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

Is Native Deodorant Actually Good? Review

Hey guys! Today we’re talking all about deodorant. Not necessarily the most glamourous topic, but it’s something I use every day so it’s an important product! This might be a little unusual but I’ve been using Old Spice Fiji for about eight years now, give or take. When I started working as a lifeguard, one of my coworkers introduced me to it. Men’s deodorants are typically stronger than women’s and working at the pool we would get sweaty and needed something stronger. The Fiji scent is lavender and pina coladas so I loved using it!

The only thing is that Old Spice deodorant is made with aluminum, which everyone says is bad for you. Now I haven’t done any research into this, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to switch to a natural deodorant. The only issue is that I haven’t found a good one. The other two I tried had very wet and sticky formulas that stained my clothes. They also did nothing to stop the sweat and smell. I wasn’t impressed and stuck with my Old Spice.

For a while now I’ve heard a lot of hype about Native deodorants. Native is known for making a clean deodorant made without aluminum and other nasty ingredients. The deodorants are also cruelty-free and made in the USA. They have done a lot of influencer marketing so I’ve seen so many ads about Native deodorants. When you see so many ads you question if the product is good or not. But I’ve also seen some influencers talk about the brand organically so I felt like the deodorant must be legit.

I wanted to test out the brand for myself and see if the products were worth the hype. For a while, their deodorants were only available on their website, but I found out they were available at Walmart in Canada – I actually vlogged my trip to Walmart when I picked it up.

On the Native website, they have seven classic scents and five limited edition scents. At Walmart, they have only five of the seven classic scents. I decided to go with Eucalyptus and Mint since it was the strongest scent. The deodorant is on the pricier side, being $15 CAD (they are $12 US on the website, which is basically the same when you do currency exchange). This is a lot because other deodorants are around $4-6.

My first impression was that the Native deodorant stick looks like other deodorants. Sometimes natural deodorants have gel textures, but this one is normal which I like. I will say that the deodorant is a little harder compared to normal formulas. I have to rub a little harder to get it on my armpits, but once it ‘warms up’ it glides on easily.

So far I haven’t noticed any issues with staining. I wear black pretty often and haven’t noticed any white substance on my clothes that can sometimes happen with deodorant. Can’t confirm if it stains white shirts though because I haven’t worn any white shirts in the two weeks I’ve owned it (what can I say, I don’t wear a lot of white). I haven’t noticed any product build-up in my armpits as well.

I couldn’t have picked a better time to test this deodorant. I’m a naturally sweaty gal and I’ve been living with a broken AC during a heatwave the past two weeks. So I really put this to the test. I would say this performs just as well as my Old Spice deodorant. To say I never get sweaty and smelly is a lie. I will never not smell if I’m outside in 30-degree weather or working out. But for everyday wear, it’s pretty good.

I will say that I do kinda regret getting the eucalyptus and mint scent. It’s nice when I first apply it and just chilling. But when I do get sweaty, the scent just doesn’t mix well with my natural body odour. The eucalyptus just as a musty quality to my B.O. But I think this is just due to my natural body chemistry. I don’t think I would have this issue with other scents.

Do I think this product is good or overhyped? I have to say I’m team Native deodorant. This is hands down the best natural deodorant I’ve ever tried. It competes on the same level as other mainstream deodorants but without the nasty chemicals. I would buy this again in the future, but just a different scent. I do understand that the price tag is high, but to be honest a stick of deodorant lasts me a decent amount of time so it’s not like hair conditioner which I go through in it like two weeks. Also Native is cheaper than other natural deodorants that you can get at Sephora so it’s all comparative.

Overall I like the Native deodorants. Let me know in the comments if you tried Native deodorants and what your thoughts were about it. And if you have other natural deodorants like you like or prefer more let me know in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

10 Best Beauty Products Under $10

Hey guys! I love a good drugstore haul or product review, but I usually focus on the product over the price. Today I thought I would share some of my favourite products under $10. I also plan to do a post for products under $15 and $20. Just want to note that the majority of prices are in Canadian dollars since I live in Canada. But a few things are only listed in US dollars (such as Colourpop products) – which I will mark with an asterisk*. Since currency exchange varies I’m just going to include the US price in this post. I also have one product that is $9 US which is over $10 CAD, but I just decided to include it since it’ll be under $10 for all my American followers. Okay this intro is getting rambling. Let’s get into it.

The best beauty products under $10

Up first we have the Wet n Wild Photofocus foundations. Both the matte and the dewy finish are $8.79. These foundations provide great coverage, perfect for those days where I have some acne on my face. The foundations also mix well with other foundations. So I can use these foundations to mix with a foundation that is too light or dark for me. Both the matte and the dewy finish last long. A great foundation at an affordable price.

I’ve mentioned these eyeshadow palettes before, but the Wet n Wild Colour Icon palettes are some of the best at the drugstore. The shimmers are mediocre, but the mattes are great. They are quite pigmented and easy to blend. If you’re looking to getting into eyeshadow, these are a great palette to pick up since they are $7.27.

If you’re looking to build your eyeshadow collection but don’t want a palette OR are looking for a specific shade, single shadows are a great option. Colourpop has a great variety of single shadows. Their shadows are $4.50* and their pressed glitters are $5.00*. Some of my favourite shades include Bel Air, Made to Last and Get Lost.

Another great option from Colourpop is the Super Shock Shadows. Most are $6.00* and their limited edition Super Shock Shadows are $7.00*. You could pair one of these with a single shade and have a great eyeshadow look. I’ve owned many over the years, but the ones I currently own are Balloon Pop and Set to Stun.

If you’re looking to get into false lashes, then it’s great to get affordable pair. No sense in spending lots of money on something you might not wear often. Colourpop has great lashes, with a pair starting at $8.00*. My two favourite styles are Queenie and Dame.

Pressed powder is not exactly the most exciting product to purchase, but it’s important especially if you have oily skin like me. The Wet n Wild PhotoFocus Pressed Powder is a great affordable powder. It helps set the face and control oil. It also leaves my face smooth and soft. And it’s formulated to not flashback in photos. The best part is that this powder is $5.97.

It can be hard to find an affordable cream blush. They’re either expensive or don’t work well. The Colourpop Blush Stix is the best affordable blush and easily competes with my high-end blushes. They are quite pigmented and last a surprisingly long time for being a cream. The Blush Stixs are $9.00*.

I have two different highlight options for you. If you are looking for something bright and bold, then check out the Wet n Wild Megaglo highlights. At $7.47, these bad boys pack quite a punch but are still very creamy. No harsh lines with this highlight. If you want something softer, check out the Essence Pure NUDE Highlighter. This is a baked highlight so it’s quite soft and will give a glow from within look. And this highlight is only $5.49.

Colourpop has so many affordable lips, but if I had to pick my favourite it would be their Just a Tint lip tint. The formula is very comfortable on the lips but still gives off nice pigmentation. I have the shade Rise n Shine and I wear it all the time. And at $8.00* you won’t break the bank buying it.

And those are my best makeup products under $10. I hope you guys enjoyed this post and found it helpful! Let me know what some of your affordable makeup products are!

xoxo

Lea

Nighttime Skincare Routine

Hey guys! Today I decided to share my nighttime skincare with you. The last time I shared a skincare routine it was my morning one, so I thought it was time to share my evening routine. While some things are the same, I have to remove my makeup in the evening so it’s a slightly different process. Let’s get into it.

Nighttime skincare routine including: Laneige, Versed and KylieSkin cleansers, OleHenriksen toner, Murad moisturizer, MineTanBodySkin hyaluronic acid and Farmacy eye cream.

Now if I’m feeling particularly lazy I will just remove my makeup with some micellar water on a cotton round. But the majority of the time I will use an oily cleanser to remove my makeup. I find that oil-based cleansers are the best at breaking down my makeup. There are two oil-based cleansers that I currently like to use.

If my makeup isn’t super heavy or if its already worn off, then I’ll use the Laneige Cream Skin Milk Oil Cleanser. This cleanser is quite thin so I use about three to four pumps for my whole face. It just melts the makeup off my face and leaves it feeling soft and smooth after. The milky consistency is suitable for all skin types. It removes all my makeup, but I find it’s not as effective as a balm.

If I’m wearing a lot of makeup then I reach for a cleansing balm. I just find that it’ll get really oily and breakdowns stubborn mascara or eyeliner the best. I’ve used quite a few, but the one I currently own is the Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm. It has a light eucalyptus scent and doesn’t irritate my eyes. This one is cheaper than the other ones I’ve tried but just as effective. I always make sure to double cleanse when using a balm though, because my oily skin doesn’t like excess oil.

After I remove my makeup I go in with a second cleanser. If you’re unfamiliar with the double-cleanse method, the idea is to use a cleanser to remove your makeup and then a second cleanser to clean your skin. Since I have oily, acne-prone skin I find that it makes a difference to do a second cleanse. But I like to use a gentle cleanser as to not strip my face and irritate it.

The current cleanser I’m using for my second cleanse is the Kylie Skin Foaming Face Wash, which I got in a Boxycharm box. This cleanser is formulated to be gentle so it’s perfect for my second cleanse. I wouldn’t use this as my morning cleanser because I find it isn’t strong enough by itself. But after a first cleanse it just ensure that my face is clean and ready for the next steps in my routine.

I focus most of my skincare use in the morning, so in the evenings I try and use up products that I have already open. For example, the Ole Henriksen Oil Control toner is my favourite, but I have the Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner as well so I use it in the evening to try and finish it. I just don’t find it very effective but I don’t want to waste it so I use it at night. This toner has AHAs to help brighten dark spots. I find my dark spots react better to vitamin c serum, which I use in the morning. So I don’t necessarily recommend this toner, but it’s what I’m currently using.

After my toner, just like in the morning, I go in with hyaluronic acid. I finally finished that Inkey List one and I’m now using the MineTan.Body.Skin Hydra Glow Sleep Serum, which I also got in my Boxycharm. And I notice a difference using this hyaluronic acid! It gives me some hydration and makes my face feel plumper. I also will spray my face with a facial mist before applying the serum. I find that’s the best way to get results. So I’ve concluded that hyaluronic acid does work for my skin, just not The Inkey List one.

The next step in my routine is my moisturizer. I’m currently using the Murad City Skin Overnight Detox Moisturizer, which I also got in my Boxycharm. As I’ve said, I like to finish up products in my nighttime routine, so that means finishing up products that I tested from my Boxycharm. This moisturizer is pretty nice if a little on the thick side. I usually gravitate to something lighter but it doesn’t break me out and leaves me feeling hydrated so I use it!

Then I go in with my eye cream, the Farmacy Cheer Up Brightening Vitamin C Eye Cream. And you guessed it – I got this in my Boxycharm ahaha! I only use eye cream for hydration. This eye cream is supposed to help with fine lines and darkness but I haven’t noticed a difference. It doesn’t irritate my eyes so I use it to finish it up.

And then I’ll finish up with a lip balm, whichever is close by. And that’s my nighttime skincare routine! Besides my first cleanser, everything else I’m using to just to finish up. Because I focus on making sure that my skin is properly cleansed and treated in the morning, I just like to use up products in the evening. I have so many opened products and I’m making an effort to finish them up before purchasing more.

Let me know in the comments what products you guys like to use in the evening. And if you have any recommendations for me let me know, I always love trying new stuff!

xoxo

Lea

My Top 5 Products from My Top 5 Brands

Hey guys! Today’s post is inspired by the lovely Allana Davison, who recently did this in video format. She shared her top five products from her top five makeup brands. I wanted to do this myself. This was a little harder than I expected because while I might love a certain brands, I didn’t necessarily have five products from them. But I managed to figure it out. I have 25 products so I will try and keep it brief otherwise this post will be super long! Let’s get into it.

Fenty Beauty foundations, bronzer and lip gloss

When thinking of my top brands my mind immediately went to Fenty Beauty. I have three foundations and I love each one. I have the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, the Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation and the Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint. I discussed this in my Eaze Drop review but each foundation is unique. Both long-wearing foundations are full-coverage, but the finishes are different. The Eaze Drops have a lighter coverage but last just as long. Fenty Beauty is also known for having a large shade range, so there is a very high chance that you can find a shade that matches you. If you are looking for a new foundation Fenty Beauty is a great place to look.

Another one of my favourites is the Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer. Just like the foundations, the bronzer range is quite extensive with nine different shades. This is unlike other brands that might have three shades. The bronzer is quite pigmented so just make sure to use a light hand!

I can’t talk about Fenty Beauty without mentioning the Gloss Bombs. These came out right when gloss was becoming big again. The doe-foot applicator is larger than other glosses so it’s easy to apply the gloss in one easy swipe. I have the original Fenty Glow, which is a rose nude. But the shade range has expanded, and they also come out with limited edition shades all the time. If you love gloss then you have to check this one out.

Maybelline bronzer, highlight, powder, concealer and lipstick

The second brand that came to mind is Maybelline. When I was a teenager and didn’t know anything about makeup, Maybelline was the brand that I gravitated towards. Now that I know more about makeup I still reach for them. My absolute favourite product from them is the Maybelline Fit Me! Matte & Poreless Powder. This was the first powder I purchased, and after testing out other powders this one is still great. It’s silky smooth and feels so soft and does a great job of mattifying my skin but doesn’t make me look cakey. This powder is an oily girl’s dream.

Within the Fit Me! range, I also love the Fit Me Concealer. I’ve found that I prefer more natural concealers, and this one fits the bill. It’s thinner and so it blends out seamlessly. The shade I have is my summer shade. This is the perfect concealer to wear in the summer when I want some coverage but don’t want anything heavy or cakey. A great drugstore concealer.

Maybelline powder products are amazing. The Maybelline Master Chrome Highlighters are gorgeous. The formula is so creamy, so I can apply a small amount for a soft glow or pack it on to make it blinding. Another great powder is the City Bronzer. This is the perfect summer bronzer. It has a soft sheen in the powder so it creates a beautiful, bronzed, glow-from-within look. A great drugstore bronzer.

And my final favourite product from Maybelline is their Colour Sensational Lipsticks. Their formula and colour remind me of MAC lipsticks. There are different finishes and SO many shades that you’re bound to find one you like. So if you need a new lipstick, check out Maybelline.

Colourpop eyeshadows, false lashes, blush and lip tint

The brand that I easily own the most products from is Colourpop. The majority of products I’ve ordered myself, but I have received a few from my Boxycharm as well. My favourite product is their Super Shock Shadows. I own quite a few of these. These are creamy eyeshadows that dry down on the eyes and last all day. I prefer the glittery ones because they’re just so pretty and such an easy way to apply glitter to the eyes. I will often just put bronzer on the eyes and a Super Shock Shadow for an easy but fun makeup look. I highly recommend this.

Colourpop’s eyeshadow formula is also amazing. I have so many palettes from them. The one I put in the photo is the So Jaded palette, one of my more recent purchases (which of course is now discontinued. Of course I pick the palette that’s discontinued lol). But I also have a magnetic palette with some of their single shadows. Their mattes are pigmented and easy to blend. And the shimmers are impactful and easy to apply. I love all their palettes, but they do discontinue them quite frequently so it’s hard to recommend one. So just pick one that has a colour story you like because it’s probably good.

Another eye product is their false lashes! Besides Ardell, these are the best affordable lashes that I’ve tried. They have a thick band so it’s easy to apply and stays put pretty easily. I have the styles Queenie and Dame. If you’re looking to get into lashes but don’t want to shell out a lot of money, check these out.

I love cream blushes, I really do. But most of my favourites are quite expensive. The Colourpop Blush Stix is the best affordable option I’ve tried. It’s quite pigmented AND blends easily, unlike a lot of affordable cream blushes. I can swipe this on my face and blend it out no problem. I have the shade Splash, which is a warm rose, but there are other shades as well.

Colourpop has so many great lip options, but my fave is their Just A Tint lip tint. There are some of the best hydrating lipstick formulas I’ve tried. It’s very hydrating and comfortable on the lips. But for being a tint it has a pretty good colour payoff. I have the shade Rise n Shine, which is a peach tint. I would recommend adding these to your cart.

Tarte blush, setting mist, liquid lipstick, lip balm and mascara.

When I was thinking about what some of my favourite products are, I realized I had quite a few from Tarte. They’re not necessarily a brand that’s always on my radar, but everything I own from them I love! Tarte mascaras are some of my favourites. The Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara is one of my all-time favourites. I don’t currently own it, but I have the Maneater Voluptuous Mascara and it’s pretty good as well.

I also love Tarte lip products. The Tarte SEA Quench Lip Rescue Balm is one of my all-time favourite lip balms. I bought a new one at the beginning of winter and I’ve almost finished it already. The packaging is sleek and I prefer twist-up balms the most. It hydrates by chapped lips and adds the lightest tint as well. I also have one of the Tarteist Quick Dry Lip Paints and they’re some of the most comfortable liquid lipsticks. My favourite shade is unfortunately discontinued by the formula is still great. It dries quickly, doesn’t crack and is long-lasting. Everything you need with a liquid lip.

I got a Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in one of my Sephora birthday gifts many years ago and it looks like I’ve barely made a dent even though I’ve worn it so much. This is a blush that will take you forever to get through. It’s a very soft formula so you don’t have to worry about getting clown cheeks with this blush.

The final product is one I just recently finished – the Ready, Set, Radiant Skin Mist. I always found it a little too wet for makeup use. But then I saw someone using a mist before applying hyaluronic acid so I got the idea to use this mist. And it works perfectly for that! It’s easy to wet my face and it has skincare benefits as well! Just goes to show that sometimes getting creative and reworking products can be beneficial!

Wet n Wild foundations, powder, highlight and eyeshadow

My final brand is Wet n Wild. I’m not a huge fan of the packaging, it’s pretty cheap, but the products are worth it. For example, I am in love with the Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder. The lid doesn’t even properly close, but I deal with it because the powder is so beautiful. It’s very similar in consistency to the Maybelline highlight; it can be soft or blinding depending on how you apply the powder. Great drugstore highlight.

Another great powder product from Wet n Wild is the PhotoFocus Pressed Powder. Unlike the Maybelline one, this almost feels like a baked powder. It’s quite light so it’s perfect for setting the skin. And with all the products in the PhotoFocus range, it’s meant to not create photo flashback.

Speaking of PhotoFocus, the PhotoFocus foundations are great. I have both the Matte and the Dewy foundations. Both foundations provide great coverage and are quite long-lasting. The only difference is the finish. I love using these foundations to mix with others. They add great coverage and can alter the finish depending on the one I use. And because they’re affordable, I own different shades as well. So I can use mix them or with other foundations to create my perfect shade. A great affordable foundation.

And the final product is the Wet n Wild Colour Icon Eyeshadow palettes. I’ve said this before but these are some of the eyeshadows at the drugstore. The shimmers are a little lacklustre, but there are only two in the palette. I can use the mattes to create a beautiful base and then add a colourful single shadow (such as the Colourpop Super Shock Shadows) to complete the look. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good eyeshadows.

And THAT IS IT. Wow, that’s a long post haha. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Let me know if you would want to see do a second part! And let me know in the comments what some of your favourite brands are!

xoxo

Lea

NYX The Marshmellow Primer Review

Hey guys! Today I am giving you my thoughts on the infamous NYX The Marshmellow Soothing Primer. I know this primer was blowing up online earlier in the year. Because of its popularity, the primer has been sold out in my local drugstores for so long. I was finally able to get my hands on it and try it out. So let’s get into it.

NYX Cosmetics The Marshmellow primer

The Marshmellow name is a play on the fact that the texture and smell are reminiscent of marshmallow and because it’s supposed to be mellow and soothing for the skin. It’s also made from marshmallow root extract. It has a long list of claims: smoothes, softens, extends makeup wear, hydrates, soothes, evens tone, minimizes texture, blurs lines, adds a soft-focus finish and keeps makeup fresh. So basically…everything? And it’s vegan!

First I like the packaging – pumps are the best. It’s nice because one pump is the perfect amount for my face. The claims are what you would see from both a hydrating primer and a pore-filling primer (think Smashbox Primerizer and Photo Finish). The texture isn’t at all like pore-filling primers, so if you don’t like silicone feeling primers don’t worry this isn’t like it. It feels much more like a whipped moisturizer – or like whipped marshmallow. It comes out a light pink and goes clear as it’s rubbed into the skin. It does have a sweet scent to it, but I can’t quite place what it smells like. It does have fragrance in it, but it’s listed as the last ingredient.

This primer is pretty incredible. It does instantly blur the skin, helping minimize the look of pores and texture. I would say that the hydration is pretty subtle, if you have dry skin I would recommend pairing this with something more moisturizing. I was pretty impressed because I compared this side by side with my CoverFX Blurring Primer, and the Marshmellow primer is significantly better. It just makes my face look so smooth and soft.

While this primer looks amazing, I wouldn’t say that it improves the wear time any more than my other primers. It performs better than not using a primer at all, but if you’re looking for the key to long-wearing makeup this isn’t it.

Overall I like this primer. I don’t think all the claims are necessarily true, but it does make my face look smoother and blurred. If you like the idea of a pore-filling primer but hate the texture you need to check this one out. I see myself using this primer a lot.

Let me know in the comments if you tried this primer and if so what were your thoughts on it?

xoxo

Lea

Book Reviews: The Wives, The Crown of Gilded Bones and Shine

Hey guys! Today we have another book review post! We’ve got three very different books in today’s post. What can I say, I have very varied taste. And if you prefer audio-visual book reviews, my book video will be going Sunday so stay tuned for that (I’ll add the video to this post once it’s up). Let’s get into it.

"The Wives" by Tarryn Fisher

The first book is “The Wives” by Tarryn Fisher. This one was lent by my neighbour and my mom read it before me. My mom’s quick review I got before reading the book was ‘the ending was crazy’. Not very descriptive. This book follows a woman whose husband is a polygamist, but she doesn’t know his other wives. Now I just want to note the synopsis on the back of the book and Goodreads is different. Goodreads says the main character’s name whereas the back of the book doesn’t. So it took me half the book to realize the main character’s name is Thursday and not just a nickname. But anyway, Thursday is curious about the other wives and befriends one. Then Thursday learns that her husband is abusing one of the other wives and becomes concerned. This is an adult thriller.

Unlike a lot of the reviews on Goodreads, I found the first half of the book pretty boring. It was mundane and just about her domestic woes at the beginning. It wasn’t until about halfway through that it got interesting. The more interesting it got thought the more confusing it got. There were a lot of twists and turns right up until the end of the book. I didn’t necessarily enjoy reading it because it’s pretty messed up what happens. But the book itself is written well, with the book flowing and I read it pretty quickly.

I will say that mental illness is a big driver of the plot and I’m unsure how I feel about it. I think mental illness can add to a thriller. For example in the book ‘The Women in the Window’, the main character was unreliable due to her mental illness. But it was not the main cause for the tragedy. In this book, it caused all the tragedy and was put in a negative light, with words like ‘crazy’ and ‘psycho’ being thrown around all over the place. It just didn’t sit well with me.

Overall I gave the book 3/5 stars. It was a thrilling book. But I just didn’t vibe with the reason for all the mess and found the beginning to be boring.

"The Crown of Gilded Bones", the third book in the Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

The next book is “The Crown of Gilded Bones”, the third book in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Blood and Ash series. I won’t go into too much detail about the plot as to not spoil the other books in the series. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the book so I was hesitant going into the book. This is a new adult fantasy.

I can say I understand why the book got mixed reviews. First, there is a lot of info-dumping at the beginning of the book. I read the other two books in November so it was a lot to try and remember the old information and process the new information. It took me almost 200 pages to get into the book. And second there just wasn’t as much spice compared to the other book. Like don’t get me wrong, there are spicy scenes, but they weren’t as memorable or special compared to the first two books.

I think the second half of the book was much better. The world was developed at a much more even pace and some really big plot twists happen in the end as well. While the book might not be my favourite in the series, I can see how it’s going to be important in the overarching series. Lots of both plot and character development happens in this book so be prepared for that.

Overall I gave this book 4/5 stars (for reference I rated the other books in the series 4.5/5 stars). If you are into fantasy and want something spicy I highly recommend this series. But be prepared for a long read, because each book is over 600 pages long.

"Shine" by Lauren Myracle

And the final book I read in May is “Shine” by Lauren Myracle. This book follows Cat as she tries to discover who committed a hate crime against her gay friend Patrick. This book is a YA mystery.

The mystery is the best part of this novel. It took me a while (but not as long as Cat) to figure out who committed the crime. I kept on going back and forth on who did it. And I found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading the book. If you’re looking for a good mystery this is it.

But the book overall is quite sad. This book is set in rural North Carolina. There is a lot of hate, homophobia, poverty, drug use, abuse, violence – the list goes on. It’s not necessarily enjoyable to read about all these awful things but it’s important in some ways because this is life and reality for many people. Made me think and reflect on my privilege.

Overall I gave this 4/5 stars. Pretty dark subject matter but the mystery is really good. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good mystery. And don’t be fooled by the fact that this is a YA book because it’s still a serious novel.

And those are my book reviews! Let me know in the comments what you thought if you read any of these books. And always let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations for me!

xoxo

Lea

May Boxycharm 2021

Hey guys! I always love writing my Boxycharm reviews. I think because it’s always a surprise – I never know if the products are going to be good or bad. And because I take the time to test the products out I feel like I can give you guys really good reviews on the products. So let’s get into this month’s box.

A variation of Boxycharm's May box, a beauty subscription box.

The first product is the one I selected for this month. A while back Boxycharm introduced the ability to choose one product in your box. I don’t always remember to choose, but this month I picked the Murad City Skin Overnight Detox Moisturizer. It was between this moisturizer and a concealer, and I didn’t want to pick a concealer and get the wrong shade. With a combination of antioxidants and vitamin C, this moisturizer is meant to help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. And it’s has a thicker consistency meant for drier skin types. So this isn’t exactly the moisturizer I would necessarily pick for myself but I still like it. It’s quite thick, which is fine since it’s meant for the nighttime anyway. It has a nice, lightly citrusy scent. I like the packaging because it has a special pump so I don’t have to dig my fingers into a tub. It’s a good product, but overall I prefer purchasing moisturizers I can use both day and night instead of just at night. So I will use this up but I don’t see myself repurchasing it. Price: $74 US, $95 CAD

The next product the KAB Cosmetics Day + Night Eyeshadow Palette. I was excited to test out this product because I got the KAB Lip Oil in my March Boxycharm and I love it. The colour story is nice, but also quite similar to the Huda Beauty Desert Dusk palette (on purpose or a coincidence? 👀). I think the mattes are quite nice in the palette. They’re pigmented and blend easily on the eyes. The shimmers are hit and miss for me. They swatched beautifully. But on the eyes, the eyeshadows don’t show up much. I was using the shade ‘Sunset’ and was struggling to get the beautiful duo-chrome effect in the pan on my eyes. I tried using my finger, a brush and wetting my brush and it was all same – mediocre. The shades ‘Golden’, ‘Stella’, and ‘Luna’ worked well but all looked similar on the eyes. I haven’t tried out the purples or darker metallics yet, but so far I’m a little underwhelmed, especially considering the higher price tag. Price: $52 US

The second skincare product in this box is the Skin Inc My Daily Dose of Uplift. I love getting skincare in my box because it can be expensive. The only thing is sometimes I get products like this that are good but I wouldn’t necessarily purchase myself. This serum is an anti-ageing cocktail with collagen, coenzyme Q10 and hyaluronic meant to help smooth and firm the skin. Now at the age of 24, I’m more concerned with fighting acne than anti-ageing to be completely honest. I’ve been using it for almost two weeks now and I don’t notice a difference. I think because my skin is already pretty smooth and firm. I was looking at reviews online and everyone who liked it was 30+, so I think in a couple of years I would like this more. Price: $65 US

The next product is the Trestique Refillable Brow Pencil + Gel. I love that this product is refillable because brows are the product I go through the quickest. That being said I wouldn’t say this is my favourite brow pencil I’ve tried. The pencil shape is quite large so I have to be quite careful and precise when filling in my brows. I’m surprised but I like the gel side. Because I have thicker brows naturally, it’s a slippery slope when using a brow gel. I can easily go from groomed to a mesh if the gel is too pigmented or wet or difficult to use. I think this gel just adds the perfect amount to my brows. I like the brush because one side is longer and the other side is shorter giving me more control. I can’t testify to the hold because I don’t brush my brow hair up to create a fluffy look. Overall I see myself reaching more for the brow gel than the pencil. Price: $26 US

The final product is the Sophia + Mabelle Hydrating Hybrid lipstick, in the shade Weekend Getaway. The website has no description of this shade, but I would say this is a berry shade. The formula is described as a hybrid between lipstick and lip balm and I would say that’s pretty accurate. It has the pigmentation of a lipstick but the look and feel of a lip balm. I like that I can apply a little and get a sheer wash or apply a full swipe and get a pigmented lip. Because of the consistency, it isn’t super long-lasting but it’s comfortable on the lips. And I like the packaging, it’s easy to see the colour and the pink-tinted plastic is cool and unique. Price: $18 US (the card that came in my box says $15 but the website says $18).

The total of the box is $235. That’s a high value and I do think it’s reflective in the products in the box. Overall I’m pretty impressed by this month’s box. While there were some minor issues with some of the products, overall I see myself continuing to use all the products. Let me know in the comments what you think about the box. And if you’re subscribed to Boxycharm, did we get the same box? Curious to see what the different variations are.

xoxo

Lea

Nudestix x Allana Davison Collab Review: Picante + Send Noodz

Hey guys! Today I wanted to share my thoughts on some of the collab products that Allana Davison did with Nudestix. If you’re not familiar with Allana, do yourself a favour and check out her content! She is not only hilarious and beautiful (and Canadian!), but in May she’s posting every day on Youtube as well. Since I’m a huge fan of Allana when I saw her collab I immediately purchased it.

Nudestix x Allana Davison collab. Picante cream blush and Send Noodz lipstick.

Allana has done a previous collection with Nudestix but I didn’t pick it up since there were pieces I already owned included in the kit. The only original product was a lip product called Send Noodz. But recently she announced the launch of Picante, a new blush shade she created along with Send Noodz being sold individually. So I picked up Send Noodz and Picante.

So let’s talk first about Picante, but it’s so bright and eye-catching. Picante is a new shade to the existing Nudies Matte blush range. I own a shade in this range and am already in love with the formula. It blends so easily that I can apply it straight to the face. And because it’s a ‘matte’ formula (I put matte in quotations because it isn’t super matte like a powder) it’s quite long-lasting.

Nudestix x Allana Davison Picate blush. A beautiful orang cream blush.

The shade Picante is a bright orange coral. It’s quite intimidating in the tube but it blends out so well on the face. I love warm orange tones, especially in the summer. It blends so seamlessly with cream bronzers. It just made me look so bronzed and tanned. I see myself using this so much this summer.

The lipstick, Send Noodz, is Allana’s special edition of their Gel Colour Lip & Cheek Balm. This is a hybrid between lip balm, lip gloss and lipstick. It has some good pigmentation to it but also quite balmy and slippy. But not sticky whatsoever. It’s very comfortable on the lips, the perfect everyday lip product. The shade is also glorious. They don’t have any descriptions of it but I would describe it as a warm pink-peach nude. For my skin tone, it’s a great everyday nude.

Swatches of Nudestix Picante (top) and Send Noodz (bottom).
Picante (top) and Send Noodz (bottom)

Overall both of these products are amazing and I can see myself using them every day. I highly recommend both of these products. Not only are they good quality but you’ll be supporting a Canadian influencer and a Canadian brand!

And that’s it for today’s makeup review. Let me know in the comments what products you’d like to see me test out. I need to restock some skincare products from Sephora soon and maybe I’ll pick up a few more things to test out, so let me know what you’d like to see!

xoxo

Lea

Amazon Dupe for Lululemon Align Leggings

Hey guys! If you’ve followed me for a while, you might know that Lululemon makes my favourite leggings. Specifically the Align leggings. When my friend told me about this Amazon dupe I purchased it right away. I want to share that dupe with you guys.

So for those who are unfamiliar with the Lululemon Align leggings they’re unique compared to other leggings. The Align collection is made with their Nulu fabric that is buttery-soft and lightweight. The design is also quite minimal as well with few seams. I love these leggings because they feel soft and they don’t look shiny. I don’t mind shiny fabric for workout leggings, but for everyday wear I prefer something without shine. I like wearing these leggings for every day or light exercise such as yoga. Because of how often I wear these leggings I have numerous pairs, in different colours and different lengths.

The only downside about these leggings is the hefty price tag. The crop leggings are $88 and get more expensive as you add length and pockets. So I have looked for dupes to help my wallet. I have tried a few but found they never lived up to the originals. The fabric was either shiny or quite thick. But when my friend, who loves Lululemon just as me, told me about this dupe I decided to check them out.

The Sunzel Leggings for Women are described as having a ‘naked’ feeling, with the fabric being lightweight and breathable. They also have pockets! (Note, the Align leggings do have a version with pockets, but I don’t own any). They have a variety of colours as well. And the price is $29.99 – way cheaper than Lululemon.

Something to note is that both Lululemon and the Sunzel have limited sizes. Lululemon has made progress with expanding its size range, now offering up to size 20 in certain styles – but most products go up to 14. I wear a size 12 in their leggings. When looking at Sunzel they have even fewer options, they have only x-small to x-large. I got the XL (and I want to note that my size is currently sold out in most colours right now).

Right away I was impressed with the fabric. It’s quite soft and the closest dupe I’ve felt. There is a faint shininess, it’s not completely matte but it’s much better than the vast majority of the leggings I’ve tried.

The leggings fit pretty well if slightly small. It was mainly in the calf and ankle area where I felt it was slightly tight. I have pretty large calves so that wasn’t too much of a surprise. I’m sure with a couple of wears the fabric will stretch a bit.

The pocket is a good size. I have the iPhone 8 Plus and it fits perfectly. But if your phone is bigger than that it might not fit.

I haven’t worked out in these leggings yet but I did some squats and walked my dog in them and had no problems. I will note that these aren’t compression leggings so I wouldn’t use them for high-intensity workouts. I have also washed these once so far and they still feel good after washing.

Now the real test is to see how long they last and unfortunately I can’t answer that because I’ve only had them for a week. Now I can attest to Lululemon’s quality. I’ve had several pairs for years now and they last well. I have one pair that I wore to work all the time and they have chlorine stains on them. 😂 I will say if you’re like me and have thick thighs then expect some pilling between the legs. Also Lululemon has a really good warranty. If there is a hole along the seam they’ll fix it for free. I got a pair fixed before this current lockdown! So something to consider, if the Sunzel ones wear down they won’t fix them.

So my final thoughts on the Sunzel leggings are I think they’re a great dupe but I’ll hold off from buying more until I see how they last long term. I think if you can’t afford the Lululemon ones then these are a great pair to check out. But I can attest that Lululemon’s products are good quality, will last a long time and they have a good repair warranty.

I hope you guys found this post helpful! If you have a pair of these Sunzel leggings or other Lululemon dupes let me know, I’ve love to hear your thoughts or try them out!

xoxo

Lea