Holiday Gift Guide #3: Lifestyle Edition!

Hey everyone!

First off — happy December you guys!!! We’ve finally made it to the final month of the year and I, for one, could not be more excited. 2020, in all honesty, has been a particularly brutal year for me and no matter what 2021 holds, I’ll be excited to put this year behind me. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s feeling a little relieved that it’s finally the last month of the year, am I right?

Anyways, I’m back with another Gift Guide this week — and this time it’s all about Lifestyle! This week’s collection of gifts are loosely themed together by the fact that they’re all cool little things that really help add to and improve the lifestyle of whomever you’re gifting for — so while the theme is less defined this week, there’s really something in this list for anyone.

As always, since shopping in person isn’t really an option this year, I’ve chosen items that can all be purchased online! While it does kind of suck to miss out on holiday shopping this year, it isn’t really a necessity to get into the holiday spirit. Even if you’re in an area that still allows in person shopping, the responsible (and easier!) thing to do is crack open your laptop, lay on the couch and send in some online orders — so let me make that even easier for you by recommending some of my favourite things that would make great gifts for just about anyone on your list!

Ouai Super Dry Shampoo

Maybe this is just me, but as someone with very fine hair who lives in a super humid climate, my hair starts feeling greasy faster than I can keep up with washing it. Even in lockdowns, when no one sees me for days on end, this dry shampoo has been a bit of a lifesaver. It’s hands down the best dry shampoo I’ve ever used — and yes, I’ve become pretty acquainted with dry shampoos over the years. (What can I say? Sometimes half an hour of extra sleep is more valuable than freshly-showered hair). Unlike so many dry shampoos, it actually works to make your hair feel cleaner and doesn’t leave a residue behind or leave your hair looking powdery. My hair always both looks AND feels cleaner after using this stuff — making it an extra-useful gift for any busy bees in your life.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Sephora!

Mini Stone Pack

This is a cute and simple gift for your friend who’s super into horoscopes, decorating, collecting, or all of the above. These stone packs from Amazon come conveniently packaged in little packs or individually, with a little information on each type of crystal included such as what it manifests in your life. Whether you believe in the power of crystals or not — they make a great decoration or addition to any gift!

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Indigo in Amethyst and Rose Quartz!

Herbivore Coconut Milk Body Polish

Okay, so if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know all about my love of Herbivore Botanicals body scrubs. When I saw they released a coconut version earlier this year, I knew I had to give it a try. This version of their body scrub comes a little cheaper than the Crushed Amethyst body scrub, but they’re both so worth it. The amethyst scrub does seem to be a little more of a deep exfoliation, but this one is also effective, soft, and smells soooooo good. 10/10, would LOVE to receive this as a gift.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Sephora!

Dry Bar Prep Rally Detangler

This is such a universally loved, universally good-for-all hair type heat protectant. I guarantee that no matter who you buy this for, it’ll work for their hair. This next-level two-in-one detangler and heat protectant has kept my hair looking and feeling so great ever since I first received it in a FabFitFun box last winter — it really is SUCH an effective protector against blowdrying and styling heat damage. It doesn’t leave behind a residue either, making it a great gift for literally anyone on your list.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Sephora!

FOXYBAE Hair Curler

On the topic of hair styling, this hair curler I received in my latest FabFitFun box is AMAZING. It heats up well, is nice and easy to use, doesn’t seem to damage my hair and makes perfect curls. I really don’t know much about hair styling — I had short hair for most of my life — but I can tell you, this curler is by FAR the best I’ve ever owned. It makes curling your hair SO effortless and my hair has honestly looked better using this curler than it ever has in my entire lifetime of curling my hair. Basically, it’s super worth it.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at FOXYBAE!

AMIKA Hair Straightener

On a final hairstyling note, this AMIKA hair straightener (which, surprise surprise, I also recieved in a FabFitFun box) has been an absolute godsend in my life. It’s so high quality and straightens hair so effectively without damaging your hair. This was the first “fancy” hair straightener I’ve ever owned (ie. not purchased at the drugstore) and I was blown away at the difference it made — not just in terms of damage, but how fast and effectively it worked and how much better my hair looked when it was done. This straightener is a blessing.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at AMIKA!

Skincare Hairbands

This was something I purchased for myself recently on a bit of a whim, not really expecting much of it. I had seen other skincare fans using them all over social media, but I couldn’t really tell if they were going to help or simply hinder me while I washed my face and make the whole task more challenging. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to realize that these little hairbands make washing your face 200% easier. They keep all your baby hairs out of the way, and don’t get in the way themselves. I was kind of worried they would just end up getting wet and gross while I used them, but they don’t at all. They really act to solve something that you’d never realize was a large grievance until you see what life is like on the other side. Trust me.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Amazon!

Twine Cheese Board with Plate

If you have someone in your life who loves hosting wine nights or considers themselves a charcuterie enthusiast, then this is the perfect gift for them. This little board is so tiny and cute, it makes the perfect board for those with tiny kitchens or an addition to the collection of a charcuterie lover’s collection to add to a full spread. (Or, frankly, it also works well for making yourself feel a little fancier while eating cheese and crackers home alone). It’s cute, simple, small, easy to clean, and a great gift overall. I’ve been totally obsessed ever since I received this in a FabFitFun box (yes, again), and I’ve always thought it would make a great gift for anyone who loves dinner parties, or just cheese.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Amazon!

DAVID’s TEA Loose Leaf Teas

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a bit of a tea fanatic. David’s Tea, in my opinion, is THE best tea out there. I seriously drink at least 2-4 cups a day (and sometimes more). The options they offer are seriously endless, meaning that there’s absolutely a tea out there for everyone on your list. From traditional teas, to classic favourites, to crazy new flavours you couldn’t find elsewhere, David’s Tea has it all. It can be a little tricky to know where to start with all the options, but my favourites are Cream of Earl Grey, Genmaicha, Forever Nuts, Bai Hao Yin Zhen, and Butterfly Jasmine.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at DAVID’s Tea!

Lululemon Yoga Mat

With COVID likely still hanging around for the next few months, there’s really no better gift you could give than a high-quality yoga mat. Perfect for not just at home yoga sessions, these mats help make a wide variety of home workouts possible. Since yoga mats are something you only need one of and don’t often replace, it’s nice to be able to splurge on one for someone on your list — and after that, they’ll be all set to get on top of staying fit in 2021. Whether it’s for at-home use, or for yoga classes in the (hopefully not so distant) future, this mat is high quality and comes with a warranty, making sure it’ll be useful for years to come.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Lululemon!

Lululemon Massage Roller

This is another thing that’s been a real lifesaver for me in COVID. It’s hard with all the stress this year has toot feel the impacts on your body — overtime, it really wears you down. However, going for a quick massage isn’t really an option in 2020. Instead, I’ve been using this yoga roller to work out all the knots in my body where I’ve been holding all my stress. It really makes a huge difference in your overall wellbeing to be able to massage out all the kinks every so often. It’s kind of self-care, but also in 2020, very necessary.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Lululemon!

Silked Satin Pillowcase

Finally, we have the Silked satin pillowcase (which, yes, I also received in a FabFitFun box. I know this whole post probably just seems like one giant advertisement for FabFitFun, but I swear it’s not! They really just gift the best stuff). Satin pillowcases are fantastic for soooo many reasons — they don’t tug on your skin or mess with your hair, making them gentler and less damaging on both (plus they’re just cute as well). For those on your list who worry about hair damage, skincare or wrinkles, these pillowcases are extra soft on your skin and hair overnight — making them the perfect gift. The first time I ever used one, the difference I felt in my hair the next morning was like night and day — I could never go back to using regular pillow cases ever again.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Silked!

I hope you guys are all having a great week! Hopefully at this point you’ve got a good idea of what you’ll be gifting everyone on your list this year, but if not — stay tuned for my final gift guide next week! I’ll be sharing my favourite makeup items that will make universally great gifts for any makeup lovers in your life — regardless of skin tone and staples they already own.

So, again, happy December! Are you guys all still setting goals for yourself this month? Personally, I’m taking a bit of a break and riding out the last month of 2020 as easily as I can, but if you guys have some goals you’ve set for yourself I’d love to hear them! Drop a comment below and let me know what you’re hoping to manifest before the end of the year!

Stay safe and much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: January 23rd

DryBar Prep Rally Spray

Hey guys!

This Thursday I’m going to be covering a product that is still relatively new to me — which only speaks to how quickly I’ve fallen in love with it. While I only received the Dry Bar Prep Rally Spray in my Winter FabFitFun box only two months ago, I already know that I’m going to be repurchasing this product as soon as I use it up.

Before receiving this product in my box, I’d been searching for a long (like, seriously long) time for a good, go-to heat protectant spray. For the longest time my go-to was the Pureology Colour Fanatic Beautifier Spray — my hairdresser sold it to me, and I really didn’t know enough about hair products to know if I even liked it or not. While it certainly was a good product — in retrospect it became heavy and sticky quickly just by spraying in the tiniest bit too much. However, upon switching to a Vancouver hairdresser Pureology became increasingly harder to find (a huge struggle, since it literally used to be the only brand I used on my hair). Ever since then, I’ve just been switching around from one heat protectant to the next, never really settling on something long term.

I was just finishing up a sample bottle of Bumble&Bumble’s Thickening Spray (which was actually pretty good) when I received this bottle. And while the Bumble&Bumble spray was good — this one was better. I believe the hallmark of a good heat protectant is that once your hair is all dried and styled, it should be as if you never sprayed any in at all. There shouldn’t be any stiffness, greasiness, heaviness or stickiness to your hair — but there also shouldn’t be any heat damage whatsoever. Dry Bar’s Prep Rally spray, so far, has met all of these requirements.

Not only does this spray smell fantastic, it’s nice and light too — once you’ve dried your hair, there’s no evidence or feeling you ever sprayed it in to begin with. Really, the only evidence I’ve been using it at all is that my hair remains undamaged since I’ve started using it. While I’ve used products in the past as heat protectants that I felt didn’t leave behind much of a residue — this one really seems as though nothing remains behind at all. My hair just feels like smooth, shiny, soft and healthy hair — as if it were au natural.

Does this sound like the heat protectant you’ve been needing in your life? Be sure to check out DryBar’s Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler at Sephora here!

I hope you’re all having an amazing week — we’re just about one week out from the end of January, so be sure to hustle towards achieving all of your monthly goals! Personally, I’m having a bit of a rough week — I came down with the flu on Tuesday and it’s really been taking a toll on me. If you guys have any tried-and-true flu remedies, I’d love to hear them! Drop a comment and let me know what makes you feel better quickly when you’re sick. I have a long week ahead of me — especially considering that I’ve had to take two days to recover already — so I have a lot of catching up to do, on top of next weeks tasks. Wish me luck!

Xo,

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