Colourpop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Tinted Moisturizer Foundation Review

Hey guys! If you have been up to date on my Youtube videos then you might have noticed I posted a Colourpop haul. I mentioned that I was going to write a few blog posts on the products. I decided to do an in-depth review of the tinted moisturizer since I know you guys enjoy my foundation reviews. I’ll post an update next Friday on the rest of the products so stay tuned for that.

Colourpop has released a few foundations, but I decided to pick up their Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Tinted Moisturizer. I’ve heard many good reviews on this product. I’ve also been leaning towards lighter coverage products lately so I thought this would be fun to try. And finally, my friend was interested in this product and so I decided to be the guinea pig for her.

This tinted moisturizer is supposed to be hydrating, will give a light coverage and natural finish that will even the skin tone. Key ingredients include hyaluronic acid and coconut water to hydrate the skin. Colourpop recommends using a sponge to apply a light layer and a brush to build the coverage up to medium. They are 24 shades in total. I purchased the shade Fair 4N which is supposed to be neutral for fair skin tones. The price is $14 US.

The first thing I noticed when applying the tinted moisturizer is that while the shade matches me well the toned pulled more pink than neutral. Not a huge deal since the coverage is lighter. I’ve noticed that Colourpop doesn’t have a true neutral. I’ve found the shades to be either pink or yellow. But like I said it’s not super off so I can still wear it.

I found that the finish was quite nice and skin-like. It didn’t lean too matte or too dewy. It makes it look like you’re not wearing any makeup from a distance. The coverage was pretty light which was expected. It just created a smooth even colour on my face. I had some series breakouts and scarring the past couple of weeks while testing this tinted moisturizer out and it did nothing for covering those. So keep in mind if you want something to cover acne or pigmentation this isn’t the product for you.

I will say that I’m surprised by its lasting power. It doesn’t claim anywhere to last long but I found that it did a pretty good job of staying on my face. I think because it’s a natural finish it just grips to the skin and doesn’t slip off like a dewy foundation. It sinks into the skin and doesn’t feel heavy at all either. It’s a comfortable foundation to wear.

The only thing I’m a little confused about is the fact that this is a tinted moisturizer but I don’t find it moisturizing. I didn’t get any hydration. I found that it’s more similar in consistency to a foundation than a moisturizer. It’s just a light coverage foundation. So just something to keep in mind. If you’re looking for something hydrating with a little coverage then this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a sheer foundation this is a good pick.

Overall I like this tinted moisturizer. I see myself using this more in the summer when I want something lighter and fresher on my face. If you’re looking for something with light coverage I would recommend it, especially since it’s a reasonable price. The only downside is that Colourpop doesn’t do returns so if you get the wrong shade you’re kinda stuck So I would recommend doing some research, maybe watching some Youtube videos to help you determine what shade to pick up.

And that’s it for this review. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried this tinted moisturizer. I’m also curious, do you guys prefer lighter or fuller coverage foundations? I find that my opinion varies based on the season and how my skin is. But what about you?

xoxo

Lea

Book Review 017: Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom + King of Scars

Hey guys! Today I am sharing my thoughts on the rest of the Grishaverse, with the Six of Crows duology and King of Scars. If you haven’t read my review on Shadow and Bone I would recommend checking that one out before this on. I will try to avoid spoilers as much as possible or mark any that I do include but keep in mind that the books build on the plot of past novels. Especially King of Scars since it includes characters from past series. Anyway, let’s get into it.

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So first we have Six of Crows duology, which includes the books Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. This duology is set within the same universe as Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy but in the country of Ketteram instead of Ravka. Ketterdam is loosely based on 17th century Amsterdam – which is cool because I’ve been to Amsterdam! The story follows six characters: Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper and Wylan. They are offered the opportunity to do an impossible heist that will make them insanely rich if they complete it. This is a young adult fantasy novel.

First I was impressed that Bardugo was able to add another layer to her world. I know some readers were shocked by the differences between Ravka and Ketterdam but it’s pretty historically accurate in the sense that Russia was late to modernize while Amsterdam was ahead. Unlike Shadow and Bone which was from the first-person perspective, this duology was a third-person multi-perspective, which just means that the narrative changed each chapter. I think this was perfect for the heist plotline, since often during a heist many things are happening simultaneously.

Bardugo’s writing has improved. I think the multi-perspective helped speed up the novel. In her previous novels, I had issues with pacing, but that wasn’t present in this duology. There were also so many twists and turns in the novel. Some I guessed but others were complete surprises. I wanted to keep on reading to find out what was going to happen.

I loved the characters in this series as well. Nina is my favourite because I relate to her so much. She physically looks like me (yay curvy, plus-sized rep!) but also her personality as well. She’s described as being loud and bold and fond of sweets – and if that isn’t a good description of me I don’t know what is. But I like the rest of the characters as well.

The second book Crooked Kingdom continues the story after Six of Crows. While I enjoyed it, I didn’t like it as much as Six of Crows. Unlike the first novel which has a strong plot and storyline, the second book was a little less clear. I wasn’t sure where the book was going and therefore wasn’t as excited to read the book.

But by the second book, I had developed a strong emotional bond with the characters so at the end there were many tears shed by me. I liked Kaz and Inej’s relationship because it’s unlike most relationships you read in YA novels. They have both been through some shit, to say the least, and have been traumatized because of it. But it was cute to see them come together and grow.

Overall I have the duology 5/5 stars! (Woo first five-star books of 2020!). I think the first book is stronger but as a pair I think it’s an effective story. The world-building was amazing, the characters were well developed and I had only minor issues with the writing.

And since I was already reading Bardugo’s books I decided to start her next duology. The first book is King of Scars. The sequel Rule of Wolves is set to come out at the end of March. King of Scars follows Nikolai and Zoya (characters from Shadow and Bone) and Nina. I won’t give any other details because I don’t want to spoil the books.

It was nice reading this book because I was able to return to the point-of-views of characters I already knew. There is something nice returning to characters and a world that you’re familiar with. The first half of the novel was a nice return and then the second half it was like the whole universe got turned on its head. I was super impressed that Bardugo was able to add a new layer to her world. Sometimes it can be hard to continue making a series unique and new but Bardugo did it with this book.

I will say that my only complaint was that Nina’s plotline wasn’t very intertwined with the rest. In the beginning, it was a little boring. I can only guess that it will connect in the future and that’s why it’s included. But it wasn’t until the last third that I was really into her storyline.

The ending was also insane. I think fans of the series will like the ending. It made me excited for the next novel.

Overall I give King of Scars 4.5/5 stars. I will re-evaluate my thoughts once I read book two. This might be a while because I’m going to wait until the novel comes out in paperback since I want my series to match. But overall I like it, just wished that Nina’s plotline was a little more interesting and better connected.

I thought I would tact on my thoughts of the series overall so far since the tv show is coming out soon and I’m sure people would want to read it before then. Even though I didn’t like Shadow and Bone as much, I would recommend reading it first. Bardugo does a great job of explaining the world in that series but it drops off by the later series because she assumes people have read everything. I think you would be confused if you read Six of Crows before Shadow and Bone. And read both before reading King of Scars. If you want to watch the tv show make sure to read Shadow and Bone as well because that’s what most of the first season is going to focus on. I think it would be nice to read Six of Crows as well, but the show is mainly going to focus on events that happen before that series.

And that is it for today’s book review. Let me know if you guys have read any books within the Grishaverse and what your thoughts were on the books. And as with all my book posts, let me know if you have any recommendations for me down below.

xoxo

Lea

February Boxycharm 2021

Hey guys! Today I am sharing what I got in my February Boxycharm! I was impressed that I got the box early this month – I got in on the 9th I believe. I’m happy that I got in early because it gave me more time to test the products. And if you want to see these products in action make sure to check out my Youtube video!

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The first product is the Frank Body Caffeinated Scalp Scrub. This scrub is meant to exfoliate the scalp to remove product build-up and detoxify the hair. Overall I’m pretty indifferent towards this product. First I forgot to use it quite a few times just because it’s not a product I would normally reach for. I don’t use a lot of hair product so I don’t get build-up. I also don’t suffer from dandruff. Even when I did use the scrub I didn’t notice a difference in my scalp or hair. I have a scalp massager and I think that does a better job of stimulating my scalp. I don’t think this is necessary. Price: $18.95 US

The next product is the Wander Beauty Getaway Eye and Face Palette. It’s funny because I’m currently using a Wander Beauty product in my project pan. Anyway, this palette has six eyeshadow, a blush and a highlighter. Just wanted to note that these shades are pretty light so they wouldn’t work for deep skin tones. And also a lot of the shades in the palette are quite similar. I find that the matte shades Villa and Chateau are very similar as well as the shimmers Bungalow and Roadtrip. For such a small palette I wish there was more variety. I think the colour story works well for a travel palette full of go-to shades, but it’s nothing special. Also something I notice in this palette as well as my other Wander Beauty duo is that the powders don’t have a long staying power. The face powder fades quickly and the shimmers lose their lustre pretty quickly. Honestly not that impressed, I think there are better products on the market. Price: $36 US

This month’s skincare product is the Saturday Skin Yuzu Vitamin C Sleep Mask. I was excited when I saw this because I liked their moisturizer. This is a lightweight mask that you wear while you sleep to deliver moisturizer. The mask is also supposed to help with ageing, dullness, pores, stress and texture because it also includes vitamin C, niacinamide and retinol. I’ve tried this as both a regular mask and a sleeping mask. As a regular mask, I found that it didn’t do much for moisture. I still have to apply a moisturizer after taking off the mask. As a sleeping mask, I found it was pretty good. It sank into my skin quickly so I didn’t have to worry about getting it all over my sheets. When I woke up in the morning my skin was soft and smooth. So this mask only works its magic if you have it on all night. I’ll continue to use it. Price: $29 US, $27 CAD

The next product is the NCLA Beauty So Rich Love Potion. This is a limited edition of their cuticle oil that has heart glitter as well as a rose scent. I think the glitter is such a cute addition to the oil. I enjoy looking at it. I usually only use cuticle oil while doing my nails but I know it’s useful to use it every day to see any results. I’ve been applying this oil every night before bed and I haven’t noticed a huge difference. I think my cuticles are softer but I don’t think my nails are any stronger. Also, I’m not a huge fan of the rose scent. It’s too floral and overpowering for me. I can smell it even after I’ve rubbed it in. The dropper is nice and works well. I think any cuticle oil will work though, I don’t think you need to buy this one. You can probably just pick one up from your local drugstore and it would do the trick. Price: $18 US

And the final product is The Beauty Crop Coco Gold Mist. The more I used this setting spray, the more I started to dislike it. This is supposed to be a hydrating, fine mist that can refresh your makeup while also giving a delicate amount of shimmer to the face. This mist is in no way fine. It’s quite powerful so I have to hold it super far away from my face or it will ruin my makeup. One time I sprayed it too close and it moved my makeup and separated it. The shimmer isn’t fine, it’s glitter particles. So while it might be fun for a night out, otherwise I don’t want gold glitter all over my face. I even tried spraying this without shaking the bottle and I still got glitter all over me. It does have a nice coconut scent, I’ll give them that. Ya, I’m not a fan and wouldn’t recommend it. Price: $14.99 US

The overall price is $166.94. Honestly, I’m not very impressed. Quite a few of these products were duds or not something I see myself using often. And after having a great box last month it’s disappointing to get a poor box. Let me know what you got in your box and if you felt the same.

xoxo

Lea

5 Beginner Makeup Tips I Wish I Knew When I Started

Hey guys! Today we’re bringing back to the basics. I’m going to share five makeup tips that I wish I knew when I started. Makeup is all about personal expression, so if you don’t like or agree with these tips, then you do you boo! But I’m just trying to share some tips that I wish I knew when I started. I also tried to give some tips that you might have not heard before as well.

1. Figure out your skin type

Creams are good for dry skin whereas powders are good for oily skin

If you don’t already know your skin type then take some time to figure it out. This can dramatically change your makeup experience because certain products work better for certain skin types. For example, I have pretty oily skin. That means after a couple of hours my face looks visibly shiny and is greasy to the touch. Using powder products helps my makeup stay on my face and reduces that shiny look. Now that doesn’t mean I only have to use powders, if any I’ve come to love a good cream product. But when you’re starting it’s easy to stick to products that work with your skin type. So just take some time to google what the different skin types are and what products work for them.

2. Invest in some brushes

The best way to explain this is to talk about painting. A painter can be using the highest quality paint, but if they’re using dollar store sponge brushes it’ll be harder to do their job. On the flip side, a painter can be using cheap acrylics, but if they had good brushes they can make a pretty good piece. It’s the same with makeup.

Having some good brushes can make all the difference. And you don’t have to spend an arm or a leg to get good brushes. One of my favourite brands is Luxie which I can find at Winners. Real Techniques has a sponge that’s amazing and available at the drug store. I would recommend having a brush for each product face product and at least a few for the eyes. If you want I can always do a follow-up post on the perfect brushes for beginners.

3. Get an eyelash comb

My eyelash comb may look scary but it works!

I know eyelash combs are pretty common if you have lash extensions, but trust me they are great for mascara. If you find that you have the issue of mascara clumping up, then this tool is a life changer. If I notice my lashes are clumping, I just grab my comb and run it through. It helps separate the lashes and gives a defined look. And it’s not an expensive tool. I have the Morphe M221, but there are a bunch on Amazon. It’s a simple tool that can help if you’re struggling with mascara.

4. Use your current face product to find new ones

All three of these foundations are pretty close in shade

If you struggle to match foundations and concealers this is the tip for you. If you have a foundation or concealer that matches you perfectly right now but you’re looking to get a different one, then bring your current foundation or concealer with you to the store. I put the bottle in my purse and will take it out and put them side by side. This is helpful right now when because testing and swatching isn’t available due to the pandemic.

Another helpful tip is to look up the description of the foundation you like and look for those words in other foundations. For example, I usually go for fair/light neutral foundations because that matches my skin tone the best. If they don’t have these descriptions in store they can be found on the company websites.

5. Use face products on the eyes

If you’re on a budget you might not be able to afford to buy every product for a full face. Or maybe you just don’t have a lot of space and can only have a few products. Well, I’m letting you know that you can skip buying an eyeshadow palette and just use your face products on your eyes. Bronzes are a great neutral eyeshadow that can add a little depth to the eyes. Why buy a brown eyeshadow when bronzers are the same? And if you are feeling a little adventurous then try your blush. It can create a beautiful monochromatic look to have the same shade on the eyes and cheeks. Bronzers and blushes are great to use on the eyes are well for beginners because they’re typically not as pigmented as a regular eyeshadow and therefore easier to control. And if you want a bit of sparkle then use your highlight! I often use my highlighters on the inner corner to create a cohesive look.

And those are five tips and tricks I wish I knew when I started. I have so many other ideas, so let me know if I should do a part two! And let me know in the comments what some of your beginner-friendly makeup tips and tricks are.

xoxo

Lea

Auric Glow Lust + Smoke Reflect Review

Hey guys! Today I am reviewing the first products of Samantha Ravndahl’s brand Auric Cosmetics. I love Sam, she is one of my favourite beauty influencers and is someone I look up to in many ways. So when she announced her brand I immediately knew I had to pick up some of the products. I purchased three products and I’m going to break down everything for you guys.

So let’s start with the brand itself. Auric is a luxury, sustainable and cruelty-free makeup brand. There is also a real focus on inclusivity, which I’ll go into more detail with the Glow Lust. As with any luxury brand, that means that the products come with a higher price tag. Even though Sam is Canadian, her business partner is American and the distribute centre is in the US. All prices are in American on the site, so while my total was $123 US for three products, I had to pay more because of the exchange rate. I also had to pay $15 for shipping AND I had to pay $43 in duties because they weren’t prepaid. So in total, I paid around $200 CAD for three products. RIP my bank account. The price was in the back of my mind while testing out these products.

The first product is the Glow Lust. This is a liquid luminizer that is meant to give shine and hydration. It can be worn alone, mixed with a product or on top as a highlight. It comes in seven different shades that are skin-tone-based. So instead of it being gold, silver or pink the shades range from light cool beige to deep neutral. I love the shade range and how the shades aren’t numbered as well.

I love this product. The most similar product is the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, which just expanded its shade range. The Glow Lust comes with a pump that is easy to control so I can pump out a bit or do a full pump. Also, the packaging is just so luxurious. The bottle is glass and has gold drip detail. The gap is a pain to get off though. The Charlotte Tilbury cream has a doe-foot applicator. So it’s easy to use on top of foundation but not as easy to mix in with other products.

The Charlotte Tilbury formula is shinier but doesn’t dry down completely. Auric’s Glow Lust adds the most beautiful glow from within look but it dries down and sinks into the skin. This helps it last throughout the day. I also loved adding it to my matte foundations because it adds a subtle glow to them. The only thing is that I wouldn’t necessarily say it hydrates my skin. But I don’t mind because ya girl is oily. The Glow Lust is $45 US, which is pretty on par with the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. There is a lot of product so I think this would last me forever. And that packaging is so luxe, so that’s where part of the price is going towards.

The other product I got was two shades of the Smoke Reflect Duos. These duos come with a creamy-matte shadow and a micro-glitter pressed eyeshadow. There are three shades. Defiance is bronze/gold, Temper is rose gold and Ego is silver. I didn’t get Ego since I don’t wear much silver eyeshadow. I will say that these shades are different than what you typically expect with those names. The cream Defiance is browner than orange bronze. Temper’s cream is only slightly pink. But I think the idea of having a cream and a pressed shadow is quite creative. I can think of a dupe for this product that has both the cream and powder off the top of my head.

For some reason, I thought the creams would be metallic but they’re not. They are more matte with a slight glimmer to them. They are also subtler than I thought. When I think of cream eyeshadows my mind goes to Colourpop or Hourglass. These are not like that and shouldn’t be compared otherwise you’d be disappointed. Once I got to understand the formula I grew to appreciate them. They would the best as a base for the glitter. Because by themselves they’re pretty plain – which I guess could be nice for an everyday look. Using a brush applies a sheer wash whereas using my finger is where I can make it look most similar to what it looks like in the jar.

The shimmers are what sold me on this product. It’s the most beautiful glitter ever. I can use a brush to create a gentle scattering of glitter or use my finger to create a very impactful look. They don’t have much basic colour to them, but that’s because they’re designed to go on top of the creams. I’ve worn them with other shadows and they look great. So overall these duos work best when you use the pressed glitter and cream together. These duos are $39 US which is pricey. A product like Hourglass’ Scattered Light could give you a similar effect with one product and it’s much cheaper. So while I do like it and think it’s pretty, I don’t think it’s necessarily worth it.

Wearing the Temper cream on the eyes

So what are my overall thoughts on the brand and what would I recommend. First, if you’re on a budget, you don’t need these products. Auric is a small brand, and I’m sure as they grow the shipping and duties will probably decrease and therefore be more affordable. But if you want to try something, I would recommend the Glow Lust over the Smoke Reflects. I think they are other products on the market that can give you a similar effect. But the Glow Lust is beautiful and there isn’t anything like it on the market. But it’s also a simple product that I see myself using every day and therefore getting my money’s worth.

Do I wish that the products were cheaper? Yes but I also understand why they are pricy. They are trying to be a better option for luxury makeup that is often not cruelty-free or inclusive. Like if you were comparing this brand to Dior or Armani then I would recommend Auric over those others. I am excited to see where Sam’s brand goes. I probably won’t be able to afford to purchase every launch but I will be cheering her on because I love her.

Let me know what you guys think about Auric and these products. What piques your interest? Do you think the products are good or too expensive? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo

Lea

Current Skincare Routine February 2021

Hey guys! I realized that I haven’t given you guys a skincare update since July of last year! So I thought I would share my current morning routine. I’m currently testing out some different makeup removers so I won’t be including my evening routine today. There is one new product that I’m excited to share with you guys. So let’s get into it.

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In the morning I like to start with a cleanser. I’m currently using the OleHenriksen Truth Juice Daily Cleanser. I’ve finished a full size and repurchased it, that’s how much I like it. This cleanser is meant to deeply clean without stripping the skin. My skin goes through cycles of breakouts and being calm and this cleanser is something I can use throughout. I also love the citrusy scent, it’s perfect to use in the morning. Highly recommend this cleanser.

The OleHenriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner has quickly become a ride-or-die. Without this toner, my skin just becomes so textured and congested. If you have oily or acne-prone skin this is the toner for you. It gets rid of any dirt or impurities that my cleanser missed. If you’re dry stay away because you might find this stripping. But it evens out my texture so I love it.

A new product to my regime is The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid. If you read my post about The Inkey List, then you would know that I didn’t notice a difference using this product. But I own it and so I want to use it up. The bottle says to apply before any other serums so that’s what I do. Once I finish it I might try another hyaluronic acid, so please leave your recommendations in the comments.

Up next I use a vitamin C serum. I still have the Biossance one that I mentioned in my previous post and I still love it. I’ve been alternating between that one and The Inkey List 15% Vitamin C and EGF. I’ve noticed that the colour is starting to change which means that it’s not going to be as effective soon so I want to use it up before it expires. That’s something I’ve noticed is that my Biossance one has a much better shelf life. If you want more details on my thoughts on these two vitamin c serums then check out my Inkey List review.

The next product I use is moisturizer. I’ve been using the Kypris Antioxidant Dew. I got this in my Boxycharm. I’m currently trying to use up some opened products before I buy another moisturizer myself. I think it’s alright. It’s quite liquidy and lightweight, which is perfect for my oily skin. I think it’s good and does the job but I wouldn’t go out of my way to repurchase since it’s quite expensive.

I finish off my face with an eye cream. I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t think that eye cream is necessarily needed. I relatively young and while I’m starting to get some fine lines, it’s nothing crazy. Besides hydration, I don’t need an eye cream. Yet for some reason, my eye skin is extremely sensitive so I have to be careful. Otherwise, I get dry patches and a burning sensation. The eye cream I’m currently using is the Origins Refreshing Eye Cream. Does it help brighten my dark circles and reduce puffiness? Meh. Does it hydrate my skin? Ya and that all I really want and need.

The final product I wanted to mention isn’t one I use every day. I recently got the Peace Out Acne Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Dots and wanted to let you guys know what I think about them. I like them but they work best as instructed. I use them on large pimples that have a whitehead or almost aka a prime popping pimple. I will apply it before bed and overnight it will draw out all the gunk. This is perfect for me because I am a pimple popper, which causes scarring. This will help heal the pimple without causing scarring. This doesn’t work for really deep acne that hasn’t come out yet. This also won’t help speed up the healing process to get rid of a scar. So it’s only good for when a pimple is juicy and ready (sorry for that description but I mean it’s accurate). I know some people say you can use topical spot treatments but they don’t work as well as this. The only thing is that it’s quite because a 20 pack is $25. I will continue to use this and would even repurchase. But I’d love to try other brands to see if there is one that is cheaper and just as effective or even better.

And that is my current skincare routine guys! Maybe next time I’ll let you guys know what my makeup removal process is like. Let me know what some of your favourite skincare products are, I’d love to try them out!

xoxo

Lea

Book Review 016: Wuthering Heights

Hey guys! I’m back today with another book review! I usually prefer to book a couple of stand-alone books in one post. But since I’m in the middle of reading a series, it’ll be awhile before I have another book to include. So I just decided to write a review for Wuthering Heights now. So let’s get into it.

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For those of you who don’t know anything about this book, Wuthering Heights is considered a classic gothic romance. First published in 1847 by Emily Bronte, it’s a pretty popular novel. I’ve heard it referenced many times but I never knew what it was about. The story follows two families through two generations in the north of England. The story is narrated by their maid Nelly and the main antagonist is Heathcliff. I don’t want to give too many other details because I don’t want to spoil the story.

The beginning of the novel is quite confusing for the reader because the book starts in the present and then goes to the past. A lot of the characters in the past and present have very similar names and there are some juniors and seniors so it’s hard to remember who is who. I started using Sparknotes to help me understand what was going on. I would read a chapter and then read the Sparknotes summary to make sure I caught everything. I was pretty good at understanding everything, but every once in a while I would miss something important and Sparknotes would point it out to me.

This novel is famous for the poetic language, especially the description of the landscapes. If you enjoy that sort of thing, then you’ll love this book. For me, I found that it more often put me to sleep, especially since I mainly read at night when I’m already tired. This isn’t a thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. If anything sometimes it was tough to get through.

This isn’t a happy book. There is a lot of negativity, with everyone hating someone. There were a lot of sicknesses, death and physical abuse. I would recommend googling the trigger warnings before reading this book because it’s a little dark – I mean there’s a reason why it’s a gothic novel.

I generally preferred the second half of the novel compared to the first half because it was with the second generation. I just found the characters to be more tolerable. I also wasn’t very fond of the narrator, Nelly. She was quite biased and that would affect the reader’s perception of characters. I was pretty good at seeing through it, but just something to keep in mind. Also if you’re hoping for a redemption arc, you’re not going to find that in this novel. The bad characters are bad through and through.

I did enjoy the ending. I felt like order was finally restored and it was satisfying. This was a difficult book to get through, so I felt very proud of myself once I finished it.

I gave this book 3/5 stars. I can see the value in this novel. A lot of the things I disliked about it are personal preferences than actual flaws. So if you normally read popular fiction then you probably will dislike this novel. But if you enjoy reading classics then check this one out. I’m a little hesitant to read more classics since I haven’t loved the two I’ve read so far, but I have a whole collection of them that I should read so except more.

As with all my book posts, let me know in the comments what you’re currently reading and if you have any recommendations for me!

xoxo

Lea

I Tried 12-3-30 For A Month: Here Are My Thoughts

Hey guys! If you didn’t know, I enjoy trying out new workouts because I get bored pretty easily. With my beloved yoga studio being closed and the weather being too cold outside to run I needed something new. So when I heard about the 12-3-30 workout I knew I had to try it out for myself. For those who don’t know what the workout is about, it was created by an influencer named Lauren Giraldo who apparently lost 30 lbs while doing this workout. It involves raising a treadmill to the 12th incline and walking at 3 miles/hour for minutes. The simplicity of it was what drew me into this workout. So I decided to try it for a month and see what I thought about it.

Before Thoughts

Before starting it I expected that I probably wouldn’t lose weight even though Giraldo claims she did. I’ve been working out and going on walks pretty consistently for a few months now. I also had no plans to change my diet. So because I was keeping my activity and food intake the same, I knew that this workout wasn’t going to magically make me skinnier.

I also predicted that this was going to be difficult at first but I would eventually adjust and be about to do the workout fully. I read an interview with Giraldo that said she would take breaks every ten minutes at first, so that was my plan of action.

And finally, I was excited at the prospect of being able to watch TV or Youtube while working out. Many influencers including Giraldo say the workout is low impact enough that you can watch something. I’ve fallen behind on my subscriptions and was excited at the idea of also being able to distract myself with entertainment.

Week 1

I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to do 3 miles/hour and I was correct. I did around 2 to 2.2 miles/hour at the 12th incline. I also did take breaks at the ten and twenty-minute mark. This was also because my water bottle doesn’t fit on my treadmill. So I had to get off to drink my water anyway.

I found that it was higher intensity than I thought. I was sweating and my heart rate was higher than doing strength training such as lifting weights. But it was lower intensity than say running. I was able to watch my Youtube videos as I expected and it was a really good distraction. Instead of focusing on how tired I was I just focused on the video.

I was afraid that my shins were going to hurt since I’m prone to shin splints. They were fine but actually I started to have knee issues the second time I did the workout. So I decided to lower the incline to help alleviate the pain in my knee. I also got blisters which is weird because there are old shoes – like I ran all summer and had no issues. I think it was because my shoes were loose and the incline made my feet lift out. So I made sure to tie my laces tight from then on.

Week 2

Something I’ve been trying to do is listen to my body. So if I’m tired or in pain, I won’t go as hard. So I started lowering the incline so my feet and knees wouldn’t hurt as much. I was doing either 6th or 8th incline and going around 2 miles/hour.

Otherwise, I noted that I was enjoying placing my iPad that I used to watch videos in front of the timer. This way I just focused on walking instead of the timer.

Week 3

By the third week, I was able to build up my endurance and only take a break halfway through at the 15-minute mark. I do enjoy taking a quick water break because I find that I usually get a second wind after and can push myself more.

I tried experimenting with the incline and speed. I found that I was able to go at the 12th incline and do 2 miles/hour OR 6th incline at 3 miles/hour. I wasn’t able to do the recommended 12th incline at 3 miles/hour because otherwise my knees would start to hurt.

Week 4

I’ve figured out at this point that I prefer doing the 6th incline at 3 miles/hour. Especially because my energy levels have been lower so it’s just easier for me to do. I’m unsure if it’s because I don’t like this workout or just the weather but I’ve been lacking the energy to wake up and work out lately. So going at a lower incline helps me ease my way into it more.

I also want to note that I don’t immediately go at 3 miles/hour. I start at 1.5 and work my way up as I warm up and get into it. It’s safer to warm up than go all out.

Final Thoughts

So I guess I didn’t really do the 12-3-30 challenge but the 6-3-30 challenge. And honestly, I don’t mind that. Everyone’s bodies are different. Being a mid-size person, I weigh more and therefore exert more pressure on my joints. So to prevent injury I go on a lower incline to alleviate some of the pressure.

Besides the fact that I didn’t technically do 12-3-30, did I still enjoy the format? Kind of. liked watching Youtube while I worked out. But by the fourth week, I was dreading having to get up to do it. It’s higher intensity than I anticipated and sometimes I wanted to do something lower intensity.

Will I continue doing it myself? Maybe if I’m in the mood. I’m someone who likes a variety with my workouts. So some days I might like to do this. But other days if I want to do yoga or strength training or pilates I’ll do that.

Would I recommend this workout? I think you should try it once and determine it for yourself. Not everyone has a treadmill at home and I’m pretty lucky that my dad set up an at-home gym in the basement many years ago. So if you don’t have a treadmill don’t worry, you’re not missing out on the best workout ever. Honestly just going on a walk in a hilly area could probably produce similar results.

So those are my thoughts on 12-3-30 guys! Let me know if you’ve tried it or would consider trying it. I’m planning on reviewing the Peloton app next because my friend has been raving about it. So if you have the app please let me know in the comments what some of your favourite classes or instructors are.

xoxo

Lea

L’Oreal Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Foundation Review

Hey guys! I love testing out and writing foundation reviews. This year I want to share more affordable makeup with you guys, so it only made sense to make my first foundation review this year to be a drugstore foundation! After watching a bunch of best makeup of 2020 videos and seeing the L’Oreal Infallible 24 H Fresh Wear Foundation be on top, I knew I had to try this one out for myself.

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This L’Oreal foundation claims to last up to 24 hours (I don’t know anyone who wears their makeup for that long, but anyway). The claims continue with it being long-lasting as well as water, sweat and transfer-proof. The coverage is supposed to be medium to full coverage and the finish is natural. The foundation should feel lightweight and breathable on the skin.

On the first application, I realized that I am paler than I expected. I got the shade Vanilla 445, which is their light neutral shade. This shade would probably work for me in the summer when I’m tan but right now it’s a little too deep. Besides the shade mismatch, but I liked it. I would say the claim of medium to full is correct. And the finish is nice if a little matte. It does look like I’m wearing foundation but it’s not cakey looking in any way. And it felt very comfortable on the skin. It didn’t feel heavy or like I was wearing a mask. I did wish it had a little bit more glow to it, but that’s easy to add with primers or highlights.

At five hours I didn’t notice any colour change, it was still the same shade of too-deep-for-me haha – but it didn’t oxidize. The foundation was mostly intact, it had just rubbed out in a few areas that I have the bad habit of touching such as the chin and cheek. But I would say that 80% of the foundation was still there and looking good. I wasn’t looking oily at all, which is often an issue I have with foundations. My bronzer was also still pretty visible which is nice. Overall still loving how it looked.

After nine hours I finally took my makeup off. By that point, a lot of the foundation had worn off and I was looking greasy. Honestly, this is pretty on par with other foundations, usually around the eight-hour mark is when my foundation is done. The issue with having oily skin is that I find foundation just slides or rubs off the greasier I get. So am I annoyed that I had no foundation left after nine hours? Not really because that’s how most foundations perform.

I wore the foundation a few more times, mixing it with other foundations and serums. I mixed it with a lighter foundation to help better match my current skin tone and it worked just as well. I also tried using a serum to make it glowy and found that the finish stayed about the same. The wear time wasn’t affected by mixing the products with other products.

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Foundation mixed to better match my skin

So overall I like this foundation! I like the finish for days when I want more coverage. It also lasted pretty well. I have some foundations that fall apart at the five-hour mark. Nowadays I don’t need a foundation to last all day because let’s be real I don’t wear makeup for that long. I kind of want to get a lighter shade just to better match my skin how it is currently, but I’ll probably wait until it goes on sale for that. If you’re looking for a foundation at the drugstore, I would recommend this one!

Hope you guys found this review helpful! Let me know in the comments what your favourite drugstore foundation is and maybe I’ll test it out myself. 🙂

xoxo

Lea

Easy Ways to get into the Valentine’s Day Spirit

Hey guys! So today we’re talking about Valentine’s Day. It’s less than two weeks away! I’m all for the Valentine’s Day spirit this year even though I’m single as a pringle. February can be a depressing time of the year normally, with it being winter and cold outside. Add on top the pandemic and it can be easy to spiral into a deep depression. But instead, I’m celebrating the little moments and getting hyped for this holiday. The colours are bright and cheerful. And the holiday includes chocolate and flowers, things that always brighten my mood. So today I’m sharing some easy and budget-friendly ways to bring some cheer into your lives for Valentine’s Day.

Decorate your space

I love decorating seasonally. If you follow me on Insta or Youtube you might have seen that I decorate my room for fall and Christmas. Well, Valentine’s Day is no exception. It brings a smile to my face every time I see my decorations up. It doesn’t have to be expensive. I just got a couple of things from the dollar store. And you can always use them again and again, so skip the Starbucks for one day and get yourself some decorations.

If your budget is tight then try rearranging the decor you already have. I change my letterboard sign to match the theme. If you have framed photos, you can always switch the photos for something Valentine’s day themed. Pinterest has tons of options.

Change your electronic wallpapers

Speaking of Pinterest, that website is full of free wallpapers for your phones, tablets and computers. It might seem silly, but changing your wallpaper can help improve your mood. Think about how often we are on these devices. That way whenever you open them, you can see a cute image instead!

Add some flowers

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Flowers are a traditional gift given on Valentine’s Day, but who says you have to wait for someone to give them to you? When I was in university, I always bought myself a bouquet on Valentine’s Day. I usually got tulips because it’s around this time of year that they are available again and tulips remind me of spring. But you can get whatever flowers you want. Some florists will do sales to celebrate, so getting what’s on sale can be helpful if you’re on a budget. Plus with everything going on right now it can be a nice way to support your local florists!

Send out Valentine’s Day cards to friends and family

Listen, whoever says Valentine’s Day is just limited to romantic partners is just being selfish. I think this holiday can be about love in general, which can include familiar and platonic relationships as well. With lockdowns and restrictions it might be hard to have the normal Galentine’s Day festivities, so sending a card instead is a great way to still share some love with your friends. Plus there is nothing more special than receiving a card in the mail. And send one to your parents as well, because I’m sure they would love to hear from you.

Indulge into all the sappy songs, books and movies

Nothing sets the mood more than music. So trying putting on a playlist full of love songs. A lot of them are just amazing songs and put me in a good mood.

I also am a sucker for a good romance book or movie. With everything going on, it’s nice to escape into a world where true love saves the day. Let me know, I can always do a follow-up post sharing some of my favourite romance books and move if you are interested.

Make an amazing meal

They say that the way into a man’s heart is through his stomach, but I love a good meal as well. Since Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday this year, why not take the time to make a really good meal, whether for yourself or to share with a loved one. You can make a big brunch, create a charcuterie board or make a big dinner. And don’t forget to eat lots of chocolate, because that’s what I’ll be doing.

And those are a few of my suggestions to do in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Let me know what you guys are planning to do this year. I’ll probably be cuddled up with a good book reading haha.

xoxo

Lea