Holiday Gift Guide #2: Skin Care Edition!

Hey friends!

I hope the last few days of November are treating you all well! With December now just around the corner, holiday season is starting to get into full swing. When winter holidays are so soon, it can be hard not to stress about gift giving — after all, it’s looking a little different this year. In order to save you from worrying about how you’re going to handle online shopping for gifts this year, I’ve made a compilation of what I consider to be some of the greatest gifts you can give so you can sit back and enjoy the holidays! Feel free to check out my segment from last week on Self-Care Gift Ideas for some extra inspo as well!

Skin care is one of my favourite things in life and, when done right, can make a fantastic gift. Of course, it can be difficult to gift if you don’t know where to start — many people already have their favourite staples, or special skin concerns that may not be compatible with certain products. However, I’ve gone out of my way to compile a list solely of items that won’t interfere with staples and are good for all skin types. As well, I adore all of these products, and my skin is super sensitive — so you shouldn’t have to worry about these products being too harsh on your family/friends/SO’s skin!

With such a wide range of products, there’s a gift here for everyone on your list from the skincare guru to the newbie looking to try something new in 2021. Hopefully, with the help of this list you’ll find something great for even the hardest people on your list to gift for!

Fresh Face Masks

These masks have been a staple in my skincare line-up for years now — so I can certifiably tell you they’d make a fantastic gift. Both of these masks are gentle on the skin and have a visible effect on your skin after just one use. The Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask has a smoothing effect on the skin — it really lives up to it’s “instant perfecting” name — while also leaving your skin feeling soft and moisturized. The Rose Face Mask, on the other hand, helps to moisturize and smooth your skin (and if you’re unsure about a person’s skin type and sensitivities, would probably make the safer gift). Either way, however, both of these masks are of the BEST face masks I’ve ever tried and will absolutely, visibly, change your skin for the better.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out the Rose Face Mask and the Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask online at Sephora!

Grace & Stella Eye Masks

As someone who tends to struggle a lot with under eye bags, there’s nothing I love more than a good eye mask. These eye masks, which come in sets of 12 and only cost $16.00, making them a pretty solid deal. They have a lovely cooling effect on your under eyes, and come loaded with caffeine to help you look more awake and alert. Basically, these are a gift that’s great for anyone who’s ever had a rough morning and could use a little boost to look like they’re 100% — even if they aren’t (and really, haven’t we all been there before?).

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

Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm

This is a pretty new product that I tried recently and absolutely fell in love with. Glow Recipe was one of the brands I was most excited to try in 2020, and to be honest, it’s one of the best things to happen to me so far this year. Basically, all of their products are amazing, but if you know anyone who’s specifically looking to jump in on the new cleansing balm trend for removing makeup and cleansing your skin, this would make the perfect gift. I’ve tried samples of other cleansing balms, but they just don’t measure up. This product smells amazing and it WORKS. 10/10, would make a fantastic gift.

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

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

This was the first product from Glow Recipe that I tried, and arguably their best known. From the first time I used it, I knew it was love. This mask leaves your skin feeling instantly softer and plumper and leaves your complexion looking moisturized and bright. Even though this mask uses AHAs to exfoliate, it’s incredibly gentle — and if you gift it to someone who has sensitive skin (like me) they don’t have to use it as an overnight mask — 10 minutes is enough to see results.

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

Peter Thomas Roth FirmX Peeling Gel Exfoliator

Exfoliating is a super important aspect of skincare that is so often overlooked. This exfoliator has been a staple for me for years now — it’s so easy to use and works so effectively. All you have to do with this product is gentled rub it over dry skin and watch all your dead cells be wiped away. It’s gentle, never caused me irritation, and is quick and satisfying to use. Do I need to say any more?

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

Shiseido Full Lash Serum

I’d absolutely recommend this lash serum for anyone in your life looking for longer lashes. This is one of the few lash serums I’ve used that actually gave me visible results, and the doe foot applicator makes it easy to apply to brows as well. For anyone in your life who’s been wanting longer lashes or fuller brows (and who doesn’t want those things?), this serum makes the perfect gift.

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

Biossance Squalene + Tea Tree Detox Mask

This mask is another one of my all-time faves. Biossance has been one of my favourite brands ever since I first tried their Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil, and their products have never done me wrong. I absolutely love this mask, because to me it’s like a gentler version of a charcoal mask. I’ve never been able to find a decent charcoal mask that a) has a visible effect and b) doesn’t irritate my skin, so this mask has kind of been a lifesaver. It does a great job of purifying my pores, and rather than irritating my skin it actually softens it significantly. While charcoal masks may seem like a great gift as they are universally popular, if you know someone with sensitive skin looking for a good purifying mask — this is it.

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

Dr. Jart+ Cryo Rubber Single-Use Rubber Masks

These are hands-down my favourite single-use face masks of all time. They’ve recently rebranded these masks a little, but Dr. Jart+ makes some of the greatest sheet masks I’ve ever come across so even if they’re a little different, I’m not concerned (however, I’m pretty sure they’re exactly the same). These masks come with ampoule and a rubber sheet mask to lock in the product for the duration you choose to wear it for. It’s a great way to treat someone when they’re needing a little self-care night — these masks are definitely on the pricier side for single use masks, but the results make them oh-so-worth it.

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

Herbivore Rose Quartz Facial Roller

If you’re worried about not knowing someone’s skin type before buying them a skincare related gift, a rose quartz facial roller is pretty much the perfect way to go. Facial rolling has all sorts of benefits, such as de-puffing, treating fine lines, soothing your skin. It really helps push all the skincare products you use into your skin as well, making sure you reap all the benefits. It really doesn’t matter what age, skin type or routine the person you’re gifting for has — this will be a perfect addition to their skincare collection!

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

Mount Lai Rose Quartz Gua Sha Tool

This skincare tool is also the perfection addition to any skincare lover’s collection — regardless of skin type. Unlike facial rollers, gua shas held to massage and brighten the skin, as well as sculpt the face. On top of that, they really help to boost circulation and can help stimulate your lymphatic drainage, boosting skin clarity and making your skin glow. Gua shas are simple to use and, like facial rollers, really work well for absolutely everyone — making them a fantastic gift.

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

Mount Lai Jade Textured Facial Roller

And finally, for anyone who’s really been needing a way to massage out their face in 2020, Mount Lai’s textured jade roller is the exact gift they’ve been needing. This jade roller is covered in tiny little bumps to help massage out every little knot on your face, leaving your skin feeling beyond pampered and brand new. Even if you’re looking to gift to someone who (gasp) doesn’t really care much about skincare — I think we can all agree we’ve been needing a good massage after this year. Plus, same as all the other facial tools, this product works for all skin types.

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

I hope you’ve all been having a great week! It’s crazy how close we’re getting to the end of the year — this year has really been simultaneously the longest AND shortest year of my life. It’s definitely going to be a weird holiday season this year — I’m curious, how do you all plan to spend it? Are you going 100% virtual for the holidays this year, or do you have a plan with your bubble in order to be able to spend some time in person? Whatever it is — I hope you’re all staying safe while still enjoying the holiday season as best you can!

If you’re still looking for some gift ideas, stay tuned for next week’s segment where I outline some of my favourite lifestyle gift ideas for the 2020 holiday season! I hope you guys are all enjoying my gift guide series so far, as well — it took me a lot of effort to put this all together, and all of your comments, reads and shares mean so much to me! So, basically, thank you all for your support — it means a lot.

Much love,

Meredith

My One-Year Bloggiversary!

Hey friends!

Sooooooo, I have some news — as of May 3rd, I have officially been blogging and sharing with y’all for one year!!! (Yes, I kind of missed it. I know! I’m sorry. It’s been a crazy month, plus I bought my domain back in February (not May) of last year so it didn’t notify me. I promise I’m writing it down for next year.).

Small details aside, I’m really excited about this. Not only am I really proud of myself for committing to this blog, it’s kind of crazy to see how I’ve grown and improved as a writer over the last year. While I kind of cringe looking back at my very first posts on this blog, I know I had to start somewhere and that I’ve become a more skillful writer with time and effort. As such, I wanted to do a little update of my first ever post where I shared 10 facts about me. As well, I wanted to elaborate a little on what I’ve learned, what’s changed in my life, and where I hope blogging takes me in the future!

So, without further ado, here’s 10 (updated) facts about me!

  • I am currently 22 years old residing in Vancouver, Canada. Well, I’m 23 now, but otherwise this is still true!
  • I have a degree in Psychology from UBC. At the time that I wrote this, I was really struggling with what was going on in my degree — even I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen, and as such, I just wanted to pretend I had graduated and finish up my remaining two classes quietly. With time, I realized how harmful that was; not only do I hate being dishonest, but I was kind of lying to myself. It was a brutal and stressful year, but I made it through. And now, I’m officially a UBC graduate with a major in Psychology and a minor in Creative Writing!
  • I am an alumna of the Kappa Kappa Gamma organization. This hasn’t changed, but I have become a lot more aware of the long-lasting impact my sorority has on my life and how I can still lean into those friendships and rely on my sisters, even in the hardest of times.
  • My hobbies/favourite things include exercising, travelling, makeup and skincare, as well as hanging out with my friends. I don’t really know what I was going for with this one — it’s a little all over the place and doesn’t really include any hobbies (although I was a little too busy for them at the time). My REAL hobbies include blogging, photography, makeup and art. (Obviously I still love skincare and my friends — but those don’t really strike me as hobbies, per se).
  • I’m a HUGE cat person. My parents have a Siberian Forest kitten named Dmitry and he might be the love of my life. Dmitry is now one year old! This is him now, I miss SO much.
  • I’m originally from Toronto, Canada and I moved to Vancouver at 17. Still true! I haven’t been back in a while, sadly — especially since with the current situation, it seems like I may not be able to anytime soon.
  • Tea over coffee but I still love both. I actually only really drink coffee when I’m working — and even then, I mostly drink lattes. Plain roasted coffee is great sometimes, but I don’t make it at home all too often. Tea, on the other hand? I make tea usually twice, sometimes three times a day. I wasn’t kidding when I wrote this, I really, REALLY love tea.
  • I LOVE the outdoors, plants are a huge essential in my home decor. I just put up the two cutest little plant pots on my wall, which is pretty fitting here! (If you want these for yourself, you can get them from Umbra!).
  • I’m an aspiring Wedding Planner. This is still true, but unfortunately I’ve graduated at just about the strangest and most uncertain time for the job market. Who even knows what the wedding industry will look like after this? So, fingers crossed, but I’ll be keeping an open mind.
  • My absolute favourite beauty line is NARS (with Tarte being a close second), and my favourite skin care line really depends on the product but I’d have to say probably Naturopathica. This is so funny to me, because this honestly sounds a little dated — these feel more like my opinions of two years ago. However, nowadays, I’d have to say my overall favourite makeup line would have to be Anastasia Beverly Hills. As well, my favourite skincare brand is probably Biossance (with Herbivore as a close second).

It’s so weird taking this time to look back and reflect — it really has been such an intense year. When I wrote this post initially, I was fresh out of my 2019 exam season and grappling with what was going on with both my degree and my future, as it was all so up in the air at that point. Being a recent graduate is definitely never easy for anyone, and I know from watching all my friends enter the post-grad life that it’s far from an smooth transition. It’s intimidating searching for jobs, and starting your first job post-grad can be overwhelming. It’s tough to stay in touch with a lot of your university friends, especially those that move away, have conflicting schedules or are still finishing their degrees. Post-grad life is incredibly isolating at first. I’ve heard time after time from each and every one of my friends how incredibly lonely they felt for the first year or so. But not only did I have to go through all of this myself — I hadn’t even actually graduated yet. I still needed to get a job, and finish up my classes. It felt like I spent the whole year in flux — I had all the aspects of post-grad life and struggles, without the actual degree.

I wouldn’t say it ever got much easier or less scary over the last year. I always felt like I was two steps behind. I transitioned from my on-campus apartment to downtown life, my incredibly intense new job and online classwork faster than I could ever keep up with. I never had any time to socialize, keep up with friends, or do anything for myself. I didn’t have the ability to fully move into my apartment with how busy I was, and I spent months without having any furniture at all. Beauty treatments I used to keep up with regularly became a thing of the past. All I had time for was trying to catch up. I spent a lot of the last year not really living, but surviving.

This isn’t to say that it was all bad. In the last year, I got a chance to do a lot of travelling, which I am so very grateful for. I finally did finish up my degree, and I’ll be able to have a little virtual graduation this summer and put that chapter of my life to rest. As well, I think I’ve come to realize I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was. I have dealt with so much in the last year, and even when my worst issues were just juggling my classes and seven day weeks at my job, I made it through in one piece in the end. If you had told me last year what this year would have been like, the changes my life went through and how much I would end up losing, I wouldn’t have believed I could have survived it all. But I did.

I kind of feel like I’m finally beginning to wrap up this year of my life and move on to the next phase, and honestly — as monumental and educational as it was for me, I can’t wait to put it behind me. It’s weird thinking ahead to the next year and what it’ll hold for me and my blog — everything is so uncertain right now, there’s no point in really setting any solid plans. However, I do have some ideas for where I’d like my blog (and life) to go over the next year — for starters, I’m hoping to have more time to dedicate to creating content (both for my blog and Instagram), as well as finally being able to reach out to brands for collabs. I’m hoping to settle into a real routine and find a full-time job that I love. Most of all, I’m just hoping to be able to really take the time to put together posts I can be proud of, week after week. This blog is a huge passion of mine, but I don’t often have a lot of time to dedicate towards it — but hopefully by this time next year, I’ll be able to change that.

Before I go, I just wanted to give a little thanks to all of you for supporting me over the last year. It really means so much to me that so many of you care what I have to say, and I love being able to share my thoughts with all of you. While this year has been pretty rough and it’s been tricky coming back from my hiatus, it means a lot seeing the support I’ve been getting since. So thank you, all of you, for making my first year of blogging so fantastic! I can’t wait to see where the next year takes me. Let the journey begin!

Xoxo,

Meredith