Sunday, 22 April 2018

April 2018 Boxycharm Review

After being a loyal subscriber to Ipsy for over two years, 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 April 2018 Boxycharm theme was Eye Candy and I'm thrilled with every item in my box. It's such a treat to get high quality items at an affordable price, especially since I don't wear makeup every day so I can't justify splurging on beauty products. 

In my box:
Tarte Liquid Highlighter
Colourpop 'You Had Me At Hello' eyeshadow palette
Dr. Brandt Pores No More vacuum cleaner
The Brow Gal tinted brow gel
Adesse HD liquid lipstick 

I'm over the moon with the Colourpop palette and Dr.Brandt mask...honestly I'm still screaming about how all these goodies cost around the same price as the Adesse liquid lipstick. I rate the April 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:

Tarte Liquid Highlighter- You can never have enough highlighters right? I love this liquid highlighter because you can use it in many ways. I like mixing a bit with my concealer or wearing it under my concealer for a natural glow from within. This product will run you about $36 CAD at Sephora so I'm over the moon that I got this must have in my box this month. 

Colourpop 'You Had Me At Hello' eyeshadow palette- As my first Colourpop palette, I must say, I'm really impressed with this one. I wasn't the biggest fan of the brand because I found their lippies to be less than stellar, but 'You Had Me At Hello' won me over! These colours are right up my alley for everyday looks and I love how easily these colours blend. I will definitely get a lot of use from this product!

Dr. Brandt Pores No More vacuum cleaner- I'm still shocked that Boxycharm is able to put Dr. Brandt products in their boxes because this beauty retails for $53 CAD (same exact size) at Sephora. Like foreeeallllll?! The first time I used this mask, I knew I was in for a treat because I love masks that have a bit of grit but are still creamy. This mask went on clear but dried white. I felt some tightness after it dried but it wasn't uncomfortable at all. After washing off, I was left with smooth skin. I did notice an immediate improvement and felt super clean. I LOOVEEEEE!

The Brow Gal tinted brow gel- Just when I ran out of my favourite brow product, Boxycharm sends me something new to love! I like the wand of the Brow Gal tinted brow gel and it made my brows look polished, but not too fake. This is perfect to use over brows that have been filled in, but it works just as well on bare brows. I looove that! 

Adesse HD liquid lipstick- I'm in love with liquid lipsticks lately and I'm happy to add this Adesse product to my makeup stash. It's long lasting, vibrant, and non sticky so you can wear this all day, every day. YASSS! 

This might have been one of my favourite Boxycharm boxes yet and I don't know how it can be topped! Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes? Which ones are your faves? I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, 19 April 2018

April 2018 Ipsy Glam Bag Review

I have been an Ipsy subscriber for over two years, and at first 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 April 2018 glam bag theme was Social Butterfly and I love the cute bag. Seriously....I can't stop looking at it! The metallic corners and zipper pull are a nice touch :) I'll definitely use this bag as a clutch when the weather warms up! 

In my bag:
FEEL warming clay mask
Dirty Little Secret lip gloss 
Pretty Woman nail polish in girl boss
Purlisse body scrub
OFRA blush in Chameleon

This was the first time in a long time that I was happy with every item in my bag. I was thrilled to get a nice variety of products this month. I rate the April 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:

FEEL warming clay mask- I was really excited to use this mask because I was unfamiliar with the brand and a self warming mask sounded lovely! At first use, I was impressed with how smooth my skin felt after rinsing. The mask did make my skin feel warm, but it was a very pleasant sensation and didn't last too long. My only beef is products that claim to "open pores". One of my biggest pet peeves is the misconception that pores can be opened and closed. UGH!! I'm sure I complained about this before, but in case you missed it, pores do NOT have muscles around them so they do NOT open and close. Yes, they can become blocked and cleared, but opening and closing is physically impossible. 

Dirty Little Secret lip gloss- As my blogging name implies, I love a good lip gloss! This was my first time using a gloss from Dirty Little Secret and I'm happy to discover a new brand. At first I thought this gloss would be too shiny for my taste, but I was pleasantly surprised. This gloss went on smooth and was long lasting. I like lip glosses that don't leave my lips too sticky and this lip gloss from DLS checked all my boxes!

Pretty Woman nail polish in girl boss- I have way too many pink nail polishes but who's counting?! I'm happy to add another to my collection, and since its 100% vegan I feel a bit more comfortable letting my daughter wear this too!

Purlisse body scrub- I had high hopes for this product, but the fragrance was a bit too strong for my taste. I'm a huge fan of Purlisse and I was impressed that my skin did look smooth and polished, but I won't purchase the full size of this product unless there's another blend that isn't so strong.

OFRA blush in Chameleon- A few months ago I got an Ofra Pop-Up Palette and blush godet refill from Boxycharm and I'm happy that my lone blush from that box finally has a friend! I'm not the biggest fan of single pots, but who can complain with such a great brand? The formula blends well and looks great! I do love pressed powders and I'm sure I'll use this blush a ton this spring :) 

I was happy with the April glam bag and can't wait to see what May has in store! Tell me...did you get the April Ipsy bag? I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, 16 April 2018


There are so many beauty devices that claim to help with all sorts of skin issues and it can be difficult to keep track of them all! Learning which ones work and which ones are just trendy doesn't have to be a difficult task, especially since I don't mind being the guinea pig for this kind of stuff LOL!! 

I got to try a very interesting device that involves tiny needles...say wuuuuuut?! Yes I know. Needling is something that I've only heard about recently but didn't get the chance to try it until now. The idea is simple, micro-needles (thinner than 1/3 the thickness of hair) allow the serum to be deposited deeper into the skin which allows for better absorption. You may have seen little needles on rollers and there are many types of microneedling devices on the market. The Tok Stick by Beuon is a self care device that can be used at home and doesn't require any expertise to use-other than a gentle hand of course. While microneedling by a professional usually involves longer needles than the one on the Tok Stick and could yield better results, the cost associated with professional treatments is much higher. 

I was surprised to learn that microneedling has been practised in some form for more than 20 years!

The Tok Stick features 49 needles over the surface of the device and was virtually painless. The fine needles in microneedling devices puncture the skin and create a controlled skin injury which forces rejuvenation of the skin. The first time I used the device I was a bit paranoid about using tiny needles on my face but I'm happy I decided to give it a try. After cleansing and using a toner, I was ready to use the device. Focussing on each area of the face, I gently pressed the device and held it for a few seconds before moving on.

The V-shaped needles felt nice on my face and didn't hurt at all, except for a very mild poking feeling. The Tok Stick came with two vials of essence for me to use, but you can use this product with any essence you prefer, since the device is refillable. This product promises to tighten pores and reduce wrinkles. While I didn't notice any immediate wrinkle reducing effects, I did notice my pores appeared smaller the next morning. I avoided using this product around my eyes, but I was fine to use this everywhere else. 

If the idea of using the device on bare skin worries you, the Tok Stick can be used over a sheet mask to reduce any discomfort you may experience. I was very happy with this device and I plan on using it regularly to see how it will help with fine lines around the mouth, acne scars, and uneven skin tone which are all things that microneedling can help with. As with any skin care device, the key is consistency and a proper skin care routine so expect periodic updates regarding the Tok Stick. 

So tell me, have you tried any at home beauty devices? Let me know what you're loving right now...I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, 13 April 2018


A couple posts back I wrote about spring cleaning your beauty cabinet. I hate (read: DESPISE) throwing away expired makeup and skin care products but I know now that my skin truly benefits from fresh ingredients (and could react badly to spoiled ones) so seasonal cleaning is a must. The pain of purging wasn't so bad since I got some new loves to enjoy from the Kosas team and I had to share how awesome this brand is. I love the name Kosas, which refers to the philosophy of the five interconnected layers or "kosas" of the self: physical, energetic, mental, intellectual, and soul. This really is beauty with intention. 

I love minimalist packaging and the Kosas boxes are so pleasing to look at. It just so happens that the two things I love most (blush, and highlighter) were perfectly packaged together so I no longer needed to use separate products. I love saving space in my makeup bag where ever I can! 

I got two lipsticks and two blush and highlighter palette duos. What I love most about these products is how smooth both the pressed and creme formulas are. I expected the creme formula to fade throughout the day but I was surprised at how long lasting both formulas were. You can really blend like a pro with these duos :)

The lipstick formula is just as smooth as the palette duos,  and I was impressed when I saw the ingredient list. Each lip colour is free of parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. Green tea, rosehip, grape seed oils, mango butter, and shea butter offer a healing and collagen-boosting products that also has an uplifting scent. I wore this lipstick all day and my lips felt super nourished. I like prodcuts that also offer skin loving ingredients and I felt like the Kosas products are the perfect addition to my beauty stash. I'm so happy to to have discovered this awesome brand!

There are many products on the Kosas website for a wide range of skin tones. If you want to learn more, check out

So tell me, what new products are you loving this spring? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

My First Time using Solstice from Mellow Bath and Body

There's no better feeling than taking care of my skin after a long day. I love discovering new masks to add to my regular skin care routine and I was thrilled when I got a lovely gift from the Mellow Bath and Body team. A huge thanks to Melody for spoiling me with this mask :) 

As you know by now, I'm a sucker for anything pink so the Solstice mask was not only a fantastic match for my skin, it was so very pleasing to look at! I've been making more of an effort to pay attention to the ingredients I use in skin care products so I was thrilled to learn that the Solstice mask is 100% natural and made without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, artificial colours, or preservatives. 

This mask is made with Australian clay, White clay, rice powder, coconut milk powder, calendula flower, camu camu powder, sweet orange oil, and lemongrass oil. Most of these ingredients are fairly common, but there were a few that caught my eye. 

Camu camu powder- rich in vitamin C, this fruit is packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has generous amounts of beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, iron, thiamine, and calcium.

Sweet orange oil- with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, sweet orange oil is a fantastic addition to your skin and hair routine. 

Lemongrass oil- not only found in your favourite foods, lemongrass has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. 

I love clay masks like this one because you can mix it yourself to make it as thick or thin as you like. You can even customize this mask even more by substituting water for another liquid of your choice. Think of the possibilities when you consider that this formula can be used with any toner, serum, tonic, or essence. YAY! I was able to make a few masks with this powder before even using up half of the bottle. 

One of my biggest pet peeves about clay masks is that they sometimes flake a lot after it's dry so I have to avoid making a mess when I'm supposed to be relaxing. The Solstice mask barely flaked when it was dry so I was happy that I didn't have a mountain of snow on my clothes. This mask rinsed easily and left my skin feeling exfoliated and thoroughly cleansed. I love this mask and I'll be really sad when it's finished :( 

There are so many masks that Melody has created and they all look incredible! If you want to learn more about Mellow Bath and Body check out

Have you tried clay masks before? Let me know which ones are your faves in the comments!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

6 Ways To Spring Clean Your Skin Care Routine

Oh I adore you but also, how I don't understand what the heck is up with this weather. I SHOULD be feeling the warmth which would be my cue to overhaul my skin care products in preparation for spring...but I'm not feeling the warm weather love! Anyway, since the calendar says it's spring, I'm going to get ready for the warm weather anyway. 

We all love updating our wardrobe for the spring by packing away our bulky jackets, but how often do we remember to update our skin care 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 warmer months ahead

1. Take a look at your cleanser

Our skin doesn't need thicker formulas for the warmer weather and since it's time to lighten the load, switch your cleanser to something that offers light exfoliation or more brightening ingredients. 
Since we are more likely to be outside more often, it's important to slough off dead skin with lighter and more nourishing ingredients in combination with regular exfoliation.  Exfoliating removes dead skin cells that can trap oil and bacteria which in turn reduces breakouts. Invest in a good chemical peel to further rejuvenate the appearance of your skin. Now is the perfect time to incorporate oils, and milk or gel cleansers into your routine. 

2. Pamper yourself 

I can attest to the power of a solid skin care routine, so this spring I encourage you to find products that work for you and spoil yourself. Before my blogging journey began I would buy skin care products that were on sale, barely paid attention to ingredients, and didn't even follow a routine. Sure, I washed my face every day and night, but that was about it! Since sticking to a regular routine, my skin is in the best condition it's ever been.  Remember, most products are priced like they are for a reason but ALWAYS do your research regardless!

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

We've all heard it before. DRINK MORE WATER! Believe it or not, my skin FEELS different when I don't drink enough water. Crazy right?! 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 try my best to drink more water 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, and to keep my taste buds interested, 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! Feel free to add fruits and cucumbers to give your water an extra boost!

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 very important during the warmer 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

Sun protection is a year round job and you'd benefit from SPF coverage every day. It isn't enough to rely on SPF in your makeup so look for a sunscreen that provides protection against both UVB and UVA rays (the ones that cause premature ageing and cancer). 

6. Add lip balm or lip serum to your daily and nightly routine

Adding lip serum to my lips before I go to bed has made a huge difference for me! 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 spring and to prepare for the warmer weather that's soon to come. It's also a great idea to CHECK EXPIRY DATES routinely so your skin can reap the benefits of fresh ingredients. Have you already started your spring skin care overhaul? I'd love to hear what products you're incorporating into your seasonal routine.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

My First Time Using Rodan and Fields lip renewing serum

Some things just annoy you, like uneven eyebrows, and other things are both an annoyance and chapped lips. When the colder weather hits, I try my best to keep my lips as moisturized as possible so I don't get stuck with trying to heal chapped lips. After all, prevention is the best medicine right? It was only recently in my beauty journey that I discovered the key to keeping lips soft and supple is exfoliation and lip serums. Lip balms don't always do the trick since some contain ingredients that are super drying which cause you to use more. Rather than relying on lip balm, I started using lip serums and a weekly exfoliation routine. I got the chance to try a lip serum from Rodan and Fields and I'm thrilled to add this product to my daily self care routine. A huge thanks to Jen Lopez from the R and F team for spoiling me with this lovely product! 

The lip serum piqued my curiosity in so many ways. I was unfamiliar with this type of capsule so the first time I tried to open it I must have looked a bit silly. Was I supposed to pop it? Pull it? Twist it? (And if you're like me you immediately read that in the tune of the Bop It theme song LOL) The trick was to hold the bubble in your hand and twist off the smaller tip with your other hand. A gentle squeeze is all that's needed for the serum to come out of the capsule. I like that the portions are controlled this way so you know exactly how much to use and cross contamination is avoided since you don't have to put your fingers in anything. Another benefit to having the product in capsule form, is that the formula stays potent. 

The serum contains many nourishing ingredients so let's take a closer look at some of them:

Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2 is the first ingredient listed in this serum.  It is used in some cosmetic and personal care products instead of lanolin. It functions as a skin conditioning agent or emollient.

Polyisobutene is the second ingredient listed and is used to increase the thickness of the lipid (oil) portion of cosmetics and personal care products. It’s often used as a substitute for squalene. 

The next four ingredients are ones that we may be more familiar with; castor seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and jojoba/macadamia seed oil esters, and shea butter. Another ingredient that caught my eye that you might want to know about is squalene. While squalene is a natural component to human sebum, it is also found in large quantities in shark liver oil which is why some products that contain squalene won't be considered vegan or cruelty free. 

The first time I used this serum on my lips I felt a very pleasant tingling feeling. I loved that there was a ton of serum in the little capsules and there's plenty of serum for both your bottom and top lip. The consistency was thick but spreadable. I used this serum at night and when I woke up, I was surprised with how soft my lips were. The jar has enough capsules to last you two months if you want to use one every day, and if you're like me, you'll use on every day to avoid getting chapped lips. After one week of use, I found that my lips were nourished and supple. I didn't even need to use lip balm or chap stick during the day because I was using this serum before I went to bed. Even though I'm battling dry skin because of the radiant heat in my house, my lips weren't dry. Incredible right?!

If you're looking for a nourishing lip serum that actually works, check out what Rodan and Fields has to offer at Since spring has sprung (even though it doesn't feel like it in Toronto) you can try the lip renewing serum at a special price. There's a spring renewal gift set that has serums and creams to help you shake off those winter blues. Email Jen Lopez at to find out more :) If you're on Instagram, follow her for updates @love_in_nolita. 

So tell me, do you use a lip serum as part of your self care routine? What products are you loving right now? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Magnetic eyelashes- NOT worth the hype

Trends come and go, and while some innovative products are meant to make our lives better, others just capitalize on the current buying trends and offer no real benefit at all. You may have seen a new way to enhance your lashes on social media. I'm talking about magnetic lashes. Say wuuuut?! I know. In theory it sounds great right? A no mess, quick and easy way to get longer lashes. I was intrigued when I first saw them on a Buzzfeed video a while back, and if you haven't seen them, it's exactly like how it sounds. There are two parts to each lash set that stay in place by magnets. 

I finally got the chance to try magnetic lashes and unfortunately, I have nothing good to say about them. I must admit, I was hesitant to write this review because I don't like bashing brands or products (I still won't mention the brand) BUT I could not in good conscience let anyone spend money on something that just doesn't work. MAYBE it was the ones I tried, sure...but the proof is in the pudding here, so learn from my experience if you're considering buying magnetic lashes. 

I tried this product having high hopes that my lashes would look natural and full. My first try was without mascara and I thought it was odd that the lashes stayed in a straight line and didn't follow my lash line at all. Honestly I looked really silly! I thought maybe I was doing something wrong and that there was a certain technique to getting the lashes to fit better. I watched a YouTube tutorial about how to wear magnetic lashes and was instructed to try wearing mascara first. Sure ok. After using mascara the second time, the magnetic lashes STILL stayed in a straight line. UGH! 

Not even my favourite Snapchat
 filter can make these look good
I noticed the magnets on the lashes were only at the ends so there was no way that the lashes would follow my lash line naturally, no matter how much mascara I had on. While I like the shape and design of the lashes, having the magnets at the end serves no real purpose and is where this product falls short. The magnets were also flimsy and fell off one of the sets. The case is magnetic as well and does a great job of holding everything in place, but you really have to be careful when picking the lashes up because poorly made products tend to fall apart if you're not careful!

Watch the full videos on Instagram!
If you're looking for magnetic lashes, take a close look at where the magnets are on the product and avoid lashes that only have two magnets near the ends, or only one magnet in the middle. I realize that having more magnets would make the lashes much heavier, but I don't see any other way to get a natural fit without more magnets along the edge. 

Even though the lashes didn't fit at all, I liked how lightweight and easy it was to use. It's too bad these lashes didn't fit the bill as a product I could love. I'm so sad :( Have you tried false magnetic lashes before? Let me know how you liked them by leaving a comment!

My First Time using The Inkey List Kaolin Clay Mask

When you live in the city, it’s easy to miss how much dust actually stays on your skin...especially if you live around a construction z...