Thursday Favourites: December 5th

Ouai’s Super Dry Shampoo

Hey everyone!

For my first favourites post of the month, I’ve decided to share with you all Ouai’s Extra Dry Shampoo. Ouai has quickly become one of my new favourite brands — I already took interest to them after receiving their Leave-In Conditioner in my Spring FabFitFun box, but especially after trying more of their products recently — it’s safe to say I’m in love.

December can be a busy month — with the Holidays coming up and the end of the semester for many of you in school, it’s easy to fall behind. If you’re too busy with trying to achieve your goals before 2020 to keep up with your regular hair-wash schedule (we’ve all been there, I won’t judge) dry shampoo can be a real godsend.

I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with dry shampoo — I often find it either is incredibly powdery and noticeable, or does absolutely nothing at all. Seriously, there’s nothing more frustrating than deciding to forgo washing your hair to save time only to have your dry shampoo change absolutely nothing about your greasy stands. It’s one of my all-time greatest pet peeves.

I’ve gone through all sorts of brands of dry shampoos over the years — I’ve never bought the same brand twice. I was always hoping the next one I’d try would suddenly change everything, but after a couple of years I kinda started to give up on the concept I’d ever find a great dry shampoo. That is, until I bought Ouai’s Extra Dry Shampoo!

This stuff is truly amazing — it does come out super powdery at first, which I was worried about when I first sprayed it on. However, Unlike a lot of other dry shampoos, it actually turns invisible as it absorbs all the grease in your hair, meaning it actually works. I’ve finally seemed to find a dry shampoo that walked the fine line between not being a gross, powdery mess that left obvious residue all over my dark hair, as well as actually doing it’s job.

This dry shampoo is even better than that though — it smells FANTASTIC, and it leaves my hair feeling like it’s actually freshly washed. We all love how dry shampoo can help greasy hair pass as not that dirty, but this dry shampoo goes above and beyond. It actually makes your hair feel really clean — no one will ever know you missed a day in your hair wash schedule!

If this sounds like the dry shampoo you’ve been needing to get through the holiday season, you can find it on Ouai or at Sephora.

I hope you’re all having a lovely start to the month! If you’ve been enjoying my Holiday Gift Guide series so far, be sure to stay tuned for the third and final segment this Sunday! (And if you haven’t caught up and are getting a little desperate for gift ideas, be sure to check out Part One and Part Two!)

20 more days until Christmas and just 27 days until the New Year — it’s hustle season everyone! Go out there and achieve any last goals you need to make this year feel like it’s been a successful one.

Xo,

Meredith

Heatless Hair Curlers: Love It Or Leave It?

Beachy Waves With Heatless Hair Curlers

Hey everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heatless Curlers

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

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

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

The Final Result!

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

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

Hope you’re all having a lovely week,

Meredith

Tuesday Favourites: October 15th

La Biosthétique Expert Treatment Protection Cheveux Complexe Express Care Volume and Ouai Leave-In Conditioner

Hey y’all!

Quick update — when I started this weekly segment, I simple chose Tuesday because that was the day I wrote my first review on. At the time, I scheduled my other blog posts around this — Sunday’s made the most sense for a weekly post, with a post on Thursday as well to even out the week’s schedule. Since then, however, I took a step back and limited myself to two posts a week — something that has really been working for me and I’m likely going to stick with.

So, now, I’m looking for some feedback. While it feels strange to change the day of a weekly segment I’ve had since the start of my blog, I also feel it would make a lot more sense to move this segment to Thursday and have my posts be spread more evenly throughout the week. What do you guys think? Have my reviews impacted you at all? Do you have a preferred topic — makeup, skincare or haircare? Are you still enjoying this segment, or would you like to see something new? Or, alternatively, would you rather I put all my effort towards one great post a week and abandon this segment entirely? I’d really love to hear from you guys about what’s working for you and what isn’t, and I’ll be sure to update depending on the feedback you guys give me! If you’re really loving the posts and still want one every Tuesday, let me know! Otherwise, I’ll continue the segment on Thursdays from now on (or whatever else your feedback and advice suggests is best!).

Anyways, let’s get into this weeks review. This Tuesday, I decided to discuss some of my hair favourites — the La Biosthetique Expert Treatment Protection Cheveux Complexe Express Care Volume spray and the Ouai Leave-In Conditioner!

As I’ve discussed before, I used to bleach my hair and still have problems to this day with the bleached portion being uber dry and damaged. It takes a lot of effort to care for bleached hair, and for years the products I used just weren’t cutting it. My hair was so dry and frizzy, nothing seemed to help.

With enough time (and a lot of trial and error) however, I found a combination of products that helped my hair grow in healthy and stay healthy, even with all the processing my hair had been through. Since i’ve returned to being brunette, luckily, my hair has already started to grow in more healthy naturally, but these products still do an amazing job of taking care of my bleached-out ends.

The first product, from La Biosthetique, is a leave-in treatment meant to help restructure, strengthen, and moisturize hair. I love this treatment because its so easy — you just spray it into your roots before drying your hair and massage it down to your ends and voila! Since i’ve began using this product, not only has my grown-out, bleached hair become stronger and more resilient, but my hair growing in is so much stronger and healthier than my hair has ever been before, even before I started bleaching it.

The second product, Ouai’s Leave-In Conditioner, is pretty self-explanitory from the name. However, what I love about this specific product is how light-weight it is — it doesn’t leave any residue at all, and doesn’t weigh down the ends of your hair one bit. I was nervous to try this product initially for these exact reasons; I had received this product in a FabFitFun box and had never heard of the brand before. I should have known better, because FabFitFun has honestly never let me down, and neither does this product. I spray a little in my ends before blow-drying, and it helps keep them shiny and moisturized despite how damaged they are.

That’s it for this weeks review! If either of these products sound like just what you’ve been looking for, be sure to check out La Biosthetique’s Leave-In Treatment here and Ouai’s Leave-In Conditioner here!

Thanks for reading y’all! I hope you’re enjoying these segments, and I really would appreciate any feedback you could give, big or small, in the comments below so I can tailor these posts to your best interests!

Stay tuned for this Sunday’s post, and to keep updated on what I choose for the future of this segment!

Lots of Love,

Meredith

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

Trends I’m Loving: Scarves

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/411023903493160264/

Hey everyone!

This week I wanted to share with you a fashion trend I’ve been absolutely loving: scarves! These little scarves are a cheap, easy and versatile option to up any outfit you’re putting together. While I’ve been eyeing this trend for a while, I only got my hands on some recently but already have loved how much they’ve improved my day-to-day style.

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/411023903493086361/

My favourite part about this style is that it looks, and can be, rather expensive, but can still be replicated on a budget. I personally grabbed a few from H&M for a good price, and now have a couple so I can switch them up depending on my vibe for the day!

My absolute favourite way to use scarves is in my hair. I’ve always thought of buns and ponytails as hairstyles strictly for when my hair isn’t looking its best. I almost never put up my hair unless it’s at the gym or day three without being able to wash it during exam season. However, I decided test out how scarves could up my hair game.

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/AUPZMfdQz1W1BN4R3uDRp8hZeQU3r-eIHV6QCevn62qDKf7ESUD6D28/

Not only can scarves instantly up any simple ponytail, they can also make beautiful hairbands — or you can even get creative and twist them into your hair! These scarves are actually SO versatile beyond their classic use for tying around your neck. You can find endless possibilities if you wanna get creative with them.

Another cute way to use these scarves is simply tying them around the strap of your purse! They add a cute pop of colour and just help make your look a little more put together and chic.

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/AbF3k3y6UzEwRPOGRBYHY8MHWDlAgzM8D7ZE8wbCjxn_OpgI8aQqg9Y/

If any of you guys have been loving this trend, or have even more ways to style scarves, drop a comment below! I love hearing from you guys.

Best,

Meredith