The kinds of people you shouldn’t date

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

When I started writing theNotice, I wanted to create a safe space. Its bread and butter has always been beauty content, but I wanted to create a blog where anyone could talk about the kinds of things you’re not “supposed” to talk about, in the comments or even by email.

That’s why I’ve covered everything from eating disorders to tampons to IUDs over the past eight years, and that’s why I’m talking about relationships today.

I haven’t discussed everything in my life here on theNotice, and frankly it would be weird if I had, but I’d like to be able to say that I haven’t lied about anything, at least. So, for my first post of 2016, here’s a little bit of honesty about my last boyfriend.

(Spoiler alert, he was shitty.)

happymonsters

Source: Happy Monsters

“If someone else is being a dick, that’s not on you.”

When people ask you about your partner, I feel like there’s always pressure to give them the answers that they want to hear. To share super-cute anecdotes about the two of you; to laugh coyly and lie about how good the sex is. It’s easy to champion how well your friends should be treated (so well! Like majestic unicorns!), but it’s so much harder to say “hey, the Nice Guy™ that I’m dating actually kind of treats me like trash” to your mutual friends, hopefully-not-mutual family, and colleagues.

Here is the other half of the story about my ex and I.

My ex was saccharine-sweet to me 99% of the time, but he would also spit words at me and make me feel absolutely disgusting when he had had a bad day. He’d use cute nicknames and tell me that he loved me, but he’d guilt trip me for making him feel bad when I flinched away from contact.

My ex would tell me that of course he worried about me, but he’d follow it up with “because nobody else in your life is going to.” He would tell me that I was being unfair by asking him to see a therapist about his severe depression instead of unloading on me, and did I have any idea how much of a burden it was on him that I have a physical disability?

My ex would call me every night to ask me about my day, but he would also finger me so roughly that I would cry, and then fall into a funk for days over the fact that my crying made him feel “useless.” He would get so mad at me for having panic attacks that I would end up cowered in the corner of my bedroom trying to hide from him, and he’d tell me that I was being unfair, because it’s not like he was hitting me.

whalecom chibird

Source: Chibird

“Even if your relationship could be worse, that’s not an excuse.”

The #1 thing that stopped me from saying anything bad about my relationship is a universal of (too) many other relationships: I was embarrassed to admit that I let someone else treat me like that. But you know what? If someone else is being a dick, that’s not on you. Not even if you covered for them in the past.

But the other thing that stopped me was the knowledge that my relationship wasn’t as bad as many others are. What I’ve come to realize over the past 10 months, however, is that even if your relationship could be worse, that’s not an excuse for the ways in which it sucks. Like, if you buy a really shitty mascara and it clumps your lashes into a gross uni-lash, you’re not like, oh, it didn’t rot my eyes away with acid, so I guess I have to recommend it to a friend now–why would you give more leeway to something as important as your relationship?

I also spent a lot of time excusing him for things because, well, I honestly don’t think that he had any idea that the way he was treating me was wrong. But just because someone doesn’t consciously decide to be cruel, that doesn’t make their actions any less terrible, and I’ve slowly come to remember that your partner’s ignorance should NOT excuse their actions.

fox

Source: Bridget Beth via DIY with Maryann

“If something is unacceptable FOR YOU, then it’s unacceptable.”

There is a part of my brain that looks at this post and thinks no, you can’t say that; it’s unprofessional. It’s uncouth. But like — fuck that part of my brain. Fuck that part of all of our brains. I had no idea that my last relationship was messed up because no one ever tells you what level of anguish is unacceptable, so you know what? I’m going to talk about it. It’s not unprofessional: it’s necessary.

As far as I’m concerned, any level of cruelty high enough to cause mental distress is unacceptable. You’re not a checklist, you’re a person, and if it’s unacceptable for you, then it’s unacceptable. There is a wide margin between an abusive relationship and a healthy relationship, and if you fall short of a even just a passably good relationship–if your partner makes you stressed, sad, and unhappy–then yeah, I think you owe it your yourself to move on.

positivedoodles hedgehog

Source: Emm’s Positivity Blog

“My super-fun two and a half year torture party,”

I stayed with my ex because I thought that all relationships would be some degree of bad, and I was scared that nobody better would ever want me. Everyone has always told me that that was nonsense, because I’m pretty and smart and blah blah blah, but have you met women in general? They’re amazing. They’re all so gorgeous and intelligent and fucking funny, and most of them aren’t permanently disabled–who would want me?

(Lots of people, apparently. There are a lot of lonely people out there in the world.)

I gave myself three days to pick myself up off the floor after breaking off my super-fun two and a half year torture party, and then I got right back into the saddle & tried out my first-ever dating app.* I had my first date scheduled before the week was out, and while we didn’t work out romantically, we’re still friends– we text almost constantly, or at least, we did (but then he got a very cute, very dumb puppy and now he spends all of his free time crying and cleaning up pee.)

*Quick online dating tips: OK Cupid is awesome if you want to screen people for their likes and leanings; Tinder is awesome if you only want to be messaged by people you match with (which can make it a great choice if you’re LGBTQ+). People seem to be hotter and younger on Tinder, for some reason, but more artsy/geeky on OK Cupid.

I met my current partner on Tinder! And I’d tell you the full story, but it’s just not as funny unless we tell it together, so I will keep you in the dark on that for now.

If you wanted an awesome conclusion to this post, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. I am very small, and currently very sick. But I can tell you this: I wanted to share my story so that anyone out there needing to talk (about something present or past) would hopefully see this as a safe space, too. So for anyone who wants to weigh in, share stories, or get all academic on us–feel free to use the comments down below at any time when you want someone to listen.

Anonymous comments are welcome.

pusheen hug every person

Source: Everyday Cute (Pusheen!)

I don’t view the relationship I described here as abusive, but if you’re in a relationship where you feel mentally or physically unsafe, please, please, please check out the following resources to get help when you feel ready.

Clinique #FaceForward: What advice would you give your future self?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Clinique Face Forward Fall 2015 Turnaround facial mask

“If you could give your future-self any advice, what would it be?”

Right now, Clinique is challenging millenials to ask themselves a question: “If you could give your future-self any advice, what would it be?”

The #FaceForward campaign flips the usual conversation (“what advice would you give your past self?”) and encourages women to break boundaries, challenge themselves, and reach their goals. To #FaceForward toward the future, if you will ;)

Clinique Even Better mask, Pore Refining charcoal mask

I’ve been thinking a lot about this question recently, and I think that if I could only give my future self one piece of advice, it would be this:

Keep saying YES.

Keep saying yes is the mantra that I’ve been operating on since the summer (paired with my old standby, GO HARD), and it has inspired and encouraged me every single day since then. To me, it means be better than you are — not to be better than your peers, but to be better tomorrow than you are today. It means saying yes to new opportunities and challenges, no matter how scary, and operating in a way that would make your past self proud.

Together, “keep saying yes” and “go hard” are a way to conduct yourself that leaves you always striving: if, at any given point, your very best is the comparison point for not good enough, then there’s always something pushing you.

Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen

It was easy to keep saying yes while I was away, but it’s more difficult now that the summer is over. When you’re no longer surrounded by creatives and cityscapes and beauty left and right, staying on track is like trying to get your six glasses of water a day: hard, likely to make you pee a lot, and as gruelling as it is rewarding.

Here on the prairies, everything is so far, and the ground beneath my feet never feels quite like home. I find that I struggle to stay inspired, but I’ve been keeping my little #FaceForward on my desk to remind myself to look to the future and keep saying yes. 

And you know what? I think it’s helping.

Clinique Face Forward Even Better mask

What piece advice would you give your future self?

Spot the Neutrogena + 2015 launch preview | theNotice goes to Toronto!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

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The big event that I was in Toronto for was Neutrogena’s 2015 Skincare Expert launch party, so today, I wanted to go over (briefly!) some of the Neutrogena adventures that I had while I was in the city… and, of course, talk about some of the new products that they have coming out. (The reviews will come later; this is just a little preview.)

This year, Neutrogena is focusing on what they call the Art of Formulation. They described it like this: if you have a bucket of grapes, you can make grape juice, or you can make wine. So, for 2015, the brand is taking their grapes, adding a twist of innovation, and turning them into a fine wine, accessible to all.

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I don’t know what was in this, but it was amazing and I could drink these every single day. Something about “gilded somethingorother” with bitters, bourbon, and pineapple juice. (But seriously, I’m dying to know how to make this at home, because delicious.)

Tree plate

A tree bark-inspired dish (caramelized foie gras, roasted parsnip bark, and cedar jelly), inspired by one of Neutrogena’s 2015 innovations!

This year, look for three new moisture-boosting products with hyaluronic acid (the Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream looks particularly good), and keep an eye out for the Triple Age Repair with Hexinol line, in purple — that stuff smells really good, and the day cream comes with an SPF of 25. Plus, fans of the Pink Grapefruit line can look forward to the brand’s first-ever Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Pink Grapefruit Moisturizer, which is very fluid and smells just as bright as the rest of the line.

If you love a good primer, make sure to try the Healthy Skin primers ones when they come out (the Refining one mattes the skin for eight hours, and the Tone Corrector adds super glowy shimmer), and if you’re ‘cone-free like I am, then you can look forward to not one, not two, but three exciting new silicone-free products from Neutrogena this year!

Neutrogena 2015 silicone-free launches

Silicone-free launches coming your way!

The Healthy Skin Boosters Facial Cleanser and Exfoliating Scrub are silicone-free and smell really fresh and delicious, with added extracts of white tea and Vitamin E, and the ‘cone-free Neutrogena Naturals moisturizer will be joined by the first silicone-free Neutrogena makeup wipes ever. These wipes are gooood, you guys — they’re super wet, and the ladies hosting the event mentioned that they were their favourite wipes out of the entire Neutrogena lineup. (Finally, an all-natural product that’s even better than its classic counterpart!)

Arianne and Jessica

finally got to meet these girls!!!!! ( Jessica / Arianne )

Arianne!!

Seriously, how cute is this gorgeous mom-to-be??

Spot the Neutrogena

To say thanks to Neutrogena for sending me away on this amazing trip to Toronto, I put together a little series of “Spot the Neutrogena” images while I was in the city. (Which were, largely, lost along with my camera, but I made up for it the best I could). It’s not much of a thank-you present, but it was the most fun one that I could think of: I mean, we’re all adults here, or close enough, but no one really ever grows out of I-Spy.

So I’ll leave you to spot some Neutrogena products in the photos below, and good luck to you all! Let me know in the comments if you find ’em ;)

Spot the Neutrogena at breakfast

Neutrogena Naturals Multi-Vitamin Night Cream

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Neutrogena Naturals Multi-Vitamin Night Cream (in box)

Keep reading! »

A week away | theNotice goes to Toronto!

Monday, March 2, 2015

As some of you may know already (and if you don’t, why aren’t you following theNotice’s Twitter and Instagram channels?), I was lucky enough to spend last week in Toronto thanks to Neutrogena, visiting all kinds of beautiful shops, learning about the coolest new products of the year, and meeting the most hilarious, amazing women.

So. Today, I’m going to catch you up on what I’ve been up to over the past few weeks; on Wednesday, I’m going to share my Neutrogena experience with you (including a little game of I-Spy!); and on Friday, I’ll be posting my review of the (gorgeous) Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie.

Note: I lost my camera while I was away (cry) so I don’t have a ton of photos to share with you… but here’s what I had saved to my phone!

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The Detox Market (Canada/Toronto)

The Detox Market

If you live by Toronto’s Detox Market, you have to visit it. Like, STAT. And bring your wallet!

This little shop (which was originally meant to be a pop-up shop in 2009 but is still around and thriving) is packed from wall to wall with an incredibly well-curated selection of skincare, haircare, cosmetics, and everything from ready-to-boil soups (just add water!) to delicious green juices by Greenhouse.

And ugh, it has the best vibe. Great music, beautiful setup, and the most magical lighting.

Odacite oil review

Little trays of Odacité

If you get the chance to go to The Detox Market, make sure to:

  • Pick up an serum concentrate oil by Odacité (their top-selling range, which I adore) — I hear the blueberry serum is amazing for scarring,
  • Check out Rahua, which literally everyone who works in the store is obsessed with,
  • Smell the Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin C Body Oil (the prettiest),
  • Give the W3ll People makeup line a swatch (this is the only place you’ll be able to do it in Canada), and
  • Try a cold-pressed Greenhouse juice! The Good and The Giver are sugar free — I bought a bottle of The Giver on my way out (it was too pretty not to), and it was delicious. Annika, the woman who was working at the Greenhouse table that day, said that it was one of their earthier ones, but the balance of lemon and ginger masks the green-ness of the juice so well. If this is earthy, man, the rest of the line must be like drinking healthy candy.

Greenhouse Juice review

Rodial launches cosmetics

I have a handful of products from this launch that you can bet your bones I’ll be reviewing for you soon, but just as a little preview: Rodial is launching cosmetics this March, and you guys, you need to get excited for this now

I’ve heard amazing things about the new Glamolash mascaras (a skinny wand for day wear and a chubby one for serious volume), which were wear-tested on Rodial’s London employees overnight to ensure that they wouldn’t flake, and the upcoming brush line is SO plush and dense. The brushes look and feel super luxe, and they put even the best Real Techniques synthetics to shame.

Rodial Glamolash review preview

Rodial cosmetics review preview

A few bits & bites

And, finally, the last thing that I have to share with you (and thank you for sticking with me until the end, if you have) is that M and I kind of broke up when I came home. I mean, we did. We did and now I am sad.

It’s a weird time for me right now, because so much has changed in just a few days, but I’m okay. You know how it is: you cut seven inches off of your hair, go travelling for the first time as a disabled human being, meet the people that you’ve been friends with for (literally, in one case) seven years… break up with your boyfriend of two and a half years and then cry about it.

It was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do, but hey. I visited three libraries on Friday and he’s still sending me upside-down monkey emoticons; we’re gonna be just fine.

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This stately old house surrounded by tall buildings

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Bloor & Spadina. I could have stayed here forever.

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TORONTO REFERENCE LIBRARY!!!

Keep reading! »

Fibromyalgia is…

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fibromyalgia is: staying home.

Fibromyalgia is missing birthdays, missing dinners, missing holidays.

(Fibromyalgia is: “oh, you get to stay in bed all day? Must be nice.”)

Fibromyalgia is redefining your goals, your future.

Fibromyalgia is learning to be zen. The most zen. The zennest.

Fibromyalgia is re-learning how to live: how to move, how to dress, how to wash and sleep and play.

Fibromyalgia is “not today, I’m too tired.”

Fibromyalgia is learning to be proud of the little things. The little, little things.

Fibromyalgia is learning to ask for help (I’m still learning this one.)

Fibromyalgia is people leaving, people leaving, people leaving.

and people staying.

Fibromyalgia is surrounding yourself with only those

who really, really love you,

because there isn’t room for anyone else.

 

Fibromyalgia is sacrifice.

 

Fibromyalgia is being stronger than yourself.

 

////

 

In the comments, I’d like to invite you to share your own “is” statements.

 

What is being healthy, to you? What is being sick? What is being a minority, or a majority? What’s it like to be an accountant, a makeup artist, a college student? What’s it like to be tired, or loved, or a mother or daughter or cousin?

Big or small, I want to know what it’s like to be you. So: will you take a minute out of your day to tell me?

Saffire Blue: What are your worst online shopping “horror stories”?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

As you all know, I’m not one to complain… very much. When I run into problems behind the scenes at theNotice, 95% of the time, you never hear about it — whether that’s a PR firm who’s upset over a product getting a bad review, or a rep for the company who could stand to learn a few things from Emily Post.

Over the past few months, though, I’ve been going through one of the most upsetting interactions I’ve ever had with a company. I don’t have any other form of recourse for their behaviour (you can’t Yelp an online store, after all — can you?), so here’s a warning for any of you in Canada who are thinking about buying cosmetic ingredients and packaging.

saffire blue - fraud vs bad business

I made an order at Saffire Blue this January (just shy of $100), and it arrived in early February. When I opened up the box, however, I found that a number of the items I bought were missing — seven of them, to be precise.

I contacted the company immediately, and contacted them again a week later when I hadn’t heard back from them. We exchanged a handful of emails, and then, after about a week, they suddenly stopped responding.

saffireblueinc

I called them out on it on Twitter to help speed things up (PayPal’s insurance is time-limited) because the squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? But instead of saying “oops, sorry, we’ll get right on that,”, they instead made public claims saying I had never contacted them, even though their customer service rep had replied to many of my emails, and I have a record of all of them.

I had paid for the order through PayPal, so I opened up a dispute about the items. Throughout the course of this interaction, their CEO repeatedly stated that they had offered to send me the missing items — a request which I had been making for weeks, and which they had repeatedly denied. Each time I offered to take them up on it, they immediately backtracked and said that they would only reimburse me for the cost of the missing items, and refused to send them out or refund me the cost of shipping for the missing items — a cost which was worth 4x the value of the items, which made up over half of what they charged me for shipping, and which they never had to pass forward to the shipping carrier.

saffire blue false claims - mission statement

Sure, I’m raving — but probably not in the way you wanted, guys.

PayPal has now said that my only form of recourse is to file against them for fraud. I don’t intend to do this–because I don’t think it was fraud, I think it was just spectacularly bad business–but I did want to get a post on their company out there in the open.

If you need to buy raw ingredients or packaging materials in Canada, I encourage you to avoid Saffire Blue at all costs. They have a wonderful selection and website, but their customer service is unhelpful, humiliating, and quite frankly, full of lies. I’m not saying you should avoid all small retailers (this is the only time I’ve had anything but gold-star service from any online store, big or small!), but remember: even in the business world, you can’t count on everyone to be honest or professional.

What have your worst experiences with online shopping been? Is there anyone that you’d like to warn us about?

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