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


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:
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/.


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!


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