June 2015Pastel Whimsy: June 2015

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

♥♥♥ June Favourites ♥♥♥

My everyday faves, Asher and Piper! ♥



Another month gone!  We are officially in the thick of summer here, and I am glad we are one month closer to the Autumn because it is tooooo hot!  Despite being glad June is over, I still have some favourites from the month:

Makeup

I am loving only having to wear a thin layer of foundation.  I am still zit-free, and so when I wake up and put on my foundation I am just covering up redness from the Retin-A Micro.  It saves me so much time in the morning, and makes putting on my makeup less of a chore, and more fun.  My makeup favourite is definitely Milani lip glosses, which you will see a post on tomorrow!

Scent

Bath and Body Works - Watermelon Lemonade!  I love citrus scents, and so I knew I would love this.  It also has the added benefit of having a Watermelon scent, which is one of my favourites.  They make this in a hand soap, as well as a scentportable.  So good!

Food

Freezies!  I recently bought a box of 154 mini Freezies.  They are only 10 calories each and come in lots of great flavours!  My favourite flavour is Cream Soda.  These are so refreshing this time of year.

TV

Halt and Catch Fire.  I love this show, and recently rewatched the first season on Netflix.  I had to rewatch the first season because I don't think I fully understood what was happening the first time around.  I love computers, but some of that stuff just goes over my head.  The second season started a few weeks ago, and it is awesome!  I highly recommend checking it out, lots of cool 80s references, and if you are a nerd like me, you will love seeing how computers evolved over the decades.

Song

Vance Joy - Riptide.  I heard this song on the radio awhile back and have had it on repeat ever since.  This song just instantly relaxes me, and makes me feel so full of the Summer spirit.  There is something so energetic about this song.  If I am stressed out and I put it on, it helps me to relax.  If I close my eyes, I can almost feel like I am at the beach with the sun shining on my face.

Movie

Terminator!  I am currently in the middle of a Terminator marathon before the weekend when I go see Genisys.  I love the Terminator series, even though the first one came out the year before I was born.  I love the actors in the new one, Daenerys for life!  I'll let you know how it is!

Fave Person

Pretty Shiny Sparkly.  I honestly cannot get enough of her videos.  I went back and started watching her vlogs over again from the beginning.  I find something so inspiring about her life.  As a professional woman who also wants to make time to engage in her creative endeavours, I think watching her videos have helped me to see that it really is possible!  She is a resident physician, and she still maintains her youtube channel, and her blog.  I work full-time as a therapist, and struggle sometimes to find the time to keep up on my blog posts.  Her videos are helping me want to be more organized, and consistent!  Woo!

Quote

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. - Henry David Thoreau.  This quote is saying that the filter in which we view the world, and what happens to us throughout our lives will determine how we react to our circumstances.  Life isn't always going to be perfect, but we can decide how we reframe even the most difficult times, in order to help ourselves cope, and continue to increase our resilience.  I think this quote also highlights how easy it can be to become fixated with seeing all of the negative, and how we sometimes forget to notice the things in our lives we could be grateful for!



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Three Weeks Post-Accutane, and Two weeks on Retin-A Micro

It has been about three weeks since I took my last dose of Accutane, and I am definitely noticing a reduction in some of the side effects I was experiencing.  The dryness in my nose has reduced, but not completely gone away.  My nose is not dry enough to cause bleeding, which is great!  My lips are no longer flaking, and I don't think I have had to exfoliate them in a couple of weeks. I was having to exfoliate them at least twice a week during the last couple of months on Accutane.  One of the greatest changes I have noticed is that my joints aren't as achy anymore.  I had to stop jogging while taking Accutane because I would become so stiff, and achy afterward.  I have been able to start jogging again, and I notice now that when I stand up after long periods of sitting (which I do a lot of as a therapist), I am not as sore!  Hurray!  I had developed pretty bad eczema on my hands, arms, and the tops of my feet towards the end of treatment.  This has almost completely come away!

So far I haven't had any breakouts at all.  I am not sure how long post-accutane people can expect to start seeing zits popping up again, but so far, so good.  Something funny I noticed this week is that my hair started to get greasy again.  Before Accutane I would have to wash my hair every other day, or spray the crap out of it with dry shampoo because I would get some serious business grease buildup.  While on Accutane, I could go days, and days, even up to a week without washing my hair, because it NEVER got greasy!  I would try not to go disgustingly long periods of time without washing my hair, because cleanliness is important, lol.  I noticed that my hair was legit greasy this week after having gone about three days without washing, which is disappointing, but I am still very, very glad to be off of Accutane.

I have been on Retin-A now for two weeks.  I use it three times a week, Friday, Sunday, and Wednesday.  I have noticed very minimal dryness and flaking on my face.  My skin is slightly more red, as you can see from these pictures, but nothing extreme at all.  I have a slight rash on one side of my neck, but that too is manageable.  I will continue to post my progress with Retina-A because I think over time I will start to see a reduction in the hyperpigmentation left on my cheeks, which is exciting!! 





Monday, June 15, 2015

Fleur De Force's Glam Guide ♥♥♥ Book Review




I've had this book for a few months now, and had been reading it in bite-sized pieces.  Last night I decided to take some time for myself, and finish the last half.  I enjoyed this book, and gave it a 4 stars on Goodreads.

I absolutely love Fleur, and over the years she has become one of my favourite youtubers.  She seems incredibly down to earth, and has a wonderful mix of maturity, and whimsy.  The quality of her videos is spectacular, and it really seems like she is being genuine, and honest.  Her vlogs are some of my favourite, because she shows us a glimpse into her life as a wife, puppy momma, and tea-lover!

Highlights of the Guide

Beauty

My favourite part from the chapter on Beauty was the discussion of the colour wheel.  I have hazel eyes that have some brown, and some green, so this chapter gave me some great ideas for what shades would be the most flattering.

Health and Fitness

I pretty much loved this section in its entirety.  Reading about which foods are best for my skin was enlightening, but also positively reinforcing because I am already including a lot of those foods in my diet.  Especially avocados, because, YUM!  There are also recipes in this section, and I want to try the baked egg inside of an avocado.

Life, Love, Dreams, and Everything in Between

Fleur's writings on positive thinking were very practical, and uplifting.  This is a great example of how relatable she is, because I am sure every person on the planet could benefits from these tips, and have experienced the same concerns with negative thinking.

The Art

The real hero of this book is the art.  Many of the pages have beautiful sketches which are a combination of black, and white tones, and a pop of colour.  The colours chosen for this book are stunning, with a lot of soft, water colours.



I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a light, enjoyable read.  I learned some interesting things from this book, but more importantly, it was an opportunity for me to just sit down, and indulgently reflect on all things beauty, and lifestyle.  You can hear Fleur's voice come through clearly throughout, as she wrote this book herself.  This would make an awesome coffee table book, because each section is quick, and accessible.  The book itself looks gorgeous from the outside, so having it out for people to look at would be fun.

I am just starting Love, Tanya, by Tanya Burr, and I will let you guys know what I think of that as well!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pacifica Blushing Bunnies Nail Polish ♥♥♥ Review




Pacifica is a cool brand because it is free from 7 harsh chemicals which are sometimes found in nail polishes.  These nail polishes are also 100% vegan, which is interesting.  What I really love about this polish is that it is finally a peach shade that looks good with my skin tone!  They can often look too fluorescent on me, but this shade is perfect for transitioning from Spring to Summer.  It has an almost bleached-neon quality to it that is incredibly flattering.  I think that this took three coats to become opaque, but it is definitely worth it.  I put this on my toes as well, and I love it!



Monday, June 8, 2015

How I Shape my Nails ♥♥♥ Tutorial

Before
After

Straight-Edge Clippers and a Nail File



My nails grow super fast, so it is nice to have a really quick nail-shaping routine.  My nails grow naturally in a long, rounded shape, but I am more partial to a straight-top look.  I found these nail clippers at London Drugs for a few dollars.  The thing I love about these clippers is that they are straight instead of curved!  I take the clippers and just make one clip across the top of each nail.  I then use the nail file to shape the ends of each nail so they are more rounded, otherwise they can be quite sharp!  When my nails are shaped like this I think it looks way more put together.  It also makes polish look amazing!  How do you like to shape your nails?



This nail shape makes bright colours look stunning!



Sunday, June 7, 2015

My Accutane (Clarus) Story with Before and After Photos


I started Accutane on September 9, 2014, and finished on May 31, 2015.  I was on it for almost nine months.  I definitely wouldn't say that my experience was easy, but I know it was nowhere near as difficult as what others experienced.  I experienced some not so awesome side effects, but managed to sidestep some of the more uncomfortable ones.  Something I can say for sure is that despite constantly having blood in my nose, and creaking every time I stand up, I would take Accutane 100 more times if I had to.  It has given me the skin I never thought I could have, which has dramatically increased my self confidence, and quality of life.  I am not exaggerating!

Throughout the majority of my treatment with Clarus (Accutane), I alternated between 40mg, and 80mg.  This is a relatively low dose for my body weight.  I think it was this low dose, for the extended period of eight months, that helped me to avoid the gnarly side effects of cracked lips, and dry skin.  My lips got dehydrated, and flaky, but never bled.  The skin on my face did not get dry for the most part, though I do have some laugh lines I didn't have before, which I think can be remedied with some heavy moisturizer.  By the end I did have eczema on my hands, forearms, upper arms, and strangely... the tops of my feet!  This was manageable as long as I was diligent with moisturizing.  I became very achy within a few weeks of starting the drug, and even a week after my last dose my joints are very sore.  I think the most significant side effect I experienced was dryness inside my nose.  I never had a full-blown nose bleed, but there was blood in the kleenex 100% of the time I blew my nose, which I had to do often in order to breathe.  I can't say definitively whether Clarus impacted my mood, as I have a pretty stressful job, and it is difficult to tell whether an increase in anxiety was work, or Clarus-related.  I was in a good mood the majority of the time, so I would guess I wasn't experiencing any mood-related side effects from Clarus.

Now for what you are here to see!  The before, and after photos from throughout the past eight months.

September 10, 2014
September 10, 2014


October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014




November 5, 2014
November 5, 2014




February 8, 2015

February 8, 2015





March 23, 2015





June 4, 2015

June 4, 2015

Looking at these pictures almost nine months after starting is pretty surreal.  It is easy to take for granted having clear skin.  After 4 months on Accutane I did not get any acne for the remainder of the treatment.  I do not have very much pitting, but I do have hyper pigmentation.  At my seven month check-up with my dermatologist, he decided to keep me on for an additional two months due to the redness and swelling.  These additional two months made a huge difference in my skin, as you can see in the picture comparisons between March, and June.

Tonight I will be starting Retin-A Micro.  This was prescribed by my derm in order to counter the redness, and hyper pigmentation left in my skin.  I will use this three times a week for approximately three months, or so.  I then have the option of doing Fraxel, but I won't.  It is expensive, and I am already stoked with how my skin looks now!  

I will be posting more information on the products I used while on Clarus, including foundation, moisturizer, face wash, and shampoo!  Stay tuned.  



Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Pink Souffle ♥♥♥ Review





I haven't experimented with many of Sephora's makeup products, but I could not resist trying one of their cream lip stains.  The shade I went for was Pink Souffle 06, which is a medium to dark pink.  This shade does not have any shimmer in it, though others in this range definitely do.  This cream dried extremely fast on my lips, and dried mostly matte.  I struggled with getting an accurate outline of my lips with the brush, despite flipping it over and using the thinner side.  I really love the look of this lip cream, it looks almost flawless when you put it on.  I wore it today, and then ate a green wrap about an hour later.  Unfortunately, a lot of the lipstick came off during my meal, and so it isn't quite as stain-worthy as I would like.  Despite the lack of staying power, I would still recommend these lip creams because they really are stunning.  I checked out some of the other shades at Sephora, and none of them really sucked me in, but I might have to try one of their reds in the future.