Photos by Dani Reynolds
After a less-than-preferable December, I was convinced that a copious amount of Tim Hortons donuts and Mama instant noodles would soften the blow of a difficult January. However, it turns out I was wrong LOL, because nothing could’ve prepared me for the past month of emotional turmoil.
Before I *really* get too into this, let me just say that I’m just about returning home from a week spent in New York, which has most often signified that I’m either going through an internal crisis OR I am looking to get myself into some kind of trouble [because my life is boring]. Surprisingly enough, the past 8 days have been a gentle combination of both.
Up until this blog post, I’ve been rationalizing frequent travels to New York with an “important” and “busy” schedule. However, in actuality, these business trips have historically been related (at some capacity) to [Tinder] dates and Sweetgreen.
You know what they say about monotony though (read: it’s bad), so to keep it interesting, this time around I kicked my ex out of his own apartment and spent the week treating it like it was my own. Hence, more than ever, the world seemed like it was TRULY my oyster.
We’re nearly 2 months into 2017 and there’s a lot of shit going on in the world. We have a responsibility to stay informed, curious, and proactive. This includes taking whatever measures to help ourselves through self-awareness and self-care.
I’ve been attempting to resolve the things in my life that have continued to create problems and conflicts, because reinvention is more than chasing an immediate 360 change at the turn of a new year. I’ve spent the greater part of February doing/talking about a variety of personality tests, but more importantly, I’ve been trying to find grounded perspectives that honestly and finely articulate my problems. I’ve thus dedicated my February favourites to self-appreciation…because one of the greatest forms of self care is giving yourself the world and allowing yourself to step back and reassess what really matters.
FAVOURITE #1: SWING TIME BY ZADIE SMITH
I picked up this book as much for my admiration of the author as I did for the actual story line. (did you see you her on the cover of Gentle Woman, issue 14?! Style icon!)In short, Swing Time time tells the story of two childhood friends who dream of becoming dancers. Though their lives take them on divergent paths, both stories twirl around themes of friendship, identity, betterment, and belonging. Though I’m only 50 pages deep, I’m already hooked.
Aside from the pager-turner plot, I wanted to read Swing Time because of my love for Zadie Smith as a creative. Just like the characters in her novel, Smith has been on a journey of betterment. While writing Swing Time she began seeing a Therapist to confirm her feelings of self doubt and subjectivity- a feeling many female creatives often experience yet don’t open address.
FAVOURITE #2: @GLAMGLOWCANADA (Flashmud Brightening Treatment / Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment)
When I am not chugging green juices I am applying GLAMGLOW masks. I’ve recently come to realize both of these things are a huge part of my current identity, which is “Powerful And Healthy Woman (TM)” Willing To Leave Social Engagements Early To Apply A GLAMGLOW Mask And Watch Friends Reruns On Netflix. In short, this is one of few routines that I look forward to every other day – and although I only travelled to New York with a carry-on suitcase, I packed 2 masks with me because I don’t need another thing in my life to give me separation anxiety.
Routines are an integral part of self-care because we’re often so wrapped up in our days that we forget to make time for ourselves. Whether it’s social or work pressures, it’s critical to find time to step back and have some “me” time. I’ve personally found it difficult to not see everything as urgent…but the feeling of a soft and fresh and renewed face via GLAMGLOW was the perfect entryway to a more conscious ME.
FAVOURITE #3: JAGGAR SHOES
While I didn’t actually end up going on any dates in New York because of emotional distress, these Jaggar Footwear platform mules (from the Paradigm collection) absolutely would’ve been my date shoes (even though it’s the middle of February and open-toed shoes look a bit suspect). Regardless, I will revisit these in the springtime and let you know how they work out for me.
FAVOURITE #4: MIU MIU PERFUME
Perfect for those that like less sweet scents! Although I am not outdoorsy I like to smell as though I am heh. Miu Miu has a light floral scent with woodsy undertones giving a more “masculine” smell than most perfumes.
FAVOURITE #5: PHILOSOPHY “PURITY” 3-IN-1 CLEANSER
I love anything that allows me to be more time efficient and this product makes *purifying* my face at night so easy! This cleanser removes ALL make-up, even the dreaded waterproof mascara (because LOL you have to protect yourself should you start crying in public………) I’m always worried about products drying out my skin but unlike a lot of cleanser this leaves my skin feeling so soft and fresh.
I’ve been really into philosophy products recently because the DNA of the brand is very in-line with my attempt to restructure my mentality and think more rationally and positively. Focused on the concept that “beauty begins within”, philosophy encourages women to look, live and feel their best through multi-tasking skincare and feel-good scents.
FAVOURITE #6: KIEHL’S CREAMY EYE TREATMENT WITH AVOCADO
Take it from a certifiable insomniac: This stuff works. As someone who travels a lot I like that the cream is available in both a large size and a suitcase-friendly smaller version. Thanks to the avocado it’s extra creamy so it goes on super smooth. Perfect for a post-flight application. Especially if you’re taking a red eye.