Holiday blues and stresses…how to cope

Christmas tree with lights and all. But who also feels sadness?

The end of the year is upon us so what to do? I know it’s a hard time of year for many and here’s the reasons. We feel obligated to make it perfect, magical and happy. Hallmark movies, and ideas of family togetherness. Getting everything on our wish list and giving the best most amazing gifts. Hitting relationship and career goals, anticipating a holiday vacation that is heavy in price tag and planning…etc. Trying not to over eat, but trying not to miss out on holiday treats. Keeping traditions while not really having time or energy for the rituals we once held dear. It’s never ending the way people stress over the holidays. And in my experience it’s almost always disappointing in some way. I call it my Xmas curse, but I guess it’s inevitable that the end of the year in all of it’s hype, is not all it’s supposed to be.

So how do we cope mentally during such a trying time of the year? How do we find balance and peace during a time that is supposedly all of that and more? The solution can be as simple and complicated as one wants it. But ultimately, it’s all about understanding ourselves and reaching out for what will realistically make a simple solution. Here are my go to’s this year for treating holiday blues:

  1. Have time for myself: People are afraid to be alone during the holidays. And working a lot is the norm as well. The pressure to fill every moment and minute with another being or working overtime to make year end goals, is not quality time. Trying not to feel alone; not scheduling alone time for reflection and isolation is a negative thing. Solitude during this time of year when the first snow hits makes sense. Embrace it. People will always be around, but the quiet beauty of being one with oneself is a fragile state that must be prioritized.
  2. Rest a lot: Being stressed and overwhelmed during the holidays is a natural occurrence. Rest and relaxation is not. Which is why I have to work hard at not working hard. Whether it is skipping groceries for a day and ordering take-out or procrastinating on hanging ornaments and xmas lights…it’s really important to rest. It also helps my immune system during the first cold spell and prevents me from getting sick.
  3. Don’t go shopping: It’s really tempting with all the sales and everyone on the list to not hit the malls frantically and spend. Gifts can be simple and don’t have to be perfect. Spend less time buying and more time thinking about the people you want to gift to. Everything tends to fall into place without too much stress/spending usually. Try to remember that.
  4. Don’t over eat: Let’s be honest, food is comforting. Whenever I feel sad or alone, I am reaching for salty noodle soup, spicey condiments, and tons of delicious fried delicacies. It’s relaxing and rewarding for the moment and releases happy hormones. But the aftermath is guilt and disgust at myself when all my clothes are tight, and I’m not as cute and petite as I like to be. Everything in moderation. I don’t want to deprive myself, but honestly, I don’t have to over indulge.
  5. Watch the drinking: Sometimes during the holidays, we are encouraged to let loose and drink. Especially when things are not panning out the way we want. A boyfriend forgets to call, an argument with a sister; during the holidays, these mishaps feel ten times worse. The quick fix is to grab a cocktail. But drinking heightens emotions and subdues restraints. Meaning one can say things one doesn’t mean, or feel even worse about a situation. I’m not saying not to drink. But stay aware of the amount taken and how it may distort one’s perspective on things.
Happy Holidays. Remember to take care and stay beautiful!

So there it is. My list of things to help me navigate the holiday season, mentally healthy and happy. The end of the year is a time for reflection and no anxiety, so why not make efforts to thwart the tendency for chaos? What better way to right in the new year that to prioritize rest, peace, and self respect? Happy holidays everyone from the bottom of my heart to all this season. And see you on Dreamy Reveries in the new year! I have a lot planned for 2023 here!

Glamorous Eye Make-up for the Holidays and Parties

So the holidays have long gone, I am glad.  For some reason, end of the year festivities always make me sad.  Just so much obligation to buy presents, go to church, see family, go on vacation, eat, drink, party…etc. It’s just too overwhelming for me for some reason.  At least during this time, I was able to host two parties…and try out a glamorous make-up look that is dramatic, and formal, but still fun and pretty.  I like it because the use of colour is minimal, it relies more on the shape and boldness of the eyeliner.

I was inspired by these photos I found on tumbler:

Tian Yi! she is the Asian model in this pic. I think the fashion world needs more diversity in it. :)
Elsa Hosk and Tian Yi! She is the Asian model in this pic. I think the fashion world needs more diversity in it. 🙂

Ana de Armas, channeling all kinds of pretty!
Ana de Armas, channeling all kinds of pretty!

Notice how these two photos have bold black liner on top lid as the main focus?  For my holiday party look I combined the looks above…the heavily retro, overly dramatic eyes of the models and meshed it with the classic gorgeousness of the simple cat eye of Ana’s make up.  And this is what I got:

IMG_3515 (2)
I wanted something bold, but still soft…

I did this one with more of a point flicked up...but still bold...
I did this one with more of a point flicked up…but still bold…

How I got my Dreamy Party Look:

  1. Do your make-up foundation as usual.  If it is a fancy party, you can put on more foundation or concealer where you need it. Line your brows.
  2. Pick a neutral eye shadow.  I find the more bold the liner, the more neutral the colour should be.  That keeps things elegant and not garish.  I used a gold pearly colour on my lids, but a nude with shimmer, or sparkle shadow would also work if you want a bit more glam.
  3. THIS IS THE SECRET: line your top lid with black eye shadow with an angle brush.  Get the general shape you want.  At first you will see how the eye shadow doesn’t give you the graphic look you desire.  It gives you softness, a soft thick even line.  Now part two: get out your liquid liner/pen and trace along the edges of where you put your shadow for bold edges, kind of outlining the shape.  You will not be able to see where the black shadow line ends and where the liquid liner begins, I promise.
  4. Add blush and fake lashes for extra oomph!

Notes: Why do two kinds of liner?  That is a good question. Liquid liner is a devil to wear on the lid.  It can be thick, crusty and just cakey and crackly if you wear it in large quantities.  As a little swipe on your lid to do a cat eye, just liquid is fine, but for thicker lines, the coverage is not as smooth as pencil or shadow lining.  So to get the best of both worlds: smooth colour and graphic edges, a lot of girls do this trick of just outlining the edges of shadow/pencil lines with liquid liner to give it shape and definition.  Give it a try today and see how it helps keep graphic eye make-up from being too heavy or harsh.

Tip:  I like to use a pen liner.  I get one with a pointy tip that makes nice fine lines and is dark and intense in colour.  Pen liners resemble markers, so it is like drawing on your skin and eyes.  But the control you get from the pen is so much more than what you get from liquid brushes…



Holiday travel: Do you need a special skincare regimen?

We always get these kinds of travel tips.  But the actual useful ones?  Read on! (image from
We always get these kinds of travel tips. But the actual useful ones? Read on! (image from

I haven’t been travelling much lately since I’ve been busy with a lot of side projects.  But when I look back at my travels all over the world, one thing links them:  How do you arrive at your destination looking fresh, happy, and rejuvenated?  When I was twenty, I really could enter a plane and leave with perfect skin having done nothing.  Now that I am a bit older (just a bit), if I do nothing, I will have puffy eyes and dull skin after a trip.  It is a mystery why traveling on a moving vehicle brings out the worst in skin: namely bloating, dehydrated skin, eye bags, and water retention.  There is something about riding on a bus/plane/train that does this.  And every gal needs a plan to combat this.  Arriving at your destination looking well rested and fresh is important.  I want whoever is picking me up to be impressed.  Here are my tried and true tips for minimizing the damages of travel.

Do these steps during your trip on a plane/bus/train:

  1. Hydration: drink water, drink water, and then drink water.  It keeps your body fresh by flushing out toxins, and discourages water retention.  Water retention is your enemy because it makes you look super puffy.  Avoid salt, since it can make you bloat.
  2. Tea does something: A hot cup of tea steams up your face, gives your body antioxidants and soothes stomach and digestion.  It also help calm the nerves and provides hydration.  All things you need while on a plane/bus.
  3. Tone your skin:  Toxins and dirt stick to your skin while travelling.  Car and bus exhaust, recycled airplane air.  They all suffocate your skin.  Spritz a mister of spring water on your face, or do what I do and pack a bit of rose water.  Put the toner on a cotton swab and dab your way to refreshment.
  4. Moisturize.  After toning your face, put a good weigh moisturizer on your face.  I find creams to be a bit greasy for day wear, so cocoa butter and coconut oil are my go to’s.
  5. Sleep.  I can’t say this enough.  Arriving at a destination sleep deprived affects your spirit, personality and appearance.  You can’t think straight if you are tired.  I like to use a sleeping pill if travelling over night to ensure I sleep on those bumpy travel routes.
  6. Make-up: you need a bit.  Travelling while wearing too much make-up feels gross, so don’t over do it.  Just before you arrive at your destination, touch up with essentials such as bb cream, mascara and lipstick/tinted lip balm.  This makes all the difference and boost the effects of all the hard work you did during the trip for your skin.  Put in some hair salve to moisturize your hair ends.

Voila!  Arrive at your destination looking effortlessly gorgeous and enjoy the holidays!  You only live once so have fun looking and feeling your best.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! 🙂