makeup.

There are a lot of celebrity women who are suddenly promoting going makeup-free and living a bare-faced life. All in all this isn’t a bad lesson and is something that needs to be said over and over again to people who are growing up in our filtered, photoshopped, face-tuned world. But I want to talk about it from the perspective of someone who loves makeup, and chooses to do a full face each morning… okay, most mornings.  Whether it means to or not, this movement misrepresents women who do wear makeup on the daily. Promoting a makeup-free lifestyle says more than just “love the skin you’re in,” it also implies that women who put on makeup each day do it for any reason other than just… because they like it. I have yet to meet a woman who hates makeup, yet still takes the time and money to invest in it. If a woman doesn’t want to wear makeup, she won’t – period.

Society make the mistake of thinking women wear makeup because we’re insecure. Boys make the mistake of thinking women wear makeup because we want them to think we’re pretty. Truth is, some of us just like putting stuff on our faces. As a woman who wears her paycheck in the form of matte lipsticks and winged eyeliner, here are some thoughts:

  • Some people do yoga or exercise in the mornings, but I really like taking that time to drink a cup of coffee and put on my makeup. It’s relaxing, it’s not something I have to use too much brain power to accomplish and taking that time to take care of myself sets me up to have a really good morning.
  • It’s my favourite way to express creativity. I’m not an artsy person – I can’t draw, paint, or design anything. I write sometimes but that’s not something I find the time to do a lot. So I take my creative energy out on my face. I like experimenting with different colours, textures and shapes. I like figuring out how to enhance my already usually good skin and bright eyes. It’s important to me that I have this outlet to express different parts of my personality with differently styled makeup looks – it’s fun for me.
  • I very rarely leave my house without at least a little makeup on – BB cream and brow gel for sure – but that’s not an insecurity thing. I don’t have great skin all the time, my eyebrows are funny shapes and I have a really round face that makes me look about 6 years younger than I am. These are all things that I can (and do) change with makeup but I know that there’s nothing wrong with any of it – I accept the fact that my face is not flawless. I have no problem being bare-faced in public but I’ve never been the type of person who likes to feel sloppy. I’m not a sweatpants person, I don’t own any stained t-shirts, and I do not wear running shoes outside of the gym. To me, taking 5 minutes to put on a little bit of makeup goes hand in hand with putting on a pair of jeans instead of wearing your pajama pants to run errands.
  • For the most part, the makeup industry does not pander to the preferences of men anymore. We’re seeing this a lot more with unnatural coloured lipsticks, bold highlights and extreme contour becoming popular. If we wore makeup only because boys liked it, we wouldn’t wear half of what is trendy right now. In my experience, boys don’t like blue lipstick or neon eyeshadow or huge falsies. I own all of those things, I like all of those things and if a man is going to go out of his way to tell me I’d look better without them – byeeeee. This isn’t to please you honey, it’s for me. It’s a small way for me to express who I am to the rest of the world and if who I am that day wants to wear black lipstick and bold eyebrows, well dammit I’m gonna. Sorry, not sorry.

It’s important to be comfortable with who you are, and with what you look like. It’s absolutely wonderful to have total confidence in yourself and be okay facing the word without a good foundation and concealer combination to protect you, and I would never try to discredit that message. But a solid contour game and overdrawn lipstick does not mean I am insecure with who I am. So no, I will not participate in #NoMakeupMonday. I will not post a bare-faced selfie for your natural beauty initiative on Facebook. I will not consider going makeup-free for 1 week. I like wearing makeup; I don’t find it daunting or difficult. I don’t feel pressured to look a certain way, and I don’t find your ,”look at me, I’m not wearing makeup because I’m super brave!” attitude to be at all revolutionary. You’re no different than me, except my eyelids are gold and sparkly, and my lashes hit my glasses when I blink.

tucker.

Tucker.1

You are such a brat – you bring the ball within 2 feet of me and as soon as I reach out to grab it so we can play together, you take off and make me chase you. I’m not sure if you just haven’t quite figured out the basics of fetch yet, or if you like this game better. You are needy, loud and obnoxious. You don’t understand “stranger danger” and drive me crazy when you decide you want to go on an adventure with some random person who happens to be walking down the street. You insist that you’re not too big to be a lap dog (spoiler – you are, but I let you sit on my lap anyway). You push every limit, you make me feel guilty for eating my dinner without sharing and because of you and all of your fur, I will never be 100% clean again.

But I can’t imagine living life without you. Thanks for being the best part of every day.

zach.

I’ve been watching Zach Anner’s videos for a few years. I first discovered him in a documentary about YouTubers called Please Subscribe, and then realized he does work with Rooster Teeth,a channel and community that I was already very familiar with. I quickly fell down a classic YouTube rabbit hole of watching Zach’s videos, and was drawn to his content because – well, because he makes funny videos and I like to laugh. But I stuck around and have continued to watch because Zach is inspirational in a real, honest and effortless way. He’s not one of those so-called inspirational gurus who post generic “mirror mantra” quotes on Instagram, or someone with a sad story who shoves his life journey down peoples’ throats saying, “if I can do this, SO CAN YOU!” You know the types. Frankly I don’t hold a lot of value in inspirational quotes or comparing your own situation to someone else’s unique set of circumstances.

Zach recently wrote a book, which I own, have read, and I can’t even explain to you how great this book was – please read it. In his book he talks about wanting to be seen for the person that he is, rather than just a guy in a wheelchair. At this, I think he has succeeded, because he’s never claimed victim status. He’s never really said, “oh, I can’t do this because of my chair”. He’s problem solved and said, “how can I do this, despite my chair?” And that, I think is so powerful and something that I truly admire.

Actually there’s a lot of things about Zach that I admire – his self-deprecating humour, his realistic-but-always-positive outlook, and his stubborn approach to what he wants to do with his life, to begin. Recently I had the opportunity to hear him speak when he was in my little hometown. He was here promoting his book and at that time, I hadn’t finished reading it yet. I got to hear some parts of it for the first time, directly from him, which was pretty cool. Listening to him speak was really wonderful, and hearing him share hardships and how he found his way out of them was, in all honesty, a wake up call. I was so moved by what he was saying that night. He spoke about believing in himself and not giving up – which is kind of cliche but like, there’s a reason it’s repeated by everyone, and that’s because it’s true. It just is. You do have to believe in yourself and if you give up, you really will never get anywhere. But my biggest takeaway from it was “what’s stopping you?” Like really –  what, exactly, is stopping me from doing what I want in life? And honestly? The only thing stopping me is that I just don’t know. I don’t know what I want to do, what type of career I want to have or where I want to end up. I really don’t, but at least now I know that as soon as I have that small detail figured out – there’s nothing stopping me anymore. Thanks for that lesson, Zach, and thanks for taking the time to chat about Rooster Teeth, hockey and Josh Flanagan’s sexy, sexy bod. You’re the man – truly. 

new year.

Photo 2016-01-03, 2 45 26 PM

For as long as I have been alive, I’ve never made a New Years Resolution. I guess I’ve never believed in the concept. People can’t magically change when they pin up a new calendar. Some people see the new year as a clean slate and in theory, that’s great but like, 2015 doesn’t disappear. You don’t get to start over, or become someone else when the clock strikes midnight. You’re still you, I’m still me, and we still have the same lives.

For 2016, instead of making unrealistic goals that I’m only going to stick to for about 3 weeks before falling back into old habits, I want to focus on developing areas of my life that I feel need improvement. I want to work on turning the human that I already am into the best possible version of myself, and get one step closer to my final form (10 points if you get that ridiculous reference).

  1. I want to be more consistent. I don’t want to go to the gym more often, I just want to go more regularly – none of this 4-times-in-one-week-then-skip-9-days bullshit. I want to post here often, and I want to post about things that I care about. I want to keep up with the things I start, and follow through.
  2. I want to become a morning person. This one feels really resolution-y, but I just really want to be one of those people who wakes up with the sun, brews a cup of tea and enjoys their morning. I’ve come a long way from the girl who woke up 20 minutes before her shift started and did her makeup in the back room after morning paperwork, but I could still do better. I genuinely envy people who have actual time to do real things in the morning –  personally, I’m lucky if I get to wear eyeshadow.
  3. I want to wear lipstick every day. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to have a bad day when my mouth is hot pink.
  4. I want to become a “wine person”. Currently, my knowledge of wine consists of the 2 bottles I purchase every Friday. My ultimate goal in life is to be Jules from Cougar Town (…I joke… kind of), and I can’t be like Jules if I don’t have a handle on my wine situation.
  5. I want to drink more tea. It’s like sometimes I forget that tea exists. In the times that I remember, it’s like I’ve literally found joy in a cup and it is heavenly. I don’t know why I deprive myself of things that are so very lovely.
  6. I want to read more. I already read a lot but like… not enough. Again, this one does feel very much like a resolution, but I never want to be the person who can’t remember the last book they read. Whether it’s angsty teen fiction, an autobiography written by someone who clearly needed an ego boost, or something a little more challenging, I always want to be able to say I’m reading something.

To me, a new year does not equal a new slate or a “new me”. It doesn’t signal anything except another successful rotation around the sun. However, I do believe that people can improve themselves whenever they want, given the resolve to actually follow through. I just hope that this time, I have enough resolve.

F A V O U R I T E S

Unless you’re a YouTube beauty vlogger, no one ever asks you, “Hey, what’s your favourite stuff right now?”, which I think is completely unfair. The amount of times I text people about insignificant things that like, ‘totally changed my life for reals though’ is ridiculous. So, while I sip wine out of a My Little Pony mug, here, have a blog post. IMG_5288Just Peachy by David’s Tea
 This tea actually came out last year in David’s Tea’s summer collection. Iced peach tea is my favourite thing to drink in the summertime, like, I can’t even tell you how much of this I could drink in a day. I was really bummed when they decided not to bring it back this year, but by some miracle 2014 Stephanie must have known this would happen, and I discovered a full cannister last month! So now I can spend another summer sipping on this and I’m probably more excited than I should be. IMG_5285Glamoflage by Hard CandyReady, Set Gorgeous by Covergirl, and Smooth Skin BB Radiance Powder by NYC
After roughly 10 years of doing makeup daily, I have finally discovered my number one, holy grail foundation combination. Despite the ridiculous names (I mean really, Glamoflage? Ready, Set, Gorgeous? Where are your standards, cosmetics companies?), I’m obsessed – for real, not in a ‘OMG I’m obsessed JK I’ll forget about this in a week’ kind of way. I have never used a better combination of foundation products – it’s not heavy, it lets my skin breathe while still having enough coverage to even out my skin tone, and the colour basically melts into my skin. It’s amazing. The best part, though? All 3 of these products can be purchased at the drugstore for under $17. Insanity! IMG_5283Mint Cocoa Crunch Mints by Saybon
Let me preface this by saying that I think the combination of mint and chocolate is straight out of hell. It’s just so wrong. These, however… I honestly don’t know what it is. These are so good. I can’t stop; We have a dish of them sitting in my office and it’s right next to my desk -the struggle is real, let me tell you. IMG_5289Romper by WalMart (I know, I was surprised too)
This is not new or revolutionary. It’s summer, it’s the season of rompers. I’ve struggled with this trend since it’s conception – I liked the idea but couldn’t get past the fact that it reminded me of a baby’s onesie. The fact that I’m 5’0 on a good day and have enough trouble looking my age is it is lead me to decidethat this trend wasn’t for me. However this year, I tried a few and was disappointed – they all seemed to be too small in the shorts-part and too poofy in the top part. But then one day, strolling through WalMart aimlessly, as you do, I happened upon this one. It was a different style from the ones I had been trying so I figured, “hey, it’s $12 – what’s the worst that could happen?” So I took it home with me and guess what? Now I have a romper that works on my awkward, boyish body. Now if I could just figure out a simpler way to pee while wearing it…IMG_5308Overcast
I’m just gonna come out and say it – I hate the iTunes podcast app. I hate it. It’s not user-friendly, and it does this thing where it will start playing the podcasts, but with no audio. What?! That’s the whole point! This app has been a lifesaver – Maybe not literally, but I love my podcasts so it’s definitely been really great to have. It works with iTunes so it has all the same podcasts, and gets new episodes at the same time, it’s just a different interface. Since switching to Overcast, I haven’t had any issues. I filed away the iTunes podcast app in my “stupid” folder and haven’t looked back since. IMG_1793Imagine Dragons
Earlier this month, I had the absolute pleasure of taking my brother to see his favourite band live. Walking into a concert venue and feeling the energy in the building – that’s my happy place. That’s the best moment to be in, no matter the band that’s playing. If you have the opportunity to go see Imagine Dragons live, take it. Even if you don’t really like them, just go. It was a mind-blowing concert. They perform so well, their light show was absolutely incredible, and I have dubbed them the Unofficial Kings of Drum Solos (a very prestigious award in my world – drummers are my favourites). Not to mention, Dan Reynolds got that white boy groove so, you have to go just to see him dance around during Shots.

There – my favourites. Thank you for letting me be narcissistic and talk about the random crap that I think is interesting.

Photo Diary // 14032015

This weekend, we had our first taste of springtime in Canada. Winter is so depressing to me – everything is grey, cold, and dead. The novelty of pretty snow wears off pretty quickly once you start having to put on 20 layers of clothing every time you want to leave your house.

So when the snow started melting and the birds started singing, I was so happy to put away the parka, break out some sandals and spend time in the sunshine. I dragged my boyfriend to the nearest beach, thinking it would be sandy and clean, and we could go for a walk while sipping some smoothies. Unfortunately I was not greeted by the warm vision I was hoping for.

It was still pretty messy and frozen, so we were forced to stick to the boardwalk. That’s okay, we still has fun in the warmth of an early spring.

After the beach, we went to this cute little antique shop in town and explored. This place had all kinds of amazing nicknacks, from original publications of Archie comics to vintage luggage. We dug in and wandered through a little bit of history.

Not wanting to stay indoors just yet, we stopped by a park and hopped on the swings. And of course, I made my boyfriend pretend to be a photographer and take OOTD photos “for the blog.”


Shortly after this impromptu photo shoot, I realized that there were patches glued to the inside of my pants, underneath the distressing. I got really excited and ripped them off because my theory about distressed jeans is that you better go big or go home.

We finished off the day with an amazing (and kind of strange) dinner of pepperoni and mushroom pizza, and Brussels sprouts (I love them. I love Brussels sprouts. Sue me.). I wish I had thought to take a photo of that, because once we plated the pizza and veggies, it honestly looked like such a weird and unappetizing combination, but it was exactly what we were craving. We ate while watching Big Hero Six and Horrible Bosses 2 (another weird combination…), and we laughed a lot. Despite the muddy beach and the fact that this headcold of mine is a stage 5 clinger, it was a wonderful time spent with someone I truly love, and that’s all I need to have a perfect day.

022912

Dear Uncle Vern,

Saturday will be three years that you’ve been gone. (Well, sort of. February 29 is the technical anniversary, but evidently that doesn’t happen every year.) Three years in which I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I would want to say to you, if I was somehow given 10 minutes in which to do so. Believe me, there’s a lot of words I could throw at you. Actually, there’s a lot of words that I’ve thrown at your gravestone, but unlike those dramatic scenes on television would have you believe, that doesn’t offer a lot of closure. In fact, it just makes you feel a little insane – I mean I’ve literally stood at your headstone and said some terrible things, apologized, cried, and then continued saying terrible things. And not just once, either. I’ve done this several times. Doesn’t that seem a little crazy to you? It feels like a scene from a bad Hugh Grant movie or something.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the last three years trying to justify my feelings toward you. Let me be frank, they aren’t pleasant feelings. My memories of those four days are perpetually fresh in my mind. They can replay in my head like a movie – and they often do. That’s why I haven’t slept in three years. That’s why I’ve developed anxiety that’s triggered by dark or silence. It’s because when I close my eyes, I hear my mom sobbing and her empty, dull sounding voice. I hear my dad’s broken words over the phone. I hear my sweet brother asking when we’re going to see you in the hospital. I hear my grandfather quietly trying to piece together how this happened. I hear my grandma, panicked and saying it’s not right that we were leaving you at the cemetery. You have no idea how fucking broken these people were because of you, so you’ll have to forgive me for feeling a little bitter for all this time.

You know how there’s 5 stages of grief? I think that’s bullshit. I go through those stages and a slew of new ones every time I remember the four worst days of my life. Disbelief, anger, bitterness, guilt, sadness, bargaining, exhaustion, rock-bottom depression, and horror. The worst feeling, though, was this awful sense of feeling like my family could never be put back together. This feeling is quite literally the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. I wanted to claw my skin off and scream until my throat is raw because I couldn’t fix this. That might sound dramatic but you have no idea how it feels to watch everyone you love go through that kind of pain and hell, and know that there’s nothing you could possibly do to help them. Thankfully, I don’t feel that part anymore. This family has done a hell of a good job of repairing itself.

Acceptance is supposed to be the last stage of grief. I’m not there yet, and experts (AKA my dad) say it takes about 5 years to reach, so I suppose I have some time. Every time I feel like I might almost be there, like maybe I’m ready to forgive you, move on, and try to sleep with the lights off, I swear I see you. Not like an apparition or even a hallucination, but I swear I see you in the flesh. I get a flash of recognition when I see a guy with long, dark hair, or someone driving a white Grand Am, and in the moments afterwards I’m thrown back into a spiral of anger and sadness again. But I’m getting better – I left flowers on your grave for the first time in a really long time, just because I wanted to say hi. I told a funny story about that Christmas when I schooled you in Wii Bowling the other day. I played a Sonic the Hedgehog game and remembered playing with you on your Sega a million years ago, and the memory gave me a teary smile.

I’m getting better, Uncle Vern, and I want you to know that. I don’t want to hate you anymore because that’s not fair. I don’t want my memories of you to consist of heartbreak; I want to smile when I remember being a kid and wearing your giant size 13 shoes instead of my own. I want to remember the years that were good, instead of the last three that have been pretty terrible. I want to be brave, because our family deserves it.

I love you, and you’ll always be a hero to me.

Out With the Old, and Such

Hello new faces!
I made the decision to move my blog over from it’s former host to WordPress on a whim. Honestly, there wasn’t much thought behind the decision besides the fact that WordPress is a more well-known platform. After dealing with the dismay and heartbreak over not being able to get my usual username/url (it’s not even being used, it’s just reserved!), I opened up a fresh, new account and started exploring.

Upon opening my account, I knew I was going to like it here – I love the fact that this isn’t just a blogging platform – it’s more community based. I can visit people’s profile, read about them, follow them, etc. I’m a huge believer in the importance of online communities, and in my approximately 3 hours of actual activity on WordPress, I’ve gotten more attention and felt more welcome than I did in 8 months on my former host. Though I suppose a good reason for that is due to the fact that I had a bunch of content ready to throw up and republish, but I’d like to think that another reason is that y’all are just such nice people!

I’m looking forward to getting to know the community and sharing some thoughts with you guys. Thanks for welcoming me with such open arms.

More Than An Icon

[originally published 5 months ago on stephaniefaye.sbvtle.com]

friends

I have a belief that no one has very many ‘all time favourites’; you only get two or three. For the most part, as you grow and change in your tastes, you leave things behind – music you used to listen to on a loop, books you read again and again, until the spine cracked – one day, you just don’t love them as much as you used to. It’s fun to revisit old mix CD’s and remember that time in your life, but try as you might, you’ll never appreciate those songs as much as you did all those years ago. I have three tried and true all time favourites. The Lion King is my all time favourite movie. She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5 is my all time favourite song (as much as I try to convince you it’s Cocaine Blues by Johnny Cash or Hey Jude by The Beatles… I’m lying).  And FRIENDS is my all time favourite TV show. It’s what I watch when I’m sad, or when I’m sick, or on a rainy Thursday evening. It’s been my comfort over countless nights of not sleeping.  It’s truly a safe haven for me. It’s something that will always calm me down, make me laugh and help me solve whatever problems I’m having. It’s something that’s always there for me. *Cue air guitar riffs* I’m only 23 years old, so I didn’t watch the show much as it was airing. My cousins were obsessed, though. They got me the first two seasons for my twelfth birthday, and I was absolutely hooked after that. I remember the night that the finale aired, and despite the fact that my knowledge of the show didn’t hold much past the first two seasons, I watched it twice, and cried both times. I cried because Monica and Chandler had twins (the fact that Monica and Chandler got married was surprising, but I rolled with it). I cried because Phoebe finally got her normal happily-ever-after. I cried because Joey had more poultry in his life. And of course, I cried because Rachel got off that damn plane. The fact that I cried along with 52.46 million other people shows exactly how powerful this show was. I’m not the only person this show had such an incredible impact on, there are millions of others who are so thankful that this show exists. FRIENDS taught me to enjoy life, to make the most of everything I have, that love is worth working your ass off for, that there’s nothing a good cup of coffee can’t fix, and that it’s okay to be miserable sometimes when you have the best group of people around you to pick you up. Thank you Marta Kauffman, David Crane, and Kevin Bright. Thank you for creating this world for us to fall into. Thank you to all of the writers for shaping such a witty, clever, and real script. And of course, thank you to David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston for bringing all of it to life; for coming through my television screen and giving me genuine happiness. I suppose for everything you’ve given me over the last 20 years, I’ll forgive you for not doing a reunion.