Product Empties May 2021

Hey guys! Today we’re back with another round of product empties. I love doing these posts because I feel like I give the best reviews after using up a product. Lots of skincare and some haircare in today’s trash pile, so let’s get into it.

A collection of empty makeup, skincare and hair products.

First, we have L’Occitane Almond Delightful Body Balm. Almond is one of my favourite scents and I heard good things about the almond range from L’Occitane so I picked this one up. This stuff is thick. It was perfect during the winter months when my skin was drier. I prefer something slightly lighter because it’s less work to rub it into the skin. I would consider buying another product within their almond range because I do enjoy the scent. If you have dry skin I would recommend this one. It is on the higher end price-wise, just something to note.

The next product is a deluxe sample of the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. I like to use cleansing balms if I am wearing a full face of makeup – full-coverage foundation, liquid liner, glitter, etc. you get the point. This balm did a good job of breaking down all the stubborn makeup and leaving my face clean and ready for my second cleanser. I would consider repurchasing, but I decided to get the Versed cleansing balm instead. It’s almost half the price and available at Shoppers!

Another sample I had was the Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel. This eye gel is supposed to reduce puffiness and dark circles. Honestly, I didn’t notice much of a difference. I’ve said this before and I’ll say this again: I don’t think eye creams do much besides hydration. I do have to be careful because I find some eye creams can irritate my under eyes, which makes. After all, the skin is thinner under the eyes. So while the eye cream gets points for not irritating my under eyes, I didn’t notice a difference in puffiness and dark circles. I don’t think you need to buy this eye cream and I wouldn’t repurchase it.

The one makeup product I have is the Laura Geller LashBOSS Bold Mascara, which seems to have been discontinued since I’ve received it in my Boxycharm. This is fine by me because this mascara was mediocre. I don’t remember my thoughts on it because I didn’t reach for it often. It didn’t give me more volume or length so that’s why I didn’t use it. I’m getting rid of it because the last time I used the mascara it flaked on me and it hadn’t done that before, so I took that as a sign that it was done.

My first haircare empty is the Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant Cream. If you watched my curly hair routine then you would know that I like to use this and a Living Proof Leave-In product as my heat protectant on days that I blow dry my hair. And I have to be honest that I like the Living Proof product more. I like the smell of this Briogeo cream. But I find that it weighs my hair down more and my curls never look as nice when I use the Briogeo cream. I’m not saying it’s bad necessarily. It’s great considering there are so few sulphate and silicone-free heat protectants on the market. But I prefer Living Proof’s heat protectant more.

The other two empties I have are the Briogeo deep conditioners: the Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Superfoods Hair Mask and the Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask (not pictured). Of the two I would say the Be Gentle, Be Kind is my favourite. I just don’t find the Don’t Despair, Despair mask to be hydrating enough. I don’t notice a difference when I use it. This is funny because I love the honey version of that mask. But even the Be Gentle, Be Kind is okay. I’m still on the hunt for the mask that will make my hair softer and smoother after using it. Please leave your suggestions for hair masks in the comments.

This product is slightly covered up in the photo, but the next product is a deluxe sample of the Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream. This is a pretty thick cream so I didn’t want to use it on my face. I used it on my body instead. I don’t have any complaints. It did the job of moisturizing my skin. But I can’t necessarily recommend it since I don’t know what it would be like on the face.

I know a lot of people like The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum but I didn’t notice a difference while using it. I would pause and resume using the serum and I didn’t notice a difference. I have another hyaluronic acid serum that I got in my Boxycharm and I do notice a difference when I use that one. Maybe if you have dry skin you’ll notice a difference. But this is a pass for me guys.

A product I loved is the OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Juice Daily Cleanser. This is a great morning cleanser. The citrus scent just wakes me up. This leaves my skin feeling clean and smooth without stripping my skin. But it’s strong enough for my acne-prone skin. If you have normal or oily skin then I would recommend checking it out. I decided to not repurchase and tried a new cleanser, the Youth to the People one I got during the Sephora sale.

The next product is the Farmacy Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer with Moringa and Papaya. This moisturizer is for all my oily skin friends. My brother loves this moisturizer. He was using it behind my back and when I found out I told him to buy it himself. He said it was too expensive (but he’ll steal it from me, brothers 🙄). This is a lightweight gel that gives the perfect level of hydration for oily skin. Also, I feel like there is tea tree oil in this because it smells similar, but I can’t find it on the ingredient list so it must be something similar. Overall a good moisturizer. I have others I want to use up but I would consider repurchasing this one.

I finished my prescription acne cream recently and it’s $200 without insurance so I won’t be repurchasing it. 😭 So instead I decided to try the Benzagel Acne Gel. There are different – Differn XP is adapalene (retinoid) whereas Benzagel is benzoyl peroxide. I used benzoyl peroxide as a teen (I used Proactiv) and it was fine. From my research, it seems that the only difference is that adapalene is only available with a prescription but anyone can get a benzoyl peroxide cream. I just use this as a spot treatment. I find it’s too strong to use all over the skin. It does a good job of helping clear up my acne so I’ll continue to use Benzagel.

The final product is the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff. I’ve already explained my grips with eye creams in general. This one has a slight orange tint which I guess helped with the look of darkness. I will say that this took a while to sink into the skin. So I would have to wait for it to sink into the skin otherwise my makeup wouldn’t look right. It’s not bad, but I have other opened eye creams that I will be using next.

And that is a very long product empties post. I hope this was helpful for you guys. Let me know in the comments what products you’ve finished lately!

xoxo

Lea

April Boxycharm 2021

Hey guys! It’s time for another Boxycharm review! Also if you’re waiting for my Sephora update, don’t worry I’ll be posting that on Friday. I received my Boxycharm and Sephora order a day apart so it was a lot of makeup to review at once. If you want to watch these products in action check out my Youtube video. Let’s get into it.

On of the variations of Boxycharm's April box, a beauty subscription service. Products include a pair of Flirtacious lashes, Mally Beauty eyeshadow stick, Touch in Sol face primer, Farmacy face oil and KNDR highlight palette.

The first product is the Farmacy Honey Grail Ultra-Hydrating Face Oil. This is a fast-absorbing oil that’s meant to give intense hydration and smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles. I’m not exactly the target skin type for this oil since it’s meant for dry skin and I don’t have any fine lines or wrinkles. But I still really liked this oil! It’s thick enough that I just use this as a moisturizer. I wouldn’t stay this is fast-absorbing, but since I wasn’t applying anything over top I didn’t mind too much. It also smells delicious, exactly like real honey. If you have very dry skin you might like to use this along with a moisturizer. I would recommend this product, I liked it. Price: $48 US or $64 CAD

The next product is the Touch in Sol Pretty Filter Icy Sherbet Primer. I didn’t get to use this much because I was testing out the Fenty Beauty Skin Tint and I don’t like to use new primer and foundations together. But I did like it the few times I did use it. This is the perfect primer for people who like the look of pore-minimizing primers but don’t like the texture. The texture is quite thick but as I rub it into my face it turns into a liquid and then sets into the face and leaves a smooth base for makeup. I like how it makes my makeup look, but it has a rose-like smell to it which isn’t my favourite scent. Overall I’m impressed and excited to use this more. Price: $20 US (just want to note on the card I received from Boxycharm the price is $32, but on the Touch in Sol and Ulta website it’s listed as $20).

The next product is the Mally Beauty Evercolour Shadow Stick Extra. I received the shade Timeless Taupe. This is a shadow stick that can be used as a primer, eyeshadow or eyeliner. I found it was easy to apply the stick straight to the eye and blend out. I found I needed to set the shadow with something to ensure it wasn’t tacky and moved around. Once it was set it lasted well throughout the day. I will say it was a little difficult to blend shadows over top. Because the base is tacky I have to be very tactical where I place shadows. It’s not my favourite shade, I found the taupe pulls very grey which is just not a shade I like to wear very often. It gives me a sick look. Overall it’s not a bad product but I don’t see myself using it very often just because it’s not my favourite shade. Price: $25 US

I love getting lashes in my box, and this set came with a tweezer as well! I got the Flirtacious Looks Cosmetic Monarch Lash Pack. I like the look of both lashes. One pair is more of the cat-eye whereas the other is rounded to great a wide-eyed effect. It was a little difficult to get them on the first time but after that they kind of shaped to my eye and was easier to apply. The lash band is on the thicker end so I do have to use eyeliner to help blend it in. Overall I like these lashes and will continue to use them.

And the final product is the KNDR Beauty Kinder Glow Highlighting Palette. I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t like universal palettes. I won’t use all the shades so it’s a waste. But I do realize it’s easier for Boxycharm because then they can send the same one to everyone. Anyway, this one isn’t too bad because it’s small and not that much bigger compared to my single highlights. I like to use the shades Angel and Loving (the top right and bottom left). The other shades are too light and too dark. While the formula is quite smooth it’s also quite glittery. While there is a time and place for glitter, it’s not for every day. So overall I’m not sure how much I’ll use this palette, especially considering I have so many other highlighters that I love. Price: $15 US

The overall total of the box is $146 US (using the correct price for the primer). Overall I don’t think this is a bad box. The only two products that I thought were meh were the highlight palette and the shadow stick and that was mainly based on personal preference than the products being bad. My favourite products are the Touch in Sol primer and the Farmacy face oil, which is funny because those are the only two brands I knew.

Let me know what you guys think about the products in the comments below. And if you’re subscribed to Boxycharm let me know what you got in your box, I’m always curious what the other variations we like!

xoxo

Lea

Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Foundation Review

Hey guys! Today we’re doing a foundation wear test on the new Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint. I love Fenty foundations. I have both the Pro Filt’r soft matte and hydrating foundations, both of which are some of my favourite foundations. The only foundation I haven’t tried from Fenty is its powder foundation, which I would be interested in trying in the future as well.

Fenty Beauty Eaze Drops Blurring Skin Tint

But when I saw Fenty was coming out with a skin tint I knew I had it get it. I’ve been into wearing foundations with lighter coverage on the day-to-day. Since I don’t leave my house much (yay Ontario lockdowns 🙃), it’s been nice to wear something with less coverage. I love the other Fenty foundations so I had high hopes for this one.

The Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint (which I will refer to just Skin Tint since the name is so long) is a lightweight skin tint with buildable light-to-medium coverage. That means that depending on how much and how you apply the skin tint it will increase the coverage. The Skin Tint is supposed to help blur and smooth the skin. It has a natural coverage, with many people describing the finish as similar to skin.

My first impression was that the bottle was smaller than I expected, but it does have the same amount of product as the other foundations. The packaging is a squeezy tube, which is my favourite packaging. When I use a light coverage foundation I’m usually trying to just quickly do my makeup. So I like to squeeze the foundation right onto my face.

I’m not sure if this is because it’s a good shade match or the formula but it does blend right into the skin. It’s quite seamless and looks nice. It does a good job of evening my skin tone and covering some of my redness and scarring. I’ll be honest guys, I got some series redness on my face. My cheeks are always red and I also have some breakouts as well as some major acne scars. No light coverage foundation is going to get rid of it completely. Sometimes not even full coverage foundations can. But it did make a noticeable difference. I will note that using a foundation brush is my preferred method over using a sponge. It sinks into the skin better and increases the coverage.

I still applied a full face of makeup because I’m testing other products. So I added concealer and powder as well. The final product is a face that looks smooth but you can still see minor imperfections like freckles and scars underneath. I also want to note that I wouldn’t say my skin looks particularly matte or dewy. Using powders and dewy products can change the final finish, but this is a natural finish true to its claim.

After four to five hours I notice my natural oils have come out, making the foundation look oily and also putting some more emphasis on my pores. Wearing a pore-filling primer can help, but I notice the foundation doesn’t sink into the skin as well when I use a pore-filler primer. So it’s a balancing act. Pore-filling primer will help with the appearance of pores but then the foundation looks less natural. I prefer visible pores over cakey-looking foundation.

By the end of the day, the foundation has basically rubbed off my face. Having oily sinks breaks down the foundation quicker and therefore makes it easier to rub off. But I’m not entirely surprised because that’s what happens with most foundations.

How does the Skin Tint compare to other lighter coverage foundations? The two other I own are the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation and the Colourpop Pretty Fresh Tinted Moisturizer. I have an in-depth review of the Colourpop tinted moisturizer and I mentioned the Charlotte Tilbury in my recent favourites video. The Charlotte Tilbury one is quite similar except its finish is dewy. So it looks quite nice but it fades from the face faster. I mentioned in my review but the Colourpop tinted moisturizer pulls pink on me. So it also looks like it’s sitting on top of my skin instead of blending into my skin. Maybe if I got the right shade it would look nicer, but overall I find the Fenty Skin Tint just looks better in my opinion.

How does the Skin Tint compare to the other Fenty foundations? The coverage is much lighter compared to the Soft Matte and Hydrating foundations. The other two are much closer to full coverage. The finish is in the middle. The Soft Matte is obviously matte, in the middle is the Skin Tint with a natural finish and the Hydrating foundation has a dewy finish. I will note using powders and primers can change the finish but that’s generally what they’re like. Each foundation is unique, so if you have the others it won’t be the same.

My final thoughts are that I like this Skin Tint. I think this is the perfect foundation for those light makeup days where I’ll put on this, some powder, brows and mascara. I also like wearing light coverage foundations in the warmer months as well because full coverage foundations can be annoying in the heat and humidity. Some of the complaints I read in reviews are that this Skin Tint can emphasize dry patches but since I have oily skin I cannot attest to that. Overall I think this is a foundation I will continue to reach for and I would recommend.

Let me know if you guys have tried the Fenty Beauty Eaze Drops Skin Tint in the comments, I’m curious what your thoughts on the product are!

xoxo

Lea

Luxury Beauty I Think Is Worth The Splurge

Hey guys! Today we’re talking all about luxury beauty. I don’t think you need to spend a lot to get good quality makeup. There are a lot of products available at the drugstore that are just as good if not better than some luxury makeup. Sometimes it’s nice to splurge and get something pretty. It’s called luxury makeup for a reason. Generally, the ingredients are better and the packaging is nicer. Today I’m going to share five products that are worth the high price tag. So let’s get into it.

A collection of luxury makeup products including: Natasha Denona Bronze Palette, Dior Lip Glow Oil, Biossance Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil, Auric Glow Lust and Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder.

Eyeshadow palettes can be hit or miss in the luxury category. A lot of times the quality is great. But sometimes you’ll find quads that are the same price as a 12-pan palette and I think that’s ridiculous (*cough* Tom Ford *cough*). But I think the Natasha Denona palettes are amazing. I have her Bronze Eyeshadow Palette, which retails for $87, and one of her mini palettes (mine is exclusive to Boxycharm).

The formula is just amazing! All the mattes are so pigmented and blend so effortlessly. And the shimmers are quite nice and aren’t finicky. I can just use my finger and they apply beautifully.

I was unsure when I first bought the palette if it’s worth the price but I think is it. The colour story of the Bronze palette is quite simple so I know I’ll get lots of use out of it. But Natasha Denona has lots of other eyeshadow palettes, some quite colourful, so I think there is a palette for everyone. So if you’re looking for a luxury eyeshadow palette, then check out this brand.

The next product is the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder. Hourglass is known to be a luxury beauty brand. This powder retails for $60, which is $10 more than the Laura Mercier powder and significantly more than my Maybelline and WetnWild powders. But I do like this powder!

There is a smoothness to this powder that I haven’t found in other loose powders. I’m not sure if it’s just more finely milled but it just makes my skin looks so smooth and soft. This is also one of the few powders I would recommend to someone who has dry skin. This powder just sets the skin and smooths it, so someone with dry skin wouldn’t have to worry about it looking cakey.

I also love the packaging with this powder. Unlike other powders where it just comes out easily and gets all over the place, this powder dispenses the perfect amount so I’m not wasting any of my precise powder. If you use lots of powder, I think this Hourglass powder is worth the investment.

The next product is one I haven’t mentioned on my blog before. But I love the Dior Lip Glow Oil. This is expensive, like it’s $44. (BTW I got this while working at Sephora). It’s soooo good though.

This lip oil gives the hydration of a lip balm with the shine of a lip gloss. But unlike a lip gloss this is oily (duh it’s lip oil). So it feels so comfortable on the lips. I find it lasts a surprisingly long time. I have the shade Rosewood which adds the slightest pink tint to the lips.

This is perfect for those no-makeup-makeup days where I want to add something to my lips but I don’t want to deal with lipstick or lip gloss. If you’re going to invest in a makeup product, something like this is great because it’s something you can use every day instead of just for special occasions.

The next product is one I reviewed a couple of months ago: the Auric Glow Lust. This was pricey for me to purchase because I had to pay exchange rates, shipping and duties. So it took a pretty penny to get this product into my hands but I love it.

This Glow Lust can be used in multiple ways, which is what makes this a great product to purchase. Having multiple uses brings down the cost-per-use. I can add this into my foundation, use this under or over top of my foundation as a highlight. It also just looks so pretty on the skin.

I also think it’s nice to note that when supporting Auric, you’re supporting a Canadian Youtuber who also cares about inclusivity and sustainability with her brand. A major issue with luxury brands is that they often have trash shade ranges, but there are seven shades in the Glow Lust so there is a shade for everyone. I love this product and I think it was worth the high price tag.

The final product is a skincare product that I love. The Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil is one of the few vitamin C serums that I’ve tried so far that I’ve noticed an improvement in my skin. I notice a difference when I stop using this oil and try a different one.

This oil not only helps reduce the looks of my acne scars but also adds such a healthy-looking glow-from-within dew to my skin. I was scared at first implementing an oil into my regime, because ya know I have oily and acne-prone skin. But rose oil is great for acne-prone skin because it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and low comedogenic.

I know with brands like The Ordinary and The Inkey List are quite popular right now. But their products are often one ingredient whereas the Biossance oil has multiple great ingredients. So I’m able to buy one serum instead of three to get similar effects.

I also think it’s nice to invest in skincare. If my skin is looking clear then I’m less inclined to wear makeup or wear less of it. Plus it’s something I use every day so the cost-per-use is low and therefore worth it!

And those are my splurge-worthy makeup products. Let me know in the comments what some of your favourite luxury products are.

xoxo

Lea

Sephora Sale Haul April 2021

Hey guys! The Sephora Sale is in full swing and I wanted to share with you guys what I got in my order. If you still want to place an order yourself, you have until April 19th to participate in the sale. I also filmed a video trying out some of the products on my face. That video will be going up Sunday, I’ll update this post with the link once it’s live. I’ll post a follow-up in a couple of weeks reviewing all the products so stay tuned for that. Today’s post will be mainly first impressions.

A order from Sephora Canada made during their semi-annual sale. Products include body lotion from Summery Fridays, cleanser from Youth to the People, skin tint from Fenty Beauty, gloss from Tower28, blush from Rare Beauty, sunscreen from Supergoop and a perfume from Replica

The first item is the Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen. I mentioned in my wish list that I needed a new sunscreen. This one is supposed to be invisible on the skin, great under makeup and oil-free as to not break out skin. I’ve worn this once so far. And I will say that it doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin and wore well under makeup. I still need to test to ensure that it protects my face from the sun and doesn’t break me out, because I only wore this sunscreen for an hour. I’m really hoping this works out!

I did get my perfume, the Replica By The Fireplace. I forgot how good this smells. It has a smokiness similar to a real fire. But underneath this is a nice spiciness from the clove and chestnut as well as a slight sweetness from the vanilla. This is a fall/winter scent so I probably won’t wear it much right now since I prefer cleaner scents in the spring/summer. But I’m happy to have picked it up!

As soon as I applied the Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint I knew I was going to like it. It’s a lightweight, buildable light-to-medium coverage. It just looks so skin-like. I’ve been testing out lighter coverage foundation lately so I’m excited to see how this compares to the other ones I have. I’m planning on doing a dedicated post for this foundation so stay tuned for that. I will say that a lot of the shades are sold out, so you might want to hurry if you want to get this before the sale is over.

The next product is the Youth to the People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser. I have yet to test this out since I’m been testing out other skincare products. I generally avoid trying a bunch of new skincare products at once just in case I break out. If I tried three new things and break out it can be hard to know what caused it. So once I finish testing out some other products I’ll introduce this cleanser.

I’m on the fence about the scent of Summer Fridays Summer Skin Nourishing Body Lotion. In the tube, it smells nice like coconut and almond. But when I’m rubbing it into the skin I get that Play-doh like smell that people mention in the reviews. I don’t think Play-doh smells bad, it’s just not the yummy scent I expected. But I will test it more to see what the formula is like. Because while smelling good is nice, the formula is technically the most important thing.

The next product is the Tower28 ShineOn Milky Lip Jelly Gloss in Cashew. When I first applied it I wasn’t sure if I liked it. This is quite a unique formula because it’s a hybrid between a gloss and a lip balm. The first time I wore it I just lined my lips and it looked funny because this gloss is quite sheer. But I’ve worn it again by itself with nothing underneath and I prefer it more that way. I’m excited to continue testing out this gloss. I also love the shade I got, which is described as a rosy brown. It matches my natural lip well.

I decided to go with the Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in the shade Love. I’m really happy with my decision. The shade is a matte terracotta, so it gives me a sunkissed look. It’s a create shade for putting all over the face. I think I’m going to get so much wear out of this blush this summer. The blush is quite pigmented so I’m going to play around to see what’s the best way to apply the blush, will update in the follow-up post.

Besides that, I got my birthday gift that includes a mini Nars bronzer and lip balm. I also redeemed my points for a set of Fresh products.

And that’s my Sephora Sale haul! Let me know in the comments what you guys got during the sale.

xoxo

Lea

Battle of the Black Eyeliners: What is the best pencil eyeliner?

Hey guys! Before we get into today’s post just wanted to say I reached 300 followers on my blog! Thank you to everyone who has followed me 🙂 Three hundred is a pretty big number and I’m excited to hit more milestones together. Okay, let’s talk about eyeliners.

When I decluttered my makeup collection, I noticed that I had a bunch of black pencil liners. I don’t need five black liners so I thought I would test them out and keep my favourites. So let’s go over my methodology and then I’ll give you the results for each eyeliner. I applied the liner in three different ways: to my top lash line straight from the pencil, create a wing with a brush and straight to my top waterline. I added using a brush to create the wing because it’s more precise than using the pencil. I also didn’t put the liner in my bottom waterline to see how much the pencil transferred. I also wore each liner for a minimum of eight hours.

The qualities I’m looking for are easy application, little to no transfer to my lower waterline, dark colour, no fading or smudging and ease to remove. Also, I generally don’t use pencil liners on my eyelid I prefer using a liquid. But I decided to test it because ideally, I want to keep a liner that’s good all-round, not just in the waterline.

The first liner is the Qveen Dragonliner Wax Pencil. I got this with a liquid liner in my Boxycharm. Unfortunately, it isn’t sold separately, so it’ll run you $27 US for both (but the liquid is pretty good). The pencil had a deep, rich, matte colour. It skipped a bit on the eyelid but was easy to use with a brush and in the waterline. This liner stay puts well. It was intact on both the eyelid and in the waterline. If I rubbed the tail it didn’t budge. It was also easy to remove. I was able to use a facial cleanser, didn’t need an oily remover to get rid of it.

The second contender is the KVD Cake Pencil Eyeliner. This is available at Sephora and retails for $26 CAD. Just want to note I did get this in my Boxycharm. This formula is quite soft. So it’s easy to apply on the lid and in the waterline. I tried to rub my brush on the pencil directly but it was too soft and broke. It worked better when I applied the pencil to my hand and rubbed my brush on that. It transferred from my top waterline to my bottom waterline. Even though it transferred it was still intact on the top lash line. But it didn’t move on my lid. And it was quite difficult to remove, I had to use an oil-based remover.

The third contender is the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil. The specific shade I have is Oil Stick which has been discontinued (probably for the best because spoiler I didn’t like it). It retails for $30 CAD. This shade is more grey than black and it has glitter running through it. While it applied easily to both the lid and waterline, I could feel glitter particles on my eyeball which is not healthy. After eight hours it was grey and faded and rubbed off easily. There was also nothing left in the waterline. It did come off easily. Now I do want to note that I have this pencil in another colour and it works amazingly so it might just be this shade.

The fourth contender is the Vintage by Jessica Liebeskind Smokey Eye Pencil. This pencil retails for $21 US, and I did get this in my Boxycharm. It was easy to apply both on the lid and with a brush, but the shade was more grey than deep black. It transferred almost immediately to the lower waterline when I applied it to the top waterline. After eight hours there was nothing in the waterline and the top looks very faded and was easy to rub off. It removes easily, probably because there was barely anything left.

The final contender is another Urban Decay eyeliner, this time their 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil. This liner is specifically designed for the waterline. This is surprising because it transferred almost immediately when I applied it to my top waterline. It was also difficult to apply on my eyelid and with a brush. By the end of the day it was smudged on my lower lash line, but the wing was pretty intact. It was easy to remove.

My overall winner is the QVEEN liner. It was a little difficult to apply on the eyelid but it excelled in every other category. I would say the runner-up is the KVD liner. While it did transfer to the lower waterline if I applied it to the lower lash line then I wouldn’t have that issue. I think the KVD liner would also be a good liner to use underneath eyeshadow for a smoky look since it didn’t budge. It’s also more accessible since it’s available at Sephora.

The Urban Decay Waterline and the Vintage eyeliner performed pretty poorly and I wouldn’t recommend them. I will be getting rid of those as well at the Urban Decay glitter eyeliner because I couldn’t stand those glitter particles in my eyes. But like I mentioned, I have other Urban Decay Glide-On liners that work well, so it could just be that shade – and that could be why it was discontinued.

I hope you guys found this post helpful. It was super fun for me to run my own little experiment and see what was the best. Let me know in the comments what your favourite black eyeliner is and maybe I’ll test it out!

xoxo

Lea

The Best Affordable Curly Hair Products Available in Canada

Hey guys! Today we’re taking a deep dive into my favourite hair products. I will be posting a video on Sunday that will be showing the products in action and explaining how I style my hair. The majority of these products are from the drugstore, and the only products that aren’t I got in my Boxycharm so I’m just trying to use them up. Also, the majority of these products are Curly Girl Approved, but I will mention the few that aren’t. So let’s get into it.

hair products, curly hair products, curly girl approved products, curly girl method, curly hair products, affordable curly hair products, affordable curly hair products canada, Living Proof, Tresemme, Maui Moisture, Drunk Elephant, Briogeo, Herbal Essenses

The first products are my shampoo and conditioner. I know a lot of people within the curly hair community don’t use shampoo but I prefer using it. I wanted to get shampoo and conditioner from the drugstore because I go through a lot of it. So after testing many shampoos I’ve settled on the Maui Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Shampoo. All of Maui’s products are vegan as well as sulfate, silicon and paraben free so they’re safe for curly hair. This shampoo gives me that clean feeling without drying out my hair. It also smells amazing. The Maui website also has lots of resources for finding the right hair products. And the best part is that it’s available at Shoppers and Rexall.

The conditioner I use is the Tresemme Nourish and Replenish Conditioner for Dry Hair. I’ve also been a fan of Tresemme products, it’s what I used before switching to silicone and sulfate-free products. I found this conditioner through the curly hair subreddit. I believe this is the only Tresemme conditioner that is curly hair approved. I love this one because it’s a large bottle which is great since I go through a lot of conditioner. I use about a golf ball size every time I wash my hair. It’s helpful to use affordable products since I use so much conditioner. This also smells great.

Out of the shower I always use a mousse and a hair gel. I use a mousse to help with curl definition because it’s something I struggle with more wavy-curly hair. My favourite is the Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Mousse. It does a good job of defining my curls but doesn’t leave my hair feeling crunchy or dry. I’ve tested so many different mousses because I was using mousse before I switched to the curly girl method. And this one is the best. It works well both airdrying my hair and with a diffuser as well. And once again it’s available at the drugstore.

When I was researching curly hair I noticed that everyone recommended using a hair gel. Since I liked the Herbal Essences mousse I decided to try their hair gel in the same line since it’s also curly girl approved. I love the Totally Twisted Curl Scrunching Gel. While mousse gives me the definition, hair gel gives me the hold to ensure that my curls keep their shape. Compared to other gels I find that it doesn’t leave that much of a cast. Depending on how much I use something I need to scrunch my hair once it dries, but once I scrunch out my hair it’s so soft. I’ve also got my brother to switch over to the gel as well, he likes it.

Now for a few products that I sometimes add-in. These aren’t available at the drugstore but I wanted to mention them because I do use them. So first when I am airdrying my hair I’ve been adding in the Drunk Elephant Wild Marula Tangle Spray. I got this while I was working at Sephora so I thought I might as well use it. I’ll spray this on my hair before applying my mousse and gel when I’m airdrying my hair. I suffer from having frizzy hair (I have a lot of baby hairs), so I use this to help ease the frizz and add some shine. I think it’s okay. I haven’t noticed a huge difference in my hair but I also haven’t had any negative experiences so I’ll continue to use it.

If I’m diffusing my hair or styling it (because on rare occasions I’ll still curl or straighten it), I will apply a heat protectant. I have two that I got in my Boxycharm that I’m using up. The first is the Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant Cream. This cream is curly girl approved, as all Briogeo products are made with sulfates and silicones. I will say I don’t like it as much as the next one because I find that it heights down my hair a bit and my curls aren’t as defined when I use this cream.

I’m happy to find out that the other protectant I like to use is also curly girl approved! I didn’t realize until I looked up the ingredients for this post. Wow, I’m so happy about that! I love using the Living Proof Restore Repair Leave-In. I’ve read online that leave-in products are also good heat protectants because they coat the hair and therefore protect it from heat damage. This Living Proof Leave-In does a great protecting my hair and leaving it soft and smooth. And unlike the Briogeo one, I don’t feel like my hair is weighed down when I use it.

And the final product I like to use is a deep conditioning mask, but I’m still on the hunt for my favourite. I love the Briogeo Honey one but it was limited edition. So if you guys have a favourite deep conditioning mask, please let me know in the comments because I need a new one.

I hope you guys found this post helpful. I know when I was researching Curly Girl approved products it was a search to find products curly hair products that are affordable and available in Canada. And if I find a deep conditioner I’ll let you guys know!

xoxo

Lea

Project Pan Update April 2021

Hey guys! So today I am giving you my update on my project pan. It’s been four months since I picked the products so I thought it was time to do a little review. For those of you who didn’t read my first post and don’t know what a project pan is, I’ll quickly re-explain. I picked five products that I’m trying to either hit pan or finish. I’m going to show you my progress and also decide if I want to stick with these products or switch it up.

So the first product is my Colourpop x Kathleen Lights Dream St palette. Sorry, this product is discontinued but that’s kind of the reason why I picked it. That way I can get some use out of it. I will say though that I haven’t used this palette very much. To be fair, I’ve tested numerous eyeshadow palettes in the past couple of months so I haven’t been able to use it as much. My goal was to hit pan in four different shades and I’m far from it. I didn’t realize how much work it takes to pan a product. I’m going to stick with this palette because I’m determined to hit pan in at least one of the shades in this palette!

The next product is the BareMinerals Translucent Powder Duo – another discontinued product. I have made tremendous progress with the matte side. In the beginning, the powder was still pretty square and was just starting to have some holes in it. By the way, the product has holes in it because it’s a baked powder. Now there is a large dip in the product and it’s covered in holes. I’m pretty proud of the matte side. The glow side, on the other hand, I’m not a fan of. I find the highlight to be very pale and therefore leaves a white stripe on my face. So I’ve given up on that side. I will continue using the matte side until I finish it.

I have decided to pick a new highlight since I don’t like BareMinerals one. I have decided to pick the Temptu Liquid Glow. I got this in my very first Boxycharm – so it’s time to use it up. Also with the weather turning warmer, I thought it would be nice to switch to a liquid since I prefer liquids and creams in the summer. It’s about half full, so ideally I would like to get it down to a quarter by my update in July.

The next product is the Wander Beauty Trip for Two Blush and Bronzer Duo. I’ve made good progress on the bronzer. Even just comparing the two pans, the bronzer is significantly lower down than the blush. I’m surprised I haven’t made more of an impact in the blush. I did test the Colourpop blushes so that could be a reason. I also think I just use less blush than bronzer. I apply bronzer all over my faces and quite heavily, whereas blush I only use a little. I debated whether or not I wanted to switch up these products. Because I am getting tired of using them and I do like using creams in the summer. But I feel like I’m close to hitting pan on the bronzer. I think once I hit pan on the bronzer I’ll switch up my bronzer and blush.

Next product is my lip gloss, the MAC Cremesheen Glass in the shade Calypso Beat. The formula still exists but the shade is discontinued. When the lip gloss is upright and settles, I can see that there is about half of it left. I can also swirl the wand around and see through the gloss. I’m pretty proud of this progress. I want to continue using this gloss and ideally finish it. I think I can do it.

The final product is the Maybelline Lipstick Colour Sensational in Nearly Nude. It’s hard to compare in the photo if I’ve made progress. I should have measured the bullet accurately to tell if I’ve made progress. (For future reference, I have measured it and it’s currently at 1.2cm.) I think I’ve made progress though. I do try to wear this lipstick as much as possible. I’m going to continue to use this lipstick because I think I can finish it. Something I do to help change it up is I pair different lip liners and it helps change the tone of the lipstick. So it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing the same lipstick all the time.

And that is my update on my project pan situation. I haven’t hit pan on anything yet but I’ve made some decent progress. I’m only switching up one product. We’ll see how much progress I can make on it! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about these products.

xoxo

Lea

March Boxycharm 2021

Hey guys! Time for my March Boxycharm post! Another month is over – honestly March felt like the longest month ever. Glad that winter is finally behind us and hopefully onto warmer weather. Let’s get into this month’s box.

Boxycharm, beauty subscription box, Limecrime, Limecrime Venus 3, TooFaced Damn Girl Mascara, Maven Beauty, Maven Beauty Setting Spray, Lavish Wet Brush Cleaning System, KAB Cosmetics, KAB Lip Oil

The first product we have is the Limecrime Venus 3 Eyeshadow Palette. This is the perfect spring palette. I probably would have included it in my spring eyeshadow palettes post if I had received it earlier. The Venus 3 palette includes a mix of purples and pinks. There is a nice mix between darker and softer shades. I was able to create a bold eyeshadow look and also softer looks for everyday wear. There is a nice mix of textures as well. The shades Beam and Heavenly are glitters that don’t have a lot of base pigment to them whereas Paradise and Beloved are your classic metallic shimmer. The shade Rapture is unique because it’s more of a matte with glitter running through it. Overall I like this palette, but I don’t see myself necessarily reaching for it everyday. I do enjoy these tones but I usually gravitate towards warm browns. If you’re interested in the palette then go ahead, the quality is great. But I don’t see this being the everyday palette for most people. Price: $38 US or $49 CAD

Up next we have mascara! I don’t have to buy mascaras anymore because I feel like I get a new one every few months. 😂 This month’s mascara is the TooFaced Damn Girl! Mascara. So far it’s okay. I find it hard to rate a mascara at first because I do find that the formula can change as it dries out. This mascara is meant to give volume, lift and provide a curl hold. I will say that it does achieve all of those things, but those aren’t things I necessarily look for in mascara. Similar to how people with different skin types need different foundations, people need different things from their mascaras. I don’t struggle with lift or curl hold. I do like some volume but I prefer length. Not a huge fan of the wand. It’s super large so it’s hard to apply without getting mascara on my eyelid. Overall I’ll continue to use it because it’s not bad. But it’s not my favourite mascara. Price: $26 US or $33 CAD

My favourite product in the box is hands down the KAB Cosmetics Hydrating Lip Oil. It gives the hydration of a lip balm and the shine of a lip gloss. It’s not sticky, if anything it feels smooth and soft on the lips. And it lasts so long on the lips. I’ll apply it and four hours later my lips still have some of the oil on. It has a soft coconut scent which is so yummy and the large doe foot applicator makes it easy to apply on the lips. Mine has a blue shade that goes on clear on the lips, but there are other shades as well. This has become my new go-to lip balm it’s so good! Price: $20 US

KAB Cosmetics, KAB Lip Oil, KAB Hydrating Lip Oil, lip oil, lip balm

The next product in the box is the Lavish Wet Brush Cleaning System. Honestly not sure about the legitimacy of this product because the website is kinda weird. So proceed with caution. The actual product itself isn’t bad. There is a little circle of soap that is meant to clean your brushes. On the back of the lid is a little silicone pad that can help clean the brushes. I have a larger pad that I use to clean my brushes. The soap was okay. It did a similar job of cleaning my brushes compared to other brush cleansers. I did notice that a few of my brushes had some residue left though. You know when you don’t properly wash out your conditioner and your hair is kinda greasy? That’s what a few of my brushes felt like. I guess I didn’t probably wash the cleanser out of those. I also found my face brushes weren’t as clean as my eye brushes because the silicone pad is small so it didn’t have the surface area to clean them. Something I wanted to mention is that I’ve tried the Beauty Blender version of this product and I had mold grow it in. So I switched to the liquid cleanser. Not sure if it would also happen with this Lavish cleanser but just something I wanted to note. Price: $15 US

The final product is the Maven Beauty Rose Water Setting Spray. This setting spray has rose water in it that’s meant to help lock in your makeup and prevent smudging up to 16 hours. When I first tried this in my unboxing video the scent was quite strong. I’m not a big rose person, it’s just not my favourite scent. It also has alcohol as the second ingredient and I could smell that as well. While I don’t like the scent the setting spray itself is pretty good. This is a setting spray that will set your makeup and make it last longer. It is not hydrating. If you have oily skin you’ll love this, but if you have dry skin you’ll hate this. The alcohol in this helps the makeup last but can be quite drying. Overall I think it’s a pretty good setting spray. I think a similar one that is cheaper and easy to purchase is the Milani Make It Last Setting Spray. The Milani one also doesn’t have an awful rose/alcohol scent. Price: $22 US

The overall total of the box is $121 US. Overall not a bad box. I mention this in my video but there are a few brands that have been known to be controversial in this box, and I tend to avoid those. If you want more of my opinion on the topic check out the video because I go into more detail. But overall I think this box is decent. I love the lip oil. The rest of the products aren’t bad and I see myself reaching for them again. There were no products this month that were bad, but I wasn’t wowed, that’s all. Let me know in the comments if you agree or if I’m being too harsh.

xoxo

Lea

Book Review: “Debutantes” & “The Giver of Stars”

Hey guys! Today I’m sharing two standalone novels that I’ve read this month. This has been a really good reading month for me, both in terms of the number of books and the quality of books. I’ve already hit four books this month, and there is a good chance I’ll finish one more before the month is done. But anyway, today I have two different historical fiction books. I’ve been reading lots of fantasy lately, so it was nice to read another genre. Let’s get into it.

Debutantes, Debutantes by Cora Harrison, Cora Harrison, book, book review, historical fiction, YA historical fiction

The first book we have is Debutantes by Cora Harrison. I’ve had this on my bookshelf for many years, it was purchased sometime when I was in high school. The novel follows four sisters who live with their father and great-aunt in an old mansion in 1920s England. The oldest sister is hoping to have her debut season but may not be able to because of the family’s difficult financial season. On top of this, the sisters find out a mystery that could change their lives. This is a young adult historical fiction.

This book gave me such Downton Abbey vibes. From the big old house to the older, sassy relative, to the friendly staff, and the book is set in the same time period. It’s also similar in the sense where there are some difficult situations, things always end well. The book is PG, with very little romance. It’s more about the sisters and their relationships with each other.

I think I would have liked the novel if I was 10 years younger. The story is pretty cute but very surface-level. There is so much discussion on fashion, which I would have loved as a kid. Don’t get me wrong, I love clothes and fashion. But it becomes excessive when every outfit is described in detail.

The mystery is also pretty obvious. I guessed it almost right away so there was no suspense for me. I enjoyed reading it and seeing the clues, but I wasn’t left guessing what was going to happen.

Overall I give this book 3/5 stars. I don’t think it’s bad. I just think it could have been better. I would recommend this book to 13-year-olds who are interested in history. But if you’re looking for Bridgerton level romance, this isn’t it. Also just wanted to note that there is a sequel but I won’t be reading it. I felt like the end of the first novel was satisfying enough that I didn’t need to read the second.

book, book review, historical fiction, Jojo Moyes, The Giver of Stars, The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, Reese's Book Club

The second book I have to review today is The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. The novel follows Alice, who moves from England to Kentucky to follow her new husband. There she joins a group of women who run a travelling library in rural Kentucky in the 1930s. This is a historical fiction novel.

Wow, I loved this novel. It’s a very easy read. It’s paced very well and I found myself wanting to read to find out what happens to the women. I didn’t know much about this area, so it was easy to learn because one of the main point-of-views is from Alice who is also an outsider.

I think that Moyes did an amazing job of balancing the line between critiquing and showing the beauty of rural Kentucky. There are many issues that Moyes highlights such as the way women are treated, how people of colour of treated and the atrocities the mining company is allowed to commit for the sake of money. But Moyers also highlights the community aspect of small towns and also the physical beauty of the mountains. It also highlighted a little-known topic of the Packhorse Libraries that ran in the 1930s under Eleanor Roosevelt.

I loved the cast of characters in this novel. Each character was unique and added something to the story. It featured powerful women who were trying to make a difference in their community, which is something I love to read. It also talks a lot about the love and power of reading. As an avid reader, it’s fun to read about characters who also love reading.

I will say that the story is slightly predictable in the sense that I had a feeling what the ending was going to be. But how the story got to the ending was a complete surprise so I wasn’t bored while reading. If you want a book that will give you a happy, satisfying ending, this book perfectly fits the bill.

Overall I give this book 5/5 stars. Five-star books for me are books that I wouldn’t change a thing and feel comfortable recommending to anyone. And this book is that exactly. I think this book is an easy, comfortable read that I think would have a broad appeal to many people even though it’s such a niche topic. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel so I think it deserved five stars.

I will note that if you go on Goodreads or Google the book you’ll notice that there has been some controversy with this novel, with claims of plagiarism. Just wanted to bring this up because I know that this might matter to some people. I haven’t read the other book, so I cannot confirm if the allegations are true. I would recommend doing your own research before making a decision.

And those are my two book reviews for today. I’m currently in the middle of a series so it might be a bit before I have another book review. As always, please let me know your thoughts if you’ve read either of these novels. And let me know if you have any recommendations for me, I’d love to check them out!

xoxo

Lea