I’m Going on Vacation!!

Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know that I will be going on vacation starting today! I’m very excited because this is the first real trip that I’m taking since the pandemic again. I’m so excited to take some time off work and get to relax and explore.

That being said I won’t have any posts going up next week. I was trying to work ahead but it was becoming too hard to do. I decided it wasn’t worth working myself to death to have content go up during my vacation and instead should just take the actual break! I take a break from work but for some reason, it’s hard for me to take a break from posting content. But I think you guys will understand me not posting next week.

I’ll be back in March with some exciting content detailing all my travels so stay tuned for that!

xoxo

Lea

Product Empties February 2022

Hey guys! It’s time for another product empties post. I love writing product empties because I’ve finished a product so I usually have formed my opinion on a product. I feel like I can give you guys the best review after using up a product. I had a bunch of empties but decided to break up my collection into two posts, so expect to see another product empties post in the future. Let’s get into it.

A collection of makeup, skincare and hair care products that I recently finished.

The first empty is a hair mask. I’ve mentioned before I’m on the hunt for the best hair mask that doesn’t count sulphates or silicones, which is proving to be difficult. The latest one I’ve tried is Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque. This is the second Shea Moisture mask I’ve tried and I’m a little underwhelmed once again. I want to love this brand’s masks because they’re available at the drugstore. I found the other mask I tried from this brand to be too heavy. With this Deep Treatment Masque, I don’t find much of a difference. Maybe I need to let it sit longer than five to ten minutes? I just find that hair masks with silicone always make my hair feel soft and smooth and I can’t seem to find a similar effect with silicone-free masks. Maybe if you have dry hair you’d like this, but for me, it’s a pass.

Next, I finally finished the Kylie Skin Foaming Face Wash. You know I’ve had this for a while when the packaging has changed since I got this haha. I got this in my June 2020 Boxycharm. This cleanser is very gentle so I only use it as a second cleanser after I use a cleansing balm. It took me forever to go through this cleanser because it’s a foaming face wash. I only need about one pump to wash my face so it just took a long time to go through it. Overall it’s not a bad cleanser, if anything it would be great if you had sensitive skin. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to order it and ship it to Canada for such a gentle cleanser.

A product that is slowly becoming a reoccurring empty is the Peace Out Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Dots. I finished this pack back in January and I’m almost finished my current pack. To be fair my skin has been freaking out lately so I’ve been using a lot of these dots. They are by far the best acne patches I’ve tried and the patches make a difference with how quickly my breakouts heal. The key is to use these when the whitehead has appeared to suck all the gunk out. I will say the only thing that breaks my heart is that they’re not the cheapest at $25 for a 20 pack so I only use them on my had breakouts. Sometimes I’ll also cut them in half if I had a small breakout. Overall if you suffer from acne you have to check these out!

Another product that I’ve received from my Boxycharm is the Farmacy Honey Grail Ultra-Hydrating Face Oil. I’m just gonna put it out there that this oil is no joke. As someone with oilier skin, I generally don’t reach for face oil. I used this oil as my moisturizer found that it gave me more than enough moisture. It claims to be fast-absorbing and I would have to disagree. I found that it took a while for the oil to sink into my skin. Maybe if you had super dry skin you would love this. As an oily skin girl, this just wasn’t meant for me so I will not be repurchasing this oil.

An oil that I do love is the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil. This is one of my favourite vitamin C serums I’ve tried. I find this vitamin C is potent enough to make a difference in my acne scars. The squalane and rose oil also had a visible brightness and glow to my skin that I haven’t found in other vitamin C serums. My only complaint is that it’s quite expensive, which is why I recently go the Glow Recipe vitamin C serum, you can check out my review of it here!

The next two empties are mascaras! I’m trying to be better about throwing out expired makeup and I’ve had both of these for over a year so it’s time for them to go in the garage. The first mascara is the Tarte Maneater Voluptuous Mascara. I got this one in a Boxycharm. I generally like Tarte mascara and this one is no exception. The shape of the wand means that I don’t get mascara all over my lids. I do prefer the Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara over this one because I prefer length over volume. My second mascara empty is the Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Lengthening Mascara. I thought I was going to love this mascara and I was disappointed. It’s supposed to be a lengthening mascara and I find it didn’t give me that much length. I also found that so much product got on the wand and it became very goopy very quickly so it would get all over my eyelids. The only pro was that it was easy to remove since it’s a tubing mascara. But I will not be repurchasing this mascara.

A drugstore empty! I decided to pick up the ELF Holy Hydration Face Cream because I wanted to test out some affordable skincare and this was a winner baby! This is a little on the thicker side for my oily side so this is more of a winter/nighttime moisturizer for me. But if you have dry skin you would love this. At $16 this is such an affordable moisturizer and shows you don’t always have to pay a ton of money for good skincare. I have purchased other moisturizers but this is one that I would instantly recommend to people in the future.

If you read my Body Lotion Round-Up post, you might recognize that I mentioned the Bath & Body Works Body Lotion. I had finally finished this Pumpkin Pecan Waffles scent back in January. I had bought this back in August so it took me five months to finish this! I have learned my lesson and won’t be buying seasonal scents anymore because I was sick of smelling like fall in early January haha. But the actual body lotion is great. It’s thick but absorbs quickly into the skin. The scents are strong and do linger so just keep that in mind if you are sensitive to scents. I have already repurchased another one, I like the B&BW lotions!

The final empty for today is the Youth to the People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser. This is an amazing cleanser if you have acne-prone skin. I didn’t realize how effective it was until I stopped using it. It’s gentle enough that my skin doesn’t feel stripped when using it. But it did a great job at reducing the number of breakouts I had. It comes in a glass bottle with a pump, which is great for the vanity but not good for travelling haha. I have purchased a different cleanser since but I am considering getting it again in the future.

And those are my product empties! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what your thoughts were!

xoxo

Lea

Body Lotions & Hand Creams Round-Up + Review

Hey guys! I realized it’s been almost two years since I’ve shared my body lotion and hand cream collection. I will often mention when I finish a body lotion in my product empties post, but I thought it would be worth doing a dedicated post. I use body lotions year-round, but especially love slathering myself in lotions during the cold winter months. Because of that, I’ve amassed quite a collection. So let’s get into it!

A round up of the body lotions and hand creams in my collection.

A great drugstore option is the St Ives Body Lotion. I have the Almond & Flaxseed Oil lotion. I love the scent of almonds, especially in body lotions. I’m sad to say it doesn’t smell much like almonds. But besides that, it’s a great lotion. I find it’s on the thinner side so it’s not as moisturizing but it does absorb very quickly into the skin. It comes with a pump which I prefer and it’s a big bottle so it takes a while to get through it. If you don’t like Almond there are tons of other scents as well! A good drugstore choice.

Another good *affordable* option is the Bath and Body Works Body Lotions. I put affordable in asterisks because it’s not the cheapest on the market but they always have sales so it’s easy to get at a discounted price. I have the scent Watermelon Lemonade that I got after Christmas for $3. They have so many scent options that you’re bound to find one you like. The scents are quite strong and I find they do linger on the skin. I had a pumpkin pecan one and I didn’t put perfume on when I used that body lotion. Besides the strong scent, I do find they’re pretty hydrating and absorb into the skin relatively quickly. It’s a squeeze bottle which I don’t prefer as much as a pump but still not bad. Would still recommend it since they have a great scent selection.

My other drugstore recommendation is the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion. This is technically a face moisturizer but I use it on my body. I’ve mentioned this before but I’m prone to breakouts on my chest and back. I prefer to use an unscented face moisturizer on those parts of my body to help with the acne since scented moisturizers can be irritating and pore-clogging. This lotion provides the perfect amount of moisture while also absorbing into the skin quickly. It’s also a pump which I love! I would recommend this lotion for both the face and body.

Now switching from my least expensive to my most expensive – the L’Occitane Almond Smoothing and Beautifying Milk Concentrate. As I mentioned, I love almond scented products and I had heard great things about this lotion so I wanted to try it for myself. It’s very luxurious with a glass container. The formula is thicker than some of the others in my collection so it feels luxurious to apply as well. I like using this after I’ve exfoliated and shaved to make my legs feel real smooth. I think there are lotions on this list that do a good job so you don’t necessarily need to buy this expensive one. But if you like the scent of almonds you have to try this one.

Next, I have my two Sol De Janeiro creams. I have the original Brazilian Bum Bum Cream and the Coco Cabana Body Cream. I’ve brought both of these creams to different vacations, so whenever I apply them I’m instantly transported back to that trip. I do like both of these creams. They’re thicker but absorb easily into the skin. The scent is strong but doesn’t linger too much so I can still apply perfume. I don’t use them too often since they are on the pricer side but I would say they’re good lotions.

If you follow my blog then you’ll know I like the Hempz Natural Herbal Body Moisturizer. It’s similar to the St Ives lotion but just a bit thicker so it adds more hydration to the skin. I also find the scent is stronger. I currently have the Fresh Coconut & Watermelon scent and it’s a great neutral scent. I’ve purchased this originally on Amazon but I’ve found them at Winners as well! Great mid-priced body lotion.

And now onto hand creams. First I’m going to shout out a local small business! My friend got me the Maison Apothecare On-The-Go: Lavender & Sea Salt Lotion for Secret Santa and I love it! I apply it every night before bed. The scent is perfect before bed to calm down. For hand cream, it’s very important that it’s fast-absorbing and doesn’t leave my hands feeling greasy. This hand cream ticks both of those boxes! I would recommend checking out this shop if you’re local.

My other hand cream is not pictured because I leave it at work. All my coworkers are obsessed with the Bath & Body Works Eucalyptus Spearmint Hand Cream. They always ask me if they can have some hand cream! The formula absorbs very quickly so I don’t have to wait and worry about greasy hands. But it still gives that boost of hydration when my hands are cold in the winter. The scent is also divine. It’s very calming and I can smell it when other people use it. Like other Bath & Body Works products, it’s pretty affordable but you can get it even cheaper during the sales.

And those are all my favourite body lotions! Let me know in the comments if you have any favourites. I’m always willing to try out a new body lotion!

xoxo

Lea

Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Treatment Serum – Review

Hey guys! I know you guys always like product reviews, so I want to do more one product reviews. I don’t always do big hauls, sometimes I pick up just one product. I recently needed a new vitamin C serum and wanted to try something new. I’ve had a good experience with other Glow Recipe so I thought I would try their vitamin C serum. So let’s get into the review!

Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum

I decided to pick the Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Treatment Serum because it had great reviews and was in the middle price range for vitamin C serums. You might remember that the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil is my favourite vitamin C serum that I’ve tried so far but that’s $95. The Glow Recipe serum is $59 – not cheap but more affordable compared to the Biossance oil.

The Glow Recipe serum is a brightening serum with vitamin C, guava, tranexamic acid and ferulic acid all meant to reduce the appearance of dark spots and leave the skin looking visibly glowing and even. This is meant for all skin types. It’s also vegan and Clean at Sephora certified.

I like the packaging, I think it’s quite cute. I like the pump, it dispenses the perfect amount of serum for the face. The serum is pink in colour and has a strong guava scent. It’s a very milky consistency but it does dry down pretty quickly.

I’ve been using the serum for three weeks now and I am noticing a difference in my dark spots. I’ve had some wicked breakouts lately and it’s helping to heal the scarring. That being said, I don’t notice a huge difference in the brightness of my skin. I use the Biossance Oil and I almost immediately notice a difference in my skin. I find the brightness to be a more subtle and gradual difference.

Overall I do like the Glow Recipe serum because it’s making a visible difference in my dark spots. If you’re like me and looking for a serum to help with dark spots and acne then this is a great serum is check out! If you’ve tried this serum let me know your thoughts in the comments.

xoxo

Lea

Is the Denman Brush The Key to the Best Curls? A Review

Hey guys! If you follow my blog, then you might be aware that I am on the quest to help my curls look the best they naturally can. I’ve been following my own version of the Curly Girl Method for a while now. Recently I’ve seen many in the curly hair Tiktok community mention something called a Denman brush. After watching some tutorials and Sierra Schultzzie’s review, I decided to pick one up for myself (and by that, I asked for it for Christmas haha). So today I will be giving you my thoughts on the Denman brush.

First, let me give some context for those who are new and don’t know my hair. I had really curly hair growing up and after years of swimming and using heat on my hair, my curls were kinda toasted. I started researching more about how to revive my curls and slowly started incorporating aspects of the Curly Girl Method into my hair routine. I started really taking care of my curls about a year ago now. My curls have improved tremendously and I would say that they’re between a 2B and 2C depending on the day. If you want to be technical sure my way is more wavy than super curly but I use similar techniques as those with curly way, but I digress. One of the big things I struggle with still is definition, which is where the Denman brush enters.

The true name is the Denman Original Styling Brush. There are a few different types, but I got the D3 7-Row, which is their standard brush. This brush has blown up online for being a multi-functional hairbrush for detangling, blow-drying, styling and smoothing the hair. It states that it’s ideal for defining wet curls. The idea is that you run this brush through your hair and the way that the bristles are designed will help your curls clump together and form a nice curl.

I was intrigued by this brush. Before I got the brush, I would scrunch my hair when I got out of the shower and it would just naturally curl. I would then apply products to help the curls stay. My issue is that sometimes I have strands that struggle to clump and curl, especially my front framing pieces. I was really hoping that this brush would help out my stubborn pieces.

There are many techniques to using the Denman brush. I recommend doing some Googling because it’s usually easier to watch than read explanations. There are a bunch of different techniques, but I’m just going to explain the technique I like the most. I will generally do two steps. I will first run the piece through the brush like normal to ensure that there are no knots. This is often enough for the hair to clump for some people but not for my hair. The second step is that I hold the brush with the handle up and will twist the hair around the brush. Then I will brush through so it wraps around and then up the handle to create a curl. I will then scrunch the hair and it will form a nice curl. If that sounds confusing, just watch this tutorial.

Do I think this brush is the ultimate curly hair product and everyone needs to go get the Denman brush? No, not really. If you have issues getting curl definition this brush is helpful. For me personally, it does make a difference but it’s not such an astounding difference that I have to use the brush every time I do my hair. I generally only use it when I want my hair to look really nice and will only do the front pieces because it takes a lot of time to do my whole head. I think it’s a great quick product to help improve curls, but I’ve noticed a big difference just using less heat and better products than with this brush.

So what do you guys think about the Denman brush? I think the brush is overhyped but it does what it’s described to do. Let me know if you’ve tried this brush and what your thoughts were!

xoxo

Lea

10 Cute Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s Day

Hey guys! If you’re like me (aka single) then you really couldn’t care less about Valentine’s Day. But Galentine’s Day, on the other hand, I love it. I’ll take any excuse to show my friends with love and adoration. I wanted to share a few cute ways to celebrate! There is a combination of gifts to parties. So let’s get into it.

Galentine's Day Celebration Ideas

1. Cocktail Competition

I always see girls online doing cocktail competitions and I think Galentine’s Day is a great time to do it! The idea is for everyone to bring the ingredients for a different cocktail and make one for each guest. This is better for a more intimate get-together unless you and your besties are down to have a bunch of drinks (or you make them non-alcoholic). If you need inspiration for drinks, check out Pinterest!

2. Dress Code

If you have a bigger group of gals (or want to include some of the guys as well) then do a dress code! To stay within Galentine’s theme, doing pink and red clothes only is a great option. Or it can be whatever floats your friend group’s boat.

3. Rom-Com Movie Night

There is nothing better than curling up on the couch with your besties and watching a cheesy or corny romance film. My friends and I have down the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy the past couple of years. This idea can be easily adapted to do over Zoom if you have wanted to celebrate with your long-distance besties (or based on lockdown restrictions in your area). Grab some snacks and a glass of wine and I’d call that a perfect night.

4. Send cards

Sending out cards to people isn’t exclusive to Christmas. I think sending a card to someone is a pretty inexpensive way to put a smile on someone’s face, especially if they don’t live near you. I love to send cards to my friends who live far away that I can’t see in person. You can also easily make a handmade card and then you only need to pay for postage!

5. V-Day Brunch

Maybe you and your friends all have partners in your life and are too busy in the evening. Well going to brunch is the perfect way to squeeze some time in with your gals! As someone who loves brunch, I will take the opportunity to eat some eggs benedict.

6. Baking Exchange

This is a great combination of a gift and a party. The idea is everyone brings one baked good and then shares it with all the other guests, so everyone goes home with a variety of delicious desserts! Or if you have a few close friends, you can also bake something together.

7. Personalized jewelry

I always tell guys to never buy their girl jewelry unless she specially asks for something. For girls though, as long as you know your bestie’s style, you’re set. I think getting something personalized, either their name or zodiac or birthstone is a nice added touch. And if you want to go the extra mile, getting yourself a matching piece so that way you can twin is super cute and memorable.

8. Secret Cupid

Everyone knows about Secret Santa, but why not do a Secret Cupid? The principle is the same, everyone gets randomly assigned a person and gets that person a gift. Then exchange gifts at the get-together! Make the budget as high or low as your friends are comfortable doing.

9. Self-Care Kit

If you have a friend who may be feeling particularly down during this time of year, get them a self=care kit! Throw in some skincare products, some makeup, some candy. Bonus points if you get everything pink or red to match with Valentine’s Day!

10. Spa Day

If you want to amp up that self-care kit a bit, then do a spa day! This is easy to adjust to your price point. For a more budget-friendly option, you can organize a spa day at home and invite the girls over. If you have a mid-tier budget, then going to get a treatment down, such as a pedicure or a facial with a friend is a great idea. And if you want to go all out, planning a whole girls spa weekend is another great option. Getting out of town and spending some time at a spa with your friends is a great way to make some unforgettable memories.

And those are my 10 cute ways to celebrate Galentine’s Day! If you have anything fun planned for you and your friends, let me know in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

January Boxycharm 2022

Hey guys! It’s time for the first Boxycharm review of 2022. It’s crazy to me because I’ve been subscribed to Boxycharm since November 2016… that’s insane! I’ve received my fair share of boxes so you can expect me to always be honest and upfront about my thoughts about Boxycharm. So let’s get into this month’s box.

The first product in my box is the NARS Blush in Orgasm. I just want to mention how incredible it is to get this product in my box. NARS is a huge brand and Orgasm is one of their best-selling products so it’s cool to get it in the box. I have a mini of the shade Deep Throat, so I was already familiar with the formula. This powder is very light so it gives a more subtle look to the skin. I much rather have a subtle blush that I can build up than a super pigmented blush but it can be easy to overdo blush. The shade Orgasm is a peachy pink with a subtle shimmer running through. I almost don’t have to wear highlight with this blush. I like this blush and I’m excited to have it. Price: $30 US, $39 CAD

Now a product that I wasn’t excited to receive is the Chella Slanted Tip Tweezers. I have received these tweezers before, back in October 2019. It’s not very often but it sometimes does happen that I get a repeat product. As I mention in the intro, I have been subscribed for over seven years. I think I’ve only received a repeat product twice before, which is pretty good considering I know repeat items are an issue with other subscription brands. I will be giving those tweezers away since I still have my other pair. And I use these slanted tweezers to help me with my cross-stitching haha. The grip and the slant help me tie knots with tiny embroidery floss. Price: $20 US

The next product in my box is the Realher Dreams So Big Eyeshadow Palette. Now, something I’ve decided this year with my Boxycharm is I want to be more mindful with the products I’m testing. Often in the past, I would try a product even if I think I won’t like it for the sake of my video and these blog posts. I would use a product a few times and then never use it again. Going forward if I don’t think I’ll like a product I won’t test it so I can donate it. I was on the fence about whether or not I would like this palette but decided to test it out anyways. And I’m glad I did because I think this is a great everyday palette. The mattes and shimmers are soft, so there is quite a bit of kickback in the pan. But on the eyes, they are also soft, which is perfect for everyday wear. I’m not going into work with a super bold smokey eye, I want something soft and natural. This palette is perfect for achieving that look. This palette also leans a more rosy tone so it stands out in my collection. I don’t think you need to necessarily go out of your way to get this palette because the colour palette isn’t anything special. But I see myself reaching for this palette now that I have it in my collection.

I’ll be honest with you guys, I was scared to try the Dermelect Cosmeceuticals Outcrease Retinol Trifecta Serum. I follow a few skincare influencers online and they all say to proceed with caution when it comes to retinol since it can often cause purging, irritation and dryness. I have never used retinol because I’m still young and most professionals don’t recommend it until your mid-20s anyways. Well, I’m turning 25 this year and I have this retinol so I was like okay it’s time. Except my face wasn’t ready for it. I’ve been dealing with some gnarly breakouts and didn’t want to start a new product until it calmed down. So I’ve been trying it on my neck! Retinol is meant to help with lines and I’m starting to get some tech neck lines already so why not? I’ve used it twice so far. The first thing I noticed is that the dropper is very loose (not sure if that’s the right way to describe it) but a lot of serum comes out very easily. It goes on quite sticky and takes a while to turn down, but does eventually dry down. I’ve only used it twice so I can’t give much of a review. I would keep an eye out for my product empties because that’s when I give in-depth reviews. Price: $39 US

And the final product in my box is the PUR Fully Charged Mascara Powered By Magnetic Technology. I want to first state that mascara is all about personal preference. Everyone has different lashes and most people want their lashes to look different. So far for me, this is not my favourite. This mascara is described to thicken, volumize and separate lashes. I am much more of a length over volume type of girl. I give that it gives good volume at the root of my lash but barely any length or curl. I also find that it doesn’t do a very good job of separating my lashes, if anything it clumps pretty easily. Finally, the wand is pretty thick so I always get mascara on my lids. Now I won’t completely write this mascara off, because I often find I like mascara after it dries out a bit. So I’ll give it more time. But so far it’s not my favourite. Price: $22 US, $29 CAD

The overall total of the box is $129 US. While there were some great products in the box it was also disappointing to get a repeat item. I also wanted to mention that I didn’t receive any of the products that Boxycharm was promoting on their social media in my box, which is somewhat disappointing since some of those items looked nice! Let me know what you guys think of this month’s box and if you receive Boxycharm let me know what you go in your box!

xoxo

Lea

Testing Beauty Youtubers 2021 Favourites

Hey guys! One of the things I look forward to every new year is watching my favourite YouTubers’ do their 2021 favourites (if you haven’t read mine yet, check it out!). I feel like yearly favourites are some of the best recommendations because the product made it to the top of someone’s list. I decided this year to pick up a couple of products that made some influencers’ faves list and test them out for myself. I did a YouTube video trying the products for the first time and also mentioned some products that were already in my collection. Today I’ll be giving you my follow-up to that video after using the products a few more times.

New makeup from Make Up For Ever, Merit, Catrice, Maybelline and NYX Cosmetics

Let’s start with the product that inspired this post. I had seen Allana Davison rave about the Merit Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil for quite a few months now to the point where I was like I HAVE to try it out. Allana is not only my favourite Youtuber but also this lip oil just seems right up my alley. Merit describes the product as a sheer slick of colour with rosehip oil and shea butter to create healthy-looking lips all day long.

I have to say their description is pretty accurate. The pigmentation is enough that I can wear it by itself for a very natural look or wear it on top of a lip liner for a more defined lip look. It’s not sticky whatsoever since it’s an oil and it’s very comfortable on the lips. Unlike some glosses, it doesn’t look gross if my lips are dry and crusty. Since it’s a lip oil it’s not the most long-wearing, it obviously goes away if I’m eating or drinking. I picked the shade Taupe because I am obsessed with browns and I love it. They have a beautiful range. I might pick one up for my mom for her birthday because I think she would really enjoy this formula. Allana was 100% right with this product.

The next product was a recommendation from Tati. If you watched my video, then you might have seen that I was on the fence about the shade I picked up in the Catrice True Skin Hydrating Foundation. Once I went into different lighting I realize I did get the perfect shade for my winter pale skin. I got the shade Neutral Ivory and I’ll give the brand major products because this foundation is neutral. I often find with drugstore foundation that the shade can lean either too yellow or too pink but this one matches me perfectly.

The foundation is described to be a long-wearing, medium-buildable coverage foundation with a natural ‘real skin’ finish. The foundation is also supposed to be hydrating, is vegan and cruelty-free and comes in 20 shades. I’ll be honest guys, this really isn’t a hydrating foundation. I find that it leans more matte. If I use a hydrating primer it’s not as bad. But because it’s matte, I find that it takes a bit more work to blend out cream products on top. That being said, this foundation is very long-wearing. I have very oily skin and I didn’t really need to powder until the 8-hour mark. If you have dry skin I would pass on this foundation. But if you need something that will look good all day, then check this one out.

The other base product that I got was the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Self-Setting Concealer. This was another recommendation from Allana. I wanted to try out a new concealer and thought this would be right up my alley. The concealer is described as creamy, with a natural, medium and buildable finish. It also is supposed to have a self-setting formula with up to 12-hour, crease-free wear. I’ve been having issues with my concealers creasing lately so thought this would be a good one to try.

With some concealers, a little goes a long way. Not with this one. Where I apply it is where I get coverage and it doesn’t give much more. This just means that I have to apply more than I usually would. But once it’s applied and blended it’s amazing. The concealer does a good job of neutralizing the blueness I have under my eyes without being really stark and high coverage. I’d be lying to say that it doesn’t crease, especially because I have a very expressive face. But it took a while to crease and didn’t crease that bad. I would say it more just settled into my lines that high creases. From afar you really don’t notice it. I’m not the hugest fan of their shade range because I find that they have more undertones than shades. I wasn’t too confident when picking out a shade, but luckily the shade 20 Soft Sand worked for me. Overall I’m enjoying this concealer and excited to use it more.

The product I’m still on the fence about is the NYX Lift & Snatch Brow Tint Pen. Both Allana and RachhLoves raved about this brow pen. This pen has a micro-brush tip pen that is supposed to be buildable to create hairlike strokes. The pen is supposed to be smudge and transfer-resistant with 16-hour wear. I got the shade Espresso because that’s what I use in NYX’s other brow products.

I think this is a good brow pen, I’m just not sure I like brow pens. When I first tried the pen it had been ages since I’d gotten my brows done. I had to be so precise since my eyebrows didn’t have much shape so it took forever for me to do my brows. The pen is quite pigmented so it created a bold brow very quickly. I have since gotten my brows done so now it’s just a case of filling in the bald spots. I once again find that because the pen is so pigmented that it creates a very bold brow. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if I was doing full game and wanted something to balance out my face. But for every day it’s too much since I naturally have a lot of brow hairs. I think if you’re someone with not a lot of natural brow hairs you’ll love this because it’s easy to create the hairs. I’ll continue playing around with the pen because maybe there is just a learning curve, but for now, I’m not sold on the whole brow pen train.

And the final product I picked up was recommended by THREE Youtubers – Tati, Rachhloves and Jamie Paige. And that is the Maybelline Lifter Lip Gloss. This lip gloss was going around the internet as being a dupe for the Fenty Beauty lip glosses. Maybelline describes their glosses as having hyaluronic acid to deliver lasting hydrating and fuller-looking lips. I got the shade Moon, which is supposed to be a dupe for Fenty’s Fussy shade.

This might be crazy, but I think I prefer the Maybelline formula! The glosses look very similar on the lips, giving a subtle sparkle to the lip and a very juicy and shiny look. The Maybelline gloss is slightly thinner than the Fenty one, which I prefer. I don’t like a very thick and sticky gloss, I prefer something I little thinner and smoother. That being shade, the Fenty one does last longer so it depends on what you rather have. There is no doubt you can’t bet the Maybelline price. The internet loves this gloss and I’d have to agree with the internet that they are pretty great!

And that’s my thoughts on the beauty products I picked up based on beauty YouTuber’s recommendations. If you enjoyed this post let me know and maybe I’ll do a part two? And if you’ve used any of these products let me know if you agree or disagree with my thoughts!

xoxo

Lea

The Best Products For A Relaxing Bath

Hey guys! In the past few years since moving back to my parents’ house, I’ve gotten into baths. I consider myself a water person – I love swimming, being in the water or being by the water. So it only makes sense that I enjoy sitting in a hot bath for long periods of time. I would probably have more baths if we had a deeper bathtub and a bigger hot water tank haha. Right now bathtime is a special treat for me, so I like to create a luxurious spa-like moment when I do have a bath. I wanted to share a few of my favourite products to create the ultimate bath experience.

First, lighting sets the mood for bath time. I usually like to watch Youtube videos on my laptop (which I keep on a stool far away from my bathtub haha) so I don’t need to worry about good lighting. I will usually dim my overhead lights and light a couple of candles. Now the Bath and Body Works 3-wick candles are my usual go-to, but I recently got a single wick candle and it’s great! It’s just as potent but then I don’t want to worry about tunnelling. The other great thing is that the single wick candle is smaller so it perfectly fits in the corner of my bathtub. I have the scent Peach Bellini but B&BW has so many scents that you can find one that fits your fancy.

The next essential is Epsom salts. Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is known to help with joint and muscle pain. The other day I went skiing and had a bath with a bunch of Epsom salts and it was divine. Helped relieve my achy muscle and tired feet. My current jug is Rexall’s brand, Be Well. But I’ve also used Dr. Teal’s Epsom salts before and they also work great. I often like to get almond or eucalyptus scented salts since it’s neutral enough to do with my other bath products.

Call me a child, but I have to have bubbles with my bath. It just makes the experience more fun! Like you can’t tell me that you don’t enjoy bubbles. I enjoy the Dr. Teal’s Foaming Bath Oil because not only does it add bubbles but the oil makes the water softer and more luxurious. Some bubble baths I have to use a bunch but I only need a bit of the Dr. Teal’s to get a ton of bubbles. And similar to my Epsom salts, I usually get a simple scent to not clash with my other bath products.

No bath is complete without a bath bomb. I like to go unscented or naturally scented with the salts and bubble bath to allow the bath bomb to be the star of the show. If you’re looking for an inexpensive option, then check out the Supertrip Bath Bomb Gift Set on Amazon. The gift set has 9 bath bombs for $25, which means that each bath bomb is under $2. Another great option for affordable bath bombs is looking for some at Winners. But when I want to treat myself, I get a bath bomb from Lush. I find that I don’t get much of a scent from cheap bath bombs, but the Lush bath bombs are strongly scented. They’re also very strong in colour pigmentation, meaning that the baths are always colourful when I use one. Some of my favourites include Sex Bomb and Intergalactic (both make super pretty baths) and Twilight (which is lavender scented and perfect before bed).

When I have a bath I will often use the time to do a big body scrub, since it’s easier when I’m sitting down than standing in the shower. One of my favourite body scrubs is the Dove Exfoliating Body Polish. They have a ton of scents but the Macadamia & Rice Milk scent is my favourite. I love nutty scents. I’m not a big fan of sugar or salt scrubs, but I often find they’re so dry that they crumble away before I can scrub my skin. This scrub is quite creamy and hydrating, but still has the exfoliating bits to help buff away dead skin. It’s also quite affordable which is always a plus!

And those are my favourite bath essentials! Let me know what some of your favourite bath products are, especially bath bombs because I’m almost out and need to buy some more soon!

xoxo

Lea

Book Reviews: “Code Name Verity”, “This Lullaby”, “Thirteen Days to Midnight” and “Angelology”

Hey guys! Today’s blog post is reviewing the last of the books I read in 2021. I didn’t have the chance to fit this in December, but still wanted to share my thoughts. I did already rank this in my 2021 book rankings post so you might know how I feel about a few of these books. So let’s get into it!

Code Name Verity

We’re going back to early November with this book! Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is a YA Historical Fiction about two women who worked for the British Army during World War II. It’s hard to describe the novel because the characters’ names are an integral part of the story, so sorry if this is confusing. One of the girls is a spy who gets captured in Nazi-occupied France. The other girl is a pilot who flies the spy into France. The first half of the book is the written transcription of the spy’s interrogation and the second half of the book is told from the pilot’s perspective.

As you can tell from this description, the book is a little confusing. Add to the fact that I don’t know much about the British military and there were a ton of acronyms and places I didn’t know. It took me a bit to get into the book, to say the least. BUT once I did get it, I was hooked. And at the end there was a major plot point that completely shocked me.

Overall I thought it was a really interesting book and I learned something new. The World War II genre is quite saturated, but I think this was an interesting part of history that I didn’t know much about. I have the book 4/4 stars and recommend it to any World War II history lovers.

This Lullaby

I was feeling a bit of a slump so I wanted a fun book, and nothing is more fun for me to read than YA Contemporary Romance. I decided to read This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. If you were like me and my friends, we grew up reading Sarah Dessen novels in high school. I had this one on my shelf and hadn’t read it yet! This story is about Remy and Dexter. Remy is a little pessimistic when it comes to love, after seeing her mom go through many failed relationships. That is until she meets Dexter, a musician who changes how she views everything.

I liked Remy because she’s not perfect as some of Dessen’s other characters. She’s a bit of a heart-breaker and does things like drink and have sex. She’s a little bit more relatable to me to read as an adult. While Dexter wasn’t my favourite love interest, I still appreciate his and Remy’s relationship. Just want to note if you prefer slowburn books, this isn’t for you. Remy and Dexter have more of an off-and-on again romance. Just something I wanted to note because I know people prefer certain tropes over others.

Overall I enjoyed this book! This book came out twenty years ago so it’s interesting to see how different certain things are while some things are the same. Like sure most people don’t use landlines anymore but friendship and relationship struggles are still the same. I gave the book 4/4 stars. I’ve also decided I want to read all of Sarah Dessen novels, so expect to see some more reviews this year.

Thirteen Days to Midnight

After having two good books I hit a snag. I did not finish (DNF) Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman. I decluttered the book, that’s why the image is not the book in front of my bookshelf. The premise of the book is that Jacob gets this power that he can transfer that makes someone indestructible. He meets this new girl Ophelia who convinces him to use the power for good until he realizes that this power is more of a curse.

I found that the actual plot wasn’t lining up with the premise. I read about a 1/3 of the book and felt like the plot was going nowhere. The other big issue I had with the book was the characters. I found Jacob, the main character, to be super bland. It’s a pretty well-known comment within the online book community that white men often suck at writing female characters. And while that is not always the case, this book is not the exception. Ophelia is one of the manic pixie dream girls that you often see in early 2010s novels.

I just couldn’t stand the characters and the book wasn’t going anywhere so I decided to put it down. It’s not often I DNF books since I’m pretty stubborn and like to follow through on things. But since I had been in a slump recently I didn’t want to into one again just for the sake of finishing a book I wasn’t enjoying. So I put it down. I did not rate the book since I DNFed it. I would not recommend it to anyone.

Angelology

I got pretty unlucky because the book I read after that I also DNFed. Angelology by Danielle Trussoni is the first book in an uncompleted series, so I was a little hesitant going into it. The story is about Evangeline, who was abandoned at a convent as a child. As she assists a scholar she uncovers a disturbing secret related to her family. This is an Adult Fantasy.

It’s an interesting story and I found the cast of characters to be unique. It’s beautifully descriptive and the passages flow easily. But man, the book is boring. Trussoni often has the habit of meandering, going back in time or writing long passages from books or the bible. I got about a 1/3 of the way through the book and barely anything had happened.

I decided to put down the book because it was boring. Also, the fact that the series was unfinished because the publisher didn’t want to produce the last book was not motivating me to continue. I didn’t want to invest more time into a story I wouldn’t know the ending of. I did not rate the book since I DNFed it. Unless you’re really into religious fantasies, I would pass on this book.

And those were the last of the books I read in 2021. After having two duds I decided to go through my physical TBR and declutter some books. There were quite a few that just didn’t interest me anymore or had bad reviews online. Hopefully, I won’t have to DNF a book again in the near future. If you’ve read these books let me know your thoughts in the comments. And with all my reviews let me know if you have any suggestions for me!

xoxo

Lea