Holiday Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers

simplehuman sensor mirror pro, $300 | Livia, $159 | Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, $40 | Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette, $66 | Anastasia Beverly Hills Mini Liquid Lipstick Set, $33 | Laneige Hydration Kit, $26 | DevaCurl Super Curly Mini Transformation Kit, $15 | Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer, $23 | All images belong to the brands in question

Confession: I hate Christmas. It stresses me out. So, I started my Christmas shopping last week. I feel like it’s early to start listening to Christmas music and stuff, but it’s basically never too early to start making progress on the list of gifts I’ve got to pick up.

I have no idea what to get my hockey-loving preteen cousin, or my uncle who has everything…but I do know what beauty lovers want. Or, at least, I know what I’d want, so I’ve put together a little list of recommendations with reviews of the products where applicable. Just in time for the Rouge/VIB/BI Sale at Sephora!

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On Comparing Myself to Others, Blogging, Toxic Masculinity, and Current Favourites

I think that most of you know it, but I’m a full-time grad student, and blogging is just my hobby. Every so often, I get stuck – in blogging, in life – and for the past two months, the exact nature of the “stuck” is comparing myself to other people. As a result, I haven’t felt like blogging. So I thought I’d blog about it. (You can also skip to the faves if you’re just here for that.)

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JeJoue Mimi Soft Luxury Vibrator Review

So here’s the thing: I love sex, and I love sex toys. I love these things as much as I love makeup – maybe more.

For a while, I’ve been toying (get it? Because sex toys?) with the idea of reviewing vibrators and other sexy items here on my blog, but I thought my dear readers might not be interested (at best) or might be scandalized (at worst).

This will forever be a beauty blog first, but I’ve been dabbling with lifestyle posts – including ones on menstrual products, dating, and mental health! – and I wanted to incorporate yet another thing I’m passionate about.

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Two Things I’ve Learned in Therapy

So I’ve been doing this talk therapy thing with various mental health professionals for twelve years now, six of which have been with the same psychiatrist. In my experience, it’s the kind of thing that leaves me with more questions than answers and I never really feel like I’m done. I’m okay with that, though. I’m not done – I’m cookie dough.

I have learned things along the way, though, and although I’ve never been super into diaries I’ve found myself thinking about the things I’ve learned lately. I thought I’d share.

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Livia – The Off Switch for Menstrual Pain?

I’ve suffered through excruciating menstrual cramps every month since my very first period at age 9. Like, debilitating. So bad I’d throw up at times. I took birth control to manage the pain for about five years, but when I went off the Pill (for a variety of reasons), the cramps were back in full force. Normally, I take an extra strength Advil every six hours or so to manage the pain on days one, two, and three of my period.

In desperation, last June, I contributed to Livia’s Indiegogo campaign.

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Four Things I’ve Learned in Four Months of Online Dating

I ended a long-ish term relationship back in January and realized that I’ve never done the casual dating thing. I’ve been in a series of (almost) back-to-back relationships in my young adult life, and I didn’t date when I was a teenager because I lived in a small town and went to an all-girls school and was generally weird and awkward and shy.

I’m still weird and awkward and shy, but now I have the internet to help me out a bit. So here are a few things I’ve learned on my strange, frustrating, entertaining online dating adventure. And make no mistake, I’m writing these truths down as much to remind myself of them as I am to share them with you…

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Depression, Anxiety, and Little Self-Care Things

I’ve veered off-track with my posting schedule these past few weeks, and that’s because I’ve hit a particularly rough patch. It feels so artificial to come on here and pretend to be happy/excited about some product when I’m not really feeling much like doing anything. But this is my blog, and I love it, and I want it to remain a space where I can express myself – even the sad parts. So here goes.

I live with depression and anxiety. I probably have for about 11 years, but I’ve been diagnosed and medicated for six. Some times are harder than others, and this is one of those times. It feels like everything is happening at once. I’m having issues with my physical health (that’s a tale for another time). I ended my year-long relationship for a variety of reasons, but it’s a loss no less. There are family things going on. I need to secure a summer job. Although depression does not have (or need) a “reason,” these are just a few of the things going on with me that I think may have exacerbated the depression I live with on a daily basis.

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My Curly Hair Journey

My curls and I have come a long way.

I never straightened with chemicals, but I used to use plenty of heat to straighten my hair on a regular basis.


As a result, I had LOTS of heat damage.

2013 heat damage

But about three years later, I’m really happy with my hair!
For all the details and more photos, check out my new video!