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 Clear 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

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

12 Holiday Gifts Set To Pick Up From Sephora

Hey guys! Today is going to be the final of my Sephora Sale recommendations list. I wanted to share some holiday gift sets that caught my attention and I think would be great gifts. These gift sets are all limited edition, so pick them up ASAP if you’re interested in them! I got a real mix of stuff so let’s get into it!

I mentioned this in my Sephora Recommendations, but Farmacy has their Garden Party Green Clean Trio. This is a set of three mini Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balms in three limited-edition scents: Strawberry Basil, Lemon Mint, Peach Thyme. This is also a great deal because this set is 5.1 fl oz in total for $56, and the original Green Clean is 3.4 fl oz for $45. A great deal for someone who loves Green Clean!

If you know someone who loves Benefit Cosmetics or you just want to get them a variety of products, I think the Holiday Cutie Beauty Makeup Bestsellers Value Set is the one to get. The set includes a full-size bronzer, mascara and brow gel as well as a mini primer sample. These products are some of Benefit’s bestsellers so you know they’ll be great. And it’s a $126 value for $54! A great deal!

The perfect gift set for a makeup lover is the Sephora Favourites Holiday Makeup Must Haves Set. This includes all of the top-selling and trending products for this holiday season – all products the makeup lover in your life probably has their eye on. The kit includes a variety of minis as well as three full-size products. I think Sephora always does a great job of selecting good products but also has the best value, with this set being $202 value for $71.

If your budget is a little smaller, then check out the Sephora Collection Holiday Vibes Favorite Nude Lip Set. Sephora Collection products are extremely underrated with their lip products being some of their best in my opinion. This kit includes three full-size lip products in their bestselling nude shades. The best part is this set has a $53 value for only $25 – perfect for Secret Santa or a small budget!

If you’re unsure what to get the makeup lover in your life because they seem to have everything, consider the MakeUp Eraser Wildflower MakeUp Eraser 7-Day Set. These little clothes are great at removing makeup and just need water! This set is perfect because it contains seven, so one for every day of the week. Every makeup lover needs something to remove their makeup. And these MakeUp Erasers have cute little flowers on them. The set is $33.

Switching into skincare, if you’re unsure what skin type someone has, I always recommend First Aid Beauty. Their skincare is designed to be gentle and for those with sensitive skin. Their Your Future Looks FAB Gift Set is great because it includes all of their top products. I’ve tried all of these products (my mom also loves them) and they’re great! Best of all it’s a $148 value for $64.

If you know what skin type someone has, consider Laneige. They have a Hydration-To-Go! Combination to Oily Skin and a Hydration-To-Go! Normal to Dry Skin. These kits are great because it includes a full face but is designed for a specific skin type. I love Laneige skin care and would be so happy if someone got me this set. Both sets are also a great price at $38.

If you know someone in your life who loves face masks, then check out the Origins MERRY MASKS Our 5 Best Mask Minis. I got a similar set from Origins a couple of years ago and discovered one of my favourite masks through it! These minis are also quite large so they will last someone quite a few uses before they run out. This set has a $44 value for $25 – another great affordable gift set!

Of course, I have to mention the Briogeo Honey Hydration Don’t Despair, Repair! Hair Repair Kit. I love this deep conditioner and I think everyone should try it out. But the kit also comes with a shampoo and conditioner, so it’s a great way to try a variety of Briogeo’s products. The other great thing about Briogeo is that their products are made with silicones and sulphates, are vegan and are clean beauty so they will work for a variety of hair types.

If you want to get someone haircare but are unsure of what, consider the Sephora Favourites Healthy Hair Must-Haves Kit. This set comes with 10 different hair care products to help hydrate, strengthen and repair hair. It also includes a full-size Amika product. And like all the Sephora sets, this product has a value of $52.

If you have a candle lover in your life, then consider getting them the Voluspa Mini Candle Advent Calendar. This comes with 12 of their bestselling candles. This is a great way to try their candles and see which ones you like before investing in a large one. My mom and I got this last Christmas and spilt it between us. This could also be great to purchase and break up into multiple gifts. The votives are also really cute, I’ve kept the jars after I’ve finished burning them because they’re so cute.

And the final gift set is the Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Jet Set. This set comes with a mini of their infamous Bum Bum Cream, a shower gel and a body fragrance mist. I love the scent of this set. This is perfect for anyone dreaming of a tropical getaway but are unable to go. This set has a $43 value for $33.

And those are my gift set recommendations! Let me know which set you think is the best or if there are any other gift sets that have caught your attention 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

September Boxycharm 2021

Hey guys! Sorry I haven’t posted in a week. As soon as I decided I wanted to come back to blogging, I became insanely busy at work. As well, I got my Boxycharm super late this month, hence why this post is going up in October. But I thought I would still share my thoughts on the products just in case you were curious about them. Let’s get into it!

The first product is the Glamglow Youthmud Glow Stimulating & Exfoliating Treatment Mask. This mask is meant to smooth the skin and help with fine lines. This is meant for people with oilier skin types, so if you have dry skin stay away. As well, if you have sensitive be careful because this mask tingles. I’m not a huge fan of the tingling sensation but it did do a nice job of smoothing my skin. Haven’t noticed any difference with fine lines, since I feel like that’s something that takes time to fix. Overall it’s a good mask but it’s not my favourite mask I’ve ever tried. Price: $60 US, $78 CAD

The next product is a duo, so two products in one! The Half Caked Best Friends Forever set comes with the In Bloom Blush and Duo Fiber Brush. The shade I got in the blush is Freshly Squeezed. I love getting brushes in my box and this one is super soft. The blush is super pigmented, so I have to use a very light hand. But it’s very long-lasting which is impressive for a powder blush. The shade Freshly Squeezed is quite a bright red – not exactly a shade I reach for often. But I think this shade would look gorgeous on deeper skin tones. I’m impressed with this set. Price: $22 US, $29 CAD

I got a second set of products, the Pinky Rose Cosmetics Multi-Use Makeup Base Sticks Jazz & Hip Hop Duo. These sticks can be used as either eyeshadow or an eyeshadow primer. Hip Hop is a creamy beige and Jazz is a shimmery copper. The pigmentation and bendability are great on both of these, but they crease so much. I wore Hip Hop as a primer and my eyeshadow creased. I tried Jazz by itself and it creased. If you don’t have greasy eyelids you’ll be fine, but if you’re like me then these sticks still just slip and slide everywhere. Price: $20 US, $25.17 CAD

The next product I received is the Elemis Superfood AHA Glow Cleansing Butter. This is such a cool product. I’ve used many cleansing balms before but the texture of this is very different. The name butter is quite accurate because it’s much creamier. It does an excellent job at removing all my makeup but not stripping my skin. If you have dry skin you’ll love this cleanser. Price: $38 US

And the final product is the Give Them Lala Beauty Mascara. First I must say that the packaging is a little odd. The tube itself is just plain white, with just the brand name on the cap. The wand of the mascara is nice, on the smaller side which I prefer. I like how my lashes look, they’re long and voluminous. But I find the formula to be very wet so I always get mascara on my lid which is very annoying. I’m curious to see what this mascara will be like in a month once it’s dried a bit and if it’ll still be wet. For now, it’s an average mascara. Price: $20 US

The total value of the box is $160, which is pretty good. I’m most impressed by the fact that there were two sets, so I technically got seven products in my box this month! I’m excited to continue using and testing out the products. Let me know in the comments what you think of September’s box. Was it worth it? Did you get the same or different products? Have you tried any of these products? Let me know!

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

August Boxycharm 2021

Hey guys! Can you believe that it’s the end of August and summer is almost over? I feel like the summer just flew by this year. I also got my box early this month so I was able to test out the products for longer. If you want to see my first impressions, check out my Youtube video. Let’s get into it.

The first product I got was the Clean Skin Club Pineapple Glow Mist. This mist has hyaluronic acids, enzymes, peptides and antioxidants to give the skin a healthy glow. This is a lightweight and fast-absorbing formula to help penetrate and hydrate the skin. So instead of wetting my face and using a hyaluronic acid, I can just wet my face with this mist. It’s very easy to use and does absorb into the skin very quickly. While my face doesn’t necessarily feel as hydrated as using a serum it does add a nice glow to the skin. The instructions say only three to four sprays are necessary but I find I need way more to cover my face. For that reason, I’ve used a decent amount already. I like it but I can see myself going through it quickly. Price: $38 US

The second skincare product I got is two masks from Vitamasques. I thought this was a two-pack, but on the website I found them individually. So I guess I got six products this month? The first of the two masks is the Glow Juicy Berries Biodegradable Mask. This mask is meant to brighten the skin. It’s smelled good and did brighten my skin. The second mask is the Nourish Flower Nectar Biodegradable Mask. This mask is meant to help nourish and moisturize the skin. I haven’t used the second mask yet so I can’t tell you what it was like. I don’t know if I would spend the money to purchase them and ship them again. I think I could find masks that are just as good at my local drugstore. Price: $12 each

The next product is the Laura Geller The Casual Collection Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette. I think the colour stories matches the theme of a causal collection well. These are quite wearable shades and can be used for both every day and evening looks. I will say that the whole palette leans a little cool tone, including the brown shades. I wish the browns were a little bit more warm-toned since that’s what I prefer. The pigmentation isn’t the strongest so every look I do is quite soft. This means that if you’re a beginner it’s easy to use but if you’re looking for bold colours this isn’t it. Honestly, the palette isn’t bad but it’s not anything special. I have so many palettes similar so I would pass on this one. Price: $45 US, $58 CAD

The second eye product I got is the Lavaa Lashes Flirty Lash Set. This lash set comes with their Flirty lashes, a brush-on lash adhesive and a gold applicator. I love the look of the lashes, they’re long but wispy so I can see my eyeshadow through them. The brush-on lash adhesive is easy to use and does keep my lashes on. And the applicator was easy to use. I have another pair of Lavaa Lashes and have worn them many times, they hold up well. I like this set and would recommend the brand. Price: $21.50 US

The last product I got is the Jecca Blac Play Pot. This product was a dud for me. In the pot is this bright gold pigment but when I blend it out the pigment goes away and I’m just left with glitter. I don’t like glitter on my face so I tried it on the eyes. It smudged all over the place and didn’t last. It’s great that it’s vegan and cruelty-free but the product itself isn’t good and I don’t see myself using it again. Price: $21.50 US, $28.82 CAD

The overall total of my box is $150, which is on the lower end of box totals. I would say that this box was alright. I like the mist and lashes. The sheet masks are nice but they’re single-use. The Play Pot was a total miss. Let me know what you guys think in the comments and if you got similar products!

xoxo

Lea

Building a Basic Skincare Routine

Hey guys! Today’s post was inspired by my friend who was wondering to build a basic skincare routine. They weren’t doing much and wanted to do more to improve their skin but didn’t necessarily want a 7 seven routine. So today we’re keeping things basic. And by basic, I mean three products. I’m going to share a routine for dry skin and oily skin. And we’re going to keep all the products affordable. Let’s get into it.

For both routines, we’re going to keep it to three products – a cleanser, a treatment and a moisturizer. These are the main things you should be doing every time. You can add more things – but that can be another post. If you are unsure if you have dry or oily skin, then look at it at the end of the day. If it’s slick to the touch then it’s oily. If it’s rough and flaky then it’s dry. There are more skin types, such as combo, normal and sensitive, but today we’re keeping it super simple.

Dry Skin Routine

If you have dry skin it’s still important to cleanse your face. This helps get rid of any dirt or impurities that have accumulated on your skin. I recommend La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser. La Roche-Posay is used to teach people with  rosacea, dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis – so you know is this going to be gentle. This will help clean the skin but not strip it and leave it feeling dry.

After cleansing the skin we are going to treat it. To help with dryness I recommend using hyaluronic acid. The Inkey List has a Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum that is only $9.99. By using a serum and a moisturizer you will be giving your skin twice the amount of hydration. Just make sure to wet the skin before applying the serum so it has something to adhere to.

The final step for dry skin is to moisturize. If you have very dry skin then you need the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. This stuff is thick and will help soothe any dry patches on your skin. I love using this in the winter when my skin is on the drier side, but if you have dry skin you can use this year-round. It helps soothe and bring down any irritating dry patches.

Oily Skin Routine

If you have oily skin, you want to make sure to probably clean the face but still moisturize. Many people with oily skin think they don’t need moisturizer, but often it’s because the skin is dry that it’s overcompensating by creating too much oil. But first, you need to clean it. Check out the CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser. Salicylic acid is a great active ingredient that helps chemically exfoliate the skin to help get rid of texture and prevent acne.

For treatment, I have two options. If you find that the CeraVe cleanser is enough to treat any breakouts, then try incorporating a vitamin c serum. Try The Inkey List 15% Vitamin C Serum. Vitamin C will help brighten any dark spots such as acne scars or sunspots. It will also just help brighten your overall complexion. If the CeraVe cleanser isn’t enough for breakouts, then check out the Benzagel 5% Gel. This is the most potent Benzoyl Peroxide that you can get over the counter. This is a strong ingredient but really does make a difference – it’s what I use to help treat my acne. Just put a bit on any acne breakouts or daily on areas where you often break out.

Finally, it’s time to moisturize. This helps soothe and repair the skin after using active ingredients to help fight oil and acne. For oily skin, I recommend using a gel moisturizer because it will hydrate the skin but it won’t feel as heavy as a cream. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream is a great dupe for some higher-end moisturizers. It’s lightweight but will give the skin some moisture.

And those are my basic skincare routines. Let me know if you want a part two where I can add in a few more product recommendations or give other options that are more mid-range prices!

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