Thursday, 14 December 2017

December 2017 Boxycharm Review

After being a loyal subscriber to Ipsy for over a year, I decided it was time to give another makeup subscription box a chance. Boxycharm is similar to Ipsy. Each month you get full size or deluxe-sized products delivered right to your door, and I was sold after checking out their previous boxes. If you're not very adventurous with makeup like me, it's a great way to build your makeup collection on the cheap and expand your makeup expertise!


The December 2017 Boxycharm theme was Glitz & Glam and I'm thrilled that Boxycharm ended the year with another fantastic box. I've seen many spoilers on Instagram and I hoped that I would get the Bella Pierre palette and blush kit. How lucky am I?!?

In my box:
Real Her blush kit
Bella Pierre pro concealer palette
Pretty Vulgar liquid lipstick
Tarte Tarteist lash paint mascara
Crown Brush deluxe blush brush

There were many standout items this month and I'm really happy to see many high end brands and full size items. I rate the November Boxycharm box a 5/5.




Click here to sign up with Boxycharm to get a haul like this for yourself! 

More about the products inside:

Real Her blush kit- I've really come out of my shell with makeup this year and I've learned a lot about how to apply blush properly to avoid looking like a clown. One of my biggest fears in life is looking like a hot mess so I'd rather stay conservative and not wear too much makeup. The problem was that I didn't know how to apply makeup properly, but thanks to Boxycharm I was able to score awesome makeup on the cheap so I could refine my makeup skills without breaking the bank. Forever grateful! The Real Her blush kit is perfect for makeup newbies and gurus since there are three colours to play with. I'm loving this!

Bella Pierre pro concealer palette- I'm thrilled to add these colours to my makeup collection :) I've been a fan of Bella Pierre since discovering the brand form Ipsy last year. These concealers are creamy and blendable- perfect for creating a flawless canvas for makeup! I can't wait to take before and after pics to see if there really is a difference with using colour correctors. 

Pretty Vulgar liquid lipstick- If metallic liquid lipsticks are your thing, then you would love the Pretty Vulgar "My Lips Are Sealed" lipsticks. It's a very pretty colour and the formula is so smooth and nourishing but liquid lipsticks aren't really my jam. I'll save this for a holiday party or something...

Tarte Tarteist lash paint mascara- I'm always in need of mascara since it's the one thing I can put on when I don't feel like wearing makeup and still feel glam :) I love Tarte so much and the lash paint mascara is a staple in my makeup bag (and for good reason!) The formula is fantastic and offers so much coverage without making your lashes feel stiff. It's buildable so you can go with one, or two, or three coats without looking too harsh. The brush is the perfect size and does a wonderful job of separating your lashes. My lashes look really long when I wore this mascara and would be great if you're looking for an everyday mascara. 

Crown Brush deluxe blush brush- This brush is so soft I couldn't stop touching it! The synthetic bristles are perfect for both cream and powder blushes so you don't need to take up space with too any brushes. I liked the handle design the most since there's a little dip for your thumb which allows you to have a bit more control. Great idea!!

I was very happy to get such an amazing box from Boxycharm.  Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes? Which ones are your faves? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

My First Time using B. Liv sheet masks


I love taking care of my skin and discovering new brands to love. Sheet masks are my favourite to use on days when I need a quick pick me up and I got a lovely care package from the B. Liv team (thanks guys!) that had three bio-cellulose masks. There are many different kinds of sheet masks, but I find bio-cellulose masks to offer the best fit for my face shape. 

So what is bio-cellulose anyway??? Bio-cellulose is a natural fibre with a diameter of about 20 nanometers. That's 1000 times thinner than human hair! It's my favourite material to use because bio cellulose is biodegradable, which means my self-care routine can be a bit more eco-friendly :) The B. Liv masks really do fit like second skin and even though it's thin, it holds a ton of serum. 


So what's in the serum??? What I love most about the B. Liv masks is that the serum is thick and stayed put! I can't tell you how many times I've tried sheet masks and was left disappointed because all the serum slid off my face. UGH!!! My favourite ingredients in the masks are

• palmitoyl hexapeptide-12 -
acts like botox which relaxes visible tension lines while relieving stinging sensation and discomfort, thus helps minimize long-term formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
• palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 -
soothes and protects skin against oxidative stress caused by sugar, browned foods, alcohol, uv light, environment pollution, and stress.
• hyaluronic acid -
also known as HA in short, it lubricates joints and keeps skin layers full of moisture to stay in the right shape and place. It holds water, to be specific 1000 times of its weight, to keep collagen hydrated and promotes a youthful look. 

The B. Liv masks are one of my favourite masks and I'm happy to add these to my weekly routine. My skin was left soft yet supple and the Hydrate Away mask left me feeling like I had been to the spa! I sometimes like using masks just before bed and I noticed the morning after I used the B. Liv masks my skin still looked hydrated.  If you're a sheet mask junkie like me and want to learn more about what B. Liv has to offer, check out their website at https://www.bliv.com/. 


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

CURRENT OBSESSION- Purely Great Natural Deodorant

There's something about making healthier choices that makes you feel like you're on the right path in this crazy thing called life. Maybe I'm just more in tune with myself now more than ever, but for whatever reason, I feel so sluggish after eating junk food. I used to be able to eat like sh*t and feel totally fine after, and don't get me wrong, I still indulge in burgers on the reg...I just know in advance that I'm gonna have to make up for it somehow!!! If it's walking an extra block, doubling my veggie intake, or having a meatless day for every meat eating day; I really see the difference with my overall wellness when I choose better food options. Not only that, I've recently fallen in love with making better beauty and skin care choices too. 



I've told you a couple weeks ago about my current obsession with Purely Great Natural Deodorant and I'm happy to say that the obsession is still going strong! There are so many benefits to ditching your conventional deodorant and I'm happy I got the chance to try one of the best natural deodorants available today. Since I've been using the Purely Great Floral deodorant, I noticed an unexpected benefit- my armpits appeared lighter! Not drastically lighter, but the difference is noticeable if you're examining yourself every day like I do when I try new products LOL!! That could be because of the natural soda that acts as an exfoliant that removes the cellular damage in skin. Natural soda also has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help clear skin infection along with its scars. I've also learned that corn starch can be used to sooth skin irritations, so since the two main ingredients in the Purely Great deodorant are skin saviours, my underarms are definitely looking their best after using this deodorant on a daily basis.

I love smelling great and if you're looking for a natural deodorant that actually smells good, check out what Purely Great has to offer. Have you ditched your conventional deodorants yet? What are you waiting for?! There are three things I simply can't live without and my Purely Great deodorant is one of them :) See my daily essentials pic above and let me know in the comments some things you can't live without! 




Tuesday, 28 November 2017

November 2017 Boxycharm Review

After being a loyal subscriber to Ipsy for over a year, I decided it was time to give another makeup subscription box a chance. Boxycharm is similar to Ipsy. Each month you get full size or deluxe-sized products delivered right to your door, and I was sold after checking out their previous boxes. If you're not very adventurous with makeup like me, it's a great way to build your makeup collection on the cheap and expand your makeup expertise!


The November 2017 Boxycharm theme was Sweater Weather and featured everything you need to keep your fall makeup game on point! While I'm still head over heels with the October Boxycharm (seriously...a full size Becca highlighter!?) I am so stoked to play with all the products in the November box. 

In my box:
Luxie Quad travel brushes
Cover FX setting spray 
Winky Lux Kitten palette
KNC Beauty lip mask
Laqa and Co lipstick

I was very happy to try the Cover FX setting spray because I've heard so many good things about it. There were many standout items and I'm still in shock that this box cost just under $35! I was really happy to see many high end brands and full size items. I rate the November Boxycharm box a 5/5.




Click here to sign up with Boxycharm to get a haul like this for yourself! 

More about the products inside:

Luxie Quad travel brushes- I've always wanted a travel size set of brushes and now I have them, just in time for the holidays! Luxie is a brand I discovered last year from Ipsy and I'm happy to report that the brushes are still high quality yet stylish :) YAY! This quad travel set is a Boxycharm exclusive and I feel so lucky to snag these brushes in the November box!

Cover FX setting spray- This year I've seen many makeup gurus use setting spray in their makeup tutorials, and like many products I didn't think I needed, I'm thrilled I got to try this spray. The idea is that this mist will set your makeup for a full day, while offering an all over highlight to your face and body. I was happy to find that the mist was more pleasant than I thought it would be. I was afraid to end up looking like a soaking wet mess, but I was left with a natural glow. While my makeup didn't feel "set" after using this spray, I did notice that my concealer didn't crease as much so that's a win in my books!

Winky Lux Kitten palette- When I saw the spoiler for this item I couldn't believe it. This palette looked perfect for everyday use, and when I finally got it, I was over the moon! The Winky Lux Kitten palette is super pigmented and blends well. I loved the colour combinations and I'm definitely a fan of Winky Lux after learning that this palette is cruelty and paraben free. 

KNC Beauty lip mask- As much as I love the idea of this lip mask, I would not purchase this product or recommend to anyone if you have less than perfectly shaped lips. In theory, this mask would moisturize, hydrate, and plump lips offering the perfect solution for dry chapped lips- but only if it stays on! This is by far the worst fitting lip mask that I've tried :( but it wasn't entirely horrible since I did feel a slight tingle on the areas that did keep contact with the mask. If the mask didn't keep slipping off I'm sure my lips would feel nourished (side eye emoji)

Laqa & Co lipstick- I prefer lip gloss over lipstick, but I'm thrilled with how soft the Laqa & Co lipstick is. It went on smooth and lasted almost all day- even while eating and drinking :) If you're looking for a highly pigmented lip colour this holiday season, then Laqa & Co is right up your alley! There aren't many colours currently available from this brand but I'm patiently waiting to see what's next!

I was very happy to get such an amazing box from Boxycharm.  Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes? Which ones are your faves? I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, 20 November 2017

November 2017 Ipsy Glam Bag Review

I have been an Ipsy subscriber for over an year. I was a bit skeptical about a monthly beauty and makeup subscription box because I didn't want to end up with a bunch of products I couldn't use or didn't know how to use. Each month you get full size or deluxe-sized products in a cute makeup bag, and I was sold after checking out their previous bags. If you're not very adventurous with makeup like me, it's a great way to build your makeup collection on the cheap and expand your makeup expertise!


The November 2017 glam bag theme was All You and featured real Ipsy subscribers in the campaign. I liked the two-tone bag design and it looks very functional. There were two bag design options this month; a two-toned blue bag and a yellow with brown bag. I liked both designs and I'll be using this to keep all my fall essentials in one place :)

In my bag:
Naked Cosmetics loose powder
Glamour Dolls bronzer
Manna Kadar lip stain
Skyn Iceland lip fix 
Tarte Amazonian Clay blush 

I was very happy to to see a mix of high and low end products this month and I'm always thrilled to get Tarte products :) I rate the November Ipsy Glam Bag a 4/5.



Click here to sign up with Ipsy and get your very own Glam Bag! 

More about the products inside:

Naked Cosmetics loose powder- I'm not the biggest fan of loose powder because I find it really messy but I've learned that loose powders aren't only for your eyelids. This shimmery colour is perfect for mixing with a clear gloss if you're looking to glam up your lipgloss game. I also like mixing loose powders with clear nail polish for a custom nail colour. 

Glamour Dolls bronzer- I'm not familiar with the Glamour Dolls brand, but I loved how buildable this bronzer is. It blends easily and offers the perfect sun kissed glow. I usually only wear a tiny amount of bronzer and you really do only need a little dab to get the job done. I loved the generous sample size of this product but the plastic felt a bit cheap. This felt like "play" makeup but I suppose that was the intent since it's a Lisa Frank collab.  

Manna Kadar lip stain- I love love love a good red lip gloss and this Manna Kadar really is the perfect shade for me. It's labelled as a lip stain but I didn't see the lasting power that was promised. If you're looking for a gloss that acts like a lipstick then this product is for you. It's a smooth and creamy formula that works with everything in your wardrobe. 

Skyn Iceland lip fix- Just when I need it most, Ipsy sends me a lip balm. Ugh they know me so well!! I'm so in love with Skyn Iceland that can't stop using it! It's quickly become one of my top essentials for the fall weather. If you're lip balm junkie like me and you have a lip balm in every jacket pocket and in every purse, it's worth checking out Skyn Iceland. You won't be disappointed. 

Tarte Amazonian Clay blush- This Tarte blush is so pigmented that I only needed to use a little bit on my cheeks to look put together. I've tried many Tarte blushes and I've found them all to be silky and soft. The formula of the Tarte Amazonian Clay blush works for all skin types and blends well with other products. I love!

I was happy with the November glam bag and can't wait to see what December has in store! Did you get the November Ipsy Glam Bag from Ipsy? If so, which bag did you get? Let me know in the comments!




MANI MONDAY- wearing CND Vinylux in Field Fox

I love a good nude nail colour, so when I got selected to test the colour Field Fox I was thrilled! (Thanks Chick Advisor team!) I think I've found my perfect nude :) I've been a fan of CND Vinylux nail polishes for a long time and this new formula doesn't disappoint. It went on smooth, dries quickly, and lasts long. I did notice the odour wasn't as distinct as other Vinylux polishes so I was happy about that. I'll definitely purchase this colour over and over again!




I really like the formula of the Vinylux top coat. This is the perfect compliment to any nail colour but works best with Vinylux colours. I'm constantly using my hands to wash and clean things so it's nice to have a long lasting top coat to keep my mani fresh! I asked my manicurist to use this combo when I got my manicure over the weekend and I'm happy to report that it still looks shiny and chip-free. 

CND promises week long staying power and I'll update next week to see if this new formula holds up to its claims. 

As someone that tries to make conscious buying decisions, I appreciate that these polishes are 7 free; meaning free of touline, camphor, formaldehyde, phthalates, formaldehyde resin, xylene, or lead. That's a big plus in my books!

You can find over 100 runway inspired colours on the CND website as well as colours that match Shellac shades. If you'd like to see what other CND Vinylux colours are available, head to their website https://cnd.com/products/vinylux

Have you tried CND Vinylux? Let me know your fave nail polish brands or colours in the comments :)

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

NATURAL DEODORANTS- What You Should Know

For me, 2017 has been a year of self-discovery. Not only did I find my way back to my passion for writing, I've made some incredible lifestyle changes and have discovered so much more about what works for me in terms of health and beauty. In an effort to live a more whole and authentic life, I've had to ditch some bad habits. One of the first changes I've made was with something so simple: my deodorant. 

It's tough passing up a good sale, but often times the deodorants that are on sale aren't really the best for you or your health. Making lifestyle changes doesn't have to be enormous or profound. You can start small and even just being more aware of what you're buying and using can make a big difference in your life. I got the chance to try a cream deodorant from Purely Great (thank you so much PG team!) and I'm happy I did. I fell in love with Floral- one of the many varieties available, and I don't think I could ever use conventional deodorants ever again. 

It's no surprise that our skin absorbs a lot of what we put on it and I didn't realize there were so many hazards with something so convenient as deodorant. What I've found was surprising! Here are 4 main hazardous ingredients of conventional deodorants and antiperspirants.

1. Phthalates (pronounced THA-lates)

What does it do? Phthalates are a group of chemicals that can make products (usually plastics) softer and more flexible.

Why is it bad? Phthalates increase the likelihood of cell mutation and disrupt hormone receptors which in turn increases the risk of birth defects.

2. Triclosan

What does it do? Triclosan is antimicrobial—it kills bacteria, fungus, and other microbes.

Why is it bad? In addition to being classified as a pesticide by the FDA and a probable carcinogen by the EPA, triclosan has been linked to a number of different problems including: disruption of the endocrine system (particularly thyroid function), increased risk of cancer, and increased hay fever and allergy symptoms.

Because of this, some companies have begun to remove triclosan from their products, but you can still find it in many. The American Medical Association now recommends that triclosan and other antibacterial products not be used in the home as they may encourage bacterial resistance.

There's more- For some consumer products, there is evidence that triclosan provides a benefit. In 1997, FDA reviewed extensive effectiveness data on triclosan in Colgate Total toothpaste. The evidence showed that triclosan in that product was effective in preventing gingivitis.

3. Parabens

What does it do? Parabens are found in many personal care items and are used a preservative. You may see parabens listed on the label as: methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, or butylparaben.

Why is it bad? The problem with parabens is that they mimic estrogen in your body. Not good. Parabens can throw off your body’s hormonal balance. This can cause an early onset of puberty, increase your risk of hormonal cancers, and even birth defects in your future children. There are no restrictions on the use of parabens in cosmetics in Canada. International regulations are stronger. The European Union restricts the concentration of parabens in cosmetics.

4. Aluminum

What does it do? Aluminum is an ingredient found in antiperspirants and works to completely stop perspiration.

Why is it bad? Aluminum has been linked to a number of health issues:
Seizures
Breast Cancer
Alzheimer’s Disease
Bone Formation Disorders
Kidney Problems

It’s of particular importance of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and Down’s Syndrome to steer clear of aluminum. Recent studies have shown that they are particularly sensitive to aluminum and absorb much more aluminum than others.

But don't despair! There are alternatives to conventional deodorants that don't contain these harmful ingredients.


So what makes Purely Great so great?? Usually "long lasting" is a fake promise when it comes to beauty and health products. I have to admit, I was surprised that the Floral Purely Great deodorant held up to my busy workday. I'm constantly on my feet during the day so I think it's safe to say that when my pits smell just as good in the evening as it does in the morning- it's the real deal! 

The ingredients include:

Natural Soda (OMRI™ Listed – for use in organic production)
Corn Starch
Vegetable Glycerine
(tangerine) citrus reticulata oil,
(palmarosa) cymbopogon martinii oil,
(himalayan cedarwood) cedrus deodora oil,
(geranium) pelargonium graveolens oil,
(rose absolute) rosa damascena oil
linalool*, citronellol*, limonene*, geraniol*

*a natural component of essential oils

This cream deodorant comes with a handy little stick to stir the formula. It was a think mixture that had a very lovely fragrance. I did like the formula, but I didn't like that I had to spread it on my armpits with my fingers. There wasn't much of a residue left on my fingers and I hate to sound like I'm complaining, but I just don't want the extra step of washing my hands every time I have to put on deodorant. The odour neutralizing effect was much better than I was expecting so I suppose washing your hands is a small price to pay for greatness! A little really does go a long way with this product and the small jar can last up to three months. 

I'm happy to incorporate an awesome product in my daily routine and if you'd like to read more about what Purely Great has to offer, just check out the website https://mynaturaldeodorant.com/.


http://www.intoxicatedonlife.com/2013/11/05/5-surprising-hazards-using-deodorant-solution/
http://davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics---parabens/
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm205999.htm

Friday, 10 November 2017

Green clay and Charcoal ACV mask

I'm not a bandwagon jumper, and I often go out of my way to avoid trendy things when I first hear about them because I'm a rebel. I'm a free spirit and I'll do things on my own time damnit! So when apple cider vinegar became the trend du jour I was reluctant to give it the credit it rightfully deserves.  For the past while I have fallen in love with ACV and my current obsession has reached new levels. I've been having one tablespoon of ACV with a glass of water twice a day and I swear to you,  the hype is real! I knew it was the real deal when I took my first ACV drink after having a pesky sore throat that just wouldn't seem to go away. I had no idea at the time of the many uses for apple cider vinegar, like regulating blood pressure, weight loss support, detoxification etc. and I was thrilled and partly amazed that my sore throat went away almost instantly. I was surprised to learn that unfiltered ACV is a liver and lymphatic tonic can do an excellent job of detoxing your body. There are so many health benefits to ingesting apple cider vinegar that there had to be a ton of benefits for your skin too. 

It turns out, ACV  is packed with antibacterial and antifungal compounds that make it a great natural remedy for skin fungus and other skin issues. 

I'm a huge fan of making homemade masks so I used three of my favourite ingredients to make a potent cocktail of skin loving goodness!! Here's my recipe for a green clay, charcoal, and ACV mask that I hope you enjoy as much as I do :) 





I used:

apple cider vinegar- contains natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties


green clay and charcoal- ultra-absorbent, draws out dirt, oil, and other impurities

I like using a brush to apply homemade masks because I get a bit more control and my hands don't get all messy when I'm trying to spread the mixture. After mixing the ingredients I spread it on my face and sat for 20 minutes. It dried fairly quickly and I liked that there was no fallout with the clay. The smell wasn't the greatest buuuuuuut it felt good to know that my skin was soaking in all the benefits of this super nourishing mask! After rinsing with cool water I followed up with a serum and moisturizer. My face felt smooth and looked great! I woke up the next day still gushing at how soft my face felt :)

There are so many benefits to masking with ingredients you already have at home. What are your fave mask combos to use? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!



Sources:
https://draxe.com/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

BATTLE OF THE BOXES- Ipsy vs. Boxycharm

Makeup subscription boxes are everywhere and there really is a box for everyone. I've seen so many boxes on social media that look promising, but taking the plunge to sign up can be a bit daunting if you're scared of making that commitment or getting disappointed with what you get. Two popular boxes that seem to always creep up on my social feeds are Ipsy and Boxycharm. I thought it was the funniest thing that both sub boxes have the same theme this month: Spellbound. How fitting for a sub box comparison post LOL!! Both offer monthly makeup and skin care items and if you can't decide on which subscription box to commit to...keep reading!

I've been an Ipsy subscriber for over a year and I appreciate the opportunity to learn about makeup at an affordable price. For Canadian subscribers, Ipsy is around $20 per month and is a great way to build your makeup collection on the cheap. I've learned about so many new brands thanks to this subscription and I didn't have to break the bank to do it. I like that you also get a clutch with each package that I use for keeping everything organized. There have been some months that I like the clutch more than the products inside!!

I've received two boxes from Boxycharm and I can already tell you it's quickly becoming my fave sub box. For Canadian subscribers, Boxycharm comes in at just under $35 per month. It is a bit more than Ipsy but I feel its worth the price considering that you get bigger (but that doesn't always mean better) products. 

As you can see, both boxes have something to offer for everyone depending on what you're looking for. Both Ipsy and Boxycharm have similar delivery times and I found that customer service tends to be pleasant for both as well. 

Here are my top pros and cons for each subscription box:




Ipsy Pros:

-Exposure to indie and well known brands
-Fantastic rewards program and rewards shop
-Reusable clutch every month
-Good member perks and discounts

Ipsy Cons:

-Affordable price but low value. You get much smaller samples (full size products don't come often)
-Recycled products (I've seen the same range of products sometimes in various bags for other months)


Boxycharm Pros:

-Affordable price and high value
-Almost always full size products
-Exposure to indie and well known brands

Boxycharm Cons:

-Terrible rewards program and rewards shop (Seriously don't waste your time if you like to redeem points on the reg)
-Lack of customer appreciation (not many member perks or discounts)

While there are areas for improvement for both boxes, the thrill of getting new items to try each month is the same. Do you love makeup subscription boxes?? Which ones do you love most? Let me know in the comments :)

Monday, 30 October 2017

October 2017 Boxycharm Review

After being a loyal subscriber to Ipsy for over a year, I decided it was time to give another makeup subscription box a chance. Boxycharm is similar to Ipsy. Each month you get full size or deluxe-sized products delivered right to your door, and I was sold after checking out their previous boxes. If you're not very adventurous with makeup like me, it's a great way to build your makeup collection on the cheap and expand your makeup expertise!


The October 2017 Boxycharm theme was Spellbound which is the perfect theme for Halloween! I loved seeing all the spoilers on social media and I'm still amazed at how Boxycharm is able to do this every month.

In my box:
Jontéblu lip liner
Tarte Lip Paint
NCLA manicure kit
Becca Cosmetics highlighter
Dr. Brandt pore perfecting exfoliator

I was very happy to get some new nail tools! Beauty isn't always about makeup or skincare so it was a nice treat to get tools instead of nail polish. There were many standout items and I'm still in shock that this box cost just under $35! I was really happy to see many high end brands and full size items. I rate the October Boxycharm box a 5/5.




Click here to sign up with Boxycharm to get a haul like this for yourself! 

More about the products inside:

Jontéblu lip liner- I really like the formula of this pencil. It went on smoothly and lasted all day! I usually don't wear lip liner but this Jontéblu product won me over. I never heard of this brand before I got this from Boxycharm so I was thrilled to try something new!

Tarte Lip Paint- Oh Tarte! How I love thee...let me count the ways :) Nothing bad to say about this lip paint. It's long lasting and dries to a pretty soft matte finish. The colour is just a touch too light for me but it blends well with other products so I'm able to customize it :) I like! 

NCLA manicure kit- I was very surprised to see this nail kit in the October box. I was expecting cheap tools that break after the first use but the NCLA kit was actually higher quality than I originally thought. This kit came with 5 tools to keep my nails looking fresh! I'm happy this kit came in the perfect sized holder to keep everything organized. Amazing!

Becca Cosmetics highlighter- So I just jumped on the highlighter bandwagon and let me tell you...Becca really nailed it with this one. I got a full sized Prosecco Pop pressed highlighter and I've fallen in love with it! It has the perfect amount of shimmer and blends well with makeup. I even wore this on bare skin and it looked fab! The retail price of this product is about the same as I paid for the entire box so I'm loving the value of Boxycharm in the two months I've been a subscriber. 

Dr. Brandt pore perfecting exfoliator mask- I'm a huge fan of exfoliating products year round but I wasn't familiar with the Dr. Brandt brand until Boxycharm. This scrub is formulated with micro-size aluminum oxide crystals  which did a fantastic job of buffing away dry patches. I was left with baby soft skin and felt radiant. I'm thrilled I got a full sized tube so I can write a proper review after I use it a few more times. 

I was very happy to get such an amazing box from Boxycharm.  Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes? Which ones are your faves? I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

October 2017 Ipsy Glam Bag Review

I have been an Ipsy subscriber for over an year. I was a bit skeptical about a monthly beauty and makeup subscription box because I didn't want to end up with a bunch of products I couldn't use or didn't know how to use. Each month you get full size or deluxe-sized products in a cute makeup bag, and I was sold after checking out their previous bags. If you're not very adventurous with makeup like me, it's a great way to build your makeup collection on the cheap and expand your makeup expertise!

The October 2017 glam bag theme was Spellbound and at first glance I didn't really like the bag design. Pictures don't do it justice! Once I held it in my hands, I did change my tune. I liked the lace and the bag felt like it was better made than some I've had before. I thought the bat zipper pull was a nice touch for a Halloween themed bag. Well done Ipsy :)

In my bag:
Urban Decay 24/7 glide on eye pencil in Perversion (as requested)
First Aid Beauty ultra repair cream 
Rimmel London lasting finish lipstick by Kate in Shade 47
Meech and Mia loose eyeshadow
IT Cosmetics pressed powder
BONUS:
23 Years Old Rosegold24 Mask 
Tony Moly Green Tea Watery sheet mask 

I was really surprised with all the unnecessary paper included with some of these products but I was very happy to get the new UD eye pencil and sheet masks :) I rate the October Ipsy Glam Bag a 5/5.





Click here to sign up with Ipsy and get your very own Glam Bag! 

More about the products inside:

Urban Decay 24/7 glide on eye pencil in Perversion- Social media can be a wonderful thing. I've found many Ipsy spoilers from my fave subscription accounts and I always get giddy when you find out that you're able to request specific items for your next Glam Bag. Last month I requested the UD eye pencil and I'm so so happy I did. The formula is so smooth yet long lasting. I prefer pencil liner over liquid and I'm happy to report that this will definitely be added to my regular routine. 

First Aid Beauty ultra repair cream- I've been a huge fan of FAB for a while now so it's no surprise that I loved getting this sample in my bag. This cream absorbs quickly and leaves your skin feeling nourished and supple. This formula works well on all skin types and every member of your family (even kids) could use this cream. It's perfect for keeping in your bag or purse for when you need a quick fix. I like that this cream is also versatile and you could use it from head to toe. My skin gets really irritated during the cooler months so I appreciate having more of what I already love. It really is the perfect cream for everyone!

Rimmel London lasting finish lipstick by Kate in Shade 47- I'm not the biggest Rimmel fan, but I must say, this formula is like a hydrating lip balm. I wore this lipstick for a party and I did have to reapply throughout the night even though the claim is "a creamy formula that stays on for 8 hours". OK so maybe that would work if you don't talk, eat, or drink for 8 hours bahahahha!

Meech and Mia loose eyeshadow- I'm excited to play around with this loose eyeshadow since I don't have much experience with products like this. The colour is highly pigmented and blends nicely. I got the purple shade that has a bit of shimmer. I like! 

IT Cosmetics pressed powder- I must admit...I never use powder. Like ever. I like looking slightly dewy so the idea of looking airbrushed and matte doesn't appeal to me. I do like how soft the powder feels and I'm happy to get a decent sized sample to try  :)

BONUS:

23 Years Old Rosegold24 Mask- This was the first mask I tried that didn't have a mouth opening and I was surprised when I first opened the package. I look so creepy right??! I got this mask for free using my Ipsy points and thank goodness for that because my first impressions of this mask aren't all that great. There was a ton of essence and the mask fit ok. My skin was left a bit sticky after wearing the mask for 20 minutes and I didn't notice any immediate benefits. The fragrance was ok, but a bit too clinical for my taste. Don't fall for the pretty packaging- this mask didn't perform as promised! This mask was just ok. 

Tony Moly Green Tea Watery sheet mask- I haven't used many Tony Moly masks so I was happy to score this one for free using my Ipsy points. I love anything with green tea in it so this was a real treat! I liked the fit of the mask and the essence absorbed well. I'll definitely repurchase!

Did you get your October Glam Bag and if so, how did you like it? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

My First Time using Fenty Beauty

When I first heard about Rihanna's makeup line, I thought it was going to be another celebrity collaboration with a well known brand. You know the ones, Colourpop X someone famous, Becca X some YouTube star,  So and so for Estee Lauder etc. I was over the moon when I saw the first teaser pictures on social media and learned that this in fact, was not your everyday collab, but your full range independent beauty line. Wait, what? Yes. It's not often that a beauty line causes a stir before it's even launched, and let me tell you, with each sneak peek that was released I knew it was going to be big...and that I absolutely had to have it.




And so it came. Fenty Beauty. 

The day it was released I went to my local Sephora to try it out. I've never been happier to swatch anything in my entire life like I was that day. I remember walking towards Yonge St with an extra pep in my step knowing I was about to be blown away. I watched and re-watched all the Fenty Beauty tutorials so I knew what to expect. I tried everything I could get my hands on and walked away with a Pro Filt'r Foundation and two Match Stix. I was a happy camper indeed!

Pro Filt'r Foundation ($34) -

So what is it? A soft matte, longwear foundation with buildable, medium to full coverage, in a boundary-breaking range of 40 shades. 

I really love how this foundation is so easy to work with and looks fanFREAKINGtastic when you first put it on. Yes, it's buildable and long lasting BUT I noticed that if you don't have flawless skin, this foundation isn't going to offer the coverage you're hoping for. I tried this foundation on my clear skin days (yes 3/4 weeks of the month my skin is poppin') and again during my hormonal week (you know the one!) and I wasn't as impressed the second time around. The Fenty Beauty website says it's important to hydrate but let me give you the honest truth- no matter how much you hydrate or exfoliate, this foundation will crease like heck around your eyes (and I tried it with and without the concealer) and won't cover those blemishes that you're trying to hide. This foundation did no favours for my dry skin since I could still see every single dry patch on my face :( I'll still keep this foundation in my regular rotation because I love how light it is and doesn't irritate my skin, but I prefer using other concealers around my eyes and to cover other blemishes. 

Match Stix Matte Skinstick ($25) - 

So what is it? A magnetized makeup stick in a longwear, light-as-air matte formula to conceal, correct, contour, and touch up in 20 shades.

This product is perfect for on the go touch ups or days where you want even lighter coverage. You can use the skinstick on it's own or over foundation to conceal and contour. I found this product easy to work with and I love that it's in stick form. It glides on easily and blends well. I didn't get the under eye coverage I was hoping for even though I used plenty of primer and the pro filt'r foundation. I'll still keep this product as part of my beauty routine to conceal and contour other parts of my face, but I won't use this under my eyes. A little does really go a long way and I can't complain about the price either. I feel like this is more of a mid-range than high-end brand and would be perfect for people that need every day "better than drugstore" products. 

I can't wait to try the other products in the Fenty Beauty range since I'm due for a new highlighter and lip gloss :) This brand should really be on the top of your mind if you're looking to update your makeup game since there really is a shade for everyone. Try it for yourself if you haven't already but don't fall for the hype just because RIRI put her name on it. While I believe in everything Fenty Beauty stands for, you really do need perfect skin to get the results you might see on social media. 

Have you tried Fenty Beauty? What are your thoughts????



Tuesday, 26 September 2017

My First Time using Almay One Coat Mega Volume mascara

There are some days I love a super simple makeup routine, and by super simple I mean eyebrows, mascara, and lipgloss. I was lucky enough to get a new Almay One Coat Mega Volume mascara from the lovely Influenster team and I was excited to see what the megaphone brush was all about. I liked the sleek design and it felt very comfortable in my hand. 

At first "sniff", I liked that this mascara did not smell like rubber and was easy to use. I can't tell you enough how many products I've tried that stink like chemicals and rubber. Gross right?? 

This was my first time trying Almay and even though the formula was ok, there's still room for improvement with this particular mascara. Don't fall for the gimmick megaphone plug. I really wanted to like this mascara but my lashes were not as volumizing as it claims to do. The shape of the brush works well in theory, but it's actually quite awkward to use and didn't get all the lashes in one shot. On the contrary, I wasn't impressed that my lashes looked wet and clumped together. One coat did absolutely nothing and I needed to use two coats to see any difference. The colour was fantastic but the brush could benefit from a redesign. 

I wore this mascara all day and I didn't see any fallout. This mascara would be good if you're looking for a quick fix and possibly even for an easy every day look, but I do not recommend this mascara for full glam. I'm happy that I got the chance to try this for myself and I'm sorry to say...I'll pass on Almay mascaras for now. 

Have you tried the Almay One Coat Mega Volume mascara? What did you think of it?



Monday, 25 September 2017

September 2017 Boxycharm Review

After being a loyal subscriber to Ipsy for over a year, I decided it was time to give another makeup subscription box a chance. Boxycharm is similar to Ipsy. Each month you get full size or deluxe-sized products delivered right to your door, and I was sold after checking out their previous boxes. If you're not very adventurous with makeup like me, it's a great way to build your makeup collection on the cheap and expand your makeup expertise!


The September 2017 Boxycharm theme was Boxy Baddie and after seeing the August Boxycharm box all over social media I just had to see what all the fuss was about. I was on the waitlist for about two weeks before I got that much anticipated welcome email. I don't think I've ever gotten that excited to sign up for a subscription box!

In my box:
Pür Cosmetics Soiree Diaries Eyeshadow Palette
MAC eyebrow pencil
Colourpop ultra satin lip colour 
Studio Makeup blush
bareMinerals brush
Briogeo hair mask

I was very impressed with this haul! There were many standout items and I'm still in shock that this box cost just under $35! I was happy to see many high end brands and full size items. I rate the September Boxycharm box a 5/5.




Click here to sign up with Boxycharm to get a haul like this for yourself! 

More about the products inside:

Pür Cosmetics Soiree Diaries Eyeshadow Palette- This palette is perfect for fall. I love how these warm colours look natural but still glam. This is my first Pür Cosmetics palette and I'm impressed with how blendable the shadows are. I'm thrilled to add this gorgeous palette to my makeup collection. 

MAC eyebrow pencil- I've been a Benefit KaBrow junkie for a long time now and I think I found a new love. This pencil was easy to use and super pigmented, so tiny hair-like strokes really did get the job done. It wasn't as long lasting as KaBrow because this isn't a pomade so I still needed to set my brows with a gel or Benefit's Gimme Broww. 

Colourpop ultra satin lip colour- I don't know what it is about Colourpop lip colours, but I just can't get on the bandwagon. As much as I love the formula, the colour doesn't work for me. This lippie went on smooth and dried matte. I loved the pigmentation, just not the colour. 

Studio Makeup blush- I have never heard of the brand Studio Makeup before so I was happy to discover something new. I liked how lightweight this blush is and how well it blends on my cheeks. I got a nice natural flush with just a tiny bit of product. 

bareMinerals brush- This brush has a little reservoir that you can use to put your foundation. It's super soft and easy to use. I actually like brushes with shorter handles and my first impressions of this brush are good!!

Briogeo hair mask- I just discovered Briogeo from another beauty box and I'm happy to try another product from the brand. My hair craves moisture all year round- and even more when the weather gets cooler so I was thrilled to get a hair mask when I need it most! My hair felt soft and moisturized after using this mask and since I have chemically treated hair, this means the world. I'm in love!!

I was very happy to get such an amazing first box from Boxycharm so I think I'll keep the subscription for a bit longer to see how it stacks up to Ipsy.  Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes? Which ones are your faves? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Balancing Skin Care Tips For Fall

As much as I love the summer, I love the cool weather of the fall even more. One thing I don't love however, is the way my skin responds to the seasonal change.  We all love updating our wardrobe for the fall with cozy sweaters and scarves, but how often do we remember to update our skincare routines? This time of year is perfect for giving beauty cabinets an overhaul to make sure your skin stays healthy year round.

Here are my top 6 tips for keeping your skin in tip top shape as we transition into the cooler months ahead

1. Take a look at your cleanser

As the weather becomes drier and cooler, it's important to balance the skin with heavier and more nourishing ingredients. If you're using a gel or milk formula, you may notice that there isn't enough hydration that your skin now desperately needs. Now is the perfect time to incorporate oils and thicker cleansers into your routine.

2. Pamper yourself 

I notice that I get more dry patches on my face so I make an effort to ramp up my daily routine by incorporating more exfoliating products. Not too long ago I told you about my new fave Origins charcoal cleansing powder because it offers the deep clean I love and the exfoliating that I need- all while being super gentle. It's important to keep your skin looking fresh by sloughing off the dead skin that may accumulate during the cooler months. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells that can trap oil and bacteria which in turn reduces breakouts. Take advantage of this new season to address any sun damage that you have have acquired over the summer. Invest in a good chemical peel to further rejuvenate the appearance of your skin.

3. Up your water intake...and stick to it!

We've all heard it before. DRINK MORE WATER! In the summer my skin feels tight and dehydrated from being exposed to too much air conditioning and in the cooler months, my skin gets dry from indoor heating. There's no winning!! I've tried my best to drink more water this summer and I have to admit, it's not as easy as it sounds! Having a bottle within reach is an easy visual reminder to drink more water, but recently I've added 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to two bottle fill-ups per day and I swear- my skin has glowed like never before! I've only been drinking ACV for a week now and I'll write another post about my ACV experience after a month of drinking it. Stay tuned!

4. Stay committed to your serums and moisturizers

I've never appreciated skin care as much as I do now and I've been lucky enough to try many different moisturizers and let me tell you- not all serums and moisturizers are created equal! The purpose of a moisturizer is to protect the skin's barrier, which is most important during the cooler months. Look for products that are rich in omegas, fatty acids, lipids, and ceramides because the best moisturizers hydrate, soothe and seals moisture.

5. Don't forget the sunscreen

It's true that the harmful UVB rays aren't as strong in the cooler months, UVA rays (the ones that cause premature ageing and cancer) remain just as strong and harmful as the warmer months. Sun protection is a year round job and you'd benefit from SPF coverage every day.

6. Add lip balm to your daily and nightly routine

Adding a swipe of lip balm to my lips before I go to bed has made a huge difference for me! The colder weather is particularly drying on the lips and dealing with chapped or cracked lips is no fun! Like the skin under our eyes, the skin on our lips is delicate and thin so a little extra TLC will go a long way. I also love using a lip scrub  to exfoliate once in a while to keep my lips looking their best!

There are my favourite ways to keep my skin balanced for fall and to prepare for the cooler weather that's soon to come. Have you already started your fall skincare overhaul? I'd love to hear what products you're incorporating into your seasonal routine.

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