This time of year can make it hard to remember to take care of yourself. So in the spirit of the holidays, I have made a self-care advent calendar for December. Feel free to alter any of the activities if you need to, and remember to take care of yourself.
1. Make a list of holiday activities you want to do
2. Make your favourite seasonal clothes easy to find
3. Drink your favourite tea before bed
4. Make a list of things you’re grateful for
5. Turn off your phone for the evening
6. Meditate before bed
7. Have delicious brunch
8. Spend time with friends
9. Do something you love
10. Go for a walk
11. Take half an hour for yourself
12. Go to bed early and read
13. Meet up with a friend for hot chocolate
14. Write about your day
15. Do a holiday activity with someone
16. Do yoga
17. Have a bath
18. Reward yourself with a treat for being awesome
19. Walk or drive around your neighbourhood and look at the lights
I’ve never been a person who’s had problems doing things alone. When I lived with my parents I would go to the movies by myself every week. I don’t mind going to eat by myself or go sit in a coffee shop and write. So I thought this month was going to be a breeze. I went into it with a plan. Both my best friend and my girlfriend were going on vacation at the same time and I thought that would be a great opportunity to take myself on some nice dates. I’d go to the movies, out for dinner, stuff along those lines.
Then November came around… With Christmas coming around, funds are a little low, not to mention time. I’ve been spending a lot of time working on Christmas gifts and all my money on the rest of them. So dates by myself weren’t exactly going to happen.
Then there was the other factor. For anyone who listens to my podcast, you’ve probably heard my episode on Favourite People. I’m not going to sum it up here (but I recommend you go listen to that episode if you want to learn more). Anyways, Andrea is my favourite person and I was really struggling with the idea of her going away for a week and a half. Everyone else was so excited and happy for her, and I was too, but underlying it all was an overwhelming sense of panic and abandonment. Yes, I’m aware it was only a week and a half. I know most people would think I’m being completely unreasonable, but it was a big deal to me. I was talking to another woman with BPD beforehand and she completely got it.
Anyways, before Andrea left she made sure to remind me that there are other people who love me and that I should leave the house every once in a while. I like to think I succeeded. I went to my friend’s Caffe one night, went to a show with one friend, out for coffee with one, for lunch with one, and I even hung out with a few friends to watch a movie. And yes, I did end up taking myself out for dinner one night too. I also let someone help me when I was having a really hard day. She came over and really lifted my spirit. It’s hard for me to admit when I need help, so I’m really proud of myself for admitting that.
I’ve really been working on expanding my support system. Reaching out to more people, taking on a lot more myself. It’s hard but therapy, DBT, and CBT are working wonders.
I thought this month was going to be about me doing things by myself, but it wasn’t at all. It ended up being about doing things without Andrea and also accepting help. The theme of the month may have been solo but even my childhood hero Han Solo needed help sometimes. He had Luke and Leia and I have my friends too. Now, I don’t need validation for doing this. I needed to do it for myself.
Join me next month for joy. Yes, an appropriate theme for December, I’m aware.
ABH Brow Wiz was really fun because I don’t own it/didn’t buy it so I may have used the tester in Sephora so I could test it out for this blog post. I felt kind of anxious about it, but isn’t that what testers are for anyways? I really liked the product. It lasted a long time and looked really natural. Brow Wiz costs $28cdn.
NYX Micro Brow pencil was another product I didn’t own before I started this blog series. I was on vacation and I ran out of brow product and I didn’t want to buy something expensive since I had more at home, but I needed something so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to test out NYX Micro Brow. Now, the drug store I was at only had a small selection so the one I got ended up being slightly too light for me. It was still okay though. It didn’t stay as long as I would have liked but it did look fairly natural. Micro Brow costs $12cdn.
I wonder if I had have had the right shade of NYX Micro Brow if I would have picked it, but with the two products I tried, I just preferred Brow Wiz. It lasted longer and looked great. Micro Brow is a good cheaper alternative though.
Benefit has always been my go-to brow products because they look natural and are long-lasting and KaBrow is no exception. It costs $32cdn.
I only had ELF pomade in my apartment to apply stubble for cosplays, and now I know why i don’t use it as an actual brow product. It was goopy to apply, looked awful even though it was my colour and rubbed off easily. However, it only costs $5.26.
Benefit was the clear winner here. A lot of the tests were hard to pick a winner but this one was the clear choice.
Eyeshadow Primer Potion is a classic for a reason. It goes on smoothly and makes eyeshadow last all day. It costs $32cdn.
Shadow Lock wasn’t as smooth as Primer Potion was. It was harder to apply shadow over it and I found that it had more of a colour to it than Primer Potion did. However, it’s a decent product for $3.95cdn.
Both were great products but you just can’t beat the staying power of the Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
Winner: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Eyeshadow I tested the Urban Decay Naked Palette against the Ellen Tracy Nudity Pallete (even if it is probably closer to the Naked 3 Palette, a lot of the shades are still very similar).
Naked goes on smooth and is highly pigmented and long-lasting. It is truly a beautiful palette, but unfortunately, Urban Decay no longer sells it. It used to sell for $68cdn.
The Ellen Tracy Palette is also lovely and is a great dupe for a great price. It isn’t as pigmented and doesn’t last as long but it’s only $14.99cdn.
For its beautiful pigment and how long it lasts I must say that I prefer Naked.
Tattoo Liner lives up to the hype. It went on smoothly and stayed on all day even though it definitely rained the day I wore it, and let’s be honest, I probably ended up crying at some point too. It costs $26.50cdn.
Epic Ink had been my go-to eyeliner for a long time until I noticed it had started bleeding all over my eyelid whenever I wore it. It is a more pigmented black than Tattoo Liner is, and it stays pretty well once on, but the bleeding is a huge downfall. It costs $12cdn.
I didn’t even want to try Tattoo Liner because I am morally against Kat Von D, but begrudgingly I have to admit that it is the better product.
This week Andrea and Alicen get really excited that they get to talk about one of their favourite topics: pets! It has been proven that animals are good for your mental health, join us to learn more and also hear us shamelessly talk about our pets.
Let me just start by saying that this month didn’t go exactly as planned. I love October and I love Halloween so I had planned to dress spooky all month and live my best witchy life. I tried but over the course of the month, I had a bad migraine, the flu (well, flu-like symptoms from my flu shot), and food poisoning. So, I spent a lot of time at home in bed instead.
My love of Halloween stressed me out this year. The past few have kind of sucked so I decided to go all out this year but it just ended up putting too much pressure on it. I found myself getting upset if things didn’t work out my way. My costume, spooky makeup, making my rats’ cage spooky (they destroyed that real quick). I’m writing this before October 31, so I’m not sure how actual Halloween is going to go yet, but so far I’m disappointed. I was having way too much social anxiety to enjoy the Halloween party this year, and I couldn’t help but be disappointed with my costume. It was fine, I guess, but everyone else had far better costumes. I’m a cosplayer, you think I could up my Halloween game a bit. That’s fine, I’m not going to give up and you won’t believe what I have planned for Halloween next year.
Okay, that’s enough of me sounding petty and bitter. I promise there were good things this month too. I decided to watch as many fun Halloween movies as I could and even though I didn’t completely get through my list, I watched a lot of them and got to live my best witchy life.
Now the real highlight of my month was how many books I read this month. I love reading and I wanted to read 50 books this year. Well, after I passed that number, I had a new goal. I wanted to pass the 100 books mark during October since it’s passion month and I am very passionate about my reading. I am happy to say that as I write this I have officially read 117 books so far this year.
Another thing that happened this month was a couple of blog posts of mine got published. I finally published the first of my own makeup dupe blog posts on my blog: Cult Classics vs. Dupes: Skin. Even more exciting, I had an article on Disneybound makeup for Halloween published on the Sartorial Geek website. I was so excited when I got accepted to be a contributor for the website and I’m even more excited now that I have an article published. You can read it here.
Anyways. It wasn’t the best month but it’s behind me now. Onto Solo month.
I know makeup blog posts aren’t a thing I do very often but this month I’ve been trying to do more things I’m passionate about and this is one of them. Last month I tested a bunch of cult classic makeup products compared to their dupe and here are the results. I’ve decided to split my findings into four posts and this one will be focused on skin. I apologize in advance for the unflattering photos of me to follow. Most of the time I did my makeup before I got dressed and did my hair.
POREfessional had a creamy texture going on. It was thicker than the NYX one was. My face definitely felt softer and smoother and my pores looked smaller. POREfessional costs $43cdn.
NYX Pore Filler had a smooth satiny feel on the skin. My pores didn’t look much smaller, but my makeup went on much smoother than it did on POREfessional. Pore Filler costs $16cdn.
After wearing both, I decided I actually prefer NYX Pore Filler. It felt nicer on my face and the price point is far more affordable. My pores aren’t that big, to begin with, so it didn’t bother me that it didn’t cover them. However, if you have large pores you might want to go for POREfessional.
All Nighter was a thinner formula than Can’t Stop Won’t Stop was. It was also higher coverage. It went on smooth, blended well, and looked flawless. However, it costs $53cdn.
Can’t Stop Won’t Stop is a thicker formula but it goes on smooth. It also looks really natural which is great. It’s also $18cdn.
Choosing between these two was hard because I love my Urban Decay foundations. All Nighter and Naked Skin are my usual go-to foundations. I love how flawless All Nighter makes my skin feel. However, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop is a great product for much cheaper.
Self-care is all the rage right now, but what exactly is it and why is there so much stigma surrounding it? This week Andrea and Alicen discuss what self-care is and isn’t, and they both agree they love lush bath bombs a little too much.