September 1, 2015

Weekly Mantra - The September Issue

With a one-two punch, summer is (almost) over.

My sister's face above (as we kid around at a wedding over the weekend) says it all. As another summer wraps up, I find myself complaining along with the rest of the "adults," that it went by too fast.

As a child, those two months felt like an eternity; the only event signalling the end of the season were trips to Staples (previously known as Business Depot) to buy school supplies with my sister and cousins. We'd insist on separate carts, and speed in and out of the aisles, selecting colourful pens, and binders (depending on our grade) and then watch our mothers' faces recoil in horror as the totals appeared on the cash screen.

"But I neeeeeeeeed those markers," one of us would whine, while the other kids would nod in agreement.

August 18, 2015

Anyone still out there?

"But the thing about rising is we have to continue upward, the thing about going beyond is we have to keep going"- Cheryl Strayed

Hello readers!?

I feel like I owe you an explanation.

It's pretty apparent I've taken a hiatus from the blog. This is the longest I've gone in five years without writing something on this platform. As summer approached, I became consumed with work, friends, weddings, events and freelancing.

I was also plagued with a bit of social media fatigue, as my recent job involves a lot of content creation. I became stuck in my own head, with a scrolling screen repeating: I have nothing interesting to say. My life isn't aspirational. Instagram is all people really care about anyways. Blogs are dying.

There are always reasons why we stop doing something we love.

May 11, 2015

choose your own story

What's your path?

I use writing as a way to understand mine. During my 27th year, I wrote publicly and privately about lessons, change, hustling, and the power of positive thinking. This year I dealt with many unknowns, and navigated through some challenging times. I was tested in all areas of my life, both professionally and personally.

I can describe it as standing over a gleaming pool of darkness. You can't see anything beneath the surface, and you're equal parts enchanted and terrified. While daydreaming, you lose ground or you're pushed, and suddenly YOU ARE IN.

Your toes are snarled with hairballs and seaweed fingers envelop your waist. Your eyes are smudged from crying, because why wouldn't you be wearing mascara on your spiritual journey through a lake of sludge? You'll choke, and flail, and try to stay afloat, and just when you're about to drown, you'll find a way to kick back and look up.

You'll see a cloudless sky and it'll feel like the first time someone told you what the colour blue was.

The dirt will dissolve in fizzy black bubbles; you'll be clean again.

That is how I felt when I turned 28 last month.

April 13, 2015

Published: The Kit, Best Health, Fleek'd

Makeup by Victoria Radford 
Over the past few months, I've been working more on freelance writing.

Last week, I was published in The Toronto Star in their print edition of the beauty publication The Kit. The photo above was taken by makeup artist Victoria Radford's team, after she created my look. I was testing out the glossy eye trend as seen on the spring 2015 runways, and also in Rihanna's latest music video. I also interviewed Maybelline's Global Artist, Yadim. Lastly, I talked a bit too candidly about tears and breakups.

Here is the link to the online version, on page 6, titled "Lid Gloss"

Additional reads:

I also wrote an article about body scrubs for Best Health, and I'm a contributor to a new website called Fleek'd where I write about style, beauty, life, and wellness. My latest is about Taylor Swift's conversion to untouchable pop royalty. See links below. Enjoy!

Best Health - The benefits of body scrub

Fleek'd - Dear Tay, How'd You Do It?

April 8, 2015

what's your hustle?

Ever since Kate Lanphear became editor in chief of Maxim magazine, I've given the men's glossy a second look. I discovered the new version on a borrowed tablet. The paired down cover shots of Victoria Secret angels/models/superhumans Candice Swanepoel and Lily Aldridge looked, dare I say, real? There was not globs of makeup, nests of hair extensions, or contrived poses to be found. 

This issue's theme is: hustle. 

What is hustle?

March 11, 2015

Beauty - 3 Questions with A Makeup Artist

Meet Dallas! She's a professional photographer, and makeup artist with an inspiring website and blog. She's also the one who took these fun confetti photos of me last year. With a new season around the corner, I asked her for some tips for a spring makeup and beauty transition. Enjoy!

credit: Andria Lindquist
Winter leaves skin drab, what are some beauty tips for switching up a routine for spring?

Start by drinking as much water as possible. I use the Waterbalance app to remind myself to take breaks from working to grab a big glass of water and stay hydrated. The next thing I'd suggest would be finding some kind of exfoliating product that works for your skin. My two favourites are Lush Ocean Salt and Aveda's Exfoliant from their Botanical Kinetics line. The main point of both products is to help remove the buildup of dead skin cells and dry patches that winter seems to create. Follow this up with your favourite moisturizer immediately afterwards to avoid drying out your skin. My final tip would be to amp up the SPF of your sunscreen with the arrival of spring, since you'll be spending more time outdoors in the glorious sunshine.

What is your top pick for a seasonal blush swap?

During winter I favour cream blushes or cheek tints in rosy or wine shades. The cream formula tends to blend better with heavier, winter moisturizers I layer on. When spring arrives, I like to use classic pink or coral shades for a brighter, more cheerful look. I also switch to a powder format as soon as the weather gets warmer to help avoid shine. My all-time favourite springtime blush is NARS Gaiety.

What is your number one makeup tip to look awake?

Any kind of luminizing product that can be used to add dimension to your skin and highlight your features. Benefit makes several shades, such as High Beam, Moon Beam and Sun Beam. Choose the one that complements your skin tone and apply it to your cheekbones, cupid's bow and chin. I use either Benefit's line or I mix MAC Strobe Cream with my foundation to look upbeat and bright on even the earliest (or most hungover) of mornings.

March 10, 2015

Weekly Mantra - Let certain things go..

This week's mantra is about being brave enough to turn over the sheets. Wait, maybe even throwing them out the window. As our North American cities thaw, ain't no thang like spring cleaning one's life!

“That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose. People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Don't expect to get anything back, don't expect recognition for your efforts, don't expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust."― Paulo Coelho via Goodreads

March 9, 2015

Life Changers: Boxing

I was nervous to attend my first boxing class.

I’d never punched anything before, except maybe a time sheet at a part-time job.

I'm anti-violence at all costs, so I didn't know how much I'd enjoy hitting a heavy bag. I was also a bit insecure about not knowing how to properly throw a punch.

When I arrived at class, I was relived to see the equal mix of men and women, and was glad that I wasn’t alone in my fight. I initially thought taking boxing classes would be good to add to my fitness routine. I'd read how top supermodels like Gigi Hadid, or Adriana Lima have been using it as their main form of fitness. What I didn't anticipate was the mental clarity I'd receive after every class.

Boxing causes you to confront what you’re hiding. 

It forces you to concentrate, and let out any form of stress, or even surprisingly, joy. I assumed that boxing would be something that is beneficial only I'm feeling angry, or aggressive, instead, I can hit the bag, and think of my goals and aspirations. I can release any anxiousness I have over things I can’t control. By hitting something that doesn't hit back, I am able to let go.

As long as the bag is there, I can fight.

When I box, I look my worst. My curly hair frizzes into a halo from the sweat, and I get splotches on my cheeks from the in-between cardio and weight training. But when I’m done, I leave feeling two inches taller, healthier and more like myself than during any other workout.

I become a bit more of the woman that I imagine myself to be. Someone who is fearless, and in-tune with her body and mind. After I take a shower, I’m more compassionate to my reflection.

I know that I did something good for myself, and it makes all the difference.

This post was sponsored by Clarisonic