November Boxycharm 2022

Hey guys! I know I have been slacking at posting lately, but I’m proud of myself for always getting my Boxycharm up! I’m pretty impressed by this month’s box so let’s get into it.

November Boxycharm 2022

The first product is the In My Element Eyeshadow Palette by Item Beauty (which is Addison Rae’s makeup line). As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I’m trying not to test products that I don’t think I’ll use. Eyeshadow is a product I don’t need more of because I already have so many palettes. But when I saw this palette I was so impressed by the colour story that I had to try it. There are six mattes and four shimmers. There is a beautiful blend of warm earthy tones and pretty purple cool tones. The mattes are soft and blend easily. I haven’t tried the shimmers on my eyes yet but they swatch beautifully. I love the colour story because I can do both a warm and cool-toned look with one palette. It’s not the most neutral, everyday palette but I think it’s perfect for someone to add to their collection to spice things up. Price: $24 US ($33 CAD)

Item Beauty In My Element Eyeshadow Palette

The next product is the Saturday Skin Pretty Pop Probiotic Power Whipped Cream. I’ve received a few Saturday Skin products in my Boxycharm box before and I’ve loved them all. Based on the description I thought this would be a heavier moisturizer but it’s quite light-weight! It absorbs easily into the skin and lefts my face feeling soft. I think this would be a great daytime moisturizer. If you have super dry skin it might not be enough for you but I think the majority of people would enjoy this moisturizer! Price: $57 US ($68 CAD)

The first of two lip products is the Sophia + Mabelle Lip Slick Lip Oil. I got the shade Yuzu. I was a little worried because the shade is so pale that it would give me glossy concealer lips. The lip oil is pretty transparent, the oil just provides a nice glossy look. The formula is nice, a little thicker than some other lip oils I’ve tried. The yuzu scent is spot on though – it smells almost exactly like yuzu. I like it and I’ll continue to use it. Price: $22 US

The second lip product I won’t be trying. I received the Amminah Macarron Lip Scrub. I already own a lip scrub and I don’t use it that frequently so I don’t see the point in opening another one. I rather give it away to someone who needs it more! It looks super cute though! Price: $18 US

The final product is the Les Beauty Cream Bronzer. I got the shade Skyscraper. I am a little disappointed because there are only two shades, but it’s a small indie brand so I’ll give them a little more slack. This bronzer is pigmented. I tap my brush on it a few times and I apply it to my face and every time I’m shocked at how much product I applied. Luckily it’s very easy to blend out. It’s a very warm-toned bronzer, almost a little too orange. So if you prefer cooler shades skip this one. Overall it’s a nice cream and I see myself reaching for it again. Price: $18 US

And the overall total of the box is $139. Overall I’m pretty impressed with the box. There were no big duds. If anything, I see myself reaching for all the products again (except for the lip scrub). Let me know what you think in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

My 2022 Sephora Sale Recommendations

Hey guys, it’s that time of year again – the Sephora Sale! The sale is currently underway for all members and will end on November 7. Members can receive anywhere from 10% to 20% off. This is a great time to stock up on products or buy some higher ticket items as Sephora doesn’t often do store-wide sales. I have done many posts in the past and I still stand by all the recommendations in my 2021 Sephora Sale Recommendations post so I highly suggest checking out that post. Today I am sharing 15 new recommendations, many of which I haven’t mentioned yet on my blog. So let’s get into it!

Starting off my makeup section I’m going to recommend a product that has been circling all over Tiktok – the Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. This lipstick-lip balm hybrid is super comfortable on the lips. The shade is meant to be universally flattering. Because it’s on the more sheer side it’s easy to do one swipe for a light colour or apply more to intensify the colour. This has become my everyday lip product because it looks good, feels nice and wears well. I love it!

The Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray is becoming a holy grail product for me. It’s incredible but I do see a difference in the look of my pores after using this setting spray. It’s also amazing at helping my makeup last longer. This product lives up to its claims so it gets a thumbs up from me!

Brows is a category where I like to stick to the classics. I don’t experiment with brows all that much as I find the current brow trend of laminated brows doesn’t look very good on me. But I still want a product that keeps my brows in place. Enter the Nudestix Brow Set Gel XL. If you want something that sets your brows but doesn’t feel like super glue this is for you. I use this almost every day!

I love blush – it’s one of my favourite products to test and I love trying different formulas out. One of my recent favourites is the Patrick Ta Major Beauty Headlines – Double-Take Crème & Powder Blush. There is both cream and powder so I can pick which consistency I prefer on a certain day. The staying power of these blushes is INSANE. Blush is usually the first product to fade for me but with both formulas, my blush is still strong at the end of the day. I have the shade “She’s Blushing” and it’s so unique compared to my other blushes! A great product!

My final makeup recommendation is the ITEM Beauty Lash Snack Clean Lengthening Mascara. I wasn’t sure how I would feel when I got this product in my Boxycharm. But this is a great mascara! If you’re looking for a straight-up lengthening mascara this is the one for you. It has a small brush so it’s also amazing for the lower lash line. If these qualities are up your alley then you should check it out!

Moving into skincare now, we’re going to start with a boujee product – the Caudalie Grape Water. I like using a skincare spray before going in with my hyaluronic acid so the serum has something to absorb. I love the aerosol spray on this product. It feels so refreshing to spray. If you have sensitive skin I could see this being amazing and helping soothe the skin. It’s excessive but I love it so I thought I would share!

A second Caudalie product which I enjoy is the Pore Minimizing Instant Detox Mask. I got this when I went to Paris and I’ve loved it since! Whenever my skin is feeling gross or congested I always reach for this mask. If you can dry skin stay away because this will suck all the moisture out of your skin. But for me, it gets rid of all the oil and gunk. And it’s pink which is so fun!

The exfoliating product that I’ve been enjoying recently is the Clinique 7 Day Face Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula. This scrub has a nice balance between creaminess and grittiness. It does a great job of getting rid of any flakes or dry patches and leaving my skin feeling soft and smooth. It’s not too aggressive so I think people with drier skin would still enjoy this scrub.

Another mask favourite of mine is the Farmacy Honey Potion Hydration Mask. This mask is perfect for when my skin needs a little pick-me-up. It helps with texture but is also hydrating at the same time. The mask is cool because it goes on this honey colour but as I rub it in the mask turns white and warms up on the skin. It’s quite a unique mask which is why I recommend it!

The final skincare product is the Biossance Squalane+ Rose Vegan Lip Balm. Is lip balm considered makeup or skincare? I always apply it after I do my skincare which is why I’m including it here! This lip balm has a very interesting consistency almost a little waxy so it stays well on the lips. I love the tube packaging, makes it easy to apply. The Laneige lip balms are amazing but this is a great option if you’re looking for something fragrance-free!

Onto the final category, which I am calling miscellaneous. First I have to mention the Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray. My friends got this for me for my birthday and I fell in love. I love spraying this in my hair after curling it to give a messy and natural look to my curls. It makes them look less polished and more realistic. The smell is also amazing. Ouai sells the scent in a perfume and I’ll be buying it in the future, it smells divine. It’s not Curly Girl approved BUT I don’t use this often so I’m fine with it. Highly recommend this spray!

The next hair product is another product I got from my friends for my birthday – the Bumble and Bumble Curl Reactivator. Now this product isn’t Curly Girl approved but it’s so good that I don’t care haha. I’ve always struggled with my curls not holding their shape and becoming wavy/straight on the second day. I got this product in a set and it works so well! I dampen my hair with some water, spray this all over and scrunch my hair and my curls are back! It’s not as nice as freshly washed hair but still pretty good! I recommend my curly-haired friends check out this product.

My final hair recommendation is a scalp massager. The Sephora Collection one I own is slightly different than the model they currently have available. It looks similar to the one Briogeo is selling. Now that I’ve started using one I don’t think I could ever go back. I use it in the shower after I have applied shampoo but before I rinse it out to clean my scalp. I’ve always liked scratching my scalp with my nails but this is way better. Not only does it feel good, but apparently using a scalp massager is a great way to stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth! I gave one to my one last Christmas and she loves it as well!

My perfume recommendation this time around is the Ellis Brooklyn Salt Perfume. This is a very summery perfume so it’s not the most seasonally appropriate scent but I wanted to share a new one! I got this perfume during the spring sale and I loved wearing it this summer! I find summer beachy perfumes are often very coconutty, which don’t get me wrong I love that scent. But this is a little more sophisticated. As the name implies, it has an almost salty scent to it. The main notes are ylang ylang, Tahitian tiare and ambergris. Smelling this perfume just transports me to the beach! If this sounds up your alley check it out.

My final product recommendation is the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Body Cream. I have talked about this on my blog before but since it wasn’t featured in past Sephora rec posts I had to include it. This body cream smells divine. It’s a very sweet and gourmand scent so if that’s not your thing then pass. But whenever I wear this body cream I always get compliments on how I smell, especially from guys. Men just seem to love sweet scents! This cream is also so lush, leaving my skin feeling soft after I applied it. And if you like the scent they have so many other products like sprays and hair oils (even deodorants) so I recommend at least going in-store and smelling it for yourself!

And that’s it for my recommendations! Please let me know in the comments what you’re picking up during the sale. I have already received my order for this sale so I’m excited to share with you guys in a future post all the goodies I picked up!

xoxo

Lea

October Boxycharm 2022

Hey guys! I’m on time with my Boxycharm review for once! It got the box pretty early this month – and I did a little unboxing in one of my Vlogtober vlogs. Without further ado, let’s get into this month’s box.

The first product in the box is the Natasha Denona Cupid Cheek Duo. In my September box, I received the Natasha Denona Cupid Eyeshadow Palette and I couldn’t find it anywhere online. Same thing with this cheek duo. Now I can’t confirm this, but based on the name and the fact that I can’t find these products for sale, I believe these are leftover limited edition Valentine’s Day products. I don’t necessarily mind because Natasha Denona is a great (and expensive) brand but I feel like it’s a little cheap to be getting discontinued products. This is something I notice that happens often with Boxycharm, brands give either discontinued products or products that they discontinue a few months later. Makes sense that they’re trying to get rid of old stock. This is a tangent so I digress. The product is nice, both the blush and highlight applied nicely to the skin and lasted well throughout the day. This duo has a cream blush and powder highlight and I prefer having the same formula in one pan but it’s not the end of the world. Price: $42 US (A similar one available on Sephora is $25 CAD so not sure how accurate Boxycharm’s MSRP is)

The next product is the Wander Beauty Double Date Eyeshadow Duo. I got the shades Smitten/Swoon. These are very similar to the Auric duos that I love but are more affordable. There is a cream shade on the bottom with a shimmer on top. I really like the cream shade, it’s gorgeous and sheer enough that I could wear it every day. The shimmer is very yellow gold and pigmented, so it’s a little strong for my everyday look but perfect for going out. My only issue is that I have oily eyelids so when I wore the cream share by itself it creased really badly by the end of the day. But if you set it with the shimmer it’s fine. I think this is a really great duo and would recommend it! Price: $26 US ($36 CAD)

The next product is the Half Caked Airbrushed Complexion Duo. I love getting brushes in my box and these two brushes are excellent! The 110 Complexion Brush gave my foundation such an airbrushed (haha get it) look. It doesn’t soak up any product so it kept the coverage. My only complaint is that the brush is a little on the small side so it takes more work to blend. The 160 Concealer Brush is the perfect size for the under eyes and just blends my concealer so well. I am very impressed with more of these brushes and would recommend both of them! Price: $25 US ($35 CAD)

If you love dewy setting sprays, then the Saint Luxe Setting Spray is for you. I used a matte foundation and powders and after using this setting spray I looked so dewy after. Now I have oily skin so I don’t usually want a super dewy face. But I can see myself reaching for this spray on the days when my face is dry or looking powdery. The spray is quite fine but I do find that sometimes the nozzle gets clogged. Overall not a bad setting spray. Price: $25 US

And the final product in my box is The Beauty Crop Stuck On You Eye Primer. I have decided to not open this product because it takes me forever to go through eyeshadow primer and I already have two open. Two eye shadow primers are more than enough for me. I will be donating this to someone else. Price: $18 US (website says $16.50)

The overall total (according to Boxycharm) is $136. I’m pretty happy with this box. I really like the brushes and I do see myself using all the products besides the eye primer again. Let me know what you think in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

Book Review: The Remnant Chronicles

It’s been a while since I posted a book review! I was in a real slump this winter and spring but I have finally been picking the pace up again. I’m much quicker at updating my TikTok and Goodreads so make sure to check those out if you want to stay up-to-date on what I’m reading. Let’s get into today’s book series!

I had been wanting to read a fantasy series and I had quite a few on my TBR. I’ve seen a lot of hype for Mary E. Pearson’s Dance of Thieves duology, which is set in the same universe as The Remnant Chronicles. Since I already owned the first book in the series I thought I would try it out. The series is about Lia (which side note it’s weird to read a book with a character that has the same name – even though she spells it differently), who is a princess. She runs away on her wedding day and is followed by the prince she left at the altar and an assassin who was sent out to kill her. In the first novel, both the prince and assassin have POV chapters, but we don’t know who is who until later in the novel. As the series progresses, Lia must work with the prince and assassin to save her kingdom.

The first book in the series is The Kiss of Deception. I enjoyed the first one! I liked the premise and it was fun to try and guess which character was the prince and which was the assassin. I enjoyed the world and liked how the magic system is much subtler compared to other fantasy novels. My only complaint was I found the book to be a little on the slow side. The plot was good just dragged a little for my liking. I gave the book 4/5 stars.

The second book in the series is The Heart of Betrayal. This was my least favourite book in the series. I’ve never been a fan of the captive trope and that was the majority of this novel. There was also a lot of lying and deception that I found a little difficult to follow. I could see how this book was important to the overarching storyline but it was just a little slow for me. I gave the book 3/5 stars.

The final book in the series is The Beauty of Darkness. The first half of the book was once again slow but the ending was great. Usually, I’m not a huge fan of wars and battles, but this one was the perfect length. It progressed the plot without being drawn out. I think the book did a great job of wrapping up the book. I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Overall I would give the series 3.5/5 stars. It was good and different compared to other fantasy series I’ve read. I’m glad it was a trilogy because any longer would be too much. I think each of the books could have been condescended to make everything a little faster-paced. But I like the word, the magic system and the characters. I think if you like fantasy this is a good series but this wouldn’t be at the top of my recommendation list.

If you’ve read this series let me know what you think in the comments! And if you have any recommendations for me let me know!

xoxo

Lea

August & September Boxycharm 2022

Hey guys! Today we have two boxes in one post! I got my August box late and I was busy so I never got the chance to write about it. So I thought might as well combine it with my September box! I got my September box late as well, which is why I’m posting this in October. I’m going to review my August products first and then we’ll get into my September box.

The first product is Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Cream. I like Glow Recipe products so I was excited to see this product in my box. This eye cream has retinol, avocado and coffeeberry this is meant to firm, smooth lines and reduce the appearance of dark circles. I like the consistency of the eye cream and found it absorbs quickly. I didn’t see a difference in the firmness or smoothness of my under eyes but I haven’t used it consistently. Overall I like this so far! Price: $42 US, $56 CAD

The next product is the Alleyoop Stack The Odds. This is a stack that includes a cream highlight, blush and bronzer. I got the shade Sunkissed which includes a champagne highlight, coral blush and a light-to-medium bronzer. I think how compact this stack is, which would be great for travelling. I do like both the blush and bronzer. The highlight is okay. It’s pretty stiff and a little on the glittery side. I prefer liquid highlights over creams but if I brought this stack while travelling I would use the highlight. Overall I like this stack and I see myself using it. Price: $38 USD

I decided not to try the Girlactik Metallic Eye Sparkle Shadow. While it looks gorgeous, I just don’t wear metallic eye shadows that often anymore and I already have a few so I don’t need any more. So instead of opening the product and only using it once, I’ll be donating this product instead. Price: $20 US, $31 CAD

The next product is the Luxie All-Purpose Sponge Set. It seems that these sponges are only available in a set, which honestly I would just skip because I’m not a fan of these sponges. I find that these sponges soak up all the product and leave my skin looking splotchy. This set was priced at $40 for two sponges and I would say it would be better to just get on Beauty Blender. What a shame because I love Luxie brushes. Price: $40 US

The final product in my August box is the Tanais Sunset to the Stars Lip Oil. When I think of a lip oil my mind immediately goes to the Dior Lip Oil formula, something on the thicker side that is nourishing, slick and glossy. This lip oil is much stickier and more opaque. It reminds me more of a lip gloss than a lip oil. It’s a nice shade, a pink with some gold running through. But it’s not the best lip oil that I’ve tried. Price: $22 US

The overall total is $167, which is pretty nice. I like the eye cream and the cream stack. Everything else was okay. Not the best, not the worst box.

Now onto my September box! The first product is the Avant Skincare Deluxe Hyaluronic Acid Vivifying Face and Eye Night Cream. This is expensive. At £98.00 this is a very pricey night cream. I like it, but it’s not worth that much. It has a very nice texture, not too heavy which my oily skin appreciates. It’s nice that it’s a face and eye cream because sometimes at night I’m too lazy to apply a different eye cream. But so far I haven’t noticed anything special that would make it worth the price tag. Price: $134 US, $150 CAD

The next product is another pricey one – the Natasha Denona Cupid Eyeshadow Palette. I really like this colour story but it’s a shame because I can’t seem to find the palette for sale anywhere! The Natasha Denona eyeshadows are great so I’ve very excited to lay with this palette! Price: $48 US (I think this price is incorrect but the mini palettes on Sephora sell for $34 CAD)

The next product is the Ciate London Dewy Highlight Glossy Cheek Glow. I did a double-take when I first saw this product because the packaging is identical to their Dewy Blush. This is supposed to be a champagne colour but I find it to be much deeper and almost pink. It reminds me more of a blush topper shade than a highlight. Because of the colour, I’m unsure of how often I’ll use this product. Price: $24 US

The second skincare product in my box is the Glow on 5th Bye, Bye Puffy Eyes Cooling Eye Balm. The first thing I noticed is that the opening for this eye balm is quite large so I often squeeze out too much product. I don’t suffer from very puffy eyes so I can’t confirm that claim. But I will say that I don’t notice much of a cooling sensation. It’s a nice hydrating eye cream but nothing special. Price: $24 US

And the final product in my box is the Pinklipps Cosmetics Lumi Balm Lip Tint. I got the shade Fantasy which is brown. Sadly this shade isn’t for me. It’s not quite sheer but not quite fully opaque. Combined with the shiny finish it looks like I have a light layer of chocolate all over my lips. If you have a darker complexion I think this would be a gorgeous nude. But for me to wear browns it needs to be either very sheer or very opaque. This is a pass for me but I think it would work well on others. Price: $12 US

The final total of my September box is $242 US which is insane! I think this box was really good! Some very expensive products and the majority of the products were really good. Let me know in the comments which of the two boxes you think is the better box!

xoxo

Lea

Product Empties September 2022

Hey guys! It’s been a busy summer for me, that’s for sure! And while I haven’t been posting consistently, I have been using beauty products so I have a huge bag full of empties. I will be sharing 15 products today, but probably have enough to do another post next week haha. So since I have a lot of products, I’ll try and keep it brief. Let’s get into it!

First I finished the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. I had first tried this cleanser in my Boxycharm and then decided to repurchase it myself a second time. This has some strong acids so if you have sensitive skin, stay away! It has jojoba beads so gives that physical exfoliation along with the chemicals. I haven’t repurchased because I wanted to try other exfoliators but would consider repurchasing in the future.

You can tell I love the OLEHENRIKSEN Balancing Force Oil Control Toner by the fact that I finished two of these – a travel size and a full size. I am currently using another bottle. This just helps keep the oil at bay and keep my pores clean. If you have oily, acne-prone skin you need to check out this toner.

Another major love is the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm. I love testing out cleansing balms but this is one that I always go back to. I don’t have to use a ton of product to remove my makeup. It doesn’t leave any greasy residue to sting my eyes. It’s great with stubborn mascara, lash glue, glitter, etc. All the stuff that’s hard to remove. I will probably repurchase this again in the future.

A product I did not like and didn’t finish is the Christopher Robin Instant Volumizing Leave-In Mist. I like to use empties posts as a way to update you on my thoughts. And my thought on this product is that it’s not good. It left my hair looking frizzy and my curs undefined. I tried this quite a few times, with different products and application methods, and each time I wasn’t satisfied with how my hair looked. So into the trash this product goes!

I finished my favourite limited edition leave-in conditioner – the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Apple Honey Deep Conditioning Hair Mask. They usually only have it available near the holidays, and it looks like it’s finally available again! This mask is more moisturizing compared to the original. This is the best silicone and sulphate-free mask I’ve found so far! Highly recommend picking it up!

Up next is an empty bottle of Bioderma Micellar Water. I find the Bioderma and Garnier Micellar waters to be the extra same, I just buy whichever is on sale. I don’t often use micellar water, mainly just to fix any makeup mistakes. It does the job so I can’t complain!

Another OLEHENRIKSEN favourite is the Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser. I got a mini kit that include the whole line when I travelled to Vancouver but I’ve used this cleanser before. It’s a great cleanser for those with oily, acne-prone skin. Does a great job of deep cleaning the skin. I totally see myself repurchasing this again in the future.

I got a mini of the Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter using some of my Sephora VIB points. I had the unscented version but I just learned there are scented versions! I would purchase one of the scents because the texture of this body butter is divine. It’s on the thicker side so it’s great for the cold and dry winter months. This body butter is often a point perk, so if you see it I would recommend picking it up!

Another point perk was the Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream. I know this cream has been really popular online lately and while it was good I don’t think it’s anything spectacular? It was almost balmy in consistency and took forever to sink into my skin. It did make my skin look super glowy but I think my skin is just too oily for this product. It was just too heavy for my skin but if you have drier skin you’d probably love this.

I finished a mini of the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo. I’m not a huge user of dry shampoo. Because I like to wear my hair natural most of the time, it means that I was it frequently and don’t often need dry shampoo. I found that this dry shampoo wasn’t any better than the Batiste dry shampoo that you get from the drugstore. Maybe I’m not the best person to get dry shampoo advice from haha.

I have four bags photographed, but I actually have finished five bags of the Peace Out Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Dots. These are some of the best acne patches that I have tried. I might have found another favourite – but that’s for another post. They sit nicely on the face and do a great job of pulling out all the gunk in a pimple. If you suffer from acne you need these in your life.

A product that I received in my Boxycharm that I finished is the Skin Inc My Daily Dose of Uplift serum. I liked the product but I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to reorder the product. If I can’t get a product at my local drugstore or online at Sephora it has to really wow me and this product didn’t do that. I can think of many different serums that can do something similar. It’s not bad just nothing special.

The first of two mascaras is the Too Faced Damn Girl Mascara. It’s an alright mascara – it just doesn’t tick the boxes for what I’m looking for. I like a lot of length with a little volume and this gave a lot of volume with a little length. This wand was very thick so it was hard to separate the lashes, especially as the mascara got older. I throw my mascaras out after being open for a year so this mascaras time has come. I will not be repurchasing.

The second mascara is the Covergirl Exhibitionist Mascara. I’m not sure what’s going on with this mascara because I can’t find it in store anymore but it’s still available on the Covergirl website. Either way, I did like this mascara! It reminded me a lot of the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. It gave great volume to the lashes but also kept them defined and long. This was a great drugstore mascara but it’s expired so it was time to let it go.

The final product is the Ouai Detangling and Frizz Fighting Leave-In Conditioner. Oh man, I love the scent of this leave-in conditioner. It’s the Ouai Bondi scent, which I think I’m going to get the perfume because I love the scent so much. I will say that this is also a pretty good leave-in conditioner. It did a good job of fighting frizz and helping define my curls. It does have silicones in it, so I probably won’t repurchase BUT if you don’t care about silicones then you HAVE to try this leave-in conditioner!

And that is a round-up of some of my product empties! Let me know if you tried any of these products in the comments and what your thoughts were!

xoxo

Lea

My Vancouver Trip (Summer Edition)

Hey guys! Sorry for being MIA last month. One of the reasons I didn’t post much was that I went back to Vancouver! One of my good friends moved out to Vancouver last year. I went in February to visit her and decided to go back in the summer to see her again. If you haven’t, I highly recommend checking out my first Vancouver trip post because there were so many good food places we went to last time! My last post also includes more of the touristy spots whereas this trip was more relaxed. Let’s get into it!

Day One

The first day was my travel day. Like last time, I did a half day of work and flew out in the early evening. I know that things have been hectic at Pearson and Air Canada lately but I didn’t have too many issues. My flight out was delayed an hour but otherwise, I didn’t have any major issues. I didn’t check a bag so I can’t attest to any baggage issues. I will say they were very strict with the number of liquids I could fly with so I did have to throw out a few things.

My first evening was pretty chill. I just caught up with my friends!

Day Two

If you read any travel blog for Vancouver, you’ll see everywhere all the beautiful hikes you can do in Vancouver. But if you know me personally you’ll know I’m not the biggest hiker. I love being in nature but I had a few bad falls while hiking so I tend to stick to easier trails. My friend said I had to do at least one hike so we did Bowen Lookout at Cypress Mountain.

If you’re a hiker novice like me this one wasn’t too bad. Because it’s located at Cypress Mountain, which is a ski hill, you get to drive up a decent amount. The trail is around 4km and took us about an hour and a half. It’s pretty flat for the majority of the hike. To get to the lookout there is a series of steeper switchbacks. The path is gravel, so while the elevation is steeper at least the trail is not bumpy. Normally at the top, there is a breathtaking view. Unfortunately, it was raining the way we went so all we saw were clouds. But the rainy day gave the whole hike a sort of PNW-Twilight vibe to it.

After the hike my friend and I were hungry so we went to ZUBU Ramen. They had a deal going on where you could get a four-course meal for $30! The food was delicious! The last time I went to Vancouver I went to Jinya Ramen Bar. I would say that the Ramen was better at Jinya, but the whole menu is great at ZUBU Ramen. Either way, we enjoyed our meal at ZUBU.

We finished our Saturday night at The Cider House. I’m so sad this place is in Vancouver because I absolutely loved it. As a big cider drinker, I was in heaven. This place combines the vibe and style of a brewery with a bunch of delicious, local ciders. I got a flight and there wasn’t one bad drink. There are also a bunch of other bars nearby, so this place would be a great way to start the night. This place is right at the top of places I recommend going to in Vancouver.

Day Three

After having quite a few ciders the night before, my friend and I decided to take our Sunday a little slower. It was also a cloudy day with a few showers. We decided to walk from her place in Kitsilano to Jericho Beach Park and Spanish Banks Beach. It’s a nice way, where you can go along the shore or walk along the rich houses of Vancouver. Another fun aspect of this walk is that Jericho Beach has a bunny problem, so there are hundreds of wild bunny rabbits in the park. They are very used to people so you can almost walk right up to them and they won’t run away. Just don’t feed or touch the bunnies because they can carry diseases such as Lyme disease. But it was very cute to see.

For dinner, we decided to try out the infamous Tacofino. Having started as a food truck in Tofino, the brand has expanded and now has restaurants across Victoria and Vancouver. I love a good taco so I was excited to try the place out. It’s a fast-casual restaurant so we got the tacos pretty quick. I was a little disappointed, I won’t lie! Having seen the brand be featured on a bunch of cooking shows, I had high expectations. While the tacos were good, they weren’t as out of this world as I had expected. I think if you went to Tofino it would be cool to go to the original food truck, but I would pass on going to any of the Vancouver Tacofino locations.

We finished off the night by seeing The Lumineers! This was actually the whole reason behind my trip. My friend and I had seen them twice before and knew we wanted to see them again. It wouldn’t out better with our schedules to see them in Vancouver than in Toronto. And I have to say this was probably the best concert I’ve seen by them. It makes sense because the band said during their set that Vancouver has a special place in their heart, having been the first city they ever sold out a concert. If you ever have the chance to see The Lumineers I highly recommend it because they are amazing live.

Day Four

While my friend worked during the day, I did a little shopping around Kitsilano. One of my favourite stores is The Nooks. I mentioned the store in my last post because I bought a necklace there. I decided to continue the tradition and purchase another necklace. For my Ontario gals – they have locations here too! I would recommend checking them out. They are a physical storefront for small, local, Canadian brands!

After my friend was done work we decided to have a bit of a bougie night. We started with some happy hour oysters at Chewies. We decided to try all the oysters they had and we both preferred the east coast oysters. 😅 Then we decided to head over to The Keg. I don’t often go to The Keg, mainly because my parents prefer buying steak and cooking it themselves. But I had a gift card and thought going on vacation was the perfect time to use it!

Day Five

Tuesday was my final full day and the nicest weather wise so I was going to use it to my advantage! I spent the majority of the day at Kitsilano Beach since it’s right down the street from my friend’s place. It was so nice to just relax by the beach and read my book. I’m a big beach girl. Just give me a body of water and a book and I’ll be good all day.

We cooked our dinner that night but decided to finish off the day with ice cream. We went to Rain or Shine Ice Cream. The prices are a little bit on the higher end but the flavours are unique and worth the price. I had the Strawberry Earl Grey and it was sooo good. After we grabbed our ice cream we walked down to the beach and were able to watch the end of the sunset.

Day Six

The only bad thing about travelling to Vancouver is that you waste almost a full day travelling back. This time around I booked my flight at 1 PM so I was able to grab some breakfast before heading out. We went to Body Energy Club. They’re a vitamin and supplement store that was a great smoothie bar. We both got a smoothie bowl and it was delicious. It did a good job of keeping me full through all the hassle of going through security and getting on my flight. And just like that my trip was done and over!

If you have any questions about my trip, let me know in the comments! I have the travel bug and now want to go to so many different places! I’m already planning where I want to go next!

xoxo

Lea

July Boxycharm 2022

Hey guys! Sorry for not posting much! I had two trips within a week this year so I’ve been very busy this month! But stay tuned because I will soon post a round-up from my Vancouver trip. I also went to the US and picked up some products there so expect a haul at some point as well. Let’s get into my July Boxycharm!

July Boxycharm featuring Juice Beauty, Phase Zero Makeup, Eloise Beauty, KNDR Beauty and Tresluce Beauty

The first product in the box was the Phase Zero Makeup The Necessities Eyeshadow Palette. This is a really good everyday eyeshadow palette. There is a nice balance between matte and shimmer shades. All the shades work well together. The only thing is I wish there was a darker brown shade to really deepen the crease or do eyeliner with. The mattes blend easily. If you’re looking for a crazy metallic or shimmery eyeshadow, this isn’t it. Instead, it’s great for everyday use to just add a little sparkle to the eyes. I see myself using this on a daily basis. Price: $40 US

Phase Zero Makeup The Necessities Eyeshadow Palette

The second product is the Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Overnight Serum. This is a very pricey product so it’s great to receive it in my box. I won’t lie guys I’m pretty scared about using retinol. I’ve heard that it can cause purging and I’m currently dealing with some serious breakouts. I’ve only used this twice and strictly on my forehead since I don’t get breakouts there and it’s where most of my wrinkles are. Obviously using a product twice isn’t enough to see results. I haven’t had any immediate negative side effects so I’m going to continue cautiously using it on my forehead and see how it goes. Price: $72 US, $94 CAD

I love getting brushes in my box, and the Eloise Beauty Prism Luxury Eyeshadow Brush Set is no exception. This set comes with our eye brushes. I always like getting new eye brushes since I dirty mine so quickly. The brush hairs are super soft, with all four being made of synthetic fibres. I think the handles are super cute but they are very lightweight – I would call them cute not luxurious haha. Either way, these brushes are right up my alley and I’m excited to use them. Price: $22 US, $28 CAD

The next product is the KNDR Beauty Kind Bronze. They have only two shades of bronzer, which I think is a real shame. I’m finally starting to develop a tan so the bronzer works for me now but I can see that it might be too dark in the winter. It would also be too light for those with a darker complexion. The formula itself is nice. It’s very pigmented so I make sure to use a light hand and tap off the excess. It’s not bad but not the best bronzer I’ve ever tried. Price: $19 US

The final product is the Tresluce Beauty Bold Y Atrevida Liquid Lip Tint. Lip tints are having a moment again thanks to the new Fenty one (which I desperately want but can’t get because it’s sold out). I was very excited to try it out! I have the shade Daring which is a brown/rose nude. The lip tint has a very dewy finish that isn’t quite like a lip gloss but is very comfortable on the lips. I was a little disappointed at the wear time. When I think of a lip tint I expect there to be colour on my lips all day and I found by mid-afternoon there wasn’t anything left on my lips. It lasts longer than a lip gloss but not all day. I will reach for it again but it doesn’t necessarily scratch my lip tint itch. Also, the lip tint reminds me of the fluoride foam that I had at the dentist as a kid, not my favourite scent. Price: $18 US, $24 CAD

The total value of the box is $171 US. The Juice Beauty serum alone makes this box worth it since the product is so expensive! Let me know what you guys think in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

Book Reviews: “The Love Hypothesis”, “Into the Water” and “People We Meet on Vacation”

Hey guys! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted a book review, mainly because I’ve been in a huge reading slump most of this year. But today I have three reviews for you. I posted a reading update on my Youtube recently, so if you prefer audio over reading make sure to check that out! Let’s get into today’s books.

Back in March, I read The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. This book was super popular online so I had to check it out. For those who haven’t heard of this book, the story follows Olive, a graduate student who convinces a professor at her university to fake-date her. This is an adult romance novel.

Let’s start with what I liked about the book. I loved the academic setting – it reminded me of all the fun and struggles my friends and I went through in university. I am also a huge fake-dating trope fan. The situation is almost always ridiculous which is kinda why I love it. Finally, I did enjoy Olive and Adam’s (the male protagonist) relationship. They had funny banter between them and there was a nice amount of tension as well.

Now for the things I didn’t enjoy. I was not a huge fan of Olive. I found her to be pretty immature and naive – and she’s technically older than me so it’s not like I can excuse her actions on her age. It’s always harder to love a book when you don’t love the main character. I dislike miscommunication and one of the lies that Olive told Adam just drove me up a wall. I had to put down the book for a week I was so annoyed. Finally, this book was hyped online to be very spicey (aka a lot of mature content) but there wasn’t much! Now that is more the fault of the reviewers than the book but I was a little disappointed on that end.

Overall I did enjoy the book but I wasn’t in love like many people online are. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a light-hearted romance. I gave the book 4/5 stars.

It had been a while since I had read a thriller so I decided to read Into The Water by Paula Hawkins. I liked Hawkins’ debut, The Girl on the Train so I was excited to read this one. I was thoroughly disappointed, to say the least. This story follows a small, British town that has had two suicides within a matter of months. This is an adult, mystery thriller.

One of the things I didn’t like about the book is that there were way too many point-of-views. It’s nice to have a few but there were close to ten points of view. Many of the characters didn’t connect until halfway through the story so it was so confusing to keep track of what was going on and who was who. The book was also just very slow-paced. Coupled with the fact that there was a lack of suspense and tension meant that I was bored the majority of the novel. Once things finally did happen It was so rushed that I didn’t feel satisfied.

Besides the plot/structural issues, I thought that Hawkins’ writing style was very nice. I will add that while there were so many characters, I felt like each was unique and well developed.

Overall I gave the book 3/5 stars. It took me a while to read the book so maybe if I were to binge-read it I would have found it more impactful? Either way, I would recommend Hawkins’ first book over this one.

The final book is my favourite book I read so far this year – People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry. This was given to me as a birthday gift and wow did my friend pick a great book! The story follows Alex and Poppy, who only see each other when they go on their yearly summer vacation. That is until two years ago when something happens that means that haven’t spoken since. Poppy manages to convince Alex to go on another vacation where she tries to fix their friendship. This is an adult contemporary romance.

I think one of the reasons why I love this book so much is how much I relate to Poppy. She’s loud and eccentric and has her own blog – sounds a lot like me haha. Alex has so many qualities that I personally look for in a partner as well. I just love their relationship and reading their dialogue was often some of my favourite parts of the novel.

The book bounces between the past and present. I loved reading about all their travel and it gave me the itch to travel myself. I like how there was tension and romance sprinkled throughout the novel to keep me engaged but also wanting more. The book was also funny AND didn’t rely on cringe/embarrassment to me funny – something I’m not a huge fan of. Finally, the ending was just so good that I even shed a few happy years. You know a book is good when it makes you happy cry.

Overall I gave this book 5/5 stars. If anyone says they want a romance book this is going to be my recommendation from now on. I know a lot of people like Emily Henry’s Beach Read so I have to check that out soon.

And those are the books I’ve read lately. If you read any of these books let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you have any recommendations for me leave them as well because I’m always on the lookout for new books.

xoxo

Lea

June Boxycharm 2022

Hey guys! Today I am sharing with you my June Boxycharm! I can’t believe it’s the end of June already, it feels like it was just yesterday that I was writing my May Boxycharm. Let’s get into this month’s box.

The first product is the Eloise Beauty Sahara Nights Eyeshadow Palette. I’ll be honest that I haven’t used this palette yet. I want to keep it and use this palette because the eyeshadows look so pretty. But I don’t wear much eyeshadow regularly and it’s even rarer that I wear glitters. Not the most practical item for me but that’s just my personal preference! Price: $35 US, $42 CAD

The next product is the Tula Skincare Glow Hour Brightening & Neutralizing Eye Balm. This balm is supposed to cool, hydrate and brighten the undereye area. It has a peach colour that is supposed to neutralize the blue and purple tones that can occur under the eyes. I was pretty underwhelmed by this product. It provides the same amount of hydration as a regular eye cream would give. I didn’t really notice any difference in the brightness of my undereye. If you’re looking for colour corrector coverage this isn’t it. Maybe over time, it could help brighten but I didn’t see any immediate difference. Price: $32 US

A product that I am loving so far is the Dr. Brandt Backlight Primer. This primer is meant to smooth the skin, help with the appearance of pores and increase the wear time of makeup. This primer reminds me a lot of the NYX marshmallow primer because it gives that smooth skin looks without feeling like silicone. My skin looks smoother and my makeup lasts longer. This is the second Dr. Brandt primer I’ve tried and I’ve loved both of them. I would recommend trying this out. Price: $38 US

Another product I’ve been enjoying is the Viseart Bronze in the shade Noix. There is nothing crazy about this product, it’s just a plain old powder bronzer. But the tone of the bronzer is quite nice. It’s pretty neutral and works well with my fair skin. I appreciate the Viseart has quite a few shades of bronzer instead of one ‘universal’ shade. I hope that Boxycharm gave out different shades to match different people’s complexions! My only complaint is I find the cardboard to be a little cumbersome to unfold but it could be easily depotted into a magnetic palette as well. Price: $30 US

And the final product is the Give Them Lala Skin Stay Calm Soothing Sheet Masks. The pack comes with four sheet masks. These masks are meant to leave the skin feeling hydrated, soft and smooth. The masks are very saturated and lay nicely on the face. It has a very gentle, spa-like scent which I like. After I took off the mask there was an excess of serum that I let soak into my skin. My skin felt hydrated but quite tacky after. The tacky feeling did go away after an hour. The tackiness would probably be helpful if you’re applying makeup after using the mask. Price: $30 US

And the total of the box is $165, which I think is a pretty good price! Like most boxes, I think there are some products that I see myself using often and others that I probably won’t use much. There was also a great mix of brands in this month’s box. Let me know what you guys think in the comments.

xoxo

Lea