2020 - Pretty In Bronze

Friday, October 23, 2020

My DIY Wedding Hair
October 23, 20200 Comments


Welcome to the second-last post in my mini wedding series! All that's left is my roundup of the wedding itself (and likely some mention of things that didn't warrant their own post).

My wedding hair was something, like almost everything else, I'd planned for years. I had pins amongst pins of inspiration pictures and watched way too many videos on how to do your own wedding hair. It would be simple: Curl my hair like I always do for special events, and have one of my bridesmaids help me do a twist with a small section from the front of hair so my face could be better seen. Other than that, I'd just need help making sure my celestial hair pins from an Amazon shop named CINRA weren't lopsided.

My hair during the ceremony and the beautiful celestial pins!
The front looks a bit messy, but not too bad!
A twist would've made putting the pins in much easier.

In my previous post all about my wedding makeup I mentioned that I had less than an hour and a half to do my hair and makeup for the wedding. This made me forget a few steps and while the makeup turned out great, I have regrets with the hair. Below is the type of effortless smooth wave I wanted.

Instead, I completely forgot to brush through the curls once they were set to separate them and my hair ended up being very piecy. I didn't realize this until two days after the wedding when we got a sneak peak at the wedding pictures. Thankfully my bridesmaids helped me re-curl a few pieces right before the ceremony started (we'd done photos before the actual wedding) so I found that the hair looked a lot better for the actual ceremony. 

My hair on the way to the park for photos. Clearly rushed.

Re-Curling my hair 15 minutes before the Ceremony.
Gabi pinning everything in place.

Other than doing the Moroccan Keratin Most Effective Brazilian Keratin Hair Treatment  at home a week before the wedding, and washing and straightening my the night before, the only other product I used was the Pantene Pro-V Anti-Humidity hair spray (strongest hold), which doesn't appear to exist anymore. It would've worked way better had I brushed through my curls. No wonder why they kept falling out quickly—they were being weighed down by giant ringlets.

The good news is that my hair didn't look bad. I'm also very grateful that my hair is my biggest regret for the wedding. Considering we got married during a global pandemic (that suddenly got worse in Ontario once school started up a few days after our wedding) my hair not looking exactly how I'd imagined it to is a very small first-world problem. 

After getting all of the pictures back, I'm actually ok with how the hair turned out! Obviously I still wish I'd done a better job with it and spent more time making sure I did every step, but in the end it looks decent and I didn't have any extensions in. Plus, everyone at the wedding knows I'm capable and the pictures are for us to enjoy. Even in this series, most pictures are extremely cropped and a lot of them are cellphone photos.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this series and look forward to the final instalment, an overview of the wedding day and how we managed to make our covid wedding happen!

See you soon!

Friday, October 16, 2020

My Wedding Makeup
October 16, 20200 Comments


I'm back with another wedding-day related blog post. This one is all about the makeup I wore and my process in applying it. I'll also be talking about regrets, products I forgot at home, and products I ended up not using last minute. 

Disclaimer: I attempted to link everything in this post, however, most of the links are affiliate (mainly because Magiclinks lets me paste a bunch of products in one go and it creates them for me in bulk). While I can make money if you buy clicking my link, I will say that in my history (years) of using this tool, I've made a whopping 20 cents total! A lot of the links are not affiliate links, but are from random websites because some of these products are old, or aren't available outside of their brand websites.

I messed up by not leaving more time for me to get ready prior to the wedding. I had an hour and fifteen minutes to do my hair AND makeup. That's insane for me considering it takes me two hours to do those on any normal day that I decide I want to look nice. This is my wedding day I'm talking about here and I had much less than that.

Upon jumping out of the shower and being freshly moisturized and with my nighttime skincare routine done (yes I did my nighttime one to look extra moisturized) I sat in my chair and got to work. I had planned on starting with my eyes to ensure my base looked flawless, but in my haste to get ready in time, I jumped right in with my base.

Base Products:

The base probably took me under five minutes to complete due to me practicing my makeup several times leading up to the wedding. The only thing that was annoying was that my cystic acne on my chin was acting up and nothing would stick to it. I powdered and attempted adding more concealer, but that only did a bit. One little circle refused to comply. At least there's photoshop for that!

For the second step I moved onto the face shaping products:

Too Faced Sweetheart Bronzer - Sweet Tea (baked bronzer)

Milani blush in Luminoso 

The Balm highlighter in Mary-Lou Manizer 

This was one of my smallest categories, mainly because I forgot to use two products. These three have been my staples for years and I have yet to find makeup I like better than these products so it should come as no surprise that I used them. As for what I forgot, they're both from the KVD Vegan Beauty Shade + Light palette.  I'd planned on using the light yellow "Lyric" powder for under my eyes, and the contouring colour in "Sombre". Thanks to the Becca under eye corrector, my under eyes looked pretty good and the Too Faced bronzer did the trick, but I do wish I had a bit more of shape going on for photography purposes.

Brows—my smallest category yet! I plucked my eyebrows well the night before the wedding (along with my half moustache and unibrow) so I didn't need to worry about this one too much. The only two products (technically three) I used were from the same brand and long time favourites of mine. The third product, Duraline, deserves a spot in the post since without it, my dipbrow pomade wouldn't have worked. This stuff seriously works on dried out products like this, or pot eyeliners. It's also apparently great for using eyeshadows as eyeliners (though I've never tried.) The one product I forgot to use was my Essence Make me Brow Mascara, but I didn't need it since I had freshly plucked eyebrows. I mainly use that when my brows are wild and free to tame them, or when I'm using on its own.

Makeup Geek (MG) custom palette single shadows & Too Faced Chocolate Gold palette (TF)

  • MG Banana split all over the lid
  • MG So Pale on the brow bone and inner area of the eye (not inner corner)
  • MG Had me at Yellow as the transition shade and for blending out the darker colour
  • TF So Boujee with previous shade to blend outwards and have more dimension
  • MG Mocha outer third of the lid and blended out well
  • TF Gold Dipped as the shimmer shade - Neutral gold
  • The same Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter for inner corner and under the brow bone (just a little bit)

Eyes—Definitely my biggest category, simply because I used a bunch of different eyeshadows from each palette. In reality I only used two palettes so I guess that's not really a lot. I did forget to bring one loose shimmer eyeshadow, which didn't make a big difference for the final look thankfully. Like everything else I forgot, it'll be later in the post.

Lashes. So important for wedding photos and especially important for me since I forgot to put on bottom mascara for the engagement photoshoot. You'd think because of that I'd remember to pack the mascara I bought specifically for the wedding. So much regret there because my other mascara would've done a much nicer job making my bottom lashes look long and black. My eyes are also super watery so it was so hard to get the glue to stick, but thankfully the false lashes cooperated with the lash glue for the most part so they didn't pop off during the ceremony.

These lipsticks actually mean a lot to me. I bought Cosmo on the day that Steven and I officially became boyfriend and girlfriend (though we already knew we were together for a few weeks). Angel was part of my one-year anniversary gift that Steven got me. I love these colours together and Steven always knows when I wear Angel (he seriously loves it) so I figured it'd be perfect to wear on our wedding day. Once the ceremony was over, I did only bring Cosmo with me because my lips were dry at that point, and while Angel isn't your typical frost lipstick, it isn't quite as flattering on dry lips the same way Cosmo is.

For nails I had them done at a salon and picked a light pink shellac polish with some silvery gold sparkle on my ring fingers. As for my toes, I painted those myself with the Zoya nail polish in the colour "Briar" from their Sensual 2019 collection. I'm not a huge fan of my feet due to having the typical "Greek" toes (second toe longer than the big toe), but here they are anyway!

This is a bit of a miscellaneous category for me. They're things I don't typically remember to mention in reviews or looks, but are so important. The perfume is never mentioned since smell-o-vision doesn't exist, but it's important to me since I maybe wear it twice a year on special occasions. My allergies forbid me from using it, so I sprayed it on the inside of my dress a bit before putting it on so it wouldn't linger in the air and make me sneeze or make my eyes water even more.

Zoeva brush set I used the brushes from.

  • BH Cosmetiscs: no names but: large powder brush (translucent powder) and small fan brush for highlight. Small flat but tapered brush - eyeliner tight-lining and in lashes
  • Royal Landnickle Moda Pro pointed blush brush: Bronzer all over my face
  • Zoeva 127 luxe sheer cheek: Blush
  • ABH brush - Linked in the brow section
  • Elizabeth Mott all over shadow brush - Shimmer + to blend out after using finger
  • Zoeva 228 Luxe crease - Blending brush. 
  • Sonya Kashuk pencil brush - Lower lashline
  • Revlon tweezers - (Not pictured) for applying lashes

Most of my brushes are super old so I don't have any links for them. The Zoeva brush set is the only one I can still find online and they've seriously expanded their collection since then so I highly recommend checking them out. I brought a lot more brushes with me. Like A LOT. Of course because I was in such a rush, I didn't fuss around and only used one blending brush. In the end it didn't make a huge difference and it definitely made cleanup easier. The blue Zoeva brush is from a 70's look I did the next weekend for one of my bridesmaid's outdoor rollerskating birthday party. It's the same brush I used, but obviously I wasn't wearing blue eyeshadow for my wedding day.

Eyeshadow swatch, but also a sneaky ring pic.

 These are all of the products I forgot at home and wouldn't have been able to use.

The mascara was definitely my biggest regret. My lower lashes would've looked amazing if I'd brought it with me. They didn't look bad, but this mascara is on another level. The eyeshadow would've been nice, but that Too Faced palette is amazing for the shimmers so I just used my finger and it was just as beautiful. You also can't really notice my eyeshadow in the pictures, or even in the swatch photo above so it wasn't a big loss.

 I was very careful to remove every bit of makeup from my hands before putting on my dress though. As for the primer base, it probably would've made the eyeshadow pop even more, but it didn't make a huge difference since I brought a bit of concealer all over my eye area so at least the veins were cancelled out.

Here are some more photos where you can kind of see my makeup. If you're worried about your makeup for your wedding day, just note that you can't see the makeup in detail since that isn't the focus so me forgetting that eyeshadow didn't make a big difference at all! Most of these are super zoomed in so the quality isn't great, but that's the beauty of photos vs reality! My imperfections were definitely more visible in person.

Mary-Lou Manizer coming through in the super zoomed in pic.

You can see my falsies attempting to pop off, but the brows look good.
Makeup in progress. Check out that contoured cheekbone!

That's it for this post! This may just be the longest blog post I've ever made, so if your'e reading this THANK YOU! It makes me happy that my blog readership has grown, despite my inconsistent posting. I still have a few wedding related blog posts coming, but after that I'll return to my infrequent lifestyle and beauty related posts.

See you soon!

Friday, October 09, 2020

Wedding Skincare Routine ~ Lead up to the wedding
October 09, 20200 Comments

 Hello again!

Welcome to the second post in my wedding series! I recently—finally—got married and I wanted to document everything I did beauty wise (and also planning wise if people are interested) on the day of, and also leading up to it. This post is all about what I've been doing as skincare for the lead up to my wedding. Since it's pretty much the most important time in my life to be serious about skincare and care about how it looks, I thought I'd share my routine.

I have fairly normal to combination skin (sometimes a slightly oily t-zone and a few notorious dry patches around my face). I do have cystic hormonal acne that is on my face for three weeks out of every period cycle and unfortunately this included the week of my wedding. I actually had one huge cystic zit on my forehead and three on my chin. 

We all know there's no possible way to get rid of cystic acne overnight and it requires a lot of hard work (sometimes antibiotics). Unfortunately, I never got onto medication in time so I've been trying to manage it as best as possible without any prescriptions. I didn't care much about it existing as long as it mind if it wasn't super enflamed or noticeable under makeup so the pictures will still look nice, but of course I'd much rather not having it at all.

Nighttime Skincare routine:

Every single night in the few weeks leading up to the wedding I was using the first four products. The order in which I used those four is actually the same way they're laid out. 

The Ordinary's "Buffet" serum has lots of great ingredients and while most of the reviews I saw about this mentioned anti-aging (I even bought it for my mother-in-law a few years back), I did find a few claiming it helped with acne. I'm pretty much 25 now, so while that's young, my skin definitely doesn't look like it did on my past Seventeen-year-old self so the anti-aging benefits are a plus for me. 

The Dermalogica "Barrier Defense Booster" and "Calm Water gel" are a pair made in heaven. The oil isn't too light or too heavy and definitely makes my skin feel more plump and the moisturizer is pretty light on its own, but paired with the oil it's perfect. They are very expensive to me and I probably wouldn't have purchased them for the wedding if I didn't already own them since I have tried more affordable skincare since that's similar enough (not quite as good), but the price tag makes those products more worth it. If I didn't own skincare that had similar results I would've for sure bought these for the wedding.

The Ordinary "Salicylic Acid 2% Solution" was my spot treatment of choice, and it was used pretty much every single night since I started this routine.

The last product in my nighttime skincare routine started being incorporated about a week before the wedding. Because of my skin changing based on what part of my cycle I'm at, my skin became very dry next to my nose, closer to the cheeks. It was to the point where the oil and moisturizer weren't enough and it'd feel dry to the touch. This is a sample of the Skinfix Barrier+ Lipid-Peptide Creme that I got as a free sample from Sephora. I've tried a peptide creme before and LOVED it so when I found this in my sample area I instantly knew that it would solve my problems and boy did it ever! I started applying this on the dry patches next to my nose and all around my eyes, focusing underneath them and the crevice near the inner corner. Within two days the dry patches disappeared, so I kept it up because makeup applies way better when my skin is moisturized.

Cleansing Products:

These are my very basic washing/cleansing products! If you've read my past skincare posts, you'll know I love the Cetaphil Cleanser for Oily Skin and the Foreo Luna Mini has been amazing for my skin. This may seem random to post after my actually skincare routine, but I put this between because I was actually using this every night and every morning leading up to the wedding.

Daytime Routine:

My daytime skincare routine is going to seem boring and that's because it is. I didn't use any unique products from my nighttime skincare routine at all. The only difference is that I was only using The Ordinary's "Buffet" followed by the Dermalogica "Calm Water Gel." Yup, that's it. I told you it'd be boring.

I've actually reviewed several of these products before on this blog so I'll leave a link here for you to look through my skincare reviews. 

This was my face before doing my makeup on the wedding day! You can see all the fun cystic friends that joined me in my nuptials.

Tips and Tricks for better looking skin:

While I never stopped using the skincare routine for even a day, I did sometimes do something different to help out. When my four giant cystic acne spots decided to invade my face, I quickly ripped off a piece of aloe from my plant and started applying it to my skin at night. This worked especially well for the huge eczema flare up I experienced on my right hand (yay allergies).

On the morning of the wedding the acne was still very visible, so I packed a sandwich bag with three ice-cubes and held them on all of my spots the entire way to the wedding venue (a bit over an hour). Ice helps a lot with the swelling of the acne, so while it won't get rid of it, it makes it look much smaller. This helped significantly and it now looks like I just had small little breakouts instead of the massive ones they truly were.

I have allergies all year round and they get really bad between August and November. Right when my wedding was happening. It's to the point where i have a prescription for what's essentially Reactin (same drug, just not brand name) that I can take every single day. I made sure to take it every day leading up to the wedding, as well as on the wedding day to make my eczema less itchy, my nose less runny and my eyes less watery. I also took an ibuprofen the morning of the wedding because that can also help with inflammation, which was great for my eczema and acne.

Here's a picture of me on my wedding day from my Instagram page (go follow me!).

That's all I have for you regarding what I did skincare wise leading up to and on my wedding day! I hope some of it was helpful or at least interesting to read. I'll be posting more wedding-related posts when I have all of the pictures back so you can actually see my makeup, dress, hair tools etc. For now I'll leave you here.

See you soon!

Disclaimer: Affiliate links were used in this post. I barely make any money from them and primarily use Magic Links to make linking easier. Seriously. I've made 20 cents in the last 4+ years of blogging and doing YouTube.

Friday, October 02, 2020

My Wedding Dress: Pictures and my Journey to Finding my Dream Dress
October 02, 20200 Comments


I've you've read previous blog posts about my wedding, you'll know it was a rough ride getting to it with the 2020 pandemic. We rescheduled once, cancelled in order to reschedule the ceremony only, the hotel cancelled on us so we had to reschedule AGAIN (on the same day and similar time at least) to actually make it happen.

Our full wedding & reception of eighty-five turned into a small wedding ceremony of twenty-one. A lot had changed and gone to waste (especially all of the stationary items from save the dates to a wedding sign). In the end, if you're reading this, it all worked out and I'm finally a married woman! One very important thing  about my wedding day that didn't go to waste is my wedding dress, and that's what this post is going to be focused on. Welcome to the first post in my wedding series!

The see-through mesh and lash blended in so well with my skin.

The subtle mesh on the side and button detailing made it even more beautiful.

Here's me in my beautiful wedding dress! This is the Madison Collection (By Richman Group) dress in style #3050. It's available in white or ivory (I think I got Ivory? I never checked) and is described as having an illusion bodice. I love this dress because the fabric on the bottom is heavy, so I feel secure in it, but the top 'illusion bodice' lace looks so beautiful and shows just the right amount of skin. I also love that it has the tank-top styled sleeves and mainly covers my back (an area of my body I'm a bit self conscious about because of bacne scars and I'm a very hairy lady).

Unlike my original dress (yes, I'll explain more soon), this one has a train. I originally didn't want a train because it's annoying to walk in, but I'm an idiot and didn't realize you could pin up the train to make dancing and walking around easier. It also looks so pretty and elongating and the lace detailing on it is absolutely stunning.

I got lucky because the day I went to the boutique with my mother was the same day this dress arrived. We'd gotten there a few hours before closing and they had just received the shipment an hour prior. There wasn't even a price tag on it yet! They knew the MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price) and obviously knew how much they'd have to sell it for, but after hearing my story about not liking my original dress I picked, and our strict budget (thanks to Steven thinking the original price of this dress was absurd) they brought the price down and my mom bought it.

It was quite the journey to get to this dress considering I started out with a different one (in a completely different style) that was less than half the price. My original dress was this Galina wedding dress from David's Bridal. I bought it on sale for just over $500 including taxes. 

Steven and I are extreme budgeters and I wanted to find a dress under $500 because it's one I'll only actually wear once. Of course there aren't many brand new in-person wedding dresses that are good quality and go for this price so I found the one I liked best for the price and thought I loved it. In reality, I was ok with it, but wasn't in love, but it's what I could get for that budget. After a few months of owning it, I realized how much regret I had and started to hate the dress.

Fast forward a few more months of me desperately trying to find ways to make it better (I was literally using apps to draw on alterations) and my mother convinced me to go to a bridal store with her. She was outraged that I wouldn't spend thousands of dollars on a wedding dress and pretty much forced me to pick out a new one that she would pay for. Steven and I would've rather had her give us money to use towards a down payment, but she compromised and said she's get one at around the $1000 mark and give us the rest as a gift. My wedding dress was the first one I tried on at Best for Bride Etobicoke and I was instantly in love. I actually cried upon trying it on before realizing it would be mine.

When I was trying to work with my old dress I looked at detachable trains. The one I came really close to buying is the Jaspe Detachable Overskirt from  Ivory and Stone's website in New Zealand (Yes, they ship to Canada). The lace on it (and colour) looked very close to my original dress and would've made it a thousand times prettier. I emailed them and they were LOVELY and so helpful, sending me all the reference photos I wanted and talking me through all my options. The same weekend I was going to order this, I got my new dress, so I let them know and apologized profusely. Instead of ignoring me or being upset, they were so happy for me getting the dress of my dreams and understood completely. Their customer service is honestly amazing so if you're looking for an overskirt, a cape, or even a dress, please go check them out!

In the end I was able to sell my original dress on Poshmark (highly recommend) and while I lost a few hundred dollars, it went to a great home and I used that money towards alterations on the new dress. If anything, I've learned a serious lesson about rushing into purchases!

As for my shoes, I wore these Nina New York shoes. I'm pretty sure my exact pair have been discontinued, but here are some very similar styles from the brand. This one pair is the closest, despite being taupe instead of gold. If you have wide feet like me, this brand is for you!

Very simple and a fairly neutral gold.
A nice low block heel for maximum comfort!

Here are some unflattering pictures of me trying on other wedding dresses! Some of these dresses are actually from the same collection as mine.

That's it for my wedding dress journey! I hope this was somewhat entertaining and lighthearted. I'm very grateful that my mother bought my dream dress for me. because of Covid, we weren't able to have a reception, which means when we eventually can I'll be wearing the dress again! I'm sure I'll still fit in it considering I didn't diet for the wedding and it wasn't altered to be a tight fit so unless I'm pregnant by the time we can finally celebrate things should be fine.

See you soon!

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Rescheduling Our Wedding due to Covid-19
April 02, 20200 Comments


This has been a very strange and unfortunate time for the world and there's really no other way I can put that into words. As some of you may know, I was supposed to be getting married very soon, but with Covid-19, not only did the Ontario government declare a state of emergency and banned large gatherings, it simply wouldn't be safe. I do get to the point after several paragraphs of me ranting/giving some back story to our decision, so I will put headings in so you can skip the whole rant if you'd like to! I do want you to know if your wedding was also rescheduled/cancelled, or any event for that matter, that it's ok to be sad about it, even though other people may have it harder than you! Don't let others guilt you for feeling down about the situation.

Rant (And backstory)

My fiancé, Steven, has asthma. My mother, some of his parents, and a large percentage of our guests (60+) are considered high risk if they were to catch this awful virus. It all feels very dystopian or apocalyptic, which is stressful as it is, but it has also taken away countless celebrations, people's jobs and most importantly, peoples lives.

Planning a wedding is stressful on it's own and I had just come out of being stressed as everything had fallen into place. The only thing that we had left to purchase before all of this happened was our wedding flowers. We had made the final payments to our venue, had all vendors confirmed, my dress was almost ready to be picked up after being altered, and had all of the RSVP's ready to go with all of the required information. All we had left aside from flowers was having a rehearsal dinner/decoration making session the day before, writing our speeches (which to me is fun) and actually getting married the day of.

I like to browse Reddit fairly frequently, and not even two weeks ago I wasn't worried in the slightest about Covid-19 affecting our wedding. At the time, people were still saying it was blown out of proportion, and that the death rate was lower than the flu, etc. While on Reddit, a post from the wedding planning subreddit caught my eye. Someone had cancelled their wedding, which was two weeks away. I was shocked and clicked on it, learning that several guests had backed out. This was before any shutdowns occurred on this side of the globe.

"Things will cool down by our wedding," I told Steven, completely sure of myself. None of our guests had cancelled and at that point, we hadn't even received one inquiry about the virus. I was home with my puppy for two days at that point because she had just gotten spayed and also had a preventative gastropexy done, and my job allows working from home, so naturally I stayed back to keep an eye on her and her incision. The day after her surgery I received an email from the company I work at, telling people to prepare to work from home. Everyone would have a week to get their things together before not being allowed back at the office for the foreseeable future.  I was already at home so I didn't need to go back, but I was happy because my company cares about its employees, even if the decision seemed unnecessary to me.

A few days later, the whole company was home as the cases escalated too quickly. The questions from guests started pouring in. Even now as I post this, we don't know if weddings in Ontario will be allowed with over 50 guests by the original date. Even if they were, we wouldn't want it to happen anymore and risk anyones health, on top of wasting a bunch of money for only a portion of the invited guests to show up. We learned that the venue would only contact us if they knew for certain that they could not operate on the day, but it would be last minute.

When we rescheduled - What is happening now

I couldn't go on every day, not knowing what was happening, so I emailed the venue, requesting to reschedule.

Thankfully for us, it all worked out. A summer date was available and the only downside is that it's a Friday rather than a Saturday. We get to keep our original room that I fell in love with, same start time, and all of our vendors are available and we're happy to reschedule. We're expecting less people to be able to attend now, but that doesn't matter to us. What matters is that most will be there, and our guests will be much safer at that point (we hope) than they would be attending a wedding right now.

If things improve, we should still have a great wedding day because we'll be marrying each other, and it helps that there's less chance for rain as well. We can order our flowers in time and now have months to finalize our speeches, practice dancing, improve our speech and tan naturally (with sunscreen of course).

I'm not really sure what I'm hoping to get out there with this post other than to say how grateful I am that we got so lucky, and are so lucky during this crisis. If you're having a wedding soon and are worried, please reach out to your vendors and see if you can reschedule. Living with the stress of not knowing what's happening is awful and I promise you that you'll feel much better about it! Of course I'm still worried because this thing is only getting more and more serious, so there's a chance that the new date will also be rescheduled or cancelled altogether, but if it gets to that point, the wedding really isn't a priority.

Stay inside unless you have to go to work, or need to get food. If everyone who is able to do this or work from home cooperates, this thing will improve and we'll have a better chance at finding a cure or at least better manage it. And for the love of all things holy, don't go out if you're feeling ill and especially not if you have tested positive, or have the symptoms of Covid-19.

Don't believe everything you read on the internet, but instead use reputable sources, such as https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 . They have a mythbusters section that includes a lot of the misinformation that's been spread around, so be smart and think critically!

I hope all of you reading this are doing ok and I'm SO sorry if you're not. I can't personally help, but there are tons of resources out there for you. Don't be afraid to reach out to your loved ones (safely, on the phone or computer). If we all work together, we can get through this much quicker.

I'm going to try and focus on lifestyle and beauty for the next little while as a distraction. On a random note, if you enjoy reading fantasy, check out my newest story that I've been updating weekly on Wattpad, Apollo's Prophecy :)

See you soon!

Monday, March 30, 2020

Winter Empties Mini Reviews - Would I Repurchase?
March 30, 20200 Comments

I thought I'd do a beauty/lifestyle related post rather than talking about wedding things, even though I have an update post surrounding that, which will likely be up next or in two posts! Today I wanted to share my empties from the past few months. There aren't many as I've rarely been wearing makeup and even more rarely buying new things. I want most of my content to be on this blog and Instagram since during this time I won't have easy access to my camera (self-isolation and all that) and this is much more manageable for me.

My first category is makeup + tools

The Beauty Blender makeup sponge is my favourite sponge that I've used so far. I've tried sponges from Quo, Real Techniques, and a few other affordable ones and they just don't compare to the Beauty Blender in my opinion. The BeautyBlender Pro is my favourite and I've used this one for a bit more than two years (I know, that's crazy!) I clean mine really well and have never had a problem with them growing any mold. Even when I used the pink original ones, I made sure to check and would normally keep one for an entire year and cut it open when throwing it out. Never any mold, but the sponge itself would start to disintegrate and leave little pieces all over my face.

The L'Oreal Bambi mascara was really nice for an everyday mascara when not wearing a full face. It definitely gave a doe eye effect and was really good at separating my lashes. I received that one for free to test out, which was also the case for the Revlon brow pencil. I really like the Revlon pencils and so far it's my favourite from the drugstore. This was the thin pencil one (I'm not a fan of their chubbier one), but I wasn't a fan of the powder portion that  is easy to miss. That's a bit too messy for me. The spooley works, but nothing compares to my ABH eyebrow brush spooley.

Now for the lips!

 I go through lip-balms quite quickly and rarely lose them anymore. Out of these three there's only one that I would re-purchase and that's the Cuter Cuticles lip balm. I have two more of these in different flavours. This was the watermelon flavour, which wasn't my favourite in terms of scent since it's a natural watermelon scent instead of the fake candy scent that I love. The lip balm itself is amazing and I bought it at the 2019 Indie Expo. I'm on the vanilla one now!

The Laneige sleeping mask is nice, but I don't understand all of the hype around it. I personally don't think the price tag is worth it at all, and much prefer my Catrice Shea Butter lip treatment, at a fraction of the price with MUCh nicer packaging. It just works way better. The scent is nice and I might consider purchasing if it was in the $5 range, but it's not so I wouldn't recommend this one.

The Softlips lipbalm is really old, but I decided to finish it up. It's nice and smells really good and at one point was a favourite, but it doesn't compare to my Cuter Cuticles and especially not to my favourite lip balm of all time from Surya Brasil. Natural lip balms work way better for me, which isn't a big shocker.

Face and body moisturizers

These were all samples, which makes it difficult to give a proper review. Out of these three, the Caudalie (which I got as a Sephora Birthday Gift a few years back) is my favourite. It was great for the daytime and I kept it in my bag for days that I forgot to moisturize, or needed extra hydration.

The North American Hemp Co face cream was good for night time, but the sample was too small for me to be able to tell if it actually helped much with lines. As a regular moisturizer it's nice, but I don't love it as much as my The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors (which is super affordable too). I got this one for free in an old Blogger Box that I received for consideration.

The Renewed Hope moisturizer was all right, but nothing special. It was super small so I think I only got a handful of uses out of it, only using it on trips where I brought my travel skincare bag. It was so small that I can't recommend or not recommend it.

I've purchased and have been sent so many moisturizers these past few years, but my favourite has always been Cetaphil. I know there are mixed opinions on the brand. Some people absolutely love and swear by it and I fall into that category as it's great for my sensitive skin, doesn't contain added fragrance and their face care products have helped majorly with my acne issues. Some people hate it because of their parent brand (not cruelty free I'm pretty sure), the higher price tag and it doesn't seem to work the same for them. I love it and will always recommend it, but like with everything else, do your own research!

The North American Hemp Co. body lotion is the same size as the face cream sample I reviewed above. I maybe got two uses out of this so it definitely wasn't enough for me to give a review. It didn't irritate my skin, likely because it doesn't have added fragrance. I can't tell you much else so I'll end it on that note.

Face and body wash!

I think I've reviewed this on this blog (and if not, I have a review on my Instagram page), but this is a huge favourite for both myself and especially my Fiancé Steven. I love this for when my skin is extra greasy, sometimes after a bigger workout or on a heavy makeup day (which are rare). It's a bit too drying for every day use, but Steven loves it because he believes drying your skin out is better for acne, despite my years of begging him to moisturize (he absolutely refuses).  This smells nice, foams up a lot (so a little goes a long way) and I repurchased one to put in Steven's stocking before this one ran out. We're staying at his parent's house as during this self-isolation period since I've been working from home (a week or two before it even started) and Steven ended up taking vacation days before finally being given a laptop to work from home as well. We live in a condo building, so it isn't as safe considering we have to leave to walk the dogs a few times a day, and this is the only face wash we brought since it's less bulky. I've been putting on more moisturizer to combat it, but it's been nice because my skin has been a huge break-out filled mess from all the stress of re-scheduling our wedding and being on my period, etc. This is also affordable so we highly recommend it!

I got this body wash for free either from Influenster or from Topbox a long time ago. I used to be bad about using body wash and would just use whatever bar soap was nearby, but this winter I was good about it and finally went through this big boy. Steven uses his own body washes so this large one took me a while to go through myself. I LOVE how this one smells and it's not only fairly affordable but it's very natural, cruelty free and vegan! If we hadn't bought a costco-sized package of a different body wash months ago (on sale) I would've likely purchased a new one of this, or one of their other scents. It'll probably be another year or so before I go through all of the bodywash I currently own, but when I do I'll be sure to look out for this. I highly highly recommend it and I'm curious about their other products!


One of the products I've most been sent to review has been Shampoos and Conditioners. This is great for me because I don't use regular drug-store shampoos on my hair since it's been very damaged in the past, and it's naturally curly. I also only wash my hair once a week to keep it as healthy as possible, so I need a good shampoo to do its job. I was originally sent a set of Saryna Key haircare products a few years back, but I loved them so much that I repurchased the Shampoo, which I'm already halfway through as I've exclusively used it for the rest of the winter since finishing this one up. This is hands down my all-time favourite shampoo and likely the one I'll use on my wedding day because I know it'll make my hair look and feel its best. There are many others I love, and my hair is the type where it needs to switch products every once in a while so for self-isolation I brought a different set to give my hair a break from this one, but once the wedding is near I'll definitely switch back to this one a week or two before so my hair is ready to look its best! This is very natural and is great for damaged hair and even though it's not drug-store priced, it's 100% worth it. I highly recommend and will continue to repurchase!


Ok this is a bit of a weird category, but recently I've seen a lot of people talking about these types of products again. The Secret gel antiperspirants are my favourites for how it feels and smells. They don't make the underarms of my clothes go all weird and they feel fresh (with many different available scents. Whenever they're on sale I'll buy them because I'm a super sweaty girl.

The Degree motion sense aerosol antiperspirant was really good, but I almost choked every time I sprayed it. It worked really really well, but I know aerosols are bad for the environment, and getting it in my lungs at a time like this isn't the best idea so I likely won't repurchase. I hope they can make a stick or gel version of this that works the same way because I'd definitely purchase it myself for workout days. I'm currently using a completely different brand I've never tried before so we'll see how that one goes.

I'm excessively sweaty so I NEED an antiperspirant to keep my clothes from not being completely drenched, so simply using a natural-deodorant isn't an option for me unfortunately. However, do your research into it. Some people say they're deadly and others say they're completely safe. Look into actual scientific data so you can make the best decision for you!

That's all for this empties review / would I (re)purchase. I hope you enjoyed and will stick around to see my future posts!

See you soon!