I'm feeling myself and it's gonna show

Fashion photography by Michael Biro
Beauty p
hotography by Nathalie Martin
 

It’s June and I can’t believe we’re halfway through the year already. In a lot of ways, I thought I’d be further along in terms of blogging and life goals but I’m learning that I need to chill out and stop being so hard on myself. I recently picked up the book In The Company of Women by Grace Bonney. It had been on my wishlist since it came out but I only just bought it now. I’m glad I finally did because it’s helping me get back to my roots. (I’ll explain that in a sec.) Almost as soon as I started reading the book I was hit with a wave of sadness. Reading about how these highly creative women define success made me realize that I’ve totally derailed from what I love to do and want to get back on track.

 

Like a lot of people, I have a tendency to be really hard on myself and don’t take enough time to enjoy and celebrate my accomplishments. I mean, I do to a certain degree but I have a tendency to focus more on what I don’t have versus what I do have. For example, Geoff and I would love to have a family one day but we don’t. I probably think about that more often that I even admit to myself and to some degree I feel guilty that we don’t have kids and yet, it’s just the way life has rolled out for us. In terms of work as a freelance blogger, I often wonder why my blog hits aren’t as high as they are and yet I should be celebrating that my metrics have almost doubled since last year!
 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not an ingrate and trust me when I say that everyday I wake up and thank my lucky stars that I’m able to blog for a living. I absolutely love it and I’m incredibly proud of how far along my photography and writings skills have come since I first started. Yet here I am, battling my inner demons constantly. 


Come on guys. Don’t tell me you haven’t been there!

 

So here’s where the book In The Company of Women comes in. Reading about how these creative, successful and fearless women approach lives and their businesses makes me realize; I miss making shit with my hands and I define success with monetary value. (Yikes when did that happen?!) 

When I say I miss making shit with my hands I actually mean that I miss being a hands-on artist, not a digital content creator. When I was younger I used to paint and when it was time for college I was enrolled in graphic design in hopes of getting a job at a magazine like Vogue when I graduated. Instead, I went into business for myself, hand-making iPod cases and selling them all over the world with my business partner, Diana, BFF extraordinaire and now WoahStyle's beauty contributor. We closed the business after a few years and soon I was back at it again, illustrating and screen printing on textiles this time sewing my designs into tea towels. Fast forward to eight years later and I can’t remember the last time I painted or sewed anything.
 

I read about six interviews from In The Company of Women when I realized that not a single person had defined success by how much money they made. Maybe it’s taboo to admit in print, I don’t know.


When I was younger I remember thinking that I’d be successful in life if I had my own business, if I was an artist and if I made enough money to shop at the Gap full price. Ya, I said that!

 

It makes me realize the two points are connected. Somehow putting so much focus on my annual income means I’ve lost sight of what makes me happy and what makes me me and that’s my art.

Crazy how it took a book to make me realize that. I’m hoping that my creating art again and bringing my paints out of storage that I’ll start to feel more balanced in my everyday life and who knows, maybe one day not be as stressed out and actually have a family.

I urge you guys to take the time to celebrate your accomplishments in life because damn, life is crazy and we have to pat ourselves on the back right? 

 

MY ANNOUNCEMENT

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I’ve been blogging for three years now. When I started out, I had no idea what I was doing. I knew I wanted to be my own boss and be a full-time blogger and I also knew that I wanted to inspire women to feel their best.

I accomplished one and kinda lost track of the other. 

Before WoahStyle, I’d already had a bunch of careers under my belt - marketing, stylist, accounting, entrepreneur and yes, even blogger because I started my first one about a decade ago. Imagine I had kept that up!

My jobs were super random and all over the place I know, but I was never happy until I started to see WoahStyle was actually going somewhere. 

And then, about two and a half years later I hit a wall. 

I wasn’t happy anymore and blogging and social media were turning into a never ending source of stress. 

I couldn’t sleep, I was getting sick a lot, I was gaining weight, and I was living in my head full of fear and negativity. I had plateaued and I was scared that was the beginning of the end. 

 

IN MY CLOSET:

Bowie jacket, Forever 21 (exact here)
Glossy leather skirt, Winners
Bags, Stella McCartney and Saint Laurent (with custom leopard shoulder strap)
Gold sandals, Gucci
Pink sparkly boots, Saint Laurent
Bronze hi-top sneakers, Vans
Glasses, Forever 21

 
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THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED 

I know it sounds cliche but I can say now with full confidence that plateauing was the best thing that ever happened to WoahStyle. 

When I finally got my head on straight (and that took months!I), I started to see past the fear and reassess what made me happy and why I had started blogging in the first place. Once I let my guard down and started to share more personal experiences, that you guys started to engage with me more. It reminded me of why I started the blog - to inspire women to feel their best. 

I told you guys that I was bullied for most of my childhood and the DM’s I still get to this day are overwhelming. I’m glad I shared that part of my life that I was ashamed of for so long but with everything, we have to move forward. 

When I think back to when I was happiest in my past job, it was when I was styling women and helping them feel their best. 

You see, that’s where bullying coming in. Even as a kid, I was always hyper aware of fashion but in combination with bullying - fashion and beauty became a necessity. I helped me stand straight again and gave me the confidence to be myself.

 

CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

With all of that, my announcement is simply this; fashion posts will still be present on my site, but there will be less of them. Perhaps once or twice a week tops. They’ll be more educational based as opposed to just “pretty pictures”. 

I’ll also be doing lots of fashion reviews and hauls because you guys all want to know how my Princetown Gucci’s fit (post coming soon!) and what I’m buying right now

Beauty posts will become more frequent - about 3-4 times a week because I love beauty and you guys do too. Some of my most popular posts are on foundations and How to Clean A Beauty Blender, so I want to give you more of that.

Also, I’m 36, and not afraid to say it anymore! LOL! You guys are around my age as well so hey, let’s talk about anti-aging and how to get luminous youthful looking skin right?

If you look at my menu bar, you'll see I added three new categories, Beauty Talk, Makeup and Skincare. I hope it'll help you search for your favourite topics like Tutorials, Eyes, or Skincare Solutions even quicker. I want it to be super easy for you guys to get the info you want. Also, I did a site refresh! I spent lots of time researching different sites so I can get mine to a place where I'm truly happy with it. What do you think of it?

Drop me an email and let me know what you think of my announcement and what you want to see more of moving forward. I love hearing from you!

xo, Nathalie

Photography by Nathalie Martin.

Affiliate marketing links in this story are used as a form of compensation.

 
 

5 Mother's Day gift ideas she'll love!

Mother's Day is only a week away and I'm already excited about how I'm going to spoil my mom. I gathered up a few gift ideas for you to think about what to get the mum in your life. From beauty to skincare, wellness, fragrance, and jewelry, I hope to inspire you in your gift giving endeavours this spring. Happy Mother's Day to all of the mum's out there!

 

Mother's Day Gift Guide



 
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b e a u t y

NARS x Charlotte Gainsbourg brush set 

NARS x Charlotte Gainsbourg Au Poil Brush Roll
limited edition
$200 

Charlotte Gainsbourg is probably one of my favourite actresses of all time. Her acting is superb and her fashion sense equally so. As the daughter of Jane Birkin and the late Serge Gainsbourg, Charlotte is a true artist - from acting to singing, she's also a muse to Nicolas Ghesquiere, current creative director of Louise Vuitton, previously of Balenciaga. If that's not enough, Charlotte has just launched her own limited edition capsule collection under NARS. This limited edition five piece brush set is so luxurious and unique, it'll make any beauty aficionado weak in the knees. It comes neatly packed in a faux leather roll (not pictured) that's perfect for travel. The set includes a complexion brush, blush/ highlight brush, concealer brush, eye blending brush, and eye shadow brush.

 

s k i n c a r e

Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask 

Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask
limited edition packaging
$75 

If skincare is your mum's jam, considering this Umbrian Clay mask from Fresh. The clay comes from Umbria, Italy and is mineral-rich "miracle" that refines the appearance of pores, mattifies, and smoothes skin. If this is mum's first time trying this mask, tell her it can be used be used in three ways; as a daily deep cleanser, a pore-purifying mask and as a spot treamtment. While the mask itself has been part of Fresh's lineup since 2000, the packaging featured here is limited edition and features artwork from Rometti's Ceramic Studio located in Italy.  

 
 

p e r f u m e

Jo Malone Star Magnolia Cologne 

Jo Malone Star Magnolia Cologne
limited edition scent
$90

If mum is a fragrance junkie, Jo Malone's limited edition Star Magnolia is for her. It's light, flirty, fresh, fruity, floral, and perfect for spring and summer and contains magnolia leaf and orange blossom with a kiss of lemon, ginger, and shiso. Also, how cute is this petal decoration on the bottle?

 

w e l l n e s s

Saje Sleep Well mist.
This Works Deep Sleep.
Drybar silk pillowcase.

Sage Natural Wellness restful sleep mist, $19
This Works Deep Sleep rollerball, $36
Drybar silk pillowcase, $57

If you're not sure what to get mama, consider these items that will help her get a good nights sleep. Place them in a small box with a ribbon wrapped around it and she'll be delighted when she opens it. Included in this sleep aid gift is a luxurious silk pillow case from Drybar. It'll extend the life of her hairstyle, keep her hair frizz-free, and her skin free of those yucky pillowcase creases. Before she goes to bed, tell her to spray Saje Natural Wellness' Sleep Well mist around the bed and on her pillowcase for sweet dreams. Finally, This Works Deep Sleep rollerball is excellent when used on the pulse points. It contains lavender, chamomile, vetiver, and sandalwood for a relaxing sleep.

 
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j e w e l r y

David Yurman cable bracelet

David Yurman The Renaissance cable bracelet (in 5mm)
$525

If mum is a jewelry kinda girl, consider going with classic Yurman. The Renaissance cable bracelet (in 5mm), is sterling silver and perfect for everyday wear. She can stack it with the other pieces in her collection or she can wear it alone if she's a minimal kinda gal.