REVIEW: November 2017 Boxycharm

*indicates an affiliate link. I appreciate your support by using my link, however it is not required if you would prefer not to. I promise to disclose any affiliate links I share <3

Hi everyone!

I have a lot of thoughts about Boxycharm* this month. Don’t know what Boxycharm* is? Well, it’s the best subscription box out there. For 21USD a month, you get a guaranteed 4-5 full sized or deluxe samples from amazing brands valued at a minimum of 100USD. Yep. It’s pretty rad.

So,  let’s start with the November box and then go from there.

The theme this month: Sweater Weather

20171116_135840

 

Luxie Beauty Quad Eye Travel Set (32USD)

Oh man, I was excited for this. I had received a Luxie brush in an ipsy bag a couple years ago and still love it. This is a travel set, so while the brushes themselves are full sizes, the handles are shorter than normal, so it does take some getting used to. The bristles are super soft and each brush does a great job. I can’t believe they gave us four brushes! Exciting!

Cover FX Illuminating Setting Spray (31USD)

Another item I’m excited about. With my dry skin, I am always drawn to illuminating products. This is especially well timed because I just ran out of my current favourite setting spray by Pixi. The spray is incredibly fine. You can barely feel it it’s so fine. There is a very itty bitty fine glitter in this spray, so be sure to really shake this baby really well. If you don’t, you may find you end up with big glitter chunks on your cheek. It gets rid of any powdery look you may have and really sets everything down. I haven’t played with it enough to tell if it really helps make my makeup last but I’ll report back if I do notice anything significant. I love the glow it leaves, though I can see some people not being into the glitter. For me, I really have to get up close and in there to see anything, but this may not be your setting spray if the idea of spraying glitter on your face is horrifying.

20171120_160957

 

KNC Beauty Collagen Lip Mask (15USD for 3)

Ok, so, I’m one of those people that love the whole masking experience but aren’t really sure there is much real benefit to doing them. This is especially the case for weird masks like this one. I have insanely dry lips with eczema around them. I didn’t think this lip mask was going to do much for me, and I was right. While it was fun to use, it did sting while it was on. The serum is really runny and wet, so I ended up dumping it everywhere when I opened the package. Because it’s so thin, it didn’t feel like it really stayed where it was supposed to be long enough to really be effective. Will I use the rest of these? Sure. Do I expect any results? No.

20171116_142524

 

LAQ A &CO Cloud lips in Storm (17USD)

I was intrigued by this when I pulled it out of the box. I ended up with the darker wine shade and was fine with that. I’ve been digging the moody dark colours lately. The item is described as long wearing and matte, so I had high hopes. Sadly, this was just a mess. It applied very sheer and patchy, almost like a balm. Because of the shape and size, I found it really difficult to get a precise application, which is a pain in the butt with such a dark colour. I really had to layer it up to get decent coverage and found it never set down in any way. It moved around and even after blotting, it transferred quite a bit. I didn’t find it matte at all, and don’t see myself reaching for this.

 

Winky Lux Kitten Palette (25USD)

A palette. Another freaking palette!!! I am so pleased by this. Firstly, the colours are really pretty and perfect for winter. Secondly, the packaging is super cute though it does lack a mirror. I’m fine with that considering how affordable this is. I did a couple of looks with the palette and then swatched it, so I have a pretty solid impression of it now. First, here are the swatches I did:

So, off the bat, I’ll say I’m impressed with the formula, especially considering how affordable this palette is. The mattes aren’t too sheer or chalky, and they apply pretty smoothly. The shimmers are pretty but I will say that they get chunky easily and may need some work for blending. You can really see the chunks in the browny bronze and gold shades. I like the colours that were included here. There’s a light matte, a transition shade, and a couple of darker colours for deepening. The shimmers are pretty and make this palette pretty versatile.

And now for the looks:

I had to play with the gorgeous gold shade, so it is the colour on the lid here. Next tme I would use it wet and put it on a glitter glue I think, as I found it didn’t have the umph I was expecting. Definitely use your fingers or a wet brush with the shimmers.

The shimmery pink shade on the top row was a nice surprise. It gave a really cool inner corner glow that I didn’t expect. Dipping into these colours, I saw a lot of fallout. The palette got dirty pretty quickly. When applying, I ended up with quite a bit of fallout on my cheekbones and undereyes, especially with the darker mattes. Keep this in mind and maybe do your eyes first when using this.

I was really excited to do this second look, especially after watching the Boxycharm instagram live using this palette. For this one, the star of the show was the gorgeous duochrome pink/mint shade in the middle row. I used this all over the lid and LOVE it. One thing I noticed here, however, was that when I really packed that shade on, I ended up with literal chunks on my eyelid. I really had to blend things out to get them smooth again. BTW, I’m wearing the LAQ A & Co Cloud lip here.

Overall, I would be happy paying 25 for this palette, so I have to say I am super pleased with this month’s box. A definite win, Boxy!

Now, on to something that I’m not happy about. Some of you may have heard about something new Boxycharm was going to try out. They were talking about it a lot on their social media and that seemed to get the hype going. I’m talking about their winter limited edition box.

Screenshot_20171108-202521

So, where as the normal box offers 4-5 products worth a minimum of 100USD for 21USD, the Limited Edition box promised 8 items from prestige brands at a value of 200USD for 45USD. Boxy decided to do a preorder. They intended on sending out a link with tracking for the November box but the link got posted online early. Despite not knowing what was going to be included, and at a complete shock to Boxycharm, people went NUTS when this was released. The site crashed and the box sold out immediately.

People were pissed, many people freaked out because non-members were able to purchase and a lot of people ended up with multiple boxes by accident due to site glitches and on purpose because no limits were set.

So, my reaction to this was “Well, it’s a good deal but at the end of the day, it’s just makeup. Hopefully Boxy is better prepared next time.” Unfortunately, a lot of people disagreed and felt personally let down by Boxy because…I just don’t know. In the interest of full disclosure, my sister bought herself and me a box. We were both super excited that she was able to get through.

Anyway, we have all just found out through this notice that the company had a plan to deal with this.

23755001_10159835442060105_8743285038465719890_n

THIS I have an issue with. I don’t really care so much about my box, though now I won’t be able to review those products for the blog.

My issue comes from from my extensive background in customer service and retail. I understand how this was a really tough situation to be in, however this reaction is not cool to me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, unless you clearly set a preorder limit of one box per customer or Boxy subscribers only, it doesn’t really seem to fair to impose those limitations AFTER the fact because you sold out quicker than you expected.

Selling out is good. Look at the trends of limited edition items in the beauty industry right now. Look at Kylie. Limited access is a thing, and selling out is the goal. If you want EVERY charmer to have one, then don’t make a limited edition box.

They always have a wait list going, so I don’t think losing a few subscribers would do any significant harm. Especially when these unsubscribers are likely to freak out over something else down the line and unsubscribe then anyway. Boxycharm responded very politely and very well on social media, so I don’t think anyone with any ounce of logic or chill would still be so upset as to dump the box now.

There are people out there who bought extras as a gift for friends or family and this would have been a great way to introduce boxy to new clients. I get being afraid of losing subscribers, but they are running that risk now by altering orders now and risk losing those potential new customers as well.

I dunno, the whole thing is nuts. I’m just shaking my head and hoping that all this drama calms down because I just want to try out awesome products and write about them. What are your thoughts about the limited edition box insanity? Do you agree with boxy’s solution?

 

REVIEW: October 2017 Boxycharm

Happy autumn everyone!! I am so in love with this weather we’ve been having. Sunny skies, cool breezes and this basic witch is living in her layers and drinking all of the hot beverages.

I am also loving this month’s boxycharm*! Let me tell you about it!

Theme: Spellbound

A quick note on the theme. I honestly think that they don’t really try to match the products with the theme at all, which seems a little pointless to me. Like, why bother having a theme at all if nothing is related? Meh.

IMG_20171017_183059SO EXCITED. I mean, right away you can see this month had a freaking bomb box. Let’s get into what made it so awesome.

ncLA “Nailed It” toolkit (18USD)

Ok, so this isn’t exactly the best thing in the box this month, but I’m still pleased with it. Who doesn’t need a cute little nail kit for their purse or for back up? I will keep this in my diaper bag for those out and about nail breaks that usually result in me chewing my nail down to the quick.

Jonteblu Lip Liner in Brown Sugar (5USD)

jonteblu

When I first pulled this out of the box I was a little disappointed. I thought it was going to be way too brown and dark for me, and that it didn’t make sense paired with the lippie (spoiler!). I was wrong, and I’m not afraid to admit it. This is such a perfect warm chocolatey colour that is sooooo great for this time of year. It is a bit drying,  but it goes on smoothly and does an ok job of sticking around. The colour has made this a favourite in my lip collection. Going to be wearing this a lot!

20171019_093043

 

Tarte Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Paint in Homeslice (20USD).

homeslice

I was so excited to pull this lippie out of the box. The colour looked cute and different from my typical mauvey rosey nudes that I gravitate towards and collect. The formula itself feels quite nice going on and I like the curve in the applicator which hugs the lips nicely. I wish the tip of the applicator was a bit more narrow for a cleaner, more crisp application, but it’s not bad. It goes on smoothly and pretty opaque with no streakiness. It dries very quickly (which was to be expected with that name) and does feel pretty matte and drying. Not my favourite formula this time of year with my really dry lips, but it’s not the most drying liquid lip I’ve tried. It has ok lasting power, but definitely not the best. I got about 3 hours out of it this morning.

The colour ended up being a bit more orangey than I expected, but it’s cute and pretty nice for this time of year. I’m more adventurous with my lip colours these days so I don’t mind it, though I’m not sure it’s super flattering on me. It is very easily influenced by whatever you have underneath, so I have worn it darker and lighter depending on if I pair it with a liner or not. Overall, a decent lippie but not my favourite in the world. I’d rather reach for an Ofra or a Colorpop Ultra Satin.

 

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Prosecco Pop (38USD)

proseccopop

You guys, when I saw this in the box I couldn’t believe it. Thanks to Jaclyn Hill and the rest of Youtube, Becca is KNOWN for their highlights. In fact, speaking of Jaclyn, this shade is one of her collabs with Becca (originally limited edition, now permanent). I was pleased to receive the pressed powder version, rather than the liquid, as I don’t tend to use much liquid highlight these days.

The formula is buttery and smooth, with a beautiful wet looking sheen. This one is a bit more subdued than other Becca highlights I’ve tried (Champagne Pop, for instance, is BLINDING. This one? Not so much). I was worried the shade was going to be too dark and yellow for me, but I think after trying it that I can still pull it off (at least during the summer). It definitely isn’t my favourite shade of highlight, but it is still pretty. It applied quite sheer and was buildable, which I like. Overall, the shade is really the only meh for me. I would definitely buy this formula again, maybe in Opal or Moonstone.

22710033_10212745857433231_282289227_n

Dr. Brandt PoreDemabrasion (58USD)

I love getting skincare in my boxycharm because I am always looking to fight the signs of aging but can’t afford to spend much money on it. This gives me the opportunity to try new things without breaking the bank. This is a perfect example of that. Dr. Brandt is an amazing brand that I just can’t afford. I really like this product. The exfoliators are extremely fine and not too abrasive for my sensitive dry skin. It has a lovely smooth creamy texture and a really nice minty scent. I really enjoy using this in the shower, a couple times a week. Haven’t had it long enough to see any difference, but I’ll report back if I do see a big change in my skin.

And that’s it! I can’t wait for this month’s box! Let me know if you guys are interested in seeing spoilers for the next box because I have them!

September 2017 BoxyCharm – Boxy Baddies

I am so excited to be receiving Boxycharm* again. Huge hugs and love to my amazing sister, Tracy, for making that happen. They are running the show when it comes to beauty subscription boxes. They are the Beyonce, the Adele. I don’t know how they are able to get all these amazing products into our boxes for such an affordable price,  but I love it and I want more. So, without further ado, here is the September Box.

20171001_165720

The Theme for this Month’s Box: Boxy Baddies

Briogeo “Don’t Despair Repair!” Hair Mask, 20USD

As a member of the curly hair club, I have heard great things about this brand (specifically, Kathleen Lights talks about them quite a bit) and have tried a couple of their products. I was thrilled to get this mask in a very generous sample size. I like to use masks at least once a week to keep my locks hydrated and in good condition (hurr hurr… I’m so punny). This stuff smells amazing, doesn’t feel too heavy and leaves my hair feeling kitten soft.

Face Perfecting Brush by Bare Minerals 28USD

20170927_094636

When I first heard we were getting this brush, I was excited. My brush collection is entirely made up of ebay, amazon and drugstore brushes. Any opportunity to add a highend brush to that makes me very happy. I was a little confused when I pulled it out of the box, though. It’s smaller than I was expecting. Using it for the first time, I found its size to be a bit of a pain. I’m used to much bigger brushes and sponges which seem to cover my big ol’ face quickly. Also, they recommend swirling from the inside of the face outward, after applying your product to the weird little divot in the center. Well, I’m more of a stippling fan, rather than sweeping and swirling, so it felt a bit awkward. I also found that without stippling, the product would kind of get stuck in the divot. Once I threw caution to the wind and started using the brush the way I wanted to, I did enjoy it. I especially found it handy for quick concealing blending when I didn’t feel like wetting my sponge. Is it my favourite foundation brush? No. I’ll make it work in my collection though.

Loose Blush by Studio Makeup 35USD

I was intrigued by the idea of a loose blush. I assumed that it wouldn’t be too crazy pigmented because, well, that would be a recipe for disaster wouldn’t it? Yes. Yes it would be. Yes it is. This blush is not for the beginner, or for those who don’t like blush. You need the tiniest amount, which is tough with a loose product (although this does have a cap to contain the mess, but I still found it clunky to get the right amount). The colour is lovely if you are into peachy orange shades and eventually blends out beautifully, but it is REALLY easy to go too heavy with this stuff. I like it, and will probably keep using it, but I can’t imagine paying 35USD for this and certainly wouldn’t buy it to replace this (not that I would ever need to, there is enough product here to last a lifetime)

Eyebrows by MAC Cosmetics in Lingering 18USD

20170927_101255

A MAC product in a box?! Man, I am excited about this. MAC has always been in my mind as an up there brand, ever since high school. I was super excited to try this. I love how fine the tip of this pencil is, however the shape makes it a little difficult to be truly precise. The colour, Lingering, is a little too red toned for my taste. I like my eyebrows to be ~Cooooool~, but that’s just personal taste. The product itself needs to warm up a bit, otherwise it’s a bit tuggy. Once it warms up, it glides on nicely but I find it doesn’t set down the way I want it to. When I blend it in with a spoolie, I ended up with weird bald patches. It just seemed to move around too much. I have other pencils that I like better, but will use it til it’s done because it’s not that bad. Meh.

Colourpop Ultra Satin Lips in Mess Around 6USD

20170927_110547

I know everyone and their mom has tried colorpop, so this doesn’t seem THAT exciting…but for me, I was thrilled. I don’t have a credit card, and I live in Canada, which makes it that much more difficult to get my hands on online-only items, like colorpop lippies. So, even though the colour wasn’t really my thang, I was really happy to try the formula of the ultra satin lip. So, firstly, let’s start with that colour. While I can see it being interesting for the fall, it just doesn’t do much for me. Maybe with a cool toned blue eye look? I dunno, but I have yet to wear a look where I’m like “Yes, that lip would be perfect”. It’s a very grey greeny brown. Like, kind of a grey poop-y brown. I’m not sure I can pull it off, but whatever. I’m going to try.

So, as for the formula itself, I was excited to try something that wasn’t entirely matte. My poor lips are so dry these days and matte lips make my mouth look like a butthole. It feels very thin going on, and because this colour is pretty dark, I needed to layer up because it was sheer. Despite having to apply layers, it didn’t get crumbly or gross. It felt super light and comfortable on, and did a good job staying on my lips. I really want to try a colour that I’m more into to see how long it wears.

Soiree Diaries Eyeshadow Palette by PUR Cosmetics 34USD

20170927_11000420170927_175934

Guys. YOU GUYS. A palette from PUR Cosmetics. A freaking PALETTE. HOW?! I am so freaking excited about this. To start off, Pur has a good reputation for their eyeshadows. Next, the colour story here is beautiful. Each row can be used for a look OR you can mix and match. This is great for every day and for events. There is a really good balance of mattes and shimmery shades. My only complaint is that I was a little surprised that the shimmers were all darker shades. I would have liked a shimmery inner eye/brow bone colour, and maybe just a black matte shade (though the deep brown works fine for the same purposes). Aside from that, I really like the colours they chose here. LOOK AT THOSE FREAKING SWATCHES. I especially love the taupey slightly purpley shades. They are my jam.

Now, how do they perform on the lid? Really nicely actually. They aren’t the best shadows I ever touched (Viseart, Tarte Pro, Natasha Denona, I’m looking at you), but they are still pigmented, smooth and pretty. They blend nicely without disappearing, skipping or getting muddy. I was able to create a couple of different looks with this already. I have been leaving this out on my vanity as my every day quick palette.

Seriously, this is what I mean when I say Boxycharm has upped the ante. This is awesome. I can’t wait for next month!!

Overall Impression:

This box was bomb. Seriously. The value is insane and I got to try a bunch of really great products from some really great brands, which is what these boxes are all about for me. I can’t wait to see what we are getting in October!

Spring YAYs & NAYs – Skincare and Beauty Favourites

Hello my dears,

It has been so long. I am not going to get into the whys and whatnots. Instead, let’s just pick up where we left off and get right into some fun. Today I want to start doing a new series of regular monthly posts. I want to share with you my favourite products for the month, as well as a few sad trombone products (because we all love to dish the tea).

In the future I would also like to do a monthly video of me using my favourites, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I receive compensation for your clicks or purchases. Feel free to not use my links if that makes you uncomfortable. More information about my affiliations and compensation can be found here on my disclosure page. Affiliate links, or links for which I would receive compensation, will be marked with a *.

springfavesheader

My Favourite Makeup

Primer: *Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer Lift & Firm ($9-16CAD)

After hearing Emily Noel talk about the Hard Candy Primers, I had to try them. I rushed in to Walmart and saw that the hydrating primer was sold out so I grabbed this one instead. It feels light weight on, and I like the way my makeup applies over top. I’m not sure about the lifting and firming claims, but I do enjoy the way I look when I wear it.

Foundation: *GOSH CC Cream Illuminating Foundation in 02 Ivory (Also Available *here) (16-25CAD)

This was a totally random buy for me. I haven’t had much luck with GOSH products in the past, but I saw this on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart (5CAD! I had to!) and couldn’t refuse a cheap illuminating foundation. I am so in love with it! The coverage is way better than I anticipated from a CC Cream, somewhere around medium. I love how moisturizing this feels and the glow it gives my skin. This is a perfect product for a natural looking makeup day or a day that you want to just throw something on without needing a brush or beauty blender. One pretty major negative I see here is that there are only 8 shades available. I also would suggest that people with oily skin skip this one as it is VERY moisturizing.

Concealer: Rimmel Match Perfection 2 in 1 Skintone Adapting Concealer and Highlighter (Available *here, *here and *here) ($7-15CAD)

I got into makeup because of my dark circles. I have extremely pale skin that is very thin around my eyes. Add to that, I don’t get enough water or enough sleep and you get some serious panda eyes. As a result, I am a big fan of concealers and very particular about what I like. This Rimmel concealer is a little thick, but it blends out easily (I prefer using a beauty blender with this product). It’s pigmented enough to get the job done and even does great on blemishes. It’s highlighting without any shimmer, glitter or shine. It doesn’t dry out my undereyes and it feels nice. It does have a tendency to settle into lines, so you do need to set it pretty quickly, but I am ok with that. It is also a great product for carving out your brows, touching up your wing or your lipstick. Love it!

Loose Powder: bareMinerals Hydrating Mineral Veil (available *here, *here and here) ($27CAD)

I picked up this powder from Sephora a year ago, for my birthday. I was excited to try a hydrating powder, especially because my skin had been very very dry due to our new air conditioner. My first impression of it wasn’t great. I found the tint of the powder too dark for my skin tone (I’m very fair) and I felt it was heavy feeling. I’m not sure what changed, but I pulled this out of my collection to give it another shot and I LOVE it now. The colour isn’t perfect (I wish it was transparent or translucent), but it works well with my summer skin tone. In fact, this is my new favourite summer powder. It doesn’t feel heavy, but it doesn’t dry me out like regular setting powders. I don’t recommend it for under the eyes, at least for dry skin or fair tones, as it’s too dark and does emphasize lines and dryness. It sets my foundation perfectly without a powdery look.

Under Eye Setting Powder: Elf Illuminating Palette (available *here, *here and *here) ($8CAD)

springelf2

I’m sure you are a little confused by the category that I’ve put this in. An illuminating palette to set under the eyes? Yep. I first saw this on youtube (can’t remember who it was…maybe thataylaa?) and decided I had to try it. I’ve heard these powders are comparable to the hourglass ambient light powders. I would have to agree. They aren’t as dry in texture, but their look as a setting powder is similar. I don’t find these powders glittery or shimmery at all, which is why they work for me under my eyes. They are smooth and lovely on the skin. I use a combination of the top two powders to either wipe away my bake or to set under the eye, and the bottom two for elsewhere on the face if I want a more glowy finish. I use a sheer amount so as to not end up with patches of highlight on the skin. You can certainly build these up and use them as intended as highlights, but for me, they are amazing for setting.

Pressed Powder: CoverGirl Advanced Radiance Pressed Powder Compact (available *here, and here) ($8CAD)

This was a Tati youtube recommendation. I wanted to pick up a new luminous powder to try and when I saw Tati loved this one, I knew I had to give it a shot. I enjoy the way it sets my makeup and keeps it in place all day. I enjoy that this powder isn’t heavy and doesn’t make the skin matte. It’s not glittery or too glowy. It just gives my skin a more skin like look. It is very fair and has a white cast, so I wouldn’t recommend it for deeper skin tones, but it works for me (I am very fair). I don’t use this one under the eyes unless it’s just to wipe away a bake.

Bronzer: Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer in Light Bronzer (available *here, and here) ($20CAD)

springbronze

This bronzer is a fair skinned girl’s best friend. It is the perfect shade to give the face warmth without turning you into an oompa loompa. I have seen people use it to contour and it looked good (it’s still a little too warm for me to use it that way, but to each their own). I love how this applies. It’s pigmented enough to go on easily, but not so much that you have to be careful. It blends out like a dream and gives the skin such a beautiful natural glow. I love the pina colada scent, however I would caution those who are scent sensitive that this is definitely a highly fragranced product. I wish physician’s formula would release a special unscented version for those who need it, as this product should be enjoyed by everyone.

Blush: Wet N Wild Pearlescent Pink (available *here , *here, and here) ($5-10CAD)

This blush is a drugstore cult favourite and I can totally see why. It reminds me very much of NARS orgasm, but it’s exactly the same. It is a beautiful bright peachy golden blush that is just perfect for the summer time. The formula is pigmented so be careful applying it. It doesn’t last forever on my skin, but I can forgive that due to the low price tag. It goes on smoothly, blends nicely and leaves a really pretty golden glow.

Highlighter: Smashbox Spotlight Palette in Pearl (available *here, *here, and here) ($40CAD)

springsmashbox

I am a huge fan of Casey Holmes and feel pretty strongly about supporting creators in whatever way I can. When I saw that Casey was collabing with Smashbox, I was thrilled. When I saw what she was making, I couldn’t wait until these beauties were released! Because of my cool tones and fair skin, I was attracted to the Pearl palette. Both palettes come with two highlighters and one glitter topper, which is a great concept. When I swatched this in store, I was blown away by how smooth and creamy these powders are. They are beautiful on the skin, and can go on as a beautiful sheer wash or can easily be built up for a blinding glow. I’ve been wearing these every time I do a full face and love using them as my inner corner highlight for my eyes and the glitter topper is gorgeous on the lid too!

Eyeshadow: Tarteist pro to go (available *here and here) ($30CAD)

springtarte

I grabbed this as an opportunity to try out tarte shadows without committing to a full palette. I have been eyeing the full *Tarteist pro Amazonian Clay palette since I first saw it on snapchat and trendmood. I love the idea of beautiful matte shades with a couple of intense foiled/metallic/glittery shadows. As I am no longer 20 and definitely have some texture on my eyelids, I find myself gravitating more towards mattes, and also appreciating a more well made foiled shadow. This small palette was exactly what I wanted. It let me play with the Tarte amazonian clay formulas without making a huge cash commitment. I absolutely love the feel of these shadows. They are insanely pigmented and so very soft. They do have a fair bit of kick up, but I am fine with that. The gold shade, hype, is absolutely freaking STUNNING. Seriously. It has surpassed *Urban Decay’s Half Baked as my all time favourite gold shadow. The mattes are smooth and blend beautifully and both foiled shades steal my magpie heart. I also love how trendy the colours are. Warm tones are in, folks, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. This is a great way to try them out.

L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow pot in 892 Amber Rush (available *here and here) ($8-12CAD)

springamber

I picked this colour up after hearing about it from several influencers on youtube and am so glad that I did. It is the perfect warm rose gold shade that everyone is super into right now. The infallible eyeshadows have a really interesting creamy formula that apply best with a finger (I blend it out with a synthetic brush). This shade is beautifully reflective and is fantastic for a middle of the lid pop or a super quick single eyeshadow look (which is what I’ve been doing lately). They last a long time and don’t crease on me. Keep the lids shut tight though, as they do dry out if you don’t.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon in Barely Beige and Bronze Truffle (available *here and *here) ($7-12CAD)

springcrayons

As much as I love the warmth and the sunshine that comes with spring time, I have a really hard time with this season. I have allergies which cause my eyes to water like mad. My eyeshadow almost always gets creased or washed away as a result, which is incredibly frustrating and not at all attractive. These have been my saviour. I’ve been using these as either a base for my other shadows or as the main colour itself. They are waterproof and really do stick around. I especially enjoy using Barely Beige on the inner part of my lid, near the inner corner, as it brightens up any look and locks down in the area where I get the most tears. They are super easy to use and give good colour pay off. They set quickly though, so blend out (with your finger or a synthetic brush) not long after application.

Eyeliner: Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kajal in 005 Nude (available *here and here) ($7CAD)

Thanks to the never ending germ parade of junior kindergarten, the kids have been sick since the fall. No, really. It’s been brutal. As a result, I haven’t been getting much sleep at all. Add to that those aforementioned allergies and my eyes have been looking ROUGH lately. One of the ways I make my eyes look more awake and less desperate is by using a nude liner on my waterline to cancel out the redness. I’ve tried a few different ones, but the Rimmel Scandaleyes nude liner is my favourite. It goes on without tugging, cancels out the red and stays put.

Physican’s Formula Eye Booster 2 in 1 Liquid Liner and Serum in Ultra Black (available *here and here) ($15CAD)

Taylor from thataylaa on youtube talks about this liner all the time, so I decided to give it a shot. I am in love! It is by far my favourite liquid liner. I only wish it was waterproof, as I can’t wear this when my allergies are flaring up without ending up looking like a hot mess. The brush is long and thin, making it easy to lay down flat to cheat on my lines, and gives a nice precise wing. It’s super black and pigmented, which means I don’t need to go over my lines and risk ending up with massive wings of my goth days of high school. I enjoy that the formula has a built in lash serum, though I will say I haven’t noticed any difference in my lashes so far.

springliner

 

Eyebrows: NYX micro brow pencil in Ash Brown (available *here, *here, and here) ($17CAD)

I was very reluctant to get on the brow love train. I just didn’t want to spend the time or the energy on getting my brows just right. Somehow, over the past year, I have been changing my ways and now it’s difficult for me to go out without something on my brows. When I’m looking to really go in and do my brows, this pencil is my favourite method. I love how fine it is. I’m able to create really thin hair like lines that blend in to my natural brows perfectly. The formula is stiff enough that it doesn’t just melt and smear all over the place, while being creamy enough that I’m not having to work too hard. I especially enjoy this colour as it is nice and cool toned without being too gray. As an added bonus, the attached spoolie is fantastic and really grabs those hairs to make blending easy.

Liquid Lipstick: Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit in Rebel Rose (available *here and *here) ($5-11CAD)

springlip

Another trend that I’ve been slow to has been matte liquid lipsticks. I have SUPER dry lips. It doesn’t matter how much I exfoliate, how I prep or prime them, these babies flake and crack every single day. Despite that, I have fallen for these incredibly affordable liquid lipsticks by Wet N Wild. The shade Rebel Rose is pigmented and smooth. I don’t need to layer it a bunch to get an opaque application, which means I am able to avoid the crumbles that sometimes comes with cheap liquid lipsticks. I don’t find it drying at all. It it very matte and lasts a while without falling apart on me. This specific shade is GORGEOUS and is my current fave for a really pretty rosey natural look.

Setting Spray: Pixi Skintreats Hydrating Milky Mist (available *here, here and here) ($20-30CAD)

I think I’ve been using facial mists and sprays for longer than most other makeup items. I used to be obsessed with this honey based one out of a small independent shoppe in Calgary. Since then, I’ve been on the hunt for an equally moisturizing spray that didn’t grease me up or ruin my makeup. I have finally found it! I use this as a makeup setting spray as a way to add just a little bit of moisture, make my highlight pop and to get rid of any powdery residue. It doesn’t really make my makeup last any longer, but that’s ok. I also like using this at night to lock in my night time routine.

OTHER

Delectable skin perfecting body bronzing lotion (available *here, *here, and here) ($10-20CAD)

springbodybronze

I haven’t had much luck with many other Delectable or Cake products, so I was a little unsure about trying this. The reviews were really great so I decided to give it a shot. It is such a nice body makeup that also doubles as a lotion. It gives a really nice warm bronzing and glow to the body. It does have glitter in it, but I don’t find that it translates as anything more than shimmer on the skin. I love using this on my arms, legs and shoulders this time of year when I want to fake a bit of sun kissed skin.

L’oreal Infallible Blend Artist Sponge (available *here and here) ($10CAD)

I love my beauty blender and Real Techniques sponge so I didn’t think I’d enjoy this as much as I did. It becomes GIANT when you wet it. It’s super soft and feels great on the skin. It doesn’t suck up a ton of product and really does a great job of blending foundation. No complaints here!

Aveda be curly curl enhancer (available *here , here and here) ($30-40CAD)

After my attempt at the curly girl method of hair care, I’ve decided to go back to my old routine. This is a staple of my curly hair routine. It’s a really lovely curl cream that helps fight frizz, gives me soft definition without crunch. I love the whole aveda be curly line and highly recommend it to everyone with curls or waves.

SKIN CARE

Etival Hydra boost serum (available only in store)

This was another Shoppers deal. Usually in the $30+ range, I snagged this for $5! It’s a really lovely hydrating serum that I use at night. I’ve noticed my skin has been feeling plumper and my dry patches are way less common. I wish I could find it online for you, but I fear this is being discontinued :/

Benefit Puff Off Instant Eye Gel (available *here and *here) ($CAD)

With my allergies and lack of sleep, my undereyes can sometimes be super puffy and unhappy. This great gel and applicator really help reduce the puffiness and make makeup glide on. I love it even more when I remember to store it in the fridge for extra coolness.

Bioderma Sebium Gel Moussant Purifying cleansing foaming gel (available here and here) ($10-20CAD)

This time of year my skin goes more on the combination side of things, so while I love my usual cleansers, I like to mix this in to my routine to  help deal with my oiliness and the heaviness of my sunscreen. It cleans my face beautifully without stripping the skin.

The Before…

springbefore

The After…

NAYS

The disclaimer: These are products that just didn’t work out for me. If you love them, please don’t be insulted. Our skin, colouring and tastes are different. Different tastes is what makes the world so interesting :) Also, just because I don’t like a specific product doesn’t mean I don’t like the brand.

Benefit Gimme Brow in shade 1. I thought I loved this for a long time. Unfortunately, I see now that it just don’t have the hold that I need from a brow gel and it doesn’t do enough filling to make it a good quick and easy stand alone product.

Maybelline Master Fix Setting Spray: I wanted to love this. I am a drugstore girl at heart. That said, I don’t enjoy the spray (camel spit, very wet). I haven’t noticed it extending my makeup. There are just better options out there.

Benefit Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer: I snagged this at Shopper’s Drug Mart for a crazy discounted price (under 5$), so I really shouldn’t complain..but here we are. I just don’t see this primer doing anything for me. My makeup doesn’t stick around any longer, doesn’t apply any smoother and my skin doesn’t look any better. Womp womp.

Say Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Wipes: I’m trying to be better to my skin and give up using baby wipes to remove my makeup. I grabbed these are they are marketed as being ideal for sensitive skin. Well, firstly I didn’t find them soothing. They sting my skin and my eyes, and they are heavily scented. Also, they aren’t great at removing make up at all. Not a fan.

Ok everyone, that’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed checking out all of my faves from the last few months! Comment below what you love for this warmer weather!

Neglect

I’m so sorry, friends. I keep meaning to come back and write, share a review, anything, but the words just don’t come. At least they haven’t until now.

Things have been hard lately, folks. My depression is rearing it’s ugly head and is back in full force. At the moment, it’s not the heartbreaking constant sadness. Instead it’s the exhaustion, full body aches and pain, the lack of motivation to do anything at all and a total lack of fucks. For a bit there, I struggled to find the energy to dress myself, to shower and to brush my teeth.

20161023_140227

Part of it is the weather, and how difficult the holidays are when you have lost people. On top of that, there is our financial struggles and the stress of not being able to afford the holidays. I can’t really get into much more right now, but there are other things that have been hard for me and weighing on me.

Yesterday it occurred to me that I’ve been neglecting so much in my life. Yes, there are some crappy things going on, crappy things that have happened, but if I let myself fail and fall, what will they show my children? What will be left to care for them? So, I’m taking steps to get back on track. I’m walking as much as I can, at least 2km a day. I work out a couple days a week at home. I am trying to get back into bullet journalling and spending more quality time with my family. I’m making lists and getting back into work. It’s hard, but just like with my walks, the most important thing is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To just keep going.

 

Curly Girl

Hey everyone,

I’m sorry that the blog is looking a little generic these days. Unfortunately, my paid account with WordPress came up for renewal at a time when finances just don’t have the room for me to make the splurge. This means all of my customizations had to go for now. At least it’s still cute, right?

Before I dive in to talking about my Hurr, I wanted to take a sec to wish all my fellow Canadians a Happy Thanksgiving. 2016 hasn’t exactly gone to plan for us, but I am so thankful to have such a wonderful family and group of friends in my life, and that includes you guys, my followers.  So, thank you so much for being a part of my world. You guys are fantastic <3

So, on to the goods. Today I want to talk to you about my hair. After spending my life trying to manage this mop, I have started educating myself on my texture. I went in to a new salon that specializes in wavy and curly hair and got a cut to try and wake up my curls. Years of abuse have left my hair frizzy and significantly relaxed from the curls of yesteryears. Through some advice from my stylist and the salon owner, Paula, I went home and dove into researching products that would be better for my scalp and my texture. I discovered the world of Curly Girl.

I am about a month in to my new regimen and for the most part, I am loving it. Basically, I no longer use Shampoo to wash my hair. I know, crazy right? This is what I do now.

hairplopped

Ploppin’

Instead, I use conditioner to wash, and then more conditioner as a leave in after my shower. I then use an old large tshirt to “plop”, which sort of dries the hair a bit and removes some of the extra product.

hairwet

Air drying

I leave the plop on anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight. When I feel like taking it off, I add a crap ton of gel and let it air dry.

hairgel

Dry crunchy hair

Once it’s completely dry, I scrunch out the crunch with a t-shirt.  Basically, I get rid of that crunchy hard gel texture by gently scrunching it out.

I then try not to wash again for a few days. I protect the curls as much as possible and refresh every morning with water mixed with conditioner and reapply a bit more gel to help combat frizz

hairbedtime

Bed time fashions so fancy

hairday2

Day 3 hair, y’all. AMAZING.

So far, I am really impressed at the change in my hair and my scalp. I had pretty severe psoriasis a month ago, and now I have maybe two small patches that come and go.So, to review, let’s look at some before and after shots to give you an idea of how much my curl has changed with this no-poo no-silicone no-sulfates no-alcohol method.

1monthcheckin

So, the left is the before, the right is this past week. I’m hoping for more improvements in a couple of weeks, but already you can see a bit change in the reduction of frizz, the shape of the wave/curl and how the curl starts at the scalp (in the front) now, as opposed to eye/ears before. I’m pretty happy with that! It’s definitely a big change, but I like the way it’s going. I’ll update you guys again in a month or two.

Autumn Life Update

It’s been a long time now since I’ve written a personal post. 2016 has been kicking our asses. Between that and having two crazy kids, I don’t have much time to give sitting down and writing about real life stuff, if that makes any sense. I’m actually fighting a nasty cold at the moment, which means that I have a bit of time to sit and just write.

Mason is 9 months old, almost 10 months. Liam has started school. How is this possible? Where has time gone? It’s been a pretty good transition, thankfully. Liam loves school and it’s been giving me a bit of a breather during an otherwise stressful time.

We have a lot of personal financial and family stuff going on that I don’t feel comfortable sharing here, but it’s been playing one hell of a toll on my anxiety and depression. Thankfully, my husband’s work has a great EAP program and I’ve been able to get some help. On top of that, I’ve started keeping a bullet journal. It has been amazing at keeping me calm, organized and a place to share what’s going on in my head in a pretty and creative way.bulletjournal

Bullet Journaling is kind of a checklist mixed with a day planner, mixed with a journal. It can be as simple or as involved as you want. It’s very very easy to personalize.

Beyond bullet journaling, I’ve continued to play with and test makeup and other products. I’m toying with the idea of making a youtube channel to compliment this blog, but I’m nervous about the amount of work it would take. I’ve started job hunting again, ideally looking for something either from home or close to home so that we can save on daycare costs by me being with Mason during the day.

So, I know this isn’t a really great update, but I wanted to let you guys know that I’m alive and ok, but not great. We are working on things to improve our situation, but nothing is coming very easily. Happy Fall everyone xo

REVIEW: August 2016 Boxycharm

You guys, you should see my house right now. No, actually, it’s for the best you can’t. I really should be cleaning and getting us ready for my baby to start JK this coming week. Instead, I am in total denial and refusing to face reality. Time for a boxycharm review!!

The theme for August’s box was “Express Yourself”

Ze box:augboxy

Yep, this month I was super excited to try everything out. Such a great collection of things!

Dirty Little Secret Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick (10$USD): I was a little nervous to pull this one out of the box. My lips are so dry that I try to stay away from matte liquid lipsticks. Add to that the colour of this one…a definite orangey red. Well, lets just say I have been drinking tea and coffee multiple times a day for half my life, so my teeth don’t need any help at looking yellow.   The packaging is adorable though, and I am not one to back down from a colour.I was pleasantly surprised by the texture. This didn’t feel drying and it went on really smoothly. It was a little patchy on me, which meant I needed to layer up in some areas.

augboxy5

I wore this out of the house and after one cup of coffee and a greasy lunch, this was finit.

augboxy6

Yeah, not my favourite look. This is less than 2 hours after application. I would not recommend this without a lip liner and making sure you bring the lipstick along with you to touch up.

Makeup Eraser AmpliMascara ($23USD): Mama loves herself some mascara. I love trying different formulas. It makes such an instant difference in a look. This mascara intrigued me. It calls itself a serum and claims to really amp up the volume and length. As with all mascaras that I try, I gave it a few days and a few different application methods before writing this review. I tried one layer, two layers, layered on dry and layered on wet.

augboxy3

Unfortunately, this one and my lashes just did not go well together. I didn’t notice much of anything to be honest. The colour is a little too muted for my taste and I just didn’t get the length OR volume I was hoping for.

augboxy2

augboxy4

After wearing it for the day, my eyes got really itchy and sore, so I am passing it along to my sister to try. Hopefully it works out better for her. Also, a quick note: When I looked into the product, the Magic Eraser website only lists a two step product, so I wonder if maybe this is only part of the set? I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Pure Cosmetics Waterproof Lip Liner: I was actually pretty happy to see this. After getting red lipstick recently, I realized I needed a red lip liner to make them stay put. Unfortunately, this one isn’t quite the shade I was hoping for. This is actually a pretty nice brown red/burnt red. I think it’ll be great for fall, but I’m not sure the tone is completely me. I love how creamy it is, and how easy that made the application. I did find that it wanted to stay put.

augboxy1

Aloette Time Repair Serum ($48USD): I love skincare, so I was pretty excited about this. I can’t say that I’ve noticed a difference so far, but it’s only been a couple weeks and I can’t say that I use it twice a day like they suggest. I do like the thin texture and how quickly it absorbs.

And finally, the big exciting item in this box:

Coastal Scents Blush and Bronzer Pallet with Brush: Yay another pallet!! I was very excited about this, especially because I’ve been finding myself really into blush, highlight and bronzer lately. This pallet includes one matte blush, one shimmer blush, one highlight, one matte bronzer and one bronzer with a sheen, as well as a brush.

augboxy8

First I’ll start with the big negative. The brush really did nothing for me. It wasn’t big enough or soft enough for my taste. I don’t see myself using it again. The actual powders were ok. The blushes were pigmented and pretty. A girlfriend told me she thought I had used a cream blush by how beautifully it sat on the skin. The bronzers are pretty warm and dark for me, but they are easy to blend if you go lighthanded. The highlight was pretty meh, unfortunately. It was too shimmery to use as a matte under eye powder, but too subtle to use as a cheek highlight for me.

augboxy9

I’m debating passing this one on. I do like the blushes though…maybe I’ll de-pot?

augboxy7So that’s it for this month. While not a ton of these items were super “Me”, I did enjoy trying new things (and colours). Looking forward to September’s boxycharm! I hear there’s another eyeshadow pallet!

REVIEW: August 2016 Topbox

Sorry for going quiet again, you guys. I’m struggling a bit these days (as anyone who follows my snapchat or instagram can attest). I’m going to push through, though, and get back to some reviews.

This Month’s Topbox arrived, and I was a little disappointed. I had requested a tube, as my kids love to play with them and they can easily be repurposed. The mesh bags, on the other hand, sit around taking up space. Well, looks like it was a mesh bag for me. Oh well.

topboxaug

Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer: First thing, I was pretty excited to see this primer. I’ve only ever tried the original smashbox primer and enjoy it. I was surprised to see this primer is coloured. I actually checked the tube to make sure I didn’t confuse my products. It went on smoothly and felt nice on the skin. Unfortunately, it seemed to aggravate my dry patches pretty badly, and flared up the eczema on the bridge of my nose, and on my upper lip. It may have made my pores look good, but it seemed to make my dry skin look way more noticable. A definite pass for me. (Also, holy crap price tag. $51?!)

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Radiance Split Pan Bronzer and Highlighter Duo: Right off the bat, I was not super impressed with this. The bronzer is shimmery (not my fave) and DARK for me. The highlighter was dark too. I really didn’t think it would work on my very fair skin. The pan is pretty small and I worry with split pans like this that the bronzer is going to muddy up the highlight over time. Anyway, the product description boasts that you can use it as an eyeshadow too, so I decided to try it all out.

topboxaug1

Splotchy and patchy AF

Yeah, not happy. The bronzer was hella patchy and dark. It took me forever to blend that shit out. The highlight was surprisingly pretty, but not enough for me to ever think about buying this.

topboxaug3

Paired with L’Oreal Infallible Amber Rush all over the lid.

As eyeshadows these actually did a beautiful job, so I’m thinking about keeping it for that purpose.But then, do I need a shimmery brown and peach? Not really. Overall, another womp womp for me. ($27.68 CAD)

topboxaug4

Me, out in the sunshine. Unfortunately, the bronzer as an eyeshadow didn’t stay put and smudged under my eyes. Jerk Bronzer

topboxaug5

A few hours later. Sort of still bronzed. Highlight is no where to be found.

Novex Argan Oil Deep Conditioning Hair Mask: I am really imperssed by the size of this sample. You get quite a bit of product here. Now, unfortuantely, it’s one product I probably won’t really use. I mean, as I said last month, I am OVER FREAKING ARGAN OIL. Seriously, it’s in every damn box/bag/tube all the freaking time. I have more damn argan oil stuff than I will ever get through. Despite that, I gave it a try. From my reading, it’s basically just a deep conditioner. You add it to wet clean hair, let sit for 3 minutes and rinse. I did and it felt ok. I’ll use it once a week or so and report back if I think of it, but right now, meh. ($6.57 CAD)

Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Brightening Night Capsules: I am on a big skincare kick right now (sudden realization that OMG I’M GETTING OLD AND HAVE WRINKLES AND SUN DAMAGE), so this was probably the most exciting part of this month’s topbox. There is something super appealing about squishing these little capsules. The product itself feels very nice and much like a silicone primer. Unfortunately, I found that this aggravated my ezema, so I have to be very careful where I apply it. I didn’t notice any lifechanging effects, but I will use these up 4 squishies for sure. ($110.25 CAD) 

So, that’s it this month. Unfortunately, as you can probably tell, I’m not super impressed. Everything was kind of a fail and made my skin really really unhappy. Here’s hoping next month is better. One really great and redeeming extra was a coupon tucked in the bag. It was for a free eyebrow styling and wax. YAS. Mama needs this. For those of you who don’t know, I have some vision limitations. My vision isn’t great without my glasses and my eyes have a really hard time looking in a specific direction up close. Namely, I can’t look at my left brow very well. I have to groom that one brow pretty much blind. So, having the ability to have someone else do my brows is AWESOME. Thanks Topbox!

topboxaug6

Review: Clairol Natural Instincts Dye

BzzAgent and Clairol contacted me a little while ago, asking if I would like to try their Natural Instincts dye for free. Um, yes. For those who have been following me a while, you may remember that Natural Instincts used to be my jam. Since about the end of high school, I have been using Natural Instincts to dye my hair everything from reds, to browns, to blondes. Here’s a little time line of my hair changes over the years.

So, they asked me to pick a colour and sent a box my way.

I wanted something that would blend in well with my natural colour, so I went with Toasted Almond.

clairol1

#gotitfree y’all! So, me being the patient woman that I am, I pretty much immediately threw it into my hair. Here’s what happened:

This is me before. Notice the sort of orangey ends and brassiness to my colour. Post partum and summer time hasn’t been kind to my hair. Obvs.

clairol2

This is me during. Thankfully, this was a super quick and easy process. Once you mix the things up, you apply the dye to your hair, roots to ends. Once my hair was fully saturated, I clipped it up and hung out with my best buddy Netflix for an episode before washing it out. clairol3

I then used the included conditioner and let my hair air dry. Man, that conditioner is the best. Like, I want to dye my hair more often just to have this amazing stuff in my life FOREVER. Here are the results!

Immediately after dying:

clairol6

My hair no longer has that brassiness to it and the ends blend in waaaaay better. It’s a really beautiful natural brown colour with shine. Loooove.

Yesterday, so maybe 2 weeks later?

clairol7

My hair seems to have depth and a healthy shine again. Mama is pleased. The conditioner is keeping things soft and nourished, which makes me feel better about doing a box dye at home.

Overall, I am really happy with my experience. It was really easy to do, with minimal mess and fuss, and the results were really nice. Thanks again to Clairol and BzzAgent for letting me try this!

Note: While this product was sent to me, I have not been paid to write this review. As always, all thoughts and reactions are my honest opinion and experience.