Fall Quarantine Self-Care Must-Haves!

Hey friends!

September has just begun and fall is upon us! While it’s kind of sad to see summer go, I love fall and I can’t help but to get excited for the season. While I love summer for it’s warm weather and carefree vibes, fall has so many specific elements I just love — Halloween (my favourite holiday!), Thanksgiving, cozy vibes, falling leaves, fall-themed food and drinks and superior fashion. (Oh, and my birthday, of course!).

However, this year, it seems fall is probably going to be a little different. In Vancouver (and I’m sure in many other places around the world), COVID-19 is still prevalent with flu season about to start ramping up, it seems more likely than not that we’re going to start seeing more restrictions, lockdowns and work-from-home. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not exactly looking forward to it — I feel as though it’ll probably be a lot more challenging the second time through. Between the cooler and darkening weather, potential seasonal depression, uncertainty and restlessness of a second quarantine, it definitely seems like we may have a rough few months ahead.

Rather than fearing it, though, I’m trying to embrace it — life is unpredictable even at the best of times, so who knows what’s coming next — so why worry now when things are still good? It’s not always possible to avoid anxiety about the future, but right now there’s no need to be negative now about situations that don’t exist in the present. Besides, half the fun of fall is staying in and being cozy — so while we may miss out on certain elements this year, it’s not the end of the world.

Either way, fall self-care is absolutely some of my favourites — there’s just something about the season that caters SO well to self-care concepts. Nights in, getting cozy — it’s just such a vibe. And while I already believe that self-care is more than a luxury and should be practiced even in the most normal of times, with everything going on in the world, I think we have a bit of an excuse to really indulge this fall. So if you’ve been looking for some new to spice up your self-care routine, look no further for your latest inspo! I’ve got you covered.

Soothing Body Moisturizer

While dry skin isn’t as much of a concern in Vancouver as it is elsewhere in Canada (after all, our Fall and Winter seasons are full of rain and humidity), it’s still important to take good care of your skin. Personally, I’ve been LOVING this body cream by Deew I found at Indigo — it’s full of essential oils, vitamins, and Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil making it uber-relaxing to apply. Not only does this cream keep your skin feeling super soft, it’s made in Canada with ethically sourced materials (meaning you can feel guilt-free about splurging on one for yourself). I apply this cream daily after showering or before bed, and it really does help to calm me right down after a long day. 10/10, would totally recommend.

Skincare Tools 

Some of you may remember the segment I did a few weeks back on my favourite skincare tools — but seriously, these tools are the perfect way to keep up a small self-care ritual morning and night while also taking care of your complexion. My personal favourites are Mount Lai’s Gua Sha (which I have recently purchased for myself, and adore) and Textured Jade Roller, as well as Herbivore’s Rose Quartz Facial Roller. If you don’t have any sort of skincare tool, I can’t recommend them more — they’re great for your skin, incredibly relaxing, can help massage out any knots in your face and as they are made from crystals, they last forever. I’d definitely have to recommend splurging on one as a little self-care gift to yourself.

Fall Scented Candles

Ah, candles. The ultimate decor for cozy vibes and self-care. While I usually use a diffuser for more day-to-day aroma use, I love scented candles for special occasions. They’re great to light during a self-care night, or when you’re settling in for a bath, or just need to burn off any negative vibes in your space. Investing in a couple good fall-scented candles is a good, universal form of self-care and really set the mood for the upcoming Fall season.

Fall Teas

Anyone who knows me knows that I am OBSESSED with tea. As in, 3-4 cups of tea every day kind of obsessed. My favourite place to get tea is hands down David’s Tea — not only is the amount of selection they offer completely unparalleled, but their teas are SO high quality, too. They offer all kinds of flavours of specialty fall teas, and I’d totally recommend picking up a few to brew up on cool fall nights amp up the cozy vibes of your self care night. While David’s Tea offers endless great selections, if you’re going to only get one fall tea — I’d have to recommend Forever Nuts. It’s not fall-specific, but has a flavour that’s fitting for the Autumn season and is absolutely one of their best teas of all time.

Cute Plants

On top of being a dedicated tea lover, I’ve also been dubbed as a crazy plant mom. Not only do I have plants all over my apartment, but I take great care in keeping them healthy and thriving. I’ve found this to be especially useful in lockdown, however. Not only does having the plants give you something to actively care for — the fruits of your efforts are something that become visible with time and leave you feeling accomplished. Also, while I’m not 100% sure of the science behind this, I’ve heard that having more indoor plants helps to decrease depression. As humans, we weren’t really made to be cooped up inside all of the time, and having plants helps to simulate a little more of a natural environment. Or something like that — I don’t really know, but they make cute decor and anything that helps combat seasonal depression is worth a shot, right?

Fall Decor 

My favourite part about the last few months of the year is absolutely the seasonal decorating that comes with it. The photo above is of a couple of the decorations I bought last year — but this year, I’m going to go all out. After all, if I’m going to be inside all the time, I might as well take advantage and make sure I get to experience all the fall I can, considering there’s certain things I’ll likely be missing out on this year. So basically, catch me at the local corner store buying all the pumpkins, leaves, gourds, and anything else fall-related I can get my hands on.

Face Masks

No, not the kind you wear to the supermarket. I’m talking about skincare masks. Before we all get locked in, be sure to stock up on a couple nice multi-use face masks (and maybe even some sheet masks too!) to ensure you have enough to get through all the rough days, self-care nights, and lockdown breakouts over the course of the next few months. I’d totally recommend checking out some of my personal faves, such as Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Mask, Dr Jart+’s Lover Rubber Masks, or one of my new faves — Biossance’s Squalane + Tea Tree Oil Detox Mask! (Stay tuned this Thursday to read all about it!).

Bath Soaks

Is there anything more relaxing than a good old-fashioned bath? While bath bombs have been all the rage for a while now, I used to love salt-soaks as a kid and wanted to give them another shot. I’m super excited to try out these salt soaks by Rocky Mountain Soap Co. that I picked up at Indigo the other day — the scents sound heavenly and they really seem like exactly what I’ve been needing lately. As we move deeper into fall, though, I know I’m really going to appreciate a warm bath on cold and rainy days — so I know I’ll be getting good use out of these soaks.

I hope all of your September’s are off to a good start! Between the latest full moon and my horoscope, I’ve been told this is going to be a month full of changes for me — which I’m welcoming with open arms. I’ve already been having a couple crazy shake-ups this month, but it’s all for the best. (And yes, that’s why I missed this Thursday’s post — my bad!). Anyway, no matter what, I’m pretty excited for fall this year, and I’m so excited for the season to be started. Fingers crossed this fall holds good things for us all!

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: August 6th

Hey everyone!

Today marks the third and final part of my skincare tools series! I hope you’ve all been enjoying reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together. For those of you wanting to check out the entire series, you can check out my post on Mount Lai’s Textured Jade Facial Roller and Herbivore Botanical’s Rose Quartz Roller as well!

Today, I’m going to be sharing the final tool I use in my skin care routine: the classic jade Gua Sha! Now, unlike the other tools, my current Gua Sha is just one I picked up from Amazon when this trend first came out, and I was looking to give it a try but not feeling ready to commit. However, at this point in my skincare tool journey, I’ve been looking into purchasing a new one — and I’ve had my eye on Mount Lai’s Gua Sha in particular. Even though I don’t exactly have a specific brand to share with you all at the moment, I still wanted to share what it is exactly that I love so much about the Gua Sha as a skincare tool, as truth be told, it’s my favourite out of all three.

The Gua Sha, unlike crystal rollers, is a simple curved jade tool that is used to help massage, brighten, and even sculpt the face. Unlike jade rollers, which can help with many of these but area ultimately a tool for de-puffing and soothing skin, the gua sha can really help to boost circulation and really physically push blockages down the lymphatic system. Most importantly, however, it can really help to break up muscle tension in the face, release tight areas and relax the skin of the face.

However, what makes me love this tool the most is how it actually provides a deep massage for your face. When you use this tool, you can actually feel your facial tension slowly being released and your circulation being boosted immediately (I always love the little tingly feeling you get post massage when you know it worked). Especially when it comes to areas that can contain some serious and deep-rooted knots and strain, such as your jawline, cheekbones, eyebrows, and temples, you can feel this tool popping knots and actually making a difference in your skin. Plus, relieving facial tension will help you feel more relaxed by proxy — just as being stressed will increase tension in your face, the psuedo-placebo effect of having knots in your face will cause you to believe (and therefore feel) stressed out.

And, as promised — I wanted to share a little about skincare tools that you should typically avoid as well. Now, obviously, if you’ve already been using these tools and they work for you, by all means keep using them. But rest assured, I will be explaining why to avoid them and what it is that makes them poorly suited for use of your face.

The first tool that generally should be avoided are the vacuum-style electric tools advertised to remove all the excess dirt from your pores. While I love a good deep-clean as much as the next person, these types of machines (as with basically every other method I’m going to mention) should really only be performed by a professional. There are all kind of face masks you can use to combat blackheads and clogged pores safely at home, but these tools are not only dangerous to use in terms of damaging your skin with their powerful suction — but also, you’re not trained to use them. Aestheticians go to school for a reason — these tools are challenging to use, and when used improperly can do more harm than good.

Another tool I’d generally recommend staying away from are Micro-Needle facial rollers. Once again, these types of procedures can have numerous benefits and stunning results when performed by a professional, but you should avoid attempting this one at home. Not only does the “roller” style of micro needling damage your skin, but without the proper tools to care for and sanitize your roller, all you’ll be doing is pushing bacteria that collects on the needles deep into your skin. When this procedure is performed as part of a facial, the needles are administered straight onto your skin, and the quick and direct in-and-out movement is what helps to avoid harm to the delicate skin of your face. When you use a needle roller, however, the rolling action drags the needle through your skin, creating micro-tears — which are damaging, ineffective and can even lead to scarring.

The last technique is one that I have actually tried myself, so I can speak on my own personal experiences. Microdermabrasion is a technique that has become all the rage lately, and many people try to get similar effects at home with face razors — which definitely work for some people but do require a lot of care to be used properly. While I’ve used face razors in the past on my upper brows and upper lip, there’s a couple of things you need to consider if you’re actually going to try to use a face razor on the entirety of your face.

First of all, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re doing — so make sure to do a little research, or maybe watch a couple YouTube videos first. Second of all, you’ll want to be sure you have a good, clean and sharp razor that’ll be safe to use on your face. Finally, you’ll want to consider that there’s risks to performing this by yourself (since, once again, you’re not a professional). Shaving off your peach fuzz will make it easier to apply makeup, sure, but scraping away at your face too much can create micro-tears (or full-size cuts), ingrown hairs, and most importantly — when you remove hair from the hair follicle, it leaves it open and vulnerable to dirt and other foreign substances to make their way into your skin. Basically, I wouldn’t recommend this one either — I never used it myself more than five times, and I haven’t tried it in about a year (nor would I bother to again). Basically, what I’m trying to say is be careful with skincare tools; while some are useful, others may be damaging and should only be used by aestheticians and dermatologists. Be sure to pick what you use on your face carefully!

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this little segment on skincare tools — I know it’s been a little different from my normal content, so hopefully you all felt you learned something new from these last three posts. If you have any fave skincare tools of your own, drop a comment below and tell me all about them! As well, if you’ve been inspired to try any of these tools out for yourself, I’d love to hear how they work for you!

Happy Thursday, everyone! I hope August is treating you well. I know everyone’s been talking all year about how strangely time has been moving, but I really can’t believe it’s August already. I feel like the last three months specifically have been such a blur, but on the bright side — we only have four months left until we get a fresh start with 2021! I don’t want to jinx anything, but fingers crossed things will feel a lot more normal by then.

Love you all,

Meredith

UPDATE: Got my hands on the Mount Lai Gua Sha in Rose Quartz, I’m in love!