let’s talk about SELF LOVE in the real world.

The internet loves to talk about self care.  What’s your self care routine?  We ask each other constantly, as if looking after yourself is as simple as a nightly facemask and a cup of peppermint tea.

The truth is, self care comes in a million different shapes and sizes.  Some nights it’s a cup of tea, and sometimes it’s a bottle of wine, ya know?  Sure, taking a hot bath and spending the evening painting watercolours in your silky robe is an act of self love (I mean, if you’re into that kind of thing…).  BUT it’s not always exactly the most practical option.  We don’t always have the time or the funds to pamper ourselves — not in the ways that instagram would have us believe we should, at least.  But does the fact that I work every day, or that I can’t afford to go on magical vacations and glamorous outings mean I can’t participate in the fun and fabulous world of self love?

Hell to the nah.

I find a lot of ways to love myself – some frivolous and fun, and some a little more practical.  Eating a salad can be self care too, after all.  SO, here we go; 10 ways to practice self care in the real world.  Some of them require a little more time than others, but I promise you they are all very real, super cheap (or free), and incredibly satisfying.

✨ snuggle yourself into the covers and read your horoscope before you get out of bed.  I like the astrotwins, but you have to find a source that works for you.

✨ drink a glass of water.  Squeeze in a bit of lemon or toss in some mint leaves, if you can.

✨ put some oil in your hair.  I am currently obsessed with this one because it smells amazing and is working wonders for my hair.

✨ eat something REAL.  I don’t know about you but I tend to get caught up in life and forget about, y’know… food.  Real food, I mean.  Cook yourself a meal, make yourself a smoothie, or at least grab an apple.

✨ spritz yourself with your favourite perfume and throw on some lipstick.  I don’t care if you’re doing anything fancy afterward or not, nothing will make you feel “together” faster.  

✨ go for a walk.  Maybe try some walking meditation, while you’re at it — or just throw in your headphones and turn your favourite song loud.

✨ answer your emails.  Not exactly glamorous but as someone who currently has 126 unread messages in their inbox, I can tell you that it is a constant stressor.

✨ exfoliate.  Am I the only one that finds exfoliating super satisfying when I’m having a bad day?  It’s like you can feel the bullshit going down the drain.

✨ grab your journal, and leave your phone and your laptop at home.  Take yourself on a coffee date and just write.

✨ paint your nails.  Nothing like a fresh mani to make you feel like a whole new woman, am I right?

 

SO lovelies, tell me… how do you look after yourself when you have Real Life happening?  Would love some things to add to my list.

Love + bubble baths – L

SKIN CARE for when you’re broke + lazy.

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I don’t know about you guys but when I get home at the end of a long day the last thing I want to do is go through some extensive skincare routine.  Like, it probably should seem nice and refreshing and like an ideal way to prep for sleepy time but it just… isn’t?

That’s why I like to keep it as simple (and cheap) as humanly possible – difficult because my skin doesn’t love cheap products.  SO after much experimentation here are my three favourite, SUPER gentle ride-or-die products… all under ten dollars.

1. I’ve tried a few different makeup removers, but right now I’m loving this micellar water from L’Oreal (9.99).  I love this stuff because it’s soothing, refreshing, and takes off everything.  It’s awesome because you don’t technically need to wash/rinse it off (in fact that whole point of micellar water is to keep your hard tap water from messing with your skin) – so if it’s really one of those nights you can just wipe and go, ya know?

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2. Even though you don’t really need to, I always wash my face after I take off my makeup – it just makes me feel so ready for bed.  I like Nivea’s gentle cleansing cream ($7.77) for this.  This stuff is so creamy and smooth and smells so sweet – plus it’s pink so, like, #onbrand.  On a serious note though this cleanser is amazing and feels so luxurious on your face.

3. I always finish with a bit of moisturizer and my honest to god ride-or-die is this $4 tube from St.Ives.  It’s simple, unscented, and super gentle – plus it’s full of collagen, which theoretically will ward off wrinkles (although I’ve kind of accepted my wrinkly-forehead fate tbh).

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That’s it!  99.9999% of nights I do these three things and then pass the heck out – and it seems to be working pretty well for me.  If I really want to go the extra mile I’ll slap on a facemask before I shower — either a clay mask (which I will write about soon) or my all time favourite, straight up organic honey (so good for redness + inflammation!!!).

So there you go; if you’re broke and lazy like me, you can still be a dewy, glowing goddess — I promise!  What are your favourite cheap skin care products?  I’m always down to try something new.

scrub-a-dub,

– L

PS, let’s ignore the massive amount of time that has passed since my last post.
PPS, still very much obsessed with the new Harry Styles and Paramore sooo

BEAUTY: best! primer! ever!

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GUYS, I’ve cracked it.

It’s been a long, hard road but I have finally – FINALLY! – found the absolute best green primer in all the land.  If you have redness that drives you nuts, then you have come to the right place because this is life changing.

….. okay I’m getting a little extra about the whole thing, but honestly I need you to understand how obsessed I am.

The primer is NYX colour correcting liquid primer in green.  I bought it at the NYX store in the eaton centre for… 18.99 I think?  In terms of NYX products it’s on the pricey side, but truly for me it is so so so worth it.  Not only does it neutralize your redness BIG TIME, but it’s got a really shimmery luminous finish to it that will shine through your foundation and give you the most glamorous dewy look EVER.  I used to be SO about the matte look because… I’m sweaty?  and I thought that powdering my face like mad was the answer.  But anyway I am officially so over it, and very much into the dewy sex bomb look.  So yeah, if you are too, this primer + rimmel wake me up foundation (my drug store fave) is the ultimate combo.

On an unrelated note, I’m currently listening to a stream of Gala Darling and one of the Astro Twins talking about Venus retrograde.  Fun because venus rules love/sex/etc (all the good stuff really), and everyone could use more of that.  I am really into reading my horoscope and knowing what’s going on with the stars and all that, even though my horoscope never seems to be all that applicable to me – which is weird because the Sagittarius “profile” fits me so well?  Anyway, who knows – it’s fun to read either way.  I’m a sucker for anyone or anything telling me things about myself and/or telling me what to do with my life.

Alright I’m off – so much homework to do.

love love love,

L

 

BEAUTY: some recent faves.

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looooooving these lately!

It’s been a while since we had a frivolous chat about my favourite things to put on my face/body, so I thought we should do that.

I’ve been trying desperately to save money lately, so I have had to seriously limit my time spent in the cosmetics aisle of the drug store – not to mention Sephora, firey hell that it is.    Still, my beauty routine changes pretty regularly, so what I use most does too.  Lately I’ve been reaching for these:

✨ I have been obsessed with my MAC dual-fibre brush for literal years – so long that the number has actually worn off, but I’m fairly certain it’s 188?  Anyway, I love this brush for a nice light foundation – it blends any brush marks, smudges, or general imperfections – it’s just so good.  When I use a heavier foundation (like my Urban Decay All Nighter) I apply it with a firmer brush but I still take this over it in big circles when I finish just to keep everything smooth and *~flawless~*

✨ I’ve been searching forever for a dark red lipstick that isn’t maroon, and I’ve landed on e.l.f.’s matte lipstick in wine.  I’d prefer it to be just a little darker, but for $3.49 I can’t complain.  Plus it wore through my entire shift at work!  How could you go wrong?

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✨ Because I am just a normal human being and cannot afford to be using $48 foundation every day of my life (twice a day if I work), I just bought myself a drug store foundation for casual days.  I bought Rimmel’s wake me up foundation just on a whim, and I’m actually very impressed!  It’s got a tiny bit of shimmer in it, which I quite like, and it also has a really faint smell?  Which some people might not be into but I think it’s quite nice.  It does a decent job of covering my redness, which I didn’t expect for $13, and it doesn’t seem to oxidize too much.  It isn’t exactly what I’d call long wear – by the time I get home it’s mostly gone – but for a drug store foundation I’m very happy with it.  I like to put it on with my dual fibre brush or a sponge.

Essie nail polish in bordeaux.  So seasonal, right?  I love a good dark nail colour, and Essie is the very best (especially when it’s on sale!)

✨ lastly, this perfume!!!!!  I am obsessed.  I bought it at Sephora during Christmas break – merry christmas to me?  It’s called La Vie La Mort, from Tokyo Milk’s Dark Line.  It’s floral, but very different from any other florals I’ve used before?  It’s really deep and heady and kind of creamy almost – I want to use the word intoxicating, but that feels a little dramatic.  This is my work/night out/date perfume for sure.

✨ much like my foundation dilemma, I am just not in a position to wear real adult perfume all day every day, so lately for just a casual day about the town I’ve been using this body spray from Bath and Body Works.  It’s called Pink Chiffon, and I think it was about $8 – but it smells great, soooo?  Also very flowery but much lighter and more daytime-friendly than La Vie La Mort.  I’m also a big fan of a little Egyptian Musk essential oil ($6 at your local import shop or health food store!!) for the day-to-day.  The vial is so cute and little, I keep it in my purse.

Tell me, my little beauty gurus – what are you loving lately?

I’m off to do endless piles of homework – trying desperately to get ahead of things (including blog posts……) before Saturday when my lovely lovely friend Sophie arrives!  She’s been living in Australia for the last two years and I haven’t seen her since NYE of 2015!!! so a visit is long overdue.  I anticipate a lot of brunch, a lot of cheap wine, and potentially some trouble……I’ll keep you posted.

happy friday! – L

SWEET NOTHINGS: chillin’ essentials.

Chillest of chill nights tonight – I finally finished my class registration today, and it was more stressful than anything.  I genuinely was near tears the whole time – thinking over and over  I should never have moved here.

In some ways it’s true – moving from Victoria, BC to Toronto was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done and, in a lot of ways, it’s made my very easy life very… not easy.  “Maybe,” I said to my roommate today, while I paced around our kitchen with my arms in the air, “I was better off as a big fish in a little pond.”
“Do you really think that?” she asked me.  I fell into a kitchen chair defeatedly, sipping peppermint tea while Megan watched me through curious eyes.  After a little while I shook my head.
“No.  I don’t.  It seems like it would have been so easy to just power through another two years in Vic, hating everything.  In reality though… maybe that’s not the case.”
I’m so so glad I’m here – it’s harder but it’s better.  Nothing worth having comes easy, right?  It’s just hard.  Everything is just hard.

The point is, it was a long day.  A long day after which I wanted nothing more than to light a few candles and put my feet up.

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My relaxing essentials?  WELL, glad you asked:

  • these lil foot softening booties!  like a facial for your feet.  So good.
  • peppermint tea.  I’m trying real hard to facilitate better sleep lately; part of that is coolin’ it on the coffee.  AND I got a grocery store gift card for christmas which turned out to be the best present ever because it means I can buy nice organic tea.  oh!  I also added a bit of fresh ginger, just because I was feelin bougie.
  • candles.  Always candles.  Especially vanilla!
  • White Collar – my latest netflix obsession.  Oh, and Matt Bomer is a dreamboat.

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  • honey face masks.  A friend of my mom’s is a beekeeper, so for christmas I got a little jar of organic vancouver island honey and it is ah-mazing.  Honey is anti-bacterial, which means it’s good for treating and preventing acne and bringing down redness.  It’s also full of antioxidants!  Read more here!

That’s all I got for ya – and it’s more than enough.  What are your essentials for a delicious, indulgent evening in?  Do tell!

 

 

love and cozy vibes,

– L

A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS | Blogmas Day 4

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Here are a few (totally cheap) current obsessions of mine.

  1. honey face masks!  My lovely friend Sarah recommended this to me, as did my mom.  It makes my skin feel wonderful and smooth, and I believe it’s even helped with the redness.  Wow!  So simple – so good.
  2. a nice fresh mani/pedi – done from the comfort of my bedroom of course.  I bought this little nail kit on sale at Rexall a while ago.  Usually I just clip my nails and paint them, but sometimes it’s necessary to go through all the steps – if for no reason other than feeling fancy.
  3. dark chocolate with orange.  So delicious.
  4. Egyptian Musk essential oil.  A little dab on the wrists and behind the ears smells amazing.  It’s super cheap, and something about it just makes me feel good, y’know?
  5. Tea. Obviously.  It’s warm and cozy an delicious and I just… love tea.
  6. Most importantly?  Oh. My. God.  GUYS.  Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries…. you have to watch it!!!  I am obsessed.  SO GOOD.  A 1920s flapper woman in Melbourne solving mysteries, having sex with all the hot men, wearing all the amazing outfits.  She speaks four languages.  She gas a gun tucked into her garter.  She is full of light and love and joy, in spite of the difficult times she has seen.  She is my idol.

OH, and just so you know – I’ve added a bit of Christmas cheer to my bedroom.  Are you proud?

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Thought you’d want to know.

Anything you guys are loving lately?  Happy Blogmas!

– L

 

TOP TIPS FOR RED HAIR | Blogmas Day 3

My hair has been through a lot of…. things.

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me as a little blonde babe.

When I was young I couldn’t imagine changing it.  I had spent years growing it out, nearly to my hips, and while I was never particularly excited about being a natural blonde a lot of other people seemed to think it was a pretty big deal.  I used to get told by strangers all the time that I should never dye it – “you’ll never get that back,” they would say.

That was fine for a while – I always considered myself somewhat of a tomboy.  I didn’t have much interest in changing my hair anyway.  But then ninth grade came along, and with it came a whole slew of self-discovery.  Over the next two years I discovered a whole new world and a whole new side of myself; I fell in love with punk music, I found new idols, and I started changing up my look.  My biggest inspiration?

Paramore’s Hayley Williams.

It came as a surprise to absolutely no one when I said I wanted to go bright red, a la Hayley.  My uncle gave me a gift certificate to a local salon and I went for it.  I started with a rich bright red that could almost pass for natural, and I loved it.

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just a lil 15 year old with newly red hair (and the most emo scarf I could find)

As I got older I started experimenting.  I sought out brighter shades of red, and tried out a few brunettes and oranges.  There was even a brief purple phase.  With each change I felt a little more comfortable in my skin – a little more like me.

I think at the end of the day my favourite thing about dying my hair was that it made me feel like how I looked matched how I felt (ie, weird).

Anyway, I’ve been at this for years now.  Since tenth grade I’ve chopped, dyed and recently even attempted (aka was VERY UNSUCCESSFUL) to bleach my locks… and I think I’ve done it.  I think I have finally – FINALLY!! – managed to find my perfect red.

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And hey, along the way I have picked up a few tips and tricks.

Red dye calling your name?  I got your back.

✨ if you’re going to go red, my fave is Vidal Sassoon’s Runway Red – I’ve been using it for years and it is the richest red I’ve come across so far

✨ the heat from your head will make dye on your roots work faster, so if this is your first time dying it and you just slather it all over you’re going to end up with a bright red streak down the middle of your head – trust me.  If your hair is naturally a light colour and you want to dye it for the first time by yourself, I’d recommend you start applying dye to the hair about an inch from your scalp.  THEN cover your roots for about the last fifteen minutes.

✨ the truth about red: it fades fast.  Like, the fastest.  If you want to keep your hair colour looking fresh for as long as possible the best thing you can do is cut down on washes.  I use a shower cap to keep my hair dry, and stock up on dry shampoo!

✨ hot water is the enemy!!!  When it does come time to wash, cold water is best.  I like to do mine in the sink because ruining the sanctity of my hot shower is just so wrong.

✨  I probably properly colour my hair with the vidal sassoon dye about once a month… in between those sessions I start getting creative.  Once a week (ish) I add a dab of manic panic in pillarbox red to my conditioner and clip it up while I wash my body, shave my legs, etc.  I use it just like regular conditioner, after my shampoo.  This keeps the colour from looking too faded and washed out.  Because MP is only semi-permanent it doesn’t have peroxide in it, which means it’s not damaging to your hair.

✨ usually about two weeks after I’ve coloured it I’ll put the manic panic/conditioner combo straight onto my hair when it’s dry and leave it for about half an hour.  The conditioner keeps the colour toned down just enough – I’m not going for cartoon character red, here – and makes my hair so nice and soft.  A word to the wise, though: this shit stains everything (rip to my fireworks shirt!!).  Make sure you wear gloves or you’ll have pink hands for days.

✨ really though, the number one most important tip?  Don’t be scared.  If you mess it up you can change it – it’s just hair!  Go for what you want and don’t worry about what people will think or what could go wrong.  Have fun and express yourself!  Who knows, you might fall in love with a whole new you.

Have you done much experimenting with your hair?  What tips have I missed?

– L

PS, I know this isn’t Christmas related…. but it’s still a post!  Sorry.