theNotice turns 10 | A decade of thanks (and a giveaway worth $560!)

    Today’s the day: as of this afternoon, I’ve been writing theNotice for the past ten years. Which is… I mean, it’s crazy. This blog is officially almost old enough to go to Hogwarts. 

    When I started theNotice, I never thought it would become part of my day to day life. I figured I’d blog a few times a week, as a hobby, and maybe (just maybe!) a few of my friends would read it. But it grew like an unstoppable, beautiful force, and it blows me away to be able to say that writing is now my full-time job. (Want to get started in blogging? I have a series on that, now, too.)

    » Skip to the giveaway «

    Blog posts you should totally hit up

    Throughout this blog post, I’ve linked a few of my favourite posts from the past ten years. I’m particularly proud of my pieces on emotional abuse and IUDs, although I have a few favourite makeup looks, too.

    The makeup look that I’m most proud of is this abstract ETOD, but I’ve done a lot of looks with graphic liner. My cut-out eye look gets a lot of game (it was even featured on Buzzfeed!), and it’s really easy to copy. I also really loved this YSL Arty Stone makeup look – it was one of my very first posts on Instagram, and I am forever aiming to one day look that well-composed again.

    One of my favourite eye palettes from the years I’ve been blogging was this wonder from Lise Watier – oh man, and this guy from Shu. I’ve mishandled my em-dashes for a decade, and I’ve raved about Clinique Chubby Sticks and Clarins Eye Quartets (RIP the originals) for just as long.

    What’s changed in 10 years

    Not to be too overtly clichéd, but: everything. And nothing.

    When I started theNotice, I was a healthy, able-bodied introvert finishing high school. Now, I’m 25, trying my best to live my brightest, most extroverted life. theNotice was the blessing I never expected to get, and it’s been my crutch over the past decade. It was there when I found out, at fifteen, that I would need to have heart surgery. It was there when, at seventeen, I found out that I had a chronic illness. And it’s here now, at 25, creating opportunities for me to work despite my disability.

    I can’t tell you where I’ll be in ten years. What I can tell you is that I consider myself to be unbelievably lucky to have had the past ten. I honestly don’t know if I could have gotten though the past decade without theNotice, and it means so much to me to have an amazing support system here, on the internet, where all of us weirdos can come make sense of things together.

    So whether you’re an OG reader (Sarah, Arianne), one of my fellow spoonies (Katie, Alison), you’ve sent me an email that broke my heart (Efraín, Shannon, Anna!) or you’re brand new to the blog, what’s coming up next is for you. 

    Win $560 of my favourite things from the past 10 years

    I wanted to do something really special for my 10th blogiversary, so here’s one incredible gift bundle for one heckin’ lucky reader. (It’s worth $567.22 if you don’t adjust any of the currencies, but that just doesn’t roll of the tongue in the same way!)

    Every single product in this giveaway is something that I love and use on a daily/weekly basis. These are the items that I re-buy as soon as I run out, from brands that I support because they’re made up of really beautiful souls.

    Here are the amazing goodies that you can win:

    • Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipsticks in Vamp and Cherry ($9.95 CAD each), and Skinny Brow Liner in Universal Taupe ($8.95 CAD)
    • Aveeno Fresh Essentials Moisturizer SPF 30 ($23.49 CAD)
    • Lise Watier Twist & Sharp Eyeliner in Platine ($23 CAD) and Féline Eyeliner HD in Vert ($22 CAD)
    • Lovetica Natural Lip Balms ($18.99 CAD) and Natural Deodorant ($14.99 CAD)
    • Marcelle Translucent Face Powder ($15.95 CAD) and Precision Liquid Eyeliner Pen ($11.95 CAD)
    • MIYU Hydrate Mi Deluxe Pairing ($55 USD)
    • Pür Cosmetics Eye Polish in Satin, Suede, and Caviar ($32 CAD each)
    • SheVibe – Vixen VixSkin Mustang Dildo in Fluor-A-Pink ($140 USD) and Je Joue Mimi Soft External Vibrator in Black ($117 USD)

    Giveaway swatches, L-R: Cherry, Vamp, Precision Liquid Eyeliner, Vert, Universal Ebony, Platine, Suede, Satin, and Caviar.

    Want to win it? It’s easy – just enter using the giveaway widget below. (Full details in the widget.) This prize is shipping directly from my office, so it’s open to everyone: if you’re legally allowed to enter contests in your place of residence, I will ship it out to you.

    Writing theNotice changed my life. Think of this as my way of saying “thank you” – thank you for reading, thank you for commenting, thanking for making my career a reality. ❤️

    theNotice’s big 10th blogiversary giveaway (worth $560!)


    New 23/09/17 & a few *stellar* deals from around the web!

    I don’t even need to really preface this with anything, but… Fenty Beauty, you guys. Have you indulged yet? (It KILLS me that the Fenty Beauty foundation has silicones, but if it didn’t, you know I’d be there. Instead, I’m lusting after the ‘cone-free Match Stix (in Unicorn, obvi) and Killawatt Freestyle Highlighters.

    I don’t know about the Fenty Universal Gloss Bomb that everyone’s so crazy about (like, it’s just a lipgloss?), but maybe it’s something with magic that needs to be seen in person.

    Anyhow – here’s everything else that’s new this week.

    This weekend’s best sales

    Doing a little weekend shopping? Here are a few weekend beauty sales (and sex toy deals) that might be of interest to you!

    Beauty sales

    Don’t forget to sign up for Ebates (or to get 4% cash back at Sephora, 3% cash back at Ulta, and 5% cash back at Tarte! 

    Sex toy sales


    Tokidoki x Lovehoney Unicorn Massage Wand review, photos, & more

    The products: Tokidoki x Lovehoney Unicorn Massage Wand, Mini Vibe, and 7 Function Power Vibe

    More than anything, I love being able to laugh in the bedroom. There’s something so special about your first bedroom laugh with someone, you know? And I’m not talking some demure giggle. Oh no: I mean a full-on, boisterous, belly laugh. That love of belly laughs that brought me to the Tokidoki x Lovehoney Unicorn Massage Wand (and associated bullets.)

    I adore whimsical sex toys. I covet my friend Piph’s Jollies Jollet. I love my “forest elf” harness set from Beyond Delights. And nothing–nothing–says laughter and whimsy like a good heckin’ RAINBOW UNICORN VIBRATOR. (Donut-stealing bird mini bullets are also very okay.)

    Tokidoki x Lovehoney review – packaging

    But first: the Tokidoki x Lovehoney Bullet Vibrators

    There are two models of Tokidoki x Lovehoney bullet vibrators available in this collection, in a few designs each. These are the first budget bullet vibrators that I’ve ever tried, and … Wow. WOW. They are buzzy.

    I can never un-feel the feelings that I felt in my hand while trying this tiny horror show the Lovehoney Mini Vibe. It makes my fingers feel itchy and regretful, and don’t even get me started on how it made other things feel.

    Can a vulva feel regretful and panicked? Because I think I just experienced that for the very first time with the Tokidoki x Lovehoney Mini Vibe ($16 CAD/$7.50 USD/$14.99 USD at Lovehoney), and I am Not A Fan™. My Mini Vibe is in the Swoop print, and while it’s very cute, I hate it with every fibre almost every fibre of my being.

    I really do like that the Lovehoney Mini Vibe models are cheap, waterproof, and tiny. I’m a fan of the fact that they take AAA batteries, which are easy to find. But I HATE how buzzy they are. They’re noisy AND numbing, and I can’t abide by them. I can’t.

    The larger Tokidoki x Lovehoney 7 Function Power Vibe ($36.99 USD at Lovehoney) is by far my favourite of the two. It takes two AA batteries, and while it’s very large, I think it’s a good vibe when on sale. (Pink Cherry has it for $17.50 CAD/$17.50 USD). It’s made of phthalate-free hard plastic, and its body is entirely waterproof.

    While still buzzy, the Lovehoney 7 Function Power Vibe has 3 intensities, followed by 4 patterns. The buzz reverberates through the toy quite a lot, and it’s very noisy. But that being said, it still achieves its purpose for me – which is really good for a $17 toy.

    GUYS. It’s the Tokidoki x Lovehoney Unicorn Massage Wand!

    But enough about bullets. They may be a good introduction to affordable sex toys, but let’s face it: what you really want to read about (and what I really want to talk about) is that wand! The Tokidoki x Lovehoney Unicorn Massage Wand ($132 CAD/$65 USD/$119 USD at Lovehoney) is a thing of beauty.

    What makes the Tokidoki x Lovehoney Unicorn Massage Wand special? Three things. First, there’s the scroll wheel control. It allows for incremental power control (I counted 20 different speeds while slowly scrolling), and it’s great for arthritic hands.

    Second, there’s the unicorn head. It’s adorable and unabashedly fun, and it’s so. Darn. Squishy. It makes cleaning this toy really easy, and the different shapes around the head give you plenty of different angles to play with. The Unicorn Massage Wand is just Lovehoney’s Classic Plug In Massage Wand, rebranded, but the no-slip blue grip and the squishy unicorn sleeve make the wand infinitely better.

    Read more


    MIYU Beauty Essence giveaway | theNotice’s 10th blogiversary!

    *sponsored post

    theNotice’s 10th blogiversary giveaways continue today, and I couldn’t be more excited to share this feature. I have a special place in my heart for MIYU Beauty, and to be able to give away these these travel-sized MIYU Beauty Essence sprays makes me glow right down to my core.

    MIYU was one of the first brands that I met with in person while working on theNotice, and it’s not an exaggeration when I say that I genuinely adore the ethos and #girlbosses behind this brand. Founder Connie Tai and PR maven Linda Nguyen are the embodiment of the platonic power couple. They’re gorgeous, driven, and wholly genuine.

    Basically? These beauty babes are the kind of best friends that you only read about in books, but they’re the real thing.

    On top of all that, Connie and Linda have always had faith in my work – even when I haven’t. (Any of my fellow creatives will know just how special that is to find.)

    When I recommend MIYU to my friends and family, I’m not just recommending a great product. I’m recommending something made with love by people who I love, and that feels so much more meaningful to me than saying “hey, the new palette that everyone and their dog is talking about really is great!”

    What makes the MIYU Beauty Essence formulas special?

    The MIYU Beauty Essence concept is a really cool one: it’s a hybridization of a facial mist and a serum. It’s easier to apply than a serum, and more nourishing than your standard mist.

    The MIYU Beauty Essence formula comes in two variations: De-Stress Mi, for irritated and inflamed skin, and Hydrate Mi, for dull and ageing skin. The mists can be layered or interchanged, especially if you have no skin concerns. Both formulas are free of synthetic fragrances, alcohol-, paraben-, and silicone-free, and Leaping Bunny cruelty-free.

    MIYU’s De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence ($24 USD) is a “healing serum mist.” It’s great if you have a high-stress life, or if you live in the city. The De-Stress Mi formula features peppermint, ginger, Chinese liquorice, and honeysuckle extracts to detoxify skin and “deflate” any inflammation. It’s hydrating, too, though – both Beauty Essences contain sodium hyaluronate (which can carry up to 1000x its weight in water) and MIYU’s signature blend of green tea, white peonies, and pearl powder.

    I use my De-Stress Mi when I’ve had a tough week, but my MIYU formula is the Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence ($24 USD). (Coincidentally, it’s also my favourite of their two beauty teas.)The Hydrate Mi formula is perfect for travel and for dry climates. Wild pansy extract helps boost skin hydration levels (by as much as 20% in 28 days), and goji berries and mangosteen extract are both powerful anti-oxidants.

    Hydrate Mi is designed to hydrate, revitalize, and protect against free radicals – so, basically, it’s made to keep me fresh while I’m young and young when I’m old. 

    Win your own set of travel-sized MIYU Beauty Essence mists

    When I told MIYU that I was running special giveaway posts for my 10th blogiversary, they knew what product they wanted to give away immediately. The MIYU Beauty Essence duo photographed here features brand new packaging, and it is gorgeous. (Fun fact: these were the first two bottles of this packaging to go out to anyone, including Connie herself!)

    MIYU’s new look is chic beyond words, with delicate white and gold detailing on frosted bottles. The gold misters on each bottle finish off the look perfectly, and nothing about these mists feels “travel-sized” – they’re luxurious through and through.

    theNotice’s 10th blogiversary giveaway – MIYU Beauty

    This giveaway will be open for two weeks (closing on September 31st at 11:59 PM MST), and is open to anyone in the US or Canada who is over the age of majority. You can enter using the form above, and if you’re really determined to win, there’s also an option for daily entries. Good luck!!


    Womanizer Pro 40 + Sliquid H2O giveaway with Peepshow Toys | theNotice’s 10th blogiversary!

    *sponsored by Peepshow Toys

    When I started theNotice, I was a high school student who loved writing and had a little extra free time. I didn’t own a single sex toy, I barely wore makeup, and the Womanizer Pro 40 didn’t even exist.

    Now, ten years later, I’m basically that same person …  But there’s one big difference. Though I’m still a student at the U of A, I now have the privilege of writing pretty much full-time. I am forever baffled by how many funny, complex, wonderful people actually choose to read my shit, and to stick around for a decade?! You guys blow me away.

    As my way of saying “thanks for reading,” I have a couple giveaways going up this month of my favourite products from the past 10 years. Whether you’re an OG reader or you’re brand new to theNotice, consider this the first of many ways that I’ll be saying “thank you” this month!

    Enter to win the Womanizer Pro 40

    I adore my Womanizer Pro 40, and I am beyond excited to get to share one with a reader for my 10th blogiversary. It’s one of my all-time favourite toys, and I can’t go without it anymore. It delivers reliable, quick, intense orgasms, and its mechanics and battery life are just so. Darn. Good.

    I’ve taken my Pro 40 to five different cities since getting it this spring, and it’s held up like a champ through each one. So if you’re over the age of majority in your place of residence and you have a mailing address in Canada, the US, the UK, or Australia, then this giveaway is for you! It’ll be open for two weeks, and you can get extra entries every day. 

    One lucky winner will be getting my high-endurance “dream team” kit: a Womanizer Pro 40 and a bottle of Sliquid H2O lube, courtesy of Peepshow Toys. Good luck, and to the winner: enjoy!

    theNotice’s 10th blogiversary giveaway – Peepshow Toys

    PS: You DO NOT have to use your full name to enter this giveaway. Feel free to use a pseudonym if you’d like to protect your anonymity – Peepshow Toys ship discreetly, and I will never share your information with a 3rd party unless expressly agreed upon in writing. (In other words, unless it’s to get your prize to your mailbox!)