Monday Motivation – #GOALS

Through every stage of life, it is important to set goals – both big and small. Dreaming and achieving are two very different things, however. So how do we reach these marks we set for ourselves?

  1. Make your goals realistic
  2. Map out what steps you need to take to succeed
  3. Manage your time wisely
  4. Understand that you may need to adjust

“Be stubborn in your goals and flexible in your methods”

For me, my life is a never ending series of lists and goals and to-dos. It’s the way I propel myself forward and stay on task. Otherwise, there’s a good chance I would spend 24 hours a day napping and watching documentaries. Oh, and all the snacking… *sigh* Usually I can organize and motivate myself well enough to succeed with ease. But there are some instances in which the task at hand gets, well, out of hand. Take this blog, for example. This year I laid out the perfect posting schedule and content. I decided on a new direction and bought new stationary (a must for any venture). What I didn’t properly take into consideration was the amount of time I would need to set aside in addition to full time schooling and work and studying and volunteering and maintaining my relationships. You get the picture. And so I fall behind. But that isn’t a reason to throw my hands up and quit. It’s time for reassessment.

So I hope you take this quote to heart, in closing.

“It’s only failure if you stop trying.”

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Bloom by Estee Lalonde

Let me preface this review by saying that Estee Lalonde is one of my favourite people ever. I’ve been watching her channel from Day 1 and completely adore her. Alright, so here comes the praise!

Bloom is the book we all wish we had at 16-20 years old. Estee imparts on the reader a wellspring of advice and compassion. In that way, Bloom is not just a book, but a companion. A life raft. I myself am 24, and lucky enough to be past the most difficult stages of self-discovery. But like the excerpt states, “Bloom is also for women who might recognize their younger selves in parts of my journey.” (9).  I truly believe women of all ages can benefit from this read.

Estee writes with candour no matter what section of the vibrantly coloured pages you flip to. From beauty, travel, and home decor, to depression, anxiety, and living your most happy and fulfilling life – the narrative is impassioned and provides a voice of understanding.

A must read, must own, for everyone.

Beginner’s Guide to Beauty Bloggers

Hello and welcome to the beauty game! As my tagline states: Lex Loves Beauty. God do I ever. I also get equally as excited about watching other people test out and review products on YouTube. Here’s a list of my go-to channels and a bit of information about who they are and why they’re so great. If you’re new to the beauty scene, or just haven’t found a lot of engaging content creators, this post is for you. =)

And for those seasoned viewers out there, I hope you find a few new faces to expand your subscription feed!

Claire Marshall

Claire Marshall is by far my favourite YouTuber – beauty or otherwise. Although  YouTube blogging are now her primary focus, she did also work as a freelance makeup artist and continues to accept the occasional gig here and there. One of the things that really sets Claire apart from other creators is her incredible editing and attention to detail. It’s obvious she dedicates a lot of time to her channel, and I’ll break down why…

      1. Her content is original and thoughtful. Yes, she does monthly favourites and reviews, Q&As, tags etc. but she also produces some of the most unique and heartfelt videos I’ve had the pleasure of watching. In June 2015 she posted “Mary” – a tribute to her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease. I’ll warn you right now, you WILL cry. Claire had previously shared bits and pieces of her relationship with her mother, and coping with the changes and challenges that Alzheimer’s has brought on, but “Mary” was so much more than that. During the video, we see a clip from February 2013 of Claire crying as she explains that it’s the first year her mom didn’t remember her birthday. It’s absolutely heart-wrenching, but this candidness is a big part of why her viewers feel so connected to her. But you can always rely on Claire to cheer you back up with videos like “15 Of My Favourite Feelings” and pretty much any time she interacts with her cat, Bruce.

The filming is crisp and well-framed. Even her vlogs are well put together, and I find myself re-watching them again and again.

 

    Her editing is impeccable. “Favourite Lipsticks (Va Va Voom)” is a perfect example of her creativity, and one she cites as a favourite. In it, Claire showcases 8 lip products by editing together clips of her lip syncing to Nicki Minaj. Most of the shots are from mid-face down from multiple angles, and in each portion she’s wearing a different color. On top of that, the music is edited flawlessly to match her movements throughout the entire video. Likewise, “What’s In My Bag” (2015) is also visually stunning. She combines filmed footage with illustrations, edited in a way that very much resembles stop-motion animation. (I don’t want to say definitively because let’s be real I don’t know about the finer points of different animation styles). The point is, Claire has this editing shit DOWN when most of us amateurs barely know our way around Final Cut.

Oh, and did I mention she’s fucking gorgeous?…

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Blog: http://www.heyclaire.com

Channel: http://www.youtube.com/ClaireMarshall

Instagram: @heyclaire

 

Estee Lalonde

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I have a special place in my heart for Estee. I started watching her channel back in 2011, just shortly after she started making videos. At the time I was using YouTube primarily for music and perhaps watching Brookers way back in 2006 (holy shit, does anyone else remember Brookers?! #throwback). Then I stumbled on Estee – I honestly couldn’t tell you how – and my life was forever changed! Up until that point I wasn’t actually aware beauty blogging was even a thing, outside of working at a magazine. It was amazing to me! From there I discovered a number of other channels, and the rest is browser history. Originally from Waterloo, Ontario (Canada represent!), she moved to London, England at 19 years old to be with her boyfriend Aslan, whom she met online by chance on the chat site Omegle. For the record, Omegle’s tagline is “Talk to Strangers!” (LOL). It was in London that she started making videos after stumbling – much like I did – onto the community of British beauty YouTubers. Unemployed and feeling lonely, Estee took the plunge and began uploading under the name EssieButton. 5 years later, her channel has evolved considerably (See: “Let’s Meet Again”) and she recently surpassed 1 million followers. Her videos are predominantly beauty and skincare, but also highlight her love of paper goods, books, and interior design. A few of my favourites are “Breakfast with Claire”(obviously), “My Makeup Cleanse”, “5 Spring DIYs”, and “Beauty|Haul.Trial.Review”

She also has a vlogging channel, which she shares with Aslan, where you can see their beautiful greyhound, Reggie!

Blog: http://www.esteelalonde.com

Channel: http://www.youtube.com/EsteeLalonde

Vlog Channel:: http://www.youtube.com/EverydayEstee

Aslan’s Channel:  http://www.youtube.com/theworktop

Instagram: @esteelalonde

Amelia Liana

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Amelia Liana just happens to be best friends with Estee, which you end up coming across a lot in the beauty blogging community. Amelia is every high-end girl’s dream. She loves designer everything – bags, sunglasses, shoes, makeup… you name it. Visiting her channel is like stepping out of the real world, where budgets and bills are a thing, and stepping into shopping world where the looks are unlimited and the OOTDs are always on point. That being said, it never feels like she’s rubbing it in your face. Her videos are always centered around her personal style – not status – and curating a wardrobe full of pieces that excite and suit. She also uploads vlogs, which are just extra luxurious and fun to watch. Overall, Amelia has the cool girl life that most only dream of. To top it all off, she does a lot of charity work including December 2015’s series of videos tagged #AmeliasCharityChallenge. I particularly enjoy “My Designer Bag Collection 2016”, and “How To: Fake Bigger Lips”.

Blog: http://www.amelialiana.com

Channel: http://www.youtube.com/AmeliaLiana

Instagram: @amelialiana

 

 

Shay Mitchell

Shay Mitchell Raises A Chalice To Toast "Bon Voyage To Summer" With Stella Artois

That’s right, Shay Mitchell has a channel. For those of you not already subscribed to her you are truly missing out. If you’re not addicted to Pretty Little Liars like half the internet seems to be, Shay Mitchell is an actress on the series as one of the main characters, Emily. Needless to say, the quality of her videos is clearly professional and her travel vlogs are BEYOND.

Channel: http://www.youtube.com/ShayMitchell

Instagram: @shaym

NikkieTutorials

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I only subscribed to Nikkie a few months ago, but holy eff am I glad I did. I first saw her in “Doing Kat Von D’s Makeup” (the pair are friends) and was instantly hooked! This Netherlands-hailing bombshell produces the most clear and concise, easy-to-follow makeup tutorials I’ve ever seen. While there are a wide variety of looks to choose from, it is doubtful you’ll ever see her without a strong highlight. But you can’t hate a girl for glowing! She also has a series called “Hits and Oh God Nos” in which she reviews the best and worst products of the month. Being that she is such an experienced make up artist, and seasoned YouTube creator, I find she features a lot of products you wouldn’t see on other channels. One of my new go-to looks is the “Lavender Sparkle Smokey Eyes, and Glowy Skin Makeup”, I also recommend “Pale Skin- How to Contour and Highlight”, and especially “The Power of Makeup”.

Blog: http://www.nikkietutorials.com

Channel: http://www.youtube.com/NikkieTutorials

Instagram: @nikkietutorials

 

Missy Sue

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I discovered Missy Sue during a period of time when I was dead set on doing really cool intricate things with my hair. *Spoiler alert* – I don’t. The great thing about her channel though, is there are tons of stunning and practical styles, which she goes through step by step in her tutorials, in a way that is surprisingly easy to follow. I would consider her to be the Hair counterpart to Nikki Tutorials.

Blog: missysue.com

Channel: http://www.youtube.com/MissySue

Instagram: @missysueblog

Marissa Lace

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Marissa started out on YouTube in October 2011, posting pretty typical beauty-related stuff like empties, reviews, and a lot of Get Ready With Me videos. I started watching her a year ago after seeing her in another creator’s vlogs. I happened to come to her channel at a massive turning point in her life, and seeing her transition into a new and happier chapter of her life has been really satisfying. A lot of people she used to be in videos with are now nowhere to be seen, and although she hasn’t specified why, it’s pretty clear she made the right choice. Her channel has gone from typical to wonderful, and her new message is one of growth, fulfillment, and striving to be happy – whatever that means for you! If you find yourself feeling depressed or perhaps a bit lost, Marissa’s videos will encourage you to make the changes you need to fall in love with your life.

Channel: http://www.youtube.com/MarissaLace

Instagram: @marissalace

Cloudy Apples

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Kassie is another Canadian creator to make the list. Originally from Vancouver, she recently moved to LA and since then has been posting less frequently – but will hopefully return to regular scheduling soon. Kassie is different from anyone else on this list. She’s what one might call quirky, but what I would call real. She covers everything from face masks to body hair, and inserts her personality into even the most seemingly average Review or How-To.

Blog: http://www.cloudyapples.ca

Channel: http://www.youtube.com/cloudyapples

Instagram: @cloudyapples_

 

 

 

Roses are Red, My Mood is Blue

Valentine’s Day

A day that perpetually makes single people feel either disgusted or depressed. But what about when you’re in a relationship and you still feel both of these things. This year Valentine’s Day is especially weird and emotional for me, for reasons I won’t get into right now. But it’s left me feeling almost single – but without the entitlement to complain about it.

So this year I’m focusing on Self Love. Let me share some things with you….

Most of those who know me, know that I suffered from a pretty serious eating disorder for the past 16 years. More than half my life. Well recently, I’ve recovered. For the first time in my adult life I ate over 1,000 calories in a day and I felt damn good about it. I feed myself properly (vegan and carbed the fuck up) and I work out every day and holy fuck does that feel like something I’d never achieve. It’s unreal. So I try to focus on that, seeing as it’s probably the greatest achievement of my lifetime.

Speaking of the gym – I go now! Believe it or not, I’m actually quite infatuated with going to the gym now and how it makes me feel.

Last but certainly not least – I’ve made friends. I’ve decided that I need to stop holding myself back and be open to the possibility that people are not, in fact, as shitty as they may seem. I’ve spent some amazing time with my friends over at Drunk In A Graveyard (go check out their blog!!!) and my entire fitness journey would be going nowhere without a new friend in my program. Just such a lovely human. I don’t recall a time before now I felt so connected to and supported by the people around me.

So yes, I’m very sad today. But I love who I’m becoming and that’s enough to reassure me that everything is going to be okay. Alone or otherwise. xox

What do you love about yourself?

Valentine’s Treats

Happy Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air, but more than that – everyone is hungry. Because everyone is always hungry. Fact. So here are some quick and delicious ideas that are vaguely Valentine’s Day related so you can feel like you’re playing into this holiday.

All recipes are Vegan-friendly

 

Choco-love Smoothie

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2 cups chocolate Silk (or non-dairy milk of your choosing)

1 cup raspberries

3 bananas

1 tsp vanilla

If you’re single, make this for yourself and be happy you don’t have to share. If in a pair, make double this recipe and pour them into glasses “evenly” AKA pour yourself the larger glass and then pretend it didn’t happen.

 

This next one is less of a recipe and more of a suggestion. As in, this is effing delicious and you should eat it.

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1 cup chocolate-mint coconut ice cream

1/2 cup raspberries

Feel free to top with whatever tickles your fancy. But for the love of god don’t tickle each other because that’s annoying AF. Get a room.

OKAY BYE xox

Tooth and Eye LookBook – Demure Sea Witch

Paired with a cardigan, whether tied or loose, makes the Arctic Sea Witch Dress just a little more demure while still keeping it fun and stylish.                                                                                                                                IMG_6738

Addressing Meghan Trainor’s Ignorance

This has been a looooooong time coming.

Meghan Trainor is, in my opinion, one of the most ignorant people in pop music to date. Don’t you worry, I’m going to back that statement up. My personal views have been under wraps for quite a while now because I simply didn’t want to get involved. I left “All about that bass” alone. I kept my mouth shut (publicly) when she made a beyond idiotic statement regarding eating disorders. Let me tell you, that was difficult. Now her video “Dear Future Husband” is getting media attention for ONCE AGAIN being completely sexist and enforcing gender stereotypes and anti-feminism.

I’m not entirely sure if she’s just stupid but I know I’m about to get angry when her lips are moving. Yes I went there. So let’s look at her offences point by point.

1) All About That Bass

My problems with this song stem from my firm belief that in order to stop body-shaming we must create an inclusive and non-critical environment in which all bodies are appreciated and accepted as OK. I understand that sometimes in order to promote body positivity for an oppressed group such as plus-sized women, they must be raised up on their own movement which may not always include positive statements for ‘skinny girls’. However, wanting to promote ‘fat-acceptance’ (we’ll get to that shortly) doesn’t mean you need to straight-up call out people of other body types. IE “Go ahead and tell the skinny bitches that.”

Secondly, Meghan Trainor doesn’t even believe in her own message.

2) Hypocrisy

a – Eating Disorders

Meghan Trainor was quoted as saying: “I wasn’t strong enough to have an eating disorder. I tried to go anorexic for a good three hours. I ate ice and celery, but that’s not even anorexic. And I quit. I was like, ‘Ma, can you make me a sandwich? Like, immediately.”

I can’t even… But I must. As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder my entire life this is incredibly offensive, first off. Not to mention the incredibly awful and ignorant message it sends to people who may be struggling with body image and food. Not “strong enough” to have an eating disorder??????? Perhaps if Meghan Trainor could look outsider herself for half a second she would understand the consequences of being so vapid. Of course Demi Lovato, being the activist she is, took to Twitter saying:

“Having an eating disorder doesn’t show “strength.” Strength is when are able to overcome your demons after being sick and tired for so long.There’s a wide misconception that anorexia and/or bulimia is a choice and you often hear people say things like “why doesn’t she just start eating?” Or even “just stop throwing up.” It’s the ignorance and lack of education on mental illnesses that continues to {put} mental health care on the back burner to congress even though this is an epidemic that is sweeping our nation, and causing more and more tragedy every day. Starving is not a “diet” and throwing up isn’t something that only extremely thin men or women do. Eating disorders do not discriminate… Neither does any other mental illness. These are deadly diseases that are taking lives daily. So please, let’s be cautious of the words weuse when discussing ED’s and other mental illnesses.”

b – Weight Loss

I operate under the belief that a person’s body is no one’s business but their own. However, when you have such a large audience of young and impressionable fans, it is important to ensure that the words coming out of your mouth match the actions you are putting forth. Since the release of her single “All About That Bass” Meghan Trainor has been steadily losing weight, and her fans are noticing. Her intentions are being called into questions. Preaching ‘fat acceptance’ while clearly giving in to pressure to be thin and making comments about wishing to be thinner sends the message that loving one’s self is great in theory but in practice not so much. Clearly it’s a great tool to sell records with, though. In conjunction with the eating disorder debacle, it would be easy for young people to take away the idea that one should be anorexic while pretending love one’s self. Great…

This is the point that, for me, gets very complicated. I have mixed views about this subject because as a feminist I believe that every woman has the right to do whatever she wants with her body and I don’t think it’s right to point out someone’s weight as right or wrong. I also really don’t appreciate the ignorance and hypocrisy with which Meghan Trainor seems to be governed by in every aspect of her career. Then there’s the term ‘fat acceptance’. For those whom it has a positive connotation, I commend taking back that word and using it for a positive movement. For myself, that is a word which was used to wage war against my body every second of every day for 14 years. Thus why I use quotations around the statement. That is not meant to offend or devalue the movement, but rather a writing tool used to express my own personal struggle with it, which I cannot ignore or pretend does not still exist if I am to be honest.

3) Anti-feminist message

I feel as though I could just fill this section with quotes from her music because it would be so easy.

Let’s start with “All About That Bass”, in which she sings “My momma she told me ‘don’t worry about your size, because boys like a little more booty to hold at night’.” Yes, let’s let the opinion of boys dictate how we eat and feel about our bodies. Sounds like a great idea…

Now, with the release of “Dear Future Husband”, Meghan Trainor is getting a lot of negative press for her antiquated presentation of gender roles within the lyrics and video. She essentially sings a list of demands in which a man will have to live up to “If you wanna get that special lovin'” The entire song is very sexist and I really suggest looking up the lyrics if you’d like to see more examples.

So, there you have it. I’m so sick of women in the media saying they don’t need feminism and portraying unhealthy ideals to a vulnerable demographic. Regardless of whether you think you need feminism or not, I believe the evidence above says otherwise. I suppose you could say this is an open letter to Meghan Trainor. If she were to ever read this my words to her would be to please think before you speak. Please be honest about what you actually believe in rather than operating under the guise of body positivity and sending a confusing and contrary message to the people who listen to your music. Most importantly, please educate yourself.

-Lex