April Boxycharm 2022

Hey guys! Today I’m sharing my thoughts on my April Boxycharm. I will say that this will be a mixed review because of some products I’ve tested and otherwise I haven’t even tried – oops! Let’s get into it.

May Boxycharm 2022

The first item is the Beauty Bakerie Sour Ya Doin’? Eyeshadow Palette. I was excited to receive this palette because I’ve heard great things about Beauty Bakerie eyeshadows. I like the colour story but I will say they’re not necessarily the most wearable everyday shades for my skin tone. I think this palette would look gorgeous on deeper skin tones. For me, it’s a more bold, colourful palette. I’ve yet to use the shimmers because they’re a little deep for everyday use. I have used the mattes and they are a great formula. I like the palette so far and can’t wait to play with it more. Price: $38 US

Beauty Bakerie Sour Ya Doin'? Eyeshadow Palette

I was just thinking to myself the other day that it’s been a while since I’ve tested a new powder and then BAM I got the Viseart Seamless Setting Powder. I must say that the shifter on this powder is one of the best I’ve seen on a loose setting powder. It keeps the powder locked in when it’s closed but it’s easy to tap some out when I open the lid. So many loose-setting powders either let powder fly everywhere or are so difficult to get the powder out of so I appreciate that. The actual powder is pretty good. It does a good job of setting everything and gives a slight blurring effect to the last. By the end of the day, my face is a little oily and creasy which is pretty good since I have very oily skin. Overall I like this powder and I’m excited to own it. Price: $35 US

I am unfortunately not a huge fan of the Christophe Robin Instant Volume Mist. This mist is supposed to make thin, fine or flat hair feel thicker and have more body. I don’t normally struggle with that but I thought that a little more volume couldn’t hurt. If it did add any volume I didn’t notice because it made my hair so fizzy. Every time I used this mist as well my hair didn’t curl very well. This is quite surprising because this is a curly-girl-approved product. Either way, this mist just didn’t work well with my hair so I will not be using it again. Price: $39 US, $51 CAD

A product I really really like is the Item Beauty by Addison Rae Lash Snack Lengthening Mascara. You guys know I love lengthening mascaras, and this is one of the best I’ve tried yet. I will say that it gives barely any volume but the length is insane. This is great everyday mascara. It would also be great on the lower lashline. My only gripe is that the brush head is quite small so it just takes a little longer to coat all the lashes. But this mascara, along with my new Bite Beauty mascara, are easily my new favourite mascaras.

The final product is the Persona Cosmetics 24HR Waterproof Eyeliner. I’ll have to be honest, I haven’t tried this eyeliner yet. I’ve been keeping the eyes very minimal lately so I haven’t had the chance to try it. I do want to try this eyeliner eventually because I’ve heard great things about Persona Cosmetics. Price: $14 US

The overall total of the box is $141 US. This box is quite hit or miss. I like the mascara and the powder. On the other hand, I haven’t even used the eyeliner yet and I don’t like the hair mist. Let me know what you guys think in the comments. And if you are subscribed to Boxycharm, let me know what products you got in your May box!

xoxo

Lea

March 2022 Boxycharm

Hey guys! Long time no time from me! I’ve been feeling quite burnout lately when it comes to creating content so I just took a bit of a break. Posting might be a bit sporadic for a bit while I try to find my groove again. But do not worry I have no plans to stop any time soon! With that being said, today’s post is going to be my March Boxycharm. I always filmed my video version, so make sure to check that out to see the products in again. Let’s get into it.

The first product, which was chosen product for the month, is the Korres Santorini Grape Velvet Skin Drink. I’ve heard good things about the brand but haven’t tried any of their products before. This serum is meant for all skin types to help with imperfections, texture and give hydration. It’s kind of meant to do everything. I’ve only used it for a week, so it might take a little longer to notice a difference in imperfections and texture. I will say that it’s a thin serum but still manages to give some instant hydration to the skin. Not as much as a hyaluronic acid serum but still good. It absorbs into the skin quickly which I also appreciate. I’m excited to continue using the serum and see if it helps improve my skin. Price: $48 US, $60 CAD

The next product is the LYS Beauty Secure Skin Gripping Serum Primer. This primer is meant to help with the look of pores and shine control. It’s a serum so it’s a very thin product and I often find I pour out too much. It’s easy to blend onto the skin and is slightly tacky, which helps grip the foundation. I find that the primer works better with matte foundations. When I use this primer and a dewy foundation it doesn’t help keep the shiny at bay. While I find it doesn’t help the look of pores or shine, it does help my foundation last longer which is nice. I’m not in love with this primer but am willing to continue testing it out. Price: $20 US, $26 CAD

The second skincare product I received is the Frank Body Brightening Vitamin C Mask. This mask is packed with active ingredients to help with hyperpigmentation, scarring and fine lines. I’ve only used this mask once and this is something that needs to be used regularly to notice a difference. It reminds me of the Inkey List Apple Cider Vinegar Acid Peel where it’s using a very strong concentration of active ingredients to help brighten and clear the skin. I prefer using a serum over a mask because I don’t have to rinse it off. But I’m willing to continue trying this mask and see if it makes a difference. Price: $19.95 US, $25.95 CAD

This month I have two products that I have decided not to test. The first product is the Aesthetica Cream Contour Kit. I have quite a few reasons for not testing this out. First I own a powder contour kit that has the same layout of three highlight shades and three contour shades, so I felt like I didn’t need the cream versions. I also don’t use the contour kit that often so I can’t justify having two. Second I already have cream contours so I didn’t feel like I need to test out more. Third, this is a universal kit so I won’t use every shade anyways. Overall I couldn’t see myself using it very often after testing it and therefore thought it best not to open it. Now that it’s unopen I can donate it to someone who will use it more than me. Price: $40 US

The final product in my box is the Styledry Coconut & Fig Hair Mask. I’m trying to be mindful of what products I use on my hair and trying to stay clear of products containing sulphates and silicones. The mask is sulphate free but contains a bunch of different silicones. Silicones often coat the hair to make it feel soft and silky but ultimately weigh down my curls, which I’ve trying to avoid. So I will be passing along this mask to someone who doesn’t mind silicones! Price: $16.95 US

The total value of my box is $144.90, which is great! While I might not be using two products I still got great value I believe. If you guys are subscribed to Boxycharm let me know in the comments which products you received. And if you tried out any of these products let me know what your think of them!

xoxo

Lea

Is the Denman Brush The Key to the Best Curls? A Review

Hey guys! If you follow my blog, then you might be aware that I am on the quest to help my curls look the best they naturally can. I’ve been following my own version of the Curly Girl Method for a while now. Recently I’ve seen many in the curly hair Tiktok community mention something called a Denman brush. After watching some tutorials and Sierra Schultzzie’s review, I decided to pick one up for myself (and by that, I asked for it for Christmas haha). So today I will be giving you my thoughts on the Denman brush.

First, let me give some context for those who are new and don’t know my hair. I had really curly hair growing up and after years of swimming and using heat on my hair, my curls were kinda toasted. I started researching more about how to revive my curls and slowly started incorporating aspects of the Curly Girl Method into my hair routine. I started really taking care of my curls about a year ago now. My curls have improved tremendously and I would say that they’re between a 2B and 2C depending on the day. If you want to be technical sure my way is more wavy than super curly but I use similar techniques as those with curly way, but I digress. One of the big things I struggle with still is definition, which is where the Denman brush enters.

The true name is the Denman Original Styling Brush. There are a few different types, but I got the D3 7-Row, which is their standard brush. This brush has blown up online for being a multi-functional hairbrush for detangling, blow-drying, styling and smoothing the hair. It states that it’s ideal for defining wet curls. The idea is that you run this brush through your hair and the way that the bristles are designed will help your curls clump together and form a nice curl.

I was intrigued by this brush. Before I got the brush, I would scrunch my hair when I got out of the shower and it would just naturally curl. I would then apply products to help the curls stay. My issue is that sometimes I have strands that struggle to clump and curl, especially my front framing pieces. I was really hoping that this brush would help out my stubborn pieces.

There are many techniques to using the Denman brush. I recommend doing some Googling because it’s usually easier to watch than read explanations. There are a bunch of different techniques, but I’m just going to explain the technique I like the most. I will generally do two steps. I will first run the piece through the brush like normal to ensure that there are no knots. This is often enough for the hair to clump for some people but not for my hair. The second step is that I hold the brush with the handle up and will twist the hair around the brush. Then I will brush through so it wraps around and then up the handle to create a curl. I will then scrunch the hair and it will form a nice curl. If that sounds confusing, just watch this tutorial.

Do I think this brush is the ultimate curly hair product and everyone needs to go get the Denman brush? No, not really. If you have issues getting curl definition this brush is helpful. For me personally, it does make a difference but it’s not such an astounding difference that I have to use the brush every time I do my hair. I generally only use it when I want my hair to look really nice and will only do the front pieces because it takes a lot of time to do my whole head. I think it’s a great quick product to help improve curls, but I’ve noticed a big difference just using less heat and better products than with this brush.

So what do you guys think about the Denman brush? I think the brush is overhyped but it does what it’s described to do. Let me know if you’ve tried this brush and what your thoughts were!

xoxo

Lea

My 2021 Beauty Favourites!

Hey guys! It’s finally time to share my 2021 beauty favourites! If you watched my newest Youtube video, you might have noticed that I only mentioned makeup products. Well in this blog post I’m going to be talking about everything. I have makeup, skincare, haircare, body and perfume! I will try and keep things brief because I know this is going to be a long post. Let’s get into it.

Makeup

I feel like 2021 was the year of base products for me, so I don’t have many eye products. The one eyeshadow palette I picked is the Violet Voss Olive Your Forever Palette. I also featured this in my Best of Boxycharm 2021 post. I love the colour story and the quality is amazing. It’s one of the few palettes I reached for over and over again.

My eyeliner favourite is the same as 2020, the Make Up For Ever Artist Colour Pencil in Boundless Bisque. In the past, I gravitate to wearing browns and blacks in my waterline. This year it was all about nude eyeliner for me. I just wanted something to brighten my eyes and this always did the job. Or if I didn’t sleep a lot and my eyes were red this helped as well. I want to get more into eyeliner in 2022 because I have a bunch in my collection that I want to use more!

My two mascara picks are both from the drugstore! The Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara has easily become my everyday mascara. I love a lengthening mascara that adds a little volume as well and the Maybelline Sky High Mascara delivers exactly that. It adds some length to my lashes but isn’t too dramatic. My favourite mascara for my lower lashes is the L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara. My lower lashes naturally curl down so I often must mascara wands too big to coat my lower lashes. The L’Oreal mascara’s wand is super thin so it’s easy for me to coat my lower lashes. I also like using this after I apply false lashes to help everything blend together as well. Two great mascaras!

When I thought about which pair of false lashes were my favourite I couldn’t pick one. So I picked four haha. When I want something BIG I reach for the Lavaa Lashes in the style Flirty. There is something about big lashes that make it seem like your makeup is impressive even when it’s just a crease and shimmer. These lashes are super feathering which I like. When I want something a little less big but still long I reach for the Elise lashes in the Kash Beauty Secret Treasure Luxury Lash Set. These lashes have a beautiful wing to them so it gives a cat-eye effect which I love. A very similar-looking lash is the Colourpop Queenie Falsies Faux Lashes. The Kash Beauty lashes have a thicker band so it’s harder to conceal compared to the Colorupop lashes but a thicker band makes it’s easier to apply and more comfortable. I would recommend either. My favourite pair of lashes for more soft glam looks are the Ardell Faux Mink Demi Wispies. I love these because they’re wispy and the band is clear so people often don’t even realize I’m wearing falsies. I always get compliments when I wear them AND they’re from the drugstore. All of these lashes get two thumbs up from me.

This year when it came to brows I went back to the pencils. I find pencils the quickest and easiest to use. My favourites are Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, Benefit Cosmetics Precisely My Brow Pencil and NYX Precision Brow Pencil. My favourite brow gel is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel. I already have thick brows so I don’t need to use a tinted brow gel and then I don’t have to worry about matching the gel to my brows. This ABH one is strong enough to keep my brows in place but not too stiff that or crunchy. And that’s it for brows, pretty simple.

I have three primer favourites this year, all of them I was madly in love with at different parts of the year. The first is a continuation from 2020, the Touch In Sol Pretty Filter Glassy Skin Balm. If you’re looking for a primer that delivers glowy and smooth skin, then you have to check this one out. I think it’s all the skincare ingredients that stop this from looking greasy but instead dewy on the skin. I can wear this all over the face no problem. Another dewy primer is the Rodial Soft Focus Glow Drops. This primer makes me look SO dewy. I keep this on the periphery of my face because it does have a bit of shimmer that I don’t want to emphasize my pores. But this is so dewy that sometimes I can skip highlight when I’m using this serum. The final primer favourite is the NYX Marshmellow Smoothing Primer. This is for everyone who wants a pore-filling primer but hates the silicone texture. This primer does an amazing job at smoothing and creating an even base on my face. The texture is very similar to marshmallow fluff, probably why it’s named after it haha. A great drugstore primer that I recommend everyone check out!

I also have three foundation favourites! The first is the Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint. I think this foundation is going to be on a lot of people’s 2021 favourite’s list. This skin tint is one of the best light coverage foundation I’ve tried. I think it’s because it has a buildable formula so it applies a light wash everywhere but I can build up the pigment where I had some redness or discolouration. And it’s Fenty Beauty so you already know the shade range is amazing. My dewy foundation pick is the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation Dewy. It has good coverage but the dewy formula means that it doesn’t look cakey or dry on my skin like some other full coverage foundations. It’s got a decent shade range, but it’s such an affordable price that I can buy multiple shades and mix to create my perfect shade. The final foundation favourite is a hidden gem. Not enough people talk about the Smashbox Studio Skin 24 Hour Oil-Free Hydra Foundation. I think a lot of people would like this foundation because it’s right in the middle with medium coverage and satin finish. It’s not too much or too little of anything. It’s long-lasting and has a great shade range, what more could you want!

It wouldn’t be a favourites post without mentioning the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I love this concealer and I’ve talked on and on about this concealer. My other two favourites are the Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer and the ELF Hydrating Camo Concealer. The Makeup Revolution concealer is quite similar to the Nars one just a little less creamy. But it’s not too high coverage and lasts well. The ELF concealer is the wrong shade for under my eyes but I’ve been using it constantly on my face. Even though it’s hydrating I’ve found it stays put and does an amazing job of concealing any acne I have. I would recommend all three concealers!

Powder is the category where I haven’t fallen in love with anything new. My favourite that I kept on returning to is the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder. This powder has been a staple in my collection because it’s creamy but does a great job of mattifying any shininess I have going on. Whenever I’m looking greasy I just use a touch of this and the grease is gone without making me look cakey. I also pack this with me when I need a powder to touch up. And it’s drugstore so it’s quite affordable!

My two bronzer favourites are both cream! My more expensive favourite is the Milk Makeup Matte Cream Bronzer. This cream is so easy to blend but lasts long on the skin. And the shade is the perfect bronzing shade for me. My affordable favourite is the ELF Putty Bronzer. The formula is a little stiffer but I find that it dries down almost to a powdery consistency. This makes it extremely long-wearing, especially under masks. I can also apply powders on top of it no problem. If you haven’t tried cream bronzer yet you need to!

I have a lot of blush favourites. This was the year of blush for me. A continuation from last year is the Nudestix Nudies Blush. I love this blush formula because I can easily swipe it on my face and blend it out easily. My favourite shades are In the Nude (a warm peach) and Picante (an orange coral). In the Nude and the Milk Makeup bronzer are what I wear together almost on the daily because they go together so well. My other cream blush favourite is the Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in the shade Love. The formula is a little more difficult to work with, I usually have to put it on the back of my hand or a palette and then onto my face. But this shade is so gorgeous I work around that. It gives the most beautiful flush to the face. I blush very red so it looks quite natural for me. And it dries down matte so it lasts a long time. My favourite blush favourite is the Colourpop Pressed Powder Blush in Flower Power. This was a collab between Colourpop and Animal Crossing. I thought I would like the other blush shade in the collab but I have been loving Flower Power. This lilac shade is quite unique for cool tone blushes but I think it gives the most amazing fresh-faced look. Whenever I want something cool toned I always reach for this blush.

My two highlights are both cream and are quite similar. A carry-over from last year is the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. My other favourite is the Auric Glow Lust Radiant Luminizer. If you want to know the differences between the two, I would read my original Auric Glow Lust review. But what I like about both of them is that the shades are more skin tone and therefore very natural. It looks like my skin is dewy than some shiny stripe on my skin. They are also both easy to blend. Both are expensive highlights but they come with so much highlight that I will never run out of product!

Four setting sprays favourites may be a little excessive but I do love all of them. My holy grails are the MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ and the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray. My first newer favourite is the Maven Beauty Rose Water Setting Spray. I’m not a fan of the rose scent but I love the way it helps my makeup last longer. I like pairing this with a face full of creams because it helps set everything and keep it locked. My other favourite is the Benefit The POREfessional Super Setter Setting Spray, which you may remember from my Sephora haul. This setting spray actually blurs my pores, which I think is just incredible for a setting spray. Whenever I want to look smooth and flawless I grab this spray.

I’m gonna breeze through my lip favourites because I do into detail with swatches in my Youtube video, so check that out if you want more info. But my lip liner favourites are the Steve Laurant Chic Lip Liner and Kash Beauty Rose Nude Lip Liner. Both are wooden pencils and I find that they are the perfect balance between creamy and stiff. For matte lipsticks, I picked the MAC Matte Lipsticks in “Down to an Art” and “Velvet Teddy”, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk and Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita. My creamier/shinier lipstick favourites I picked the Burt’s Bees Satin Lipstick in Blush Basin and ELF Sheer Slick Lipstick in Golden Pear. Finally, for lip gloss I picked the Tower28 ShineOn Milky Lip Jelly Gloss in Cashew and the KAB Cosmetics Hydrating Lip Oil.

Skincare

Skincare was hard for me to pick because I go through products a lot quicker compared to makeup. I decided to focus on what products I truly loved and that is products that I have repurchased or would consider repurchasing in the future. So let’s get into it.

For cleansers, I have three favourites. My cleansing balm is the only thing not pictured above, but I picked the Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm. I loved this balm so much that after I finished it I repurchased it. I don’t currently have it in my collection because I have other balms I’m trying to finish up but I would get this one again. It’s quite oily so it does a great job of dissolving makeup but it doesn’t leave an oily residue on my face. It’s so good that if I’m not wearing a lot of makeup I can skip a second cleanser. And it’s available at the drugstore so it’s a great price! My second cleanser is the Youth to the People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser. This cleanser was great because it cleaned my skin but didn’t strip it. Whenever I used this regularly I barely had any breakouts. I’m currently using a different cleanser but I don’t like it as much as the Youth to the People cleanser. I will be repurchasing in the future. The final cleanser is the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. I treat this more as an exfoliator, using it only about once or twice a week. This cleanser has both physical and chemical exfoliants so it helps clean away any dead skin. This helps keep my skin feeling smooth and soft.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you will know my love of the OLEHENRIKSEN Balancing Force Oil Control Toner. This is one of the products that has helped the most with my texture. I use this every single day. If you suffer from acne, oily skin or texture you need to check this toner out.

I have two more products for everyone who suffers from acne. The first is the Benzagel 5% Acne Gel (not pictured because forgot to photograph it oops). I switched from my prescription acne gel to this one and it has done wonders for my skin. I apply this daily to the areas where I usually get acne and I’ve noticed a decrease in the amount of acne I get. I still get some but it’s better. When I do get some zits I will apply the Peace Out Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Dots on top. These dots help pull all the gunk out from any whiteheads. It helps get rid of a whitehead without having to pop it, which helps prevent any scarring. They are a little pricey but they are the best I’ve tried on the market.

My favourite serum is a pricey one but I do love the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil. This is one of the best Vitamin C oils I’ve tried so far. I’m still on the hunt for a more affordable option that gives me similar results. This oil helps reduce any pigmentation or dark spots that I have on my skin while also giving my skin some moisture and shine. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this oil.

And finally my two favourite face masks. These two do quite different things. Whenever my face is freaking out I reach for the Origins Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask to Rescue Problem Skin. This helps dry up and clear out and breakouts that I’m having. If you have oily or acne-prone skin you have to check this mask out. The second mask is on the opposite end of the spectrum, being very hydrating and rejuvenating. The Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask goes on yellow and turns white and it heats up and helps the skin. If you ever want to turn your skin from blah to wow, then use this mask.

Haircare

Now moving on to haircare. I have been pretty consistent with my haircare products, haven’t tried many new products. But I’ve been loving how my hair looks so I want to share the goodies!

The first product, not pictured, is the Living Proof Restore Repair Leave-In. This is my favourite heat protectant. If I’m going to be diffusing my hair, I always like to add a heat protectant and leave-in products work since they coat your hair. I love leave-in because it doesn’t make my hair feel greasy or weight down my hair. And it smells amazing! I’m trying to finish up some other products but I will repurchase this leave-in in the future.

The two products that have transformed my curls are the Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Scrunching Gel and Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Hair Mousse. The mousse adds definition to my curls and the gel helps the curls keep their shape. My hair is soft and bouncy and shinier. The products are Curly Girl Approved AND available at the drugstore. Herbal Essences, you are never allowed to discontinue these products.

And finally, a hair favourites would not be complete without mentioning the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Vegan Apple Honey Deep Conditioning Hair Mask. I’ve gone on and on about this mask but it’s the best I’ve used even though it’s limited edition. You get it before it’s gone!

Bodycare

My form of self care is buying myself millions of body scrubs and lotions. I have tried many bodycare products but narrowed down my list of favourites to three.

My favourite body scrub is the Dove Exfoliating Body Polish. The Macadamia & Rice Milk happens to be my favourite scent. I love this body scrub because unlike a lot of scrubs it’s actually quite creamy. I had scrubs that are dry because I find them more irritating than soothing. This scrub gets rid of all the dry skin but also moisturizes at the same time. And it’s available at the drugstore!!

It was hard to pick a favourite body lotion but I decided that the Hempz Natural Herbal Body Moisturizer is probably my favourite. It checks off all the major boxes for me: it smells good, it moisturizers my skin, it sinks quickly into the skin, it has a pump and it’s affordable. There is a great range of scents so you can find one you enjoy!

I’ve mentioned this before, but I get bad acne on my chest and shoulders. For this reason, I usually use a face moisturizer on this part of my body because fragranced body lotions usually irritate the skin there. I’ve been using the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion and loving it. It moisturizes the skin, dries quickly and isn’t sticky. I love the big bottle with a pump because it’s easy to use. And you guessed it, it’s affordable!

Perfumes

The final category is perfumes! This year I got into wearing perfume on the daily. I had a decent perfume collection but I never wore it until one day I realized I shouldn’t let my perfumes go to wear and now I wear them more. I switch up my perfumes based on the season and my mood but these three have been my favourite.

The first favourite is the Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine. I enjoy fresh-smelling perfumes but there is a complexity to this perfume that I adore. The orange scent is sweet but there is a bit of sandalwood that adds some spiciness to this perfume. I find this perfume is great year-round as well. Finally, it lasts quite a long time on the skin so it’s worth the expensive price tag.

The second favourite is the Maison Margiela ‘REPLICA’ By the Fireplace. This scent won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I love it. This is more of a fall/winter scent for me because it’s very spicy with clove, chestnut and vanilla. It’s also a unisex scent which I’ve noticed that I do enjoy wearing more unisex scents. This perfume gives me dark academia vibes which I love.

The final perfume is one I like to mix with both of these previous perfumes or wear by itself. The Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée Pure Perfume is the perfect grown-up vanilla perfume. Mixing it with Orange Sanguine creates an orange creamsicle like scent. And mixing it with By the Fireplace brings out the vanilla and makes the scent more feminine. I’ll also wear it by itself when I want something simple. Overall a great scent to add to your collection.

And that is my extremely long 2021 beauty favourites post! Let me know in the comments what some of your favourites products were this year. As well just wanted to mention there won’t be a new blog post this Friday since it’s Christmas Eve. Hope everyone who celebrates has a wonderful Christmas!

xoxo

Lea

Testing Curly Girl Approved Mask: Playa Healing Hair Masque

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo

Lea

Product Empties May 2021

Hey guys! Today we’re back with another round of product empties. I love doing these posts because I feel like I give the best reviews after using up a product. Lots of skincare and some haircare in today’s trash pile, so let’s get into it.

A collection of empty makeup, skincare and hair products.

First, we have L’Occitane Almond Delightful Body Balm. Almond is one of my favourite scents and I heard good things about the almond range from L’Occitane so I picked this one up. This stuff is thick. It was perfect during the winter months when my skin was drier. I prefer something slightly lighter because it’s less work to rub it into the skin. I would consider buying another product within their almond range because I do enjoy the scent. If you have dry skin I would recommend this one. It is on the higher end price-wise, just something to note.

The next product is a deluxe sample of the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. I like to use cleansing balms if I am wearing a full face of makeup – full-coverage foundation, liquid liner, glitter, etc. you get the point. This balm did a good job of breaking down all the stubborn makeup and leaving my face clean and ready for my second cleanser. I would consider repurchasing, but I decided to get the Versed cleansing balm instead. It’s almost half the price and available at Shoppers!

Another sample I had was the Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel. This eye gel is supposed to reduce puffiness and dark circles. Honestly, I didn’t notice much of a difference. I’ve said this before and I’ll say this again: I don’t think eye creams do much besides hydration. I do have to be careful because I find some eye creams can irritate my under eyes, which makes. After all, the skin is thinner under the eyes. So while the eye cream gets points for not irritating my under eyes, I didn’t notice a difference in puffiness and dark circles. I don’t think you need to buy this eye cream and I wouldn’t repurchase it.

The one makeup product I have is the Laura Geller LashBOSS Bold Mascara, which seems to have been discontinued since I’ve received it in my Boxycharm. This is fine by me because this mascara was mediocre. I don’t remember my thoughts on it because I didn’t reach for it often. It didn’t give me more volume or length so that’s why I didn’t use it. I’m getting rid of it because the last time I used the mascara it flaked on me and it hadn’t done that before, so I took that as a sign that it was done.

My first haircare empty is the Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant Cream. If you watched my curly hair routine then you would know that I like to use this and a Living Proof Leave-In product as my heat protectant on days that I blow dry my hair. And I have to be honest that I like the Living Proof product more. I like the smell of this Briogeo cream. But I find that it weighs my hair down more and my curls never look as nice when I use the Briogeo cream. I’m not saying it’s bad necessarily. It’s great considering there are so few sulphate and silicone-free heat protectants on the market. But I prefer Living Proof’s heat protectant more.

The other two empties I have are the Briogeo deep conditioners: the Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Superfoods Hair Mask and the Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask (not pictured). Of the two I would say the Be Gentle, Be Kind is my favourite. I just don’t find the Don’t Despair, Despair mask to be hydrating enough. I don’t notice a difference when I use it. This is funny because I love the honey version of that mask. But even the Be Gentle, Be Kind is okay. I’m still on the hunt for the mask that will make my hair softer and smoother after using it. Please leave your suggestions for hair masks in the comments.

This product is slightly covered up in the photo, but the next product is a deluxe sample of the Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream. This is a pretty thick cream so I didn’t want to use it on my face. I used it on my body instead. I don’t have any complaints. It did the job of moisturizing my skin. But I can’t necessarily recommend it since I don’t know what it would be like on the face.

I know a lot of people like The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum but I didn’t notice a difference while using it. I would pause and resume using the serum and I didn’t notice a difference. I have another hyaluronic acid serum that I got in my Boxycharm and I do notice a difference when I use that one. Maybe if you have dry skin you’ll notice a difference. But this is a pass for me guys.

A product I loved is the OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Juice Daily Cleanser. This is a great morning cleanser. The citrus scent just wakes me up. This leaves my skin feeling clean and smooth without stripping my skin. But it’s strong enough for my acne-prone skin. If you have normal or oily skin then I would recommend checking it out. I decided to not repurchase and tried a new cleanser, the Youth to the People one I got during the Sephora sale.

The next product is the Farmacy Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer with Moringa and Papaya. This moisturizer is for all my oily skin friends. My brother loves this moisturizer. He was using it behind my back and when I found out I told him to buy it himself. He said it was too expensive (but he’ll steal it from me, brothers 🙄). This is a lightweight gel that gives the perfect level of hydration for oily skin. Also, I feel like there is tea tree oil in this because it smells similar, but I can’t find it on the ingredient list so it must be something similar. Overall a good moisturizer. I have others I want to use up but I would consider repurchasing this one.

I finished my prescription acne cream recently and it’s $200 without insurance so I won’t be repurchasing it. 😭 So instead I decided to try the Benzagel Acne Gel. There are different – Differn XP is adapalene (retinoid) whereas Benzagel is benzoyl peroxide. I used benzoyl peroxide as a teen (I used Proactiv) and it was fine. From my research, it seems that the only difference is that adapalene is only available with a prescription but anyone can get a benzoyl peroxide cream. I just use this as a spot treatment. I find it’s too strong to use all over the skin. It does a good job of helping clear up my acne so I’ll continue to use Benzagel.

The final product is the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff. I’ve already explained my grips with eye creams in general. This one has a slight orange tint which I guess helped with the look of darkness. I will say that this took a while to sink into the skin. So I would have to wait for it to sink into the skin otherwise my makeup wouldn’t look right. It’s not bad, but I have other opened eye creams that I will be using next.

And that is a very long product empties post. I hope this was helpful for you guys. Let me know in the comments what products you’ve finished lately!

xoxo

Lea

The Best Affordable Curly Hair Products Available in Canada

Hey guys! Today we’re taking a deep dive into my favourite hair products. I will be posting a video on Sunday that will be showing the products in action and explaining how I style my hair. The majority of these products are from the drugstore, and the only products that aren’t I got in my Boxycharm so I’m just trying to use them up. Also, the majority of these products are Curly Girl Approved, but I will mention the few that aren’t. So let’s get into it.

hair products, curly hair products, curly girl approved products, curly girl method, curly hair products, affordable curly hair products, affordable curly hair products canada, Living Proof, Tresemme, Maui Moisture, Drunk Elephant, Briogeo, Herbal Essenses

The first products are my shampoo and conditioner. I know a lot of people within the curly hair community don’t use shampoo but I prefer using it. I wanted to get shampoo and conditioner from the drugstore because I go through a lot of it. So after testing many shampoos I’ve settled on the Maui Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Shampoo. All of Maui’s products are vegan as well as sulfate, silicon and paraben free so they’re safe for curly hair. This shampoo gives me that clean feeling without drying out my hair. It also smells amazing. The Maui website also has lots of resources for finding the right hair products. And the best part is that it’s available at Shoppers and Rexall.

The conditioner I use is the Tresemme Nourish and Replenish Conditioner for Dry Hair. I’ve also been a fan of Tresemme products, it’s what I used before switching to silicone and sulfate-free products. I found this conditioner through the curly hair subreddit. I believe this is the only Tresemme conditioner that is curly hair approved. I love this one because it’s a large bottle which is great since I go through a lot of conditioner. I use about a golf ball size every time I wash my hair. It’s helpful to use affordable products since I use so much conditioner. This also smells great.

Out of the shower I always use a mousse and a hair gel. I use a mousse to help with curl definition because it’s something I struggle with more wavy-curly hair. My favourite is the Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Mousse. It does a good job of defining my curls but doesn’t leave my hair feeling crunchy or dry. I’ve tested so many different mousses because I was using mousse before I switched to the curly girl method. And this one is the best. It works well both airdrying my hair and with a diffuser as well. And once again it’s available at the drugstore.

When I was researching curly hair I noticed that everyone recommended using a hair gel. Since I liked the Herbal Essences mousse I decided to try their hair gel in the same line since it’s also curly girl approved. I love the Totally Twisted Curl Scrunching Gel. While mousse gives me the definition, hair gel gives me the hold to ensure that my curls keep their shape. Compared to other gels I find that it doesn’t leave that much of a cast. Depending on how much I use something I need to scrunch my hair once it dries, but once I scrunch out my hair it’s so soft. I’ve also got my brother to switch over to the gel as well, he likes it.

Now for a few products that I sometimes add-in. These aren’t available at the drugstore but I wanted to mention them because I do use them. So first when I am airdrying my hair I’ve been adding in the Drunk Elephant Wild Marula Tangle Spray. I got this while I was working at Sephora so I thought I might as well use it. I’ll spray this on my hair before applying my mousse and gel when I’m airdrying my hair. I suffer from having frizzy hair (I have a lot of baby hairs), so I use this to help ease the frizz and add some shine. I think it’s okay. I haven’t noticed a huge difference in my hair but I also haven’t had any negative experiences so I’ll continue to use it.

If I’m diffusing my hair or styling it (because on rare occasions I’ll still curl or straighten it), I will apply a heat protectant. I have two that I got in my Boxycharm that I’m using up. The first is the Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant Cream. This cream is curly girl approved, as all Briogeo products are made with sulfates and silicones. I will say I don’t like it as much as the next one because I find that it heights down my hair a bit and my curls aren’t as defined when I use this cream.

I’m happy to find out that the other protectant I like to use is also curly girl approved! I didn’t realize until I looked up the ingredients for this post. Wow, I’m so happy about that! I love using the Living Proof Restore Repair Leave-In. I’ve read online that leave-in products are also good heat protectants because they coat the hair and therefore protect it from heat damage. This Living Proof Leave-In does a great protecting my hair and leaving it soft and smooth. And unlike the Briogeo one, I don’t feel like my hair is weighed down when I use it.

And the final product I like to use is a deep conditioning mask, but I’m still on the hunt for my favourite. I love the Briogeo Honey one but it was limited edition. So if you guys have a favourite deep conditioning mask, please let me know in the comments because I need a new one.

I hope you guys found this post helpful. I know when I was researching Curly Girl approved products it was a search to find products curly hair products that are affordable and available in Canada. And if I find a deep conditioner I’ll let you guys know!

xoxo

Lea

Product Empties January 2021

Hey guys! I’m back with another product empties! I feel like I go through ebbs and flows when it comes to finishing products. I’ll have so many products and then finish them all at once haha. Today we have thirteen products so let’s get into it.

skincare, makeup, beauty, empties, beauty empties, skincare empties, makeup empties, tula, dove, briogeo, cetaphil, beauty blender, ouai, fresh, farmacy, stila, colourpop, origins

The first product is the Tula Super Calm Gentle Milk Cleanser. I got this in my Boxycharm and it was alright. As the name describes, it’s a gentle cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin. I find that for my acne-prone skin I need something a little stronger than this. I used this as my shower cleanser. I generally use a gentler cleanser in the shower because the hot water can be drying so it’s nice to use something gentler in there. I wouldn’t buy this again because I didn’t think it was anything special. Also I’m not sure if Tula ships to Canada, because at one point I know they didn’t. There are better cleansers on the market.

I finished another bottle of the beautyblender Liquid bleandercleanser. This is what I use to clean all my brushes and sponges. I find the packaging more sanitary compared to their solid cleanser that I used in the past. I just squeeze a drop onto my brush cleaning mat and swirl my brush in it and it’s clean! It does an amazing job at cleaning my brushes and leaves them feeling soft. Because I only use a little bit (and don’t wash my brushes that often oops) so this lasts a long time. I’ve already repurchased!

Moving to body care, I used up a Dove Exfoliating Body Polish. I liked this body scrub! I find a lot of body scrubs can be quite thick, but this one was thinner and therefore easier to use. My skin always felt so smooth and soft after using it. I had the crushed macadamia and rick milk scent and it was sooo delicious. I didn’t repurchase this because I wanted to try body scrubs by other brands but I would highly recommend this one. Especially since it’s available at the drugstore, it’s accessible and affordable.

Another drugstore find is the Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion. This was my upper body moisturizer. I’ve mentioned this many times but my chest and back are also acne-prone, so I use moisturizer meant for my face on this portion of my body to help with breakouts. This one did the job. It’s a pretty thin and lightweight formula, so it was nicer in the warmer months when I didn’t need as much hydration. Now that it’s colder my skin needs something a little thicker. But overall it kept my skin hydrated and didn’t break me out so I would recommend it.

Moving over to haircare, I finished the Briogeo Be Gentle Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Superfoods Hair Mask. This mask is alright. Something I’ve noticed is that hair masks without silicone tend to not give that soft and silky feeling as much. Which makes sense because the silicone is just coating the hair and not healing it. This mask doesn’t give instant gratification but I did notice over time my hair feeling and looking healthier. I much prefer Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair Honey deep conditioner mask, but unfortunately it was a limited edition product for the holidays so I can’t repurchase it. This mask isn’t bad, but I’m currently testing out other hair masks because I think there are better ones out there.

I got a mini set from Sephora that had the OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub and the OUAI Body Creme. I didn’t use the scrub on my scalp just my body. It had visible, thick chunks that melt into the skin while you scrub. I enjoyed it but I prefer the consistency of the Dove one. It was good but I wouldn’t repurchase. The body creme smells amazing in my opinion. It’s not like other ones because it’s slightly peppery in scent. I enjoyed it but won’t repurchase any time soon because I have so many other body lotions.

I mentioned this in my December products of the month update, but I am getting rid of my Colourpop Jelly Much shadow. I liked it but it’s dried out so there is no point in keeping in.

Another product that has dried out is the Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eye Shadows. I have the shades Diamond Dust and Kitten Karma. I’ve had these liquid eyeshadows for a couple of years now so I’m not surprised they have dried out. I do enjoy these because they are just so beautiful. They are packed full of glitter and are easy to apply. I don’t wear them as often anymore since I don’t leave the house much lol. But I did repurchase the shade Diamond Dust since I do like it. I have a shade similar to Kitten Karma so that’s why I didn’t repurchase that one.

A classic empty for me is the Fresh Soy Cleanser. This is a cleanser I always seem to have since I always get the mini from Sephora as points perks. I do like this cleanser. Unlike the Tula one, I find this to be gentle but effective. And I love the cucumber scent. I’m not repurchasing it because I have other cleansers but I do recommend it.

I finished two Farmacy products. I finished a full size of the limited edition Very Cherry Clean and a mini of the Green Clean Cleansing Balm. I do like using these cleansing balms when I have a full face of makeup. It does a great job of getting rid of stubborn liquid lipsticks or tough glitter. But it’s also gentle and leaves my skin feeling soft after. I do prefer the cherry version because I find it irritates my eyes less. I’m currently testing some other balms for fun but I do recommend both of these.

The final product is the Origins Original Skin Matte Moisturizer. I bought this a couple of years ago and just finally finished it. I went through a dry phase and just found this too mattifying. True to its name, I find that this moisturizer does visibly mattify the skin and evens out my pores. I have found that my skin has calmed down a little bit and it’s not as oily as it once was so I prefer something a little more hydrating. If your someone with really oily skin or prefer a matte look then I would recommend this moisturizer. I won’t be repurchasing because it’s just not what I want anymore.

And that is my length product empties list guys! Let me know what you have finished lately. And if you tried any of these products do you agree with my thoughts? Let me know!

xoxo

Lea

Product Empties December 2020

Hey guys! I realized I haven’t done a product empties post since September! It has been a while, so today’s post is pretty long. We have twelve products so I will try to keep my thoughts short and concise.

The first product is my DUO Eyelash Adhesive, specifically the white/clear and NOT the brush tip one. This is my favourite lash glue. It’s inexpensive and does the job. I tried the brush on one thinking it would be easier to apply and it sucked. I like this DUO glue because it keeps my lashes in place and it’s easy to remove. I have already repurchased another one because it’s the only thing I use.

The next product is the Tarte SEA Quench Lip Rescue Balm. The combination of cold weather and talking while wearing a mask has made my lips super chapped and this lip balm has been a godsend. It’s super hydrating but also feels thin on my lips at the same time. I prefer a wetter, almost glossy, lip balm so this one is perfect for me. The balm has a sheer tint of colour as well. I had the shade Rose which was a nice red. I decided to repurchase the shade Nude which has a slight pink to it. This lip balm is also vegan!

I finished my favourite cleanser 😞. I loved using the OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Juice Daily Cleanser. This cleanser is a gel formula that is meant to deeply cleanse and refresh the skin. I felt my skin feel clean without being stripped. And it has orange fruit water that gives it a beautiful citrusy scent that is so nice in the morning. I currently have a few other cleansers open that I want to finish, but I will purchase this again in the future and would recommend it.

The next product was one of my November products of the month – the Milani Make It Last Setting Spray. I won’t go into too much detail because you could just read that post. But basically, I like this setting spray but decided to purchase something else that I’ve been wanting to try.

Another skincare product that I finished is the Saturday Skin Waterfall Glacier Water Cream. I got this moisturizer in my Boxycharm and I liked it. It’s a gel consistency, which is what I prefer with my oily, acne-prone skin. It goes a good job of moisturizing my skin. I think even people with sensitive skin would like this because it’s very soothing. I would recommend this moisturizer, but I won’t be repurchasing right now because I have other moisturizers that I need to finish.

I am sad to finally throw out my favourite Colourpop Blotted Lip. It’s been discontinued for a while but I continued to use it because I love it. It’s very similar in formula to the Glossier Generation G lipsticks. I’m only getting rid of it because the lipstick fell out of the tube and got covered in cat hair so it wasn’t salvageable. This is a very sad day for me okay. 😭

The next product was a deluxe sample of the Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask. You might remember I picked up a full size of this mask during the Sephora VIB sale. I love using this mask whenever my face is feeling yucky and dry. The name renewing is so accurate. My face just feels so smooth and hydrated after using it. I would recommend this mask to everyone!

The next product is the Garnier Micellar Water. You guys know I love this micellar water, but I haven’t been using it at much just because I haven’t been wearing makeup as much. I find this micellar water is so gentle but does a great job of removing face makeup. It’s also good for getting any leftover mascara as well. I would have repurchased this micellar water, but they were sold out at my store so I decided to try the Bioderma one instead. I’ll report back and let you know which one I like more.

The first of two Lush products is the Sleepy Body Lotion. This is my favourite lotion to apply at night after having a shower or bath. The lavender and tonka scent is just so soothing and it well makes me sleepy. The body lotion absorbs into my skin easily as well and leaves me feeling soft. I have already purchased another one.

The last makeup product is a deluxe sample of the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Microfinishing Pressed Powder. This powder is very fine so it’s great for setting under the eyes for a very smooth and flawless look. It’s also good for touch-ups to help reduce oiliness. I would repurchase this powder except for the fact that my powder collection is excessively large so I don’t need any more ahaha.

My new favourite mousse is the Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse. I’ve been following the Curly Girl Method, so I use products without silicones and sulphates. This mousse has neither. I use this on my damp hair and it helps define my curls. I use this and then a gel to help solidify the curls into place. I’ve noticed a huge difference in the definition of my curls since starting to using this mousse. Highly recommend.

The final product is the Lush Mask of Magnaminty. I do like this mask, it does an amazing job of helping deep clean my skin when it feels gross. But I can’t stand out quickly it dries out. I even got the one that has preservatives and I still found it dried out before I got halfway through it. Maybe if this is the only mask you own and you use it once a week it would be fine, but I have so many that I just can get through it fast enough. I will not be repurchasing it because I don’t think it’s worth my money if I only get to use half of it.

And those are my product empties! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, I like discussing things with you guys in the comments. 🙂

xoxo

Lea