December Boxycharm 2020

Hey guys! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season. Because Christmas Day and New Year’s Day land on Friday I haven’t been posting as much. But don’t worry, I will always post my Boxycharm! I got my box pretty late this month so I haven’t tested it much so this post is mainly my first impression. Let’s get into it!

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I’m very conflicted on the Ofra Cosmetics Pressed Banana Powder. When I wear the powder in person my under eyes look very yellow and unnatural. But then in photos, it looks brighter and more even. So it’s hard because sure it’s nice to have something that looks good in photos, but I rather look good in person. So if you have a yellow undertone you’ll probably like it, but if you’re like me and have a more neutral/pink undertone I would skip this powder. Price: $35 US

In this month’s box, we have two repeats. The first is the Spongelle Body Wash Infused Buffer in the scent Cherry Tonka Musk. In my March box, I got the same sponge in the French Lavender scent. My opinion on the sponge is the same as before. At first, it’s pretty scratchy but over time the sponge softens up. This scent isn’t my favourite for a shower product. I find it to be very spicy and musky which is a little overwhelming in the shower. But hey that’s my personal preference when it comes to scents. Price: $20 US, $27 CAD

The second repeat is a MAC Cosmetics lipstick – this time I got the shade Down to an Art which I love. This is a peachy nude and is similar to Velvet Teddy which is my favourite MAC Lipstick. Down to an Art is just slightly darker and warmer than Velvet Teddy. I’m pretty happy with this lipstick because it’s a shade I like. The only thing is that I don’t wear lipstick much right now with COVID, what with masks and not leaving the house. Price: $19 US, $24 CAD

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The next product is the Tarte Maneater Mascara. You guys know I enjoy Tarte Mascara and this one is no exception. I still want to try it out more because mascaras do change as they dry out a bit. But so far it’s good. I find that this is very lengthening and separating. It gives a little volume but it’s not the most volumizing mascara I’ve tried. But it gives such long and feathery lashes which is right up my alley. Very excited to continue to use this. Price: $23 US, $20 CAD

And the final product is the Artist Couture Caliente Palette. I love the colour story in this palette, it’s unique to anything I own. The neons are so bright, photos don’t do them justice. They are also very vibrant on the eyes. The only thing is that the sensual is very orange on the eyes so there isn’t a brown in the palette. I would use this with a neutral palette to create a complete look. But ya girl has so many neutral palettes, that’s not a worry for me. Price: $30 US, $40 CAD

The overall price of my box is $127 US. I’m conflicted about the two repeat items in my box. On the one hand, I wish I got other things besides the Spongelle buffer. But on the other, I like the MAC lipstick that I got. I guess it depends on the product I’m receiving which isn’t very fair. But overall I would say that this box is pretty good. Let me know your thoughts on repeat products in the comments below!

Oh and P.S. my 2020 beauty favourites will be going up next Tuesday! See you then 🙂

xoxo

Lea

Best of Boxycharm 2020

Hey guys! Today’s post I am going to be sharing the best products I got in my Boxycharm this year. Unfortunately I still haven’t received my December box so I can’t include it in this post, but we still have 11 other boxes to choose from. So I picked out 10 products that I love from this past year, and we’re going to go in the order that I’ve received them.

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January had two of my favourite products. The first is the Ace Beaute Vintage Dawn Palette. This year I’ve tried to give more love to black-owned business and one of my favourites is Ace Beaute. This palette is just beautiful and such good quality. I love the range of shades and I’ve created so many good looks using this palette this year. It’s still a palette I reach for almost a year later.

The second favourite product from January is the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask. I really didn’t like this mask at first because it’s not what I expected. But this mask has AHAs in it, so it’s a very gentle exfoliator. I use this mask whenever I had some bad acne scarring going on, and I find that is helps reduce the redness and makes my skin looked hydrated and smoother overall. Some products you just need to test more to like.

From Feburary’s box, I fell in love with the Alamar Cosmetics Complexion Brush Trio. I always love receiving brushes, but these ones are great. I use the blush and the brightening brush all the time. I also will use the bronzer brush on occasion for foundation and it works really well. The brush hair is super soft and I like the tapered look of the handle. All the Alamar cosmetics brushes I own are amazing.

In March I received the Farmacy Beauty Very Cherry Clean Cleansing Balm. I actually just finished it the other day! It’s a great cleansing balm for when I have a full face of glam and need to remove it all. It breaks down liquid lipsticks and stubborn mascara. It doesn’t leave any residue on the face as well. I love prefer the scent of the cherry version over their regular version. It was supposed to be limited edition but it’s still on their website so grab it while you can!

I know I went on a whole rant about the Elemis Superfood Cica Calm Hydration Juice back in April. I really like this moisturizer but it’s hard to get in Canada! So in that sense it’s hard for me to recommend because like there are other moisturizers that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to ship to Canada. But at the same time I love using this moisturizer. It has a convenient pump so I didn’t have to stick my fingers in a jar. And it made my skin feel so hydrated and plump. I have finished this moisturizer and if it was available at Shoppers or Sephora I would have repurchased.

Another Elemis favourite is their Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads. I got this in my May box. I wasn’t a huge fan at first. But recently with having to wear a full face of makeup at work I need to thoroughly cleanse my skin. So after using a cleansing balm I will go in with these pads. It a good way to ensure that my face is easy. And it’s easier than having to wash my face for those days where I’m feeling lazy. I’m really enjoying using them!

The next favourite is from my July box – the Alamar Cosmetics Birthday Suit Lip Gloss. I don’t wear a lot of lip products anymore but when I do I love using a good gloss. This one is the perfect everyday because it’s a beautiful pink with all these shimmers. It also has a soft vanilla scent that reminds me of Lip Smackers.

Probably my favourite colour story of all the palettes I’ve received this year is that of the Hipdot Zion Eyeshadow palette. It’s just so pretty! I can be hard to formulate these pretty pastel colours but they are great quality. I love the soft and dreamy looks I created with this palette. I used it the other day for work and I got so many compliments!

In my October palette I received the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. This came to me at the perfect moment because I needed a new exfpliator. This one is great because it’s both a physical and chemical exfoliator. It took my skin a second to get adjusted but now it loves it. My brother also likes to steal it and use it as well. A great skincare product!

And the final favourite is from my November box – the Natasha Denona Peak Palette. I love this palette. The quality of Natasha Denona’s eyeshadows are amazing. A little goes a long way. And the colour story is perfect for me to use everyday. This would be the perfect palette for someone who works everyday and doesn’t need a lot of shades. It has everything you need in one palette. I think this would be the perfect palette to take with me once I can travel again.

And those are my favourites products that I got in my Boxycharm box this year. Please let me know, if you receive Boyxhcarm boxes what was your favourite product this year? Stay tuned guys, I will (hopefully) have my December boxycharm post going up soon! As well I will be posting my 2020 beauty favourites as well.

xoxo

Lea

November Boxycharm 2020

Hey guys! Today’ post is my November Boxycharm. I would recommend watching my unboxing on Youtube if you haven’t already to see these products in action. I’ve tested the products a bit more and I’m ready to give you guys a more in-depth review.

Up first is the Natasha Denona Peak Palette. This palette is exclusive to Boxycharm, but the brand does have other five-pan eyeshadow palettes. I like the layout because it gives everything I need to great a warm-toned eyeshadow look. Natasha Denona’s eyeshadow formula is amazing – the mattes and pigmented but easy to blend and the shimmers are so gorgeous on the lid. Trying out the mini palettes is a great way to try out the formula before investing in a large eyeshadow palette as well. I definitely see myself using this more in the future. Price: $48 US (but also the mini palettes sell for $33 CAD on the Sephora website).

The next product is actually a new launch – the Dr. Brandt Antioxidant Spray Toner. I love a good toner, but I’ve never tried a hydrating toner before. This is supposed to tone, sooth and purify the skin to leave it feeling soft, hydrated and revitalized. Now I still need to test this out more because I find that it takes awhile to see results with skincare. The toner absorbs into the skin so quickly. The first time I used it I didn’t think I got anything on my face because when I went to rub it in the toner had already absorbed into the skin. What I’ve noticed so far it that the toner takes away that tightness in my skin after using a cleanser. I still need to go in with a moisturizer. This would be great for anyone with dry skin who don’t like oil controlling toners. Price: $40 US

The next product is the Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Tinted Volumizing Gel. I rarely wear brow gel. My brows are naturally decent. There are a few bald spots that I fill in with a pencil but they stay in place pretty well. If you are someone who likes feathery brows or don’t have a lot of brows to begin with, this is the brow gel for you. It has some colour and volume to the existing brow hairs. It’s really easy to get the feathery look as well. Once it sets the brow gel stay put pretty well, unless you aggressively rub it (but why would you be rubbing your brows lol). If you are looking for a brow gel this is a good option. Price: $24 US, $32 CAD

I think my favourite product in this box is the Moda Ultimate Eye Sculptors. I love Moda brushes, I just find they are such good quality at a good price point. These two are unique in shape but work so well. The crease brush is tapered and oval in shape instead of round. This allows the brush to really get in the crease and blend out shadows while keeping the colour the most concentrated in the deep part of the crease. I don’t own anything like the triad eye brush. It’s triangular and cut at an angle that allows the brush to perfectly get into the outer crease. This is perfect for darkening up the outer v of the eye. I’m in love with these brushes and I see myself using the all the time in the future. Price: $15 US (currently on sale for $9!!)

And the final product is the Half Caked Game Changer Lip Fondant Trio. I absolutely love the branding of this makeup company, it’s just so girly and fun. That being said, I wish I had received something else because a liquid lipstick trio. I don’t wear lip products that much right now (because of masks and not leaving the house) and when I do it’s either a lip balm or a lip gloss. So I don’t see myself getting much use out of it. But I do like the fact that it’s a trio, so there are three shades. On the website you can choose any three shades within their range, but I received Theme Song, Low Key and 82′ Bordeaux. I think my favourite is 82′ Bordeaux, which is a deep red wine. The formula is easy to apply and transfer-proof at least. Price: $36 for trio (currently on sale for $32) or $12 for one lipstick

The overall total of my box is $159 US. I think this box is pretty good! Benefit and Natasha Denona are both really known brands. I also know Dr Brandt and Moda from having a Boxycharm subscritpion for awhile. The only brand I haven’t heard of before is Half Caked and I’m really into their branding. Sure I would have preferred maybe a gloss from Half Caked, but I don’t think there were any bad products in this box.

Let me know if you guys have tried any products in my box. And if you guys get Boxycharm, let me know in the comments what products you got in your box!

xoxo

Lea

October Boxycharm 2020

Hey guys! My Boxycharm posts are always some of my favourites to write! It’s fun because there are sometimes really good products and sometimes really bad products haha. Also, I feel like October was the longest month ever. Maybe that’s because I was doing Vlogtober so having to vlog every single day just makes it seem longer. I enjoyed it but I am also excited to have a break in November. Okay anyway, my Boxycharm!

The first product in my box is the Rodial Soft Focus Glow Drops. I’ve never heard of this brand before, but after getting my box I saw that they did a special collaboration with GlossyBox (another beauty subscription box). Anyways, these drops are a skincare and makeup hybrid that is meant to brighten and illuminate the complexion. These drops are not hydrating. The serum dries down very quickly and just adds a nice shine to the skin. So if you are someone with oily skin that wants the look but not the oiliness of a dewy primer this is perfect for you. It’s not the most brightening primer I’ve ever used, I have stronger in my collection. So I will continue to use it but I think there are better on the market. Also just want to know it has a strong candy-like smell. Price: $60 US, I found it at Shoppers for $58 for all my fellow Canadians

The next product is the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. This arrived at the perfect time because I just finished my exfoliator yesterday. This cleanser has both chemical and physical exfoliating properties, so it’s the best of both worlds. It does a great job of cleaning my skin and making it feel smooth. The only thing is that it’s meant to be hydrating and I don’t see that at all. The first time I used this my skin was so dry and itchy because I didn’t apply a moisturizer right after. I’ve tried it twice since then and I haven’t had that itchy sensation again but I am careful not to use it too much. If you have sensitive skin be careful with this a maybe do a patch test before putting it on your face. Since the itchiness hasn’t returned I’m going to continue to use this exfoliating cleanser 2-3 a week! Price: $40 US, $52 CAD

Up next in my box is the Pretty Vulgar Nesting B!#%H Face Palette. If you’ve followed my Boxycharm posts you would know that I get these fall palettes pretty often and I’m rarely fans of them. There is only one palette for all skin tones. This is annoying for me because I can’t use some of the darker shades and someone with a darker complexion can’t use the lighter shades. I think it’s a lazy way to be inclusive. I get that it’s easy for Boxycharm to give this palette because then it works for everyone. But I’m not a fan because I won’t use it all the product. On top of that, I’m not a huge fan of the quality of the products. I found the bronzer and blushes to be too pigmented so it goes on heavy and then I have to work to blend it out. I also find that I get patches of heavy pigmentation as well. I think the quality of the highlights but I don’t like the shades. One is way to white sliver and the other is too deep. So overall not a big fan of this product and I wouldn’t recommend it. Price: $32 US

The next product is the Sol de Janiero Brazilian Kiss Tinted Cupuacu Lip Butter. Okay, I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m kind of disappointed in this lip butter! I thought it was going to be more moisturizing and I find the formula to be stiff and dry. If you have any dry patches or crustiness, the pigment of the lip butter just sticks to those areas and looks gross. I also find myself having to frequently reapply this lip butter. It’s honestly more of a lipstick than a lip butter. I thought this product was going to be more like the Tarte SEA Quench Lip Rescue Balm, where it’s a hydrating lip balm with a bit of colour. I’ll still use it because I love the scent, but I wouldn’t reach for this if my lips were super dry. Price: $20 US

And the final product is the Lavaa Lashes Charm Faux Mink. I like these lashes! The band isn’t too thick so it’s super easy to apply and blends seamlessly with my real lashes. For being super a big pair of lashes they are also not too heavy on the eyes. There are not exactly everyday lashes because they are huge. This isn’t the best pair of lashes if I wanted to show off my eyeshadow. But I think for a simple look they would just bring it to the next level. If I was going out these are the lashes I would reach for. (Except I don’t go out anymore because of the pandemic, ya know). I see myself wearing these lashes many times. Price: $20 US

The overall total of the box is $172 US which is a great value! I’m not a huge fan of the Pretty Vulgar face palette and the Sol de Janeiro Lip Butter. But I like the Murad Exfoliating Cleanser and the Lavaa Lashes. So there were some hits and misses. Let me know what you guys think in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

June Boxycharm 2020 – Battle of the Boxes

Hey guys! Today I have an extra special Boxycharm post – I am reviewing both the base box and the premium box! I’ve mentioned in my last post that I was curious about the difference between the two boxes. So I decided to get both. I will review the products in both boxes and then let you know my thoughts between the regular and premium.

So first the base box. I just want to mention that I have been testing quite a few skincare products and I have noticed that my pores are a little clogged right now and I have some small breakouts on my face. I believe it’s from the BB cream, but it would be the face wash or the masks. Unfortunately, I don’t know.

Base Box

Base Box

The first product is the Foaming Face Wash by Kylie Skin. This face wash is supposed to be gentle, leave skin feeling moisturized and brighten skin’s complexion. This cleanser is okay. I do think the fact that it’s foaming is fun. I also only need half a pump to wash my face. But it’s quite gentle. My acne-prone, combo skin needs a little more for a daily cleanser. This would be a good shower cleanser when I don’t want something stripping by will still clean my face. I also wouldn’t say it’s necessarily moisturizing. Overall I think it’s a pretty mediocre cleanser. I’ll use it because I have it, but wouldn’t go out and repurchase it. Price: $24 US

Next up is the Purlisse Beauty Perfect Glow BB Cream SPF 30. I really like this BB cream, except for the fact that I think this is what broke me out. This is the perfect tinted moisturize. It gives enough coverage but still looks like skin. It just looked so nice and other products applied beautifully on top of it. I would wear this if I was going to be outside but still wanted to wear a foundation. I believe that this is breaking me out because I have had issues with sunscreens breaking me out in the past. I think if I were to wear it once in a while my skin would be fine but since I wore it every day for almost two weeks it was too much for my face. I would still recommend this BB cream though because it looks amazing on the skin! Price: $35

I really like this product but I don’t think it’s for everyone. I received an Artist Couture Diamond Glow Powder in the shade Conceited. It’s a bronze/gold highlight with golden shimmering pearls. I actually like to wear this as glitter on my eyes the most. When I do wear it as a highlight, I just apply a little bit to the top of my cheeks. Because it’s a very glittery highlight. So if you like glitter you will love this. If you perfect a dewy, glowy look I would pass this. Price: $27 US, $36 CAD

The next product is insanely priced. The QMS Medicosmetics Lip Line Corrector is £155. That’s $260 Canadian dollars!!! Like what the fuck. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT, IT IS NOT WORTH IT. This lip line corrector is supposed to target fine lines and wrinkles as well and hydrate and plump the lips. I was skeptical but I read good reviews about it, saying it has instant results but continued usage makes a significant difference. And then I tried it myself and it worked! Almost instantly my lips looked smoother and significantly plumper. And it didn’t have any tingly feeling like plumping glosses. The only annoying this is that a full pump is way too much product and it’s hard to half pump it so I feel like I’m wasting product. Listen, this shit might work, but I would never recommend spending that much money on a cosmetics product. Like at that price point you might as well get lip injections. Price: $200 US (that’s what the card says)

The final product is my face box is the First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub with 10% AHA. This is a hard product for me to review because I don’t have KP bumps. I used this scrub on one arm and a regular body scrub on the other and didn’t notice a difference. Both left my arms smooth. But maybe if you do have KP bumps and use this it’ll be strong enough to make a difference? I’m not sure but one of my friends used it and loves it. So overall I will be passing this product along to someone else who will get better use out of it than me. Price: $18 US, $36 CAD

Premium Box

Premium Box

The first product Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Mask. This mask is just … average. Like it’s basically just a super thick moisturizer that takes a little longer to sink into the skin. Like sure it makes my skin feel smooth, but I don’t wake up in the morning going wow my skin is amazing! Like it did its job but it’s nothing special. I think the Glow Recipes Watermelon Sleeping mask is better. Price: $49 US, $66 CAD

The next product is the Too Faced Cocoa Contour Palette. I’ve mentioned this before but I am not a fan of this brand. Just so many controversies that I don’t think they handled well and a lot of products that they have realized lately haven’t impressed me. But I tried to keep an open mind about this product. First I love this packaging. It looks nice, feels nice but isn’t too bulky. It also smells amazing. Like every time I open it smells like chocolate but the scent doesn’t carry over to my face. It also has a big mirror. What I don’t like that there is only one palette for every skin tone. Like I’m glad that they are shade inclusive, but I will never use the deep shades. I wish it only had the shades I need so it was cheaper and less packaging for me. I find the highlight shade not very pigmented so I have to use a lot. The contour isn’t bad, but what’s the point of the palette if I only use one shade? So while it’s not a bad product, it just doesn’t suit my personal tastes. Price: $44 US, $59 CAD

The lip product is the NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in the shade You’re No Good. I love the formula of this lipstick. I own this lipstick in the shade Light My Fire (which is an orange-red) and I love it. It is a very liquidy liquid lipstick that dries to be more of a stain. What I like is that I can apply a little and sheer it out for a wash of colour or apply a thick layer for a bight impactful look. Because it’s also more of a stain, it doesn’t look dry or cakey on the lips and lasts so long. I’m not a huge fan of this shade. It’s a deep red fuchsia, and I just prefer an orange toned than a pink. I will still wear it but probably sheered out. Price: $26 US, $34 CAD

The next item is the Grace & Stella Anti-Wrinkle + Energizing Face Masks. It came in a six-pack which is pretty great. These face masks are very slippery and slimy, so I have to lay down otherwise it falls off. It’s kinda annoying because then I can’t do other things, but on the other side that I am forced to relax at least. I think that they do a good job of moisturizing my face, but I don’t see how using one sheet mask can do that much for anti-ageing. Overall I will use them all, but I wouldn’t recommend these over other face masks.

I love getting face brushes! These Powder and Contour Brush Set from Battington Beauty are pretty nice. The hairs feel very soft and apply powder very well. The powder brush is just a little big for my under eyes, but applies powder to the rest of my face well. The contour is a great shape for chiselling out the face. I will say that for $90 (so $45 for each brush) that the handles are pretty cheap feeling. They aren’t heavy and honestly feel like my Morphe brushes. If you want a nice brand of brushes, go with Luxie because I feel that those are worth the price. Price: $90 US

The final product is the Living Proof Restore Repair Leave-In. This leave-in treatment is supposed to help dry and damaged hair. I have heard great things about Living Proof so I was excited to test it out. It’s paraben and phthalates free, and I believe it’s also curly-girl approved but I’m not 100% sure. If you guys don’t know, I’m kinda on a curly-girl hair journey where I am trying to bring out and enhance my normal curls. So I think this Living Proof treatment is great at what it claims, but it’s not what my hair needs. It left my hair feeling smooth and soft but didn’t do anything to help my curls. So I will keep this treatment for when my hair does feel dry (like after going in the pool or sal water) but probably won’t be using it on the daily. Price: $30 US, $40 CAD.

Full face using products from both boxes

Comparing the Boxes

So my base box was $25 US with a value of $304. Now keep in my the lip corrector is $200, so that product inflates the price of the box. The premium box was $35 US with a value of $264. Once again I think those brushes are over prices. So this shows that getting the premium box doesn’t automatically mean that it’s worth more than the base box.

If what brands are included in the box, then I think the premium box is better. In the premium box, 4 out of the 6 products are available at Sephora and therefore more ‘mainstream’. Whereas in the base box only 2 out of the 5 are available at Sephora, but I would argue that Kylie Skin is still pretty mainstream. But on the flip side, I don’t necessarily subscribe to Boxycharm to get products that I know about. I like testing out new brands, especially ones that are not always easy to get in Canada. For example, one of my favourite products in both boxes in the Purlisse Foundation, a brand that I’ve only heard about from Boxycharm.

So either way, I think both boxes are pretty great. I don’t think the premium box was so much better than the base box. It was one more product, so it makes sense that it would therefore be more expensive. I have decided in the end to stick with my base box. I don’t have a ton of extra cash and would rather spend the extra $10 US on buying products that I know I will like then on a surprise. But I think in the future I would consider getting premium again as a treat.

And that is my very long Boxycharm post for June! Let me know in the comments which box you think was better!

xoxo

Lea