Colourpop Haul Update: In-depth product review

Hey guys! A couple of weeks ago I posted a Colourpop haul on my Youtube channel. Today I wanted to give you an update on the products that I’ve purchased. I posted an in-depth review on the Pretty Fresh tinted moisturizer last week. I will be focusing on the rest of the products today.

So let’s talk about the Colourpop x Animal Crossing collection, the whole reason why I placed my order. I think the eyeshadow palettes are very cute but I wouldn’t say that they’re complete palettes. There is only four eyeshadow in each palette and they don’t build a complete look. In the What A Hoot palette, the difference between Celestial and WHO! is pretty large. I could use Celestial in the crease and WHO! as a liner, but in the crease I need a shade between the two. In the 5 Star Island palette I could create a little bit more of a cohesive look, but it’s very pink. Using a such as Celestial in What A Hoot creates a more cohesive look. This is just a long-winded way of saying that I like these palettes but I need to use them with other palettes. I don’t mind since I have so many eyeshadow palettes, but that might be something to keep in mind. But as an Animal Crossing fan, I love these palettes and I think they make sense for the characters.

Let’s talk about the blushes. I knew I would like the shade Flower Tender. It’s a vibrant coral that is right up my alley. But I also really like Flower Power, which looks purple but translates pinker on the cheeks. These blushes are a nice level of pigmentation where I don’t have to worry about applying too much but I also don’t have to work to build it up. I will say that there is glitter in the blush but it’s not like highlight glitter. It’s a matte blush with glitter running through it. I don’t mind the glitter, it’s only noticeable up close. Tapping my brush also helps to shake off some of the glitters. Overall I like these and think they’re really cute!

Now for the sparkly products. First I have the Balloon Pop Super Shock Shadow. This is described as an icy peachy pink with hot pink and silver glitters. My shadow did come broken but because of the soft consistency of this formula I was able to mush it back together. I love Colourpop’s Super Shock Shadows and this is no exception. It does have that peach undertone but just adds the most gorgeous and easy to wear glitter appearance to the eyes. If you are looking to wear glitter this is by far the easy formula to do so.

On the other hand, there is the Bellionare Glittery Obsessed Glitter Gel. This glitter is true gold, and unlike the Super Shock formula, this is glitter in a clear gel. There is a combination of large and fine glitters. I will say that I’m not as likely to reach for this compared to other glitters. To be honest I haven’t used this yet – but I do have other Glittery Obsessed glitters so I know what the formula is like. This glitter is nice for specific looks, not everyday use. So unless you love glitter I wouldn’t recommend this. But for $10 I think it’s worth it for me because I do know I will use it, I just haven’t had the chance yet with all these other eye products to test.

Rounding out the eyeshadow category is the Kathleen Lights So Jaded palette. If you want to see me use this palette in action, then check out the three looks I did with this palette on my Youtube channel. I like this palette. There is such a large range of shades. I did three completely different looks and I can think of many more looks for this palette. While I love the fun colours, I notice that some basics are missing. This is a colourful palette that I would use in combination with a neutral palette. I also wanted to note that I did have some trouble with the shade Turquoise, which I’m not surprised because I know blues can be a difficult shade to formulate. But the rest of the mattes I had no problems with. Honestly, I enjoyed playing with this palette and I want to continue playing with it! If you like colour then I recommend this palette. If you’re not a colourful person then I would pass because there aren’t many neutrals.

Now let’s talk lashes. I got two pairs. My favourite of the two is Queenie, which has a fluffy flared look. They create the perfect cat-eye shape and just do a great job of elongating my eyes. Dame, the other pair, is wispy but has more volume. Also, I find that the last band on Dame is thicker and just more difficult to apply. I will still use Dame but I much prefer Queenie. It’s taken me a while to figure out which lash style I prefer, but in general I think I like flared lashes the most. But at $8 these lashes are great and perform just as well as other lashes I own.

And the final product is the Freckle Pen in Dark Brown. I know faux freckles have gained popularity and I was curious what the freckle pen would be like. It’s relatively easy to use. I just dot the pen on my face and lightly tap it to blend it into the skin. The longer I wait to tap the darker the freckles. The only thing is I found that it was pretty pigmented, so it was hard to make them look faint to create depth. Also, I’m kind of sad because my cap somehow fell off the other day so now my pen has changed colour. It’s now a blue-green that looks more like mold than freckles. Unfortunately for me, I will be throwing it okay because I don’t want moldy freckles. I think I’ll just go back to use brow pencils and eyeshadows for my freckles.

So that is my roundup of my Colourpop haul. I think besides the Freckle Pen that this haul was pretty successful. Let me know what you guys think. Have you tried any of these products? What are your favourite Colourpop products!

xoxo

Lea

I tried the Peloton App for a Month: Review

Hey guys! So today I am here to give you my review of the Peloton app. While I was testing out 12-3-30, my friend mentioned that she was using the Peloton app and was loving it. She told me that they have an offer that I could try the app for free for a month and kept on telling me to try it out myself. So here we are – I have tested the app out for a month and I am here to give you my thoughts.

Peloton, Peloton app, Peloton app review

First, let me explain the Peloton app to those of you who don’t know what it is. Many of you have probably heard of the Peloton Bike. This is a stationary bike that comes with a huge touch screen attached to the bike. Users of the bike can join both live or pre-recorded spin classes produced by Peloton. Peloton also has a treadmill that has a similar touch screen as the bike. Peloton Digital (the name of the app) allows users to connect to these bike and treadmill classes without having to purchase the equipment. The app also offers a variety of other classes such as yoga, strength, HIIT and more. The app is $16.99 a month, whereas getting the bike will run you up thousands of dollars.

I was quite intrigued to try the app. I’ve watched a few Peloton Bike reviews and a lot of people say that the bike is good but the classes are the best part and recommended just getting the app. I asked you guys on Instagram if any of you have tried the app. I’ve had a few people reach out to me and recommend classes as well as my friend who first gave me the recommendation. With that in mind, I decided to use the app three times a week and try a variety of classes.

Week 1

I’m pretty lucky that I live at home right now. My dad prefers working out at home and created an at-home gym since moving into our house 25 years ago. Over the years he’s purchased various exercise machines, so I had access to basically everything, including a stationary bike. So for my first workout, I did a 20-minute Beginner Ride with Jess King. (Note I’ll be putting the names for the classes and instructors for people who are interested in finding classes). I found the workout to be good – I feel like I worked a sweat but I wasn’t exhausted. I liked how Jess gave pointers throughout and I enjoyed the music. Something I noticed very quickly is that if you have the Peloton Bike it will display speed, cadence and resistance. My bike had a resistance nob but no display. So whenever I was told to put my bike to a certain resistance, I just had to guess. Jess usually gave a range of ‘points’ to increase by, say 1 to 5 points. I would just turn the nob 1 to 5 increments so I think it worked. Overall I enjoyed my first ride and it made me want to do more.

Next, I decided to try a HIIT workout. I believe this was for my followers control my day video. I did a 2- minute Pop HIIT Cardio with Olivia Amato. I liked Olivia, I thought she was good at explaining everything and I enjoyed the music. I found a few moves to be too difficult and had to modify them. Especially at the end was a circuit with burpees and squat jumps, two things that can hurt my knees. But I found overall the class was well-paced where I got breaks and didn’t feel exhausted but it wasn’t too easy.

The final workout for week 1 was a 30-minute Slow Flow with Ross Rayburn. I am quite picky when it comes to yoga. I’ve done enough of it that I know what I do and don’t like. And I wasn’t a huge fan of this class. I picked a slow flow because it had been a bit since I’ve done yoga but I’m not a beginner so I didn’t want a beginner class. I felt like Ross talked the whole class. Which was sometimes nice because I learned some new things. But there were many instants when I found him chatting when I just didn’t want it. Chatting is nice when you’re doing something high intensity or difficult to distract you, but for yoga I want some quiet or peaceful guidance. Also, I know it’s a slow flow but it was just too slow. Either way, I was unimpressed. My yoga studio offers online classes and I rather do yoga with them.

Week 2

I decided I wanted to do one ride each week since Peloton is most known for its cycling. I decided to do a 20-minute Beginner Ride with Hannah Frankson. I was looking for a 30-minute beginner, but they were all advanced beginners and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that yet. The 20-minute ride is a good length because I was able to work hard but didn’t feel exhausted after. I decided that I could probably do an advanced beginner after that.

I wanted to try a traditional strength class, so a did the 20-minute Year of Yes Full Body Strength class with Robin Arzon. Unlike the HIIT class that focused on body weight, this class did include using weights. I liked this class. I like Robin as an instructor, she was friendly and gave great pointers. Since it was a beginner class I knew how to do all the movements so I was comfortable and was able to focus on working out than if I was doing the moves correctly. Robin also taught me how to do a modified plank which blew my mind. I hate doing planks and this is something I will use again in the future.

For my final workout day in week 2, I did a 10-minute Intro to Barre with Hannah Corbin. A friend has recommended the barre classes so I decided to try it out. I did the intro because I’ve never done barre before and wanted to learn how to do the moves. I liked it because it was low impact but high energy which is probably my favourite combination for exercise. After the 10 minutes, I felt like doing more since the class was easy and mainly focused on the legs. So I decided to do a 10-minute Arms & Shoulders Strength class with Jess Sims. Wow, that class was good. It was a hard and fast workout. My arms felt like noodles by the end. I did modify a bit because I suck at push-ups but overall it was good.

Week 3

I decided to do a 30-minute ride but made the mistake of not picking an advanced beginner. Instead, I did a 30-minute Classic Rock Ride with Kendall Toole. Don’t get me wrong, it was a really good ride. But I had never stood up on the bike before and there was a lot of that in this 30-minute ride so I was a little unprepared for that. But I loved the music selection since I love some classic rock. I was also impressed with myself because there was an endurance section into a sprint which I didn’t think I would be able to finish but I did it! I liked Kendall and would do her class again. This was the first ride that my butt and legs were sore the next day.

For my next workout, I decided to do a 20-minute Barre with Hannah Corbin. I liked the class but it was the hardest class I’ve done so far on the Peloton app. My legs were shaking and I had to take quite a few breaks. Barre is no joke. I loved the energy and the music, but there is no arm portion so if you like a full-body experience this isn’t it. Also, my calves were killing me the next day. And it wasn’t shin splints where hurt in the bone, but my calve muscles. Not going to lie the soreness has kind of scared me from doing another barre class but I should do it again because I liked it while doing the class. It’ll be good for me to build my leg strength.

Since the barre class was mainly legs, I decided to do a 20 minute Upper Body Strength class with Selena Samuela has my third class that week. It was a good class. I was able to do everything with no problem, just modified the push-ups. By the end of the class, my arms felt tired but I wasn’t exhausted. I liked Selena, she had great energy and gave continual guidance throughout the class.

Week 4

For this week’s ride, I did a 30-minute Advanced Beginner Ride with Leanne Hainsby. I wasn’t a huge fan of Leanne, I found she was always explaining everything over and over again. I do think there is a balance between giving good instruction and talking too much. I like the pacing of the class and felt comfortable. I was able to do the standing portions of the ride.

I hadn’t done a treadmill class so I thought it would be fun to try one since Peloton is advertising their treadmill like crazy right now. So I did a 20-minute Pop Walk with Robin Arzon. It was a pretty easy class. The class has both hills and power walking portions. I felt like I could have done something longer or done a walk-run class. I liked Robin though and I think she gave some really good tips throughout the class. While Robin did give suggestions for the incline (which luckily matched my treadmill) there was none for speed so I just had to figure that out myself. I’m also curious what the running classes would be like because they do have outdoor audio options.

The final class I did was a 30-minute Pilates with Aditi Shah since I was recommended to do the pilates classes. I was feeling tired that morning and this class was the perfect fit. The first 20 minutes were basically like stretching, it was the last 10 minutes that got intense. I felt like the music was a little fast for the class though, the only time that I’ve had an issue with the music the whole time. At the end of the class, I felt like I had moved my body, but it wasn’t tiring like a cardio workout. I’m curious if their other pilates classes are also slow-paced or just this one.

Pros of the Peloton App

I wanted to break down some of the pros and cons of the app just in case you don’t care to read my thoughts on each of the classes and just want to know whether or not to try the app.

So the first pro is that there is a huge variety to the app. There are over 10 categories of fitness classes, and within those categories there are hundreds of classes. For example, there are 218 beginner rides, and they add new ones every day. So you’ll never run out of content.

Next, I really like the instructors. Some of the strength classes I could do by myself. I’m not a newbie to fitness and I know how to create a workout. But the instructors provide guidance such as proper positioning and modifications. They can also be inspiring to continue to push through the workout. Sure there were a few I didn’t like, but that’s the same as a studio. There will be instructors you do and don’t like

I always listen to music while working out. And I find that I usually perform better when I listen to music I like. It’s something I noticed while following Yotuber workouts is that often they have to use copyright-free music and I just don’t enjoy the workouts as much. But Peloton workouts are music-based which I loved. I can see what the playlist is beforehand and it often influencers which classes I pick. Classes are often synced up to the songs which I also enjoy. There is also a huge variety of musical genres so I’m sure you can find classes you like.

Cons of the Peloton App

The app isn’t free. I will say that pre-pandemic I paid for a gym membership and this is cheaper. Once taxes were added, my Peloton Digital membership was $19.20. So I paid about $1.60 per workout. But compared to using Youtube videos or other apps there is a cost. I think it’s worth it and I like to invest in my health, but it can be a barrier for some.

If you don’t own the Peloton bike or treadmill it can be a little harder to follow along with those classes. My bike doesn’t display speed, resistance or cadence so I was just guessing them. I was confused at first but I’ve figured out a system now that I’ve done a few cycling classes. But that’s just something I wanted to note because they talk about cadence and resistance a lot during the classes.

My overall thoughts

I enjoyed using the Peloton app. Out of the 12 classes that I did there were only a few I didn’t like. And there are so many other classes out there that I haven’t tried yet either. I’m surprised at how much I enjoy the cycling classes. I’ve done cycling when I was in high school but never did much of it since. I think it helps that my dad’s stationary bike has a good saddle so my butt doesn’t hurt. I also really enjoyed the strength classes. I’ve always like using weights but this way I get some instruction while doing it.

I have decided to continue using the app. I like the classes and I want to keep on trying out new ones. I’m not comfortable going back to gyms and my yoga studio and it’s still too cold to run outside. So I think at least for the next few months I’ll continue using it. I think if you consistently work out and are looking for something to do at home then the Peloton app is a worthy investment. If you only sporadically work out, then I think it’s not worth the cost.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried out Peloton, and if so what some of your favourite instructors and/or classes are!

xoxo

Lea

Colourpop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Tinted Moisturizer Foundation Review

Hey guys! If you have been up to date on my Youtube videos then you might have noticed I posted a Colourpop haul. I mentioned that I was going to write a few blog posts on the products. I decided to do an in-depth review of the tinted moisturizer since I know you guys enjoy my foundation reviews. I’ll post an update next Friday on the rest of the products so stay tuned for that.

Colourpop has released a few foundations, but I decided to pick up their Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Tinted Moisturizer. I’ve heard many good reviews on this product. I’ve also been leaning towards lighter coverage products lately so I thought this would be fun to try. And finally, my friend was interested in this product and so I decided to be the guinea pig for her.

This tinted moisturizer is supposed to be hydrating, will give a light coverage and natural finish that will even the skin tone. Key ingredients include hyaluronic acid and coconut water to hydrate the skin. Colourpop recommends using a sponge to apply a light layer and a brush to build the coverage up to medium. They are 24 shades in total. I purchased the shade Fair 4N which is supposed to be neutral for fair skin tones. The price is $14 US.

The first thing I noticed when applying the tinted moisturizer is that while the shade matches me well the toned pulled more pink than neutral. Not a huge deal since the coverage is lighter. I’ve noticed that Colourpop doesn’t have a true neutral. I’ve found the shades to be either pink or yellow. But like I said it’s not super off so I can still wear it.

I found that the finish was quite nice and skin-like. It didn’t lean too matte or too dewy. It makes it look like you’re not wearing any makeup from a distance. The coverage was pretty light which was expected. It just created a smooth even colour on my face. I had some series breakouts and scarring the past couple of weeks while testing this tinted moisturizer out and it did nothing for covering those. So keep in mind if you want something to cover acne or pigmentation this isn’t the product for you.

I will say that I’m surprised by its lasting power. It doesn’t claim anywhere to last long but I found that it did a pretty good job of staying on my face. I think because it’s a natural finish it just grips to the skin and doesn’t slip off like a dewy foundation. It sinks into the skin and doesn’t feel heavy at all either. It’s a comfortable foundation to wear.

The only thing I’m a little confused about is the fact that this is a tinted moisturizer but I don’t find it moisturizing. I didn’t get any hydration. I found that it’s more similar in consistency to a foundation than a moisturizer. It’s just a light coverage foundation. So just something to keep in mind. If you’re looking for something hydrating with a little coverage then this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a sheer foundation this is a good pick.

Overall I like this tinted moisturizer. I see myself using this more in the summer when I want something lighter and fresher on my face. If you’re looking for something with light coverage I would recommend it, especially since it’s a reasonable price. The only downside is that Colourpop doesn’t do returns so if you get the wrong shade you’re kinda stuck So I would recommend doing some research, maybe watching some Youtube videos to help you determine what shade to pick up.

And that’s it for this review. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried this tinted moisturizer. I’m also curious, do you guys prefer lighter or fuller coverage foundations? I find that my opinion varies based on the season and how my skin is. But what about you?

xoxo

Lea

Book Review 017: Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom + King of Scars

Hey guys! Today I am sharing my thoughts on the rest of the Grishaverse, with the Six of Crows duology and King of Scars. If you haven’t read my review on Shadow and Bone I would recommend checking that one out before this on. I will try to avoid spoilers as much as possible or mark any that I do include but keep in mind that the books build on the plot of past novels. Especially King of Scars since it includes characters from past series. Anyway, let’s get into it.

books, six of crows, crooked kingdom, king of scars, grishaverse, leigh bardugo, ya fantasy, ya books

So first we have Six of Crows duology, which includes the books Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. This duology is set within the same universe as Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy but in the country of Ketteram instead of Ravka. Ketterdam is loosely based on 17th century Amsterdam – which is cool because I’ve been to Amsterdam! The story follows six characters: Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper and Wylan. They are offered the opportunity to do an impossible heist that will make them insanely rich if they complete it. This is a young adult fantasy novel.

First I was impressed that Bardugo was able to add another layer to her world. I know some readers were shocked by the differences between Ravka and Ketterdam but it’s pretty historically accurate in the sense that Russia was late to modernize while Amsterdam was ahead. Unlike Shadow and Bone which was from the first-person perspective, this duology was a third-person multi-perspective, which just means that the narrative changed each chapter. I think this was perfect for the heist plotline, since often during a heist many things are happening simultaneously.

Bardugo’s writing has improved. I think the multi-perspective helped speed up the novel. In her previous novels, I had issues with pacing, but that wasn’t present in this duology. There were also so many twists and turns in the novel. Some I guessed but others were complete surprises. I wanted to keep on reading to find out what was going to happen.

I loved the characters in this series as well. Nina is my favourite because I relate to her so much. She physically looks like me (yay curvy, plus-sized rep!) but also her personality as well. She’s described as being loud and bold and fond of sweets – and if that isn’t a good description of me I don’t know what is. But I like the rest of the characters as well.

The second book Crooked Kingdom continues the story after Six of Crows. While I enjoyed it, I didn’t like it as much as Six of Crows. Unlike the first novel which has a strong plot and storyline, the second book was a little less clear. I wasn’t sure where the book was going and therefore wasn’t as excited to read the book.

But by the second book, I had developed a strong emotional bond with the characters so at the end there were many tears shed by me. I liked Kaz and Inej’s relationship because it’s unlike most relationships you read in YA novels. They have both been through some shit, to say the least, and have been traumatized because of it. But it was cute to see them come together and grow.

Overall I have the duology 5/5 stars! (Woo first five-star books of 2020!). I think the first book is stronger but as a pair I think it’s an effective story. The world-building was amazing, the characters were well developed and I had only minor issues with the writing.

And since I was already reading Bardugo’s books I decided to start her next duology. The first book is King of Scars. The sequel Rule of Wolves is set to come out at the end of March. King of Scars follows Nikolai and Zoya (characters from Shadow and Bone) and Nina. I won’t give any other details because I don’t want to spoil the books.

It was nice reading this book because I was able to return to the point-of-views of characters I already knew. There is something nice returning to characters and a world that you’re familiar with. The first half of the novel was a nice return and then the second half it was like the whole universe got turned on its head. I was super impressed that Bardugo was able to add a new layer to her world. Sometimes it can be hard to continue making a series unique and new but Bardugo did it with this book.

I will say that my only complaint was that Nina’s plotline wasn’t very intertwined with the rest. In the beginning, it was a little boring. I can only guess that it will connect in the future and that’s why it’s included. But it wasn’t until the last third that I was really into her storyline.

The ending was also insane. I think fans of the series will like the ending. It made me excited for the next novel.

Overall I give King of Scars 4.5/5 stars. I will re-evaluate my thoughts once I read book two. This might be a while because I’m going to wait until the novel comes out in paperback since I want my series to match. But overall I like it, just wished that Nina’s plotline was a little more interesting and better connected.

I thought I would tact on my thoughts of the series overall so far since the tv show is coming out soon and I’m sure people would want to read it before then. Even though I didn’t like Shadow and Bone as much, I would recommend reading it first. Bardugo does a great job of explaining the world in that series but it drops off by the later series because she assumes people have read everything. I think you would be confused if you read Six of Crows before Shadow and Bone. And read both before reading King of Scars. If you want to watch the tv show make sure to read Shadow and Bone as well because that’s what most of the first season is going to focus on. I think it would be nice to read Six of Crows as well, but the show is mainly going to focus on events that happen before that series.

And that is it for today’s book review. Let me know if you guys have read any books within the Grishaverse and what your thoughts were on the books. And as with all my book posts, let me know if you have any recommendations for me down below.

xoxo

Lea

February Boxycharm 2021

Hey guys! Today I am sharing what I got in my February Boxycharm! I was impressed that I got the box early this month – I got in on the 9th I believe. I’m happy that I got in early because it gave me more time to test the products. And if you want to see these products in action make sure to check out my Youtube video!

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The first product is the Frank Body Caffeinated Scalp Scrub. This scrub is meant to exfoliate the scalp to remove product build-up and detoxify the hair. Overall I’m pretty indifferent towards this product. First I forgot to use it quite a few times just because it’s not a product I would normally reach for. I don’t use a lot of hair product so I don’t get build-up. I also don’t suffer from dandruff. Even when I did use the scrub I didn’t notice a difference in my scalp or hair. I have a scalp massager and I think that does a better job of stimulating my scalp. I don’t think this is necessary. Price: $18.95 US

The next product is the Wander Beauty Getaway Eye and Face Palette. It’s funny because I’m currently using a Wander Beauty product in my project pan. Anyway, this palette has six eyeshadow, a blush and a highlighter. Just wanted to note that these shades are pretty light so they wouldn’t work for deep skin tones. And also a lot of the shades in the palette are quite similar. I find that the matte shades Villa and Chateau are very similar as well as the shimmers Bungalow and Roadtrip. For such a small palette I wish there was more variety. I think the colour story works well for a travel palette full of go-to shades, but it’s nothing special. Also something I notice in this palette as well as my other Wander Beauty duo is that the powders don’t have a long staying power. The face powder fades quickly and the shimmers lose their lustre pretty quickly. Honestly not that impressed, I think there are better products on the market. Price: $36 US

This month’s skincare product is the Saturday Skin Yuzu Vitamin C Sleep Mask. I was excited when I saw this because I liked their moisturizer. This is a lightweight mask that you wear while you sleep to deliver moisturizer. The mask is also supposed to help with ageing, dullness, pores, stress and texture because it also includes vitamin C, niacinamide and retinol. I’ve tried this as both a regular mask and a sleeping mask. As a regular mask, I found that it didn’t do much for moisture. I still have to apply a moisturizer after taking off the mask. As a sleeping mask, I found it was pretty good. It sank into my skin quickly so I didn’t have to worry about getting it all over my sheets. When I woke up in the morning my skin was soft and smooth. So this mask only works its magic if you have it on all night. I’ll continue to use it. Price: $29 US, $27 CAD

The next product is the NCLA Beauty So Rich Love Potion. This is a limited edition of their cuticle oil that has heart glitter as well as a rose scent. I think the glitter is such a cute addition to the oil. I enjoy looking at it. I usually only use cuticle oil while doing my nails but I know it’s useful to use it every day to see any results. I’ve been applying this oil every night before bed and I haven’t noticed a huge difference. I think my cuticles are softer but I don’t think my nails are any stronger. Also, I’m not a huge fan of the rose scent. It’s too floral and overpowering for me. I can smell it even after I’ve rubbed it in. The dropper is nice and works well. I think any cuticle oil will work though, I don’t think you need to buy this one. You can probably just pick one up from your local drugstore and it would do the trick. Price: $18 US

And the final product is The Beauty Crop Coco Gold Mist. The more I used this setting spray, the more I started to dislike it. This is supposed to be a hydrating, fine mist that can refresh your makeup while also giving a delicate amount of shimmer to the face. This mist is in no way fine. It’s quite powerful so I have to hold it super far away from my face or it will ruin my makeup. One time I sprayed it too close and it moved my makeup and separated it. The shimmer isn’t fine, it’s glitter particles. So while it might be fun for a night out, otherwise I don’t want gold glitter all over my face. I even tried spraying this without shaking the bottle and I still got glitter all over me. It does have a nice coconut scent, I’ll give them that. Ya, I’m not a fan and wouldn’t recommend it. Price: $14.99 US

The overall price is $166.94. Honestly, I’m not very impressed. Quite a few of these products were duds or not something I see myself using often. And after having a great box last month it’s disappointing to get a poor box. Let me know what you got in your box and if you felt the same.

xoxo

Lea

5 Beginner Makeup Tips I Wish I Knew When I Started

Hey guys! Today we’re bringing back to the basics. I’m going to share five makeup tips that I wish I knew when I started. Makeup is all about personal expression, so if you don’t like or agree with these tips, then you do you boo! But I’m just trying to share some tips that I wish I knew when I started. I also tried to give some tips that you might have not heard before as well.

1. Figure out your skin type

Creams are good for dry skin whereas powders are good for oily skin

If you don’t already know your skin type then take some time to figure it out. This can dramatically change your makeup experience because certain products work better for certain skin types. For example, I have pretty oily skin. That means after a couple of hours my face looks visibly shiny and is greasy to the touch. Using powder products helps my makeup stay on my face and reduces that shiny look. Now that doesn’t mean I only have to use powders, if any I’ve come to love a good cream product. But when you’re starting it’s easy to stick to products that work with your skin type. So just take some time to google what the different skin types are and what products work for them.

2. Invest in some brushes

The best way to explain this is to talk about painting. A painter can be using the highest quality paint, but if they’re using dollar store sponge brushes it’ll be harder to do their job. On the flip side, a painter can be using cheap acrylics, but if they had good brushes they can make a pretty good piece. It’s the same with makeup.

Having some good brushes can make all the difference. And you don’t have to spend an arm or a leg to get good brushes. One of my favourite brands is Luxie which I can find at Winners. Real Techniques has a sponge that’s amazing and available at the drug store. I would recommend having a brush for each product face product and at least a few for the eyes. If you want I can always do a follow-up post on the perfect brushes for beginners.

3. Get an eyelash comb

My eyelash comb may look scary but it works!

I know eyelash combs are pretty common if you have lash extensions, but trust me they are great for mascara. If you find that you have the issue of mascara clumping up, then this tool is a life changer. If I notice my lashes are clumping, I just grab my comb and run it through. It helps separate the lashes and gives a defined look. And it’s not an expensive tool. I have the Morphe M221, but there are a bunch on Amazon. It’s a simple tool that can help if you’re struggling with mascara.

4. Use your current face product to find new ones

All three of these foundations are pretty close in shade

If you struggle to match foundations and concealers this is the tip for you. If you have a foundation or concealer that matches you perfectly right now but you’re looking to get a different one, then bring your current foundation or concealer with you to the store. I put the bottle in my purse and will take it out and put them side by side. This is helpful right now when because testing and swatching isn’t available due to the pandemic.

Another helpful tip is to look up the description of the foundation you like and look for those words in other foundations. For example, I usually go for fair/light neutral foundations because that matches my skin tone the best. If they don’t have these descriptions in store they can be found on the company websites.

5. Use face products on the eyes

If you’re on a budget you might not be able to afford to buy every product for a full face. Or maybe you just don’t have a lot of space and can only have a few products. Well, I’m letting you know that you can skip buying an eyeshadow palette and just use your face products on your eyes. Bronzes are a great neutral eyeshadow that can add a little depth to the eyes. Why buy a brown eyeshadow when bronzers are the same? And if you are feeling a little adventurous then try your blush. It can create a beautiful monochromatic look to have the same shade on the eyes and cheeks. Bronzers and blushes are great to use on the eyes are well for beginners because they’re typically not as pigmented as a regular eyeshadow and therefore easier to control. And if you want a bit of sparkle then use your highlight! I often use my highlighters on the inner corner to create a cohesive look.

And those are five tips and tricks I wish I knew when I started. I have so many other ideas, so let me know if I should do a part two! And let me know in the comments what some of your beginner-friendly makeup tips and tricks are.

xoxo

Lea

Auric Glow Lust + Smoke Reflect Review

Hey guys! Today I am reviewing the first products of Samantha Ravndahl’s brand Auric Cosmetics. I love Sam, she is one of my favourite beauty influencers and is someone I look up to in many ways. So when she announced her brand I immediately knew I had to pick up some of the products. I purchased three products and I’m going to break down everything for you guys.

So let’s start with the brand itself. Auric is a luxury, sustainable and cruelty-free makeup brand. There is also a real focus on inclusivity, which I’ll go into more detail with the Glow Lust. As with any luxury brand, that means that the products come with a higher price tag. Even though Sam is Canadian, her business partner is American and the distribute centre is in the US. All prices are in American on the site, so while my total was $123 US for three products, I had to pay more because of the exchange rate. I also had to pay $15 for shipping AND I had to pay $43 in duties because they weren’t prepaid. So in total, I paid around $200 CAD for three products. RIP my bank account. The price was in the back of my mind while testing out these products.

The first product is the Glow Lust. This is a liquid luminizer that is meant to give shine and hydration. It can be worn alone, mixed with a product or on top as a highlight. It comes in seven different shades that are skin-tone-based. So instead of it being gold, silver or pink the shades range from light cool beige to deep neutral. I love the shade range and how the shades aren’t numbered as well.

I love this product. The most similar product is the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, which just expanded its shade range. The Glow Lust comes with a pump that is easy to control so I can pump out a bit or do a full pump. Also, the packaging is just so luxurious. The bottle is glass and has gold drip detail. The gap is a pain to get off though. The Charlotte Tilbury cream has a doe-foot applicator. So it’s easy to use on top of foundation but not as easy to mix in with other products.

The Charlotte Tilbury formula is shinier but doesn’t dry down completely. Auric’s Glow Lust adds the most beautiful glow from within look but it dries down and sinks into the skin. This helps it last throughout the day. I also loved adding it to my matte foundations because it adds a subtle glow to them. The only thing is that I wouldn’t necessarily say it hydrates my skin. But I don’t mind because ya girl is oily. The Glow Lust is $45 US, which is pretty on par with the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. There is a lot of product so I think this would last me forever. And that packaging is so luxe, so that’s where part of the price is going towards.

The other product I got was two shades of the Smoke Reflect Duos. These duos come with a creamy-matte shadow and a micro-glitter pressed eyeshadow. There are three shades. Defiance is bronze/gold, Temper is rose gold and Ego is silver. I didn’t get Ego since I don’t wear much silver eyeshadow. I will say that these shades are different than what you typically expect with those names. The cream Defiance is browner than orange bronze. Temper’s cream is only slightly pink. But I think the idea of having a cream and a pressed shadow is quite creative. I can think of a dupe for this product that has both the cream and powder off the top of my head.

For some reason, I thought the creams would be metallic but they’re not. They are more matte with a slight glimmer to them. They are also subtler than I thought. When I think of cream eyeshadows my mind goes to Colourpop or Hourglass. These are not like that and shouldn’t be compared otherwise you’d be disappointed. Once I got to understand the formula I grew to appreciate them. They would the best as a base for the glitter. Because by themselves they’re pretty plain – which I guess could be nice for an everyday look. Using a brush applies a sheer wash whereas using my finger is where I can make it look most similar to what it looks like in the jar.

The shimmers are what sold me on this product. It’s the most beautiful glitter ever. I can use a brush to create a gentle scattering of glitter or use my finger to create a very impactful look. They don’t have much basic colour to them, but that’s because they’re designed to go on top of the creams. I’ve worn them with other shadows and they look great. So overall these duos work best when you use the pressed glitter and cream together. These duos are $39 US which is pricey. A product like Hourglass’ Scattered Light could give you a similar effect with one product and it’s much cheaper. So while I do like it and think it’s pretty, I don’t think it’s necessarily worth it.

Wearing the Temper cream on the eyes

So what are my overall thoughts on the brand and what would I recommend. First, if you’re on a budget, you don’t need these products. Auric is a small brand, and I’m sure as they grow the shipping and duties will probably decrease and therefore be more affordable. But if you want to try something, I would recommend the Glow Lust over the Smoke Reflects. I think they are other products on the market that can give you a similar effect. But the Glow Lust is beautiful and there isn’t anything like it on the market. But it’s also a simple product that I see myself using every day and therefore getting my money’s worth.

Do I wish that the products were cheaper? Yes but I also understand why they are pricy. They are trying to be a better option for luxury makeup that is often not cruelty-free or inclusive. Like if you were comparing this brand to Dior or Armani then I would recommend Auric over those others. I am excited to see where Sam’s brand goes. I probably won’t be able to afford to purchase every launch but I will be cheering her on because I love her.

Let me know what you guys think about Auric and these products. What piques your interest? Do you think the products are good or too expensive? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo

Lea

Current Skincare Routine February 2021

Hey guys! I realized that I haven’t given you guys a skincare update since July of last year! So I thought I would share my current morning routine. I’m currently testing out some different makeup removers so I won’t be including my evening routine today. There is one new product that I’m excited to share with you guys. So let’s get into it.

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In the morning I like to start with a cleanser. I’m currently using the OleHenriksen Truth Juice Daily Cleanser. I’ve finished a full size and repurchased it, that’s how much I like it. This cleanser is meant to deeply clean without stripping the skin. My skin goes through cycles of breakouts and being calm and this cleanser is something I can use throughout. I also love the citrusy scent, it’s perfect to use in the morning. Highly recommend this cleanser.

The OleHenriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner has quickly become a ride-or-die. Without this toner, my skin just becomes so textured and congested. If you have oily or acne-prone skin this is the toner for you. It gets rid of any dirt or impurities that my cleanser missed. If you’re dry stay away because you might find this stripping. But it evens out my texture so I love it.

A new product to my regime is The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid. If you read my post about The Inkey List, then you would know that I didn’t notice a difference using this product. But I own it and so I want to use it up. The bottle says to apply before any other serums so that’s what I do. Once I finish it I might try another hyaluronic acid, so please leave your recommendations in the comments.

Up next I use a vitamin C serum. I still have the Biossance one that I mentioned in my previous post and I still love it. I’ve been alternating between that one and The Inkey List 15% Vitamin C and EGF. I’ve noticed that the colour is starting to change which means that it’s not going to be as effective soon so I want to use it up before it expires. That’s something I’ve noticed is that my Biossance one has a much better shelf life. If you want more details on my thoughts on these two vitamin c serums then check out my Inkey List review.

The next product I use is moisturizer. I’ve been using the Kypris Antioxidant Dew. I got this in my Boxycharm. I’m currently trying to use up some opened products before I buy another moisturizer myself. I think it’s alright. It’s quite liquidy and lightweight, which is perfect for my oily skin. I think it’s good and does the job but I wouldn’t go out of my way to repurchase since it’s quite expensive.

I finish off my face with an eye cream. I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t think that eye cream is necessarily needed. I relatively young and while I’m starting to get some fine lines, it’s nothing crazy. Besides hydration, I don’t need an eye cream. Yet for some reason, my eye skin is extremely sensitive so I have to be careful. Otherwise, I get dry patches and a burning sensation. The eye cream I’m currently using is the Origins Refreshing Eye Cream. Does it help brighten my dark circles and reduce puffiness? Meh. Does it hydrate my skin? Ya and that all I really want and need.

The final product I wanted to mention isn’t one I use every day. I recently got the Peace Out Acne Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Dots and wanted to let you guys know what I think about them. I like them but they work best as instructed. I use them on large pimples that have a whitehead or almost aka a prime popping pimple. I will apply it before bed and overnight it will draw out all the gunk. This is perfect for me because I am a pimple popper, which causes scarring. This will help heal the pimple without causing scarring. This doesn’t work for really deep acne that hasn’t come out yet. This also won’t help speed up the healing process to get rid of a scar. So it’s only good for when a pimple is juicy and ready (sorry for that description but I mean it’s accurate). I know some people say you can use topical spot treatments but they don’t work as well as this. The only thing is that it’s quite because a 20 pack is $25. I will continue to use this and would even repurchase. But I’d love to try other brands to see if there is one that is cheaper and just as effective or even better.

And that is my current skincare routine guys! Maybe next time I’ll let you guys know what my makeup removal process is like. Let me know what some of your favourite skincare products are, I’d love to try them out!

xoxo

Lea

Book Review 016: Wuthering Heights

Hey guys! I’m back today with another book review! I usually prefer to book a couple of stand-alone books in one post. But since I’m in the middle of reading a series, it’ll be awhile before I have another book to include. So I just decided to write a review for Wuthering Heights now. So let’s get into it.

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For those of you who don’t know anything about this book, Wuthering Heights is considered a classic gothic romance. First published in 1847 by Emily Bronte, it’s a pretty popular novel. I’ve heard it referenced many times but I never knew what it was about. The story follows two families through two generations in the north of England. The story is narrated by their maid Nelly and the main antagonist is Heathcliff. I don’t want to give too many other details because I don’t want to spoil the story.

The beginning of the novel is quite confusing for the reader because the book starts in the present and then goes to the past. A lot of the characters in the past and present have very similar names and there are some juniors and seniors so it’s hard to remember who is who. I started using Sparknotes to help me understand what was going on. I would read a chapter and then read the Sparknotes summary to make sure I caught everything. I was pretty good at understanding everything, but every once in a while I would miss something important and Sparknotes would point it out to me.

This novel is famous for the poetic language, especially the description of the landscapes. If you enjoy that sort of thing, then you’ll love this book. For me, I found that it more often put me to sleep, especially since I mainly read at night when I’m already tired. This isn’t a thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. If anything sometimes it was tough to get through.

This isn’t a happy book. There is a lot of negativity, with everyone hating someone. There were a lot of sicknesses, death and physical abuse. I would recommend googling the trigger warnings before reading this book because it’s a little dark – I mean there’s a reason why it’s a gothic novel.

I generally preferred the second half of the novel compared to the first half because it was with the second generation. I just found the characters to be more tolerable. I also wasn’t very fond of the narrator, Nelly. She was quite biased and that would affect the reader’s perception of characters. I was pretty good at seeing through it, but just something to keep in mind. Also if you’re hoping for a redemption arc, you’re not going to find that in this novel. The bad characters are bad through and through.

I did enjoy the ending. I felt like order was finally restored and it was satisfying. This was a difficult book to get through, so I felt very proud of myself once I finished it.

I gave this book 3/5 stars. I can see the value in this novel. A lot of the things I disliked about it are personal preferences than actual flaws. So if you normally read popular fiction then you probably will dislike this novel. But if you enjoy reading classics then check this one out. I’m a little hesitant to read more classics since I haven’t loved the two I’ve read so far, but I have a whole collection of them that I should read so except more.

As with all my book posts, let me know in the comments what you’re currently reading and if you have any recommendations for me!

xoxo

Lea

I Tried 12-3-30 For A Month: Here Are My Thoughts

Hey guys! If you didn’t know, I enjoy trying out new workouts because I get bored pretty easily. With my beloved yoga studio being closed and the weather being too cold outside to run I needed something new. So when I heard about the 12-3-30 workout I knew I had to try it out for myself. For those who don’t know what the workout is about, it was created by an influencer named Lauren Giraldo who apparently lost 30 lbs while doing this workout. It involves raising a treadmill to the 12th incline and walking at 3 miles/hour for minutes. The simplicity of it was what drew me into this workout. So I decided to try it for a month and see what I thought about it.

Before Thoughts

Before starting it I expected that I probably wouldn’t lose weight even though Giraldo claims she did. I’ve been working out and going on walks pretty consistently for a few months now. I also had no plans to change my diet. So because I was keeping my activity and food intake the same, I knew that this workout wasn’t going to magically make me skinnier.

I also predicted that this was going to be difficult at first but I would eventually adjust and be about to do the workout fully. I read an interview with Giraldo that said she would take breaks every ten minutes at first, so that was my plan of action.

And finally, I was excited at the prospect of being able to watch TV or Youtube while working out. Many influencers including Giraldo say the workout is low impact enough that you can watch something. I’ve fallen behind on my subscriptions and was excited at the idea of also being able to distract myself with entertainment.

Week 1

I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to do 3 miles/hour and I was correct. I did around 2 to 2.2 miles/hour at the 12th incline. I also did take breaks at the ten and twenty-minute mark. This was also because my water bottle doesn’t fit on my treadmill. So I had to get off to drink my water anyway.

I found that it was higher intensity than I thought. I was sweating and my heart rate was higher than doing strength training such as lifting weights. But it was lower intensity than say running. I was able to watch my Youtube videos as I expected and it was a really good distraction. Instead of focusing on how tired I was I just focused on the video.

I was afraid that my shins were going to hurt since I’m prone to shin splints. They were fine but actually I started to have knee issues the second time I did the workout. So I decided to lower the incline to help alleviate the pain in my knee. I also got blisters which is weird because there are old shoes – like I ran all summer and had no issues. I think it was because my shoes were loose and the incline made my feet lift out. So I made sure to tie my laces tight from then on.

Week 2

Something I’ve been trying to do is listen to my body. So if I’m tired or in pain, I won’t go as hard. So I started lowering the incline so my feet and knees wouldn’t hurt as much. I was doing either 6th or 8th incline and going around 2 miles/hour.

Otherwise, I noted that I was enjoying placing my iPad that I used to watch videos in front of the timer. This way I just focused on walking instead of the timer.

Week 3

By the third week, I was able to build up my endurance and only take a break halfway through at the 15-minute mark. I do enjoy taking a quick water break because I find that I usually get a second wind after and can push myself more.

I tried experimenting with the incline and speed. I found that I was able to go at the 12th incline and do 2 miles/hour OR 6th incline at 3 miles/hour. I wasn’t able to do the recommended 12th incline at 3 miles/hour because otherwise my knees would start to hurt.

Week 4

I’ve figured out at this point that I prefer doing the 6th incline at 3 miles/hour. Especially because my energy levels have been lower so it’s just easier for me to do. I’m unsure if it’s because I don’t like this workout or just the weather but I’ve been lacking the energy to wake up and work out lately. So going at a lower incline helps me ease my way into it more.

I also want to note that I don’t immediately go at 3 miles/hour. I start at 1.5 and work my way up as I warm up and get into it. It’s safer to warm up than go all out.

Final Thoughts

So I guess I didn’t really do the 12-3-30 challenge but the 6-3-30 challenge. And honestly, I don’t mind that. Everyone’s bodies are different. Being a mid-size person, I weigh more and therefore exert more pressure on my joints. So to prevent injury I go on a lower incline to alleviate some of the pressure.

Besides the fact that I didn’t technically do 12-3-30, did I still enjoy the format? Kind of. liked watching Youtube while I worked out. But by the fourth week, I was dreading having to get up to do it. It’s higher intensity than I anticipated and sometimes I wanted to do something lower intensity.

Will I continue doing it myself? Maybe if I’m in the mood. I’m someone who likes a variety with my workouts. So some days I might like to do this. But other days if I want to do yoga or strength training or pilates I’ll do that.

Would I recommend this workout? I think you should try it once and determine it for yourself. Not everyone has a treadmill at home and I’m pretty lucky that my dad set up an at-home gym in the basement many years ago. So if you don’t have a treadmill don’t worry, you’re not missing out on the best workout ever. Honestly just going on a walk in a hilly area could probably produce similar results.

So those are my thoughts on 12-3-30 guys! Let me know if you’ve tried it or would consider trying it. I’m planning on reviewing the Peloton app next because my friend has been raving about it. So if you have the app please let me know in the comments what some of your favourite classes or instructors are.

xoxo

Lea