The Best Products For A Relaxing Bath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo

Lea

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

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

Code Name Verity

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

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

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

This Lullaby

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

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

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

Thirteen Days to Midnight

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

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

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

Angelology

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

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

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

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

xoxo

Lea

December Boxycharm 2021

Hey guys! I was getting worried that I wasn’t going to get my box in time to write this post. But my box arrived yesterday!! So keep in mind that today’s since I just got my box my thoughts are more first impressions than in-depth reviews. Let’s get into it!

The first product is the Algenist Triple Algae Eye Renewal Balm. I love getting eye creams in my box, it’s been ages since I’ve had to purchase one haha. This eye cream is meant to help reduce basically everything – undereye circles, bags, puffiness, lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet. Obviously going to take me a bit of use to notice a difference. I will say that the circle doesn’t have much of a scent which I prefer over a bad scent. It’s quite thick but it blends on easily on the skin and doesn’t feel heavy so I was able to easily apply makeup over it. Excited to continue testing. Price: $68 US, $87 CAD

The next product is the Seraphine Botanicals Happy Hibiscus Palette. This palette is meant for all skin tones. I’ve said this before and I’ll say this again – I don’t like palettes meant for all skin tones. The palettes either skew too dark or too light and therefore not for everyone OR have shades for everyone but people can’t use all the shades. I find that this palette skews a little dark, like two of the shades are almost bronzers on me. All these shades are ‘luminous’ so they have shimmer running through it. The shade Dewdrop is a straight-up highlight – but it’s a very pretty highlight! The only shade I could use as a blush is Petal, which was quite nice. But it’s just annoying to only like one shade in a four-pan palette. I would pass on this palette and instead get one blush you really like instead. Price: $48 US

The next product is the Whish Vanilla Bean Lip Mask with Bakuchiol. The texture is much more similar to a lip balm/chapstick than a lip mask. It has a bit of a waxy consistency so it’s a little difficult to get out of the jar. It glides easily on the lips and feels very nice. I will say that this is not intense enough for me to use overnight. After an hour or two, my lips are chapped again. The vanilla scent is quite light so good if scents irritate you. It’s not a bad lip balm but it’s not a very good lip mask. Price: $32 US

The next product is the Araceli Beauty Bella Sponge Duo. I love getting sponges because sometimes I’m too lazy to wash my sponges so it’s nice to have more in my rotation haha. These sponges have the classic Beauty Blender shape with a round bottom and a pointed tip which is the shape I prefer. The round bottom is great for blending foundation whereas the point is great for under the eyes. I find that the sponges do soak up a fair bit of product so I would pull these out for full coverage products to help sheer out. The only downside is I find that the sponges don’t have a very smooth texture, which means it’s not very good with powder products. I don’t think these will replace my Beauty Blender but I’ll keep them in the rotation. Price: $24 US

And the final product is the Mellow Cosmetics Gel Lip Pencil in the shade Rose. First just want to mention that the pencil arrived with the tip broken so I had to sharpen it before even using the pencil. The formula is very creamy, it glides on very easily on the lips. The formula reminds me almost of lipstick just in pencil form. I haven’t worn this for long but just based on the initial application I don’t know how long-lasting it will be. I love the shade but I will say the name is descriptive. When a shade is called Rose I always think it’s going to be pink when instead this is a warm peach. It’s a nice shade just not what I anticipated. I’m excited to wear this more. Price: $15 US, $20 CAD

The total of the box is $187 US. That is a decent value!! While the products might not be my favourite I will say that there is a good variety of products in this box. Let me know what you guys think in the comments. And if you’re subscribed to Boxycharm let me know what you got in your box this month!

xoxo

Lea

Product Empties November 2021 (What Beauty Products Would I Repurchase?)

Hey guys! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done an empties post. I barely had any empties for a while and then within the last couple weeks I’ve finished like five products. I have 12 products for today’s post so let’s get into it!

Up first is the Hempz Natural Herbal Body Moisturizer in the Sweet Pineapple & Honey Melon scent. I was totally influenced by Sierra Schultzzie on this one. She did an “influencers made me buy it” video and fell in love with this lotion which in turn made me buy it. This is a great body lotion! It smells absolutely amazing – it reminds me of this certain gum but I can’t remember the name. I love the consistency because it’s not too thick but still hydrating. It sinks into the skin quickly and the scent lingers a bit but isn’t overpowering. I decided to repurchase the lotion but this time in the Fresh Coconut & Watermelon scent. Would recommend checking out this lotion.

The next product is the Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm. Cleansing balms are one of my favourite products to test out and this is one of the best I’ve tried so far. It’s an oil-based cleanser so I find that it’s incredible at removing makeup. Even the most stubborn mascara, liners, lipsticks and glitters come off easily with this balm. Despite the fact that it’s oil-based it doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily or greasy. Sometimes if I’m feeling partially lazy I won’t double cleanse because my face feels clean enough after using this cleansing balm. AND best of all it’s available at the drugstore. I recommend checking out this cleansing balm if you wear makeup.

My brother has gotten into the habit of using my eye cream. He loved the Farmacy Cheer Up Brightening Vitamin C Eye Cream. We both have very sensitive under eyes and this didn’t both us. I honestly didn’t notice much of a difference but he did. He said it was hydrating and he just found it made a visible difference. He even asked if I was going to repurchase it (to which I replied he can purchase it himself since I have another eye cream open). So this eye cream has my brother’s seal of approval.

The first of two haircare products is the Living Proof Restore Repair Leave-In. I highly recommend this leave-in conditioner. First, it’s curly girl approved so my fellow curly hair friends can use this. Second, it does such a great job of leaving my hair smooth and silky. You can use a leave-in product as a heat protectant since its coats your hair. I will use this if I’m going to diffuse my curls and it helps prevent any frizziness. I currently have some other hair products open but once I finish them up I will buy this again.

The second haircare product is the Playa Healing Hair Masque. Honesltly I was a little disappointed by this mask. I had heard great things about the brand and assumed I would like the mask. It wasn’t a bad mask but it didn’t do anything more from my hair than using conditioner. If I’m going to pay almost $50 for a hair mask I want a noticeable difference and I didn’t get that. Still on the hunt for the best hair mask.

If you suffer from acne, then you HAVE to try the Benzagel Acne Gel. If you’ve followed me for awhile you might remember that I was using prescription acne cream for awhile. Unforuantely I’ve run out of the cream and cannot afford to repurchase it. So I switched over to this Benzagel Acne Gel. This contains Benzagel Peroxide, which is the main ingredient in Proactive. This is the best over the counter cream I’ve used so far. I apply it to wear I break out once a day and I noticed a huge difference in as little as two weeks. I’ll be honest and I still get breakouts but this has helped me. I recommend it to everyone suffering from acne.

Another cleanser I finished is the Laneige Cream Skin Milk Oil Cleanser. If you have dry skin you’ll love this cleanser for removing makeup. Unlike cleansing balms which sometimes can be stripped, this cleanser is quite hydrating. I will say it’s not as effective compared to other makeup removing cleansers so I used this more on my lighter makeup days. I personally won’t be repurchasing it but would recommend to anyone with normal to dry skin.

A moisturizer I finished is the Murad City Skin Overnight Detox Moisturizer. While I like this moisturizer I still find it funny that it has vitamin C. I’ve already heard that it’s best to apply vitamin C in the morning because it helps prevent UV damage, so it’s weird to be that they put vitamin C in a night cream. But besides that this cream isn’t bad. A little on the thicker side, which makes sense since it’s a nice cream. I like the packaging. It’s a push pump so I don’t have to dig my fingers into a jar. Overall it was a good moisturizer but I’m not going to go out of my way to repurhcase it on the Murad website.

A product that I was surprised that I enjoyed so much is the MineTan Body.Skin Hydra Glow Sleep Serum, which is a hyaluronic acid serum. I haven’t had the best of luck with finding a hyalurnoic acid serum that I like but this one worked great! I noticed a difference in how moisturizer my face felt after using this serum. I also noticed that my skin looked brighter as well after using it for a couple of weeks. Overall I enjoyed this serum. Unfortunately it’s only available through their site so I don’t think I’ll repurchase it because I don’t want to deal with the hassle that is shipping to Canada. But if you live in the US check this out!

A finished a makeup product! Doesn’t happen very often but I finished my tube of my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. You already know that I’ve repurchased another one. I just love the way it brightens my undereyes and it’s so easy to blend. It does start to crease on me around the six hour makeup but it’s creamy enough that I can usually just tap out the creasing and lines with my finger and it looks fine. I think the fact that I finished a whole tube of this is just a testament to how much I love it.

Back to skincare again, I finished a bottle of the Clean Skin Club Vitamin C Brightening Booster. It was alright. At this point I compare all vitamin C serums to the Biossance one and this one just wasn’t as good. Now if you don’t like an oily feeling serum then you’ll probably like this one because it dries down almost matte. But I didn’t notice having any immediate brightening effect nor was it any faster at helping with my hyperpigmentation compared to the Biossance serum. It’s not bad but not good enough for me to want to repurchase.

And the final product is the Versed Look Alive Hydrating Plumping Mask. I thought for some reason based on the packaging that I would go through this in a few uses. But it took me like two years to get through the mask (expiry dates? what’s that lol). If you just want a mask to add some extra hydration to your skin, this is the mask for you. It’s like an extra juicy moisturizer. I leave it on for ten minutes, wash it off and my skin feels plump and juicy. It has a very nice, light floral scent. And best of all like other Versed products it’s affordable! I haven’t yet but I am considering picking another one up.

And that is it for my product empties guys! Let me know if you’ve used any of these products and what your thoughts are on them. And if you have any hair mask suggestions leave them in the comments because I’m still on the hunt!

xoxo

Lea

November Boxycharm 2021

Hey guys! And just like that November is done. Can you believe that 2021 is almost over? I still sometimes find myself saying 2020 and not 2021 wow! Anyway, it’s time to review my November Boxycharm. Which by the way I do an unboxing and a first impression video on my Youtube channel, so I recommend checking that out! Let’s get into my thoughts.

November Boxycharm

The first product is the Violet Voss Violet Sunset Eyeshadow Palette. I like this palette. I’ve used other Violet Voss eyeshadows before and the quality is amazing. All the shimmers and metallics work easily. The mattes and pigmented and easy to blend. I haven’t used the bright mattes in this palette only the neutrals so far but I’m sure they’re good quality just based on my previous use. I also love the colour story. There is a nice balance between wearable warm tones and fun pops of colour. I can see myself creating so many different eyeshadow looks. I see myself reaching for this a lot in the spring and summer. Would recommend checking out this palette! Price: $37 US

The next product is the Luxie Por La Noche Brush Set. I love Luxie brushes. I have a bunch in my collection and they are the ones I always reach for. The brushes are so soft and they stay soft after multiple washes. The handles are pretty and feel nice in the hand. This set comes with a blush brush, a concealer brush and an angled brush. It’s funny because I use the blush brush for highlight and I found it worked beautifully! Just goes to show that you can use brushes for whatever job you want. I always recommend Luxie brushes for those looking to invest in some good-quality brushes. They also have some good sales going on right now! Price: $40 US

The most disappointing product in the box is the Bodyography Makeup Brush Cleanser. I love the idea of having something to be able to spot clean my brushes. Sometimes it’s helpful to have something to quickly clean if I want to go from blue to brown. I have the Sephora Daily Brush Cleanser and it works so much better. I find that I have to spray and wipe the brush twice to get the same result as the Sephora cleanser. If you’re looking for a spot brush cleanser I recommend the Sephora one over the Bodyography one. Price: $19 US

The next product is the Aesthetica Sunset Bronzer. First, they have only one shade which is completely abysmal. How is one shade of bronzer going to match everyone? I sometimes like to switch between a lighter and darker bronzer in the summer and winter – so how is one shade going to work for all the gorgeous, unique skin tones in the world? Besides the lack of shade range, it’s a pretty average bronzer. It applies easily to the skin and is pretty long-lasting. I would say that the Maybelline City Bronzer is pretty similar in formula but has at least three shades and it’s much cheaper. Price: $24 US

The final product is the Inc.redible Cosmetics Crystal Ball Rollergloss Duo. Just want to note that it seems that the duo is only available through Boxycharm. On the Inc.redible website they are only sold individually. I like the idea of the rollergloss, it’s very nostalgic. I remember using Lip Smackers roller balls when I was a kid. I have two issues with the packaging. First I find that it never rolls out evenly so I have to turn the thing upside down and roll over the lips like seven times. The second issue is that because it’s a rollerball it’s hard to clean. I often like to wear a lip liner or lipstick under my gloss. With a normal lip gloss wand, I can wipe it before putting it back in the tube. With the rollerball, it rolls under before I can clean it. So I can only use it on bare lips, which sucks since it’s a clear gloss. The actual gloss formula is nice. It’s almost oily so it doesn’t feel sticky and is hydrating. But the packaging is more of a pain than cute. Price: $24 US

The overall total is $144. I initially liked all the products in the box but when I tested them out more I noticed a few more flaws. I like the Violet Voss eyeshadow palette and Luxie brushes. The Aesthetica bronzer isn’t bad but it isn’t special. The Inc.credible Rollergloss is a cute idea but not my favourite. And finally there are better brush cleansers on the makeup compared to the Bodyography one. Let me know what you guys think in the comments. Is this a good box? If you get Boxycharm let me know what you got in your box!

xoxo

Lea

Sephora Sale Haul & Reviews

Hey guys! It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for – my Sephora Sale haul and reviews! If you haven’t seen it already, I posted my Sephora Sale haul on my Youtube channel last weekend and that was filmed a couple of weeks ago. I’ve now used the majority of the products and am now ready to give you my thoughts on all the products. If you haven’t, I would check out my wishlist post so that way you can see what products I was thinking of purchasing and can compare to this list. Let’s get into it!

Up first I decided to get a mini of the Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser. The cleanser is a product that takes me a while to get through so getting a mini allows me to try more products. This is a gentle cleanser with hyaluronic acid and AHAs to help with pores, oiliness, acne and blemishes – everything that I suffer with! This is a nice cleanser. My skin feels soft and also hydrated after I use this. I think if you have normal or combo skin and suffer from acne then you’ll like this. I’ve found lately that my skin has been looking oilier by the end of the day. I’m not sure if it’s because of this cleanser or some other products but it’s something that I wanted to note that if you have oily skin like me it might be too gentle. I’ll continue to use this but if I notice that the oiliness doesn’t improve this might be relegated to a second cleanser.

I am already in love with the Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional: Super Setter Setting Spray. I have been using this setting spray every day since I’ve received it. It does make my skin looks smoother and poreless. Not sure if it necessarily makes my makeup last longer but I love it for the way it makes my face look initially. The mist is very fine so I do use a good amount to properly cover my face. I wish I had picked up the full size!

I like it but I’m not quite in love with the OLEHENRIKSEN Cold Plunge™ Pore Remedy Moisturizer with BHA/LHA. It has an interesting texture that is not quite a gel but not quite a cream. I find that my skin feels more smooth than hydrated with this moisturizer. Much more of a summertime moisturizer than for the dry winter months. Also because it has active ingredients in it, I just need to be careful not to apply it over top of other actives otherwise it’s too much for my face and I get a reaction. I will continue to use the moisturizer because at this point I wouldn’t necessarily repurchase it.

The next product shouldn’t be a surprise – I picked up the Briogeo Honey Hydration Don’t Despair, Repair! Hair Repair Kit. I have not used the products in this kit yet oops! I have used this deep conditioner before and I absolutely love it so I didn’t need to try it again to let you guys know you need it to try it! It’s one of the most hydrating deep conditioners on the market that is Curly Girl Approved. The scent is also magical. I haven’t tried the shampoo and conditioner yet just because I have other ones open and I try and avoid having multiple shampoos and conditioners open since I have limited space in my shower. Once I finish the products I’ll update you guys in a products empties post.

I did end up splurging and getting the L’Occitane Almond Smoothing and Beautifying Milk Concentrate. And I’m so happy I did. I used their Almond Delightful Body Balm last year and I loved the scent but found it was a little too thick for me. The Milk Concentrate has the exact same scent but is just a lighter cream compared to the balm. It’s still very moisturizing don’t worry! It also comes with a lot of products so I know this will last me a while.

For lip balm, I ended up getting the Laneige Dream Team Lip Set. It’s the same price as the Tarte one I was looking at as well but I get two products for the price of one! I do like the Lip Glowy Balm formula and it’s been forever since I’ve used the Lip Sleeping Mask. The Lip Sleeping Mask comes in Peach Iced Tea and I like that scent (or flavour?). The Lip Glowy Balm is in Berry. I like the slight tint it gives the lips but I do find the Berry to be slightly medicinal. At least it doesn’t linger on the lips. This is a great set and I’m happy with my purchase.

The final product is the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder. First I want to say while the packaging looks absolutely gorgeous, I was surprised by how light it feels. I always expected the compact to be super lux since it’s expensive. But at the end of the day, it’s what’s inside that matters. This is an ultra-fine powder so when I first apply the power it goes on so smooth and looks so good. My face looks flawless and not too cakey. But because it’s just a fine and lightweight power, but at the end of the day I’m a greasy mess. It does touch-up well. I can apply this to do touch-ups and it looks good. But if you’re like me and have oily skin this isn’t going to keep you locked in all day. I think this powder is perfect for dry, normal and combo skin people who need a powder to set everything in place but not necessarily keep the oils at bay. I will continue to use this because I love the way it makes my makeup look but if I need something long-wearing I’ll pick up something else.

I also did want to mention that I picked up the Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur Eau de Parfum, but it’s going to be a Christmas present so I haven’t used it. I sprayed it in-store and liked it! It has a clean and slightly earthy scent. I can’t wait until Christmas when I can wear this more!

And this is my haul and reviews! Let me know in the comments what you guys picked up during the sale!

xoxo

Lea

Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Divine Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette Review

Hey guys! I am a big Jaclyn Hill fan and her other two collabs with Morphe are some of my favourite palettes I own. So when I saw she was coming out with another palette with Morphe I knew I had to pick it up. I purchased the Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Divine Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette when it first came out. But it’s taken me a while to test out the palette and give you guys a thorough review. But I have finally figured out my thoughts so let’s get into it.

When I first saw the palette I thought it was gorgeous. I’ve been into wearing neutrals more lately so the palette concept was right up my alley. After chatting with my friend about the palette I realized that it does skew pretty dark, especially in person. This might be a neutral palette but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s an everyday palette for me. If you’re someone with a deeper complexion though this would be perfect for you.

I think there is a good range of matte shades. There is a light shade for me to set my eyeshadow primer. There are some lighter shades for the crease and some darker shades to deepen the crease. The shade “Cinnamom Roll’ is the perfect dark shade for doing wing liner. My issue is that all the shimmer shades are quite deep and rich. This is perfect for evening looks but just too much for me for everyday use. I also find the shade “Awe Lux” a weird addition. All the other shades are very warm toned whereas “Awe Lux” is pink and doesn’t match as much.

Besides the colour story is the quality of the shadows. I love the matte shades. They are pigmented but also easy to blend. I also find that the shade in the pan and the shadow on the eye look the same. Sometimes an eyeshadow can look different once it’s blended out but these shades are consistent.

I find the shimmers to be a bit finicky. With my Jaclyn Hill Vol 1 palette, the shimmers can be packed on using a finger or a dense brush AND can be blended out softly with a fluffy brush. I often like using a fluffy brush with shimmers during the day to create a softer look. I find that the shimmers in this Divine Neutral palette look great packed on but barely show up on the lid when I try to do a soft look. I’m a bit disappointed because it feels to me that they changed the formula.

I know it seems like I had a lot of criticisms for this palette but that’s because I had some fairly high expectations for the palette. I thought it was going to be the perfect everyday palette and the quality would be the same as past palettes. It’s still a good palette. For me, it’s more of a special occasion palette than an everyday palette. You can’t bet the fact that it’s a 12-pan palette for $25. That’s an amazing deal.

If you have a deeper complexion or you’re looking for a special occasion palette then this is a great pick. But if you have fair skin and you’re looking for a good everyday palette then I would skip this one. If you guys have purchased this palette let me know what you think in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses Series

Hey guys! Thought it was time to take a break from Sephora Sale content and post a book review! I know it’s been a while since my last blog post but it’s taken me about four months to finish this series oops. Today I will be sharing my review of Sarah J Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses (shorten to ACOTAR) series. For those of you who don’t know, ACOTAR is a very popular series online. I had heard a lot about the books before reading the series which affected my opinion. I will do a review on each book, which will contain minor spoilers – such is the nature of reviewing series since each book builds on each other. At the end of this post, I’ll do a spoiler-free overview of the series. So let’s get into it!

A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns is the first book in the series. It follows Feyre, a human who accidentally kills a fae and must go live with a fae lord to make up for her actions. This is a new adult fantasy series.

I heard a lot about this book on book Tiktok before reading it, so I had a lot of preconceived notions. I knew a lot of people didn’t like the love interest, Tamlin, so because of that, I didn’t like him.

I spent a good part of the book waiting for the action that I hear everyone online talk about to happen. It wasn’t until the last 100 pages that the action picked up and I was into the book. I think it sets up nicely for the next book in the series.

I think Feyre is a pretty neutral main character. I don’t hate her but I don’t love her. There are a lot of big side characters in the series, so it helps that she’s tamer.

I gave this book 4/5 stars. It was good but had a real slow start.

A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury was much better compared to the first. There is more action and the characters introduced in this book as very interesting. The best part of the book is the romance. I love Feyre and Rhysand’s relationship and how it builds and grows through the book.

I like how Feyre’s mental health struggles are a big part of the book. I felt like the depiction is quite realistic and it was amazing to see it improve throughout the novel.

My only complaint is that the book is quite long. This is a reoccurring complaint I have for the series.

I gave this book 4.5/5 stars.

A Court of Wings and Ruin

I’m still not sure if my reading slump just coincided with reading A Court of Wings and Ruin or was because of the book. Whereas the first two took me about 10 pages to get through, the third book took me a month to read.

I found the beginning to be boring after the excitement of the second novel. This book also has a war in it. I’ve mentioned this before but I’m not a huge fan of war novels and this one was no exception. I found the middle section dragged on. As well, a lot of new characters were introduced and it found it confusing to remember everyone.

The last 150 pages were good and redeemed the novel from being a complete flop for me. For reference, I read the last 150 pages in two days.

I gave the book 3.5/5 stars. I was debating not continuing with the series, but I already owned the other books, so I decided to continue.

A Court of Frost and Starlight

A Court of Frost and Starlight is a novella that is supposed to be a bridge between the Feyre, who is the main character in the first three novels, and Nesta, who is the main character in the next novels.

I don’t think this book is necessary for the grand scheme of the series. There are only a few big plot points that could have easily been included at the end of the last novel or the beginning of the next novel.

The book just had a bunch of unnecessary fluff. It’s set in the world’s version of Christmas so I think it could be nice to read around the holiday to get in the spirit. But otherwise, I don’t think it added that much to the series.

I gave the book 3.5/5 stars. It was quick to read but not the most interested.

A Court of Silver Flames

Like I mentioned, this book switches to Nesta (Feyre’s sister) and Cassian’s point of view and focuses on their relationship. A Court of Silver Flames is probably tied with A Court of Mist and Fury as my favourite books in this series. I’ve always liked Nesta but this book made me fall in love with her. She’s just more complex than Feyre.

Similar to ACOMAF, this book is about Nesta processing her trauma and I felt it was quite realistic in the ups and downs and the long period of time it takes to process trauma.

I love Nesta and Cassian’s relationship. I also love the friendship that Feyre develops with Emerie and Gwen. They’re probably some of my favourite side characters in the whole series.

This book was really really long. It was 750 pages but I think this book could have easily been 500 pages. It was just a little long and repetitive in some parts.

This book was also quite character-driven. It focused mainly on Nesta’s growth, otherwise, not much happened plot-wise. I also found the ending to be a little rushed and the conflict resolved a little too quickly.

I gave this book 4.5/5 stars. It was great and I’m excited to see where the series goes.

Overall Thoughts

If you are not familiar with Sarah J Maas, she also wrote the Throne of Glass series, which I absolutely loved and gave 5/5 stars. I had high expectations going into this series. Overall I think it was good but not as great as Throne of Glass.

First, like I mentioned this series is a character-driven book. This means that the growth and development of the characters are what drive the book forward. Whereas Throne of Glass is a plot-driven book, where the plot and conflict are what drive the book forward. Both are acceptable, I just prefer plot-driven books which is why I didn’t like ACOTAR as much.

For this being a character-driven series as well, I found that I didn’t connect to the characters as much compared to Throne of Glass. I loved the characters in that series. I do realize that ACOTAR isn’t finished yet so this might change but it is something to note.

Finally, I find that ACOTAR is quite long and drawn out. I don’t think long books are inherently bad. But I think if your book is going to be long it better be action-filled or just interesting the whole book. I think the books could easily be 50-150 pages shorter and would still be good books. So if you struggle with long books beware.

I think this is a good fantasy and romance series but I don’t think it transcends the genre. Some books are so good that I think everyone should read them. I would recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy but if you’re not a fan of the genre I would pass. I give this series 4/5 stars. I will continue to read the future books that come out.

And those are my thoughts on the ACOTAR series! If you’ve read this series let me know your thoughts in the comments. And with all my book reviews let me know if you have any recommendations for me in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

My 2021 Sephora Sale Recommendations!

Hey guys! As promised, here is my Sephora Sale recommendations list! The Sephora Holiday Savings Event runs from November 5-15 for Rouge, November 9-15 for VIB and November 11-15 for VIB. The savings range from 10-20% off depending on what level you are, so it’s the perfect time of year to pick up something you’ve been eyeing. Today I’m going to be doing something similar to my wishlist, where I’ll be sharing Makeup, Skincare, Hair&Body (and maybe a few miscellaneous in Hair&Body). So let’s get into it!

Makeup

Starting off I have two foundation recommendations, and if you’ve been following my blog and Youtube these probably won’t be a surprise to you. For lighter coverage, I recommend the Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint. I love this skin tint because it somehow manages to be light coverage but also helps reduce any redness I have going on. It looks and feels good on the skin and it’s easy to apply. Win, win, win. If you want something with more coverage than the Smashbox Studio Skin 24 Hour Oil-Free Hydra Foundation. This is medium coverage and has a natural matte finish, so it just looks like skin. But best of all is that it’s sooooo long-lasting. I can wear this all day at work and not look like a greasy mess at the end of the year. Not enough people talk about this foundation, it’s so good.

My favourite bronzer is still the Milk Makeup Matte Cream Bronzer. I feel like everyone launched new cream bronzers this year and I just stuck with my Milk Makeup one! The shade Baked is perfect for my complexion. It blends so easily and seamlessly into the face. And it’s long-lasting, which isn’t always the case for creams.

For blush, I have two recommendations. If you’re newer to using cream blushes, then try out the Nudestix Nudies Matte Blush. They have a great selection of shades. The formula is creamy enough where it’s easy to apply but they are matte so they last a long time on the skin. I can swipe these blushes on my face and blend them on in three seconds. If you’re experienced with blush and want something impactful, then check out the Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush. This blush is pigmented, so it’s not for the faint of heart. I always apply some to a palette or the back of my hand and then go into my face. But I can get a flushed look and it lasts long on the skin. I love the shade Love because it’s a terracotta that gives me that almost sunburnt look which was gorgeous in the summer. I think you’ll be happy with either blush.

Sticking with the cream theme, my highlight recommendation is the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. I was in love with this product for a while then took a break to focus on my project pan highlight. Well, I recently went back to the highlight and fell in love all over again. What I like is that the shades are based on skintones so the highlight is very natural and gives the glow-from-within look. Also, the bottle is huge so you’ll never run out.

For eyeshadow, I’m going to give a shoutout to Huda Beauty, especially her nine-pan palettes. I feel like everyone raves about her big palettes but I love my Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette. It’s small and compact so it’s easy to store. The colour stories are all gorgeous and there is a nice mix between mattes and shimmers. The mattes are so easy to work with. The glitters are a little bit more finicky, but wetting them with setting spray does the trick. There are so many different nine pan palettes that I’m sure you’ll find a colour story to match what you’re looking for.

Another underrated product is the Tarte Double Take Eyeliner. I have the shade brown and reach for this all the time. I find it super handy to have both the liquid and pencil liner in one product. I will often use liquid liner on my lid and then the pencil in my waterline. I’m usually not a fan of felt tip liners but this one is easy to use. And the pencil is easy to apply and lasts a long time. If you’re looking for a new eyeliner check this one out.

For lipstick, I have to go with a classic – Mac Cosmetics Matte Lipstick. The formula is creamy enough where it’s easy to apply but because it’s matte it stays put. It doesn’t make my lips look dry or cakey. It doesn’t last through lunch but I can sip a drink no problem. And the shade range is huge so you can find a shade that you like. My two favourites are Velvet Teddy and Down to an Art.

The final makeup product is Tower28 ShineOn Milky Lip Jelly Gloss. I love this lip gloss – and fun fact, a video I took of this lipgloss was reposted on their Instagram! 🤩 I like that it’s a semi-sheer lip gloss, so I can wear it by itself or overtop of a lipstick. It’s not sticky, if anything it’s quite moisturizing. I have the shade Cashew which is a gorgeous rosy brown, I just love it!

Skincare

I just want to preface this section by saying that most of these recommendations are for my skin type, which is oily and acne-prone. If you have dry or sensitive skin, you might not like these products and that’s okay! I do have a few recommendations for dry skin people though so make sure to read ahead!

I have four different cleansers because I love trying and testing out cleansers haha. First, we’ll start with normal cleansers. A great daytime cleanser is the Ole Henriksen Truth Juice Daily Cleanser. It’s a gel cleanser that helps clean the skin without stripping it. And it has a delicious citrus scent that is amazing to smell in the morning. Next for cleanser, we have the Youth to the People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser. This is for all my acne-prone people who want something that helps fight acne but doesn’t strip their skin. It’s a nice rich gel as well but lathers up well. And it has a scent that reminds me of pine (I don’t know why because there is no pine in it) but it’s a great cleanser.

Now for cleansing balms. My first recommendation is the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm. If you find that cleansing balms irritate your eyes or skin then you need to check this one out. This doesn’t irritate me at all but removes even the most stubborn mascara or glitters. They also have a limited edition holiday set with fun scents that I’m tempted to get. If you have drier skin, then check out the Laneige Cream Skin Milk Oil Cleanser. This stuff is great at removing makeup but also feels milky and hydrating at the same time. It’s very gentle so might even be good for sensitive skin people!

If you want a good vitamin C serum and don’t mind splurging, then check out the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil. This oil not only helps reduce my acne scarring and redness but also leaves my skin looking dewy and healthy. I’ve tried other vitamin C serums and nothing has compared so far.

I have two moisturizer recommendations. For something more lightweight I recommend the Laneige Water Bank Hydro Gel. This gel is hydrating but lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin. Perfect for underneath makeup for more my fellow oily gals. For something a little thicker and with more hydration, then check out the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration. My mom swears by this stuff. It’s super thick and super moisturizing. If you have sensitive skin First Aid Beauty is a great brand to check out. The tub is also huge and will probably last you a while.

For eye cream, this recommendation comes from my brother. He loves the Farmacy Cheer Up Brightening Vitamin C Eye Cream with Acerola Cherry. I got this eye cream in my Boxycharm and he stole it from me and loved it haha. He said that it moisturized the area and didn’t irritate him like some other eye cream. So if you need a new eye cream, this is brother-approved.

Finally, if you’re looking for face masks, check out my top five face masks for acne-prone skin blog post. Three of the five masks are available at Sephora!

Hair & Body & Miscellaneous

For hair masks, I have to recommend the Brigogeo Honey Hydration Don’t Despair, Repair! Hair Mask. It pains me that this mask is limited edition. It’s just so much better than their original Don’t Despair Repair mask. You guys already know I’m picking up the set during the sale. This is the best Curly Girl Approved hair mask I’ve used. It makes my hair feel soft and hydrated. Highly recommend it.

My next hair recommendation is the Living Proof Restore Repair Leave-In. I love using this as a heat protectant before I blow-dry my hair. It just helps my hair stay smooth and not become super frizzy. I also love the scent it’s delicious. And it’s Curly Girl Approved so win-win-win!

The next product isn’t Curly Girl Approved so I use it sparingly, but I do like the Moroccanoil Treatment. Whenever my hair is super frizzy, usually on the second hair, I’ll just take a dime size amount in my palm and run it through my hair. It helps tame the frizz. If you’re not following the Curly Girl Method you need this in your life.

I feel like everyone and their mother has recommended the Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops. I do like them and would recommend, but I will give a warning. The nice thing about these drops is that you can add it to your body lotion and don’t have to rinse it off. The only downside is that after a couple of hours and the tan develops I find that it creates a weird smell. It’s not very strong but if my hands or arm is near my nose I can smell a distinct smell. I can only describe it as a combination of rotting flesh and chlorine. It does go away after the tan starts to develop so I recommend using it overnight or taking a shower if you are planning to go out the same day you use this tanner. But besides that, I find the drops easy to use, the tan looks nice and wears for a long time!

I have two perfume brand recommendations. Perfumes are very subjective so it can be hard to recommend them. But from what I’ve experience so far from these two brands I’m impressed. First is Masion Margiela Replica line. I have By the Fireplace and man is this stuff strong. Two sprits and I smell this perfume all day long. I also find the scents to be super unique and unlike anything else on the market. The other brand is Atelier Cologne. I own two perfumes by them – Vanille Insensee and Orange Sanguine. Unlike the Maison Margiela scents that are super complicated, I find that Atelier Colognes have one strong note with supporting scents. The Vanille Insensee smells like vanilla and Orange Sanguine smells like orange. It’s not fussy, very straight to the point scents which I enjoy. They don’t last as long as Maison Margiela but long enough for my tastes. I would recommend these three scents and would consider purchasing more from the brand.

The final product recommend is the Forvr Mood candle. I have a whole blog post about these candles but to summarize these candles are intense. They are also super long lasting. I’ve had mine since August and I’m still not done it. If you know someone in your life who is a candle lover, get this for them for the holidays.

And that my friends is my very long Sephora recommendations list. I left off some classic products that I mention a lot (Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, ABH Brow Wiz, Urban Decay All Nighter, Olehenriksen toner). But I hope you guys found this blog post to be helpful! Let me know in the comments what you’re planning to get during the sale.

xoxo

Lea

October Boxycharm 2021

Hey guys! We’re back with another Boxycharm post! Unrelated to Boxycharm but can you believe that October is already done?! We only have two more months in 2021. That’s crazy to me. Anyway, this month I got my box pretty early so I had time to test out the products. This month’s box was interesting since I got two primer-like products. Let’s get into it.

The first item was my pick for this month, the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops. I had my eyes on this serum for a while so it’s exciting to get an item in my box that I wanted for myself. This serum is a hybrid between skincare and makeup, meant to hydrate and give the skin a reflective, dewy glow. It also has niacinamide which is meant to reduce hyperpigmentation over time. I thought this was more like a makeup product but it’s much more of a skincare product. It helps improve the look of my skin but doesn’t do anything to increase the wear or longevity of my makeup. I like to put this on for no makeup days or use it in combination with another primer to add some dew to my skin. If you prefer more natural makeup you’ll love this because it makes your skin look amazing. Very excited to own this and continue to use it. Price: $34 US, $45 CAD

The next product is the Laura Geller Spackle Skin Perfecting Primer Hydrate. This primer is meant to be a moisturizer and primer in one. It’s meant to hydrate the skin and also create a smooth base for makeup. If you hate the feeling but want the look of silicone smoothing primers, this is the primer for you. The texture is like a moisturizer but it dries down to have the smoothing feeling. It makes my foundation look great. I see myself using this a lot, especially as we head into the drier winter months. Price: $32 US ($41 on website, unsure if that’s Canadian or just a different price).

The next product is the Hanalei Beauty Company Matte Bronzer. It’s an okay bronzer. I find the packaging to be a little cheap and hard to open. If the product itself was stellar I could get past that. But the powder is quite sheer so I find myself having to work hard to build up my bronzer. I like a strong bronzer so it can be a pain to use a sheer powder. I think you can find better bronzers at the drugstore. Price: $25 US

I’ll be honest with you guys, I haven’t tested out the Haus Laboratories Glam Attack Liquid Shimmer Powder much. This is a shimmer shadow with a bunch of glitters running through it. It’s absolutely gorgeous but I don’t wear glitter on the regular so it was hard for me to find the time to use it. I did play around with it one night before bed and I found it easy to blend out. I have the shade Angel Baby, which is a pale pink with pearl tones. This shade matches my skin tone so it blends in quite seamlessly. I didn’t wear it for a long time so I can’t confirm the longevity. While it’s not a product I’ll use often, I’m excited to try it for fun occasions. Price: $20 US, $26 CAD

The final product is the Julep Makeup Remover Towelettes. Makeup wipes are a product that is nice to have around but aren’t exactly the most exciting product to receive in a box. I often use makeup wipes to remove my makeup because it’s not the best for your skin. I’ll use them to remove swatches or I’ll bring them with me to the gym or yoga if I’m going after work. The wipes are a good level of saturation – not dripping wet but not too dry. They have a nice scent, a combination of witch hazel and olive oil. It did a good job of removing my face makeup but didn’t get all my mascara off. Honestly, I think drugstore makeup wipes are just as good if not better and are a fraction of the price. Price: $20 US

The overall total of my box is $131 US. But I have to say I think a couple of the products are overpriced, mainly the bronzer and the makeup wipes. On the other hand, I like the Glow Recipe serum and Laura Geller primer. So overall I would say this box is average. Some hits and some misses. What do you guys think? Did you receive this box or something different? Have you tried out these products? Let me know!

xoxo

Lea