Thursday Favourites: January 16th

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

Happy Thursday y’all!

This Thursday, I’m finally going to be covering one of my holy grail skincare products. I’ve been waiting to use it up so I can take better photos of it in a fresh bottle, and it finally happened!

There’s only two products in my current skincare routine that I’ve been using for years now without switching them up. The first product is Clinique’s Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator. I already covered it in a previous post, but it’s been my moisturizer since like, high school. Today’s product, which I actually did cover briefly in my Holiday Gift Guide, while not quite as much a veteran of my skincare routine, certainly has been a staple for at least 3+ years now. I’m talking about Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir Spray, the best and most simple product for adding a radiant glow to your complexion.

This toning mist is known for tightening pores, adding radiance, and even setting makeup. What I love most about it, however, is how simple it is to apply. While this spray is technically a toner, I use it as a sort of essence to add radiance to my skin. I absolutely love this product for this, since all I have to do is spray it on my face a few times and then I’m all good to go. There’s absolutely nothing oily, heavy, drying, or ANY other negative aspect of essences about this spray. It’s completely no-fuss, no-worries. If it wasn’t for how great it makes your complexion look, after a few seconds of absorbing into your skin it would almost be as if you’d never applied it at all.

The other great aspect of the simplicity of this product is also that you can use it whenever you need a bit of extra radiance in your day. Obviously you can use it during both your morning or nighttime skincare routines, but you can also just spritz a little on throughout the day as you need it. The best part is that not only will it not harm your makeup if you spray it over top — it actually acts as a setting spray, so you’re actually doing your makeup a little favour.

Ever since I began using this product (which is also certified clean by Sephora), I’ve never once had a dull skin day. Seriously, not ever. Even on my worst days, when I’m just completely worn out, my skin still looks fresh and radiant — and I have this spray to thank for it. While other skincare products in my rotation may come and go — the Caudalie Beauty Elixir is definitely here to stay.

Sound like the product you’ve been needing in your life? Check out the Caudalie Beauty Elixir online at Sephora here!

I hope you’ve all been having a great week! Personally, I’ve been struggling just a little since it’s snowing in Vancouver this week — hard to believe after spending nearly 18 years growing up in Toronto one week of snow could affect my life so much but oh well! It won’t hold me back from the important things (like going to my friends for Bachelor viewings or going on a quick wine run)!

Much love,

Meredith

A How-To Guide On Transitioning Into Adulthood

Hey friends!

So, as we grow closer to the end of this year and to the beginning of the next decade (!!!) I wanted to do a little round up my year, since it’s been a crazy one, and share with you all my advice that I’ve learned from it.

While I am on holiday right now, it felt better to save the travel posts for a little later on and rather have a post that wrapped up this year before it ended. This year has been one of the craziest rollercoasters of my life — I’ve gone through so many changes (both positive and negative) that it honestly feels like I’ve packed three years in one.

At the beginning of this year, I was still in university full-time, living in my on campus apartment, an active (non-alumna) member in my sorority, and fully adjusted to university life. Then, April came, and my whole life was upturned — I had to move out of my apartment to a temporary summer residence before moving into my new place downtown, began working full-time, and started my life from scratch.

I feel like I’m heading down the right path, sure, but no one ever tells you really how strange the months following university are; when I finally opened up about it to others, however, I learned we’re all in the same boat. It’s stressful and scary, you feel lonely and alienated from your university friends, unsure if you’re in the right career or ever going to be successful, and it feels like you’re going to be stuck in the premature ages of adulthood forever.

Slowly, you adjust though — I’ve found comfort in blogging, which I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of. I have my close friends and a semblance of a routine (hard to maintain, however, when you’re working in a restaurant without set hours). I know I’m on the right track now, and I’m looking forward to the fresh start of a new year and a new decade to help realize the next part of my life and where I’m headed — and finally getting settled and even finding success.

So, basically, the point of this whole rant is that I’m ready to wrap this year up and kiss it goodbye — it’s been an important time full of monumental changes, but I won’t miss it. While I’ve made good choices and silly mistakes, at least I can guide you all (for now!) on the right path and make all of your transitions into adulthood just that much easier.

Remember To Keep Moving Forward

Everyone always talks about how you need to “appreciate these years, they’re the best time of your lives.” And okay, maybe this ends up being true, but this mentality leads so many people to get stuck in the past, when you never know what amazing things could be just around the corner!

At every stage in my life, I’ve seen so many people get caught up in the past, whether it be High School or University, that they can’t let go — and it really does suck to watch. Transitions can be scary, but the best thing to do is embrace them, or else you may miss out on opportunities that are right in front of you because you’re too busy thinking about what’s behind you. Keep your memories and treasure them forever, but remember that it’s never fun being the last one at the party, and it’s best to let go when it’s the right time as to not tarnish what you had by drawing it out to the point that it’s just not the same anymore. Just because people say these years are meant to be the best time of your life doesn’t mean you need to peak at them — keep going forward, and you’ll have amazing times ahead of you as well.

Keep A Close Circle Of Friends

Something I’ve come to realize recently is that while it is great to have a huge amount of friends and a large social circle, your close friends are really all that matters. Knowing all kinds of people wherever you go is fun and rewarding in the moment, and certainly has some benefits — but your real friends are the ones who’ll be there for you during the tough times and difficult transitions. It’s important to know who these people are, and keep them close. You guys are all going to need each other for mutual support during your transition into adulthood — its a rough time, but you’ll all make it easier for each other.

Work On Self-Improvement And Validate Yourself

The best way to set yourself up for success for the next period of your life is to ensure you’re always improving yourself. Just make sure you’re doing it for YOU, and not for validation from others. If you’re working out, eating healthy, focussing on how to present yourself in a way that makes you feel good and being happy, your own confidence will grow — and people will notice. People are drawn to confidence — it will make you more successful in every single aspect of your life in the long term (and there’s no better time to start than right now). So keep up with your skincare routines, hit the gym regularly, practice your makeup, curate a stylish clothing collection — whatever it takes to make you feel good! It doesn’t matter what other people think of it, because all they’re going to notice is how confident you are.

Keep A Balanced Schedule

This one can be a little challenging, I know — I’m still working on it too. But the best way to truly feel like an adult and that you have your life in order is to keep track of your schedule. Not only will this help guarantee you’re on top of all your tasks — but it helps you make time for other important things as well. For instance, it’ll help you keep on track with important aspects outside of deadlines and goals — such as exercising, cooking, and cleaning. Even more importantly, it’ll help you make time for yourself and your friends. If you budget your time, you’ll have more time available to socialize or keep up with your hobbies — or even find new ones! No matter what, keeping track of your schedule is beneficial in all kinds of ways.

I hope that this list is helpful to those who are finding themselves struggling or overwhelmed by a transitioning period in their times, or who are about to go through a transition and are already nervous about it. Just remember you’re not alone — even if it feels like it, you still have a support system and everyone around you, no matter how together they seem to have it, is going through the same thing.

Here’s to a stellar 2020, hopefully the new year treats all of us well! Before I go, I just wanted to remind you all to try to leave whatever baggage from the 2010’s you can in the past in the new year. Obviously, dropping all your past traumas isn’t easy, and some things are just too big and heavy to be put down simply. Take this time to reflect and reexamine your feelings about events from the past. I saw a quote recently that said “Just because things could’ve been different, doesn’t mean they would have been better.” This quote really struck me, because I think I personally spend a lot more time than I should dwelling on things in the past that didn’t go my way, and how much happier I would have been if they did.

The truth is, we’ll never know what would have happened if those things came to be. Would things have been better? Maybe. Would it really have had a huge impact in the long run though? What would have happened if say, things went your way initially but ended up worse after all? The truth is you’ll never know, but overall things really may have not been that different. Whether it was failing a class (or multiple), losing an award, a bitter break up, not even getting into a relationship you wanted, losing a job, whatever happened or didn’t happen, try your best to take the lessons you learned from it and leave the rest of it in the past. It can’t be changed, so there’s no point dwelling on it to the point you miss out on opportunities in the future. Everyone has suffered through their own personal rejections and failures — I for one am certainly no stranger to it. But 2020 is a new decade, and it’s going to be our time to shine! So don’t let what happened in the past hold you back in the present. It’s time to move on and make the best with what we have. (And for those of us who can’t, who’s problems are a little more challenging to unpack and live with — I hope 2020 brings everything you need to make the load a little lighter to carry.)

Peace out 2019,

Xo,

Meredith

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: 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