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Edited by Lina Maragha

2020 is not a “pretty” year. 

Beauty is something that we all possess. It goes far beyond the way we look, and yet, I find that I feel a lot better when I look good.  Now that we’re back in the world (to an extent), it can be hard to focus on beauty. Half of our faces are covered by masks when we’re around people, and sometimes, even more if you’re a glasses wearer, or if you’re bundled up in your winter hat, leaving only a tiny strip of your eyes out. 

This season may require a certain level of creativity, but here are some ways I’ve been expressing myself aesthetically in 2020. 


We have to wear them, for the safety of ourselves and everyone around us. 

Luckily, there are lots of cute masks on the market, and I recommend shopping locally for yours. Back in April, when everyone was scrambling to buy masks on Amazon, I secured some from Threads, a Toronto-based company. They came to me within days, and have held up wonderfully during these many months. Fabric masks are better for the planet, and you can just pop most of them into your washing machine if you don’t want to wash them by hand. 

Sometimes, a solid coloured mask is best, and leaves you and your outfit to shine. A good black mask is chic and practical, and when your makeup inevitably bleeds from all the humidity trapped inside around your mouth, at least the fabric is dark. 

There are also super fun printed masks. You can get pretty much anything you want, including prints, florals, and even your favourite characters. My favourite printed mask? A leopard print one, from Old Navy. 


Don’t forget about what’s behind the mask! 

With my mouth being hidden away for hours every day, I find my lips get dry more often. For your comfort this winter, keep a good lip balm on you, and stay as hydrated as you can. 


The eyes are truly the windows to the soul, and there is so much we can say just by using them. it can make my day to just be out, see someone squish up their eyes at me, and know that they're smiling under their mask. 
Sigh. What a weird time we live in. (But it's true!)

Beyond the feel-good capabilities of your eyes, they leave prime real estate for experimentation in makeup. This might not be the year to put lipstick on your holiday list, but it might be the perfect time to ask for a new eye palette to play with! Get as colourful as you want, or stay minimal with nudes. Perfect those wings, buy the fluffiest lashes you want, or do nothing at all. 
Your eyes are the perfect canvas!



I don't know about you, but I'm spending a lot of time on Zoom this year. 
That means that very few will see my outfit from the shoulders down, but I still like to put full looks together when I can find the motivation, and I find that it helps. 
And if you're not up for "real" clothes, sweatsuits, soft tees, and even printed pajama tops can look great! 
Comfort is key; this is a very uncomfortable situation, and whatever you can do to look after yourself is probably the right move. 

Olivia Spahn-Vieira is a Toronto-based artist and soprano. She currently studies classical voice performance at the University of Toronto, and loves performing in musicals and operas every chance she gets. Offstage, Olivia is passionate about food, fashion, travel and culture. She has enjoyed writing from a young age, and finds it to be a creative and fulfilling way to communicate.
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