’s been a while since I splurged and got myself something nice. Not only did I need to do a little restock on items I had been running low on, but I branched out and got a couple of new products I’ve had my eye on for a while. Honestly, I’m already a little too excited to try out my new stuff — waiting on a package is 100% more exciting when you’re on lockdown with not much else to do.

If you’re not already familiar with Sephora sales, they often happen around the holidays and offer special rewards for members. The sale kicked off on April 17th for VIB Rouge members offering a 20% discount, with VIB sales starting on the 21st offering 15% off, and will be open to all Beauty Insiders on the 23rd with 10% off basically everything in store. These sales end on May 1st, April 29th and April 27th, respectively. If you’re not a Beauty Insider, fear not — you can sign up anytime, earn points, and it’s totally free!

I figured that I’d use this time to make a little list of products I’d recommend trying right now — some of my all-time faves that I feel would be perfect for stay-at-home enjoyment. This list ranges from skincare, self-care to spring makeup that you can play and experiment with to combat boredom during this time (and just about everything in between!).

Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask by Glow Recipe

This mask is absolutely perfect for giving your skin a little extra TLC while working from home. First of all, it is SO lovely to apply — it’s lightweight and smells amazing (it’s made with real watermelon, and you can definitely tell). But past that, it’s gentle exfoliating and hydrating effects help to clear your skin and make it glass-skin level clear and glowy. If you don’t really have a solid skincare routine but have looking to get into the habit, now is the perfect time! If you make a routine now, it’ll be so much easier to keep up your routine when your schedule starts picking back up. Plus, you’ll come out from it all and head back to work with flawless skin, ready to take on anything the world throws at you!

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask)

Pastel Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette by Huda Beauty

One of the activities I’m most looking forward to now that I’m done my studies is practicing and experimenting with makeup. This is especially true when it comes to eyeshadow — it’s not something I wear often in my everyday makeup, and I’ve been dying to practice and improve my skills both in terms of everyday looks, but growing my confidence when it comes to more experimental looks as well. These palettes are SO cute and perfect for spring, and are something I’ve been dying to try for a while. Huda Beauty’s Obsessions Palettes, as you guys already know, are some of my all-time favourites, so I know the quality of these palettes is going to be next-level, and I can’t wait to see what they can do.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Huda Beauty’s Obsessions Palettes — post on these ones in particular coming soon!)

Mini Anastasia Beverly Hills Spring Lip Gloss Set

Credit: @anastasiabeverlyhills on Instagram

This is something I purchased for myself this Sephora sale, as they were just recently released. I’m obsessed with these colours and when I saw them, I knew they were the perfect treat for myself as a pick-me-up during these stressful times. I’ve tried ABH’s lipglosses before and the quality of them is insane — they’re so pigmented and beautiful. These are perfect for a cute, nude spring-time look, and I can’t wait to give them a try.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here!

Crushed Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish by Herbivore Botanicals

I’ve already made about a billion posts mentioning this product, so you guys all know by this point that it’s one of my all-time favourites. I’m going to refrain from saying TOO much right now, as I’m FINALLY going to be writing a proper review on this product soon (I know — it’s about time!). All I’m going to say right now is that this really is the best exfoliator I’ve ever used (and I have used so, so many). It smells heavenly, exfoliates gently but thoroughly, and is infused with all kinds of oils to leave your skin feeling as smooth and soft as it ever has when you’re done. 10/10, perfect way to treat yourself during these times.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Herbivore Botanical’s Crushed Amethyst Exfoliator here — it’ll be getting a full post of it’s own soon, I promise!)

Treatment Masque by Ouai

I’d highly recommend this product if you’re looking to come out of Social Distancing with the shiniest, healthiest hair of your life. Similarly to exfoliators, I’ve also used many, many hair masks in my life — they were a real lifesaver back when I was bleaching my hair regularly. I’ve come to learn what makes a hair mask just “good” compared to what makes it great — and this hair mask is FANTASTIC. My hair is healthier than it’s ever been — its so smooth and shiny that it basically reflects light and really shows the depth of my hair colour. It achieves all this without being heavy, too — after all my time using this mask, I’ve never once accidentally ended up with greasy hair or heavy roots by accident. This stuff, no joke, has totally revived my hair and I couldn’t be happier with it.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Ouai’s Treatment Masque)

Sugar Hydrating Lip Balm by Fresh

I know I just posted a review of this product, but it really is the best. It’s just so lovely and smooth, and it works wonders on chapped lips. If you’re looking for the perfect lip balm, this is it. And if you were looking for the perfect time to buy it, the time is now! After all, this sale is only on for a few weeks — and this is the perfect little self-care item to avoid dry lips when you’re cooped up in your home all day long.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Fresh’s Sugar Hydrating Lip Balm)

Pillow Talk Instant Eyeshadow Palette by Charlotte Tilbury

You guys already know how much I love this palette. It is THE perfect palette for fresh, glowy everyday looks. It comes with four pre-set looks, that range from every day to nighttime looks. Whether you’re looking to experiment with makeup in your newfound new time, or just want to stock up on staples while this sale is on, this is the perfect time to get your hands on this limited-edition palette.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Palette)

Lover Rubber Face Mask by Dr. Jart+

If you’re planning an upcoming spa night, these masks are a must. First of all, the rubber mask-element are SO fun. But past that, these really are the best single-use masks I’ve ever tried. They legitimately change your skin within a single use and leave your skin looking brand-new. If your skin is looking a little worse for wear lately, or you’re feeling stressed and just need a little pick-me-up — invest in one of these and take a night off for self-care. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Dr. Jart’s Lover Rubber Masks)

Solid Brush and Sponge Cleaner Mini by Sephora

If you’re looking to do a little spring cleaning right now and get your life together during this time off, this is the perfect purchase to grab during this sale. This brush cleaner, which is only $10.50 (!!!) will leave your brushes looking brand new. Not only is it a crazy-effective cleanser, but it doesn’t leave behind any residue and has never damaged any of my brushes in the least. Plus, it comes with a little silicone cleaning pad to help scrub out every last little bit of makeup and grime out of your brushes and leaving them in perfect condition.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Sephora’s Solid Brush Cleaner)

I hope you’re all holding up well in quarantine, and have plenty of tasks and hobbies to keep yourself busy! While, yes, this is the perfect time to catch up on work and be productive, its also a time to relax and take time to enjoy yourself. If you’ve been looking to unwind, take care of your skin and practice your makeup I hope you found plenty of inspo from this list! Just remember, it’s important to be working towards goals, but it’s also just as important to take care of yourself. Don’t worry about using this time to constantly be working on all of your tasks — it’s okay to take a day off to relax, unwind, and do absolutely nothing at all. This is an unprecedented and stressful time — don’t let anyone tell you how you should be spending it! Just do what’s best for you and be sure that you’re taking care of your mental health.

Love you all!

Xo,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: February 20th

Hey y’all!

Sooooooo, I’m back at it! After a couple of the most stressful weeks I’ve had in a while I’m healthy, happy, and relaxed so cheers to that!

Bear with me for any mistakes in this post — I’m writing it via mobile (which is also my reason for the little delay). I’ve been spending all my time poolside, so bear with me. I just wanted to take some time out of my (not very) busy vacation to share with you all my new fave lip balm!

When it comes to lip balm, I’m a bit of an addict. Who can say no to lip balm, right? I mean, it’s kind of a necessity. Especially during Canadian winters, when it can get particularly dry, it basically gives you a reason to buy as many lip balms as you want guilt-free. (It’s not even like I’m not using them until the end — I am! I’m just super sensitive to dry weather). Basically, what I’m getting at is that by this point in my life, I know what makes (or breaks) a good lip balm.

Ever since trying (and loving!) Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, I’ve been dying to try more of their products, and this lip balm gave me the perfect opportunity. Since it also has their watermelon formulation, I was sure I would love it — and I wasn’t disappointed.

Not only is this lip balm ultra-hydrating, it comes with a gentle scrub exfoliant aspect that wears away after a few minutes, allowing you to keep your lips extra soft throughout the day. It’s very gentle too, which is great — it’s really easy to take lip exfoliating too far and cause damage.

What I love most though, is the gentle tint it leaves behind. K-Beauty is known for its natural, glowy style and gentle pink lip looks — like their ever-popular gentle pink lip ombré. This balm gives a perfect pink tint that looks incredible natural, it looks more like you have on a clear gloss and are otherwise au natural. I just love the luscious, glossy look it leaves behind — all while making sure your lips are soft and hydrated!

If this sounds like the step into K-Beauty you’ve been looking to try, you can check out Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Lip Pop exclusively at Sephora!

I hope you’re all having a lovely week — I know I am! Be sure to stay tuned this weekend for my post about my week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico — I’m so excited to share it with you guys!

Have a great week, y’all!

Xo,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: January 23rd

DryBar Prep Rally Spray

Hey guys!

This Thursday I’m going to be covering a product that is still relatively new to me — which only speaks to how quickly I’ve fallen in love with it. While I only received the Dry Bar Prep Rally Spray in my Winter FabFitFun box only two months ago, I already know that I’m going to be repurchasing this product as soon as I use it up.

Before receiving this product in my box, I’d been searching for a long (like, seriously long) time for a good, go-to heat protectant spray. For the longest time my go-to was the Pureology Colour Fanatic Beautifier Spray — my hairdresser sold it to me, and I really didn’t know enough about hair products to know if I even liked it or not. While it certainly was a good product — in retrospect it became heavy and sticky quickly just by spraying in the tiniest bit too much. However, upon switching to a Vancouver hairdresser Pureology became increasingly harder to find (a huge struggle, since it literally used to be the only brand I used on my hair). Ever since then, I’ve just been switching around from one heat protectant to the next, never really settling on something long term.

I was just finishing up a sample bottle of Bumble&Bumble’s Thickening Spray (which was actually pretty good) when I received this bottle. And while the Bumble&Bumble spray was good — this one was better. I believe the hallmark of a good heat protectant is that once your hair is all dried and styled, it should be as if you never sprayed any in at all. There shouldn’t be any stiffness, greasiness, heaviness or stickiness to your hair — but there also shouldn’t be any heat damage whatsoever. Dry Bar’s Prep Rally spray, so far, has met all of these requirements.

Not only does this spray smell fantastic, it’s nice and light too — once you’ve dried your hair, there’s no evidence or feeling you ever sprayed it in to begin with. Really, the only evidence I’ve been using it at all is that my hair remains undamaged since I’ve started using it. While I’ve used products in the past as heat protectants that I felt didn’t leave behind much of a residue — this one really seems as though nothing remains behind at all. My hair just feels like smooth, shiny, soft and healthy hair — as if it were au natural.

Does this sound like the heat protectant you’ve been needing in your life? Be sure to check out DryBar’s Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler at Sephora here!

I hope you’re all having an amazing week — we’re just about one week out from the end of January, so be sure to hustle towards achieving all of your monthly goals! Personally, I’m having a bit of a rough week — I came down with the flu on Tuesday and it’s really been taking a toll on me. If you guys have any tried-and-true flu remedies, I’d love to hear them! Drop a comment and let me know what makes you feel better quickly when you’re sick. I have a long week ahead of me — especially considering that I’ve had to take two days to recover already — so I have a lot of catching up to do, on top of next weeks tasks. Wish me luck!

Xo,

Meredith

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