Love It or Leave It: Brow Tinting!

Thanks to @Dizzyd718 for making this photo available freely on @unsplash

Hey y’all!

So, if you’re an even semi-avid follower of beauty trends on Instagram nowadays, you’ll already know that semi-permanent makeup solutions are all the rage. Every day it feels like you hear of something new — lash lifting, eyelash extensions, microblading, ombre brows, brow laminating, makeup tattooing, lip injections, the list goes on.

These trends have often had my attention since the very beginning, but I’ve yet to really take the leap and try them out as it does seem like a commitment. However, as I begin to get busier with my current job, which requires I look put-together almost daily, the idea of stopping in for an appointment once a month becomes a lot less daunting compared to having to have flawless makeup applied every day.

However, when I finally took the leap it was entirely on a whim — while getting my eyebrows threaded about a month back, my brow lady finished up, and casually suggested that I should give brow tinting a shot — and I did.

This was really unlike me for so many reasons — I’m really not one to take such a permanent approach without fair research and prep, as my appearance is rather important to me. I also have a lot of allergies to non-food items, meaning there was a VERY likely chance I could have reacted negatively to the dye.

Luckily, not only did everything work out — it went amazingly. My brow lady reminded me a little hesitantly that sometimes people freak out about how dark their brows look, but after a day of getting used to it she was sure I would love it. However, it didn’t even take a day. I took one look in the mirror and was immediately sold — and honestly felt a little silly for not taking the leap on semi-permanent makeup for so long. My brows looked FANTASTIC, as if they were naturally perfect, and took an entire step out of my makeup routine going forward before work.

If you’re someone who doesn’t love wearing lots of makeup, or find you constantly are in a rush to get ready, give brow tinting a shot. In terms of semi-permanent brow solutions, it’s a lot cheaper and significantly more low-commitment than many alternative options. (While obviously prices change between salons, this service cost me $15.00). Ultimately, if you don’t love it, it’ll wear off in a couple of weeks — but if you do love it, you’ll be saving all kinds of time and money on daily makeup application.

For those of you, like me, who’ve never given semi-permanent makeup a go, I hope this review of my experience was helpful! Stay tuned for more posts like this — since I’m definitely going to be trying out more of these services in the near future.

Xo,

Meredith

Me, Sans Makeup, Post Brow Tint

How To: Plan The Perfect Fall Self-Care Night!

Hey y’all! Happy Sunday!

Fall is in full swing now, which certainly has its ups and downs. I personally love fall, because it means cute clothes, cozy vibes, my birthday and the holidays. However, it certainly has some rough patches too — cold weather (and rain, for my fellow PNW readers), work and school stress, seasonal depression, and cold and flu season.

The best way to make fall as easy going and enjoyable as possible is to ensure you’re taking care of yourself. And the best way to do that is to plan out a self-care night! Even with my crazy-busy schedule, I try to plan out a night for self-care every week or two. Especially with stressful times, it’s important to take some time to unwind and rejuvenate yourself — while it may seem worthwhile in the moment to spend all your time constantly working and pushing towards your goals, it can lead you to become tired, sick, and slow you down in the future.

Step One: Clean Your Space!

I’ve definitely gone over this one before, but it’s really just not possible to fully relax in a messy space — it’s uncomfortable and you’ll be worrying about having to clean it in the future. Start off your night by taking the time to tidy up, clean your sheets and towels, take out the garbage, and take a shower (or a bath, even!). Make sure to take care of all the little tasks stressing you out in this time as well — if it takes half an hour or less but has been causing you a lot of stress lately, just get it done! It’ll help to get you into a space where you can fully unwind and enjoy yourself.

Step Two: Pick Out A Fall Scent!

One of the best ways to eliminate negative vibes in your space and let go of the week’s stress is to light up a scented candle or use a diffuser. If you don’t already, try to go out and pick some fall scents to help you get into the seasonal spirit! Once you’ve cleaned up your space, this is the next step in fully reviving good vibes in your space and life. If you’re not a fan of scents, I find using a regular, unscented candle still has the same effect.

Step Three: Get Cozy!

For this step, you’re going to want to get into your comfiest clothes and do whatever you can to make your space as cozy as possible. Layer up on blankets, get some ambient lighting going, adjust your thermostat, play some music/ambient noise, whatever makes you feel the most comfortable and at ease.

Step Four: Make Some Fall Snacks!

This next step is to pick out a fall food and drink of your choice. One of my favourite snacks for a self-care night is this edible cookie dough recipe, but you can choose whatever you want — Pillsbury cookies, pumpkin flavoured snacks, even just popcorn, whatever it is your craving! Then, you’re going to want to choose a drink as well — maybe it’s just me, but I find that this is a huge aspect of self care nights. I’m personally a HUGE fan of tea, so I’d usually go for that (and make one of David’s Tea’s special fall flavours, just to make it festive)! However, you can pick anything you want — apple cider, chai tea latte, pumpkin spiced latte (or even just a nice glass of wine!).

Step Five: Choose A Self-Care Activity!

Now you’ve just got to pick out whatever activity (or activities) you want to spend your night on. If you want to get into the festive spirit, you can pick out a fall/Halloween movie or show — lately I’ve been watching Buzzfeed Unsolved Supernatural because it’s got the spooky Halloween vibes I’m looking for, without being actually scary. Otherwise, this is pretty much up to you — watch a movie, read a book, do a hobby, listen to some music, dance it out — whatever your heart desires!

Step Six: Unwind!

This step is just to ensure you’re completely relaxed before the end of the night, and ensuring you reap all the benefits of taking this night off for yourself. This can be done in any number of ways; you can meditate, stretch, listen to relaxing music, watch some relaxing ASMR — just be sure to end the night on a calming note to relieve any residual stress you may still be holding before bed.

Step Seven: Get Some Sleep!

For this final step, you’re going to go to bed early and get some rest. There’s no point in doing all this work to relax if you’re just going to wake up feeling exhausted tomorrow! On top of that, staying up late and pushing your body too hard makes it a lot easier to get sick, so as nice as it is to enjoy this time to yourself — get to bed early, rest up, and try to make time for yourself again soon.

And there you have it! Seven easy steps to the ultimate fall self-care night. I hope all of your October’s are going well so far, and you’re all out there working hard, achieving goals, taking care of yourselves and hopefully avoiding flu season! If not, I hope you get to put this list to good use soon.

Much love,

Meredith

How To Cope With Feeling Overwhelmed

Hey y’all! Happy Sunday!

This week’s posts has to do with a topic that currently has a lot of relevance to my life. This last month, as many of you may have noticed, has been incredibly overwhelming for me. Just one month ago, I began the process of moving into my new apartment — which has been incredibly challenging in itself, because although I’ve been living in Vancouver for five years now, I essentially had to start from scratch. Four months prior, I sold all my furniture and therefore moved into my place without even a bed frame or a mattress. On top of that, I legitimately had to move all my belonging via buses and cabs as I don’t have a drivers licence (and for my fellow Vancouverites, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how painful relying on cabs for absolutely anything is — yet alone moving across town).

However, that was just the beginning of my crazy month. Around the same time, I began a new job as a hostess at a bar — right in time for their “busy season”. As such, my job has been incredibly time consuming and exhausting — I do love the environment and my coworkers, however I also work on my feet in a busy, high-stress environment 6 out of 7 days of the week, leaving me with little energy to complete other tasks when I arrive home.

On top of that, I actually have one more class I’m taking currently — Biopsychology — as well as trying to maintain my blogging schedule, errands and appointments, and of course, a social life.

For a while my stress consumed me entirely — I was hardly able to function. However, I took a step back, reevaluated, and have since began to manage my life a little better. My hope is to be able to share what I’ve learned with you, so that if you’re feeling a little in over your head with life right now, this advice just may help you stay afloat.

Take One Night Off Per Week

Self care is important. If you’ve been following me since I started my blog, you KNOW how big of an advocate I am for taking time off for yourself. If you have a busy schedule, taking a whole day or weekend to spend on yourself may be unrealistic. However, I truly believe everyone should learn to prioritize one night to yourself. Not only does taking a self-care night help you destress and put your upcoming week in perspective, but it helps to refresh you in the way that a night of going out, socializing, or procrastinating never could.

The key here is that you’ll have to learn to manage your time to do this — but trust me, it is WAY more important in the long run to have time to yourself. If you feel like you spend all your time procrastinating on your work and don’t have time, take the self-care night first. Trust me — you’ll have time to do your work after (and you’ll get it done in a much more efficient manner!). I’ve met so many people who claim they don’t have time to take a night to themselves, but really — you do. No matter what, you can always find a few hours to yourself. If it really seems too daunting, just try half an hour a night! It’s still beneficial to feeling refreshed in the long run.

When you take your night off, make sure to clean and tidy up first — maybe it’s just me, but mess gives me anxiety, so I can’t fully relax in an untidy space. Clean up, light a candle, make a tea or drink of your choice and choose a relaxing activity to spend your night on. You’ll feel so much better the next day, trust me.

Make Time To Socialize, But Control Your FOMO

This one was a big learning curve for me. Back when I was in University full time, it felt like I could always make time to socialize — I never once missed a major event for anything. However, especially with work, I’ve had to learn to be okay with missing social events. It doesn’t do you any good to stress about missing out — there will always be another social event. That being said, you should try to make time to see friends a few times a week — it doesn’t have to be anything big! I often grab dinner with my coworkers during my break, and I try to see my friends from University at least once a week.

However, you shouldn’t prioritize your social life over your real life. It can be daunting to learn, and it can make you feel like you’re missing out on events or being left out. If you don’t have time in the week to complete all your tasks, such as work, school, or basic tasks such as showering/cleaning/eating/etc., it may be time to admit you prioritize your social life a little too much. Take a step back and remember your friends aren’t going to forget about you if you can’t attend every party! There’s always going to be another one, so if attending is a detriment to keeping your real life maintained, it may be best to skip out for once.

Learn Prioritizing Over Time Management

Okay, I know prioritizing and time management may kind of sound like the same thing, but hear me out! For those of you who are already fantastic at time management, you may have already gotten this one down. But if you don’t, and feel like you have more going on if your life than you have to fit into your schedule, learn to prioritize the important things first.

For me, my top priorities are school and my job. After that comes keeping a clean room and regular schedule (which I’ll be discussing next!). Unfortunately, next comes blogging — while I wish I could make it more of a priority, making sure I complete my class and show up on time for work are more important. Next is scheduling appointments — personally, I know getting my eyes checked and attaining my drivers licence is more important, unfortunately, than my current dire need for a hair cut. Next comes other things, such as seeing friends and decorating my apartment, for example.

Everyone has their own priorities, but I’ve learned to accept that while I may have to wait a few weeks to have time available to get my eyes tested or buy furniture, I will get there eventually (and I can get by in the meantime). Time management, for me, has become more than just scheduling my daily activities — it’s learning what has to be done RIGHT NOW, versus this week, versus sometime this month or even year. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it could be a good practice to try this out — it can help you from feeling in over your head with all your responsibilities.

Keep A Clean Room And Regular Schedule

Part of feeling overwhelmed may be your environment or lifestyle. For me, my life feels 100% less complicated when I have a clean room, am showered and put together, and have had 8 hours of sleep the night before. With my job’s unusual and ever-changing hours, it’s not always possible to plan out going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. But I’m always sure to get at least 7 hours, shower before I leave, and not let my personal space get too messy.

So many people love to brag about how they were up until 5 am last night completing tasks, and are running on a mere 3 hours of sleep — but that’s super unhealthy and deep down we all know it. Plus honestly, it’s often unnecessary to live life that way. If you can just maintain these three basic things, it will help you feel like you have your life under control.

I’ve discovered maintaining sleep and my space has had a huge impact on my overall health as well — a few years back, I was the QUEEN of all-nighters and pulling off tasks at the last possible minute. However, I spent years feeling crappy and tired and my immune system was almost non-existent — seriously, it felt like I was always sick. In the last two months, even with how crazy busy I’ve been, I’ve yet to stay up late completing tasks and have managed to look at least a little put together whenever I leave my house. So far, I’ve managed to avoid getting sick — fingers crossed I keep it up!

Take A Breather

Sometimes you need to stop, take a minute, and realize that everything is going to be okay. It may feel like everything happening now is the end of the world (over the last few years, I’ve dealt with this feeling more times that I could ever count). However, no matter what you have going on right now, you will survive this. Plus, probably won’t even remember it in a month’s time. As long as you keep moving forward, everything is going to be okay.

The only thing that can hurt you, really, is not moving forward with your tasks. Odds are, you’ll push through whatever’s ahead just fine. But, let’s say you don’t. You fail a test, maybe, or crazy, worst-case scenario — you get fired. It’s going to be okay. It happens to so many people who are able to move on to great things afterwards. Just keep moving forward, remember that whatever’s happening probably isn’t as life-ending as it feels in this moment, and everything will be fine eventually.

And that’s my advice to you all this week! Maybe this doesn’t work for everyone, but personally, I’ve found it all to be life-changing. Two weeks ago, I couldn’t cope with everything I had going on — but now I feel like my life is back on track. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up with blogging a little better, too — I’ve had so many many things recently I’ve been dying to share with you all! So stay tuned for a couple of super-delayed posts in the next few weeks, and remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed — just take a step back and reevaluate. It’s going to be okay.

If you have any advice relating to this topic, feel free to share! I’m still learning myself and would love to hear it.

Stay tuned this Tuesday for my upcoming Favourites post — for real, this week! I promise!

Lots of love, and take care of yourself this week!

Meredith

Easy Ways To Be Eco-Friendly!

Pacific Spirit Park, BC

Hey friends!!

So today I figured I’d talk about something near and dear to my heart: little ways to be eco-friendly. There’s so many articles out there that discuss the standard ways to help reduce waste, such as reusable bags and coffee mugs; but as someone who really tries to cut down on their daily waste I figured I’d share some other tips I use that go above and beyond! I really hope I don’t have to explain to y’all why you should care about the environment, but if you really don’t, think of it this way: the less waste you produce, the less often you have to take your trash out! No matter what, it’s a win-win, really.

Step One: Invest in Reusable Bathroom Products
Reusable Makeup Wipes and Cotton Pads

This one is a big one for me, as so many products we use daily in our life are disposable. Yes, it may save you a few minutes of time, but at what cost? These things pile up in our garbage, and produce loads of trash over time. One of my all-time-favourite products to use to avoid this is reusable makeup wipes! These towels are fantastic for a number of reasons. First of all, they remove your makeup with just water — no chemicals required! Just wet the towel, wipe off your makeup, wash the towel quickly after and your set. Another bonus is one of these towels can last for months — which leads to a whole lot of savings in the long run. Another similar product I’ve just recently started to try is reusable cotton pads. I haven’t used them for this purpose yet, but I’m pretty sure you could use these to remove your makeup too. I, however, love them for applying toner and other serums to my face. I go through cotton pads like crazy, so I’ve definitely noticed a drop in the amount of waste I produce since I’ve started using these!

Another one that I love, although not really a bathroom product, is reusable wool dryer balls! These relatively cheap wool balls help replace the need for disposable dryer sheets, which I used to go through like crazy. These things seriously last forever as well; I haven’t had to replace them since I bought them. There’s a little bonus too: you can simply leave them in your dryer and not even have to worry about throwing anything in before you dry your clothes, which makes life a bit simpler.

Something else to consider is compostable bathroom products. Plastics, such as toothbrushes, can make their way into the ocean and environment, and take years to break down (and may not ever completely disappear — as a lot of plastic products just break up into micro plastics). One way I love to reduce my plastic waste is with bamboo toothbrushes! This is by far one of the simplest ways to cut down on plastic, as it has no effect at all on your day-to-day life. Think about how many toothbrushes you go through in a lifetime — and how many you can stop from damaging the environment by choosing a more eco-friendly option.

Step Two: Reusable Kitchen Products
Bee Kind Food Wrap

The next couple of tips I have are for reusable products in the kitchen! I’ll start with one you’ve probably heard of before: metal straws. There’s so many options out there, but the one I chose to link is the one I use. It’s compact and portable, making it easy to carry around with you daily. Not only that, but the package comes with a little cleaning device so you can clean it immediately after use! Many metal straws out there aren’t collapsable, making them a pain to carry around, but this one makes it easy to never use a plastic straw again!

Another great product I’ve come to love recently is reusable produce bags. These mesh bags completely eliminate the need for disposable plastic produce bags. They’re light, making it easy to carry them around when you’re planning to go grocery shopping. Disposable plastic produce bags have always been a huge pet peeve of mine, since you really can’t repurpose them for much else. Ever since I started using these, I’ve cut down so much on plastic waste! They really are so smart to carry around.

One last one I just purchased but haven’t had time to try out yet is Bee Kind Food Wrap! I just came across this in the grocery store and am super excited to try it! Not only is it supposed to be better than plastic wrap for so many reasons other than simply cutting down on plastic waste, but the company was founded by an alumna of my sorority. Currently, you can only buy them in store in British Columbia and Ontario, but they have an online store in case you don’t live in the area and were hoping to try them for yourself!

Step Three: Food and Eating Habits
Chia Seeds

Next up is a couple of tips I have in terms of your eating habits that can help out the environment daily. I’ll start with an easy one: buying non-perishable products in bulk! Not only is this often a much cheaper option, but it can be a waste-free one, too. Anything from pasta, to rice, to quinoa, to seeds, nuts and beans can easily be purchased in bulk at your grocery store! To help eliminate waste entirely, I often use the produce bags I mentioned above when I get the products, and then transfer them into glass jars like the one pictured above when I get home. There’s really no downside here: you get to help eliminate waste and save money while you do it!

Another thing you can try, while it is a lot more challenging, is going vegetarian or vegan. I’ve been a vegetarian since last August, and it’s improved my life in so many ways. There’s countless meal prep options out there to check out, so it honestly has made me eat a lot healthier since I started. On top of that, cutting out meat saves gallons of water and more every day. I’m not really an expert on all this, but I’ve found some info on just how much of an impact it can make here.

Now, I know this can be tricky for a lot of people, both for dietary reasons or just because you love meat. So I have a couple of suggestions if you’re not ready to take the full leap:

  1. Try a flexitarian diet. When I cook for myself, I make 100% vegetarian food and have not purchased or used meat in cooking since last August. However, it can be super hard to cut out entirely and I know personally I’d miss a lot of my favourite foods if I did that. So, what I do is when I eat out, if I want something with meat in it, I’ll get it. Yeah, people kind of tease me about being a “bad” vegetarian, but overall my meat consumption is down probably 95% from where it was last year, which is still better than nothing.
  2. Try being vegetarian just one day a week! It can help you transition into a more heavily plant-based diet, but even cutting out meat products for one day can still have a huge impact on the environment and the meat industry.
  3. If you still want to eat meat every day of the week, try to buy your products locally or from small farms. Huge mass-meat factories are nasty for so many reasons outside of the damage they do to the environment, so you’ll be doing yourself a favour anyways.
Step Four: Repurpose Old Items
David’s Tea Tins and Candle Holder

Okay, one last tip for you guys. Something I love doing is reusing old items and making them new. If I ever get a product in packaging I love, I find a way to make use of it and eliminate the need to purchase a product that would have done the same job! My favourite two examples, pictured above, are my David’s Tea tins and old candles. The tiny golden tins David’s Tea packages individual tea samples in I found to be perfect for containing items such as earrings, necklaces, paper clips and elastics in a tidy and safe way. As for candles, I really love candles and have gone through enough of them in my life to repurpose them for just about anything — here you can see them holding my cotton swabs for when I mess up my makeup, but they also make great makeup brush/product holders, pen holders, containers for cotton balls/pads and more! It’s really up to you how you repurpose old products and make them new. But ultimately it’s a small but great way to help reduce a little waste, save a little money and dare I say have a little fun with decorating!

So, that’s it from me for now! I hope you all can find at least one tip in here to help you cut down on your daily waste, even if just a little bit. Cutting down on waste isn’t easy and is certainly not something you can change entirely overnight, but trying out a few of these hacks will hopefully help change your lifestyle a bit to help save our planet!

Love y’all,

Meredith