Sephora Sale Haul April 2021

Hey guys! The Sephora Sale is in full swing and I wanted to share with you guys what I got in my order. If you still want to place an order yourself, you have until April 19th to participate in the sale. I also filmed a video trying out some of the products on my face. That video will be going up Sunday, I’ll update this post with the link once it’s live. I’ll post a follow-up in a couple of weeks reviewing all the products so stay tuned for that. Today’s post will be mainly first impressions.

A order from Sephora Canada made during their semi-annual sale. Products include body lotion from Summery Fridays, cleanser from Youth to the People, skin tint from Fenty Beauty, gloss from Tower28, blush from Rare Beauty, sunscreen from Supergoop and a perfume from Replica

The first item is the Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen. I mentioned in my wish list that I needed a new sunscreen. This one is supposed to be invisible on the skin, great under makeup and oil-free as to not break out skin. I’ve worn this once so far. And I will say that it doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin and wore well under makeup. I still need to test to ensure that it protects my face from the sun and doesn’t break me out, because I only wore this sunscreen for an hour. I’m really hoping this works out!

I did get my perfume, the Replica By The Fireplace. I forgot how good this smells. It has a smokiness similar to a real fire. But underneath this is a nice spiciness from the clove and chestnut as well as a slight sweetness from the vanilla. This is a fall/winter scent so I probably won’t wear it much right now since I prefer cleaner scents in the spring/summer. But I’m happy to have picked it up!

As soon as I applied the Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint I knew I was going to like it. It’s a lightweight, buildable light-to-medium coverage. It just looks so skin-like. I’ve been testing out lighter coverage foundation lately so I’m excited to see how this compares to the other ones I have. I’m planning on doing a dedicated post for this foundation so stay tuned for that. I will say that a lot of the shades are sold out, so you might want to hurry if you want to get this before the sale is over.

The next product is the Youth to the People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser. I have yet to test this out since I’m been testing out other skincare products. I generally avoid trying a bunch of new skincare products at once just in case I break out. If I tried three new things and break out it can be hard to know what caused it. So once I finish testing out some other products I’ll introduce this cleanser.

I’m on the fence about the scent of Summer Fridays Summer Skin Nourishing Body Lotion. In the tube, it smells nice like coconut and almond. But when I’m rubbing it into the skin I get that Play-doh like smell that people mention in the reviews. I don’t think Play-doh smells bad, it’s just not the yummy scent I expected. But I will test it more to see what the formula is like. Because while smelling good is nice, the formula is technically the most important thing.

The next product is the Tower28 ShineOn Milky Lip Jelly Gloss in Cashew. When I first applied it I wasn’t sure if I liked it. This is quite a unique formula because it’s a hybrid between a gloss and a lip balm. The first time I wore it I just lined my lips and it looked funny because this gloss is quite sheer. But I’ve worn it again by itself with nothing underneath and I prefer it more that way. I’m excited to continue testing out this gloss. I also love the shade I got, which is described as a rosy brown. It matches my natural lip well.

I decided to go with the Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in the shade Love. I’m really happy with my decision. The shade is a matte terracotta, so it gives me a sunkissed look. It’s a create shade for putting all over the face. I think I’m going to get so much wear out of this blush this summer. The blush is quite pigmented so I’m going to play around to see what’s the best way to apply the blush, will update in the follow-up post.

Besides that, I got my birthday gift that includes a mini Nars bronzer and lip balm. I also redeemed my points for a set of Fresh products.

And that’s my Sephora Sale haul! Let me know in the comments what you guys got during the sale.

xoxo

Lea

Battle of the Black Eyeliners: What is the best pencil eyeliner?

Hey guys! Before we get into today’s post just wanted to say I reached 300 followers on my blog! Thank you to everyone who has followed me 🙂 Three hundred is a pretty big number and I’m excited to hit more milestones together. Okay, let’s talk about eyeliners.

When I decluttered my makeup collection, I noticed that I had a bunch of black pencil liners. I don’t need five black liners so I thought I would test them out and keep my favourites. So let’s go over my methodology and then I’ll give you the results for each eyeliner. I applied the liner in three different ways: to my top lash line straight from the pencil, create a wing with a brush and straight to my top waterline. I added using a brush to create the wing because it’s more precise than using the pencil. I also didn’t put the liner in my bottom waterline to see how much the pencil transferred. I also wore each liner for a minimum of eight hours.

The qualities I’m looking for are easy application, little to no transfer to my lower waterline, dark colour, no fading or smudging and ease to remove. Also, I generally don’t use pencil liners on my eyelid I prefer using a liquid. But I decided to test it because ideally, I want to keep a liner that’s good all-round, not just in the waterline.

The first liner is the Qveen Dragonliner Wax Pencil. I got this with a liquid liner in my Boxycharm. Unfortunately, it isn’t sold separately, so it’ll run you $27 US for both (but the liquid is pretty good). The pencil had a deep, rich, matte colour. It skipped a bit on the eyelid but was easy to use with a brush and in the waterline. This liner stay puts well. It was intact on both the eyelid and in the waterline. If I rubbed the tail it didn’t budge. It was also easy to remove. I was able to use a facial cleanser, didn’t need an oily remover to get rid of it.

The second contender is the KVD Cake Pencil Eyeliner. This is available at Sephora and retails for $26 CAD. Just want to note I did get this in my Boxycharm. This formula is quite soft. So it’s easy to apply on the lid and in the waterline. I tried to rub my brush on the pencil directly but it was too soft and broke. It worked better when I applied the pencil to my hand and rubbed my brush on that. It transferred from my top waterline to my bottom waterline. Even though it transferred it was still intact on the top lash line. But it didn’t move on my lid. And it was quite difficult to remove, I had to use an oil-based remover.

The third contender is the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil. The specific shade I have is Oil Stick which has been discontinued (probably for the best because spoiler I didn’t like it). It retails for $30 CAD. This shade is more grey than black and it has glitter running through it. While it applied easily to both the lid and waterline, I could feel glitter particles on my eyeball which is not healthy. After eight hours it was grey and faded and rubbed off easily. There was also nothing left in the waterline. It did come off easily. Now I do want to note that I have this pencil in another colour and it works amazingly so it might just be this shade.

The fourth contender is the Vintage by Jessica Liebeskind Smokey Eye Pencil. This pencil retails for $21 US, and I did get this in my Boxycharm. It was easy to apply both on the lid and with a brush, but the shade was more grey than deep black. It transferred almost immediately to the lower waterline when I applied it to the top waterline. After eight hours there was nothing in the waterline and the top looks very faded and was easy to rub off. It removes easily, probably because there was barely anything left.

The final contender is another Urban Decay eyeliner, this time their 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil. This liner is specifically designed for the waterline. This is surprising because it transferred almost immediately when I applied it to my top waterline. It was also difficult to apply on my eyelid and with a brush. By the end of the day it was smudged on my lower lash line, but the wing was pretty intact. It was easy to remove.

My overall winner is the QVEEN liner. It was a little difficult to apply on the eyelid but it excelled in every other category. I would say the runner-up is the KVD liner. While it did transfer to the lower waterline if I applied it to the lower lash line then I wouldn’t have that issue. I think the KVD liner would also be a good liner to use underneath eyeshadow for a smoky look since it didn’t budge. It’s also more accessible since it’s available at Sephora.

The Urban Decay Waterline and the Vintage eyeliner performed pretty poorly and I wouldn’t recommend them. I will be getting rid of those as well at the Urban Decay glitter eyeliner because I couldn’t stand those glitter particles in my eyes. But like I mentioned, I have other Urban Decay Glide-On liners that work well, so it could just be that shade – and that could be why it was discontinued.

I hope you guys found this post helpful. It was super fun for me to run my own little experiment and see what was the best. Let me know in the comments what your favourite black eyeliner is and maybe I’ll test it out!

xoxo

Lea

The Best Affordable Curly Hair Products Available in Canada

Hey guys! Today we’re taking a deep dive into my favourite hair products. I will be posting a video on Sunday that will be showing the products in action and explaining how I style my hair. The majority of these products are from the drugstore, and the only products that aren’t I got in my Boxycharm so I’m just trying to use them up. Also, the majority of these products are Curly Girl Approved, but I will mention the few that aren’t. So let’s get into it.

hair products, curly hair products, curly girl approved products, curly girl method, curly hair products, affordable curly hair products, affordable curly hair products canada, Living Proof, Tresemme, Maui Moisture, Drunk Elephant, Briogeo, Herbal Essenses

The first products are my shampoo and conditioner. I know a lot of people within the curly hair community don’t use shampoo but I prefer using it. I wanted to get shampoo and conditioner from the drugstore because I go through a lot of it. So after testing many shampoos I’ve settled on the Maui Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Shampoo. All of Maui’s products are vegan as well as sulfate, silicon and paraben free so they’re safe for curly hair. This shampoo gives me that clean feeling without drying out my hair. It also smells amazing. The Maui website also has lots of resources for finding the right hair products. And the best part is that it’s available at Shoppers and Rexall.

The conditioner I use is the Tresemme Nourish and Replenish Conditioner for Dry Hair. I’ve also been a fan of Tresemme products, it’s what I used before switching to silicone and sulfate-free products. I found this conditioner through the curly hair subreddit. I believe this is the only Tresemme conditioner that is curly hair approved. I love this one because it’s a large bottle which is great since I go through a lot of conditioner. I use about a golf ball size every time I wash my hair. It’s helpful to use affordable products since I use so much conditioner. This also smells great.

Out of the shower I always use a mousse and a hair gel. I use a mousse to help with curl definition because it’s something I struggle with more wavy-curly hair. My favourite is the Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Mousse. It does a good job of defining my curls but doesn’t leave my hair feeling crunchy or dry. I’ve tested so many different mousses because I was using mousse before I switched to the curly girl method. And this one is the best. It works well both airdrying my hair and with a diffuser as well. And once again it’s available at the drugstore.

When I was researching curly hair I noticed that everyone recommended using a hair gel. Since I liked the Herbal Essences mousse I decided to try their hair gel in the same line since it’s also curly girl approved. I love the Totally Twisted Curl Scrunching Gel. While mousse gives me the definition, hair gel gives me the hold to ensure that my curls keep their shape. Compared to other gels I find that it doesn’t leave that much of a cast. Depending on how much I use something I need to scrunch my hair once it dries, but once I scrunch out my hair it’s so soft. I’ve also got my brother to switch over to the gel as well, he likes it.

Now for a few products that I sometimes add-in. These aren’t available at the drugstore but I wanted to mention them because I do use them. So first when I am airdrying my hair I’ve been adding in the Drunk Elephant Wild Marula Tangle Spray. I got this while I was working at Sephora so I thought I might as well use it. I’ll spray this on my hair before applying my mousse and gel when I’m airdrying my hair. I suffer from having frizzy hair (I have a lot of baby hairs), so I use this to help ease the frizz and add some shine. I think it’s okay. I haven’t noticed a huge difference in my hair but I also haven’t had any negative experiences so I’ll continue to use it.

If I’m diffusing my hair or styling it (because on rare occasions I’ll still curl or straighten it), I will apply a heat protectant. I have two that I got in my Boxycharm that I’m using up. The first is the Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant Cream. This cream is curly girl approved, as all Briogeo products are made with sulfates and silicones. I will say I don’t like it as much as the next one because I find that it heights down my hair a bit and my curls aren’t as defined when I use this cream.

I’m happy to find out that the other protectant I like to use is also curly girl approved! I didn’t realize until I looked up the ingredients for this post. Wow, I’m so happy about that! I love using the Living Proof Restore Repair Leave-In. I’ve read online that leave-in products are also good heat protectants because they coat the hair and therefore protect it from heat damage. This Living Proof Leave-In does a great protecting my hair and leaving it soft and smooth. And unlike the Briogeo one, I don’t feel like my hair is weighed down when I use it.

And the final product I like to use is a deep conditioning mask, but I’m still on the hunt for my favourite. I love the Briogeo Honey one but it was limited edition. So if you guys have a favourite deep conditioning mask, please let me know in the comments because I need a new one.

I hope you guys found this post helpful. I know when I was researching Curly Girl approved products it was a search to find products curly hair products that are affordable and available in Canada. And if I find a deep conditioner I’ll let you guys know!

xoxo

Lea

Project Pan Update April 2021

Hey guys! So today I am giving you my update on my project pan. It’s been four months since I picked the products so I thought it was time to do a little review. For those of you who didn’t read my first post and don’t know what a project pan is, I’ll quickly re-explain. I picked five products that I’m trying to either hit pan or finish. I’m going to show you my progress and also decide if I want to stick with these products or switch it up.

So the first product is my Colourpop x Kathleen Lights Dream St palette. Sorry, this product is discontinued but that’s kind of the reason why I picked it. That way I can get some use out of it. I will say though that I haven’t used this palette very much. To be fair, I’ve tested numerous eyeshadow palettes in the past couple of months so I haven’t been able to use it as much. My goal was to hit pan in four different shades and I’m far from it. I didn’t realize how much work it takes to pan a product. I’m going to stick with this palette because I’m determined to hit pan in at least one of the shades in this palette!

The next product is the BareMinerals Translucent Powder Duo – another discontinued product. I have made tremendous progress with the matte side. In the beginning, the powder was still pretty square and was just starting to have some holes in it. By the way, the product has holes in it because it’s a baked powder. Now there is a large dip in the product and it’s covered in holes. I’m pretty proud of the matte side. The glow side, on the other hand, I’m not a fan of. I find the highlight to be very pale and therefore leaves a white stripe on my face. So I’ve given up on that side. I will continue using the matte side until I finish it.

I have decided to pick a new highlight since I don’t like BareMinerals one. I have decided to pick the Temptu Liquid Glow. I got this in my very first Boxycharm – so it’s time to use it up. Also with the weather turning warmer, I thought it would be nice to switch to a liquid since I prefer liquids and creams in the summer. It’s about half full, so ideally I would like to get it down to a quarter by my update in July.

The next product is the Wander Beauty Trip for Two Blush and Bronzer Duo. I’ve made good progress on the bronzer. Even just comparing the two pans, the bronzer is significantly lower down than the blush. I’m surprised I haven’t made more of an impact in the blush. I did test the Colourpop blushes so that could be a reason. I also think I just use less blush than bronzer. I apply bronzer all over my faces and quite heavily, whereas blush I only use a little. I debated whether or not I wanted to switch up these products. Because I am getting tired of using them and I do like using creams in the summer. But I feel like I’m close to hitting pan on the bronzer. I think once I hit pan on the bronzer I’ll switch up my bronzer and blush.

Next product is my lip gloss, the MAC Cremesheen Glass in the shade Calypso Beat. The formula still exists but the shade is discontinued. When the lip gloss is upright and settles, I can see that there is about half of it left. I can also swirl the wand around and see through the gloss. I’m pretty proud of this progress. I want to continue using this gloss and ideally finish it. I think I can do it.

The final product is the Maybelline Lipstick Colour Sensational in Nearly Nude. It’s hard to compare in the photo if I’ve made progress. I should have measured the bullet accurately to tell if I’ve made progress. (For future reference, I have measured it and it’s currently at 1.2cm.) I think I’ve made progress though. I do try to wear this lipstick as much as possible. I’m going to continue to use this lipstick because I think I can finish it. Something I do to help change it up is I pair different lip liners and it helps change the tone of the lipstick. So it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing the same lipstick all the time.

And that is my update on my project pan situation. I haven’t hit pan on anything yet but I’ve made some decent progress. I’m only switching up one product. We’ll see how much progress I can make on it! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about these products.

xoxo

Lea

Beauty Wishlist for Sephora Sale 2021

Hey guys! The semi-annual Sephora sale is coming up. So this year I thought it would be fun to share my wish list. I will not be getting all of these products because my cart would probably be $1000s if I did. But I thought it would be nice to share some of the products I had my eyes on for two reasons. First to see if anyone has tried the products and if you recommend them. And second to maybe inspire you and show some beauty products that you haven’t see before. So I’ll be sharing some makeup, skincare and body care. Let’s get into it!

The first thing on my wish list is the Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint. I have both the Fenty matte and hydrating foundation and love both of them. So I just know I will love this skin tint. This foundation is lightweight with light-to-medium coverage and a natural finish. It sounds right up my alley lately. I have been into lighter foundations so this just makes sense. There is a really good chance that I’ll be getting this foundation unless they sell out of my shade before I can pick it up.

Next, I’ve heard quite a few good things about the Benefit The POREfesssional Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray. This setting spray sounds like a dream: sets makeup, smooths skin, natural-looking and hydrating. Sign me up! I see Allana Davison using this like crazy. And with a 4.6 rating on Sephora, it sounds like a good spray! I haven’t purchased a new setting spray in a while so seems like a good product to pick up.

Even though I have so many primers, I want to try the Laneige Glowy Makeup Serum. I’ve tried quite a few Laneige products and their moisturizers are some of my favourites. And it also sounds perfect for me! This serum primer gives that glowy look while also keeping oil at bay and helps makeup last longer. There is a difference between dewy and oily. I want dewy skin, not oily skin. It sounds amazing and I want it.

I’ve had my eyes on Tower 28 products for a while, specifically their ShineOn Milky Lip Jelly Gloss. I was going to purchase their gloss during the last sale, but the shade I wanted (Cashew) was sold out. I’ve heard so many people rave about the glosses and I want to try them for myself. There is a good chance that I’ll finally pick it up during the sale.

The final makeup products I have my eyes on are the Rare Beauty blushes. I haven’t decided which formula I would prefer, the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush or the Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush. It’s hard for me to decide. Because it seems like Liquid Blush is more long-lasting, so that would be nice for days when I’m wearing more makeup and want my blush to last. Whereas the Cream Blush seems to be more natural and would be nice for everyday makeup, especially going into the summer. I do know what shades I want. If I got the Liquid Blush I could get the shade Love, and if I got the Cream Blush I could get the shade Nearly Apricot.

Now let’s talk skincare. I have heard so many good things about Youth to the People. I do need a new cleanser so there’s a good chance I’m going to be picking up the Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser. I know this is great for oily and acne-prone skin aka my skin type. I just like testing out hyped products to see if it’s worth it. So as long as it doesn’t sell out I’ll be getting this.

Another Youth to the People product I’ve heard a lot of hype about is their 15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum. I feel like everyone and their mother has been raving about this serum. This serum is meant to brighten the skin, reduce hyperpigmentation and even the skin tone. You know, everything that a vitamin C serum does. Honestly, if I didn’t already have three open vitamin C serums open I would get it. But I’m going to wait until I finish up some products before purchasing this. (Side note: I didn’t realize how expensive it was until I was getting the pictures for the post organized. Wow it’s expensive!!!)

A brand that I love is Ole Henriksen, and because I love their products I want to try the Lemonade Smoothing Scrub. I find that my skin can get really clogged and textured quite easily. Using exfoliators help with this. And I do enjoy something that has a bit of a physical exfoliation it in. One of my recent favourites is the Murad one that is both a physical and chemical exfoliator. This Ole Henriksen one sounds similar with sugar and AHAs to both physically and chemically exfoliator the skin. It sounds like a product I would enjoy using.

A product that I’ve seen a lot of hype around is the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops. This is a hybrid between skincare and makeup. It can be used before moisturizer when doing skincare or right before putting on makeup as a primer. The Dew Drops can also be used mixed into foundation or over top of makeup as a highlight. To be honest, it seems quite similar to the Laneige Glowy Makeup Serum, so I probably wouldn’t purchase both.

And the final skincare product is a new sunscreen. My current one is almost empty and it might even be expired. So it’s time for a new one. I’ve had my eyes on the Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen for a while. I believe it finally launched in Canada last year but was always sold out. I struggle with face sunscreens. They either have a white cast OR break me out. I’ve heard many people say this is the best sunscreen out there so I’m willing to try it out myself.

There are two more products on my wish list. The first is the Summer Fridays Summer Skin Nourishing Body Lotion. I love body lotion. If you’ve read any of my product empties you’ll know that I use body lotions religiously year-round. Since I’ve finished a few I am allowing myself to purchase another one. Since we’re going into the warmer months I don’t need something as thick as body butter, so I think the texture of this lotion would be perfect. There are mixed reviews on the scent, so that makes me a little hesitant but I think I’ll still get it.

And the final product on my wish list is the REPLICA By the Fireplace perfume. I asked for this for my birthday but told my mom she could also just wait until the sale to be able to get it for a cheaper price. So I’m unsure if I’ll be getting it before or during the sale – I guess we’ll know on Sunday when it’s my birthday. Either way, I’ll be getting this perfume. I’ve sprayed this on myself so many times, and every time I get compliments. When I was working at Sephora, one of my coworkers also taught me about layering scents, using a vanilla perfume to tone down By the Fireplace and I loved it. The nail in the coffin though for me was when I was watching Kathleen Light’s zodiac perfume video and she said this was the perfect scent for Aries. I said to myself “this is a sign I need to get the perfume”. So I will be getting it.

And this is my very long Sephora Sale wish list. As I said, I won’t be getting all the products on this list. Please let me know if you’ve tried any of the products to help me narrow down the list.

xoxo

Lea

March Boxycharm 2021

Hey guys! Time for my March Boxycharm post! Another month is over – honestly March felt like the longest month ever. Glad that winter is finally behind us and hopefully onto warmer weather. Let’s get into this month’s box.

Boxycharm, beauty subscription box, Limecrime, Limecrime Venus 3, TooFaced Damn Girl Mascara, Maven Beauty, Maven Beauty Setting Spray, Lavish Wet Brush Cleaning System, KAB Cosmetics, KAB Lip Oil

The first product we have is the Limecrime Venus 3 Eyeshadow Palette. This is the perfect spring palette. I probably would have included it in my spring eyeshadow palettes post if I had received it earlier. The Venus 3 palette includes a mix of purples and pinks. There is a nice mix between darker and softer shades. I was able to create a bold eyeshadow look and also softer looks for everyday wear. There is a nice mix of textures as well. The shades Beam and Heavenly are glitters that don’t have a lot of base pigment to them whereas Paradise and Beloved are your classic metallic shimmer. The shade Rapture is unique because it’s more of a matte with glitter running through it. Overall I like this palette, but I don’t see myself necessarily reaching for it everyday. I do enjoy these tones but I usually gravitate towards warm browns. If you’re interested in the palette then go ahead, the quality is great. But I don’t see this being the everyday palette for most people. Price: $38 US or $49 CAD

Up next we have mascara! I don’t have to buy mascaras anymore because I feel like I get a new one every few months. 😂 This month’s mascara is the TooFaced Damn Girl! Mascara. So far it’s okay. I find it hard to rate a mascara at first because I do find that the formula can change as it dries out. This mascara is meant to give volume, lift and provide a curl hold. I will say that it does achieve all of those things, but those aren’t things I necessarily look for in mascara. Similar to how people with different skin types need different foundations, people need different things from their mascaras. I don’t struggle with lift or curl hold. I do like some volume but I prefer length. Not a huge fan of the wand. It’s super large so it’s hard to apply without getting mascara on my eyelid. Overall I’ll continue to use it because it’s not bad. But it’s not my favourite mascara. Price: $26 US or $33 CAD

My favourite product in the box is hands down the KAB Cosmetics Hydrating Lip Oil. It gives the hydration of a lip balm and the shine of a lip gloss. It’s not sticky, if anything it feels smooth and soft on the lips. And it lasts so long on the lips. I’ll apply it and four hours later my lips still have some of the oil on. It has a soft coconut scent which is so yummy and the large doe foot applicator makes it easy to apply on the lips. Mine has a blue shade that goes on clear on the lips, but there are other shades as well. This has become my new go-to lip balm it’s so good! Price: $20 US

KAB Cosmetics, KAB Lip Oil, KAB Hydrating Lip Oil, lip oil, lip balm

The next product in the box is the Lavish Wet Brush Cleaning System. Honestly not sure about the legitimacy of this product because the website is kinda weird. So proceed with caution. The actual product itself isn’t bad. There is a little circle of soap that is meant to clean your brushes. On the back of the lid is a little silicone pad that can help clean the brushes. I have a larger pad that I use to clean my brushes. The soap was okay. It did a similar job of cleaning my brushes compared to other brush cleansers. I did notice that a few of my brushes had some residue left though. You know when you don’t properly wash out your conditioner and your hair is kinda greasy? That’s what a few of my brushes felt like. I guess I didn’t probably wash the cleanser out of those. I also found my face brushes weren’t as clean as my eye brushes because the silicone pad is small so it didn’t have the surface area to clean them. Something I wanted to mention is that I’ve tried the Beauty Blender version of this product and I had mold grow it in. So I switched to the liquid cleanser. Not sure if it would also happen with this Lavish cleanser but just something I wanted to note. Price: $15 US

The final product is the Maven Beauty Rose Water Setting Spray. This setting spray has rose water in it that’s meant to help lock in your makeup and prevent smudging up to 16 hours. When I first tried this in my unboxing video the scent was quite strong. I’m not a big rose person, it’s just not my favourite scent. It also has alcohol as the second ingredient and I could smell that as well. While I don’t like the scent the setting spray itself is pretty good. This is a setting spray that will set your makeup and make it last longer. It is not hydrating. If you have oily skin you’ll love this, but if you have dry skin you’ll hate this. The alcohol in this helps the makeup last but can be quite drying. Overall I think it’s a pretty good setting spray. I think a similar one that is cheaper and easy to purchase is the Milani Make It Last Setting Spray. The Milani one also doesn’t have an awful rose/alcohol scent. Price: $22 US

The overall total of the box is $121 US. Overall not a bad box. I mention this in my video but there are a few brands that have been known to be controversial in this box, and I tend to avoid those. If you want more of my opinion on the topic check out the video because I go into more detail. But overall I think this box is decent. I love the lip oil. The rest of the products aren’t bad and I see myself reaching for them again. There were no products this month that were bad, but I wasn’t wowed, that’s all. Let me know in the comments if you agree or if I’m being too harsh.

xoxo

Lea

Book Review: “Debutantes” & “The Giver of Stars”

Hey guys! Today I’m sharing two standalone novels that I’ve read this month. This has been a really good reading month for me, both in terms of the number of books and the quality of books. I’ve already hit four books this month, and there is a good chance I’ll finish one more before the month is done. But anyway, today I have two different historical fiction books. I’ve been reading lots of fantasy lately, so it was nice to read another genre. Let’s get into it.

Debutantes, Debutantes by Cora Harrison, Cora Harrison, book, book review, historical fiction, YA historical fiction

The first book we have is Debutantes by Cora Harrison. I’ve had this on my bookshelf for many years, it was purchased sometime when I was in high school. The novel follows four sisters who live with their father and great-aunt in an old mansion in 1920s England. The oldest sister is hoping to have her debut season but may not be able to because of the family’s difficult financial season. On top of this, the sisters find out a mystery that could change their lives. This is a young adult historical fiction.

This book gave me such Downton Abbey vibes. From the big old house to the older, sassy relative, to the friendly staff, and the book is set in the same time period. It’s also similar in the sense where there are some difficult situations, things always end well. The book is PG, with very little romance. It’s more about the sisters and their relationships with each other.

I think I would have liked the novel if I was 10 years younger. The story is pretty cute but very surface-level. There is so much discussion on fashion, which I would have loved as a kid. Don’t get me wrong, I love clothes and fashion. But it becomes excessive when every outfit is described in detail.

The mystery is also pretty obvious. I guessed it almost right away so there was no suspense for me. I enjoyed reading it and seeing the clues, but I wasn’t left guessing what was going to happen.

Overall I give this book 3/5 stars. I don’t think it’s bad. I just think it could have been better. I would recommend this book to 13-year-olds who are interested in history. But if you’re looking for Bridgerton level romance, this isn’t it. Also just wanted to note that there is a sequel but I won’t be reading it. I felt like the end of the first novel was satisfying enough that I didn’t need to read the second.

book, book review, historical fiction, Jojo Moyes, The Giver of Stars, The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, Reese's Book Club

The second book I have to review today is The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. The novel follows Alice, who moves from England to Kentucky to follow her new husband. There she joins a group of women who run a travelling library in rural Kentucky in the 1930s. This is a historical fiction novel.

Wow, I loved this novel. It’s a very easy read. It’s paced very well and I found myself wanting to read to find out what happens to the women. I didn’t know much about this area, so it was easy to learn because one of the main point-of-views is from Alice who is also an outsider.

I think that Moyes did an amazing job of balancing the line between critiquing and showing the beauty of rural Kentucky. There are many issues that Moyes highlights such as the way women are treated, how people of colour of treated and the atrocities the mining company is allowed to commit for the sake of money. But Moyers also highlights the community aspect of small towns and also the physical beauty of the mountains. It also highlighted a little-known topic of the Packhorse Libraries that ran in the 1930s under Eleanor Roosevelt.

I loved the cast of characters in this novel. Each character was unique and added something to the story. It featured powerful women who were trying to make a difference in their community, which is something I love to read. It also talks a lot about the love and power of reading. As an avid reader, it’s fun to read about characters who also love reading.

I will say that the story is slightly predictable in the sense that I had a feeling what the ending was going to be. But how the story got to the ending was a complete surprise so I wasn’t bored while reading. If you want a book that will give you a happy, satisfying ending, this book perfectly fits the bill.

Overall I give this book 5/5 stars. Five-star books for me are books that I wouldn’t change a thing and feel comfortable recommending to anyone. And this book is that exactly. I think this book is an easy, comfortable read that I think would have a broad appeal to many people even though it’s such a niche topic. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel so I think it deserved five stars.

I will note that if you go on Goodreads or Google the book you’ll notice that there has been some controversy with this novel, with claims of plagiarism. Just wanted to bring this up because I know that this might matter to some people. I haven’t read the other book, so I cannot confirm if the allegations are true. I would recommend doing your own research before making a decision.

And those are my two book reviews for today. I’m currently in the middle of a series so it might be a bit before I have another book review. As always, please let me know your thoughts if you’ve read either of these novels. And let me know if you have any recommendations for me, I’d love to check them out!

xoxo

Lea

My Favourite Eyeshadow Palettes for Spring

Hey guys! Back in the fall, I shared five eyeshadow palettes that I thought would be great for that season. Since it’s now officially spring I thought it would be nice to do the same for this season! So today I’ll be sharing five palettes that I think are great for spring. In the spring I like wearing pastels like pinks and purple and in late spring summer I like wearing oranges and golds. Let’s get into it.

spring, spring makeup, spring eyeshadow, spring eyeshadow palettes, eyeshadow palettes, Colourpop, Huda Beauty, Hipdot, Ace Beaute

I think if I would have to recommend one palette, it would be the Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes. I have Nude Medium and I think it’s perfect for spring. This palette is pink-toned but has some browns, golds and coppers to balance it out. It’s quite wearable for every day but just adds that flush of pink to spice things up compared to normal neutral palettes. I think the quality of Huda Beauty shadows is great. And it’s a mini palette it’s not like you’ll be getting a bunch of shades that you might not use. A great choice for spring.

Now if you want a small palette but some really fun shades, then check out the Colourpop 5 Star Island Palette. These shades just scream spring and Easter to me. I mean pale pink and bright yellow, those are Easter colours right there. This would be a great way to add some fun colours into your life, but the bit-size and the low price tag make it more accessible. I think putting some matte browns in the crease with a pop of Island Designer or Isabelle in the crease would be an easy, spring look. If you want to know more about this palette, check out my Colourpop haul post.

If pinks and yellows aren’t your thing, then check out the Huda Beauty Obsessions Palettes in Amethyst. This is a palette full of purple eyeshadows. I love wearing purple eyeshadow. It’s so fun and different, and also brings out the green in my eyes. I know this palette might seem dark, but the glitters are quite light and reflective on the eyes. If you have green or hazel eyes, you have to try out purple eyeshadow. Plus this palette is small so it’s not overwhelming.

If you are ready to commit to the springtime shades, then check out the Hipdot Zion Palette. This palette screams spring to me. The light pinks, purples and oranges are perfect to create a pastel look for Easter. And the darker shades are perfect to use in the late spring. The sunset shades are perfect for the nights when the sun is up later and later. This palette is full of fun shades, but also has the basics to be able to create a variety of looks. The Hipdot palette will carry you from spring into summer.

The final palette is the Ace Beaute Grandiose Palette. This is another great palette for people who want the colour to be deeper and darker compared to the Huda Beauty palette. The orange and pink just scream warm weather to me. I love wearing warm shades all year round, but there is just something extra nice about wearing warm tones when the weather is warm outside. Also, the pan size for these shades ia huge so if you like the colour story you’ll never run out of shadow.

And those are my recommendations for spring eyeshadow palettes. Let me know in the comments what your favourite eyeshadow palettes are for spring! I’d love to check them out.

xoxo

Lea

Product Empties March 2021

Hey guys! I’m back with another product empties! I love product empties because I’ve used up the product so I’m able to give you guys my in-depth thoughts about a product. I also try and not waste products so I feel like I usually have a good mix in between hits and misses. This time I have a good mixture of products, so let’s get into it.

empties, product empties, beauty empties, makeup empties, skincare empties, haircare empties, OGX, Biossance, Josie Maran, Tatcha, Lancome, Briogeo, GlamGlow, Murad, Kypris, Tarte, Laneige, Colourpop

Let’s start with makeup products. First I have a mascara that has reached its end, the Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara. I didn’t like this mascara at first because I felt like it didn’t do much. Once it dried out a bit, I would say maybe a month after I’ve opened it, it got so much better. I would say for me this mascara gave my lashes lots of length with a big of volume. I prefer length over volume, but it’s good to have some volume to balance out the eye. This mascara is perfect for when I wanted a bold lash but I didn’t want to put on false lashes. It’s started to get clumpy on me though which is a sign that it’s getting old and tired. To be honest I’ve had this mascara for a very long time so it was time to get rid of it. I would recommend this mascara if it sounds interesting to you. I would consider getting this mascara again. I have a pretty large open mascara collection currently that I need to go through before considering buying another mascara.

Up next is the Colourpop Freckle Pen. I mentioned this in my Colorupop haul update, but somehow the cap accidentally fell off and it was unopened for an unknown period of time. Instead of drying out, the pen turned to a weird blue-green-grey colour that looks like mold. Not cute. So I’m throwing it out. Kinda pisses me off that the cap fell off so easily and now the product is unusable. So I won’t be repurchasing and wouldn’t recommend it. I think it’s possible to create the look of faux freckles easily with other products as well.

I’ve been trying to use up my primers because I have so many open, half-used primers. The only I recently finished a sample of the Tarte SEA Quench Hydrating Primer. This feels and acts just like a moisturizer. It has a gel consistency and blends into the skin and gives great hydration. It’s literally a moisturizer! I think I could just use my moisturizer and get a similar effect. So far that reason I don’t think it’s worth it. When I use a primer I tend to use it to give me a luminous shine to the face or blur my pores. I don’t need hydration. I wouldn’t recommend this primer. I would recommend just getting a good moisturizer that you can use all the time instead of just priming the skin.

The final makeup product is the Laneige Lip Glowy Balm. I do enjoy this balm! I actually like it more than their sleeping mask. I find the packaging to be so easy to use. I just squeeze it out and I don’t have to dip my fingers into a pot. Where the product comes out is curved so I can rub it on my lips. The balm is super moisturizing and has the most beautiful shine. I can wear it on my lips almost like a lip gloss but it’s way more hydrating than a lip gloss. I have the pear flavour and it smells amazing. It’s more expensive than a drugstore lip balm but it’s lasted me a long time. I will be purchasing it again in the future.

Okay let’s talk about my one hair empty. I recently finished the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Honey Moisture Deep Conditioning Mask. This is the best Briogeo mask I’ve ever tried, which is sad because it’s limited edition. The honey version of their regular Don’t Despair, Repair hair mask came out for the holiday season. I find that the mask does a great job of making my hair feel soft and smooth. I’ve found it difficult to find a good hair mask that doesn’t include silicone and this is the best one I’ve tried yet. It’s been a few years since I’ve tried the original so it’s hard to remember it but I do have a mini of it. So I will try it out and see if it’s as good as the honey version. If they bring this mask back I highly recommend picking it up.

I have two body lotions. The first being a deluxe sample of the Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Unscented. Even though it’s unscented, there is a faint argan oil scent to it – which makes sense, it is argan oil. Even though it’s a body lotion is does have an oiliness to it that is quite nice and hydrating. I liked using it after I’ve shaved my legs because I find that’s when my legs are the driest. I think I would have liked it more if it was scented but I got this for free with my Sephora points so I can’t complain. I like using scented body products more. I probably won’t repurchase because for the price I prefer L’Occitane products. But I would use my points to get it again.

The second body lotion is the OGX Coconut Miracle Oil Lotion. I got this at Shoppers. It does smell nice, a combination of coconut and vanilla. It does a pretty good job at hydrating. But what I find annoying is that it takes a while to absorb into my skin. For being such a thin formula I have to work it in and it takes forever to dry. I have lotions that are just as if not more hydrating that I don’t have to work into my skin as much. So I wouldn’t recommend it. I think there are better options on the market.

Speaking of hydration, I finished quite a few face moisturizers. The first being the Kyrpis Antioxidant Dew. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about this but the more I used it the more I fell in love with it. It’s a very thin and liquid formula that comes in a serum dropper. I love droppers because they are easy to use. I put it on my palm and I don’t have to dip my finger into a tub. I hate getting products under my fingernails. It’s quite lightweight but still gives me the hydration I need. I will say that it has an odd scent that I’m not a fan of. Even though I love how this works, I will not be repurchasing it. With taxes and duties, this moisturizer would be $112. That’s insane. I cannot afford that and I would never recommend a product that expensive to you guys. I think there are other moisturizers on the market that do just as good of a job as this one.

Moving onto a moisturizer I wasn’t a huge fan of – the Glamglow MOISTURETRIP™ Omega-Rich Cannabis Sativa Seed Face Moisturizer. There is just something in here that breaks out my skin. I used it on my face and just found that I got breakouts. So I started using it on my body. I do that to not waste any product. But I found it broke out my chest and shoulders. Luckily it’s winter so it doesn’t matter. I thought it did a decent job of moisturizing. It also has a green tinge to help with redness. But as someone who does have a lot of redness, this did nothing for me. Overall not a huge fan of this moisturizer. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Time for another moisturizer. I had a sample of the Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream. This is a pretty thick formula that I knew wouldn’t work for my face so I used it on my chest and back. If you have oily skin stay away but if you have dry skin then you might like this. It is quite moisturizing. It’s fragrance-free but it has the weirdest scent. I guess it’s the natural ingredients that smell weird? Either way, not the most pleasant scent. Listen I’ll never purchase this for my face, but if you’re interested just maybe try and smell it before you purchase it to see if you can handle the funky smell.

The final moisturizer I have is a sample of the Tatcha The Water Cream. I actually didn’t like it. I tried it on my face a few times and then relegated it to body moisturizer. It goes on very watery, just like the name suggests, but then it dries down to almost a matte finish. Which you think, as an oily person, I would enjoy. But I didn’t find it hydrating at all! While I don’t want something thick and heavy, I still need some hydration. I was shocked because I know this cream is a fan favourite. But I wasn’t impressed and wouldn’t recommend it.

On the other hand, I did enjoy the Tatcha The Deep Cleanse Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser. I got a sample of this along with The Water Cream. I don’t know what’s in it but there’s something that gives a gentle physical exfoliation to the skin. It’s not hard beads – it’s hard to explain but you can kinda see it in product shots. It just gently exfoliates the skin leaving it soft and clean. It’s gentle enough that I could use it every day. If you have sensitive skin and are looking for an exfoliator this is a great one to check out. Something I did notice though is that the packaging is made out of hard plastic making it difficult to get the product out. Wish they would change it to a squeezy tube or a pump. I like it and would recommend this cleanser. But I like the next exfoliator more.

The final product is the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. I got this in my Boxycharm and fell in love. I keep it in the shower and my brother uses it (much to my chagrin), and he loves it! This is a combination of a physical and chemical exfoliator. It has jojoba beads that great rib of any dead skin and debris. And it has salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid to help even the skin and brighten it. My brother and I both have oily, acne-prone skin and find this just helps prevent breakouts and help scars. Highly recommend this one and I am considering purchasing it again.

And that’s my thoughts on some products I recently finished! It’s so funny that I have so many moisturizers. I guess it makes sense since it’s winter and my skin is drier. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these products, and if so what did you think!

xoxo

Lea

Book Review: A Touch of Death

Hey guys! I’m back with another book review! Today I will be sharing my thoughts on “A Touch of Death” by Rebecca Crunden. Rebecca was kind enough to send me this book but all my thoughts in this review are my own. Okay, let’s get into it.

A Touch of Death, "A Touch of Death" by Rebecca Crunden, Outlands Pentalogy, Rebecca Crunden, dystopian, dystopian novel

The story follows Catherine and Nate who live easy lives because their parents are favourites of the King. Catherine and Nate contract a mysterious illness while visiting the mountains and run away, afraid of arrest and execution. This is a new adult dystopian novel and the first in a five-book series.

I was confused at first because the synopsis on the back of the book is more of a backstory. You can read the synopsis here if you want. The synopsis mentions a two-year period when Nate is gone and I thought that’s where the novel would start. But it skips this section. So I was confused at first but once I realized the synopsis was the backstory was I able to move on. This might also be confusion on my part. I can be a scattered brain at times.

It took me about 100 pages to get into the novel, which I find is fairly common with sci-fi and fantasy novels. On top of trying to introduce the characters, these genres have to build a world. So it can be a lot to grasp at first. But after those 100 pages, I settled in and got really into the novel. I think it’s also interesting because there aren’t chapters in the book. The book is divided into six parts. But within the parts, they are paragraph breaks so there are places to pause my reading. I found the lack of chapters meant that the book flowed easily and I found myself just wanting to continue to read.

Something I found interesting is that one of the main characters dies pretty early on but is continually mentioned throughout the novel. It was interesting to learn about a character who’s dead through memories of the other characters. Usually, when a character dies that’s it, they’re done. But this character was continually mentioned. This makes me believe for some reason that this character isn’t dead. I’m curious to see if my guess is true.

This novel includes some unrequited love. I don’t want to give too many details as to not spoil the plot. But it’s you’re looking for something spicy, this isn’t it. There is plenty of discussion of sex and marriage and but the furthest this novel goes is kissing. I didn’t mind because I found the plot to be very interesting. Unlike other dystopian novels where the main character is from the poorer part of society (Hunger Games, The Selection) this focuses on those who are from the top of society. Catherine slowly learns what her society is truly like. It gives me similar vibes to the television adaption of Brave New World.

Throughout the novel, Catherine and Nate travel across the kingdom. I wish there was a map included in the novel. I did find one on Rebecca’s website, which I will have pulled up when I read the rest of the series. But I think it would have helped me to have it included in the novel.

Overall I give the book 4.5/5 stars. I think it’s a refreshing take on the dystopian genre and isn’t like anything I’ve read in that genre. I’m excited to read the rest of the books in the series. It loses half a point because I was pretty confused in the beginning because of the synopsis, but once I realized what was going on I was into it.

I have ordered the second book and if I like it then I’ll probably stick with it and finish the series. I like to consider series as a whole, so I’ll probably review the rest of the books together in one post. So stay tuned for that!

xoxo

Lea

UPDATE: Just wanted to mention that the cover I have is an old version, and that the cover has been updated since I received the book.