Books Reviews: “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” and “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”

Hey guys! I’m back with another book review. I must say that I haven’t been reading as much lately. I usually read at night but I’ve been so tired that I only read for a bit before going to sleep. So it’s been taking me longer than normal to get through books. But here I am with two new book reviews. Let’s get into it.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The first book is The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. My mom borrowed this from our neighbour and then recommended it to me. This story follows Lale, who is a Slovakian Jew who becomes the tattooist at Auschwitz. He ends up meeting a woman named Gita and he promises her that they will make it out alive and that he will marry her. This is an adult historical fiction novel.

I had high expectations going into this book because I’ve heard many good things about it. And while the book was good, it wasn’t the best World War II book I’ve ever read. Don’t get me wrong, Lale and Gita’s story is incredible – and based on real life. But the storytelling was a little lacklustre.

Morris is a screenwriter by trade and I felt like that was quite evident in her writing. There was a general lack of atmosphere and setting in the book – things that are normally done visually not necessarily written in a screenplay. I think Morris did a great job of explaining the reality of Auschwitz and also mentioned other prisoners such as the Romani, political prisoners, etc. But I didn’t get any sense of fear and tension in the novel.

This was also touted as a great romance and I felt like the romance was a little lacking between Lale and Gita. There are so many World War II books out there on the market and I just don’t think that this was necessarily the best I’ve read in the genre.

Overall I give the book 3.5/5 stars. The story itself was good but the writing needs work. If you’re a big World War II book read then I would check it out. But otherwise, I don’t think it needs to be on the top of everyone’s list.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The second book is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I’ve heard many good things about the book, so much that I asked for it (and received it) for Christmas this past year. The story is about Evelyn Hugo, a famous movie actress of the 60s and 70s who had seven different husbands. Evelyn asks an unknown writer, Monique, to write her life story and tell the world who her one true love is. This is an adult historical fiction novel as well.

I have to say that I liked the book, but I wasn’t blown away but it. It took me a really long time to get into the novel. The book follows Monique at the beginning and it takes a while for Evelyn to start telling her story. And it wasn’t until her third husband that I really got into the novel.

I also didn’t really feel emotionally connected to any of the characters. There were no characters that I saw myself in or that I really liked and wanted to be my best friend. I respect Evelyn, for she is a complex character but still a strong and powerful woman. But I just didn’t connect with her. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the main love interest (but I won’t say who as to not spoil it). I also loved the LGBTQ + representation in the novel. It’s something I want to read more of in the future and I really like the way it was handled and discussed in the novel.

Overall it’s a good book and I would recommend it to anyone who’s intrigued by it. But it’s not going to be on the top of my book list for this year. I give it 4/5 stars.

It’s interesting because last time I have two five-star books and this time I was a little disappointed by the books I read. Not that they were bad but I just heard such amazing things that I thought they would be better. Anyway, I’m planning to read A Court of Thorns and Roses next, so I won’t have a new book review blog post until I finish that series! So follow me on TikTok (@leaveittolea) because I give more updates there.

xoxo

Lea

Sephora Skincare Haul

Hey guys! Today I have a mini Sephora Haul. I had to repurchase a few things and decided to pick up two new things with my order as well. Not a huge haul but still exciting nonetheless. Okay, let’s get into the products.

Sephora haul featuring MAC, Belif and OleHenriksen products.

First I repurchase the Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner. If you read my product empties post you would know I finished this toner recently. I need it in my life so I repurchased it! I’ve said this before, but if you have oily skin you need this in your life. I really notice a difference in my skin texture and oiliness. It just helps smooth my skin and reduces how quickly I get oily. I use this every morning after I cleanse my skin and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon.

The next repurchase is the MAC Prep + Prime Fix+. I’ve had a MAC Fix+ in my makeup collection for years now, but decided to switch things up and get the coconut scent this time. If you’re going to have one setting spray in your collection, make it this one. The mist is super fine so it won’t ruin your makeup and just feel soft and gentle. The actual formula is great because it helps melt powders into the skin so they don’t look powdery or cakey. But it won’t add extra shine which is great for me since I’m an oily gal. It helps improve the look of my makeup. The coconut scent is nice – not too strong and sweeter than sunscreeny. I love this setting spray and would highly recommend it.

Now for new products. The first being the belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb. I needed a new moisturizer and decided to give this one a try since I’ve heard really good things about it. I also decided to get the mini size just in case I don’t like it. This is a lightweight gel that is supposed to give a burst of hydration and quickly absorb into the skin without looking heavy or greasy. I’d say that the claims are true! It’s a gel formula which I prefer. It does leave my skin feeling hydrated and does absorb into the skin super quickly. It absorbs so well into the skin that my skin almost looks matte, very similar to the Origins Matte Moisturizer. While I do like it and will finish it, I’m on the fence if I would repurchase it. I will update you when I finish the product.

And for the final product, I purchased the Ole Henriksen Lemonade Smoothing Scrub, which I also purchased in a mini size. I’ve mentioned this in my product empties post but I’m on the search for the best exfoliator for my skin. I thought I would hit a home run with this one but it’s just average. This scrub has AHAs, lemon peel and sugar to provide both a chemical and physical exfoliation to the skin. I like the consistency of the scrub – it’s not too thick and abrasive but enough that I can feel it on my face. And I like the light citrus smell as well. The only thing is that I don’t really notice a difference. With an exfoliator, I want an instant result so it’s a little disappointing to not notice anything. I’ll continue to use it but I wouldn’t be repurchasing.

And that’s my little Sephora haul guys! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products before and if so what were your thoughts!

xoxo

Lea

Product Empties July 2021

Hey guys! It’s been a couple of months but today I’m going to be sharing some of my product empties. I always like doing these posts because I’ve finished the product so I have a good idea of what the product is like. So let’s get into it.

The first product is perfume! Back in the spring, I got into wearing perfume daily. I never wore perfume much and found all my perfumes were just sitting unused. So I made it my mission to use them more and because of that, I finished the True Religion Hippie Chic. I’m 90% sure that this perfume is discontinued because it’s only available on Amazon and eBay. Which is fine with me because I wouldn’t repurchase it. This was the first perfume I got as a teenager and while it’s a good teen scent it’s not as much my thing anymore. The notes are Red Apple, Raspberry, Pomegranate, Hibiscus, Lily-of-the-Valley, Star Jasmine, Wood and Musk. It’s much fruitier than what I typically go for. It was good for when I was a teen but now I like other scents.

The next product is the Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub. I’m currently on the hunt for my favourite exfoliator. I liked the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser and I’ve been comparing everything I tried to that one. I like an exfoliator that has something physical to it, but not necessarily St. Ives level of physical. That’s why I liked the Murad one because it was slightly physical but also chemical as well. This Cetaphil one was just too gentle for me. It says that there are micro-fine bamboo particles but I didn’t feel any. It wasn’t bad, like my face still felt clean after using it. But it was more similar to using a cleanser than an exfoliator. Still on the hunt for my favourite but it might be the Murad one.

I think the next product has been discontinued or at least renamed. I finished the Tarte Ready, Set, Radiant Skin mist and I can’t seem to find it anywhere. But on the Tarte website, they have the Rainforest of the Sea 4-in-1 Mist which sounds similar. Either way, I’m not sure I would repurchase it. The mist isn’t the finest and sprays droplets everywhere. I also found that the formula is more hydrating than setting down makeup. Then I read somewhere that it’s good to wet the face before applying hyaluronic acid and decided to try this mist and loved it for that use! Since the mist wasn’t fine it got my face wet quickly. It also provided extra skincare benefits on top of the hyaluronic acid. And finally, it has a cucumber scent that is nice while applying skincare. The reason why I wouldn’t repurchase is I think I can get a mist for cheaper than this that would do a similar job.

Taking a step away from skincare, I had a deluxe sample of the Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion. This lotion is meant to restore dry, dull and irritated skin. It was a thin liquid but was quite hydrating. It was easy to spread all over the body and sank into the skin easily. The scent was pretty basic. There is no added fragrance so it just smells like a combo of the marula and shea butter in the lotion. If you don’t like overly fragranced body lotions, then you’ll love this. I, on the other hand, love scented body lotions so I won’t be picking this up again because the scent was pretty basic.

Another body product, this one I did not like, was the Quo Vanilla Brulee Salt Scrub. I was looking to try a new body scrub and saw this one. I wasn’t able to smell it so I just bought it on a whim. I thought it would be a nice vanilla scent but no it just smells like straight-up salt and vanilla extract – not very pleasant. I also find that the scrub melts away easily so I can’t get a good scrub in before it dissolves. Was not a fan and will not be repurchasing.

The next product is a sample of the Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash. This cleanser should be right up my alley because it’s meant for oily skin to remove makeup, impurities and surface oils. But I found it was a little too aggressive. My face always felt tight after I used it. It also has a strong mint scent, which isn’t my favourite. I always had to hold my breath while using it. Overall not my favourite and I wouldn’t purchase a full size.

If you’ve read any of my product empties posts, then you’ll know I love the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. Sephora usually has the deluxe sample as a point perk so I always have one kicking around. And for a good reason because this cleanser is gentle but effective. This is a great second cleanser to use after removing makeup because it’ll get rid of any leftover makeup and cleanse the skin but not strip it. And I love the light cucumber scent. You need to try this cleanser if you haven’t already yet.

A product that I haven’t finished but will be throwing away is the Wander Beauty Lift Off Purifying and Brightening Peel Off Mask. I know that peel-off masks were big a couple of years ago and I had this one kicking around because I got it in my Boxycharm. I decided to use it the other day after not using it in months. It broke me out so badly. And not just around my chin, where I normally get acne. I had small pimples all over my face. I know for sure it was because of this mask. It might be expired but I believe my face just doesn’t like peel-off masks so I decided to get rid of it.

Now one of my favourite products that I have already repurchased is the Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner. I can’t live without this stuff. I do notice a difference in the texture of my skin when I don’t use it. The toner evens out my face and helps keep the oils at bay. If you deal with texture skin and oiliness, you need this toner in your life.

Now for a drugstore product, I have the NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray. I’ve mentioned this spray quite a bit on my blog because it’s so good. It helps melt all the product into the skin and makes me look dewy but not oily. And it’s also so affordable, it’s only $11. This is like my third bottle and I see myself buying more in the future. I purchase the Radiant Finish to test it out and see if it’s any different compared to the dewy.

And the final product is my BareMinerals Translucent Powder Duo. If you’ve been keeping up with my project pan then this powder is probably familiar to you. I finished the matte side of the powder and don’t like the glow side so I decided it was time to just toss it out. It feels pretty good to finish a makeup product up because that doesn’t happen very often. Unfortunately, the powder has been discontinued so there isn’t much point in me giving a review since you can’t purchase it. But I just wanted to mention it since I’m proud that I finished it!

And those are the products that I finished recently! Let me know in the comments if you guys have tried any of these products before and what your thoughts were on them.

xoxo

Lea

5 Best Beauty Under $20

Hey guys! Today I am going to be sharing the final part of my best affordable makeup series. If you haven’t read my best under $10 and best under $15, go check those posts out because there are so many great products in those posts. We don’t have as many products in this post, because it seems like most drugstore makeup is in the $10-$15 range. All prices are listed in Canadian dollars unless there is an asterisk* beside it, in which case the price is in American dollars. Let’s get into it!

Best affordable drugstore makeup featuring Revlon, Makeup Revolution, Colourpop, Burt's Bees and Physicians Formula.

The first product we have is so underrated. I don’t hear enough people talk about the Revlon PhotoReady Prime Plus Makeup + Skincare Primer. This adds a natural glow-from-within highlight to the face but isn’t glittery in any way. It reminds me a lot of the Dr. Brandt Pores No More Luminizer Primer. But it’s way cheaper at only $18.99.

The next product is the Colourpop Hyaluronic Tinted Moisturizer. If you’re looking for an affordable, light coverage foundation, this is it. It has a lightweight feeling and natural finish. It’s a your-skin-but-better foundation. It’s only $14* and there are 24 shades. The only thing is that you can’t return products, so take your time researching which shade would be the right one for you.

If you’re looking for a good drugstore eyeshadow palette, check out Makeup Revolution. I have their 24K Gold Eyeshadow Palette but they have so many eyeshadow palettes ranging in price from $12 to $20* dollars. I found their mattes to be pigmented and easy to blend and their shimmers easy to work with. It can be hard to find good-quality drugstore eyeshadow, but Makeup Revolution is one of the best.

One of my favourite blushes is the Burt’s Bee Natural Origin Blush. I like the formula because it’s pigmented but not difficult to apply. It looks so nice on the skin. I also like the shades that Burt’s Bees has. They’re not like some of the other shades you’ll find at the drugstore. And the best part is that it’s only $16.99 for a blush.

And the final product I have is the Physicians Formula Sculpting Bronzer. There aren’t a lot of options for cream bronzer at the drugstore and many of them come with a highlight product that I don’t use. This cream bronzer is very similar in tone to the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer but is only $16.99. I will say it takes a little bit more effort to blend out this bronzer compared to the Milk one, but it gives a very similar effect on the skin for a fraction of the cost.

And those are my beauty recommendations under $20. I hope you guys enjoyed this series! Let me know in the comments what you’re favourite drugstore products are. I’m always looking to give you guys the best, affordable recommendations!

xoxo

Lea

Battle of the Pimple Patches – Which one is the best on the market

Hey guys! Today’s post has been in the making for a while. I bought some pimple patches back in the winter and I liked them. So I decided to buy a few more and test out to figure which brand has the best patches. The funny thing is that my skin was pretty good in the spring so it took me forever to test because I had no pimples! Lately, my skin has been freaking out, I think mainly from increased makeup and mask-wearing so I’ve been using pimple patches more. I have four different brands and we’re going to break each one down.

Pimple or acne patches have become popular within the last year. Instead of applying a sheet mask all over the face, you put the patch on a specific spot, usually a pimple, to help heal it. The idea is that it’s targeting a specific spot. The pimple patches come in a variety of sizes and colours depending on the brand. The majority you wear for a prolonged period of time, so it’s nice to put them on at night and sleep with it to help heal a pimple. As someone who suffers from acne, I was willing to try anything to help with my acne.

Comparing Peace Out, Yes To and Rael pimple patches

The first brand I tried was the Peace Out Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Dots. I got these while I was working at Sephora because I heard good things about them. These patches are the biggest of the four I have, being 1.8cm in diameter. They also have a yellow tinge to them, so they are visible on the face. The bigger size means that if I have a large pimple or two beside each other it can cover both. It sticks easily to the face, but it’s thick so I do feel it on my face. These work well, especially on whiteheads. I place it on a whitehead and it will be cleaned out and healed by the next day. If you’re someone who struggles with the urge to pop pimples using these helps get rid of the whitehead without popping. I would say these are the best I’ve tried but they are also the most expensive at $25 for 20 patches.

The next patches I tried are the Yes To Tomatoes Zit Zapping Dots. I picked these up at Shoppers. While they are easily available, they are my least favourite. The patches are black and red, so they are not subtle whatsoever. Couldn’t get away with wearing these during the day. They are very thin plastic and I find that they don’t stick to my face very well. They’re fine on a part of my face, like my cheeks, but stay on my chin or jawline. And they’re just not as effective. The Peace Out ones can clear the gunk out of a white head, these will just bring everything to the surface. The ones I got on Amazon are cheaper and better so I would pass on these.

Then I decided to try two from Amazon. The first is the Rael Microcrystal Acne Healing Patch. These are meant for early-stage, cystic pimples. These look different. There is an outer ring and then an inner ring that has little dots. I believe it’s designed to go deep into the skin and penetrate the pimple. The patch as a whole is 1.9cm, but the inner ring is only 1.4cm. These aren’t bad, but I don’t find them as effective as the Peace Out ones. As well, they are $18 for 9 patches. The cost per patch is worst than Peace Out as well.

My runner-up after Peace Out is the Rael Pimple Healing Patch. These are similar to the Peace Out where they are meant to draw out the pus on surface-level pimples. They are much smaller than the Peace Out ones, being only 1cm in size. So sometimes I have to use two patches beside each other if I have a cluster whereas I could use one Peace Out patch. But I found that these are very discreet on the face. They are clear and blend easily into the face. I wore them while filming the other day and I couldn’t notice it when I was looking back into the footage. So if you want something discreet I would recommend these. They’re not as good as the Peace Out ones but I think they still do a good job. And they’re much cheaper at $9.16 for 24 patches.

Comparing Peace Out, Yes To and Rael pimple patches

If I were to rank these it would be a tie between Rael Pimple Healing Patch and Peace Out. Peace Out is the most effective and bigger sized whereas Rael is discreet and cheaper. Then Rael Micocrystal would be third and Yes To would be last.

I hope you guys found this post helpful! And if you have a favourite pimple patch that I didn’t mention, let me know in the comments I’d love to try it out!

xoxo

Lea

Project Pan Update July 2021

Hey guys! It’s been a couple of months since I’ve given you an update on my project pan. I want to give you a final update on my original product pan products before I switch things up. It’s going to be a lengthy post, but bear with me because I thought it would be better for it to be all in one post than two!

First let’s start with the product I used the most, the BareMinerals Translucent Powder Duo. I mentioned this in my April update but I figured out that I didn’t like the glow side that much so I stopped using it. I’m happy to report that not only did I hit pan on the matte side, but I basically finished it! It took me a while to hit pan, but once I did it was pretty quick to finish the product. There is barely anything left so I feel satisfied in getting rid of it. I’m proud that I was able to finish one product.

The most disappointing is the Colourpop x Kathleen Lights Dream St Palette. I thought I would hit pan on a few on the shadows but I’ve barely made a dent. I made the most progress on the shade “Shooting Star”. It’s hard to see on the overhead view but I did make a dent in the shade. Until recently I wasn’t wearing eyeshadow much, or when I did I was testing out palettes for other posts. I do like this palette but I have learned that it takes more effort than I thought to pan eyeshadows. I am keeping this palette since I have a lot left in the blush.

The other product I hit pan on is the Wander Beauty Trip for Two Blush and Bronzer Duo. I just barely hit pan in June and by July I fully hit pan on the bronzer. The blush on the other hand looks barely used. It’s funny because I would always use both the bronzer and blush. I guess I just use way more bronzer than blush. I am keeping this but taking a break for awhile since I’ve used this so much.

Next, we have the Maybelline Lipstick Colour Sensational in Nearly Nude. In April I started measuring how much I have left in the bullet to be more empirical. Except I made zero progress. I swear I wore this lipstick but it seems like it didn’t make a difference unless I’m measuring wrong. I’ve decided to not pick a new lipstick for the next round of my project pan. I found that I always wanted to match my lipstick to my outfit instead of using the same one. It’s also nice to have one product that I can switch up while trying to pan the rest. So that’s it for lipstick.

While it felt like I made no progress with my lipstick, I think I did a good job with my MAC Cremesheen Glass in the shade Calypso Beat. It’s hard to photograph, but when I swirl the wand around I can tell that I’ve used it a lot. I can now see through the tube, something I couldn’t do in January. It’s still not done but I’m satisfied enough to pick another gloss.

And finally, I have the Temptu Liquid Glow. I picked this product in April, so it’s only been a few months compared to the other products. And this is the only product I’m going to continue to use since I started using it in April. Unfortunately, I took a different shot for each month (my bad). But you can see a bit of a difference between May and July. It looks like it’s gone down by a millimetre, which I’ll take haha. I would love for the highlight to be at the bottom of the Boxycharm box by the time I do my next update.

And now for my new products. Like I mentioned I was getting bored with my other products and wanted to change things up. I made sure to pick products that weren’t discontinued this time around. I asked you guys which products I should use, so these are the winners.

For my eyeshadow palette, I will be using the Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Eyeshadow Palette. This is a classic palette that I think many people have in their collection. It’s a big palette so I have a lot of options to pick from. I’m going to try and focus on the top row when it comes to my panning project. I’m also hoping that since I’m now working and wearing more eyeshadow, I’ll be better at panning.

Instead of doing a blush and blush palette, I have individual ones. For my bronzer, I picked the Maybelline City Bronzer & Contour Powder. This bronzer has a slight glow to it so it’ll be nice for the summer months. And I thought it would be nice to have a few drugstore products in my project pan.

For my blush, I’m using the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in the shade Paaarty. This was one of the birthday gifts that Sephora gave in 2017. I got this blush four years ago so I’ve had it for a while, to say the least. I’ve made some progress over the years because the embossed pattern is gone in the middle. Not sure if I’ll hit pan soon but I can cross my fingers.

For powder, I picked two products because I think I’ll finish the first quickly. I had a mini sample of the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder and I’m super close to finishing it. I believe I can finish the powder by the end of the month so I selected another one. The powder I’m going to use after Laura Mercier is the TooFaced Born This Way Ethereal Setting Powder. I’ve been trying to finish this powder forever because it’s not my favourite powder. It works well but I find it pulls yellow on me. It’s hard to tell because the packaging is frosted but I think I have about a third left. Let’s see if I can finish it.

The final product I’ve picked for my project pan is the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in the shade Fenty Glow. I’ve had this gloss since it was first released, so a couple of years now. I do like this gloss and I’ve used it quite a bit. I’m thinking that I might be able to finish this gloss, or at least get close, by the time I do my next update.

And those are my new products for my project pan! I’ll do an update in October on here, but I’ll post monthly updates on my Instagram. I frequently use the products in my Youtube videos as well. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions on the products since this post was focused more on the progress than the products!

xoxo

Lea

Book Reviews: “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” and “Beauty Queens”

Hey guys! Sorry for not posting on Friday. Having the day off on Thursday threw me off schedule. I’m still trying to figure out how to balance my time with my new job, so please forgive me. Anyway, today we have a book review post. I posted a Youtube video with my monthly book reviews as well, I’ll link that at the bottom if you prefer an audio-visual version instead. Let’s get into it!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

The first book is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. My friends got this for me for my birthday. I’ve heard so many good things online so I was excited to read it. I also heard that the book was sad and was going to give me an existential crisis. And the people on the internet weren’t kidding.

This book follows Addie LaRue, who makes a deal with the devil to live forever. The thing is that no one remembers her. Addie lives over 300 years before she meets someone who does remember her. This is a New Adult historical fantasy.

This book is written so well. There is a nice balance between being straightforward and being poetic. And the poetic sections aren’t pretentious in any way. The writing is very effortless and flows well. The beginning is very strong. It hooked me right away and wasn’t confusing. The book is a little slower-paced. Addie’s life story unfolds throughout the full novel. While it’s slower-paced it’s not boring. I was intrigued by the whole book.

Addie LaRue is a very philosophical book. It dives deep into themes such as the purpose of life, our impact on society and being liked and accepted, to name a few. It can be quite sad at times. I received some personally sad news around the same time I was reading this book, so I think that just amplified how I was feeling. I was sobbing after I finish the book and felt pretty sad and numb the next day.

I didn’t necessarily love this book but I think it still deserves 5 stars. First I don’t think there is anything I would change about the book. V.E. Schwab had a story she wanted to tell and I think she executed it perfectly. Second, while I didn’t love the book, it elicited strong, sad emotions from me. I think the fact that i tcreated such strong emotions shows that it’s an impressive book. So I give it 5/5 stars. I would recommend the book but just be prepared to feel sad and question life after reading the book.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

After reading such a sad book I needed something happier. So I decided to read Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. I bought this book back in middle school (it was published in 2011). I’ve read Bray’s Gemma Doyle series and Going Bovine, and liked both of them. Going Bovine is a whacky book and I had a feeling that Beauty Queens would be similar so I was prepared going into this book.

Beauty Queens follows a group of teen beauty pageant contestants who get stranded on what they think is a deserted island. They must work together to survive on this island, but really weird things keep on happening to them. This is a YA contemporary comedy.

This book is a whacky satire that is poking fun at many things include late 2000s media and pop culture, capitalism, big corporations, beauty standards, sexism, racism and many other things. It’s full of late 2000s references (like I said published in 2011). Since I grew up during this time I knew all the references so I found it super funny.

This also might be a random comparison, but it reminded me a lot of the kid tv show Phineas and Ferb. That show was pretty whacky and if you took it at face value it wouldn’t make sense. But if you just go along with the wackiness it’s pretty funny. Same thing with this book. The book has footnotes, fun facts section, commercial scripts that add to the storyline.

I think how this book talked about some serious topics in a fun and light-hearted way. It’s a great way to start a conversation on difficult topics. There was also lots of diversity, with an Indian immigrant, an African-American girl, a trans girl, lesbian and bi characters, and a deaf girl. And they weren’t just side characters. Bray discussed how their identities affected them personally and also related to the world of beauty pageants. Great to see such diversity in a book, because there are books published today that don’t have this level of diversity in them.

There was some romance but it wasn’t the focus of the novel. The book was more about the girls learning to be friends with each other and banding together instead of fighting with one another. And I love novels with good female friendships.

Overall I gave this book 5/5 stars, but I can easily see why people wouldn’t like this book. If satire isn’t your thing or you don’t know much about 2000s pop culture then you might not like this book. Comedy is so subjective so this book isn’t going to be for everyone.

And those are my book reviews for today guys. If you read either of these books let you know what you thought about them. And as always, feel free to leave book recommendations in the comments! Always willing to add books to my endless TBR list haha.

xoxo

Lea

June Boxycharm 2021

Hey guys! I survived my first week of work! One of the benefits of going into an office is that I now wear makeup every day during the week. So I’ve been able to really put this month’s Boxycharm products to the test. For those of you who don’t know, Boxycharm is a subscription beauty box that sends out 5 full-size products every month. The base box is $25 US and I pay whatever the exchange rate is at the time by card is charged. Let’s get into this month’s box!

Boxycharm's June box that includes Glamglow cleanser, Touch in Sol highlight palette, Jecca Blac primer, Nars lip pencil and Aceology lip maks.

The first product in this month’s box is the GlamGlow Supercleanse Clearing Cream-to-Foam Cleanser. This cleanser has a blend of three charcoals to detoxify the skin, clear pores and remove makeup. With most cleansers, I would wet my face and then apply the cleanser to my wet skin. With this cleanser, I squeeze some onto my hands, wet the cleanser and then apply it. I do find that sometimes I have to add water to my face after applying because it’s too dry. Overall the Glamglow cleanser isn’t bad but it stings my eyes so I don’t use it to remove makeup. This would be a good shower cleanser because it would be easier to get it wet and easier to remove. I think this might be breaking me out, or I could be breaking out from wearing a mask more (since I’m leaving the house more for work). I need to test it out a bit more so it doesn’t quite yet have my stamp of approval. Price: $32 US, $42 CAD

Up next is the product that I selected. Boxycharm now allows you to pick one product in your box. I often forget to pick (I didn’t pick in time for July oops) but I did remember for June and picked the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. I picked Dolce Vita, a dusty rose, which was one of the few natural options Boxycharm had. I really like this lip pencil. I’ve been wearing it every day to work this past week. The name matte can be deceiving because people would think this lip might be drying and uncomfortable. But I would just describe this as not-shiny. It’s still very creamy and applies easily to the lips. It’s not the most long-lasting, it will come off after I eat. But colour and formula make this a great everyday lip product. Highly recommend! Price: $27 US, $35 CAD

Touch in Sol Pretty Filter Glowdient Makeup Palette highlight palette.

The next product is the Touch in Sol Pretty Filter Glowdient Makeup Palette. I was excited to try out this product since I love the primers from Touch in Sol. I’m on the fence about this palette. I’ve said this before many times, but I’m not a huge fan of face palettes because I often don’t use all the shades. I would wear the three shades on the left, but the two shades on the right are just too dark for me. On the other hand, the formula is nice. These highlights are so soft and creamy that they blend seamlessly onto the skin. Such a great formula. While I love the formula it is annoying because I would prefer having one highlight instead of a full palette. Also, the packaging is plastic and very cheap feeling. As I said, I’m on the fence. Price: $34 US

Up next is the Aceology Overnight Lip Mask. This lip mask is pretty mediocre. First not a huge fan of the packaging. I wish the tube had an angled applicator because I find those easier to apply to the lips. Instead, I have to squeeze it onto my finger and then apply it to my lips. The mask itself is pretty average. It does hydrate but by morning my lips are dry again. For example, the Lanolips lip ointment is so good that the next morning I still have product on my lip. This lip mask isn’t bad it’s just not that impressive. It does have a coconut scent which is nice though! Price: $19 US

The final product is the Jecca Blac Hydrate Primer. This primer isn’t bad but it’s not my thing. This primer is meant to just hydrate the skin. To be honest the texture and finish on the skin just remind me of a moisturizer. Since I have oily skin I don’t need extra hydration because I use a moisturizer during my skincare routine. I want my primers to either smooth my skin, blur my pores or add some luminosity. This primer doesn’t do any of those things so it’s kinda pointless for me. I can understand if you have very dry skin this would be nice to add some extra hydration. I’ll keep this for the winter when my skin is on the drier side, but I don’t see myself reaching for this every day. Price: $20 US, $27.75 CAD

The overall total of my box is $132. Not the most impressive value and not the most impressive box. I really like the Nars Lip Pencil. The rest of the products are mediocre. I’ll continue to use them but they didn’t wow me and they weren’t products I would repurchase.

Let me know what you guys think. Do you think this is a good box? If you get Boxycharm let me know what products you got in your box!

xoxo

Lea

13 Best Beauty Under $15

Hey guys! I’m back with the second part of my best affordable beauty posts. If you haven’t read my best beauty under $10 post, I highly recommend checking it out because it’s full of good products. Today everything will be under $15, which seems to be the most popular price category in the Canadian drugstore. In today’s post, everything is listed in Canadian dollars.

Best drugstore, affordable beauty under $15

Starting with the base, I have two concealers. The first is the NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Concealer. If you’re looking for a full coverage concealer this is the one to get. It has a matte formula so this is great if you want something for full glam looks. There are 24 different shades and it’s $12.49. My other concealer recommendation is the Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer. This concealer is also full coverage and matte but it’s so lightweight. And they are 50 different shades so you’ll be able to find one that matches. The best part is that the concealer is only $12.99.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a good setting spray! The NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray is one of my favourites. It helps set my makeup and makes everything look more natural and seamless. Unlike some other dewy sprays I’ve tried, this doesn’t make me look oily or just spray a bunch of glitters all over my face. And at only $11.49, it’s half the price of Mac Prep + Prime Fix+.

One of my favourite drugstore mascara is the Covergirl Exhibitionist Mascara. I’m surprised that more people aren’t talking about this mascara because I think it’s a dupe for the TooFaced Better Than Sex mascara. The wands are identical and the formulas are quite similar. This mascara gives me volume and defined length. And no flaking or smudging. For $12.99 this is a great mascara (and it’s currently on sale).

If you want to get into false lases, then you have to go with Ardell lashes. They have so many different styles and they have multiple packs as well if there is a certain style you like. My favourites are the Ardell Faux Mink Demi Wispies. The lash band is invisible so it blends in seamlessly with my makeup. I find this style is on the more natural side where it adds volume but it’s not over the top nor too long. And they’re only $10.47, the perfect price if you don’t wear falsies very often or only once per pair.

My favourite drugstore brow pencil is the NYX Precision Brow Pencil. At first, I wasn’t a fan of the shape because it’s more oblong than a fine tip. But the shape is great for filling in brows quickly (perfect for when I’m running late in the morning 😝). The formula is stiff enough that I have good control but creamy enough that I can wipe away any mistakes. It has a spoolie attached which is always helpful to have when doing brows. The best part is that it’s only $12.99.

Maybelline makes great powder face products. If you read my top five products from my top five brands then these products might be familiar. For face powder, the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless is the best at $11.99. This powder helps set my makeup without making me look cakey. For bronzer check out the Maybelline FaceStudio City Bronzer, costing you $10.99. The colour is gorgeous, just make sure to use a light hand because this stuff is pigmented. And finally, for highlight check out the Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter. This is the best highlight you can get at the drugstore and it’s only $13.99.

If you want to complete the face and get a good blush, then check out the Milani Rose Powder Blushes. These blushes are quite finely milled so they look so soft and ethereal on the face. And they are buildable so you don’t have to worry about accidentally applying too much. These Milani blushes are only $11.49.

I have two different lipstick options. The first is a classic, the Maybelline Colour Sensational lipsticks. These are some of the best lipsticks at the drugstore and their formula reminds me a lot of MAC lipsticks. There are over 30 different shades and they’re only $10.99. If you want something a little creamier then check out the Burt’s Bee Natural Lipsticks. Not as many shade choices but they feel so comfortable on the lips and are only $10.99.

Finally, if you want something shiny, then check out the Burt’s Bee Natural Lip Shine. The squeezy tube makes it easy to apply to the lips. The formula is on the sheerer side colour-wise but delivers great shine to the lips. The lip shines are $10.99.

And those are my best makeup products under $15. I hope you guys enjoyed this post and found it helpful! Let me know what some of your affordable makeup products are. I have one more installment in this series, under $20, so stay tuned for that!

xoxo

Lea

I tried TikTok’s favourite mascara: Maybelline Sky High Mascara Review

Hey guys! First I want to start this blog post by sharing some exciting news – I have started a new job! And it’s in my field!! I’ve very excited about this new opportunity, but I’ll be honest this might affect my posting schedule. I going to try and stick to my current schedule right now but that might change. I recommend making sure to follow me on all my platforms but especially Instagram since that’s where I announce new posts and video or if a post is delayed. For now, I plan to continue posting on Tuesday and Fridays, 3 PM EST but if that changes I’ll be sure to announce that here. Okay, let’s get into it!

Today I have a mascara review! I’ve been trying to get my hands on the Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara for a while now. It went viral on Tiktok and ever since then it’s always been sold out at the drugstore. But I finally got it and I’m excited because so far I love it.

This mascara is meant to deliver length and volume as well as being long-lasting. The wand is on the thinner side to be able to coat all the lashes to create an impactful look for each angle.

Now everyone wants different things with their mascara. It’s almost like foundation where everyone has different wants. For me, I like a mascara that gives a lot of length with some volume to balance it out. Having all length with no volume just looks spidery for me. And all volume no length generally makes my eyelashes look clumpy. So I was very excited about the description of the mascara.

The wand has short bristles and is plastic. I know some people don’t like these types of wands because they can poke you in the eye. But I prefer this type of wand because I find big wand get mascara on my eyelids easily. This wands allows me to easily coat my lashes with mascara.

I have one coat of the mascara on the left and no mascara on the right

I have to say this mascara delivers on its claims. My lashes are long but have a bit of volume at the base to help balance them out. They also last throughout the day. I hate when my lashes look long at the beginning but fall and look short by the end of the day.

I didn’t experience any flaking or smudging underneath my eyes, but that’s not something I usually deal with other mascaras. The mascara also comes off pretty easily with makeup remover. Not as easy as a tubing mascara, but it’s not as stubborn as the Benefit They’re Real mascara which is one of the most difficult mascaras to remove in my opinion.

Overall I’m impressed with this mascara so far. I do find that mascara formulas can change over time as they dry, with some improving and others diminishing in quality. But so far I’m in love!

Let me know in the comments if you guys tried this mascara and if you think it lives up to the hype. And also let me know what your favourite drugstore mascara is!

xoxo

Lea