My 2020 Beauty Favourites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo

Lea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo

Lea

My Favourite Cozy, Lounge Pieces

Hey guys! I don’t know about you, but it has been raining almost non-stop for the past two weeks. Which means it’s the beginning of the cold, cozy weather time. When it’s grey and cold outside all I want to do is curl up with a good book and a cup of tea and read. So I thought I would share five of my fav lounge pieces to inspire you to cozy up inside this weekend.

The first is a good pair of leggings. Comfy leggings can be a second skin and will make it feel like you are wearing nothing. If you’ve followed me for a while, you will know what my favourite leggings are the Lululemon Align. I have the Align in a variety of lengths and colours and I just love them. They are designed to be buttery soft and weightless feeling. They are also high rise, so I can wear them with a cropped sweater and not feel exposed. I know they are on the pricier side, but they are honestly worth it. They now have joggers and a tank in the Align line and I am seriously considering picking up a pair of each. 👀

The next cozy piece is a Canadian staple: the Roots Cabin Socks. If you are Canadian you know exactly what I’m talking about. They are thick, knitted socks. The classic ones are white, grey with a red stripe on top but I have a variety of colours. My feet are always cold, especially in the winter. Since I’m not much of a slipper person these socks help keep my feet nice and warm. They’re thick but still relatively breathable compared to some other reading socks that I’ve tried. Also, some reading socks can be too small, but these fit my size 9.5 feet perfectly.

The next lounge piece is a nice cardigan. I debated including a sweatshirt but there is something special about a comfy cardigan. I can fluctuate being warm and cold, so a cardigan is a nice option because it’s easy to take on and off. And there is just something so special about wrapping yourself in a nice, soft cardigan. I guess it’s similar to the feeling of wearing a robe. Unfortunately, my current favourite from Eddie Bauer is no longer available and they don’t have anything similar on their website. This cardigan and this robe from American Eagle and the closest I could find, and I know the quality of AE to be great so I think these would both be good options.

The second pair of bottoms is a good pair of sweatpants. Even before COVID, I loved a good pair of sweatpants. I would come home and take off my jeans and put on sweats. I am quite picky about my sweatpants because I want them to be loose but fitted at the ankle and be long enough. Sometimes sweatpants are tight all around and at that point I might as well wear leggings. I also do enjoy American Eagle sweatpants but they are also too short on me. My favourite pair is from Walmart of all places! I’ve had these for two years now (maybe I can’t remember exactly when I got them) and I just love them. They are baggy on top put taper at the ankles. The material is super soft and not too thick. I brought these with me to Europe, that’s how much I love them. The George Women’s Hacci Joggers are currently sold out online but are available in some stores. So if you are ever in Walmart and see these sweatpants pick them up.

The final lounge piece is a blanket. Because let’s be real, everyone needs a good blanket in their lives. And half of the time I wear it as a cape and that’s clothing right? One of the best blankets ever is the Indigo blankets that they periodically have as apart of deals. You know, they one where if you spend over $50 you get it at a discount? Well, it’s the best. We have about five in my house and they are everyone’s favourite. And when I had one in my university house it was everyone’s favourite as well. It’s super soft and it’s the perfect size where it covers the majority of your body if you are sitting down. The Indigo throws they have on the website are slightly different than the ones I own but I am sure they are similar and just as soft and cozy.

And those are all my cozy, loungewear pieces! Please let me know in the comments what are some of your favourite lounge pieces, I would love to try them out! 🙂

xoxo

Lea

My Favourite Lipsticks for Fall

Hey guys! Today is the second part of my favourite makeup product for fall. Today we are focusing on lip products! So I have one lip gloss, three liquid lipsticks and two regular lipsticks. I picked a range of shades as well. So let’s get into it.

In the fall I tend to move towards more matte lip products. After wearing lip glosses and balms I want a change. I also find that it’s windier in the fall and there is nothing worse than getting your hair stuff in your lip gloss. So that’s why I have only one on this list. I picked the Iconic London Lip Plumping Gloss in the shade Nearly Nude. This gloss has a slight taupe undertone which I think pairs perfectly with the warm tones of fall. I love this formula because it isn’t sticky and it’s opaque so I don’t need a lip liner underneath. A great fall gloss.

The first liquid lipstick is one I like to wear year-round but especially in the fall. The Girlactik Matte Lip Paint in the shade Posh is just so beautiful and unique. It’s hard to describe but I would say it’s a brown-based pink. It’s not too bright and it wears beautifully throughout the day. I would wear this with a brown or gold eye look.

Ofra Cosmetics Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in the shade Verona is my perfect fall brown. It’s described as a mocha nude brown. It has strong warm undertones so it’s beautiful with any orange or gold eyeshadow look. It’s definitely a statement lip, but it can be toned down with a light nude over top as well. This is also the perfect nude shade for those with darker skin tones.

The final liquid lipstick was one I mentioned in my vegan makeup blog post. I love dark, vampy makeup. I think the  KVD Everlasting Lipstick in the shade Nahz Fur Atoo is perfect for those who want to dip their toes into the deeper lipstick. This red shade is described as blood crimson, so it’s not as deep as say a burgundy but deeper than your average red. I think this red is perfect for any gold or brown makeup look or even a simple wing eyeliner. This is the perfect shade is your thinking of being a vampire for Halloween hehe.

The first lipstick is more of the true red if you’re not into a deep red. I think everyone needs a good red lipstick in the makeup collection. It’s timeless and goes with so many different looks. MAC’s Russian Red is the perfect lipstick if you don’t want something warmed toned. The matte formula will also help the colour not slip all over the place.

The final lipstick is one of my all-time favourites. MAC’s Velvet Teddy is a cult classic for a reason. This pinky beige is a my-lips-but-better shade for me. It goes with so many different makeup looks and does a good job of complementing not competing with eyeshadow. The formula is matte but creamy enough where it’s not drying. Because it’s nude it will work for both day and night looks as well.

And those are my six favourite lip products for fall. Let me know in the comments what your favourite lip product is to wear in the fall!

xoxo

Lea

10 things I can’t live without

Hey guys! Today’s post is based on a video that I saw Allana Davison did a week ago. In her video she shared 10 random things that she can’t live without. I loved this idea because I have so many random favourites that I wanted to share with you guys but weren’t sure how or when to mention them. So here are 10 random things I can’t live without.

1. The Calm app

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Guys, I use this app every single day. For those who haven’t heard about this app, it’s a guided meditation app. Except I don’t use it to meditate, I listen to their sleep stories. They are mini audiobooks. The stories are written to induce sleep and the narrators speak in soft voices. They will put me to sleep within 15 minutes. If my mind is particularly active one night, they also have guided sleep meditations that do work.

I use this app almost every single night. The only time I don’t is if I’m sharing my bed or room with someone else (sleepovers, vacations, etc.). You do have to pay to access most of the stories, but the cost vs times used makes it totally worth it. I don’t know what I would do without this app.

2. Tazo Chai Tea Latte Concentrate

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If you are addicted to Starbucks chai tea like me, you need to get this. My friend who worked at Starbucks said that this is what they use in store, but the concentrate they use it a different amount than the one sold in-stores. So while it doesn’t taste exactly the same it’s very close. I make myself a latte probably every other day.

This concentrate is super simple to use. I just add milk and sometimes sugar and it’s ready to go. It’s good both hot and cold. It’s been a godsend during quarantine when I can’t get Starbucks all the time. I have purchased it at Walmart, Longos and Sobeys (for all my Canadians). But it also available on Amazon, just be careful because some retailers will overcharge for it.

3. My Sony Speaker

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I love listening to music – I have two things on this list related to music. I listen to music almost all the time. I prefer listening to music through a speaker than my headphones if I’m not in public/with other people. I find I can think better if I listen through a speaker and then I’m also not restricted by headphone cords (because I don’t own wireless headphones). Listening through a speaker allows me to do things better than with headphones. Portable speakers are also great because I can bring them to the beach or work.

I got my Sony XB30 Extra Bass Portable Bluetooth Speaker for Christmas about three years ago and it still works like brand new. It accidentally fell from on top of the fridge and one speaker got dented but it still works perfectly! It has some colour changing/flashing lights which can be annoying if they are in your peripheral but it’s fun for parties. I love my portable speaker and if mine broke I would immediately buy a new one.

4. Scented Candles

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I love scented candles. And being stuck at home during quarantine has just increased my love of candles. I find having a nicely scented candle just relaxes me and makes me enjoy my space so much more. I always have one burning if I’m in my room.

Even though I love candles, I have a very weak sense of smell so I need strongly scented candles. Bath and Body Works are some of my favourites. They don’t have a Canadian website though so I haven’t had any in a while. Indigo is a great place to get some candles and I’ve enjoyed many of theirs. Some small Canadian brands I have ordered from and enjoyed are Au Natural, Shy Wolf Candles and Natura Soy Candles.

5. Pop Sockets

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I know pop sockets aren’t new anyone, but I still get so many questions about mine from people in real life! Since I first put a pop socket on my phone about three-ish years now I haven’t taken it off. It has changed my life and I don’t think I could ever go back.

There are many reasons why I love my pop socket. It makes it easier to hold my phone. Now that I have an iPhone 8 Plus my phone is large and can be hard to hold. The pop socket just gives me something to anchor my hand better. It’s great for walking around and also lying down in bed. I am a klutz and have dropped my phone countless times, but having a pop socket has decreased that a bit. It also helps so much when taking photos. Because I have a better hold on my phone I can better stabilize my hand to take nice photos. The final reason why I love my pop socket is that it’s so fun to fidget with it. Sometimes my friends would borrow my phone just to fidget with my pop socket. I use it every day and I just love it.

6. Scrunchies

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I love my scrunchies. The only time I’ll use regular hair elastics is if I am wearing my hair in braids or I’m going in the water. I love scrunchies because they damage my hair less than hair elastics AND they are cute!

I’ve bought my scrunchies from a variety of places. I have some from Claire’s, Topshop and Forever 21. Some of my favourites are this six-pack that I got from Amazon. They are all of equal quality. I usually just pick what scrunchie I want to wear based on my outfit.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

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I suffer from canker sores. I won’t go into details about them, but I’ve had them since I was a kid. When I’m stress or near my period I get a bunch and they can be super painful. People aren’t sure what causes them and they aren’t any cures. My mom read that apple cider vinegar can help and it is the best preventative measure I have found.

It works because canker sores are affected because of pH levels in your mouth, and apple cider vinegar can help regulate it. I take the Jamieson pills because it’s easier than taking the liquid version. This has made such a dramatic difference in my life. If I forget to take them for a couple of days I will get a few canker sores just like that. Now it hasn’t completely eradicated my canker sores. I still get a few if I am stressed. But it has made such a difference in my life. If you suffer from canker sores I highly recommend them.

8. Birkenstocks/Vikings

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Everyone has a favourite pair of shoes. These are mine. I’ve owned a pair of Birkenstocks or Vikings since I was 15/16. These are the best summer sandal. They are just super comfortable! If you don’t know what Birkenstocks are, they are a cork and rubber shoe that will conform to your foot as you wear it. The thick sole makes them super comfortable. I travelled and spend days at the CNE in these shoes and have had no problems.

I usually buy a new pair every two summers. Because they are cork if they get wet they deteriorate. I worked at an outdoor pool for four summers wearing these and got them wet accidentally quite a few times. Since I get them wet that’s why I have to buy them more frequently. But if you’re careful these shoes could probably last you quite a few years. I currently own a pair of Vikings. I’ve owned both and haven’t noticed a difference in quality. Vikings are cheaper so I recommend those.

9. Spotify Premium

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If you don’t have a Spotify premium account you are missing out! I think I’ve had it for almost four years now. I got premium within a month of downloading Spotify. I couldn’t stand the ads and not being able to skip songs.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love listening to music. I would say that I use this app every single day. It has a huge selection of music. But what I love about the app is the number of playlists. I get tired of listening to the same stuff all the time, so I like the ability to find and listen to new stuff all the time. My favourite is the #ThrowbackThursday playlist. It’s full of throwback songs (obviously) but it’s changed every week to reflect some theme. I always look forward to Thursdays and what songs are going to be on the playlist. Spotify has many different paid plans now from when I first got it, so I would recommend checking out the deals they have.

10. Notebooks

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I learn and remember things best when I write them out by hand. For that reason, I have many notebooks. I used notebooks when I was in school to write notes, to do research and to plan out assignments. The process of physically writing something by hand helps me remember it better. I also used notebooks to plan blog posts and do other random things like research trips. I always have a notebook near my desk.

When I was in university I always used the Five Star 5-Subject notebooks – you can get these from Staples. Now I usually buy my notebooks from Winners or Indigo. I prefer having large notebooks that are the size of a regular sheet of paper. I also like having coils on the side because it folds over nicer. Technology seems like an easy, obvious choice but sometimes it’s nice to put a pen to paper.

And those are the 10 random things I can’t live without. Let me know if you guys use any of these things or what some of your random favourites are!

xoxo

Lea

Sephora VIB Sale Recommendations and Wish List

Hey guys! So I did a poll on Instagram and A LOT of you wanted to see my Sephora VIB Sale recommendations. I also decided to throw in my wish list. I probably won’t pick up everything (if anything) on my wish list, but I thought it would be fun to share it with you guys. I tried to keep things pretty general, but if you want specific product recommendations feel free to DM me! My friends ask me all the time products for their specific skin type or my thoughts on a specific product. I want you guys to make well-informed decisions with your money, especially during this crazy time we are going through.

Sephora, Sephora Sale, Sephora VIB Sale, Makeup, Makeup Recommendations, Beauty, Beauty Recommendations

Sale Recommendations

1. Beauty Blender and brush cleanser

I love my Beauty Blender. It’s a great sponge and I use it almost everyday. But they unfortunately don’t last forever. I buy a new Beauty Blender every VIB Sale. While you can clean a sponge to help it’s longevity, eventually the sponge either breaks down or because unsanitary. So if you like using Beauty Blender, the sale is a good time to get them.

I also recommend getting a brush cleanser. It’s important to clean your brushes, and might as well get a boring product when it’s on sale. I currently use the Beauty Blender Liquid Cleanser but they are many on the market.

2. Restock favourites

Sale time is a great time to restock on favourites. These are products that I use all the time and can’t live without. They are also ones that I go through quickly. A few restock classics are:

  1. Brow pencils – my favourite is ABH Brow Wiz
  2. Setting sprays – my favourites are Urban Decay All Nighter and MAC Prep+Set Fix+
  3. Mascara – I love all the Tarte mascaras, but specifically Tarteist Lash Paint

Skincare is another great thing to stock up on if you have a favourite product. If you want some skincare recommendations just send me a DM.

3. Face masks

I love a good face mask. Sometimes masks can be pricey if you are not using them on the daily. So that’s why buying them during a sale is a great time to get them. I have three that I love and would recommend:

  1. Origins Out of Trouble – if you have oily skin get this mask. It is amazing at helping heal and deal with active breakouts.
  2. Caudalie Instant Detox Mask – this mask if great when your skin just feels blah. Resets the skin and leaves it feeling smooth and clean after. Also it’s pink!
  3. Glow Recipe Watermelon + AHA Sleeping Mask – I don’t like this as a sleeping mask, I only use it for 10 minutes. It does a great job of evening my skin texture. My face feels like a baby’s bottom after.

4. Palettes

Eyeshadow palettes can be expensive. So that’s why getting them during a sale is the best time to get them! Everyone likes different things when it comes to eyeshadow palettes, so it’s really personal preference. But if I had to recommend one, I would say the ABH Soft Glam palette. I have gotten a lot of use out of it. They colour palette is also very approachable and wearable for both everyday and glam looks.

5. Perfume

Once again, perfumes are expensive. So might as well get it while it’s cheaper. I wanted to add this recommendation because I recently got a new perfume for my birthday! I got the TOCCA Florence. I got it as a sample with Sephora and I fell in love. I don’t normally like florals, but this one is so fresh. The bergamot and pear balance out the gardenia so it’s more clean than sweet floral. This is a great spring/summer scent.

My Wish list

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I have quite a few items on my wish list. The first is pretty random, but I wanted the Origins Ginger Souffle Whipped Body Cream. I love body lotion and I use it all the time. This one is described as “a relaxing body lotion created to spread warmth as tangy ginger embraces your body and nourishing oils surround skin in softness.” Like YUM sign me up. The reviews are also amazing! The only thing holding me back is that its $50 CAD, ugh. One day I’ll purchase it.

I have been loving cream blush and I have my eye on two others. The first is the MAC Glow Play Blush. I have seen a few people use and love this blush. It is said to apply like a cream and finish like a powder, which I love. They are currently sold out of a lot of the shades so I will probably wait. The other blush is the new Fenty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush. I have seen a bunch of people talk about them but not a lot of reviews. But I just know that these would be good.

Continuing the cream train, is the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer. I have so many people rave about this and I have almost bought it so many times. I will one day buy this product as well.

I have heard everyone and their mother talk about the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask. This is apparently one of the best hydrating masks and it’s suitable for combo/oily skin folks as well. I do have a sample of it, so I will try it out and if I like it I will probably purchase it.

The final item on my wish list is the Olehenrikson Truth Juice Daily Cleanser. As soon as it launched I knew I wanted to try it. I have been loving all the Olehenrikson products that I have tried. It’s supposed to be purfying and brightening AND smell amazing. I think once I finish my current cleanser I’m going to pick this one up.

And those are my recommendations and my wish list. Let me know in the comments what you guys are thinking of getting or have already purchased!

xoxo

Lea

My Favourite Makeup Brushes

Hey guys! Today I am sharing my favourite makeup brushes! Brushes are a super important part of doing your makeup. Good brushes can make a huge difference in the application process. Brushes are also an investment piece. They are something that if you take good care of can last you for years. Brushes can also be used for any use you want. Something you will notice is that I use brushes for different uses then they are created. Like painting, it’s not about the shape but how you use it. Today I am sharing 33 different brushes. You don’t need every brush I am sharing, but these are just what I like!

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First are makeup sponges. Sponges are very multiple functional. They can be used for any cream product and even powders too. I mainly use my sponges to blend out foundation, concealer and set up under eyes with powder. My two favourites are the Beauty Blender and the Real Techniques Sponge. The Beauty Blender is classic, and the Real Techniques one is the best drugstore dupe I have found. I find it a little softer but also absorbs more product. Both are great sponges.

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Next up are my cream base brushes. My absolute favourite foundation is the Morphe Y6. This flat-top brush is dense enough to blend over a large space quickly and doesn’t leave any brush strokes. If I’m not using a sponge for concealer (which I usually do), I use my Luxie 660 Precision Foundation. The pointed tip fits perfectly under my eyes and blends my concealer while keeping the coverage. For cream bronzer, I like the Real Techniques Stippling Brush (also note: on Amazon it’s expensive, but I got it on sale at Rexall for $9). This brush does a great job of blending out a cream bronzer without moving my foundation underneath. For cream blush, I use the Stilazzi Duo Fibre Mini Blender S302. For blush, I am much more precise than bronzer, so I like using this mini brush. The final brush is for cream contour. I like a limited edition Tarte brush. The wide and rounded brush allows for a tight, angled contour.

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Next is my powder brushes. As an oily skin girl, I love powder. When I want to pack on the powder, I will use a makeup sponge. For under the eyes I like the Luxie 522 Tapered Highlighter and the brightening brush in the Alamar Cosmetics Complexion Brush Trio. Both have a slight point and fit perfectly under my eyes. The Luxie brush is round while the Alamar brush is flatter. For all other the face my favourite is the Aesthetica P12. The tapered oval shape makes it perfect for loosely applying powder over the rest of my face.

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To finish off the face are the rest of my favourite powder product brushes (aka bronzer, blush and highlight). My favourite bronzer brush right now is the MODA Limited Edition Powder brush (apart of a set). This super fluffy and soft brush is perfect for great an all-over glow to the skin. For a more defined bronzer or contour look, I like the Elf Angled Blush Brush. It’s fluffy but narrow. For blush, I have two favourites. The first is the MODA Pro BMX-130 Pointed Blush. My other favourite is from a random kit that I got from Winners. It’s similar to the Elf one but just slightly fluffier. To highlight my ultimate favourite is the Luxie 512 Small Contouring. I know that it’s technically for contour, but it’s so good for highlight too. I own two of this brush and use one for powder and the other for cream highlight. My other highlight brush is the Morphe R31. I like the shape, the only thing is that it has gotten rough and scratchy with use.

The next category is crease brushes. All of these brushes are great, they are just different sizes. If you have larger eyes, you might like the larger brushes and vice-versa. Also having a bigger brush is nice for transition shades, and smaller brushes and nice for getting in the crease. Starting from the biggest is the Luxie 250 Large Eye Blending (apart of a set). Next is the Alamar Cosmetics Fluffy Blender (apart of Ojitos Brush Trio Vol 1). An average-sized crease brush is the Luxie 205 Tapered Blending Brush. Slightly smaller is the MODA Pro BMX-430 Crease brush. The smallest crease brush that I would still use for blending is the Luxie 229 Tapered Blending. The second photo shows all the brushes up close so you can see the different sizes.

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The final category is eye brushes that are not crease/blending brushes. The Sephora Collection PRO Allover shadow 12 doesn’t exist anymore but it’s great. I use this to set my eyeshadow base with a skin colour shadow. Next is the Luxie 141 Mini Round (apart of a set). I use this to pack shadow is my crease for a cut crease or to smudge out my lower lash line. The Luxie 237 Blending is a tiny brush that I like to use to apply highlight to my inner corner and brow bone. It’s fluffy which means it won’t pack on too much product. The next two brushes aren’t even eye brushes. First I the Simply Simmons Spotter brush, which is a paintbrush, do to eyeliner and fake freckles. Next, I use the Morphe M170-4 Oval Lip Brush to cut my crease with concealer for cut crease looks. Another brush from the Alamar Ojitos Brush Trio that I like is the flat tight liner. This is perfect for tight-lining both my upper and lower lash line. Whenever I use gel eyeliner, I use another discounted Sephora Collection brush – the PRO Gel liner 26. To finish off this long blog post about brushes, my two favourite flat brushes are the Alamar flat painter brush (also from the Ojitos Brush Trio) and the Luxie 245 Small Shader Brush (apart of a set). Both are great brushes, the other difference is that the Luxie one is slightly pointed.

And those are all my favourite brushes. Make sure to check out my Instagram because I will be talking more about my favourite brushes there this weekend. Also if you have any questions about brushes let me know in the comments down below!

xoxo

Lea

My 2019 Beauty Favourites!

Hey guys! Today I am sharing my 2019 beauty favourites! This year was a crazy year for makeup launches, there seemed to be a new palette every week! But this year I tried to be smart with my money and only purchase items I was sure I would love. So surprisingly there are no palettes this year! Instead, I focused a lot on my skin and my base products. I also revisited products that I already had in my collection. I am going to start with skincare, and then go through base, eyes and then lips. So without further ado, here are my 2019 beauty favourites.

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My favourite moisturizer is hands down the Laneige Water Bank Hydro Gel. I have noticed such a difference using this moisturizer. My skin just looks and feels so hydrated. I love how lightweight and cooling this feels. My favourite part of my skincare routine is applying this moisturizer.

My favourite mask is the Lush Mask of Magnaminty. When my skin is looking and feeling gross and I have a ton of breakouts, I like to use this mask. I feel like it does a great job of cleaning my skin and help heal active acne. The only con is that because it’s full of natural ingredients, it dries out pretty fast. So I just buy the smaller version because I can’t finish the large.

Another Laneige favourite is their Lip Glowy Balm. This may be controversial, but I like this more than their Lip Sleeping Mask. The squeezy tube is much easier to use. This product is a beautiful hybrid between a lip balm and a lip gloss. It hydrates my lips but makes them look juicy and glossy.

My favourite primer has to hands down be the Dr. Brandt Pores No More Luminizerprimer. I didn’t think I was going to like this primer as much when I got it in my Boxycharm, but I just fell in love. It illuminates my face without emphasizing my pores. It is such a natural, radiant glow. I have almost finished this primer, which is impressive since it comes with an ounce of product. This is basically the only primer I use anymore.

My two favourite foundations this year are the Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation and the Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Hydrating Foundation. The Physicians Formula foundation was apart of my 2018 favourites and it’s back again. I love the medium, satin finish. It helps even out my skin but I can still see it underneath my foundation. And the duo-foot applicator just makes it so easy to apply. My other favourite foundation is the Smashbox one. The shade and undertone matches me sooo well. It’s more matte compared to the Physicians Formula one, but I mix it with a serum to help thin it out.

If I had to pick the one product I used the most this year, it would probably the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. This is not a new concealer, but this is the hands-down the one I used the most.  This concealer is great because it has medium coverage so it’s not too heavy or cakey looking under the eyes but does a great job of brightening up the area. For 2020 I am going to try and expand my concealer selection, so please give me your concealer recommendations!

For powder, I liked the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder. I remember seeing it on everyone’s 2018 favourites and I knew I had to try it out. This is a very smooth powder. It’s perfect if you have dry skin because it’s not a very mattifying powder.

This year I fell in love with the Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Bronzer. First I love that there is a range of shades and undertones, so I think anyone can find their perfect shade. I like this bronzer because it has the perfect amount of pigmentation. I find a lot of bronzers are too pigmented, so I have to use a light hand. But I prefer bronzer that I can build up on my face to get the glow that I want. It’s a great matte bronzer!

The next two products are creams. This year I fell in love with using cream products. I find that they just last longer on my skin and look more natural. I do find them a little harder to use than powders, but I like the effect especially in the summer. My favourite cream blush is the Colourpop Blush Stix. I have the shade Splash and next time I order from Colourpop I want to pick up and peachy shade. My favourite liquid highlight was a limited-edition collaboration between Boxycharm and Temptu. I think it gives me a natural glow and is easy to blend out.

2019 was the year that I realized I do like volumizing mascaras. My three favourites are the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, the Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara and the Covergirl Exhibitionist Mascara. The Too Faced and Covergirl ones are both quite similar in that they give good volume. The Tarte one less voluminous but more lengthening. I also like the Tarte wand better because I don’t get mascara on my lids as much. I have been alternating between all three of the mascaras this year.

And finally, my two favourite lippies. The first is Colourpop Just a Tint lip crayons. I have the shade Rise N Shine, which is a peach shade. I love these lip crayons because they are super hydrating and comfortable on the lips. These lip crayons are sheerer than their Lippie Stix, but give more pigmentation than a traditional tinted lip balm. They are the perfect everyday lipstick, and I will purchase more.

My other favourite is the Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment in the shade Light My Fire. This bright orange-red is my go-to bold lip now. The red works with my skin tone, but the formula is also great for a bold lip. It’s a very liquidy liquid lipstick, that dries down into also a bright stain? I’m not sure how to describe this formula, but it’s unlike any other liquid lipstick that I have tried. It doesn’t dry out my lips or emphasis my lips, and it wears off very well. I would eat dinner and then just use my finger to blend out the edges and it would look good as new. This lipstick is amazing and while I don’t wear it every day, whenever I do I feel so fierce.

And those are my 2019 favourites! Let me know in the comments what your favourite beauty products were this year? I hope everyone had a great year 🙂

xoxo

Lea

Boxycharm 2019 Favourites

Hey guys! Today’s bonus post is my favourite Boxycharm products that I have received this year. I picked seven products that I like and would recommend purchasing!

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From February is the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. I know this mascara is a holy grail product for many people, but I have never personally tried it. Well, I fell in love with this mascara. It makes my lashes look full, long and fluffy – everything I want in a mascara. I love the packaging. It’s simple but also feels heavy and luxurious in the hand. The only thing I don’t like is that the wand is very large, so I have to be careful not to get mascara on my eyelids. But overall I like this mascara!

The second product from February is the Sol de Janerio Coco Cabana cream. I love this cream. The consistency is a little more gel-like than the original but still very moisturizing. It’s also not your typical coconut scent, the hint of praline makes it more complex. I brought this cream with me to Europe so now it just reminds me of that trip!

From March is the Cover FX Perfector Face Palette. This is the best travel face palette. I brought this to Europe and Punta Cana with me. The mirror is the perfect size to see my whole face. The blush and contour are very pigmented, so I use a light hand with them. But the highlights are gorgeous and I like that there is a pink and gold shade. The brightener shade is perfect for the inner corner and brow bone. The only shade I don’t like is the finishing powder. It’s full of glitter and I would prefer a matte shade. The packaging is very sleek but does get dirty which is annoying. But I will always pack this with me from now on because of the mirror and highlights.

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In May I received the GlamGlow GentleBubble Daily Conditioning Cleanser. This has become my shower cleanser. I use this cleanser whenever I’m having a shower, usually after I workout. I’ve had this since May and I’m still pretty impressed that I haven’t finished it yet. It does a good job of washing my face without making my skin feel stripped. The scent is a little weird but it’s fine for the shower. But this is one of my favourite products mainly because of how practical it is and how much I can use it. I don’t use fancy face masks all the time, but a cleanser is something I use all the time. So I feel like I got my money’s worth with this product.

The next favourite is from August. I like the Ace Beaute Glimmer Shadow Duo Set! I accidentally left Cotton Candy in Punta Cana, but that’s okay because Iced Latte was my favourite anyways. These remind me of the Colourpop Super Shock Shadows. The main difference is that the Colourpop ones have more glitter but don’t have as much pigment to them. These Ace Beaute ones have more pigment to them with glitter as well. These shadows are super easy to use but very impactful. I really like them!

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From October is the Dose of Colours Baked Browns palette. I’ve always wanted one of these palettes and they did not disappoint. I love warm browns so this isthe perfect palette for me. And I can just add a shadow like the Ace Beaute one to create a full look. Sometimes the basic neutral palettes are the best!

Now I haven’t posted my review yet, but spoiler I love the Saturday Skin Waterfall Glacier Water Cream from my December box. This reminds me of my favourite Laneige moisturizer, but even more gel-like. My skin just loves gels moisturizers. It leaves my skin looking and feeling hydrated. I look glowy and all I’ve used is a moisturizer. I would definitely recommend!

And those were my favourite Boxycharm products. Let me know in the comments what were your favourite products that you received from Boxycharm this year! 🙂

xoxo

Lea