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!
2020 is quickly approaching, and I’m not sure about you guys but I am SO ready for it. I love fresh starts, and New Years is the ULTIMATE new beginning.
To wrap this year up, I wanted to do a little round up of all my favourite and least favourite products of the year. I love discussing all the products that worked best for me on my blog — but until now I’ve avoided discussing what didn’t. I was trying to avoid being too negative in my reviews and content — but at the same time, I feel it’s important to discuss what doesn’t work. If nothing else, hopefully I can save others from learning from mistakes I’ve made.
So before we get into it, this is going to be a two part post: the first part is going to cover my ten favourite and five least favourite products of the year, and the second is going to be my top five favourite skincare and makeup brands, as well as the top five brands I’m excited to try in 2020!
One last little disclaimer — all my reviews, obviously, are personal to me. If one of my “least favourite” products is a product you use and love, or were hoping to try, don’t let my opinions stop you! Some things work better for some people than others, and just because I didn’t like something doesn’t mean it is inherently bad. As well, I do not have any bad will for the brands I’m discussing — many of them are brands I love, and while they’re other products are absolute favourites of mine, some just didn’t cut it for me, and that’s okay! The brands I’m discussing, overall, are still wonderful.
So, let’s get into it!
The Best (And Worst) Of 2019
The Best: Biossance Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil
This product single-handedly changed my skincare. Not only is this the most mega-hydrating serum OR product I’ve ever seen — the squalene content in it really helped to rebuild my skin’s protective barrier. The amount of clogged pores and breakouts I’ve had since starting this product has gone down so significantly that this is officially a staple in my nighttime skincare routine until the end of time. While I do find it a little too heavy to apply in the mornings, I do find applying it before bed and letting it sink in overnight is perfect — my skin feels so soft the next day AND there’s no residue. A lot of heavy moisturizing products won’t absorb fully and leave behind traces the next day, but not this one. Plus, you know that feeling you get when you’re using a new skincare product for the first time and you’re always excited to apply it? A year later, and I still get that feeling every night.
There are very few products, no matter how much I love them, that I would deem “perfect” — but this one is one of them. I love everything about this exfoliator; from how gentle it is, to how easy it is to apply and remove. No harsh scrubbing or long mask wait times required — this stuff exfoliates your skin instantly and effectively, and leaves your skin soft and clear.
It really hurts me to add anything by Biossance to this list, they’re one of my all-time favourite brands. Sadly, this product was a serious let down. I bought it on a bit of a whim in the Sephora check-out line, thinking that a) Biossance could do no wrong and b) I should really switch to natural deodorant anyway. When reading up on reviews after I purchased this product, there were a lot of fairly low ratings, however, there were also a lot of people saying that these comments were from people who didn’t wait out the two week “detox period” you have to go through when switching to aluminium-free deodorant. So I waited out the two week period, smelling absolutely terrible but waiting to love this product once my detox was over. And then the two weeks were up, and I kept waiting. However, I kept sweating through this product within an hour; as well, the scent — which I can only describe as very weird and a little earthy — only made me smell worse when mixed in with my natural body odour.
Finally, my manager at work literally had to confront me about how bad I smelt — which was incredibly embarrassing but also a wake up call that after a month, it was time to call it quits. This deodorant simply did not work for me (and honestly, actually kinda made me smell worse). I wasn’t quite ready to give up on natural deodorant, however, so I switched brands and now find aluminum-free deodorant works better than any other I’ve used in the past. Plus, as Biossance’s product was $17, I was saving a lot of money by switching, so win-win, right?
The Best: Herbivore Botanicals Crushed Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish
Okay, I know I’ve already discussed this product so, so many times before, but it really is amazing. First of all, it smells like lilacs — one of my all time favourite scents. Second of all, it does a fantastic job of exfoliating, and unlike many other exfoliators, the grains do not melt away as you scrub. One of my largest pet peeves with salt- or sugar-based exfoliators is how quickly the exfoliating elements of the product simply dissolve as you use it, meaning you use a lot more product. With this product, I guarantee you, you won’t have that problem. Not only that, but it exfoliates evenly and isn’t too harsh — plus it’s packed with all kinds of hydrating oils, leaving your skin feeling soft as every when you’re done.
The Best: Function Of Beauty Shampoo + Conditioner
You guys already know how much I love this product. After years of bleaching out my hair, I had resigned myself it would likely be damaged beyond repair until I grew it out. I already put so much effort into caring for my hair that I couldn’t imagine what else I could do to revive it. Function of Beauty totally changed that. Not only is it super fun getting the chance to totally customize your own shampoo and conditioner — but it shows real results, too. My hair is SO shiny and smooth now, seriously, it feels healthy for the first time in years. I actually can’t remember the last time, if ever, my hair felt this healthy. Give this product a shot, healthy hair or not, and trust me — you won’t regret it.
Read more about this product in my reviews here and here!
The Worst: Lancôme’s GRANDIÔSE Extreme Wide-Angle Extreme Volume Mascara
As I’ve discussed before, I rarely branch out from my select few favourite mascaras, and when I do — I tend to regret it. I’ve made this mistake one other time this year with Milk’s Kush Mascara, however, nothing has ever been as much of a disappointment as Lancôme’s GRANDIÔSE Extreme Wide-Angle Extreme Volume Mascara. It’s advertised as some kind of magical all-in-one product that will lengthen, curl, and volumize your lashes — but I really didn’t find this to be the case. Frankly, not only was this the clumpiest mascara I’ve ever tried, but it hardly did anything to accentuate my lashes whatsoever. With it’s fancy curved applicator and incredibly steep price, you’d think this mascara would be a godsend. I really hate to say it, but I found it the complete opposite — it was honestly the worst mascara I’ve ever tried at any price point.
My idea of “living my best life” would be owning one of each colour of all of these palettes. They are hands down THE most beautiful and pigmented eyeshadow palettes I’ve ever tried. They’re creamy instead of powdery, allowing them to blend seamlessly. My favourite aspect is how they cover every shade you’d need to blend out a full look in each specific colour set in only nine shades. I’ve seen a lot of people who get offset by how “small” these palettes are for their price — but they’re absolutely worth it. Not only are they pigmented enough to give you enough bang for your buck — but they also contain just about as much shadow as any nine pot palette. They’re just arranged in a way to make them purposely compact — making them perfect for travel.
This year, I finally got back into contouring. I fell out of favour with it back when it was hugely popular, as I often found that powder contour did not give me a natural look — it fact, it often looked muddy. However, after seeing enough videos watching artists use cream and stick contour instead of powder, I felt inspired to try again.
This contour stick is absolutely perfect for getting a seamless blend and natural look. I’ve not once had it look muddy or fake, it applies SO easily and flawlessly creates contour anywhere you apply it. I’m so glad I took the leap to get back into contouring with this product, it’s really upped a lot of my makeup looks!
After my first ever Kylie Cosmetics haul earlier this year, I was incredibly impressed with the quality of so many of the products I tried. This one, however, was incredibly disappointing. I absolutely adore liquid eyeshadow products for their incredibly pigmented look and easy application — but this product did not live up to others I had tried. It was dry and flaky; it didn’t even last until the end of my eyeshadow application before it had managed to flake off entirely. Not only that, but it took absolutely ages to dry and washed off with only the smallest amount of water. Even if you manage to apply this product well, it would never last a day without flaking or melting off in rainy weather. I’m sad because it was so beautiful, but definitely not at all worth it.
Lilly Lashes, along with Sephora’s Luxe Lashes, are one of my two all-time favourite lash brands. If you know me, you know no look is complete without lashes — I literally feel naked without them. While Sephora’s lashes do give an incredibly flawless and real look, Lilly Lashes are bold and long-lasting. Seriously, so long as you take good care of these lashes, they’ll last you forever. For something as delicate as lashes, that’s pretty impressive.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this when I say dewy skin > matte skin makeup. For the ultimate dewy skin look, I love Cover Fx’s Custom Beauty Drops! Not only do they give THE most natural yet blinding highlight — they’re extremely versatile. These drops can be added to foundation for a natural glow, applied underneath or on top of your makeup for a subtle or bold look, used as an eyeshadow, inner corner highlight, mixed into gloss and more! The possibilities are pretty endless — you can really use this product however you want. If you ever get the chance to test this product out, you’ll be sold in a heartbeat — they have so much depth to their colour and blend so flawlessly. They’ve become an absolute staple in my makeup routine.
This might be a hugely unpopular opinion, but I’m not crazy about Glossier. While some of the products I’ve tried have been pretty great, it’s certainly not my all-time favourite brand or anything. While I do adore the Balm DotCom, and I do find the Cloud Paint/Haloscope duo gives me a great little glow if I’m in a rush to do my makeup — I really was not a fan of their skin tint product. This product really doesn’t do anything at all for your skin — I honestly couldn’t even tell where I had applied it or not as it made such a little difference. Nothing else about it is inherently bad, per se, but I feel like I would have been better off saving my money and just not wearing any kind of product on my skin, as it looked the same either way.
Urban Decay has been my go-to setting spray since I started even using setting spray at all. Seriously — I’ve never used another brand. I have, however, tested out just about all their setting sprays (and even some of their spray-on primers) and I have to say, this one is the best. While their other setting sprays are all wonderful — there’s a reason All-Nighter is their most well-known (and yes, its because this product will literally make your makeup last all night). However, when I decided to branch out and try their “Environmental Protection” spray instead, I was pleasantly surprised. It lasts every bit as well as the original All-Nighter spray, but I did notice an improvement in my skin after use. This product is designed to help keep out harmful pollutants in the air we all come into contact with every day — and based on my skin’s appearance alone, it definitely holds up to that promise.
This concealer has been my holy grail under-eye product since I first ever started using it. I chronically suffer from dark, baggy under eyes — seriously, no matter how much sleep I get and how much stress I avoid, they always look like I haven’t slept in weeks. Not only is this concealer super pigmented, it has a thick yet creamy formula that helps to hide all discolouration and dark circles — no colour corrector required. On top of that, this concealer does a MUCH better job of not settling into fine lines and creases than any other product I’ve tried. It lasts all day without wearing off even a little, so once you’ve got this applied your under eye area will look as flawless as if you’ve just gotten back from a month-long uber relaxing spa get-away. Seriously, this stuff is that good.
Liquid eyeliner is another trend I’ve really started to get back into this year. Back in high school winged eyeliner was literally my “thing” — my friends even coined a nickname for me because of it. (It was “Nike” if you’re wondering). I kind of stopped with the liner for a few years, but this year I was ready to give it another shot. Back in high school, I had two go-to liner brands — Stila and Kat Von D. When I went to Sephora, however, they were out of Stila’s liquid liner, so I went for the latter. I know Kat Von D may not be the best role model, but I honestly didn’t even know which other brand to try. The result? I honestly cannot remember why I loved this liner so much in high school. It’s strange brush-type tip makes it incredibly hard to achieve a sharp point at the end of your wing, and it easily gets overwhelmed with eyeshadow — causing it to apply unevenly, dry out, and appear more of a dull grey rather than a nice, black line. Maybe I just wasn’t good enough at makeup in high school to really notice, but this product was a major let down.
And that’s a wrap on everything from 2019! It’s crazy to think we’re officially two days away from the new year and a WHOLE NEW DECADE. I, for one, could not be more excited to see what the new year will bring. This upcoming year should be one of new beginnings, and it’s definitely for the best! I can’t wait to see what goals I accomplish and what changes will be made by this time next year.
Do you agree or disagree with my reviews? I’d love to hear it — especially if you love something I didn’t. As well, I’d love to hear all of your favourite brands of 2019 and what you’re hoping to try in 2020 — I’d love a little extra inspo!
Stay tuned next Sunday to hear all about how to make the perfect, maintainable and achievable New Years Resolution! A lot of people feel all kinds of pressure to completely redo themselves come each new year — which can have a lot of negative impacts. If you’re interested, I’m going to be sharing next week how I set attainable goals for each year that help push me in a positive direction towards being the best version of myself.
Happy end of December, y’all, hope the holiday season has been treating you all well!
Today I’m sharing my third and final segment of my Holiday Gift Guide series with you guys. Holiday season is officially in full swing, so if you haven’t gotten the chance to start your Christmas shopping — now is the time! If you’re still feeling a little lost on what to gift this year and need some inspo, I’ve got you covered. I put so much effort and care into this series, and I really hope you all have gotten some great gift ideas out of it!
This week, I’m going to be sharing some of my all-time favourite makeup products. A lot of these products haven’t even been featured on my Favourites segment yet, but Holiday season is here, and I personally think a lot of these would make fantastic gifts for any makeup lover. I just decided I couldn’t wait and had to share — but stay tuned for more in-depth posts on a lot of these products coming in the new year!
For A Makeup Lover Who’s Always On The Go
For any of your travel-savvy makeup loving friends, consider gifting them a Huda Beauty Obsessions palette! Not only are these eyeshadow palettes compact and perfect for travel — they’re all absolutely stunning. The best part about these palettes is that there’s a colour story for everyone. They have all the classics such as warm brown, mauve and smoky for a classic bold look. Nude colour stories for every skin tone. Neon for anyone who loves a bold, trendy look. Gem toned palettes in five different colours for whatever colour preference anyone may have. AND they’re all super pigmented, smooth and stunning. What more could you ask for from the perfect gift?
Feeling inspired? Check out Huda Beauty’s Neon, Nude and Classic Obsession Palettes at Sephora!
For Your Favourite Lipstick Fanatic
No makeup look is complete without adding your favourite lip product as the final step. Ever since I took the leap and finally purchased myself some Kylie Cosmetic lip products, I’ve been obsessed. The Lip Kits in particular make great gifts, as they come as a complete set (lip product and liner) and come in a variety of formulas — such as matte and velvet liquid lipstick. As well, for any gloss or classic lipstick fans in your life, Kylie Cosmetics offers a large range of both products that are absolutely FANTASTIC additions to any makeup collection. Their lipsticks are smooth and creamy, and their lip glosses are SO pigmented it’s insane. As well, you can ensure any gift is on-brand for the holiday season by checking out Kylie’s stunning holiday collection!
Feeling inspired? Check out Kylie Cosmetic’s Lipsticks, Lip Kits and Lip Gloss online!
For Someone Who Loves To Splurge On The Staples
Mascara makes a great gift as it is a solid staple as far as makeup goes. While sometimes it can be tricky to gift makeup if you don’t know someone’s preferred products, colours and formulas — you really can’t go wrong gifting a classic black mascara. If you’re looking to gift someone makeup but are worried about buying the wrong colour or product — consider gifting the Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara! Splurging on an expensive mascara makes a great gift for anyone as they may not necessarily get to spend as much on a mascara for themselves regularly. I’ve written about this mascara a little more in depth previously in my Favourites segment, but this mascara really is fantastic at creating a flawless, natural look. It does an amazing job at curling and lengthening lashes without clumping up or getting “spidery”. Plus, you can feel good about buying a makeup gift that’s pretty universal and just about anyone could enjoy!
For Someone Who Can’t Leave The House Until They’ve Perfected Their Liner
Eyeliner is another makeup product that makes a great gift for someone when you’re unsure about their specific makeup preferences. Just like mascara, though, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with a classic black eyeliner. For any winged liner fans in your life, or anyone looking to experiment but struggles with drawing on the perfect wing, consider gifting Tarte Cosmetic’s Clay Pot waterproof liner! I just recently received this liner in my Tarte Cosmetics custom makeup kit, but I’m already conviced it would make a fantastic gift. First of all, winged liner tends to be a lot easier to apply with a brush than it is with a felt-tip marker, making this great for beginners. As well, this stuff isn’t kidding about being waterproof — once it’s on, it’ll last all day. No smudging, nothing. No matter who you’re gifting for, eyeliner newbie or pro, there’s really no going wrong with this classic black gel liner.
Feeling inspired? Check out Tarte’s Clay Pot Eyeliner on Tarte or at Sephora!
For Someone Who Loves To Highlight EVERYTHING
For any highlighter addicts in your life, CoverFX’s Custom Enhancer Drops are a must-gift. These drops are so versatile and can add a stunning glow to just about any aspect of your makeup. You can mix them in with foundation for a dewy all-over glow, add them below or above foundation for either a natural sheen or high beam highlight, and they can even be mixed into lip products, eyeshadow looks, body makeup — you name it. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone OBSESSED with highlighter, you really can’t go wrong with these. They come in so many colours, there really should be one to fit anyone of any skin tone. Plus, these really are the most pigmented highlighters I’ve ever come across — so they last forever (a little goes a REALLY long way). As well, their multi-dimensional glow is absolutely stunning. You can’t go wrong
Feeling inspired? Check out CoverFX’s Custom Enhancer Drops at Sephora!
For Anyone Looking For Perfect, Bushy Brows
Natural, bushy brows have been all the rage this year. If you’re looking to gift brow makeup to someone, I’d absolutely recommend Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil + Benefit’s Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel. If you have someone who’s been looking to up their brow game while also maintaining natural looking brows, this really is the perfect duo. I’ve been using it myself for ages now, and it never fails me. The Brow Wiz pencil is perfect for shading in sparse areas, lining the brows and even adding in hair-like strokes. Benefit’s Gimme Brow Gel tops the look off perfectly by defining brow hairs and locking them in place, ensuring they don’t stray. They come in a wide range of colours, making them perfect for just about anyone too.
You can have all the best makeup in the world, but it still won’t apply well if you don’t have great brushes to go with it. A lot of people avoid spending too much on brushes as it can be hard to see the point — however, it really is vital to flawless makeup application. There’s all kinds of benefits to spending a little more on brushes too — they last longer, shed less and stay soft (as long as you care for them properly). For someone who’s in need of a couple good brushes to add to their collection, consider gifting them some brushes from MAC! I’ve had many of these brushes for years now, and haven’t needed to replace them.
If you need suggestions on a couple staples, I’d definitely recommend:
These are some of my favourite and most commonly used brushes — I use so many of these every day, and they’ve lasted me so well. They apply makeup flawlessly too — so if you know someone just starting out with makeup, or in need of a couple new brushes, they’d make the perfect gift.
Feeling inspired? Check out MAC’s brush collection on their website! I’ve also linked each specific brush on the list — just click the number to view it on MAC’s website!
For Someone Who Likes To Go Au Natural
For anyone you’re looking to gift for who likes to keep their makeup a little more on the natural side, Glossier’s Balm DotCom’s make the perfect gift! These lip balms are super hydrating and effective — they’re one of my all-time favourites. They make a great gift in the winter to help stop chapped lips in their tracks (and they come in a wide range of colours!). They help give a fantastic, natural tint — making them a great gift for anyone looking to keep things cute and simple. Whether it’s for some who likes minimal makeup 24/7, or someone who just likes a natural look for everyday matters, you can’t go wrong with these. Just for their hydrating aspect alone, they make a fantastic little gift collection or addition to any gift!
Feeling inspired? Check out the Balm DotCom line at Glossier’s website!
I hope you all enjoyed this series — I really enjoyed writing and sharing it with you. Christmas shopping can be challenging, and coming up with ideas isn’t always easy. The holiday season can already be busy enough as is, so I really hope I managed to share some great ideas with you guys and take a little load off so you can spend your time and energy enjoying the holidays, rather than stressing. (If you need more inspo, be sure to check out Part One and Part Two of my series as well!)
Don’t forget to stay tuned for next weeks post — after all, it’s my favourite part of the start of each new season! While it is a little delayed (as I received my box two days ago), I’m going to be unboxing my Winter FabFitFun box for y’all! I’m super excited about the winter box — I really loved the products I received last year and am VERY much looking forward to whatever self-care and cozy vibes this box brings.
Happy Sunday y’all, hope you guys all had an amazing weekend and are gearing up to have a great week!
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.
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
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
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!
This Tuesday I wanted to share my absolute fave lip balm with you, Glossier’s Balm Dotcom. This was the first product I ever bought from Glossier, and immediately I was sold. I have a couple other fave lip balms that I may share a post on that work just as well as these, but these ones really are my favourite.
First of all, since purchasing these my lips have almost never been chapped since. Even when they’re completely dry, they feel smooth. On the rare occasion my lips do get chapped, this fixes it up 100% within a few hours. No more fighting chapped, painful lips for days. Seriously, these lip balms have your back.
Second of all, the tube makes them super easy to apply. While I do love solid lip chaps that come in a lipstick tube, I kind of struggle with ones than come in a pot as I always have acrylics on that make it hard to remove the product. But something about the somewhat-liquid form of this product makes it work soooooo much better than other lip balms I try, plus you can apply as much or as little as you want.
Even better, although this may be kind of “meant” for lips, it does work anywhere on your skin. I’m often prone to getting small, super-dry patches on my upper arms, elbows and knees, but this stuff helps moisturize these areas as well.
AND, on top of everything else, they have 7 flavours/tints to pick from! I personally generally like to stick to neutral colours for lip balms, but if tinted is more your vibe, they have you covered. Plus if you order three, they’re discounted!
Anyways, enough ranting from me. You get it. These lip balms are amazing. It’s probably dramatic to say they were life-changing, but they kind of were. If this sounds like something you’re looking for, you can buy them on Glossier here!
That’s it from me for now! Hope y’all are having a great Tuesday.