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My humble beginnings as a lifestyle blogger.

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My Morning Skincare Routine

19/11/2017
These are one of my favourite types of posts to read! Anyone else? 





I've decided that I want to start a YouTube Channel so click below if you want to watch!!

Skincare is something that I've always loved, but it's only been since I started my blog earlier this year that I really started putting in a lot time, effort and cash monay into it. With tons of products and new releases happening all the time, how do you ever know which product (and routine) is right for you?

My morning routine is similar but not the same as my night routine (which will be a blog post for another day), so if you're interested in what I through on my visage every morning, then keep reading below!

Cleansing
Sometimes I'll just use water in the morning, other times I'll do a quickie cleanse so that I can take off dead skin cells and last nights products so that I can have a clean slate for the morning.

Currently I'm using CeraVe Ultra Hydrating Cleanser which was recommended by Gothamista on YouTube and I adore it! Extremely hydrating, a great price and it does a great job without becoming too foamy which can strip your skin. It's not the greatest at removing makeup but whatever man that's the life.

Toner
To tone, or not to tone... that is the question. I never toned my skin, I went by the logic that toner is an unnecessary step and that cleansing my skin (twice!) does more than enough cleaning. Although that's (somewhat) true, I'm still finding remnants of my makeup on my cotton pad. Currently I'm using Nip and Fab toner which contains glycolic acid to help purify my skin. It's most definitely helping to decrease the size of my pores and keep my skin clear however I feel like I could use something stronger as I never feel any tingling nor does it irritate my skin. No worries, I have the Ordinary's Glycolic Acid Toner as back up.

Under Eye Cream
My morning eye cream isn't the same as my night eye cream as it contains SPF in it (insert rant about how important it is to protect your skin daily). I do use stand-alone sunscreen during my morning routine but because the eye area is so sensitive, I can put this one very close to my eyelids without experiencing any irritation. My current under eye cream is the Origins- A Perfect World SPF 20 Age Defense Eye Cream with White Tea  which I think is ok.. It's slim pickings for an eye cream with SPF so I don't have a lot of options to choose from. Any recommendations?

Serum
Serum is one of the most potent products in your skincare. Personally, I love changing serums and I love to focus on ones that help to repair my skin, especially from pollution and #cityliving. I was using Caudalie's Vine [Activ] serum but was surprisingly disappointed with it so now I've switched to Andrew Weil's Origins Ultra Bright serum which I'm really enjoying because it's SO soft and has a very light scent as well. Have I noticed a difference in terms of any discoloration in my skin? Not really, partly because 1, I don't really have a lot of discoloration and 2, I haven't used it enough/consistently for it to really do it's magic. I also bought this at Winners on a whim for only $29 mainly given it's price point but I'm enjoying it so whatevs ya know?

Vitamin C

I use the vitamin C treatment in the mornings before my moisturizer because I'm all about the glow but also because Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to protect against a horrible evil called sunshine. It works in tandem with sunscreen to help protect against UV rays and free-radicals. Note, Vitamin C is best used with vitamin E to have the strongest protection, but it's not to be used instead of sunscreen. Also make sure that you're triple checking all of the information in regards to your Vitamin C because it's a very unstable ingredient. My current pick is from the Ordinary (no surprise there) and it's great as they have a number of different options for Vitamin C products depending on the strength and texture of it. Currently I'm using the one housed in Vitamin F which is similar to a dry oil as it's so thin and contains squalane and jojoba oil so it's also moisturizing. 

Moisturizer
No surprise here, I'm using the NMF fromThe Ordinary. It's a great light weight moisturizer that I use day and night, simple without anything additional to it. A great price with great results so I don't see myself getting rid of this one and it's become a staple that I've already repurchased multiple times.

Sunscreen
Whenever people mention sunscreen they talk about how much they hate it; the smell, the white cast and the greasy feeling. Thankfully, my pale skin is more than used to regular sunscreen so I don't mind it and I don't have to pay a ridiculous amount for La Roche Posey sunscreen (although I have tried it and it really is quite good).

What are your thoughts with my morning routine? Too much? Not enough? If I'm really stressed for time the toner and the serum come out of the process but I personally enjoy taking the time for my skin and makeup in the morning.

Let me know your thoughts below about your routine or what you think I should add/remove from here!

Thanks for watching and make sure to subscribe to my channel for more videos!! 

:)

Top Sephora VIB Picks

12/11/2017
Well hello ladies and gents, hope you're doing well, keeping warm, that whole shabam. Sooo if you're like me and like a good sale (who doesn't?) here are some things that I think are worth the purchase during the Sephora VIB sale (Nov 10th -Nov 16th) so that you can stock up on some goodies. Keep reading below for some of my favourite products and ones that I want to try out as well!

I feel like this is the mask that started it all- seriously everyone has these masks but they really are quite good! For when your skin is blah and you just want to clean out the gunk in your skin and brighten it, this one is perfect because it does what it says without drying out your skin (like some masks can).



This is something that I haven't yet tried however I'm quite interested to see how well it works, especially because they have so many variations of the mask depending on your skin type. The packaging of it is great as well.. it’s like a squeeze juice box! The different colours all focus on different skin concerns… if you want to mattify, moisturize, tighten.. whatever it may be, they got it for you!

So to start off… I’m not 100% sure where this product is on the Sephora website… Someone mentioned that they changed the name of the product however I’m on the search! I do hope that they still have it.. I do quite like it and wouldn’t mind putting it back into my skincare routine.

When I first finished university and started my 'big girl' job this was the first luxury brand skincare that I purchased and with good reason! This oil is something that you use at night which hydrates your skin and helps to replenish it after all of the pollutants that your skin comes into contact with during the day. The smell of it is very organic/natural like which I quite enjoy however it may not be for everyone. It sinks in quickly because it’s a dry oil and I really loved how it made my skin look.

THE most hydrating eye cream that I've ever used.. you only need a tiny bit but it really sinks into your skin quickly. I've tried out the caudalie one and was not impressed… every eye cream that I use I now compare to the Tarte one (as per Jamie Genevive's recommendation on youtube).

And there we have it, ways for you to justify spending more money at Sephora (in case you weren't spending enough already!)

EDIT- This doesn’t include any makeup picks but I’m more of a drugstore makeup/ Sephora skincare kinda gal… what can you do?

What are some of your top recommendations for Sephora’s sale? Comment below!


How to Start Training for a 5k Race

11/11/2017
Heyo everyone, today we're talking about running. Ah yes, running. "I hate running" you groan. You drive past someone running at 9am in the morning "ugh, runners" you think, and then the next thing you know, you've signed up for a 5k run. I know, I know... it's only 5k... not 10, not a half marathon, not a full marathon- but you have to start somewhere right? I signed up for a 5k run with a colleague from work (who subsequently dropped out) on Nov 19th and started training about 5 weeks before the race itself.

Workout
If you're rolling your eyes right now, feel free to click away and go for a casual 25k jog. If you sound more like me, then keep reading for some things that you're gonna have to do if you want to finish a race and not die.

Start Training as Soon as Possible
Listen, I know that thinking about running now when the race isn't for two months isn't your favourite idea... But it'll make it much easier to start now. You don't have to do one run a day, even once or twice a week will get you on the right path so that you're prepared for race day. Starting early will allow your body to adjust and heal, the muscle pain, the shin splits, any blisters that might happen… it's better to have them happen earlier rather than later so that as the race comes closer, you can focus on running and doing a good job of it (who knows, maybe you'll even attain a personal best!)

Train in Similar Running Situations
Running on a treadmill is one thing, running outside is another ball game. Do what you can to plan ahead and practice outside (weather permitting of course) while figuring out what you want to wear. The last thing that you want is to wear something that's uncomfortable, doesn't fit well or chaffs! Something as small as how you tie your hair can be the difference between you having a good run or a bad one.

Fitness

Track your Progress
Write it down, use an app, whatever it may be, make sure there's a way for you to track your runs so that you can know when you're starting to falter with your frequency or when you need to step it up a notch. I love the runners app because your friends can follow you on it and see how often your running as well as your results. It's also a great way for me to keep myself accountable and it's right at my fingertips; just start it when you start your run and then turn it off once your done. It tracks your average pace and gives you verbal reminders during your run of your current distance/time/speed (you can always turn this off if you wish).

Reward yourself at the end
Did someone say boozy brunch??? Try to get someone to meet you at the end of the race, it's nice to know that there are people waiting at the finish line, supporting you. Treat yourself to a nice new pair of running shoes or gym clothes. One of my favourite pieces of advice is to reward yourself with something that'll keep you doing whatever it was that you started. Let me break it down for you, if you reward yourself with new running shoes once you're done your race, you're more likely to continue running and signing up for more races. If you buy yourself earrings or a new lipstick, that won't help continue your running, ya feel? If you don't want to do any more runs, that's fine too! Just make sure to congratulate yourself at the end J

Make a Dope Playlist
Ok everyone knows this, literally everyone. But that doesn't stop it from being true. The last thing that you want is to start your race and continually be flipping through different songs in order to find one that gives you that hype that you're looking for. There are a number of different playlists that you can find on iTunes, Spotify, Youtube etc etc so feel free to go through them and find out what works for you.

I'll be sure to update this post with some pictures/stats once I finish my run in November J

What are some tips that you guys have? Do you run for fun or do any races, or are you one of those people who dreads running?


Thanks for stopping by!

How to Make Winter Workouts Easier

02/11/2017
Now that the temperatures have dropped, thinking about getting a summer bod isn't top of mind. As it gets colder, darker and Christmas comes into full swing, going to the gym is no longer a priority for us (until New Year's comes but that's a story for another day).

If you've seen this picture before it's because I've used it for another fitness related post. tehehe
Reduce, reuse, recycle, ya feel?

If you're really serious about your fitness goals, fall and winter aren't times for you to stop, rather to continue the efforts that you've already put in during the year. When it's -30 degrees and you don't want to leave home, here are a list of things that you can do in order to make going to the gym in winter easier.

New Gym Clothes
This sounds so vain and I'm the first to say let it be vain! I love looking nice, even when I go to the gym. Buying a new sports bra or running shoes get me excited to start going to the gym and using them. Don't go overboard and spend a ridiculous amount of money all at once, however every few weeks/months buying one piece of clothing is enough to give you a little pick me up so that you can keep going to the gym.

Change Before Getting to the Gym
Instead of taking your gym clothes with you to the gym, change into them at home/work and then go directly to the gym. That way you'll have one less excuse for why you don't want to go to the gym. You're already dressed to work out so now you just need to physical get there. Choose the clothing that you're going to wear ahead of time so that you don’t have to deal with the frustrations of choosing an outfit, looking for clean gym clothes etc etc

Sign up for Classes 
This can either be a class that your local gym offers (check out my review on Goodlife Classes!) or at a separate workout place. Using groupon or class plass will allow you to try out a number of new classes at a deal, or a lot of places offer intro prices if you've never been there before. Once you're signed up you're much less likely to not go because you don't want to be a flake/ you don't want to be charged a cancellation fee. Having a class scheduled into your agenda/phone will make you more likely to go because it's a commitment that you made. Regardless if it's a class or just 'go to the gym at 6pm', writing it in will make you more likely to go (at least it works for me!). You're able to see your consistencies (or inconsistencies) with the gym, when you'll be busy and can't go, or when you have vacation and want to have some extra sessions added in.

Get a Gym Buddy
Everyone and their mom has this tip, but it really is a great one! Having someone to keep you accountable is a great way to continue to go on a regular basis. Go to a yoga class every Sunday morning with your friend, or go for a nice walk along the lake or in a park with someone so that you can enjoy your time. I started taking spin classes because my friend was obsessed with them so I figured I'd try it out and start with the promo of 5 classes for $50 and I'm hooked! I can't wait to go back and it's always nice to try out a new studio and use their amenities (I have yet to try out Soul Cycle or Barry's Bootcamp)

Take it Outside
Just because it's cold doesn't mean that you have to do everything inside. A nice brisk walk (if you're properly dressed)  is really refreshing, especially on sunny mornings and especially when they end with a hot cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate in a cafe! Once true winter hits, you can go skating, skiing (I booked my trip to Blue Mountain and Mont Tremblant already!), sledding or even just have a snowball fight. All of these things will keep you active even during the cold.

If all else fails;

Workout at Home
Honestly, I'm not one for working out at home.. Maybe a bit of yoga but nothing too intense (probably because my room rivals Harry Potter's cupboard under the stairs and my parents are yelling "why are you jumping around?") but none the less, there is no excuse, you just need a little bit of space and a youtube video and you're golden.

Some great workout videos include Yoga by Adriene, or Tone it Up with Karina and Katrina. One of my favourite bloggers The Anna Edit recently did a post about working out at home that I really enjoyed reading!

If you want it then you'll find a way, if not, you'll find an excuse.

What kind of a person are you? Do you continue working out during the winter or slow it down instead? Let me know in the comments below what you like to do to make winter workouts easier!

-Diana

New in Beauty Haul

29/10/2017
Good morning my friends! Thanks for popping by to see my latest reviews of my products that I've been using recently and as per the number of views that these posts get- clearly it’s a fan favourite so I’m happy to oblige with more (just don’t tell my wallet!)

Below are some of the products that I've recently justified purchasing and my thoughts on them. Let me know below if you've tried them before and if you agree or disagree with my reviews. I'm always open to hearing what you guys think!

Caudalie
Not pictured- Caudalie Vine[Activ] Serum

Caudalie Vine[Activ] Serum $62 & UnderEye Cream $47
I'm a huge fan of Caudalie... the products, the theory behind the founders and the smell alone! However, I'm a bit disappointed in both the serum and the eye cream.... They're not as moisturizing as I thought that they'd be and I didn't see huge differences in my skin. Seeing as I love their detox oil and their vinosource serum, I guess I just expected more from it. Granted, I'm not looking to fix skin that's super dry/dull/prone to breakouts or mature... I'm 25 years old and I take care of my skin well, so it's not as if there's a huge difference that these products (or any products!) could give me. None the less, I won't be repurchasing these products after using them up.

I knew that I wanted to add an oil into my routine as the air gets colder so I decided to pop into The Body Shop (seeing as I had a $10 off for my birthday!) and I decided to go for this oil. I love the look of the container and I also really enjoy the smell although it's not for everyone... it's quite earthy and natural smelling. I found that it really hydrated my skin and also make it super smooth. I see a difference right after applying it so I'm excited to keep using it. I will note that after using the serum and putting the oil on top it started to pill on my skin. I do wonder though if I could have the same/similar results to buying a product with just one oil in it... this one has rosehip, black cumin seed and camellia seed oil combined into one for $44 so I'm sure that I could buy something similar for half the price (and potentially a larger size as this one is 30ml.

This stuff smells amazing and does a great job at moisturizing without feeling too heavy on the skin. Once the air gets colder I can see myself swapping out my regular day moisturizer for this one, along with really using it once I go skiing/spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter. I think that's when I'll be able to really tell how moisturizing it is (and if it's worth the money!). I've also seen people (i.e. Allana from Allanarama) use it while on a flight which is a great idea because the air is so dry on a plane. At this point in time it's too early to say whether or not I'd buy this again, the true Canadian winter will be the deciding factor. 

In case you haven't seen it, my last post was on a review of The Ordinary products, I've done one on a Haul from the Body Shop and my most viewed blog post is about another Beauty Haul that I did. 

Let me know below what your thoughts are about my reviews!

Thanks for reading,

Diana

Preparing to Apply to a New Job

24/10/2017
Hi everyone, I hope you're all doing well! Today on the blog we're talking what to do when you're apply for a new job. You might have seen me post on social media about changing jobs a few weeks ago so here are the things that I did to make sure that everything was in my favour when my boss was making his hiring decision.


Career Change
Picture from "Bloggers of Canada" 
This photo is not my property

Update your Linked In Profile

Ughhh, Linked In... just read my resume and cover letter and voila. But alas, that's not the way the cookie crumbles, so make sure you keep yours up to date and add people on it that you meet. If you're future employer sees that you have a mutual friend then that might ask that mutual friend/coworker about you, so make sure that you're friendly to everyone because they can make or break you!

On that idea of Linked In….

Clean up your Social Media Sites

Shut things off so that they're on friends only status, and make sure to delete any inappropriate pictures from your younger college days so that your future boss doesn’t have a bad taste left in their mouth when they see a pic of you at 3am on St. Patrick's day. A quick google search of your name can yield results that you wish you never saw (part of the reason that I'm so scared to do it myself!) Go through your old tweets and delete anything that might be seen as crude or off putting.

Go out for a Coffee

No not with your mom or your friend, go out for a coffee with someone who already has the role that you're interested in. Shadowing people doesn’t really exist that much anymore and it’s kind of a nuisance. Send a nice email asking someone if they have 15 mins for a coffee or a phone call. Don't expect anything from them other than learning what they do on a daily basis. Know what questions you want to ask them and keep it short and sweet. When you’re in the interview casually (wink wink nudge nudge) mentioned that you spoke with so-and-so and they said something that interested you. Chances are that the interviewer will go speak with that person to ask about you and even if they don't it shows initiative which is a great feature to have. Showing someone that you want the job and then actually doing something about it is a huge win, your future boss wants to know that you've done your research and now what to expect once you're onboarded.

Proofread your Resume and Cover Letter

Read it over, read it over, read it out loud and then read it once more. You'll be so surprised to see how many awkward sentences there are as well as grammatical errors. Have I submitted a resume with one (or two?) grammatical errors in and still got the job? Yes- it probably won't be your sole downfall… but it's not worth it to risk it. As always, ask someone else to read it for you because a new set of eyes will help you out.

Email the Interviewer Afterwards

To be completely transparent here, I always forget to do this but it really is important. A quick, 'thank you for your time, it was a pleasure meeting you, I look forward to hearing back from you'.

PUNKT.
FIN.
FINITO.

End it there before you get into a long tangent.

Network Network Network

This is something that you can't really do all at once, it's something that you have to do all the time and yes I knowww you hate networking but alas, people are way more likely to hire you if they've met you before- even if it was just for a brief minute. If you're deciding between two people who are exactly the same and the sole difference is that they met you for 2 mins at that one event that one time… that might be the edge to have them choose you.

At the end of the day, these are things that will help tip you from a maybe to a yes. If you're applying to be the CEO of a bank but you're currently a teller, I'm not too sure about that, but if you want to make a jump to something that you think you can do, and you have the education/experience for it- then do it! People are so scared about making career jumps that they stay in the same role for way longer than they should be.

What are some of your career tips that you have? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for popping by J

The Ordinary Haul and Review

19/10/2017
Hi everyone, it's been a quick minute since I've last been on here! You might have seen me post on IG about my frustrations with blogging and instagram so I took a step back but I'm still here! J

Today we'll be talking about a wildly popular beauty company that I'm sure you've heard of already called The Ordinary- a Toronto based company based on no frills with incredibly affordable prices. 

EDIT; as of yesterday they've confirmed that they've opened up a store in financial district so we can all wave goodbye to my money and say hello to more of these reviews!


I've visited their store in Yorkville a number of times and can never leave empty handed, so here is a compilation of the things that I've purchased and my thoughts on them.

Vitamin C
Now I didn't just buy pure vitamin C (that's not really possible) but the reason that this is titled 'Vitamin C' instead of the full name is because I've bought a Vitamin C product from the Ordinary twice with differentiating results.

A bit of science behind Vitamin C- it's a powerful antioxidant that helps fight against free radicals and UVA/UVB rays (make sure that you're still wearing your sunscreen though!) however it is extremely unstable… thus any vitamin C in a lightly coloured/clear jar is a no no. As well, vitamin C products with water in them or ones in a jar (instead of a pump/dropper) aren't the greatest as they'll oxidize real quick rendering them useless on your skin.

The first Vitamin C product is housed in dehydrated spheres of hyaluronic acid (science EH?) in order to get around the dilemma of no water within the product. As such though, the texture of the product is rough. You can feel the spherical balls when you're rubbing it into your face and it feels like fine sandpaper but then dissolves into your skin quickly. It took me a while to get used to it, but seeing as I use it every morning before my sunscreen (as per reasons above!), I found that it was far too rough for my liking. So I looked into other options and found an oil based one housed in vitamin F.

I much prefer this one as the oil is super thin and easy to absorb, however the vitamin C derivative is different than the one above, and it has 20% vit C instead of 23%. None the less, the difference of 3% isn't enough to over take the texture of it, especially as it contains vitamin F. This product is about 4x as expensive, but still under $20 (insane prices right?). Is it enough of a price difference for me to choose one or the other? Maybe, at the 'expensive' price point of $20, that's still not that expensive.

This product is made as a treatment that you can use to help with acne/spots and boyyy does it work. I always had those tiny little bumps on my forehead, but with fairly consistent use of this product it went away quickly. Now that I'm also using a retinol a few times a week and Vitamin C as well, I can no longer use it every night because it negatively reacts to Vitamin C, so head warning not to use them together. The texture is a bit sticky/tacky… like a thick serum. Once I run out of it I might see if my skin returns back to its normal state or whether or not consistent use of other products will help to keep the bumps at bay. None the less, yes yes and yes to this product.

Basic moisturizer that does its job... no frills and I've repurchased it three times already. They do have a larger size of the product however it's always sold out whenever I go into the stores (ahem... far too often). It's honestly just so easy and simple with a great price point so it's become a Holy Grail product for me. Interesting fact, the name of the moisturizer (NMF for short) is actually the clinical terminology for the product and it contains products that are naturally occurring in the skin.

My first dable into a Vitamin A product that I use twice a week at night now, I'm really loving the results with it so far! I see a difference in terms of my pore size, skin texture and especially tone. Currently I'm using the 'beginner' version of retinoid which isn't as potent so that my skin doesn't react badly to it. Once I finish this bottle I might look into options for the stronger variations as I've had no negative reaction to it. They offer a variety of retinoid products so there's one for everyone. It's great for acne and especially as an anti-wrinkle tool if you use it consistently. I really love this stuff and the squalene gives it hydration as well so you don't experience the dryness and flakiness that usually comes with retinoids.

This is great as a spot treatment however seeing as the other treatments have been really good to my skin (YAY!) I don't use this one often (or ever really) because when I do it causes my skin to feel dry and many times it's recommended to not mix salicylic acid with other products that I use.

This company is a hugeee hit, and it's only been around for about a year. Cheers to Deciem and the Ordinary for shaking things up, and making skincare both affordable and accessible for all.


Still on my list to try include the glycolic acid toner and the buffet serum but I'm sure it's on everyone's list because they're always sold out! Have you tried any of these products? What are some of your favourite things from the Ordinary?