Thursday Favourites: June 11th

Hey everyone!

I’m starting off today’s post with a confession of sorts — I have always struggled with having super short, straight lashes and such light brown lashes and brows that they are practically non-existent without makeup. It’s honestly super frustrating — especially since my hair is so naturally dark, you’d at least expect I would have brows to match.

However, it was the short lashes that always bugged me the most. My lashes were so short and straight that wearing mascara honestly did little to help. I always wanted to have beautiful, long natural lashes — false lashes are fantastic, but wearing them every day is super time-consuming. Eventually last year, I started getting lash lifts — which really changed my daily makeup game. However, the results ultimately kinda depend on your natural lashes. While I’ve tried lash serums before, my lash lady suggested really making sure I was applying them every day, as well as adding castor oil to my lash tips before bed to help condition my lashes to keep them strong and healthy.

I’ve never really had a go-to lash serum — I was pretty bad about remembering to apply them every day anyway, so sometimes it was hard to see results. However, I think I’ve finally found my holy grail product all thanks to Shiseido and their absolutely bomb lash serum. Not only did I start to see serious results within just a month of using this product — I’ve been finding it a lot easier to apply than most serums. First of all, it dries pretty quickly; so many lash serums don’t, which gets annoying since I would have to wait around for it to dry before finishing my skincare. As well, this product uses a doe-foot applicator — maybe not really the most important thing when looking for a lash serum, but I actually love the way it applies product about my lash line and to my brows. I thought it was a little weird at first — almost every lash and brow serum comes with a brush — but after one use I totally got why. It just makes so much more sense!

Of course the real selling point is the effect it had on my brows — for the first time in my life, they actually look thick, full and dark. I finally feel like my brows match my face and hair, and look good even without makeup on. My lashes are definitely a lot longer, too — although I haven’t work mascara or gotten a fresh lift lately, so until then I haven’t even seen the full effect yet. My only regret is not taking before and after pictures so you guys could all see the real effect this serum has!

If you’ve been hoping for a serum that gives you real results, be sure to check out Shiseido’s Full Lash and Brow Serum at Sephora!

I hope June is off to a great start for you all! It’s crazy to think how much of 2020 has gone by already (it really has felt like the longest short year ever). I, for one, couldn’t be more excited for summer — I can’t wait to get outside, hit the beach, and hopefully do some hikes as well!

Much love,

Meredith

My Winter FabFitFun Unboxing!

Hey y’all!

The start of the winter season has rolled around, and you know what that means — its FabFitFun time!

I know it’s already been said, but I absolutely adore FabFitFun. It’s the only subscription box I’ve ever received, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best one out there. I’ve been subscribed to FabFitFun for a whole year now, and each box I’ve received has left me seriously impressed. There’s always such a wide range of items, all of which are full size and super high-quality. As well, their boxes have introduced me to many of my favourite brands and products — including Ouai, my Tula face wash (Favourites post coming on that soon, I promise!), and more.

Each month, they throw in a great mix of staples (such as hand and body cream, face masks, and all kinds of other great everyday items) as well as some super unique products — such as jewelry, accessories, decor, or anything else related to the season! I absolutely love receiving some of these as it introduces me to a whole bunch of products I love and wouldn’t have been able to find or buy myself. My go-to pair of sunglasses, cheese board, throw blanket and more are all perfect examples of this — I love them all so much, and probably would never have found them without receiving them in previous boxes.

The best part about FabFitFun are how many items you get for such a reasonable price — as well as how they always seem to know JUST what to give you. Every season, I get countless items in my box that I’ve either been dying to try or just was about to repurchase. Are they always just one step ahead on trends, or do they know me better than I know myself? Who knows, but as the box is only $50 USD per season, it’s really a godsend.

While FabFitFun only sends out boxes once a season, I really feel that their four boxes a year deliver the best possible products, as well as avoid unnessacary waste — I really do get great use out of everything these boxes provide. I’ve been (someone impatiently) waiting for my winter box for months now, but it was definitely worth the wait. The winter box comes chock full with all kinds of cozy decor and winter necessities, and I’m thoroughly impressed with my box. Keep reading to hear more about all the products I received!

Add On: UnHide Lil Marshmallow Faux Fur Blanket

This was my first time adding on an additional item to my box. When it came down to making my selections, I found I just couldn’t choose between the Jonathan Adler candle and this blanket. I’m so glad I didn’t — this is THE softest, cutest blanket I have ever seen. I’ve been super into the faux fur trend lately — it really is adorable. A blanket like this makes the perfect piece of accent decor — it’s not too large, and just adds a splash of texture into wherever you throw it. PLUS, this blanket is crazy cozy — perfect for snuggling up in the chillier winter months. (Extra bonus — it’s also machine washable!!!)

First Selection: Jonathan Adler Fleur De Sel Ceramic Candle

Okay, we all already know I LOVE a good candle. When I saw this as an option, I knew it would make a great addition — my latest candle is almost entirely used up, and everything about this candle looked just dreamy. While sometimes I hesitate to buy candles before getting the chance to smell them first, I knew FabFitFun wouldn’t let me down. They certainly didn’t — this candle smells AMAZING, and it came just in time for me to use up my Jo Malone candle yesterday. I’m all about cozy vibes in the winter season, and this candle certainly helps to provide exactly that in the colder, rainy months!

Second Selection: Karuna Face For All Face & Eye Masks

This little box set comes filled with a whole seven sheet masks for seven different concerns for the face and eye area! I love face masks, but I don’t always have time to apply them and wash them off all the time — especially lately, as I’ve been crazy busy this whole month. Sheet masks are fantastic for this exact reason — they’re so easy to apply and remove! Plus, they give a fantastic cooling effect to the face, which I love. This pack includes a clarifying, brightening, anti-oxidant, age-defying, hydrating and exfoliating mask for the face, as well as a renewal mask for the eyes. I can’t wait to give these masks a try — especially on nights when I’m tired and don’t have the energy to do a regular face mask.

LashesMD Lash Conditioner

Just last month I finally took the leap and got a lash lift — which was definitely one of the better choices I’ve made in life. It makes may life so much easier, as my lashes now look naturally amazing without having to bother with mascara every day. The only thing is, unlike lash extensions, lash lifts only enhance your natural eyelashes — meaning the better your lashes, the better the lift. I’ve been using lash serum religiously lately in order to achieve the best effect — so needless to say, I was beyond excited to find this item in my box. I’ve heard amazing things about LashesMD, and I can’t wait to start testing this product out as soon as I use up my current serum.

Beauty Bakerie Proof Is In The Puddin’ Eyeshadow Palette

This is THE cutest lil eyeshadow palette I’ve seen in a while. The colours are absolutely stunning and perfect for winter. A quick swatch test showed that not only do these shadows have great pigment, but they seem pretty high-quality as well. I haven’t gotten the chance to test it out just yet — I’ve been too busy, unfortunately — but the colour story is stunning. I’ve been dying to try a new palette lately, and this one looks like it’ll make a fantastic addition to my collection. Plus, just take in this adorable packaging! Ugh, I’m in love.

Vera Mona Color Switch Solo

If you’ve been following my Thursday Favourites segment then you’ll already know I own (and love) the Sephora edition of the Vera Mona Colour Switch. This is one of the most useful products I’ve ever owned, so I’m glad to have a second one for when I wear out the one I already have. Plus, this one is larger (!!!) than the Sephora edition, which is definitely a plus. If you don’t already know, this product is designed to help you remove excess powder between switching shadows while doing eye makeup — all without damaging the brushes or accidentally mixing colours. I’ve found it to be an absolute godsend when doing more elaborate colourful shadow looks, so I’m super happy to have received this backup in my box!

Cuccio Somatology Calm + Clean Epsom Salt Hand + Body Wash

For some reason, I’ve always had a deep love of hand soap. It might be weird, I know, but I love having nice hand soap — it just makes my days better. I usually go out and buy a whole bunch of foaming hand soaps at once from Bath and Body Works — but I’m down to my last one now, which is about to run out soon. Receiving this product in my box could not have been more perfectly timed! As well, this product is certainly high quality — the ingredients are fantastic, and loaded with all kinds of oils and such to help keep your hands from drying out in the winter season. Plys, it smells amazing too — I just can’t get enough!

In Every Box: Dry Bar Prep Rally Spray

This was another product I received in my box that could not have been more perfectly timed. This prep spray is made to detangle, condition, AND protect hair against heat — it almost sounds too good to be true. I got started on using this product right away as I’ve just run out of my last heat protectant and so far, it really does seem to deliver. I’ve been looking for a solid go-to brand for heat protectant as I’ve been switching mine up somewhat often lately, so I’m hoping that this may be the one. So far, it definitely seems like a fantastic product, and I’m super excited to get the chance to try it out. I’ve heard great things about Dry Bar, but this is my first time using one of their products for myself — who knows, maybe it’ll turn out being one of my new all-time fave brands (just like when FabFitFun introduced me to Ouai!).

In Every Box: The Original Makeup Eraser

So for those of you who’ve been following me for a while, you’ll already know how much I adore makeup erasers. These makeup wipes are my holy grail for a number of reasons — they’re quick, easy, cheap, and eco-friendly. These reusable wipes only require water to remove your makeup, so you don’t have to use chemicals or other harsh products on your skin. As well, having one singular cloth rather than a load of makeup wipes is simultaneously much better for both the environment and your wallet — a one-time purchase on a cloth will last you about 6 months. Since the first time I’ve purchased one, I’ve never once switched back to “traditional” makeup remover — so it’s always great to have a stock of some extras in case my current cloth begins to get a little worn out. If you haven’t ever tried makeup erasers, I’d highly recommend it — there’s really no downsides!

And that’s it for my winter box! If you received a box of your own this season, I’d love to hear how you liked it/which products you received! I’m personally super happy with my box, and I’m already hyped up to see what the spring box brings!

I hope you all had a lovely week, and are ready for the last push before the upcoming holiday season! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my holiday gift guide collection if you’re still in need of gift ideas — I shared one on self-care, skincare, and makeup products that would all make lovely gifts. We only have two weeks left now until the new year, so let’s make it count!

Xo,

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