Thursday Favourites: August 6th

Hey everyone!

Today marks the third and final part of my skincare tools series! I hope you’ve all been enjoying reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together. For those of you wanting to check out the entire series, you can check out my post on Mount Lai’s Textured Jade Facial Roller and Herbivore Botanical’s Rose Quartz Roller as well!

Today, I’m going to be sharing the final tool I use in my skin care routine: the classic jade Gua Sha! Now, unlike the other tools, my current Gua Sha is just one I picked up from Amazon when this trend first came out, and I was looking to give it a try but not feeling ready to commit. However, at this point in my skincare tool journey, I’ve been looking into purchasing a new one — and I’ve had my eye on Mount Lai’s Gua Sha in particular. Even though I don’t exactly have a specific brand to share with you all at the moment, I still wanted to share what it is exactly that I love so much about the Gua Sha as a skincare tool, as truth be told, it’s my favourite out of all three.

The Gua Sha, unlike crystal rollers, is a simple curved jade tool that is used to help massage, brighten, and even sculpt the face. Unlike jade rollers, which can help with many of these but area ultimately a tool for de-puffing and soothing skin, the gua sha can really help to boost circulation and really physically push blockages down the lymphatic system. Most importantly, however, it can really help to break up muscle tension in the face, release tight areas and relax the skin of the face.

However, what makes me love this tool the most is how it actually provides a deep massage for your face. When you use this tool, you can actually feel your facial tension slowly being released and your circulation being boosted immediately (I always love the little tingly feeling you get post massage when you know it worked). Especially when it comes to areas that can contain some serious and deep-rooted knots and strain, such as your jawline, cheekbones, eyebrows, and temples, you can feel this tool popping knots and actually making a difference in your skin. Plus, relieving facial tension will help you feel more relaxed by proxy — just as being stressed will increase tension in your face, the psuedo-placebo effect of having knots in your face will cause you to believe (and therefore feel) stressed out.

And, as promised — I wanted to share a little about skincare tools that you should typically avoid as well. Now, obviously, if you’ve already been using these tools and they work for you, by all means keep using them. But rest assured, I will be explaining why to avoid them and what it is that makes them poorly suited for use of your face.

The first tool that generally should be avoided are the vacuum-style electric tools advertised to remove all the excess dirt from your pores. While I love a good deep-clean as much as the next person, these types of machines (as with basically every other method I’m going to mention) should really only be performed by a professional. There are all kind of face masks you can use to combat blackheads and clogged pores safely at home, but these tools are not only dangerous to use in terms of damaging your skin with their powerful suction — but also, you’re not trained to use them. Aestheticians go to school for a reason — these tools are challenging to use, and when used improperly can do more harm than good.

Another tool I’d generally recommend staying away from are Micro-Needle facial rollers. Once again, these types of procedures can have numerous benefits and stunning results when performed by a professional, but you should avoid attempting this one at home. Not only does the “roller” style of micro needling damage your skin, but without the proper tools to care for and sanitize your roller, all you’ll be doing is pushing bacteria that collects on the needles deep into your skin. When this procedure is performed as part of a facial, the needles are administered straight onto your skin, and the quick and direct in-and-out movement is what helps to avoid harm to the delicate skin of your face. When you use a needle roller, however, the rolling action drags the needle through your skin, creating micro-tears — which are damaging, ineffective and can even lead to scarring.

The last technique is one that I have actually tried myself, so I can speak on my own personal experiences. Microdermabrasion is a technique that has become all the rage lately, and many people try to get similar effects at home with face razors — which definitely work for some people but do require a lot of care to be used properly. While I’ve used face razors in the past on my upper brows and upper lip, there’s a couple of things you need to consider if you’re actually going to try to use a face razor on the entirety of your face.

First of all, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re doing — so make sure to do a little research, or maybe watch a couple YouTube videos first. Second of all, you’ll want to be sure you have a good, clean and sharp razor that’ll be safe to use on your face. Finally, you’ll want to consider that there’s risks to performing this by yourself (since, once again, you’re not a professional). Shaving off your peach fuzz will make it easier to apply makeup, sure, but scraping away at your face too much can create micro-tears (or full-size cuts), ingrown hairs, and most importantly — when you remove hair from the hair follicle, it leaves it open and vulnerable to dirt and other foreign substances to make their way into your skin. Basically, I wouldn’t recommend this one either — I never used it myself more than five times, and I haven’t tried it in about a year (nor would I bother to again). Basically, what I’m trying to say is be careful with skincare tools; while some are useful, others may be damaging and should only be used by aestheticians and dermatologists. Be sure to pick what you use on your face carefully!

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this little segment on skincare tools — I know it’s been a little different from my normal content, so hopefully you all felt you learned something new from these last three posts. If you have any fave skincare tools of your own, drop a comment below and tell me all about them! As well, if you’ve been inspired to try any of these tools out for yourself, I’d love to hear how they work for you!

Happy Thursday, everyone! I hope August is treating you well. I know everyone’s been talking all year about how strangely time has been moving, but I really can’t believe it’s August already. I feel like the last three months specifically have been such a blur, but on the bright side — we only have four months left until we get a fresh start with 2021! I don’t want to jinx anything, but fingers crossed things will feel a lot more normal by then.

Love you all,

Meredith

UPDATE: Got my hands on the Mount Lai Gua Sha in Rose Quartz, I’m in love!

Life Updates: July 2020!

Hey y’all!

Sooooo, even though I’ve managed to be a little more active these last few weeks I still haven’t been around much — so I wanted to share a couple of life updates for you all! I’m finally feeling pretty recovered from my wisdom teeth surgeries, and am slowly getting back into a rhythm and routine in my daily life. The last month really kind of threw all of my habits into the wind and my routine that I had built kind of fell apart — but I’m getting back on track, which is all that matters, really. We can’t expect perfection from ourselves 100% of the time — especially not now, with how uncertain and turbulent this year has been.

This month has definitely been interesting with job hunting and all — I knew it was going to be rough finding a job right now with the state of the job market, but honestly, it’s been tougher than I expected. Event planning jobs just straight up don’t exist right now, and unfortunately, I still have to get my driver’s licence to even be a competitive applicant — something I had to put on hold when lockdowns started. I started looking into jobs in “similar fields”, many of which I really do not qualify for at all, considering I never planned to look into them as career paths. However, the other day my parents called me with what was kind of a brilliant idea — why not look into writing jobs? So, for the time being, I’m going to be looking into freelance writing. Which, unlike so many of the jobs I’ve been looking into lately, I’m actually qualified for on paper considering my university degree and my blog (and yes, I’m absolutely kicking myself for not even coming up with this idea sooner).

However, I’ve been taking this time to actually really get back into my hobbies, which I’ve kind of been intending to do since March — but I’m serious about it this time. Back in high school, I was the girl with endless hobbies and extracurriculars — I played 3 musical instruments, I was in choir, practiced archery (which is always my fun fact about myself to this day whenever anyone asks), started up a film club, taught myself digital art, and more. However, as soon as I began university, I dropped every single one of my hobbies — I just didn’t have the time or the access anymore.

Now that I’m a post-grad, I’ve finally got a little more time again, and I’ve narrowed my hobbies down to the one I miss the most — drawing. I’ve been an avid artist since I was a toddler — it’s always been my greatest hobby, and while I’ve dabbled in it a little here and there in my time in university, I can’t remember the last time I had really taken it seriously since my first year art classes. So, I went out, bought myself some fancy new alcohol-based markers and fine-liner pens — and I’m finally getting back into it. It’s definitely been a little frustrating up front — without practice, it doesn’t come as easily to me as it used to. However, I saw a quote the other day on Instagram that really stuck with me — I can’t find it, so I don’t remember exactly how it goes or who said it. I do remember, however, that it was along the lines of “the price of admission to being a graceful master is being a clumsy beginner”. It’s so easy to give up on things that don’t come perfectly to us on the first try, but no one starts off as a master. Being a pro at something is not natural talent (which helps, but isn’t everything); it is determination and practice.

Anyways, I guess this is all just a really deep way of saying I know with practice I’ll be able to be as good as I once was, if not better. I just have to be be patient. But who knows! Maybe I’ll be sharing my artwork with you guys in no time at all.

So that’s just about where my life is at right now. This year has been messy — it’s had more ups and downs in the first half of the year that I’ve experienced possibly ever. I’m really hoping to be able to get back on track with the second half of this year, and with my newfound career path potential and re-investing time in my hobbies, things are starting to look up. I don’t want to speak too soon and jinx it, but as soon as I manage to get all my old habits back in line things really should start to fall into place (fingers crossed!).

I hope you’ve all been doing well lately — take some time to focus on yourself sometime this month, as best as you’re able to. Time seems to be passing in the blink of an eye lately, so slow it down by taking some time to focus on yourself a little, whether it’s for a full weekend, or an afternoon, or simply a few minutes a day. I’ve been trying this out for myself by meditating more regularly lately — I’ve been doing 15 minutes a day to help keep me relaxed, focused and mindful. What are your fave ways to take time to yourself/perform a little self-care? Drop a comment below to let me know, I’m always on the search for new ideas!

Happy Sunday everyone! Sending out the best vibes for you all to have an amazing week ahead!

Xo,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: July 2nd

Hey friends!

Today I’m going to be sharing another one of my absolute favourite skincare products. I’ll be honest — this one has been a staple in my routine for so long that I actually don’t even remember when I started using it. I do know, however, that it was at least six years ago — making it the skincare product I’ve been using for the longest. I guess branching out and trying new stuff can be important, but in this case when I really think I’ve found the perfect holy-grail product — why mess with a good thing?

The product I’m talking about is Clinique’s Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, which has been my moisturizer for as long as I can remember at this point. Before I even describe what makes this product so damn good, I should mention the fact that I’ve stuck with this moisturizer unwaveringly for 6+ years — which should kind of speak for itself about how utterly amazing it is.

I’ll be honest — I’m the kind of person who’s often super indecisive, and I feel like when it comes to sticking with one product continuously, it really shows. I’m constantly getting distracted by products that are shiny and new, even if I know that what I’m using is so much better for my personal needs. So many elements of skincare, at some point or another, I’ve ended up experimenting with a bit even if I adore the product that I’ve been using for the long term — but not with moisturizer. Since buying this product for the first time I have stuck with it, unwaveringly, for years. With the exception of free samples, I have never purchased any other moisturizer since I first tried this one out, since I know without a doubt it’s just about as good as it gets.

My favourite part about this moisturizer is it’s formulation — it’s a super lightweight gel, instead of a cream like many moisturizers are. Even though my skin tends to air on the drier side, I’ve never been a fan of heavier moisturizers — I hate how heavy they are on my skin. I kind of find that they leave a layer that I can feel all day long, which I’m really not a fan of. It’s almost as if they never feel as if they’ve dried in. Even lightweight creams seem to leave a little film behind, but unlike cream moisturizers, once this moisturizer has set in it’s as if it was never there. It dries incredibly quickly, too, because of how light it is. There’s no waiting with this one — it sets quickly and then it’s good to go.

The other thing that’s truly amazing about this product is how much hydration it packs into such a small amount of product. It isn’t watery, like so many other gel moisturizers — it actually leaves your skin feeling super hydrated and healthy. This moisturizer, which is effective for up to 72 hours (!!!), contains caffeine, hyaluronic acid, activated aloe watering a “Super-Holding Matrix of Humectants and Polymers” to helps support skin’s own rehydration system, plump the look of skin and reduce water loss and seal in moisture, according to Sephora’s site. Basically, this stuff is magical and works wonders on the skin without leaving your skin feeling congested, coated or gross. (I told you — it really takes a perfect product for me to stick with it for 6 whole years without question!).

If this sounds like the moisturizer you’ve been waiting for, check it out on Sephora!

I hope you all have been kicking off July on the right foot! It’s been crazy cold and rainy in Vancouver the last two days, but I’ve been trying my best to make the most of it. I’ve been a little lazy, I won’t lie — but I do have a good feeling about this month. If you have any big plans or goals for July, drop a comment below! I’d love to hear what you’re all up to lately.

Much love,

Meredith