Product of the Month Update & Project Pan 2021

Hey guys! So today I am giving an update about my product of the month series and introducing my project pan. I have been doing my product of the month series for just over a year but decided I wanted to do things a little differently this year. My product of the month series was good when I was wearing makeup every day and testing out many different products. But my makeup habits have changed and the series doesn’t make sense to me anymore. So I will share my thoughts on my December products and then introduce my project pan, which will be replacing this series.

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The first product I picked for December was the Ace Beaute Bronzed in Paradise Palette. I enjoyed using this palette. I’m usually not a huge fan of face palettes, but the shades of this one work perfectly that I can use it on my face and my eyes. The powders blend beautifully and are easy to use. I enjoy this palette and will continue using it.

The second product was the Colourpop Jelly Much Shadow in Whistlin’ Pixie. I picked this product because it’s almost dried out and I wanted to get some use out of it. This is such a beautiful shade. This is a beautiful warm brown and it has gold glitter running throughout it. It’s really pretty and I loved it every time I wore it. But it’s dried out so it doesn’t make sense for me to keep it, especially because I have similar shades in my collection.

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Now it’s time to introduce my project pan. For those of you who don’t know what project pan is, it’s a makeup challenge where you try and finish your makeup. The term pan is when you can see the bottom of a powder product. There are many different versions of this challenge, so I’m just going to pick what makes sense for me.

I have picked five products to begin my project pan. These are from categories that I have the most makeup. I am going to try and use these products as much as possible but I won’t restrict myself from using other products if it’s for a certain occasion and/or makeup look. I’m going to give an update every three months. I might decide to switch up a product or continue, depending on my mood. We’ll see how it goes. Today I will be sharing the products I have selected and the goals I have for the next three months.

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The first product is the Colourpop x Kathleen Lights Dream St palette. This palette has been discontinued so it’s not very fair of me to use it in normal posts since you guys can’t purchase it. But it doesn’t make sense for me to not use it. So I thought it would be perfect for a project pan. I would like to hit pan on Shooting Star and Magical and one other matte shade. I would also like to hit pan on Moony and one other shimmer as well. We’ll see how it goes!

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The next product is the bareMinerals Translucent Powder Duo. I just found out while writing this post that this product has also been discontinued, which seems to be a running theme in my selections. I got this powder in 2017 so it’s old (and probably expired). I picked this because it has a translucent side and a glowy side that I can use as a highlight. I’ve made a pretty good dent on the matte side but would love to use up more of the glow side as well.

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I thoughts about using an individual blush and bronzer, but I rarely use my face palettes so I thought it would be smart to use one of those instead. I decided to pick my Wander Beauty Trip for Two palette. I like both the bronzer and blush so I don’t think I’ll hate using this for three months. The bronzer is well used and would love to hit pan on it. The blush hasn’t been used as much so I would love to just make a sizeable dent.

I decided to pick a lipstick and lip gloss since I have a large collection of both that I don’t often use. The lipstick I picked is one of the older ones in my collection: the Maybelline Matte Lipstick in Daringly Nude. I thought it would be good to use a nude since then I can wear it more often. And for gloss, I picked the MAC Cremesheen Glass lip gloss. The shade I have is discontinued so that’s why I want to use it up. I’ve made a pretty good dent in both of these, so ideally I would love to finish or get close to finishing these in the next three months.

And that is my project pan! Let me know if you’ve ever done a project pan before, and if so please leave me some tips to help me out. I will be posting my update at the beginning of April so stay tuned for that!

xoxo

Lea

My 2021 Goals!

Hey guys! Today I am sharing some of the goals I have set myself for this year. I thought I had written a 2020 goals post but apparently I didn’t, even though I had one in 2019. Anyway, for a couple of years now I sit down at the beginning of the year and create some goals for myself. I don’t call them resolutions because I find New Year’s resolutions are most habit based (well I have a few habits as well). Now I didn’t accomplish many of my 2020 goals because you know, ~it was 2020~. Some of my goals I am repeating and others I am modifying. Let’s get into them!

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1 – Journal three times a week and reflect on goals once a month

Okay so these are technically two separate things, but I wanted to have six goals so I put them together. I thought they went together anyway because they are both are reflection and accountable. Journaling three times a week was my goal last year. I was okay at the beginning, great during the height of the pandemic, dropped off in the summer, and improved again late fall. I want to journal more often because I like to look back and see what I have done and thought in the past. I don’t think I could journal every day, but three times a week seems like a good number.

The second goal is related to this because it’s how I got the idea. I started journaling again in the fall once I looked back at my 2020 goals. So my thought process is if I reflect on my goals and think about them more than just writing them down I am more likely to accomplish them. I created a tracker so I can see how I did and I will hopefully continue using it the whole year. And maybe if I accomplish a goal I can set a new one.

2 – Read 50 books this year

I finally got back into reading in 2020 and I couldn’t be happier. I was a huge reader in high school but dropped off during post-secondary education. Once I finished school in April I was able to read so much, and I finished the year having read 33 books. So this year I want to read more! I was averaging around 4 books a month – which would be 48 books in one year. I decided to just round up and go with 50. I have so many books on my bookshelf and so many I want to read, so it only makes sense to me to read them. This is a goal I am very excited about and hope to achieve.

3 – Have a way to financially support myself by the end of the year

My goal last year was to have a full-time job by the end of the year. That didn’t happen since I’m currently unemployed. I had three jobs last year lol. While I still would love to have a full-time job by the end of the year, I am being flexible. If it’s part-time or a contract and I’m doing something I love I will still be happy. I just want to move on the track of being able to move out of my parents’ house.

4 – Reach 1000 Instagram and 1000 Tiktok followers and 500 Youtube subscribers

This is my social media section. I know that followers are everything (except for Youtube because I need a certain amount to get monetized). But I think it’s useful to have goals. More followers mean more opportunities.

I have been struggling with Instagram lately. I have plateaued around 700s for a while now. I have lost my love for Instagram for a while, but I am trying to get back to it.

TikTok on the other hand is the place where I’ve been gaining more followers. I think it’s because I’ve been active and enjoying myself on the app. I’ve also found my niche among booktokers which I think is a fun change from Instagram. I think this one is pretty attainable.

Finally Youtube. This one is the biggest reach because I only have 20 subscribers right now. But I remember while watching someone talk about manifesting to not settle. If I wanted the goal to be easy I would say 100. But I want 500, so I am going to aim high.

I am also going to say if any of you guys aren’t following me on any of these social media I would appreciate it if you were to give me a follow and help me with my goal. 😊

5 – Earn $100 from my blog

You don’t think I could leave out this blog, could you? One of the few goals of 2020 that I accomplished was getting my domain name and enabling ads on this blog. Well, the next step of that is to bring in some money! Blogging has been my hobby and something to put on my resume for the past couple of years, but I would love to be able to earn some money as well.

So how can you guys help me accomplish this goal? Read my posts and interact with them! The more people that see my blog, the more money I can make. From my end, I am going to be working hard to create content that you guys like and trying to optimize it the best I can.

6 – Do some form of movement five times a week

In the past, I have fallen prey to the mentality that I need to lose weight and go on a diet. I have been working on my self-love and body positivity. I’m still not perfect, but one of the ways I’m working on it is by not setting a goal weight and not going on a diet. Instead, I just want to focus on moving my body.

I left this ambiguous for a reason. Moving my body doesn’t always have to be working out. It can be going to yoga, going on a run or even just walking the dog. But I want to get some movement in. Obviously, there is the physical benefit of keeping in shape, but I see so many other benefits to regularly working out. My energy levels are higher, my immune system is stronger and my mental health is better when I regularly exercise. I think five times a week is pretty easy and attainable for me. Right now I’m doing a combination of working out in my basement and walking my dog. But this will probably change as (hopefully) the lockdown lifts and I can go to yoga again.

And those are my 2021 goals guys! Going to work my ass off and make them all a reality! Let me know in the comments what some of your goals are for this year! ✨

xoxo

Lea

My 2020 Beauty Favourites

Hey guys! Today I am sharing my favourite makeup and skincare favourites of 2020! I didn’t necessarily wear a lot of makeup in 2020, but there were still some gems that I discover. If you want to see these products in action, check out the Youtube video version of the post! Okay, let’s get into it.

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My favourite primer is the Touch in Sol Pretty Filter Glassy Balm. I got this in my Boxycharm at some point but I rediscovered it this summer when it was one of my products of the month. This primer is a moisturizer hybrid that helps smooth the skin and give it a natural glow. It’s unlike other glowy primers because it isn’t glittery or metallic look. It’s not heavy like other moisturizing primers. If you have acne-prone skin but still want to add a little natural glow to this skin, this is the primer to try.

This year I have two foundations favourites, a new one and a rediscovered one. My new foundation favourite is the Bite Beauty Changemaker Foundation. This is a long-lasting foundation that is medium coverage and has a natural finish. It’s the perfect everyday foundation because it’s not too much nor too little. It provides enough coverage to even out my skin tone and it gives me a bit of glow but still lasts. The Bite Beauty foundation is also clean and vegan! My other favourite is the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Foundation. When I started working I need something with good coverage and would last me through my shift. This foundation was perfect. Combining it with a dewy primer, like the Touch in Sol one, helped make the finish less matte and more natural. If you haven’t tried this foundation yet, I highly recommend it.

For once my favourite concealer is the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it but I have two new ones to mention. The first is the Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer. This one reminds me of the Nars one. It’s lightweight and has good coverage, but not so full that it looks odd with a lighter coverage foundation. There is a good shade range as well. The second one is a more recent favourite but I’ve been using the Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer every day single I got it. It’s had serum concealer that is light in coverage than the Makeup Revolution concealer, but still enough to help brighten my under eyes. It also lasts well. I’ll wear it all day and it still looks good.

This shouldn’t be a surprise if you follow my blog or Youtube, but this year I fell in love with creams. My favourite bronzer is hands down the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer. It’s so creamy so it’s easy to apply on the face and blend out. Sometimes if a product is creamy it doesn’t last, but this bronzer lasts so long on the skin. The only downside is that it’s very warm tone, so I can’t use it to contour. If I put it under my chin it looks like an orange strip haha.

Everyone loved blush this year, myself included. I liberally applied blush all over my face. I have two favourites. The first is the Nudestix Nudies Blush in In The Nude. This blush blends so easily on the skin unlike a lot of other cream blushes. It also has a matte finish, which is nice if I’m wearing a dewy foundation and/or primer underneath. And the shade is the perfect neutral. I want to get more shades! The other favourite is the Burt’s Bee Blush in the shade Fresh Apricot. This is such a beautiful shade that has an ever-so-slight shimmer that just adds to the face. It’s pretty pigmented so I just need to go in with a light hand. There are a few other shades as well – and it’s drugstore so a great price!

This year I haven’t loved many highlights. Since I was gravitating to dewier primers and foundations I didn’t feel the need to use a highlight. That being said, my favourite this year is the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. This is technically a “complexion booster” so all the shades are skin toned. That leads to the highlight being very natural and blending seamlessly into the skin. It just makes me look naturally glowy. Highly recommend it if you find other highlights to be too strong or unnatural.

Two categories where I don’t have a favourite is powder and setting spray. I didn’t purchase anything new in these categories this year, so I was just rotating through what I already own. Nothing stood out in my mind as a new favourite. Like sure I have my holy grails but nothing worth noting. Let me know what your favourite powder or setting spray was this year.

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Up next is brows. This year I tried to diversify my brow selection and found a few gems. But my number one this year is the Glossier Brow Flick. It’s a brush-tip pen similar to an eyeliner that can define and add depth. It’s also amazing at creating a natural, feather-like stroke. I think it’s good for people with a lot or a little amount of brow hair. I know other brands have come out with similar style brow pencils, so maybe that’s something I’ll try in the future.

I tried out so many good new eyeshadow palettes this year. I decided to pick one colourful and one neutral. My colourful palette is the Jaclyn Hill X Morphe Vol II. This is such a gorgeous palette, every time I look at it I’m inspired. I think the layout is smart and all the shades work well together. And the quality is amazing. They blend easily, they are bright and are easy to work with. The second palette is the KASH Beauty Secret Treasure palette. Ever since I got the palette I’ve found myself reaching for it. While it does have some warm shades, I find that two of the browns (Face and Wreck) and quite neutral and therefore great for whatever look I need. The shimmers are also quite beautiful. This is the perfect palette to pair with a sparkly eye topper. It’s hard to create a good neutral palette but this one is the best.

I have two eyeliners this year! The first is the Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner in the shade Brown. I love using brown eyeliner, I just find it softer than black. I like using this to create a nice baby wing on the days where I don’t feel like doing eyeshadow. I also find it handy that there is a liquid and a pencil in one. The second liner is the Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil in the shade Boundless Bisque. This is a great beige that works perfectly in my waterline. Sometimes I don’t want to wear a dark colour but want something there. This beige just brightens up my whole eye look. I don’t know how I did my makeup without it.

I am not faithful when it comes to mascara. I generally have a bunch of tubes open and will just rotate around depending on my mood and the look I’m going for. Therefore I have three favourites lol. The first is the Lancome Monsieur Big Volumizing Mascara. At first, I didn’t like the mascara because I found it didn’t do anything. But once it dried a bit I fell in love. This mascara is volumizing and is perfect for those days where I want dramatic lashes sans false lashes. The next mascara is the Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Lengthening Mascara. This mascara is perfect for those days where I don’t feel like wearing lots of makeup just a little mascara. What I like the most is how easy it is to remove. Because it’s a tubing mascara that just peels off with a little micellar water. Just don’t wear this one if you’re planning to watch a sad movie. And the final mascara is the Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara. This was my go-to in late high school/early university. I finished the tube and hadn’t purchased it again so I forgot how good this is. It’s good and lengthening but also separating the lashes to make it seem like your lashes are just naturally long. Oooh I love this mascara!

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The final category is lips. Which I didn’t wear a lot because of the pandemic – I don’t leave the house much and when I do I wear a mask. But despite that, I have four favourites. The first is a lip balm, which is something everyone needs. I have many favourites but if I had to pick one it would be the Tarte SEA Quench Lip Rescue Balm. The twisty tube makes it easy to apply. This balm is super moisturizing and has a slight tint to it as well. My favourite lip liner is one I got in my Boxycharm – the Steve Laurant Lip Liner in Chic. It’s creamy enough that it’s easy to apply but stiff enough that it lasts long on the lips. And the shade is perfect for me, just slightly darker than my natural lip colour. I don’t use lip liner very often, but when I do it’s this one. For lip gloss, my favourite is the Essence Shine Shine Shine Lipgloss. It’s a clear lip gloss, so it can be worn over top of any lipstick or lip liner without altering the shade. It’s super shiny and almost has an oil consistency so it’s very comfortable on the lips. The first of two lipsticks is the Burt’s Bee Satin Lipstick in the shade Blush Basin. The satin finish means that it’s very comfortable on the lips and has a slight shine. But it’s a lipstick so the colour is opaque. It’s also a great price because it’s from the drugstore! The final lipstick is the Glossier Generation G Sheer Matte Lipstick. The formula adds just a hint of colour, which I think on more natural days. The matte formula means that it lasts longer than using a gloss or balm. I have the shade Cake, which they describe as a subtle peach but there are some brown undertones to it. I do enjoy wearing this lipstick.

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Okay, that’s all for makeup, let’s get into skincare! So let’s get into it with my favourite cleanser: the OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Juice Daily Cleanser. This has been my morning cleanser for months now. It goes the job of cleaning my skin without leaving it feeling stripped. The citrusy scent is also so nice for the morning. I have oily, acne-prone skin but I could see this working for people with normal and combo as well.

Up next is toner, with my favourite being the OLEHENRIKSEN Balancing Force Oil Control Toner. This is what helps keep my skin from breaking out and evens out my skin texture. For all my oily friends this is the toner for you. If you have dry skin stay away because this will be too strong for you.

My favourite serum is a very pricey one but it makes such a difference in my skin. The Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil is just so good. This oil hydrates my skin making me look so dewy and glowy. But the vitamin c does such a good job helping heal my acne scarring and just brightening my whole complexion. I don’t find it clogs my pores or breaks me out, which can happen with other hydrating serum. I am just so in love with this.

I’m going to be honest, I don’t think that eye cream is necessary. I mean it’s good to hydrate the area but you probably don’t need anything fancy. Unless you are like me and have super sensitive under eyes. A lot of creams burn my skin and give me dry patches. The Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream is one of the few that work for me. I’m going to be honest and say that I don’t see a huge difference with brightness and puffiness, but I’m fine because it hydrates me which is all I need.

This year I focused on finding products that help with my acne scarring. A mask that makes a difference is the Glow Recipe Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask. I didn’t like this mask at first because I didn’t get it, but after using it a few times I started to notice a difference. I don’t use it as a sleeping mask but just as a normal mask that I’ll leave on for 15 minutes. I do notice that my skin is brighter, softer and plumper after using it. The fragrance is strong in this so just keep that in mind.

A makeup remover that I loved was the Farmacy Very Cherry Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm. I don’t know why but I find that the limited edition cherry version doesn’t irritate my eyes. If you need to remove a full face of makeup, this is the cleansing balm for you. It does a great job of removing everything from liquid lipstick to glitter. If I’m wearing a lot of makeup I will double cleanse, but if it wasn’t a lot sometimes I just use this and call it a day with cleansing. My skin doesn’t feel dry or stripped after which is nice.

On the days where I feel I need to double cleanse after using a cleansing balm, I will use the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads. I got these in my Boxycharm and wanted to use them up, but I fell in love. Sometimes after using a cleansing balm I don’t feel like wetting my face again but I still want to clean it. These pads are convenient and do the job. For an exfoliating product, these pads are pretty gentle. I know Elemis is hard to get in Canada, but for all my US and UK followers check these out.

And those are my 2020 beauty favourites! Wow, that was a long list! Let me know in the comments what YOUR favourite beauty products were last year. I hope everyone had a good holiday, I am so excited to start this year and kick some ass! Woooo!

xoxo

Lea

December Boxycharm 2020

Hey guys! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season. Because Christmas Day and New Year’s Day land on Friday I haven’t been posting as much. But don’t worry, I will always post my Boxycharm! I got my box pretty late this month so I haven’t tested it much so this post is mainly my first impression. Let’s get into it!

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I’m very conflicted on the Ofra Cosmetics Pressed Banana Powder. When I wear the powder in person my under eyes look very yellow and unnatural. But then in photos, it looks brighter and more even. So it’s hard because sure it’s nice to have something that looks good in photos, but I rather look good in person. So if you have a yellow undertone you’ll probably like it, but if you’re like me and have a more neutral/pink undertone I would skip this powder. Price: $35 US

In this month’s box, we have two repeats. The first is the Spongelle Body Wash Infused Buffer in the scent Cherry Tonka Musk. In my March box, I got the same sponge in the French Lavender scent. My opinion on the sponge is the same as before. At first, it’s pretty scratchy but over time the sponge softens up. This scent isn’t my favourite for a shower product. I find it to be very spicy and musky which is a little overwhelming in the shower. But hey that’s my personal preference when it comes to scents. Price: $20 US, $27 CAD

The second repeat is a MAC Cosmetics lipstick – this time I got the shade Down to an Art which I love. This is a peachy nude and is similar to Velvet Teddy which is my favourite MAC Lipstick. Down to an Art is just slightly darker and warmer than Velvet Teddy. I’m pretty happy with this lipstick because it’s a shade I like. The only thing is that I don’t wear lipstick much right now with COVID, what with masks and not leaving the house. Price: $19 US, $24 CAD

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The next product is the Tarte Maneater Mascara. You guys know I enjoy Tarte Mascara and this one is no exception. I still want to try it out more because mascaras do change as they dry out a bit. But so far it’s good. I find that this is very lengthening and separating. It gives a little volume but it’s not the most volumizing mascara I’ve tried. But it gives such long and feathery lashes which is right up my alley. Very excited to continue to use this. Price: $23 US, $20 CAD

And the final product is the Artist Couture Caliente Palette. I love the colour story in this palette, it’s unique to anything I own. The neons are so bright, photos don’t do them justice. They are also very vibrant on the eyes. The only thing is that the sensual is very orange on the eyes so there isn’t a brown in the palette. I would use this with a neutral palette to create a complete look. But ya girl has so many neutral palettes, that’s not a worry for me. Price: $30 US, $40 CAD

The overall price of my box is $127 US. I’m conflicted about the two repeat items in my box. On the one hand, I wish I got other things besides the Spongelle buffer. But on the other, I like the MAC lipstick that I got. I guess it depends on the product I’m receiving which isn’t very fair. But overall I would say that this box is pretty good. Let me know your thoughts on repeat products in the comments below!

Oh and P.S. my 2020 beauty favourites will be going up next Tuesday! See you then 🙂

xoxo

Lea

Best of Boxycharm 2020

Hey guys! Today’s post I am going to be sharing the best products I got in my Boxycharm this year. Unfortunately I still haven’t received my December box so I can’t include it in this post, but we still have 11 other boxes to choose from. So I picked out 10 products that I love from this past year, and we’re going to go in the order that I’ve received them.

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January had two of my favourite products. The first is the Ace Beaute Vintage Dawn Palette. This year I’ve tried to give more love to black-owned business and one of my favourites is Ace Beaute. This palette is just beautiful and such good quality. I love the range of shades and I’ve created so many good looks using this palette this year. It’s still a palette I reach for almost a year later.

The second favourite product from January is the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask. I really didn’t like this mask at first because it’s not what I expected. But this mask has AHAs in it, so it’s a very gentle exfoliator. I use this mask whenever I had some bad acne scarring going on, and I find that is helps reduce the redness and makes my skin looked hydrated and smoother overall. Some products you just need to test more to like.

From Feburary’s box, I fell in love with the Alamar Cosmetics Complexion Brush Trio. I always love receiving brushes, but these ones are great. I use the blush and the brightening brush all the time. I also will use the bronzer brush on occasion for foundation and it works really well. The brush hair is super soft and I like the tapered look of the handle. All the Alamar cosmetics brushes I own are amazing.

In March I received the Farmacy Beauty Very Cherry Clean Cleansing Balm. I actually just finished it the other day! It’s a great cleansing balm for when I have a full face of glam and need to remove it all. It breaks down liquid lipsticks and stubborn mascara. It doesn’t leave any residue on the face as well. I love prefer the scent of the cherry version over their regular version. It was supposed to be limited edition but it’s still on their website so grab it while you can!

I know I went on a whole rant about the Elemis Superfood Cica Calm Hydration Juice back in April. I really like this moisturizer but it’s hard to get in Canada! So in that sense it’s hard for me to recommend because like there are other moisturizers that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to ship to Canada. But at the same time I love using this moisturizer. It has a convenient pump so I didn’t have to stick my fingers in a jar. And it made my skin feel so hydrated and plump. I have finished this moisturizer and if it was available at Shoppers or Sephora I would have repurchased.

Another Elemis favourite is their Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads. I got this in my May box. I wasn’t a huge fan at first. But recently with having to wear a full face of makeup at work I need to thoroughly cleanse my skin. So after using a cleansing balm I will go in with these pads. It a good way to ensure that my face is easy. And it’s easier than having to wash my face for those days where I’m feeling lazy. I’m really enjoying using them!

The next favourite is from my July box – the Alamar Cosmetics Birthday Suit Lip Gloss. I don’t wear a lot of lip products anymore but when I do I love using a good gloss. This one is the perfect everyday because it’s a beautiful pink with all these shimmers. It also has a soft vanilla scent that reminds me of Lip Smackers.

Probably my favourite colour story of all the palettes I’ve received this year is that of the Hipdot Zion Eyeshadow palette. It’s just so pretty! I can be hard to formulate these pretty pastel colours but they are great quality. I love the soft and dreamy looks I created with this palette. I used it the other day for work and I got so many compliments!

In my October palette I received the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. This came to me at the perfect moment because I needed a new exfpliator. This one is great because it’s both a physical and chemical exfoliator. It took my skin a second to get adjusted but now it loves it. My brother also likes to steal it and use it as well. A great skincare product!

And the final favourite is from my November box – the Natasha Denona Peak Palette. I love this palette. The quality of Natasha Denona’s eyeshadows are amazing. A little goes a long way. And the colour story is perfect for me to use everyday. This would be the perfect palette for someone who works everyday and doesn’t need a lot of shades. It has everything you need in one palette. I think this would be the perfect palette to take with me once I can travel again.

And those are my favourites products that I got in my Boxycharm box this year. Please let me know, if you receive Boyxhcarm boxes what was your favourite product this year? Stay tuned guys, I will (hopefully) have my December boxycharm post going up soon! As well I will be posting my 2020 beauty favourites as well.

xoxo

Lea

Revisiting My 2019 Beauty Favourites

Hey guys! I did this blog post last year and thought I would bring it back this year. Today I am looking at what my favourite beauty products were in 2019 and let you know what I think about them a year later.

2019 favourites, makeup, beauty, favourite makeup

Starting with moisturizer, my favourite was the Laneige Water Bank Hydro Gel. I haven’t used this moisturizer in months. Once I finished it I didn’t repurchase it because I had so many other moisturizers already open that I wanted to use up. I would love to purchase it again and see if I still love it as much as I did back then.

My favourite mask was the Lush Mask of Magnaminty. If you read my last product empties post, then you might remember that I am officially done with this mask. It’s a great mask but it always dries out before I’m even halfway through it. That’s just a waste of money if you ask me.

A product that I’m almost finished with is the Laneige Lip Glowy Balm. I’m still using the same tube as 2019, so it lasts a long time. It’s a good lip balm! The squeezy tube is easy to apply, I find it lasts long on the lips and has a pretty shine. Still loving this lip balm.

My favourite primer was the Dr. Brandt Pores No More Luminizer. I used this a lot during the first half of 2020 but halfway through the summer, I fell in love with a different primer. It’s still a good primer, but I like my other one more. 😉

My two favourite foundations were the Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation and the Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Hydrating Foundation. Pretty sure they discontinued the Physicians Formula foundation because I can’t find it in-store anymore but I still love it. The Smashbox foundation is still a favourite and one I use on occasion. I do have some new foundation favourites this year though.

My favourite concealer in 2019 is (no surprise) the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I still love this concealer and I think I will love it forever. It’s just so creamy and has the perfect amount of coverage. But I have discovered quite a few concealers that I am excited to share!

The Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder was my favourite powder in 2019. I did finish the mini I had and purchased a full size. I still do enjoy using this powder. It’s very smooth and good at setting my face, especially my under eyes.

I’m honestly surprised I didn’t say that the PF Butter Bronzer was my favourite. But I had picked  the Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Bronzer. This bronzer is pretty great. I haven’t used it in a while because I fell in love with cream products. But it’s still a good one that I recommend to people, especially because of the shade range.

My favourite blush was the Colourpop Blush Stix. Honestly my favourite cream blush this year is way better than this one. The Colourpop cream blush was the first one I tried so I was still new to the world of cream blushes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty good budget alternative, but there is better out there.

I had three mascara favourites, which is so extra of me. I had picked the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, the Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara and the Covergirl Exhibitionist Mascara. And honestly, they are all really good mascaras. I would recommend them all. But I do have two new favourites this year hehe.

Then I had two lip favourites: the Colourpop Just a Tint Lip Crayons and the Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment. 2020 has not been the year for me wearing lip products, what with wearing a mask and not leaving the house. So I wouldn’t say that I got the chance to wear these lippies very much this year. But I will say that I still like both of them and would recommend both of them.

And that’s my thoughts on my 2019 beauty favourites. I think it’s interesting to go back and see how my thoughts and opinions have changed over the year. And stay tuned because I will be posting my 2020 favourites before the end of the year!

xoxo

Lea

Ranking the books I read in 2020

Hey guys! Today I am ranking all the books I’ve read in 2020. I won’t be doing in-depth reviews for them but linking to the reviews instead. I will be explaining the position of each book and if I recommend it. We’ll be starting at the worst and ending at the best. Okay, let’s get into it!

2 Star Books

20. I have only one two-star book this year and it’s The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White. I would not recommend this book to anyone, it wasn’t worth it. The book was confusing and the main character was annoying. I also predicted everything that was going to happen. If you are interested in ancient deities there are books that do a better job.

3 Star Books

19. Just above the worst book I’ve read is Frankenstein. I was just bored while reading this book. I would recommend it if you’re interested and if you enjoy classics, but if you’re looking for a spooky book then pass.

18. The biggest disappointment was Where the Crawdads Sing. It’s not a bad book. There was just a lot of hype around it and it wasn’t what I had expected. If you enjoy nature writing then you will love it.

17. The Woman in the Window was mediocre, which is why it got 3 stars. It was interesting reading about an agoraphobe during a pandemic. But there are way better thrillers out there.

16. Another disappointment was The Siren. I love Kiera Cass and this just wasn’t as good as her other books. The story was so original but the main character was annoying.

15. Up next is Sapiens. I was excited to learn a lot but it turned out I already knew a lot of what Harari discussed in this book. If you’re interested in history but don’t know a lot about the subject then I would recommend it.

14. Right in the middle of the pack is Hunger Journeys. I enjoyed reading from a Dutch perspective during World War 2. The book lost points for lack of character development and a rushed ending.

13. 2020 was the year of sequels/prequels to popular books from my teenage years. Midnight Sun reignited mine (and half of the internet’s) obsession with Twilight. There were many issues with the book but it was fun to revisit the world.

3.5 Stars books

12. I read Voyager and Drums of Autumn (Outlander books 3 & 4) this year. I don’t have a review for them because I’m waiting until I finish the series. But I wanted this to be a master list so that’s why I’m including them. If you ever want my thoughts on Outlander just let me know.

11. My first time reading a stand-alone dystopian novel was with Restoring Harmony. I enjoyed the world that was built but found the main character to be one dimensional. A pretty quick and easy read.

10. Mad Love really surprised me. I thought it was going to be a fun and easy YA romance but there was a lot of magical realism and darker themes thrown in. It was a surprising but interesting read.

9. I loved the Hunger Games when I was younger, and The Ballad of Songbirbs and Snakes cemented my love for it now. It was unnecessarily long at points, but I love the morally grey character of Coriolanus Snow and enjoyed reading his backstory.

8. Gimme a Call would probably be my favourite book if I was younger. I loved the concept and it was fun to read a book set in the late 2000s. I couldn’t handle all the second-hand embarrassment though.

4 Star books

7. The only book I reread (by accident) was The Truth About Forever. I know not everyone likes Sarah Dessen, but I love her books and thoroughly enjoyed the predictability of this one.

6. I love a good historical romance and The Lacey Chronicles did not disappoint. It incorporated some of the negative aspects of history but still had the happy ending I wanted.

5. I’m not a big non-fiction reader, but Educated was amazing. I still periodically think and reflect on what I’ve read in this book. That’s a sign of a good book.

4. The Blood and Ash series isn’t over yet so the rating may change. But so far I’m giving it a 4.25. Really excited to see where this series goes.

4.5 Star books

3. I loved Handmaid’s Tale, and The Testaments was a great sequel to the novel. Atwood created some complex characters and also made this book more readable than the last. I also found the ending to be super satisfying as well.

5 Star books

2. Listen, I think we all know I absolutely love the Throne of Glass series. Not only is it an amazing series that felt like an epic journey, but it also introduced me to the booktok community which I enjoy so much.

1 The final book is The Hate U Give. I just finished it last night so I don’t have a review yet but this book is amazing. I have zero complaints and I think everyone should read this book.

And those are all the books I’ve read this year. I have read 31 books this year (and hopefully I can read a couple more before the new year). I’m so happy that I got back into reading this year – one of the few good things about the pandemic for me. Please let me know in the comments what some of your favourite books that you’ve read this year!

xoxo

Lea

Book Review 013: Blood and Ash Series

Hey guys! Today I will be reviewing the first two books in the Blood and Ash series. It’s been a while since I’ve heard a series that isn’t complete, but I got convinced by my favourite booktoker (@literarylibra) to read it so here we are. I decided to post my review of the series so far because I know it’s pretty popular right now. So once I’ll probably write a review for each book and then once the series is over (whenever that will be) I’ll do a full wrap-up. Okay, let’s get into it.

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Jennifer L. Armentrout is a pretty prolific author, but this is her first fantasy series. The book follows Poppy, who was chosen to be the Maiden and usher in a new era for her kingdom. While waiting for her Ascension, where she receives immortality, she must hide away from other people. Everything changes when she receives a new guard, Hawke, who makes her question everything. At the same time, unrest is rising in the kingdom and Poppy’s life is about to be changed forever.

I loved the plot and the characters in the novel but had issues with the writing. I found the first 50 pages to be confusing with all the world-building going out. Since the novel is from Poppy’s perspective, there was quite a bit at monologuing in the beginning, which I found annoying. Like there would be paragraphs of thoughts during a conversation. I found around the middle of the book it was also starting to get repetitive. Poppy would have a conversation with someone and then repeat the conversation in her head after. By the end of the novel, the writing finally improved and the plot engaged me again.

I found the world while confusing at the beginning to be very interested. I like the world of the Ascended and it’s quite different from any other vampire book I’ve ever read. There are quite a few plot twists, some I predicted and others I didn’t predict. And the ending was amazing and made me excited to read the next book.

I like Poppy as a character. She’s quite naive, but it’s somewhat understandable given her situation. I also love Hawke. I found the banter between the two was overall good, but sometimes it would happen at times which I thought didn’t make sense.

This book is pretty spicy – aka there are some great sex scenes in the book. Within the first 50 pages, there was a great spicy scene. I thought they were well written and also nicely spaced out.

Now, this doesn’t have to do with the author, but whoever did the typesetting of this book did a horrible job. There were sentence breaks and punctuation that was all over the place. I found it to be very distracting. I’m not sure if that’s because I bought these books off of Amazon or it’s that the publisher but something to just note because it bugged me.

Overall I gave this book a 4/5. The writing issues took away some of my enjoyment of the novel, but the plot and characters were strong enough to keep me going.

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Now I’m not going to give a plot summary because it’s going to spoil the first book. But I liked this book more than the first one.

I found that there was less writing issues and more character issues. I liked Poppy in the first book but found her annoying in the first half of this book. She was not letting people explain their point of view and that’s just something that bugs me. I hate when characters don’t let people explain! Poppy also has a habit of saying she hates people when she clearly doesn’t and I find that to be quite childish. By the second half of the novel she grows out of this and I like the book more once she does.

I love the other characters that JLA introduces and develops like Alastair, Vonetta and Kieran. I love the friendship between Kieran and Poppy, I enjoy reading the banter between the two of them.

Poppy feels a lot of guilt throughout the novel. There is a discussion of ignorance and being willfully ignorant and therefore being apart of the problem. While Poppy’s situation is fictional, the concept of ignorance and willful ignorance can be applied to what’s happening in the world today with racism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc. I love fantasy books that touch on important subjects.

Also, the spiciness just increased in this novel. If you aren’t into reading erotic fiction then maybe pass on this series because it’s got some great sex scenes.

I gave this novel a 4.5/5. The writing had improved but I still had some issues with the character development. But I am still very excited for the rest of the series and would recommend it to any fantasy lovers.

So those are my thoughts on the Blood and Ash series. Let me know if you’ve read the series in the comments below. And if you have any book recommendations or books you would like to see my review please leave them in the comments as well.

xoxo

Lea

Product Empties December 2020

Hey guys! I realized I haven’t done a product empties post since September! It has been a while, so today’s post is pretty long. We have twelve products so I will try to keep my thoughts short and concise.

The first product is my DUO Eyelash Adhesive, specifically the white/clear and NOT the brush tip one. This is my favourite lash glue. It’s inexpensive and does the job. I tried the brush on one thinking it would be easier to apply and it sucked. I like this DUO glue because it keeps my lashes in place and it’s easy to remove. I have already repurchased another one because it’s the only thing I use.

The next product is the Tarte SEA Quench Lip Rescue Balm. The combination of cold weather and talking while wearing a mask has made my lips super chapped and this lip balm has been a godsend. It’s super hydrating but also feels thin on my lips at the same time. I prefer a wetter, almost glossy, lip balm so this one is perfect for me. The balm has a sheer tint of colour as well. I had the shade Rose which was a nice red. I decided to repurchase the shade Nude which has a slight pink to it. This lip balm is also vegan!

I finished my favourite cleanser 😞. I loved using the OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Juice Daily Cleanser. This cleanser is a gel formula that is meant to deeply cleanse and refresh the skin. I felt my skin feel clean without being stripped. And it has orange fruit water that gives it a beautiful citrusy scent that is so nice in the morning. I currently have a few other cleansers open that I want to finish, but I will purchase this again in the future and would recommend it.

The next product was one of my November products of the month – the Milani Make It Last Setting Spray. I won’t go into too much detail because you could just read that post. But basically, I like this setting spray but decided to purchase something else that I’ve been wanting to try.

Another skincare product that I finished is the Saturday Skin Waterfall Glacier Water Cream. I got this moisturizer in my Boxycharm and I liked it. It’s a gel consistency, which is what I prefer with my oily, acne-prone skin. It goes a good job of moisturizing my skin. I think even people with sensitive skin would like this because it’s very soothing. I would recommend this moisturizer, but I won’t be repurchasing right now because I have other moisturizers that I need to finish.

I am sad to finally throw out my favourite Colourpop Blotted Lip. It’s been discontinued for a while but I continued to use it because I love it. It’s very similar in formula to the Glossier Generation G lipsticks. I’m only getting rid of it because the lipstick fell out of the tube and got covered in cat hair so it wasn’t salvageable. This is a very sad day for me okay. 😭

The next product was a deluxe sample of the Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask. You might remember I picked up a full size of this mask during the Sephora VIB sale. I love using this mask whenever my face is feeling yucky and dry. The name renewing is so accurate. My face just feels so smooth and hydrated after using it. I would recommend this mask to everyone!

The next product is the Garnier Micellar Water. You guys know I love this micellar water, but I haven’t been using it at much just because I haven’t been wearing makeup as much. I find this micellar water is so gentle but does a great job of removing face makeup. It’s also good for getting any leftover mascara as well. I would have repurchased this micellar water, but they were sold out at my store so I decided to try the Bioderma one instead. I’ll report back and let you know which one I like more.

The first of two Lush products is the Sleepy Body Lotion. This is my favourite lotion to apply at night after having a shower or bath. The lavender and tonka scent is just so soothing and it well makes me sleepy. The body lotion absorbs into my skin easily as well and leaves me feeling soft. I have already purchased another one.

The last makeup product is a deluxe sample of the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Microfinishing Pressed Powder. This powder is very fine so it’s great for setting under the eyes for a very smooth and flawless look. It’s also good for touch-ups to help reduce oiliness. I would repurchase this powder except for the fact that my powder collection is excessively large so I don’t need any more ahaha.

My new favourite mousse is the Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse. I’ve been following the Curly Girl Method, so I use products without silicones and sulphates. This mousse has neither. I use this on my damp hair and it helps define my curls. I use this and then a gel to help solidify the curls into place. I’ve noticed a huge difference in the definition of my curls since starting to using this mousse. Highly recommend.

The final product is the Lush Mask of Magnaminty. I do like this mask, it does an amazing job of helping deep clean my skin when it feels gross. But I can’t stand out quickly it dries out. I even got the one that has preservatives and I still found it dried out before I got halfway through it. Maybe if this is the only mask you own and you use it once a week it would be fine, but I have so many that I just can get through it fast enough. I will not be repurchasing it because I don’t think it’s worth my money if I only get to use half of it.

And those are my product empties! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, I like discussing things with you guys in the comments. 🙂

xoxo

Lea

December Products of the Month

Hey guys! Today I am sharing my thoughts on my November products of the month and picking my December products of the month. I can’t believe it’s already December. It somehow feels like 2020 has been the slowest but also the fastest year. Anyways, let’s get into the products.

The first product is the Milani Make It Last Setting Spray. I did finish their setting spray, which was the goal for the month. It’s not necessarily mattifying but it does help get rid of that powdery look to the face. This is a really good long-lasting setting spray. I do notice a difference in my makeup’s ability to stay put while using this setting spray. I would recommend this if you are looking for a good long-lasting setting spray. Now that I’ve finished this spray I am going to purchase a new one, the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray. I feel better about buying a new one now that I’ve finished one.

The second product I picked was the Glossier Wowder. My biggest complaint the first time I reviewed it was the fact that barely any powder comes out. And I have to agree that I had the same issue. I thought maybe because there was too much powder in it but I’ve used it all month and I still have the same issue. The packaging is a mesh that I find to be too tight to let out much powder. I struggle to get enough out and therefore find that I can’t powder as much as I want. For example, The Becca Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder is also a mesh but it lets the product out. I think I need to cut the mesh or something but this is just aggravating me. Not a fan.

Now for my December products. The first is the Ace Beaute Bronzed in Paradise Palette. Bronzed is something I wear all the time, even when wearing a mask. There is also a range of shades in here, so I can also use it on the eyes. I also haven’t used this palette in a while so I thought it would be nice to get some use out of it. And then the second product is the Colourpop Jelly Much Shadow in Whistlin’ Pixie. It’s almost dried out, so I thought I would use it a few more times before throwing it out.

And those are the products of the month. As always, let me know if you have any suggestions on products that you would like to see me test out!

xoxo

Lea