Product Empties January 2021

Hey guys! I’m back with another product empties! I feel like I go through ebbs and flows when it comes to finishing products. I’ll have so many products and then finish them all at once haha. Today we have thirteen products so let’s get into it.

skincare, makeup, beauty, empties, beauty empties, skincare empties, makeup empties, tula, dove, briogeo, cetaphil, beauty blender, ouai, fresh, farmacy, stila, colourpop, origins

The first product is the Tula Super Calm Gentle Milk Cleanser. I got this in my Boxycharm and it was alright. As the name describes, it’s a gentle cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin. I find that for my acne-prone skin I need something a little stronger than this. I used this as my shower cleanser. I generally use a gentler cleanser in the shower because the hot water can be drying so it’s nice to use something gentler in there. I wouldn’t buy this again because I didn’t think it was anything special. Also I’m not sure if Tula ships to Canada, because at one point I know they didn’t. There are better cleansers on the market.

I finished another bottle of the beautyblender Liquid bleandercleanser. This is what I use to clean all my brushes and sponges. I find the packaging more sanitary compared to their solid cleanser that I used in the past. I just squeeze a drop onto my brush cleaning mat and swirl my brush in it and it’s clean! It does an amazing job at cleaning my brushes and leaves them feeling soft. Because I only use a little bit (and don’t wash my brushes that often oops) so this lasts a long time. I’ve already repurchased!

Moving to body care, I used up a Dove Exfoliating Body Polish. I liked this body scrub! I find a lot of body scrubs can be quite thick, but this one was thinner and therefore easier to use. My skin always felt so smooth and soft after using it. I had the crushed macadamia and rick milk scent and it was sooo delicious. I didn’t repurchase this because I wanted to try body scrubs by other brands but I would highly recommend this one. Especially since it’s available at the drugstore, it’s accessible and affordable.

Another drugstore find is the Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion. This was my upper body moisturizer. I’ve mentioned this many times but my chest and back are also acne-prone, so I use moisturizer meant for my face on this portion of my body to help with breakouts. This one did the job. It’s a pretty thin and lightweight formula, so it was nicer in the warmer months when I didn’t need as much hydration. Now that it’s colder my skin needs something a little thicker. But overall it kept my skin hydrated and didn’t break me out so I would recommend it.

Moving over to haircare, I finished the Briogeo Be Gentle Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Superfoods Hair Mask. This mask is alright. Something I’ve noticed is that hair masks without silicone tend to not give that soft and silky feeling as much. Which makes sense because the silicone is just coating the hair and not healing it. This mask doesn’t give instant gratification but I did notice over time my hair feeling and looking healthier. I much prefer Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair Honey deep conditioner mask, but unfortunately it was a limited edition product for the holidays so I can’t repurchase it. This mask isn’t bad, but I’m currently testing out other hair masks because I think there are better ones out there.

I got a mini set from Sephora that had the OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub and the OUAI Body Creme. I didn’t use the scrub on my scalp just my body. It had visible, thick chunks that melt into the skin while you scrub. I enjoyed it but I prefer the consistency of the Dove one. It was good but I wouldn’t repurchase. The body creme smells amazing in my opinion. It’s not like other ones because it’s slightly peppery in scent. I enjoyed it but won’t repurchase any time soon because I have so many other body lotions.

I mentioned this in my December products of the month update, but I am getting rid of my Colourpop Jelly Much shadow. I liked it but it’s dried out so there is no point in keeping in.

Another product that has dried out is the Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eye Shadows. I have the shades Diamond Dust and Kitten Karma. I’ve had these liquid eyeshadows for a couple of years now so I’m not surprised they have dried out. I do enjoy these because they are just so beautiful. They are packed full of glitter and are easy to apply. I don’t wear them as often anymore since I don’t leave the house much lol. But I did repurchase the shade Diamond Dust since I do like it. I have a shade similar to Kitten Karma so that’s why I didn’t repurchase that one.

A classic empty for me is the Fresh Soy Cleanser. This is a cleanser I always seem to have since I always get the mini from Sephora as points perks. I do like this cleanser. Unlike the Tula one, I find this to be gentle but effective. And I love the cucumber scent. I’m not repurchasing it because I have other cleansers but I do recommend it.

I finished two Farmacy products. I finished a full size of the limited edition Very Cherry Clean and a mini of the Green Clean Cleansing Balm. I do like using these cleansing balms when I have a full face of makeup. It does a great job of getting rid of stubborn liquid lipsticks or tough glitter. But it’s also gentle and leaves my skin feeling soft after. I do prefer the cherry version because I find it irritates my eyes less. I’m currently testing some other balms for fun but I do recommend both of these.

The final product is the Origins Original Skin Matte Moisturizer. I bought this a couple of years ago and just finally finished it. I went through a dry phase and just found this too mattifying. True to its name, I find that this moisturizer does visibly mattify the skin and evens out my pores. I have found that my skin has calmed down a little bit and it’s not as oily as it once was so I prefer something a little more hydrating. If your someone with really oily skin or prefer a matte look then I would recommend this moisturizer. I won’t be repurchasing because it’s just not what I want anymore.

And that is my length product empties list guys! Let me know what you have finished lately. And if you tried any of these products do you agree with my thoughts? Let me know!

xoxo

Lea

First Time Trying Inkey List Products

Hey guys! Today I am reviewing a couple of Inkey List products for you guys. I bought a few items back in November and have been testing them ever since. I’ve never tried anything from the brand but I had heard only good things so I was excited to try them out!

inkey list, the inkey list, skincare, skincare products, serums, peels

The Inkey List has been around for a while but only recently became available on the Sephora Canada website. The brand is similar to The Ordinary in the sense where the products are in simple packaging and are affordable. But unlike the Ordinary, the brand is very simple to understand and pride itself on being accessible. That was something I appreciated when trying to figure out what I wanted to purchase. Every product had an explanation of what it does, how it can help and how to use the product.

the inkey list, inkey list, hyaluronic acid, hyaluronic acid serum, serum, skincare

The first product I picked out and tested was the Hyaluronic Acid Serum. This serum is meant to help hydrate the skin. I picked this because everyone and their mother is talking about hyaluronic acid and I’ve never tried a dedicated serum that only has hyaluronic acid in it. So keep in mind that I have nothing to compare it to.

I didn’t notice a difference??? I don’t know if that’s because of this serum or if my skin doesn’t react much to hyaluronic acid. I apply it to my face and it doesn’t immediately feel hydrated, if anything it feels sticky. So it’s not like a moisturizer where you’ll get instant hydration. I tested this for a month and I didn’t notice any difference. So I stopped for a month and then started again for a month. NO DIFFERENCE. I don’t know guys, I have pretty oily skin but like everyone, I do get a little drier during the winter months. This time of year is probably when my skin is the driest and I noticed no effect.

I’m also not a huge fan of the packaging. It’s just a top that you flip out and squeeze, so it’s pretty easy to squeeze out too much. I also find that it gets clogged as well. I’m going to continue to use it but once I finish it I won’t be repurchasing it because I don’t notice anything.

inkey list, the inkey list, vitamin c, vitamin c serum, skincare

The next product I picked was the 15% Vitamin C and EGF Brightening Serum. I have tested out other vitamin C serums so I do have something to compare. This is supposed to help brighten dull skin and help with dark spots. I like the packaging of this more than the Hyaluronic Acid because it comes with a pump that dispenses the perfect amount. It has a slight scent but nothing offensive and it leaves the skin feeling slightly tacky.

Unlike the other serum, I found this one did make a difference in my skin. My skin did look brighter and it helped with some of my acne scarring. But it’s not as good as my Biossance serum. There is a dramatic price difference – the Biossance one is $95 whereas the Inkey List is $18.99. But there is also a difference in quality. Because the Inkey List Vitamin C serum is just vitamin C, I need to use other serums to get other benefits. Whereas the Biossance serum also has squalene and rose oil, which helps heal my acne and hydrate my skin. So my thoughts are if you are looking for just a vitamin C serum and already have other serums then sure this one will do the job. But sometimes it’s nice to get a pricier serum that will do everything than get multiple serums to do different jobs. Quality over quantity.

the inkey list, inkey list, apple cider vinegar, apple cider vinegar acid peel, skincare

The final product I purchased was the Apple Cider Vinegar Acid Peel and this is my favourite product that I tried. This product is perfect for my fellow oily and acne-prone friends. This peel is meant to brighten the skin, reduce redness and refine the look of texture.

The first time I used it I was shocked at how much it reduced the redness of my acne scarring. And even though it’s called a peel, it’s not a mask you have to physically peel off. I just wear it for 10 minutes and wash it off. I will note that it’s meant for scarring so I only use this when I don’t have any active breakouts. The product does tingle a bit while using it, so I would recommend using it once to twice a week as directed. This is a product that I will continue to use.

I’m unsure of my overall thoughts on the brand so far. It has been hit and miss for me, so I would research each product individually instead of saying everything is good. I like that the brand is keeping everything affordable and accessible, but I think that is reflected in the product. The packaging isn’t anything special and the products are pretty basic. They do the one thing they describe. So if you are on a budget or looking to fix one specific need then the Inkey List could be the solution. But if you like luxurious packaging and want to invest in some good products, then this isn’t the brand for you. I see skincare as an investment and I generally do prefer prettier packaging. I also don’t mind paying more for a product if I’m going to get better results. So I’m not saying that I won’t try anything else from the brand, but I just don’t see it becoming my new favourite brand.

Let me know in the comments if you guys have tried out this brand before. And if you have please tell me what your favourite products are. I wanted to try some other things but they were sold out. Okay, that’s it for today’s review!

xoxo

Lea

Book Review 014

Hey guys! Today I am finally posting the reviews for the books I read in December. I know we’re halfway through January, but I just had other posts I wanted to get up first. If you ever want to be more up to date on what I’m reading then follow my TikTok account (@leaveittolea). I’m better at posting my reviews more promptly there and I do monthly wrap-ups as well. Okay let’s get into it, we have three books today.

book, the hate u give, angie thomas

If you’ve read my 2020 book list, then you already know that I love “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. This is my top book of 2020. It might have surprised some of you because I loved Throne of Glass, but this book is perfect. The novel follows Starr, a black girl who witnesses her best friend be shot by a police officer and follows the repercussions of this event. This is a young adult contemporary novel.

I purchased this novel in the summer following the Black Lives Matter movement. I wanted to read more books by black authors to help me understand their perspective and educate myself. I think this book allowed me to step into Starr’s shoes and I learned more about the black community. I think everyone should read this book because it does an amazing job of talking about racism and police brutality in a simple and approachable way.

This book has an amazing cast of characters that are all unique, well developed and add something to the story. Starr has a large family and I love the interactions between her and her family. I also liked the relationships Starr had with her white boyfriend Chris and friend Hailey. I think they show how to be a good and bad ally.

I thought the book was well-paced and balanced between intensity and break. The only downside I had was that it’s pretty rooted in 2017 with its references to social media and pop culture. Therefore it could feel dated but at the same time, it’s a good snapshot of what life was like and how people felt at that time. I grew up during this time so I related to it easily.

I give this book 5/5 stars. There isn’t anything I would change. As I said, I would recommend this book to everyone and I’m interested in reading more by Angie Thomas.

book, in a holidaze, christina lauren

The next book I read was “In a Holidaze” by Christina Lauren. Sorry that I’m reviewing a Christmas book after the holidays, but you can always add this to your list for next year. This book is a Groundhog Day meets Hallmark Christmas movie. The novel follows Maelyn who must re-live her Christmas holiday at her family friend’s cabin. Maelyn must figure out her feeling for her two family friends and save the beloved cabin her family stay at. This book is an adult romance novel.

The main character Maelyn (or Mae for short) wasn’t my favourite. I just didn’t like the way she reacted to what was happening. I found her to be controlling and sometimes annoying. But despite my lack of fondness for Mae, I like the romance she has with Andrew. The scenes between the two of them gave me butterflies. šŸ¦‹šŸ’• I also liked the rest of the characters. There are four families who all come together so it’s a large and fun cast. Benny was my favourite character. I also liked the discussion of being a big kid but also an adult because I related to that.

I like how the holiday spirit was sprinkled in. It wasn’t as cheesy and holiday packed as a Christmas movie but it satiated my Christmas spirit wishes. But it was better than your cheesy Hallmark movie in the sense that they kissed before the end and the relationship was more developed. I will say that the groundhog day plotline was mediocre, I’ve read it done better before (aka Before I Fall).

I gave this book 3.5/5 stars. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. I would consider reading more by Christina Lauren though, I’ve heard really good things about some of their other novels.

book, the here and now, ann brashares

The final book I read in 2020 was “The Here And Now” by Ann Brashares (the same author who wrote Sister of the Travelling Pants). This was a book that’s been on my shelf for a while. I do try and alternate between newer and older, and I do want to get through my bookshelf more in 2021. Anyway, this book is about Prenna who travels from the future to the present because her time is falling apart due to climate change. Prenna follows all the rules set out by her community until she meets Ethan who helps her change the present and future. This is a young adult science fiction novel.

I thought the concept was interesting. There is a whole group of people who ‘immigrated’ into the past with all these rules. I must say reading about a plague hits a little too close to home during a pandemic. This book is an eco-dystopian, which is where climate change destroys the world. This was my first time reading one and it was interesting but not necessarily my all-time favourite genre.

There was one major twist that I did not see coming, and I’m unsure if that’s because I was oblivious or if the writing wasn’t good. It wasn’t set up well and I was just surprised. The ending wasn’t some huge change as well, it was a relatively small ending. I know a lot of people on Goodreads didn’t like that but I didn’t mind.

*SPOILERS* What I didn’t like was that Prenna and Ethan didn’t end up together in the end. Yes, there was a logical explanation but it didn’t satisfy me. Maybe it’s because I’m a hopeless romantic, but I do prefer it when the couples end up together. Because I didn’t get the satisfying ending the romance felt pointless and therefore I think it could have been excluded. Brashares could have easily made the relationship platonic and still have the same ending. So that kind of pissed me off.

Overall I gave the book 3/5 stars. It was an interesting concept and it was easy to read. If anyone is looking for an eco-dystopian novel then I would recommend this. But the ending annoyed me and therefore it lost some points.

And those are my book reviews! I’m currently the Shadow and Bone trilogy and I’m on book three so expect a review for that series pretty soon! Let me know in the comments what book you’re currently reading and if you have any recommendations. šŸ˜Š

xoxo

Lea

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.

makeup, makeup palette, bronzer, bronzer palette, ace beaute, colourpop, colourpop jelly much, beauty

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 theĀ Colourpop Jelly Much Shadow in Whistlinā€™ 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.

project pan, makeup, beauty, colourpop, eyeshadow, bareminerals, powder, lipstick, lipgloss, mac, maybelline, wander beauty

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.

colourpop, kathleen lights, dream st palette, project pan, eyeshadow, eyeshadow palette

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!

makeup, powder, transclucent power, setting powder, bareminerals

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.

makeup, beauty, wander beauty, bronzer, blush, face palette

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!

goals, 2021 goals, bullet journal, bullet journal spread, goals bullet journal

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. šŸ˜Š

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! āœØ

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.

makeup, beauty, burt's bee, bite beauty, nudestix, milkmakeup, fenty, charlotte tilbury, foundation, blsuh, bronzer, highlight

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 šŸ™‚

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.

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Starting with moisturizer, my favourite was theĀ 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 theĀ 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 theĀ 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 theĀ 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. šŸ˜‰

My two favourite foundations were theĀ Physicians Formula The Healthy FoundationĀ and theĀ Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Hydrating Foundation.Ā 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) theĀ 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!

TheĀ 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 Ā theĀ Fenty Beauty Sun Stalkā€™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 theĀ 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 theĀ Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, theĀ Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint MascaraĀ and theĀ Covergirl Exhibitionist Mascara.Ā 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: theĀ Colourpop Just a Tint Lip Crayons andĀ theĀ 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