, pub-5075614835530024, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 May 2020 | Classically Contemporary

Friday, May 22, 2020

10 Things to Do When you Have Time Off, or Get Laid Off

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
One year ago I had some time off between jobs, and I am so thankful to have experienced this break from the "daily grind". I began working in advertising immediately after graduating from university. I had absolutely no time off, which was A-OK because I didn't want to lose momentum. For those three years of working in media sales, I spent all of my vacation time actually on vacation - which was totally worthwhile, but also very busy.

From Italy to Spain, and BC to Cuba, it wasn't uncommon for me to fly out Friday night and arrive home Sunday night, only to start work again on Monday at 9. For adventure-style trips like hiking in Alberta or touring Barcelona by foot, I always felt like I needed a vacation, FROM my vacation! And don't get me started on the prep... I take packing very seriously, and there are many rounds of edits that go into fitting two weeks worth of shiz into a little carry on bag. Believe me, it can be done!

So when my office closed, I felt like a university student again. Being able to wake up at 9 (or later), going to appointments at 2 p.m., and shopping with all the grannies at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday. It was fine, but I didn't want to get too used to it. I'm someone who thrives off of routine and needs to be surrounded by inspiring people to get work done. Otherwise, I laze around for hours in the morning, and work on my hobbies, like this blog, into the wee hours of the night. Not good!

This break in my career fortunately happened at the best possible moment. Within the two months, my oldest sister gave birth to her second boy, my middle sister got married, my cousin from Belgium came to stay with us for a week, and I was able to dedicate time to creating a whole new workshop strategy for teens undergoing cancer through my volunteer work with LGFB Canada. It was busy, but there were still moments where I felt a bit empty and unsure of my future. I reconnected with some former colleagues and friends that I had been meaning to see for so long, and those lunches and chats were so awesome. There's nothing quite like the power of human connection, especially when you're looking for direction.

In this wild time that we're experiencing right now, many of us have had to suddenly pivot into a new way of life. I encourage you to try and feel thankful for any extra time you may have right now, or if you are bombarded with extra work, have faith that if we continue to work together, things will get better. During my time off last year, I was able to reevaluate my priorities, reflect on my strengths, write out new goals, and ultimately prepare for the future. Here are 10 things I recommend doing during your next spurt of "time off":

Thursday, May 21, 2020

At-Home Manicure Essentials | DIY Mani Tips

Manicure Essentials At Home

Hi Everyone! I wanted to share some of my favourite at-home-mani essentials for this time in quarantine when salons are closed:

At Home Manicure Tips

Be sure to check out my tried and true tips in this blog post before painting your nails.

Here's a brief summary on how to keep your nails from chipping:

1. Take a bath
2. Remove Cuticles
3. Once dry, buff and file nails
*I like to do this the day before so my nails are super smooth
4. Clean any oil off nails with rubbing alcohol (not polish remover or acetone - those can leave polish-loosening residue) wipe with a muslin style TOWEL - not cotton, that leaves fuzzies!
5. Prep nails with OPI Nail Envy Matte - this strengthening polish always protects my nails from chipping and breaking, along with serving as the ideal matte base for nail polish over top. My nails are never left yellow and one bottle literally lasts 3-5 years
6. Apply 2-3 thin coats of polish and let them fully dry in between (5 min)
Pass over the nail once, don't keep applying! This will make the polish junk up and smear
7. Finish with a generous layer of top coat. My all-time fav is INM Out The Door
8. Again, follow the rule: one-and-done. Do not apply 5 strokes of top coat. 3 max, then let it dry. You can always clean up with an orange stick or apply more!
9. Re-apply top coat every 4 days to keep your mani strong and fresh.
10. Wear dish gloves and apply cuticle oil and hand cream daily to keep the nail beds healthy.


  • Cuticle Oil and Hand Cream - apply this the day after your manicure to prolong the life of your polish and to keep cuticles/nails strong - healthy nails start with moisturized cuticles!
  • Top Coat: Sally Hansen, Essie Top Coat or INM Out The Door (cheapest at Sally’s Beauty)
  • Nail Wheel to practice designs or swatch colours
  • How to remove glitter polish? 100% acetone applied to the nails using a robust cotton pad like these Shiseido ones - then scrub! If any glitter flakes remain, gently use a buffing block or cuticle pusher to remove.

Where do I save all of my favourite nail art ideas? PINTEREST! Follow my nail board here.

Happy painting,

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Growing Up In the 90s | Nostalgic 90s and 00s Fashion, Makeup and Lifestyle Memories

Hi everyone! As Alanna puts it, this is exactly the kind of video that you will want to grab a drink, grab a snack, sit back and enjoy because we're keeping it casual, and chatting through Zoom & Webcams. Let me know if you like this style of video, join the conversation in the comments, and if you love it we would be happy to film another one for Alanna's channel! Hope you enjoy, and be sure to visit Alanna at Classy on the Run.



Sunday, May 17, 2020

Lip Balms that Rival Designer Dupes | CATRICE Lip Care

CATRICE Lip Balm Review

Sundays are for self care in my books. Each time there’s a change in season (still winter to spring here in Toronto) I find my lips need some extra attention. Earlier this winter I began testing Catrice's lip care collection, and boy was it love at first swipe. Read on to see how these lovely lip lustres rival my higher-end favs.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Products I've Used Up | Empties #11

beauty empties

I test out a lot of beauty products so it's always interesting to see what I end up using in its entirety. 99% of the time when I don't get along with a product, I promptly pass it on to a family member or friend so that it doesn't sit on a shelf and go off. I try to make sure to share on my Instagram story before I get rid of it, just to make sure everyone is up to date on my recommendations!


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

BARE Minimum Makeup for Video Calls

Makeup for Zoom Calls

Virtual meetings are becoming quite a constant in most of our lives right now. But it hasn't been easy for me to feel as "revved-up" for events that are happening on my desk, versus those that usually happen in the flesh. Makeup for video calls can feel like a drag, but I need to force myself to do SOMETHING or else I get the infamous, "Madeline, are you sick?" interrogation. It's not the first time, as noted here.

I'm loving some unexpected beauty bits right now which have been providing the prettiest boost in 2 minutes or less. Read on to see how my Guerlain Cheek Stain, Henné Lip Balm and Clarins Milky Boost have been giving me a gorg glow.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Treat Yourself with Avon | Glimmerkiss Liquid Lipstick and Peony Rosé Fragrance

AVON Glimmerkiss Liquid Lipstick Peony Rosé

Now that we're "getting used to" isolation and spending time at home, I think May is the perfect time to start thinking of gifts both for mamas (Hi, Mother's Day!) and for ourselves. The sun is peeking out, short sleeves are becoming a reality, and flowers are blooming. Today I wanted to share some glorious fragrances and flirty lipsticks that you can wear all spring to feel a lil' extra fancy.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Best Vitamin C Serum | What Is It, and Why Do You Need It?

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Serum

Vitamin C is frequently recommended by dermatologists because of its multiple benefits. Now that the weather is warming up and the sun is peeking out, there has never been a better time to start integrating this wonderful ingredient into your daily (ideally, morning) skincare routine.
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