Book Lover Gift Guide

Hey guys! Today is the last part of my gift guide series, and we are finishing strong with book lovers. If you guys follow my blog, you will know that my love of reading has come back stronger than ever this year. So I thought it was only fitting to do a book lover gift guide. I understand that buying books for someone can be hard. You might not know what books they already own or what they like to read. I’m here to help you out. I will be giving both book recommendations and a list of things that aren’t books that any book lover would love.

First, if you can take a look at their bookshelf. That way you don’t get a book they already have. Another option is looking at their wish list, whether it is on Goodreads or Amazon. If it’s on their wish list, a good chance is that they want to read it. A safe option is to buy them a gift card to a bookstore, that way they can pick out what books they want. But if you have an idea of what they like, then I would recommend getting a recent book launch. If the book came out recently then they are probably less likely to own it. All the books that I will be featuring on my list are all books that have come out this year and have good reviews. I haven’t read any of them so I can’t personally vouch if they are good books. But I have planning to post the best and worst books I’ve read this year sometime in mid-December, so you can also wait and check out that post. Okay, let’s get into the books.

Also just a note, I will be linking the Goodreads page for all the books for two reasons. First that way you can review the description of the book and some reviews to help you decide what to pick. Second I know most of you guys aren’t Canadian so it didn’t make sense to link to Indigo (our book store). So just order the books wherever you shop for books – but I recommend trying to buy from local stores if possible this holiday season 🙂

Mystery and Thriller

  1. Guest List by Lucy Foley. My mom has this book and I’ll probably read it eventually as well. This is a murder mystery set during a wedding on a small island off the coast of Ireland.
  2. One by One by Ruth Ware. A suspenseful thriller set at a mountain chalet. Perfect to read during winter – and I’m sure you’ll be excited to go to a chalet after reading this haha.
  3. The Searcher by Tana French. Another book set in Ireland, this one follows a retired detective who helps a boy find his missing brother.

Historical Fiction

  1. The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi. My mom read this book and loved it – she passed it along for me to read. The story follows Lakshmi who runs away from an arranged marriage and becomes a famous henna artist. This book is set in 1950s Jaipur.
  2. The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Hamel. Based on a true story of a woman who uses forgery to help hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis.
  3. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. I have heard so many good things about this book and I have it on my wish list. The story follows two twins, one who moves away and secretly passes for white. It’s set in the Deep South from the 1950s to 1990s.

Fantasy and Sci-fi

  1. Crescent City by Sarah J Maas. This is Sarah J Maas’s newest series and it’s one of Goodread’s top fantasy books of the year.
  2. The House in the Cerulean Sea. This book is highly rated and is described as a heartwarming tale about finding your family but make it ✨ fantasy ✨. It has great LGBT representation as well.
  3. The City We Became by N.K. Jeminsin. This is the first book is a new series by Jeminsin, that follows five people must come together and defend the city of New York.
  4. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. I have heard SO many good things about this book and want to read it. It’s about a girl who haves a deal that she lives forever but is forgotten by everyone she meets, that is until someone does remember her name.
  5. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini. For anyone Eragon fans, check out Paolini’s new adult sci-fi that is a first-contact-with-aliens tale.

Romance

  1. One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London. Bea, who is a plus-sized fashion blogger, gest to be the next star on Main Squeeze (a fictional version of the Bachelor/Bachelorette).
  2. Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. This is a fake-dating-to-lovers between a Black, bi-sexual PhD student and a Muslim Pakistani-British ex-rugby player. Great diversity but also a super cute and fun book.
  3. Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner. This sapphic romance is between Jo and her assistant Emma after they are photographed together on the red carpet.

Non-Fiction

  1. Untamed by Glennon Doyle. This was on top of the bestseller list for weeks. It’s about female empowerment and finding your true self.
  2. Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forget by Mikki Kendall. I think the title is pretty self-explanatory, but this is a book about intersectionality and feminism.
  3. A Promised Land by Barack Obama. This is Obama’s first memoir, starting at his political education through his first time as president.
  4. The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek. This autobiography is of Alex Trebek, the host of Jeopardy!
  5. Extraordinary Canadians by Peter Mansbridge with Mark Bulgutch. I had to include at least one Canadian book on this list. This book is a collection of stories of Canadians who embody kindness, compassion, courage and freedom.

Cookbooks

  1. Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten. I looked at this book in store. This is perfect for someone pretty new to cooking because it goes through all the basics. Comfort food is also perfect for this time of year and also with everything that is going on in the world.
  2. Antoni in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski. If you know anyone who is a Queer Eye fan you have to get them this book. And even if they aren’t, there are some cool dishes in this book. They’re all elevated by simple to do.
  3. Outlander Kitchen: To the New World and Back Again: The Second Official Outlander Companion Cookbook by Theresa Carle-Sanders. If you know anyone in your life who is an Outlander fan and like to cook, get them this book. It’s full of recipes inspired by the places they go and the people in the books. They decided to do a second cookbook since the first one was so successful. If I hadn’t already bought my mom a cookbook for Christmas I would get her this one (I’ll probably get it for her birthday).

YA Novels

I could probably do a whole post on YA books but here are a few.

  1. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. Who doesn’t love a good murder mystery? The sequel also came out this year, so you can always give them both books as well.
  2. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. I have seen this all over booktok. It’s about a trans boy who summons a ghost to help him prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family.
  3. Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron. A spin on the classic Cinderella story, it’s been summarized as black queer girls overthrowing the patriarchy.
  4. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. This is the perfect book for anyone who is a fan of City of Bones. This is a contemporary fantasy that puts a twist on King Arthur but with Southern Black Girl Magic.
  5. Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare. This one follows the story of Cordelia Carstairs, so anyone who’s favourite series is The Infernal Devices then will love this book.

Other Gifts

  1. Getting someone to store their book is always a good idea. If they have a small space a cart is a good idea. If they have more space then a bookshelf can be a good idea.
  2. If you have a friend that you always borrow books from, get them a library stamp or library embosser. This way the person can make their books and feel better about giving them out. There are so many cute customizable ones on Etsy.
  3. Getting someone book-themed art. It could be a print of their favourite book cover, it could be a college of classics, a stack of banned books, a book genre poster, or maybe some fanart or the map from their favourite series.
  4. If you know someone who loves to read in the bath, getting them a bath tray will help them not drop the book in the water.
  5. A book subscription service. There are so many out there, but most will send a book with some goodies every single month. The goodies range from merch to coffee or treats. I would recommend Googling it to find the best ones in your country.

And there you go guys! My super long list of recommendations for the book lover in your life. Let me know if you have any recommendations, whether it be books or book-related items in the comments down below!

xoxo

Lea

Beauty Lover Gift Guide

Hey guys! Today is the first of a few gift guides! I know it’s only November, but I wanted to get these gift guides up early for two reasons. First is next week is Black Friday, so there will be lots of deals (aka perfect time to shop). A second, with COVID-19 I’m sure lots of people will be shopping online so it’ll be best to do your shopping earlier if you want your packages to get delivered on time. So I have this post going up today, a general gift guide going up on Youtube on Sunday, and a book lover post going up on Tuesday. So let’s get into this beauty specific gift guide!

The first thing I’m going to recommend is a gift card. I know that might seem like a cop-out, but let me convince you otherwise. If you are reading this to figure out to get someone who likes makeup and skincare, they probably have a large collection. It could be hard to pick something out that they don’t already have in their collection. My mom doesn’t buy me makeup for Christmas anymore unless I specifically ask for a certain product. So by giving someone a gift card, they can get want they want! As well, the person could pool together other gift cards and money to get a more expensive product that someone might not be able to afford individually. So when in doubt, get a gift card! Okay now into specific products.

The first is the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer. I got a similar one for Christmas last year and it’s pretty good. I know that some higher end brands have their own version, but I’ve seen so many reviews saying that the Revlon one is just as good so might as well get the cheaper one. This is perfect for someone who wants to do their hair but doesn’t know how to do a blowout. I think this is a great present.

One of the best kits when it comes to value is the First Aid Beauty All That Fab set. It’s a $167 value for only $64!! First Aid Beauty has some great skincare products and this set contains all of the best. The brand is also known for being great for people with sensitive skin, so you don’t have to worry about the products irritating someone’s skin.

If you know someone who has been eyeing Charlotte Tilbury products, then the Pillow Talk Lip Secrets Lip Set is the perfect gift. It comes with a full-size of their matte lipstick in the iconic shade Pillow Talk. It also comes with a mini of the matching lip liner. Finally, it comes with two lip glosses – one shimmery and one clear. Listen, if I didn’t already have this lipstick I would pick up this set.

Up next are two gifts for someone who can’t live without doing their eyebrows. Both Anastasia Beverly Hills and Benefit Cosmetics have sets that include both a brow pencil and a brow gel. Brow products are a great gift because it’s something people go through quickly. Also, it can be pretty easy to pick someone’s shade if you know their hair colour. ABH has four shade options and Benefit has three shade options.

The Fenty Beauty gloss sets have now become a staple for the brand. This year’s set includes four new shades – so you don’t have to worry if someone already has these shades. They come in a variety of shades so it matches a variety of tones. A great tip, you can also buy the set and spilt up the lipglosses. So if you are doing stocking stuffers or little gifts for your friends, you can give two to someone, or one each to four people (or to three people and keep one for yourself 😉).

A great skincare set is the Origins Mask Delights Mask Essentials Set. I’ve gotten myself this set in the past (hehe) and I loved it. Even though they are deluxe samples, there is a decent amount of product so I got many masks out of the tubes. This is a great way to try and test out a bunch of masks. I ended up getting the full size of the Out of Trouble mask, and I also loved the Retexturizing mask. This set is great if you don’t know someone’s skin type because there is a range of mask (but I will say it leans more oily). It’s also a pretty affordable gift at $25.

Similar to the Origins set is the Peter Thomas Roth Mix, Mask & Hydrate mask set. The jars are bigger than the Origins set (50 ml compared to 15 ml), but still smaller than a full-size mask (50 ml to 150 ml). This also someone to test and try out different masks. But just based on the size they will probably have these samples for a while. And I find this set more hydrating compared to the Origins set. I have the Irish Moor Mud mask and it’s pretty good, and my mom swears by the Rose Stem Cell mask.

When in doubt, getting a makeup lover a brush set is a great way to go. I picked out this Sephora Collection one because it looks pretty but there are so many great options out there. Brushes are a great option because it’s something that people don’t necessarily purchase for something, but it’s something they can always use more of. Having multiple brushes means I can extend the amount of time I can go in between washing my makeup brushes!

Now I don’t normally recommend perfume because it’s so personal. Everyone likes different scents and how a perfume interacts with someone’s body chemistry can change the scent as well. So I wouldn’t recommend a perfume unless you know exactly what they want. BUT if you know a perfume lover, getting them a sampler is a great option. I found this REPLICA Mini Discover Set. It has different scents so people can test out and see what they like. A bonus is you can offer you purchase the full size of their favourite scent for their birthday!

If you don’t have a lot of money, then getting a couple of Sephora face masks is a great option. This Skincare Surprise Set comes with a nose strip, an eye mask, a face mask and a lip scrub. At $14, this is perfect for a Secret Santa gift. Or you could also divide this up and use it for stocking stuffers as well.

I started with a blow dryer brush and I’m finishing with a legit blow dryer. The Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer Set is the perfect gift for someone who is looking for a blow dryer. It comes with a brush, clips and three of Drybar’s hair products – a serum, a dry shampoo and a heat protector. This set is the same price as the normal blow dryer, so you might as well get all the goodies that come with it! If I wasn’t looking for a diffuser attachment I would ask for this for Christmas.

And that is my beauty lover gift guide! Let me know in the comments down below what is on your holiday wish list this year guys!

xoxo

Lea

Easy Holiday Glam

Hey guys! Today I have a super easy tutorial to create an easy holiday look. This look requires NO FALSE LASHES and is only six easy steps. I think this look is perfect for family gatherings because it has a little sparkle but it’s not too over the top. This look is simple enough that I think anyone could do it! I used my palette of the month, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam, to create this look but any neutral palette would do.

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The first step after prepping the eyes is to apply a light brown all across the crease. I used the shade Burnt Orange to do this.

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Next I deepen the crease by using a slight darker shade. I used the shade Rustic to do this. I concentrated this in the outer half of my eye.

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Now to brighten the eye up, I applied Tempera all over the lid. This shade has some light shimmer to it, but a matte shade would also work. I used concealer underneath and did a half-cut crease to make it look really bright, but just applying the shade over top of the other shades works as well.

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Next is the sparkle. I added Fairy, or any light gold shade, all over my inner corner. I brought this shade really high up to really brighten my eyes. I added a little gold glitter on top to really make it pop, but this is just extra. I used the Appeal Cosmetics Gold Liquid Eyeshadow.

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To finish off the eyes, I applied Cyprus Umber along my lash line. Then I applied a ton of mascara. I also applied just a little Burnt Orange under the eyes as well.

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Then I finished my face makeup and applied a red lip – because it isn’t an holiday look without a red lip 😉 I used the MAC matte lipstick in the shade Russian Red.

And that is my easy holiday glam! The red lip can be switched out for a nude to make it a more regular glam look as well. Let me know if you want to see a part two, maybe for New Years Eve?

xoxo

Lea

Holiday Gifts Sets at Sephora

Hey guys! So today I have spent some time scrolling through all the gift sets available at Sephora, and giving you a list of ones that I would buy and ones I would pass on. This is all due to personal preference, some of the pass products might be ones that you guys are interested in! That’s okay, there are just products that I personally was not drawn to. I hope that my recommendations are helpful for you!

Sephora gift set picture

WOULD RECOMMEND

First on my recommend list is the First Aid Beauty Tales of FAB Skin. My friend bought this during the VIB sale for herself and has been loving it. First Aid Beauty has really good skin care products. As well, this kit has amazing value – it costs $65.00 but is worth $137.00. This is a good present for someone who likes First Aid Beauty or skin care in general since it includes a nice range of products.

Next is the Stila Eye for Elegance Liquid Eye Shadow Set. The formula of these eye shadows are the best if you really enjoy glitter and sparkle. There is a nice range of eye shadows in this set as well. What I like is the price of the set. While $59 might seem like a lot of money, but is has a $94 value – which means that you’re getting each eye shadow for around $10 each. This set would also be nice to split up; if you have three friends who like makeup you could each give them two. Overall I like the product and I think this is a good gift set.

Another skin care product I like is the Peter Thomas Roth Meet Your Mask set. It includes six deluxe sample sizes of their popular masks for $31 (has a $54 dollar value). Like the Stila eye shadows, I think this kit could work to split up among friends. But also it would be a great gift for one individual. I personally take forever to go through skin masks, so this kit would probably last me forever. I own the full size Irish Mud mask and it’s really nice.

The final gift I would recommend is the Tarte Limited-Edition Artful Accessories Brush Set. I feel like nice brushes are a really great gift for a makeup lover because everyone can use more brushes! I have heard that Tarte has really good quality makeup brushes, and the price-to-value for this set is great: $57 for a value of $187. There are three face brushes and 2 eye brushes in this set. Also the brushes are very pretty! A nice bonus is that they are vegan and cruelty free!

WOULD PASS

First is the Too Faced Best Year Ever Makeup Collection. Usually I love the Holiday collections that Too Faced comes out with, but this year I wasn’t that impressed. I will say that is does have a great value, $62 for $353. I just find that I am not really drawn to any of the shades. I also find the face that it’s three separate palette a little excessive, I rather just have one palette. Overall I would pass on this product, and just recommend getting one of their eye shadow palette instead.

Next is the Sephora Collection Sugarcoated Lip Gloss Set. I have never tried the formula of these glosses before, so I don’t know whether they’re good or not, but I would personally not like to get a whole collection of a lip product. The first thing is if I didn’t like the formula, then I would feel bad not using 12 lippies. The other issue is that I would probably not like all 12 shades, therefore I do not think it’s worth it, even thought it’s a good price at $36 (worth $100).

The skin care set that I didn’t like was the Shiseido Eye Wrinkle Rescue Kit. While the products might be really nice, I feel like the price of $70 for two little eye creams is excessive. I think there are other skin care sets for a much better value.

The final pass is the Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette. I actually was considering getting one of these palettes until I saw how big they were in real life. They were the size of the palm of my hand, so tiny! And it costs $35! I’m personally not a fan of mini palettes, I rather save my money and get a full size palette. But that is a personal preference. Just letting you know that there palettes are quite small.

BONUS

I got the Sephora Favorites Give Me Nudes Lip set during the Sephora VIB sale and I am really liking it. What I like is that there are mini products, so if I don’t like them I won’t feel as bad about not using it again. As well, since they’re all nudes shades I feel like I am more likely to like the shades (which I do). I also wanted to try a lot of these lipsticks, so it’s nice to get a mini to try the formula before buying a full size one. Here are swatches of what was inside the kit (from top to bottom: Ciaté London Liquid Velvet Moisturizing Matte Liquid Lipstick in Bitter Sweet, Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Ludwig, Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in Dolly, Bite Beauty Multistick in Brioche,  Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Color Splash Lipstick in Rum Punch, and Makeup Up For Ever Artist Rouge in C211)

lip kit swatches

I hope you guys found this guide helpful! Let me know if there are any holiday gift sets you are thinking of getting that I might like!

xoxoxo

Lea