Makeup Products That Missed The Mark (I Never Use These Products)

Hey guys! Today’s post is inspired by a video that I saw by Samantha Ravndahl, where she talks about products that missed the mark for her. The products aren’t necessarily bad but just didn’t work or live up to the expectations and therefore don’t get any use out of them. I decided to share a few products that I felt personally missed the mark for me for one reason or another. All of these brands have products that I adore, just these specifics products weren’t it for me. Let’s get into it.

Makeup products that missed the mark: Dior Backstage Eyeshadow palette, Revlon Super Lustrous Glass Shine Lipstick, Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel and Colourpop Hyaluronic Tinted Moisturizer.

The first product is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel. I remember when this product came out there was so much hype around it that I bought it right away. This wasn’t necessarily the smartest decision for me since I don’t often use brow gel, let alone tinted brow gel. I have pretty naturally thick eyebrows, so all I need is a little pencil to fill them in. This Dipbrow Gel is very pigmented so it makes my brows look very dramatic very quickly. I also find the brush holds a lot of product so I have to wipe so much off otherwise my brows will look super bushy. And finally, if I ever mess up then I have dark brown on my face that I have to try and wipe off. Honestly, I just don’t use brow gel a lot to begin with but when I do I just prefer using a clear one than having to deal with this one.

The next product that I never reach for is the Dior Backstage Eyeshadow Palette in Rosewood Neutrals. It’s a gorgeous palette, don’t get me wrong. But there are two reasons why I rarely reach for it. First, I like using a brown shade in the crease as a transition shade with the majority of my makeup looks. This palette doesn’t have one so I would have to use another palette along with this one. Second, most of the shades are shimmer finishes, which I don’t often use in the crease. So it’s another reason why I would use another palette along with this one. So because I have to use another palette to use this one, I just find myself reaching for another palette entirely and not using this one. This is a real shame because the palette is gorgeous and very expensive.

This product might be a surprise because I initially loved it, but I’ve used the Colourpop Hyaluronic Tinted Moisturizer in months. This was one of the first lighter coverage foundations I had tried so because I had nothing to compare it to I thought it was great. But as I’ve tried other tinted moisturizers I’ve just preferred them over the Colourpop one. My biggest gripe is that puts an even layer of a tint all over the face but does nothing for redness and dark spots. Maybe if you had perfect skin you would love this. But I prefer the Fenty Eaze Drops because while it’s light coverage it still does something for my redness and dark spots. There are just better products on the market.

And the final product is the Revlon Super Lustrous Glass Shine Lipstick. I bought this because Allana Davison was raving about these last year and I got her favourite colour, Beaming Strawberry. I shouldn’t have got this shade because it’s a cool tone pink and I rarely wear cool-toned pinks to begin with. But the combination of this shade and how sheer the formula is just doesn’t work with me. It looks like the colour is sitting on top of my lips and you can see my natural lip colour peeking through, so it looks so weird. I also find that the formula bunches up in any lines on my lips or if I have any dry spots. So the combination of the colour and bunching product means that any time I put this lipstick on I just immediately wipe it off. I’ve loved the majority of the recommendations that Allana has given but this ain’t it.

And those are four products that missed the mark for me! Let me know if you have products in your collection that missed the mark. And should I do a part two?

xoxo

Lea

Product Empties September 2021 (What Beauty & Makeup Would I Repurchase?)

Hey guys! It’s time to show you my beauty trash. ✨ I always love doing product empties posts because I have a good sense of the product since I’ve finished it. We have a few makeup products in today’s mix which is always fun so let’s get into it.

First I finished a mini version of the Olehenriksen Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner. If you’ve read any of my other product empties posts, then you would know that the Balancing Force Oil Control Toner by the same brand is one of my all-time favourite toners. So I thought I would try this one out. This toner has AHAs to help brighten the look of dark spots, which I have a lot from acne scars. Now it would be too much for my skin to use two toners at the same time so I switched from the oil control to the dark spot toner. I found that my face just really missed the oil control toner. It became more textured and oilier. I decided to switch back from the dark spot toner to the oil control toner and only used this toner when I was doing pamper routines in the evening. Overall it’s not a bad toner but it just doesn’t match my current skin needs so I won’t be repurchasing right now.

The next product is the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. I don’t know if anyone else is like this, but I have a good makeup-removing routine and a lazy makeup-removing routine. When I’m being good and doing my full evening skincare routine I’ll use a cleansing balm and double cleanse. When I’m feeling lazy I’ll use this Neutrogena makeup remover and some micellar water to remove my makeup. This stuff is great at removing makeup, especially stubborn mascara and eyeliner. Even though it’s supposed to be oil-free, it does leave my face feeling oily so I’ll just use some micellar water after to get rid of the oily feeling and any leftover makeup. I think this is a great affordable makeup remover and I have already repurchased another one.

The first makeup empty I have is the Tarte SEA Quench Lip Rescue Balm. You know it’s a good product when I purchased it in November and finished it within a year. That’s unheard of when it comes to lip products. There are many reasons why I love this lip balm. First, it’s in a twist-up tube so it’s easy to apply. Second, it’s very hydrating but also leaves the lips looking nice and shiny. And third, it has a nice tint to it so I can just add a little something to the lips. The only downside for me is that it has a mint scent which isn’t my favourite. But it doesn’t linger after it’s applied at least. This was the second one that I repurchase. I haven’t repurchased another one yet but I think I will once the weather turns colder.

The next product is a mini of the Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb. I’ve heard a lot of good reviews of this product so I was excited to try it out. This moisturizer is a lightweight gel that is supposed to give a ‘burst’ of hydration and then quickly absorb into the skin and leave a smooth finish, ideal for oily and combination skin types. I didn’t find it hydrating enough surprisingly. I did find that it leave a smooth finish instead of leaving my skin looking hydrated. If you don’t like looking dewy then this is the moisturizer for you. I want a lightweight gel moisturizer that will still make my skin look dewy instead of oily and this just wasn’t it. So not a bad product but just not what I was looking for.

I finally finished The Inkey List 15% Vitamin C and EGF Brightening Serum!! If you read my review on The Inkey List products, then you might remember that it wasn’t my favourite vitamin C serum that I’ve tried. I just found that it wasn’t as effective compared to other vitamin C serums that I own. I get that it’s more affordable compared to other vitamin C serums. But I rather use a more expensive serum and see results in two weeks than use a cheaper serum and see results in a month. I also didn’t that it made my face feeling sticky and tacky as well. I finished it but won’t be repurchasing it and honestly wouldn’t recommend it.

The next makeup empty is a mini of the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. I honestly can’t remember much about this powder because it was almost empty when I found it in my collection so I only used it twice haha. It’s also a powder – if it sets my face and doesn’t look weird then it’s good haha. I mean this Laura Mercier powder is a cult classic – it has nine thousand reviews on Sephora and a 4.5/5 star rating. If you are ever looking for a good high end powder this is a good one to check out.

Another mini sample I finish of the Moroccan Oil Night Body Serum, which has unfortunately been discontinued. Which is a shame because I did enjoy the oil. I feel like their Dry Body Oil might be similar though. Using a body oil instead of a lotion is nice if you don’t like the greasy feeling of lotions. I haven’t tried the Dry Body Oil so I can’t recommend it but I would be interested in trying it in the future since I liked the Night Body Serum.

The next product I’ve had in my collection forever – the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater. I think I’ve had it for over four years? I just didn’t know what to do with it for a while. The spray is just too aggressive to use with makeup so I never used it. Until I figured out that I like using a facial spray before applying hyaluronic acid. So I started using it for that and finally finished this spray. Honestly, I find that it didn’t do much for my skin except make it wet. Also, I know there was a lawsuit against Mario Badescu for some of their skincare products so it makes me hesitant to repurchase any of their products.

The final product is the MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix +. You guys know this is one of my favourite makeup products. I will always have some Fix+ in my makeup collection. This spray is just the best at setting the face. It helps melt the products into the skin and make the makeup look more skin-like. It’s also great for intensifying any eye products. I have already repurchased another Fix +. If you haven’t tried this setting spray yet, I highly recommend you try it out.

And that’s it for my product empties this month! Let me know in the comments if you tried any of these products, and if you did what you thought of them!

xoxo

Lea

Ranking my Foundation Collection – The Best & The Worst

Hey guys! Today’s post is inspired by a series of videos that I’ve seen Jamie Paige do where she ranks all the products in a certain category or a certain brand. So I decided that I wanted to rank every single one of my foundations! My foundation collection is larger than the average consumer but not extensive. I’ve also gotten rid of any duds in my collection so there are no horrible foundations. Okay let’s get into it!

The first category we have is holy grail status. These are some of my favourite foundations ever that I will always have in my collection. I have three foundations – except one I think might be discontinued. The Fenty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation is one of the best matte foundations out there. Not only is the shade range impressive, but the undertones are really good. Sometimes I find shade ranges can lean a little warm or cool tone but the range is very accurate to the description. If I ever need something that will give me good coverage and last all day I know I can rely on the Fenty Soft Matte Foundation. A newer holy grail is the Fenty Eaze Drops Blurring Skin Tint. The shade range with this skin tint is the same as the matte foundation. Even though this is a skin tint, there is still decent coverage where it will cancel out any redness that I’m having. These two Fenty foundations match my two moods when it comes to foundation. My final holy grail is the Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation. It’s still in stock on the website but not sold in stores anymore so I feel like it’s being discontinued? This foundation makes my skin look so good but also looks so natural. It’s a lightweight, medium coverage foundation that just sinks into the skin. I feel like my skin always looks the best when I wear this foundation. The only downside is that I find it leans a little pink. But I see myself wearing these three foundations for as long as I can get my hands on them.

The next category is in the rotation. These are foundations that I have been loving lately but haven’t quite made it to holy grail status. The first is the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Dewy Foundation. If you’ve watched my recent favourites video, you would know I have been loving this foundation lately. It has great coverage to help cover up any breakouts I’m having but the dewy finish keeps things from looking heavy or cakey. I can set it with powder and it stays put throughout the day pretty well. When I’m unsure of what type of foundation I want I reach for the Smashbox Studio Skin 24 Hour Oil-Free Hydra Foundation. It has medium coverage and a natural matte finish so it’s not too much of anything. It’s not too heavy nor too light, it’s not too matte nor too dewy. It’s a good everyday foundation. The final foundation in the rotation is the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation. This foundation has similar coverage to the Fenty Skin Tint but way dewier. It looks great on the skin but because it’s so dewy it doesn’t last very long. This is good for a couple of hours but not all day.

The next category is good but not great. These are foundations that I’ll use on occasion but for one reason or another, I don’t use them on the daily. The first being the L’Oreal Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Foundation. This foundation has really good coverage but the undertone is just slightly off for me. I always have to bring this down my neck when I wear it, so I don’t reach for it as often. The next foundation is the Bite Beauty Changemaker Supercharged Micellar Foundation. I really like how this looks when I first apply it. But I find after four hours that it just breaks down and looks super oily. The shade also pulls pink on me. The final foundation in this category is the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation. This foundation is quite similar to the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Dewy. I honestly haven’t worn this foundation in a while so I can’t remember what it’s like, but if two foundations are similar I rather recommend the cheaper option than the more expensive foundation.

The final category is take it or leave it. These are foundations that I currently own so I will continue to use them, but if there were to magically disappear tomorrow I wouldn’t go out a repurchase. The first is the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Matte (the original one). I just like the dewy one so much that I don’t reach for the matte version much. I also have the Fenty Beauty matte foundation that I like more if I want a matte look. It’s not bad I just have others I like more. The next foundation is the Colourpop Hyaluronic Tinted Moisturizer. I got this just a couple of weeks before the Fenty Beauty Eaze Drops and I’ve barely used it since. I find that the Colourpop Tinted Moisturizer just gives a sheer wash of colour but doesn’t actual conceal anything. I have a lot of acne scars and redness on my face and this just doesn’t do enough for it. This tinted moisturizer is only nice on really good skin days. The final foundation is the Purlisse Perfect Glow BB Cream SPF 30. I got this in my Boxycharm, I would never purchase this myself. I’m always hesitant about SPF in products because it often breaks me out. This BB cream looks fine but it’s not anything special. Also, the shade range is atrocious. I have it but I rarely use it even though it looks fine on the face.

And those are all the foundations I currently own ranked! Let me know if you guys enjoy this post and if you would like to see me rank another product category!

xoxo

Lea

Testing Curly Girl Approved Mask: Playa Healing Hair Masque

Hey guys! So today I have a hair mask review for you guys. If you read my curly girl hair care routine, then you would know that I’ve been on the hunt for a good hair mask.

I like using hair masks about once a week because I found that they helped make my hair feel soft and smooth as well as help improve my hair health. The only thing is most hair masks are full of silicones that aren’t good for your hair. I find with most curly girl approved hair masks that they’re not as effective. So I’ve been on the hunt to find the best one that would give me the results of a hair mask with silicone just without the silicones.

I went on a search through all the ones available at Sephora and during that search I found the Playa Healing Hair Masque. Playa is a relatively new brand to Sephora and their unique selling proposition is that they are a clean hair brand. Perfect for me since their products are made without sulphates and silicones. This mask is supposed to moisturize the hair, soothe the scalp, softens strands and add shine. Sounds amazing so I purchased it! The mask is $48 so not the cheapest but not the most expensive.

I heard people say that the Playa shampoo and conditioner smells nice so I expected the same thing for the hair mask. I’m not very impressed by the smell, it reminds me a lot of salt dough – if you ever played with that as a kid. Luckily the scent isn’t too strong and doesn’t linger in the hair. The texture is nice and a little goes a long way. I let it sit in my hair for around 8 to 10 minutes before washing it out. I’ve also used the mask four times so I have a pretty good idea about how I feel.

The mask helps soften my hair but does make them feel smooth or shiny. This might be a very specific reference, but if you’ve ever gone swimming in a soft water lake then you know that your hair gets soft and frizzy after. This mask did the same thing to my hair. It was just soft. I deal with fizziness and it did nothing for that.

As well, hair masks are great for helping curls. My curls after using the mask were very small and very tight not necessarily the bouncy curls I’m looking for. If you’ve ever seen photos of curls with too much protein, my curls looked very similar.

So overall I’m not that impressed with the mask. It did make my hair feel soft but not smooth and I wasn’t a huge fan of how my curls looked after. I will continue to use the mask because I bought it and don’t feel like returning it, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m still on the hunt for a good curly girl approved hair mask so if you have any please let me know in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

Back-to-School Supplies For College

Hey guys! Today’s post is inspired by my brother. He was doing some back-to-school shopping and was asking for my opinion. He suggested I do a back-to-school post. Now while I’m not going back to school this year, I still love shopping and want to help you guys out! So today I’m going to compile a list of links for you guys for back-to-school supplies! I haven’t tried all of the products (such as the backpacks) so I’m just going off reviews. Also, let me know if you want me to do a post on some school tips and tricks, I can do that as well! Let’s get into it.

One of the most important items, second to a good laptop, is a good backpack. This is what you’ll use to carry every to and from class. And since you’ll be using it almost daily, you’ll want something to last through the school year. My first pick is the Ela Backpack. I like the wide, rounded shape of the bag. It’ll fit a laptop and many other things, and the black leather design is simple and timeless. My second pick is the Kanken Original Backpack by Fjallraven. This bag was designed as a school bag so it’ll meet all your needs. I also like that it comes in a range of colours so you’ll find one that matches your personality. One of the cheaper options is the Travelon Anti-Theft Signature Nylon Slim Backpack. It is on the smaller size so won’t fit the largest laptops. But if you want something that’s also great for travelling this is it! If you want something with lots of pockets, check out the Kenneth Cole Reaction Women’s Chelsea Backpack. It has four compartments as well as a place to put a water bottle on the side. I like the quilted design and it comes in four colours. If you’re looking for a bag that’s good for the classroom and the gym, check out the Lululemon City Adventurer Backpack 17L. As the name suggests, the bag can carry up to 17L so you can fit everything in this bag. There is a compartment for a laptop and one for sweaty workout clothes!

Now let’s get into pens and such. My favourite pen is hands down the BIC Velocity Bold Ballpoint Pens. I know not everyone is into large pens, but I find them so much easier to hold. And I find ballpoint pens the smoothest to write with. It’s helpful to have some coloured pens as well and BIC has Velocity Bold Fashion pens! They have blue, pink, green and purple in the pack. For bullet journaling, I prefer a fine point pen, since I like to draw as well as write in it. The Sharpie Fine Point Pen Stylo, Assorted Colors, 12-Pack is a great basic pack since it comes with two black pens and 10 different colours. And finally, if you’re looking for some nice markers, my favourite is the Tombow Dual Brush Pens. The pastel set is my favourite because you could also use them as highlighters. I use the pens when drawing in my bullet journal.

Now to hold all the pens and markets you need a pencil case! If you want something cute, then check out the NOTA brand at Indigo. They have a ton of designs and different sizes. If you are looking for something with a lot of room in it, then look into the Mokani Large Capacity Pencil Case. The pencil case can hold up to 50-80 pencils, erasures, calculators, etc. This is perfect for an art student who has tons of different pens. If you’re on the opposite end and don’t need a large pencil case, then check out the INECIY Grid Mesh Pencil Case. It’s also made of mesh so you can always see what’s in your pencil case. Finally, if you have a lot of pencils and pens to organize, then check out the Gamenote Assorted Colors Plastic Pencil Case Box. It comes in an eight pack so you can all your pens and stationery supplies. The plastic allows you to see through and know what’s in each box without having to open them.

And the final important part of back-to-school shopping is getting notebooks and planners. Indigo makes some of my favourite pretty notebooks. They have both hardcover and soft notebooks as well as a range of sizes. I have a bunch of the A5 Spiral Notebooks and they work well and look pretty. When I was in university, I used the Five Star Spiral 5 Subject Notebooks. I had five classes in university so I would use a section per subject. That way I could have all my notes in one notebook. If you’re looking for something simple, then check out the Amazon Basics College Ruled Composition Notebooks. They look nicer than the cheap Hilroy notebooks but they won’t break the bank. Next is a planner. Planners are very personal and need to meet your specific needs. I currently used a NOTA 17-Month Agenda. It has space for the days of the week and to write notes which I like. If you want to customize your planner, then maybe try bullet journaling. Most people start with the Leuchtturm1917 Dotted Hardcover Journal. But if you want to step things up, check out the Archer & Olive Bullet Journals. And finally, if agendas or planners aren’t your thing but you still want to stay organized, maybe try a desk calendar.

Those are my recommendations for some back-to-school shopping! Let me know if I forgot to include anything and maybe I could do a part two? I’m also very excited about doing some fall fashion shopping, so stay tuned for that as well. 😉

xoxo

Lea

FORVR Mood Candle Review: Are They Better Than BBW?

Hey guys! So if you didn’t know, I’m a HUGE candle fan. I almost always have one burning, they just help brighten my mood so much. Bath and Body Works makes some of my favourites but I’ve also tried quite a few small businesses as well.

When I saw that Jackie Aina created her own candle company, FORVR Mood, I was curious about her candles but didn’t purchase any right away. The brand recently launched a limited selection of their candles at Sephora so I decided to pick one up and try it for myself!

I decided to get the scent Caked Up, which was $49 at Sephora Canada. Usually, I’m not one for sweet scents because they can often smell artificial and give me a headache. But I’ve been on the hunt for an almond candle when I saw this candle has almond as one of its top notes and I picked it up. The candle notes are written similarly to a perfume with top, heart and base notes. The top notes are roasted pistachio, almond cream and pineapple. The heart notes are honey, jasmine and coconut. And the base notes are vanilla bean and musk.

The candle smells amazing. It’s not too sweet, with the nutty scents being the strongest. It’s also very strong. I can have the candle unlit and smell it in my room. And when it’s lit the scent is very strong, filling up my whole entire upstairs. If you don’t like strong scents stay away from this candle.

The candle burns pretty evenly, I haven’t had any tunnelling occur yet. I do have to cut the wick every time because the wick mushrooms quite easily. The flame also burns pretty high as well so I just make sure to put the candle in the middle of my desk when I burn it.

I want to compare the candle to Bath and Body Works (BBW) candles since those are the most accessible candle for most people. BBW candles have three wicks and are 14.5 oz. FORVR Mood candles have one wick and are 10 oz. There is also a price difference with FORVR Mood being $49. BBW is full price $32, but they frequently have sales so it’s easy to get the candles under $20.

I find the strength of BBW candles to be hit or miss depending on the scent. Some can be very strong and borderline overpowering but others can be subtler. I currently have Spiced Cardamom and while it’s strong, it’s not as strong as FORVR Mood. So while the candle is more expensive the quality is better.

So would I recommend the FORVR Mood candle? I think it depends. If you don’t like strong candles then definitely pass. If you’re looking for a special occasion candle or one to fill up a large room then I would recommend it. For me personally, I go through candles like water and can’t afford to be constantly buying FORVR Mood candles. But maybe if there is a scent that really speaks to me then I would consider buying it in the future.

I hope you guys find this review helpful! Let me know if you tried FORVR Mood candles! And also let me know what your favourite candle brands are because I would love to try them out!

xoxo

Lea

3 Underrated Beauty Brands

Hey guys! I had the idea to write today’s post as I was writing and reading the comments on my July Boxycharm post. I received a bronzer trio from Alamar Cosmetics, a brand I love but feel doesn’t get enough love online. So today I’m going to share three brands and three products from each brand that I think deserve more love.

Alamar Cosmetics

The first brand is Alamar Cosmetics, the brand that inspired this blog post. The brand was created by Cuban-American influencer Gabriela Trujillo, who worked for Boxycharm before starting her brand. Because of her connection to Boxycharm I’ve received many of their products in my box. The quality is amazing and I’m always happy to get the brand in my box.

The first product recommendation from Alamar Cosmetics is their eyeshadow palettes. I have the Reina Del Caribe Eyeshadow Palette and it’s beautiful. The eyeshadows are great quality and look so good. The blue shade Varadero is one of the best blues I’ve ever used. The next product recommendation is their face palettes. I got their Brighten & Bronze Complexion Trio recently but I can tell it’s already an all-time favourite. I also had their blush trios and those were so good as well. The powders are creamy and blend very easily on the face. The final product recommendation is their DesNUDEAs Lip Gloss. I have their shade Birthday Suit which is a gorgeous pink with diamond glitter in it. Their glosses have a high gloss finish and medium coverage, so the gloss can be worn by itself or overtop another lip product. And one more quick recommendation is their brushes – I have so many and their great quality!

Ace Beaute

The next brand is Ace Beaute. This is another brand that I discovered through Boxycharm that I love. Ace Beaute is a black, women-owned small business that is absolutely killing it. All their products are also cruelty-free!

Their eyeshadow quality is amazing. I have their Vintage Dawn and Grandiose Palette. The eyeshadows are so pigmented, especially the bright matte shades which can be hard to do well. I love their colour stories, they’re unique but also make sense. I also have their Glimmer Shadows (not pictured) and they are some of the best potted eyeshadows I’ve tried. They rival Colourpop’s Super Shock Shadows in terms of pigmentation and payoff. They’re sooo good! The final recommendation is the Bronzed in Paradise Palette. Now I know I say that I don’t normally like palettes that have all the shades in them. But there are very commendable qualities about this palette. The range of shades is so vast that it’s actually a palette for everyone. And because it’s bronzer palette so I can use the shades as eyeshadows. Finally, the quality is great. It’s pigmented and easy to use. So many great products from Ace Beaute!

Burt's Bee

The final underrated brand is one from the drugstore. I feel like Burt’s Bee is a well-known brand but doesn’t get enough hype. Burt’s Bee is known for using natural ingredients in their products and all their products are cruelty-free. I use their products all the time and everyone is surprised when I mention they’re from Burt’s Bee!

The first recommendation is the Satin Lipsticks. I have the shade Blush Basin which is a great everyday shade. These lipsticks are satin so they have a creamy quality to them and are very comfortable on the lips. Another great lip product from Burt’s Bee is their Lip Shines. If you don’t like thick glosses this is the product for you. It’s a quite thin formula but still provides some shine and colour. And it’s very comfortable on the lips. My final recommendation is the Burt’s Bee Blush. This is a lightweight, mineral formula which means that it goes on light but is easy to build. This is great because it’s so easy to over-apply blush. I also love the shade range. I have the shade Fresh Apricot but I want to buy more because I love the shades.

And those are my three underrated brands and their product recommendations! Let me know in the comments what your favourite underrated brand is in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

July Boxycharm 2021

Hey guys! Can you believe July is almost over already? It feels just like yesterday that I was writing my June Boxycharm post. I’ve been so busy this month that it’s made the time fly by. Anyway today I am sharing my review of the products I received in my July Boxycharm. If you want to know what my first impressions were or to see the products visually, check out my Youtube video!

A variation of Boxycharm's July box.

The first product in my box is the Alamar Cosmetics Brighten & Bronze Complexion Trio. I received the shade fair/light, which matches me perfectly. I much prefer getting something that matches my skin tone than a palette that is for everyone because I can use every single powder in the trio. The trio has a brightening shade, a bronze shade and a deeper contour shade. The powders are very buttery and apply well to the skin. There is a slight sheen to the powders as well. The sheen is nice for the bronzer but I’m not a fan of having the sheen in the highlight shade. I prefer a matte setting powder but that’s my personal preference. If you have dry skin you’ll love this. Overall I think the trio is great and I see myself reaching for this very often. Price: $25 US

The next product is The Lyfestyle Co. Detox Hair Serum. This serum is meant to soothe dry and itchy scalp, strengthen hair and promote hair growth. I did check and it is Curly Girl approved – if you want to learn more about that check out my curly hair blog post. I only used this serum twice because I kept on forgetting to use it in my hair since it’s supposed to be used on the scalp after washing it. The first time I only added a bit and didn’t notice a difference. The second time I used more and found my hair looked so greasy. I don’t use hair serums so I’m not sure what’s the correct amount. Overall I’m not sure how much I’m going to use this serum, it’s just not something I need. And since it’s such a high price tag not sure I would recommend it. Price: $79 US

Another expensive product is the Mudmasky Vitamin Infused Eye Serum. This eye serum is a blend of vitamin c and other ingredients to firm and hydrate the eye area. It takes a couple of weeks to see results but so far I like it! This eye serum goes on easily because it’s quite liquid. It doesn’t have a scent. What I like the most is that it quickly absorbs into the skin. This is great in the morning when I apply makeup after doing my skincare. Some eye creams take a while to absorb and can affect my makeup application. I have no problem with this serum. The only thing I’m not a huge fan of is the packaging. It looks a little cheap and the cap isn’t smooth, the edge feels unfiled. I won’t give my stamp of approval until I’ve tested it for the recommended three to four weeks, but so far so good! Price: $63 US, $79 CAD

The next product is the Grande Cosmetics Grandeglow Plumping Liquid Highlight. I got the shade French Pearl. This highlight is meant to have a plumping system to firm and tighten fine lines while also giving the skin a radiant, luminescent glow. I love how this highlight looks on my skin. It doesn’t have any glitter or chunks, instead it gives a natural glow to the skin. The formula is a little tricky to work with. It dries quickly so I have to work quickly or otherwise it becomes patchy or won’t blend. So not the most user-friendly highlight. Also the first time I used the highlight I didn’t feel any plumping effect, but the second time I used more and felt a tingle on my face. I don’t necessarily need a plumping highlight, my face is already round enough haha. I will say that the tingle effect isn’t consistent. Sometimes I feel it and sometimes I don’t. Overall I like the highlight for its look and I would recommend it for that reason. Price: $25 US

The final product in my box is the Billion Dollar Brows Brows On Point Micro Pencil. I got the shade Taupe, which is quite deceiving. Most brands will call their light brown shade taupe so I didn’t think this would match me. But Billion Dollar Brows named their medium to dark brunette Taupe so it matches me perfectly. The pencil itself is pretty average. It’s quite pigmented so if I press too hard it shows up very dark. But it’s creamy enough that I can smudge away any mistakes. I have noticed that the spoolie at the end is a little short, I’m used to something longer. Overall I found with brow pencils as long as their the right shade I can make it work. It’s nothing special but also not bad. Price: $16 US

The final total of the box is $208 US. The total is high because of the eye serum and hair serum. Overall a pretty good box. I thin besides the hair serum I see myself using all the products. If you get Boxycharm, let me know in the comments what products you got! I’m always curious what the other variations are!

xoxo

Lea

Books Reviews: “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” and “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”

Hey guys! I’m back with another book review. I must say that I haven’t been reading as much lately. I usually read at night but I’ve been so tired that I only read for a bit before going to sleep. So it’s been taking me longer than normal to get through books. But here I am with two new book reviews. Let’s get into it.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The first book is The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. My mom borrowed this from our neighbour and then recommended it to me. This story follows Lale, who is a Slovakian Jew who becomes the tattooist at Auschwitz. He ends up meeting a woman named Gita and he promises her that they will make it out alive and that he will marry her. This is an adult historical fiction novel.

I had high expectations going into this book because I’ve heard many good things about it. And while the book was good, it wasn’t the best World War II book I’ve ever read. Don’t get me wrong, Lale and Gita’s story is incredible – and based on real life. But the storytelling was a little lacklustre.

Morris is a screenwriter by trade and I felt like that was quite evident in her writing. There was a general lack of atmosphere and setting in the book – things that are normally done visually not necessarily written in a screenplay. I think Morris did a great job of explaining the reality of Auschwitz and also mentioned other prisoners such as the Romani, political prisoners, etc. But I didn’t get any sense of fear and tension in the novel.

This was also touted as a great romance and I felt like the romance was a little lacking between Lale and Gita. There are so many World War II books out there on the market and I just don’t think that this was necessarily the best I’ve read in the genre.

Overall I give the book 3.5/5 stars. The story itself was good but the writing needs work. If you’re a big World War II book read then I would check it out. But otherwise, I don’t think it needs to be on the top of everyone’s list.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The second book is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I’ve heard many good things about the book, so much that I asked for it (and received it) for Christmas this past year. The story is about Evelyn Hugo, a famous movie actress of the 60s and 70s who had seven different husbands. Evelyn asks an unknown writer, Monique, to write her life story and tell the world who her one true love is. This is an adult historical fiction novel as well.

I have to say that I liked the book, but I wasn’t blown away but it. It took me a really long time to get into the novel. The book follows Monique at the beginning and it takes a while for Evelyn to start telling her story. And it wasn’t until her third husband that I really got into the novel.

I also didn’t really feel emotionally connected to any of the characters. There were no characters that I saw myself in or that I really liked and wanted to be my best friend. I respect Evelyn, for she is a complex character but still a strong and powerful woman. But I just didn’t connect with her. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the main love interest (but I won’t say who as to not spoil it). I also loved the LGBTQ + representation in the novel. It’s something I want to read more of in the future and I really like the way it was handled and discussed in the novel.

Overall it’s a good book and I would recommend it to anyone who’s intrigued by it. But it’s not going to be on the top of my book list for this year. I give it 4/5 stars.

It’s interesting because last time I have two five-star books and this time I was a little disappointed by the books I read. Not that they were bad but I just heard such amazing things that I thought they would be better. Anyway, I’m planning to read A Court of Thorns and Roses next, so I won’t have a new book review blog post until I finish that series! So follow me on TikTok (@leaveittolea) because I give more updates there.

xoxo

Lea

Sephora Skincare Haul

Hey guys! Today I have a mini Sephora Haul. I had to repurchase a few things and decided to pick up two new things with my order as well. Not a huge haul but still exciting nonetheless. Okay, let’s get into the products.

Sephora haul featuring MAC, Belif and OleHenriksen products.

First I repurchase the Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner. If you read my product empties post you would know I finished this toner recently. I need it in my life so I repurchased it! I’ve said this before, but if you have oily skin you need this in your life. I really notice a difference in my skin texture and oiliness. It just helps smooth my skin and reduces how quickly I get oily. I use this every morning after I cleanse my skin and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon.

The next repurchase is the MAC Prep + Prime Fix+. I’ve had a MAC Fix+ in my makeup collection for years now, but decided to switch things up and get the coconut scent this time. If you’re going to have one setting spray in your collection, make it this one. The mist is super fine so it won’t ruin your makeup and just feel soft and gentle. The actual formula is great because it helps melt powders into the skin so they don’t look powdery or cakey. But it won’t add extra shine which is great for me since I’m an oily gal. It helps improve the look of my makeup. The coconut scent is nice – not too strong and sweeter than sunscreeny. I love this setting spray and would highly recommend it.

Now for new products. The first being the belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb. I needed a new moisturizer and decided to give this one a try since I’ve heard really good things about it. I also decided to get the mini size just in case I don’t like it. This is a lightweight gel that is supposed to give a burst of hydration and quickly absorb into the skin without looking heavy or greasy. I’d say that the claims are true! It’s a gel formula which I prefer. It does leave my skin feeling hydrated and does absorb into the skin super quickly. It absorbs so well into the skin that my skin almost looks matte, very similar to the Origins Matte Moisturizer. While I do like it and will finish it, I’m on the fence if I would repurchase it. I will update you when I finish the product.

And for the final product, I purchased the Ole Henriksen Lemonade Smoothing Scrub, which I also purchased in a mini size. I’ve mentioned this in my product empties post but I’m on the search for the best exfoliator for my skin. I thought I would hit a home run with this one but it’s just average. This scrub has AHAs, lemon peel and sugar to provide both a chemical and physical exfoliation to the skin. I like the consistency of the scrub – it’s not too thick and abrasive but enough that I can feel it on my face. And I like the light citrus smell as well. The only thing is that I don’t really notice a difference. With an exfoliator, I want an instant result so it’s a little disappointing to not notice anything. I’ll continue to use it but I wouldn’t be repurchasing.

And that’s my little Sephora haul guys! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products before and if so what were your thoughts!

xoxo

Lea