Ranking Every Book I Read in 2022

Hey guys! I have finally caught up on all my book reviews and it’s finally time to do my 2022 book blog post! I wanted to get all my individual book reviews up so I could link them in this post.

If you didn’t read last year’s post, I’m going to rank all the books I’ve read this year. I read 18 books this year, just shy of my goal of 20 books. I want to note that I rate series together, so while I read 18 books, there are only 15 entries. I’m going to start at the bottom and finish with my favourite book. Let’s get into it!

All the books I read in 2022.

Two Star Books

15. I did have one DNF this year, but it’s a part of the Order of Darkness series, which I gave 2 stars overall. It had a good start but the later books just weren’t good. The series was slow and predictable. All of the characters were one-dimensional and I didn’t like where the series was heading which is why I did not finish it. I wouldn’t recommend the series.

Three Star Books

14. At the bottom of my three-star list is Normal People. As I mentioned in my review, I couldn’t decide between giving it two or three stars which is why it’s at the bottom of the list. I didn’t like the main characters and didn’t enjoy reading the book. Yes, there is some literary merit to the novel. But I’ve come to a point where I just want to enjoy what I’m reading and didn’t enjoy reading this book.

13. Unlike Normal People, I didn’t mind reading The Revolution of Sabine. It just wasn’t meant for me. I think this book is on the cusp of young readers and young adults so it was just too simple for me. It’s a good introduction to the ideologies of the American and French Revolutions. But I just want something more.

12. The premise of Bewitching Season was good. It had kidnapping and magic against the backdrop of Victorian England. But it focused too much on the melodrama. Miscommunication is a trope that really bothers me but I could see other people enjoying it.

Three-and-a-half Star Books

11. Another example of a book not being bad but just not for me was The Twelve Topsy-Turvry, Very Messy Days of Christmas. It was a cute, family-friendly novel. You know when you watch a kids’ movie as an adult, sometimes they’re fun and other times they’re just so obviously meant for kids? This book feels like the latter. It was unique and original so I give it props for that.

10. I love a great atmospheric book and Into The Water was that. But it was also confusing with too many points of view and lacking suspense. The pacing was also a little off for me, with the middle section being slow and the ending rushed. Paula Hawkins’ other novel, The Girl on the Train, is much better.

9. One of the few series I read this year was The Remnant Chronicles. This series had a unique premise, something hard to find in the fantasy genre. I also appreciate that the war wasn’t long and dragged out, unlike other fantasy series. That being said, the second book dragged quite a bit. It was a good series and I enjoyed reading it but it doesn’t stick out in my mind compared to other fantasy series I’ve read over the years.

Four Star Books

8. Similar to The Remnant Chronicles, Reminders of Him was a good book but it doesn’t stick out in my mind. The premise was interesting and I appreciate the nuance that was brought forward. But I didn’t have any emotional connection to either of the main character. It’s a good book but not memorable.

7. Another great atmospheric book was The Guest List. It gave me all the spooky vibes I wanted. This was a multiple point-of-view but unlike Into the Water, it wasn’t confusing. My only issue is that I prefer a whodunnit when you know what the crime is at the start and try to figure out what happened. In this book, you don’t know what happened until the end and find out the antagonist about a chapter later.

6. It’s funny because my top six novels are all romance books. I guess that happens to be my favourite genre right now haha. In sixth place, we have The Love Hypothesis. There was a lot of hype online about this one and I liked it but didn’t love it. I loved the setting, the relationship and the banter. I wasn’t a huge fan of the main character. And once again it had miscommunication!!! It’s a fun read though.

5. Cracking into the top five we have November 9. Despite not being a huge fan of the instant-love trope, I did enjoy the book. It was super easy to read and I binge-read it. The plot twist is what sold me on the book.

4. I know I said I rate series together, but I felt like the Bellinger Sisters duology deserved to be separated. I gave Hook, Line and Sinker four stars because while it was super fun and cute. It lost a star because of the miscommunication trope. A super great summer read and follow-up to the first book.

Five Star

3. I feel a little silly putting a Christmas novel so high but I absolutely loved A Merry Little Meet Cute. I love cheesy Christmas movies and it was like that but also self-aware and full of spicy romance. It was just so good.

2. It Happened One Summer was so fun to read. I found myself laughing so much while reading it. The spice was amazing but I also loved the character development. I started off the book a little unsure of the main character and I loved her by the end. This was a little predictable but it was a light-hearted and fun read. I enjoyed it so much.

1. My top book of the year had to be People We Meet On Vacation because I happy cried at the end of the book. If a book can make me happy cry it’s a win in my book because it shows that I was truly invested in the characters. The main character, Poppy, just reminds me so much of myself and I wish to have a great romance just like her. I love reading about all the vacations Poppy and Alex went on. It was full of tension and character growth and just so good. So so good.

And those are all the books I read in 2022! If you guys read any of these books let me know what you think. And also let me know what your favourite book that you read last year was! I’m always on the lookout for new books!

Xoxo

Lea

Book Reviews: The Final Books of 2022

Hey guys! We are almost all caught up on my 2022 book reviews! Today’s post will feature the last four books I have yet to review on my blog. After that, I’ll be posting my 2022 books round-up and then we’ll be done with book posts for a while haha. Now let’s get into it!

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest List

I read The Guest List back in the fall when I was in the mood for a good mystery. This book is a multiple point-of-view at a high-profile wedding off the coast of Ireland. The whole party goes awry when a waitress comes in screaming bloody murder. The book is an adult mystery thriller.

I like the book overall but my biggest issue is that the reader doesn’t find out what the crime was and who the victim was until the very end of the book. This meant that I couldn’t figure out who did the crime since I wasn’t sure what it was until the end of the book. I felt like it didn’t hook me in quite the same way as a classic whodunnit does.

I think the atmosphere created in the book was so great. It was the perfect fall novel. I also like the storyline. While it’s improbable that all of these issues would happen to the same small group of people, I think that each storyline was believable.

Overall I gave this book 4/5 stars. I think it was a good mystery and there were quite a few things that I didn’t guess which I always enjoy.

Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle

Bewitching Season

I decided to read Bewitching Season because I thought it would be the perfect spooky season read since it involves witches! The story is about two twin witches, Persephone and Penelope, who are about to start their first season when their governess disappears. This is a YA historical fantasy.

I had high hopes for the book because the premise is so cool. There is secret magic and a kidnapping yet the book focuses mainly on the petty drama of the season and the girls coming out. This had too much teenage melodrama for my liking. There was so much miscommunication that it was antagonizing to read.

I found another one of the issues was the pacing. It just took a little too long for everything to happen. That being said, I think the setting and atmosphere were great. I know a bit about Queen Victoria, so while I was able to guess the villain right away, it was fun to read more about it.

Overall I gave the book 3/5 stars. I think if I was younger I would enjoy the melodrama more. This book would be good for anyone who likes historical fiction and wants a sprinkle of magic.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People

Near the end of the year, I was trying to up my reading total by reading shorter novels, the first being Normal People. This book was very hyped online and has won quite a few awards. The story follows Connell and Marianne, who grow a strange connection as they go through high school and university. The book is an adult contemporary/literacy fiction.

This is the book that made me realize I don’t like literary fiction. If you want something thought-provoking then you’ll probably love this book. But I was bored, depressed and frustrated while reading this book. I can see how this good be a good literary work worth reading as it was full of social commentary. I want to enjoy what I’m reading and I didn’t enjoy this book.

I didn’t like either of the main characters. I thought Connell was spinless and Marianne self-absorbed. There were so many times when I had hoped the characters would do the right thing and then they would do something stupid. By the end, I almost felt betrayed by the online book community because they hyped it up and I didn’t the book.

Overall I give the book 3/5 stars because I do think it has some literary merit. But based on pure emotion and enjoyment I would give the book 2/5 stars. I would recommend this book to anyone studying literature and looking for something to write a research paper about.

The Revolution of Sabine

The Revolution of Sabine

The final book I read in 2022 was The Revolution of Sabine. I finished this book on New Year’s Eve and just squeaked it right in. The story follows Sabine, the daughter of aristocrats, who learns about classism following a meeting with Benjamin Franklin. This is a YA historical fiction.

It was a quick and simple read. I think this is perfect for younger readers who want to learn more about this time period. For me, I found the story and concepts were oversimplified. I want something to go more in-depth into the topic. I think this is more of a case that this book isn’t meant for me than it being a bad book.

It was a little predictable. I don’t mind predictability when I’m emotionally invested in the story. But since it was so short I hadn’t had the chance to connect with the characters. All the characters are pretty one-dimensional. No character besides Sabine had any development.

Overall I have the book 3/5 stars. It’s not a bad book, just a little too simple for what I prefer nowadays. This would be great for younger readers!

And those are the rest of the books I read in 2022! If you read these books let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you have any recommendations for me leave them as well because I’m always on the lookout for new books!

xoxo

Lea

Book Reviews: Christmas-Themed Novels

Hey guys! I am working my way through the books I read in 2022 that I have yet to review. In today’s post, I’m going to focus on the two Christmas-themed novels I read last year. I know I’m out of season but I still wanted to share them so I can include them in my 2022 round-up post. So grab a peppermint late, take the Christmas tree back out and let’s get into it!

A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone

A Merry Little Meet Cute

The first of my two Christmas novels is R-rated. A Merry Little Meet Cute follows Bea (a porn star) and Nolan (an ex-boy band, bad boy), who are the two stars in an upcoming Hallmark-esque Christmas movie. This is an adult romance novel.

I have to start off by saying I love cheesy Christmas movies. I start watching them right after Halloween is over. This book is aware of the cheesy tropes and plays into them. The story shows off the behind-the-scenes of being on a movie set. Adding the spicy romance was the cherry on top for me. I loved this book.

I like the relationship between Nolan and Bea, it was perfect. Even though the book was on the longer side (over 400 pages), it was nicely paced. And it had a happy ending like the Hallmark movies!

I gave this book 5/5 stars. I had so much fun reading it and could see myself re-reading this next year to help get myself into the Christmas spirit. I would highly recommend this book.

The Twelve Topsy-Turvy, Very Messy Days of Christmas by James Patterson and Tad Safran

The Twelve Topsy-Turvy, Very Messy Days of Christmas

This book is more wholesome compared to the last novel. My mom picked up The Twelve Topsy-Turvy, Very Messy Days of Christmas because she’s a big James Paterson fan. This story follows the Sullivan family, who haven’t celebrated Christmas since their wife and mother passed away. The Sullivan family’s holiday gets turned upside down when they start receiving gifts related to the Twelve Days of Christmas from an anonymous sender. This Christmas book would be appropriate for the whole family.

It was a cute and unique story but it wasn’t anything special. It’s a kid-friendly story so I’m not the target audience. I could see this being a great audiobook to listen to with the family on a road trip.

There is some magical realism going on in the novel so if that’s not your thing I would pass on the book. I did find the story dragging a bit, it could have been condensed.

Overall I gave it 3.5/5 stars. I think it’s a cute Christmas story but I prefer the raunchy romance novel over the wholesome one. Not my cup of tea but still objectively good!

And those are the Christmas book I read in 2022. If you read these books let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you have any recommendations for me leave them as well because I’m always on the lookout for new books!

xoxo

Lea

Book Review: Colleen Hoover’s “Reminders of Him” & “November 9”

Hey guys! As I mentioned in my last blog post, I am slowly working my way through all the books I still need to review from last year. Today’s post is going to feature two books by Colleen Hoover. I know she’s a big author right now, with her books being featured all over book Tiktok and bestseller lists. Let’s get into the books!

Reminder of Him by Colleen Hoover

Reminders of Him

I liked Reminders of Him but I didn’t love the book. The story is about Kenna, who is trying to reconnect with her daughter after spending the last five years in prison. After her release, Kenna meets Ledger, who has ties to her daughter. The two form a connection and the story goes from there. This is marketed as an adult romance novel.

I like one of the reasons why I didn’t fall hard for this book is that I didn’t feel strongly about Kenna or Ledger. I can sympathize with what both characters are going through, but I didn’t have a strong emotional connection to either of them. I enjoyed how Hoover portrayed Kenna’s situation, she included a lot of the nuances related to death and grief.

I found myself often thinking of the book when I wasn’t reading it yet I didn’t feel this strong pull to binge-read it. I believe it’s because of the pacing issues, I found the middle section dragging a bit. The ending was a little rushed but I did enjoy it. The ending was a little rushed but I did enjoy it.

Overall I gave this book 4/5 stars. It was unique and unlike anything I have read before, but it didn’t pull on my heartstrings like I think it could have. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for your not-so-typical romance novel.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9

I liked November 9 more than Reminder of Him. The story follows Fallon and Ben, who unexpectedly strike up a relationship by meeting once a year – on (you guessed it) November 9. One day Fallon becomes unsure of Ben’s intentions and a big plot twist ensues. This is a new adult romance.

I’m not a huge fan of the instant love trope, so it took me a while to get on board with Fallon and Ben’s relationship. But as the book progressed I got more and more into it.

The plot twist is what really sold me on this novel. I didn’t expect it but reflecting back the plot twist made sense. It took the book to the next level. I also really like how easy it was to read the book. I was binging the book, often reading one ‘year’ in a sitting.

Overall I gave the book 4/5 stars. I think the plot twist made the novel and this book makes me want to read other Colleen Hoover books. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the instant love trope or enjoys a good plot twist.

I will be reading other Colleen Hoover books in the future – I already own four of her other books. If you’ve read either of these books let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you have any recommendations for me leave them as well because I’m always on the lookout for new books!

xoxo

Lea

Book Review: It Happened One Summer and Hook, Line & Sinker

Hey guys! I’m a little behind with my book reviews. I’ll be posting a bunch in the next few days to get ready for my 2022 book round-up! Today we are throwing it back to the summer with the Bellinger Sisters duology. These books are great so let’s get into it!

It Happened One Summer book cover

It Happened One Summer

I read It Happened One Summer back in July when I was in Vancouver! This book follows Piper, a rich socialite who gets a reality check when her stepfather ships her off to a small fishing town in Washington. There Piper meets Brendan, who finds her insufferable but also can’t deny his attraction. This is an adult romance novel.

I loved this novel. I didn’t think I would like Piper but her character development meant that I loved her by the end of the novel. And Brendan… I think my feelings for him can be summed up by the heart-eyes emoji 😍. While I’m not usually a fan of character-driven novels, I appreciate that the plot was always moving and never dull.

This book was very predictable. If that bothers you then you won’t like this book. But I wanted everything that I predicted to happen so I was happy. I heard this was a spicy novel and people weren’t kidding. I had to use my best poker face while reading this book on the airplane.

Overall I loved this book and was excited for the sequel as well. I gave this book 5/5 stars and would recommend the book to anyone who wants a fun and spicy summer read.

Hook, Line and Sinker book cover

Hook, Line and Sinker

The sequel Hook, Line and Sinker follows Piper’s sister Hannah and Brendan’s right-hand man Fox. While Piper and Brendan were enemies-to-lovers, Hannah and Fox are more friends-to-lovers. Fox has a reputation as being a player but Hannah is fine with that because they’re just friends. This book is also an adult romance.

I didn’t like this book as much as the first but I think that’s due to personal preference and not because it’s a bad book. I like Hannah but I didn’t like Fox as much. The amount of miscommunication is insane and it was antagonizing to read at times. Hannah has more patience than I do. This book was also more slow-burn than the first (which I don’t like as much).

I felt like the character development arc was done well and was rewarding to read. I enjoyed the epilogue as it included a look into Hannah & Fox and Piper & Brendan’s future lives.

Overall I like the book and thought it was a good conclusion to the sisters’ lives, but I didn’t like it as much as the first. I gave it 4/5 stars.

I think both of these books were fun to read and would recommend them to anyone looking for a spicy and summery romance read. If you read these books let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you have any recommendations for me leave them as well because I’m always on the lookout for new books!

xoxo

Lea

December Boxycharm 2022

Hey guys! Been a hot minute since I’ve done a blog post. In December I decided to do Vlogmas, so any free time I had this past month went to the vlogs! But I have lots of end-of-year content planned, so you’ll be seeing lots of posts here within the next few weeks. Before we can get to that, it’s time to share my December Boxycharm. Let’s get into it.

December Boxycharm 2022

The first product is the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum. Murad is a great brand and I love getting eye creams because they’re often expensive. I find it hard to get eye cream out of little jars so I appreciate that this serum comes with a pump. The serum is very nice, it sinks quickly into the skin and hydrates the eye area. I can’t speak to the anti-aging benefits as I’ve only used this serum for a week. But I like it so far and will continue to use it! Price: $89 US ($114 CAD)

The next product is the Laruce Beauty Special Edition 3-Piece Brush Set. This brush set is exclusive to Boxycharm but the brushes in the set are available on the website. I love getting brushes, especially eyeshadow brushes. The more brushes I have the less often I have to wash them haha. The brushes are synthetic, vegan, cruelty-free and feel very soft. The set comes with a tapered blending brush, a shadow brush and a detail blending. I’m very excited to have these brushes in my collection. Price: $38 US

The second skincare product in the box is the Lapalette Beauty Vita Yellow Fresh Cleanser. This is a jelly cleanser with vitamin C that is meant to brighten and hydrate the skin. It claims that it can remove makeup but I didn’t test that out. The jelly consistency does lather nicely. The citrus scent is very nice in the morning. I like this cleanser and will continue using it! Price: $32 US

The next product is the Realher Blurring Veil Set Your Goal Powder. I could only find this product through the Boxycharm website, which is a little odd. This product claims to be super fine to set makeup in place and control excess oils. I’ve only used this powder once so I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I find the powder has a been of a sheen to it – it’s not shimmery but it’s not completely matte. I was hesitant to put it under the eyes but I used it on the perimeter of my face and it was nice. I think if you have drier skin you might like this more. I’m still on the fence about it. Price: $25 US

And the final product in my box is the Dominique Cosmetics Unconditional Palette. I have decided not to try this palette as I don’t think I’ll get much use out of it. I have so many eyeshadow palettes so unless a palette screams my name I rather pass it along to someone else. The colour story is pretty, with roses and burgundies, but I don’t wear those colours often. It’s nice but not for me! Price: $28 US

The overall value of the box is $212, with the value being driven up by the Murad eye serum. Overall I think this was a good box. I like the skincare items and the brushes. I didn’t like the other items as much, but that was due to personal preference not because they’re bad products. Let me know what you guys think in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

Product Empties November 2022

Hey guys! I’m back with another product empties. As I mentioned in my last empties, I’ve been going through products faster than I can write about them! I have fifteen empties to share today and I have about another twenty in my empties bag. Maybe I should do an empties Youtube video? Let me know what you think. Let’s get into today’s post!

Starting with body lotion, I finished the St Ives 24 Hour Moisture Body Lotion in the scent Almond & Flaxseed. I’ve mentioned my love of almond-scented products before and someone recommended this to me (I think on Insta). I liked this lotion! The pump made it easy to apply and it absorbed quickly into the skin. My only complaint is that it didn’t smell like almonds! If you prefer lightly scented products then you’ll love this but if you’re like me and want almonds this won’t hit the spot. I have other lotions that I like more but if you’re looking for a good drugstore lotion, this is a great option.

If you watched my USA shopping haul, then you’ll know that I’ve fallen in love with the Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch. It’s just as good as my beloved Peace Out Acne Patches but more affordable! If you’re in the US you can get them at Target. For my fellow Canadians, they are available at Shoppers but currently only online. I put it on a whitehead before I got to bed and by morning the pimple is all gone! I will be purchasing these again in the future.

Another favourite is the OLEHENRIKSEN Cold Plunge Pore Remedy Moisturizer. I finished both a full-sized and a mini travel size of this moisturizer. I recommend this to all my fellow oily & acne-prone friends out there. It’s super lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. If you have sensitive skin I would be careful though because it has BHA and LHA in the moisturizer to help with pores. While I decided to purchase something else to review, I would purchase this moisturizer again in the future.

I had a deluxe sample of the First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser and it was alright. It’s a fragrance-free, gentle cleanser and I would say that it does exactly as it says. But for my skin I just like a little something more. If you have sensitive skin you would love this!

The next product is the Cerave Moisturizing Cream. I much prefer Cerave’s Moisturizing Lotion over the cream. The lotion comes in a pump so it’s easier to apply. I find the cream to be a little too thick for my skin. It’s nice in the winter when it’s super cold and my skin is super dry. But for the majority of the year, it’s just not the right moisturizer for my skin! If you have drier skin you’ll love this though!

I got the Clean Skin Club Pineapple Glow Mist in my Boxycharm box and I ended up liking it! It’s like having hyaluronic acid in mist form! It’s super easy to apply to the skin, it provided some extra hydration and smelt great. I would consider repurchasing in the future but I don’t want to deal with shipping and customs so I’ll be passing on that because I’m sure there are similar products available in Canada.

Now I wish the St Ives lotion smelled just as good at the L’Occitane Almond line. I finished the Almond Smoothing and Beautifying Milk Concentrate and it was amazing. It smelled just like almonds and applied so well to the skin. It left me feeling so soft after. I used this only on special occasions because this is a pricey body lotion. But if you’re looking to treat yourself (or badly want an almond-scented product) then I highly recommend checking it out! I see myself purchasing from this line again in the future.

It takes a lot for me to not like a mascara, but the PUR Cosmetics Fully Charged Mascara just wasn’t it for me. I like length, definition and a little volume with my mascara. This PUR one gave me barely any length and was so clumpy. As the mascara aged it also became flaky, which is not something I normally deal with mascaras. It was almost impossible to remove! There are so many better mascaras out there, don’t get this one.

Another item I received in my Boxycharm was the Skin & Co Truffle Therapy Radiant Dew Mist. The website says this can be used to set makeup but I preferred using this as a skincare mist. I would spray this all over my face and then apply my hyaluronic acid. This mist is supposed to be good for breakouts and oil but I didn’t notice a difference. Based on the photos from the website it looks like they changed their packaging, which is good because I found the nozzle wasn’t the greatest. I won’t be repurchasing this mist because it was fine but not great enough to deal with shipping it to Canada.

A product I’ve repurchased is the Dove Exfoliating Body Polish. I decided to pick it up again since it’s a great body scrub available at the drugstore. I’ve come to realize I’m not a huge sugar scrub fan because I find they dissolve before I can scrub my body. This one is great because it’s not sugar so I can get a good scrub in. And I love the Macadamia & Rice Milk scent it’s nutty and sweet. I would repurchase again in the future.

Another scrub, this time a face one, is the Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser. I struggle with texture so I love having a good physical exfoliator. This one was pretty good. It has tiny beads to buff away the dead skin. It has a very refreshing and citrusy scent which I enjoy. Overall I like this cleanser and would recommend it!

I finished a deluxe sample of the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Makeup Primer+. Honestly, I wasn’t that impressed by the primer. It wasn’t bad. But if a primer claims to be a gripping primer, I expect it to grip my foundation and not budge throughout the day. I found it didn’t make much of a difference in the longevity of my makeup. If you want a gripping primer, the ELF one is much better and cheaper.

Another product I was completely unimpressed with was the Bumble and Bumble Curl Defining Cream. I didn’t finish this product, I’m throwing it away. It’s way too heavy for my hair. I could feel the cream in my hair and it weighted my hair down so the curls couldn’t form. I tried using this cream a few times using varying amounts and each time it was too heavy for my hair. It’s a real shame because I love Bumble and Bumble’s Curl Reactivator. But this curl cream wasn’t for me.

The Mudmasky Vitamin-infused Eye Serum was like the neverending eye cream. Most eye creams are 15 ml (or 0.5 oz) and the Mudmasky eye cream is double at 30 ml (or 1 oz). It took me forever to finish the eye cream. Overall I found it to be an alright eye cream. It did a good job of hydrating my under eyes and that’s all I ask for in an eye cream. It absorbs quickly into the skin and it worked well under concealer. But I don’t love it enough to ship it to Canada.

And the final empty is the Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara. I liked this one! It was great at adding length to my lashes. I liked the skinny wand because I find it easier to not get mascara on my eyelids with the skinny wands. I wish it was a little bit more volumizing but overall it was great for everyday wear. I would repurchase this mascara.

And those are my product empties! If you have tried any of these products let me know what you thought about them in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

November Boxycharm 2022

Hey guys! I know I have been slacking at posting lately, but I’m proud of myself for always getting my Boxycharm up! I’m pretty impressed by this month’s box so let’s get into it.

November Boxycharm 2022

The first product is the In My Element Eyeshadow Palette by Item Beauty (which is Addison Rae’s makeup line). As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I’m trying not to test products that I don’t think I’ll use. Eyeshadow is a product I don’t need more of because I already have so many palettes. But when I saw this palette I was so impressed by the colour story that I had to try it. There are six mattes and four shimmers. There is a beautiful blend of warm earthy tones and pretty purple cool tones. The mattes are soft and blend easily. I haven’t tried the shimmers on my eyes yet but they swatch beautifully. I love the colour story because I can do both a warm and cool-toned look with one palette. It’s not the most neutral, everyday palette but I think it’s perfect for someone to add to their collection to spice things up. Price: $24 US ($33 CAD)

Item Beauty In My Element Eyeshadow Palette

The next product is the Saturday Skin Pretty Pop Probiotic Power Whipped Cream. I’ve received a few Saturday Skin products in my Boxycharm box before and I’ve loved them all. Based on the description I thought this would be a heavier moisturizer but it’s quite light-weight! It absorbs easily into the skin and lefts my face feeling soft. I think this would be a great daytime moisturizer. If you have super dry skin it might not be enough for you but I think the majority of people would enjoy this moisturizer! Price: $57 US ($68 CAD)

The first of two lip products is the Sophia + Mabelle Lip Slick Lip Oil. I got the shade Yuzu. I was a little worried because the shade is so pale that it would give me glossy concealer lips. The lip oil is pretty transparent, the oil just provides a nice glossy look. The formula is nice, a little thicker than some other lip oils I’ve tried. The yuzu scent is spot on though – it smells almost exactly like yuzu. I like it and I’ll continue to use it. Price: $22 US

The second lip product I won’t be trying. I received the Amminah Macarron Lip Scrub. I already own a lip scrub and I don’t use it that frequently so I don’t see the point in opening another one. I rather give it away to someone who needs it more! It looks super cute though! Price: $18 US

The final product is the Les Beauty Cream Bronzer. I got the shade Skyscraper. I am a little disappointed because there are only two shades, but it’s a small indie brand so I’ll give them a little more slack. This bronzer is pigmented. I tap my brush on it a few times and I apply it to my face and every time I’m shocked at how much product I applied. Luckily it’s very easy to blend out. It’s a very warm-toned bronzer, almost a little too orange. So if you prefer cooler shades skip this one. Overall it’s a nice cream and I see myself reaching for it again. Price: $18 US

And the overall total of the box is $139. Overall I’m pretty impressed with the box. There were no big duds. If anything, I see myself reaching for all the products again (except for the lip scrub). Let me know what you think in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

My 2022 Sephora Sale Recommendations

Hey guys, it’s that time of year again – the Sephora Sale! The sale is currently underway for all members and will end on November 7. Members can receive anywhere from 10% to 20% off. This is a great time to stock up on products or buy some higher ticket items as Sephora doesn’t often do store-wide sales. I have done many posts in the past and I still stand by all the recommendations in my 2021 Sephora Sale Recommendations post so I highly suggest checking out that post. Today I am sharing 15 new recommendations, many of which I haven’t mentioned yet on my blog. So let’s get into it!

Starting off my makeup section I’m going to recommend a product that has been circling all over Tiktok – the Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. This lipstick-lip balm hybrid is super comfortable on the lips. The shade is meant to be universally flattering. Because it’s on the more sheer side it’s easy to do one swipe for a light colour or apply more to intensify the colour. This has become my everyday lip product because it looks good, feels nice and wears well. I love it!

The Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray is becoming a holy grail product for me. It’s incredible but I do see a difference in the look of my pores after using this setting spray. It’s also amazing at helping my makeup last longer. This product lives up to its claims so it gets a thumbs up from me!

Brows is a category where I like to stick to the classics. I don’t experiment with brows all that much as I find the current brow trend of laminated brows doesn’t look very good on me. But I still want a product that keeps my brows in place. Enter the Nudestix Brow Set Gel XL. If you want something that sets your brows but doesn’t feel like super glue this is for you. I use this almost every day!

I love blush – it’s one of my favourite products to test and I love trying different formulas out. One of my recent favourites is the Patrick Ta Major Beauty Headlines – Double-Take Crème & Powder Blush. There is both cream and powder so I can pick which consistency I prefer on a certain day. The staying power of these blushes is INSANE. Blush is usually the first product to fade for me but with both formulas, my blush is still strong at the end of the day. I have the shade “She’s Blushing” and it’s so unique compared to my other blushes! A great product!

My final makeup recommendation is the ITEM Beauty Lash Snack Clean Lengthening Mascara. I wasn’t sure how I would feel when I got this product in my Boxycharm. But this is a great mascara! If you’re looking for a straight-up lengthening mascara this is the one for you. It has a small brush so it’s also amazing for the lower lash line. If these qualities are up your alley then you should check it out!

Moving into skincare now, we’re going to start with a boujee product – the Caudalie Grape Water. I like using a skincare spray before going in with my hyaluronic acid so the serum has something to absorb. I love the aerosol spray on this product. It feels so refreshing to spray. If you have sensitive skin I could see this being amazing and helping soothe the skin. It’s excessive but I love it so I thought I would share!

A second Caudalie product which I enjoy is the Pore Minimizing Instant Detox Mask. I got this when I went to Paris and I’ve loved it since! Whenever my skin is feeling gross or congested I always reach for this mask. If you can dry skin stay away because this will suck all the moisture out of your skin. But for me, it gets rid of all the oil and gunk. And it’s pink which is so fun!

The exfoliating product that I’ve been enjoying recently is the Clinique 7 Day Face Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula. This scrub has a nice balance between creaminess and grittiness. It does a great job of getting rid of any flakes or dry patches and leaving my skin feeling soft and smooth. It’s not too aggressive so I think people with drier skin would still enjoy this scrub.

Another mask favourite of mine is the Farmacy Honey Potion Hydration Mask. This mask is perfect for when my skin needs a little pick-me-up. It helps with texture but is also hydrating at the same time. The mask is cool because it goes on this honey colour but as I rub it in the mask turns white and warms up on the skin. It’s quite a unique mask which is why I recommend it!

The final skincare product is the Biossance Squalane+ Rose Vegan Lip Balm. Is lip balm considered makeup or skincare? I always apply it after I do my skincare which is why I’m including it here! This lip balm has a very interesting consistency almost a little waxy so it stays well on the lips. I love the tube packaging, makes it easy to apply. The Laneige lip balms are amazing but this is a great option if you’re looking for something fragrance-free!

Onto the final category, which I am calling miscellaneous. First I have to mention the Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray. My friends got this for me for my birthday and I fell in love. I love spraying this in my hair after curling it to give a messy and natural look to my curls. It makes them look less polished and more realistic. The smell is also amazing. Ouai sells the scent in a perfume and I’ll be buying it in the future, it smells divine. It’s not Curly Girl approved BUT I don’t use this often so I’m fine with it. Highly recommend this spray!

The next hair product is another product I got from my friends for my birthday – the Bumble and Bumble Curl Reactivator. Now this product isn’t Curly Girl approved but it’s so good that I don’t care haha. I’ve always struggled with my curls not holding their shape and becoming wavy/straight on the second day. I got this product in a set and it works so well! I dampen my hair with some water, spray this all over and scrunch my hair and my curls are back! It’s not as nice as freshly washed hair but still pretty good! I recommend my curly-haired friends check out this product.

My final hair recommendation is a scalp massager. The Sephora Collection one I own is slightly different than the model they currently have available. It looks similar to the one Briogeo is selling. Now that I’ve started using one I don’t think I could ever go back. I use it in the shower after I have applied shampoo but before I rinse it out to clean my scalp. I’ve always liked scratching my scalp with my nails but this is way better. Not only does it feel good, but apparently using a scalp massager is a great way to stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth! I gave one to my one last Christmas and she loves it as well!

My perfume recommendation this time around is the Ellis Brooklyn Salt Perfume. This is a very summery perfume so it’s not the most seasonally appropriate scent but I wanted to share a new one! I got this perfume during the spring sale and I loved wearing it this summer! I find summer beachy perfumes are often very coconutty, which don’t get me wrong I love that scent. But this is a little more sophisticated. As the name implies, it has an almost salty scent to it. The main notes are ylang ylang, Tahitian tiare and ambergris. Smelling this perfume just transports me to the beach! If this sounds up your alley check it out.

My final product recommendation is the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Body Cream. I have talked about this on my blog before but since it wasn’t featured in past Sephora rec posts I had to include it. This body cream smells divine. It’s a very sweet and gourmand scent so if that’s not your thing then pass. But whenever I wear this body cream I always get compliments on how I smell, especially from guys. Men just seem to love sweet scents! This cream is also so lush, leaving my skin feeling soft after I applied it. And if you like the scent they have so many other products like sprays and hair oils (even deodorants) so I recommend at least going in-store and smelling it for yourself!

And that’s it for my recommendations! Please let me know in the comments what you’re picking up during the sale. I have already received my order for this sale so I’m excited to share with you guys in a future post all the goodies I picked up!

xoxo

Lea

October Boxycharm 2022

Hey guys! I’m on time with my Boxycharm review for once! It got the box pretty early this month – and I did a little unboxing in one of my Vlogtober vlogs. Without further ado, let’s get into this month’s box.

The first product in the box is the Natasha Denona Cupid Cheek Duo. In my September box, I received the Natasha Denona Cupid Eyeshadow Palette and I couldn’t find it anywhere online. Same thing with this cheek duo. Now I can’t confirm this, but based on the name and the fact that I can’t find these products for sale, I believe these are leftover limited edition Valentine’s Day products. I don’t necessarily mind because Natasha Denona is a great (and expensive) brand but I feel like it’s a little cheap to be getting discontinued products. This is something I notice that happens often with Boxycharm, brands give either discontinued products or products that they discontinue a few months later. Makes sense that they’re trying to get rid of old stock. This is a tangent so I digress. The product is nice, both the blush and highlight applied nicely to the skin and lasted well throughout the day. This duo has a cream blush and powder highlight and I prefer having the same formula in one pan but it’s not the end of the world. Price: $42 US (A similar one available on Sephora is $25 CAD so not sure how accurate Boxycharm’s MSRP is)

The next product is the Wander Beauty Double Date Eyeshadow Duo. I got the shades Smitten/Swoon. These are very similar to the Auric duos that I love but are more affordable. There is a cream shade on the bottom with a shimmer on top. I really like the cream shade, it’s gorgeous and sheer enough that I could wear it every day. The shimmer is very yellow gold and pigmented, so it’s a little strong for my everyday look but perfect for going out. My only issue is that I have oily eyelids so when I wore the cream share by itself it creased really badly by the end of the day. But if you set it with the shimmer it’s fine. I think this is a really great duo and would recommend it! Price: $26 US ($36 CAD)

The next product is the Half Caked Airbrushed Complexion Duo. I love getting brushes in my box and these two brushes are excellent! The 110 Complexion Brush gave my foundation such an airbrushed (haha get it) look. It doesn’t soak up any product so it kept the coverage. My only complaint is that the brush is a little on the small side so it takes more work to blend. The 160 Concealer Brush is the perfect size for the under eyes and just blends my concealer so well. I am very impressed with more of these brushes and would recommend both of them! Price: $25 US ($35 CAD)

If you love dewy setting sprays, then the Saint Luxe Setting Spray is for you. I used a matte foundation and powders and after using this setting spray I looked so dewy after. Now I have oily skin so I don’t usually want a super dewy face. But I can see myself reaching for this spray on the days when my face is dry or looking powdery. The spray is quite fine but I do find that sometimes the nozzle gets clogged. Overall not a bad setting spray. Price: $25 US

And the final product in my box is The Beauty Crop Stuck On You Eye Primer. I have decided to not open this product because it takes me forever to go through eyeshadow primer and I already have two open. Two eye shadow primers are more than enough for me. I will be donating this to someone else. Price: $18 US (website says $16.50)

The overall total (according to Boxycharm) is $136. I’m pretty happy with this box. I really like the brushes and I do see myself using all the products besides the eye primer again. Let me know what you think in the comments!

xoxo

Lea