2021 - Pretty In Bronze

Friday, June 18, 2021

My IUD Experience - 1.5 Months Post-Insertion
June 18, 20210 Comments

On April 22nd, 2021 I had my first ever IUD insertion. This was a big deal for me since I've been on the birth control pill since I was fifteen years old, back in late 2010.  I'll give you a backstory, which will go into the reasons why I opted to get an IUD and go off the pill.

Public Domain image: By Wikipedia user User: Hic et nunc

My birth control pill backstory

I didn't go on the pill because I was sexually active or needed to help calm period pains, but because I had really bad back acne AKA bacne. It was all over my back and shoulders and it was big and painful and nothing else worked. My mom didn't want me going on the pill because she thought that would make me sexually active, even though I knew I was too young (in my opinion) and no boy or girl that I would've found cute would've wanted to date me at the time. Once I convinced my mother that I wouldn't be making her a grandmother before the age of fifty, I filled the prescription for Alesse and maybe missed two pills for the next five years.

Birth control magically cleared my acne up within six months. I did get a normal breakout on my face from time to time, but my back was clear, aside from all of the excess body hair I have. But I still looked cuter without the giant pimples all over the place. For years I took the pill within minutes of my nine o'clock PM timer, and continued doing so into University where I did become sexually active. I never experienced side effects (that I knew of at the time) and my period was super regular and fairly light. I didn't even have cramps.

Fast forward several years and I was graduated from university and working in my first full time position that gave me benefits so I no longer had to pay out of pocket for my birth control pills. I noticed that I had started breaking out on my face more frequently and after doing some online research, I learned that the areas of the breakouts were associated with hormones. I went back to the doctor and they recommended a stronger pill, so for the first time ever, I changed brands to Tricera-lo. It seemed to work well for a few months, but when I started experiencing cramping and my libido took more of a hit than it had in my second year of uni, I became concerned. Fast forward a few years with the problem persisting, and several blood tests later, and I was on a waitlist for a specialist that took an entire year to get an appointment with.

Why I stopped birth control pills

I'd always assumed that if a medication was going to cause side-effects, that it would do it from the beginning. I never thought that birth control that I'd been taking for almost six years would suddenly affect my libido and energy levels. I only learned this a few months ago when I finally met with an ObGyn who specialist in sex drive. He took an interest in me quickly because I'm only twenty-five years old and the first thing he said to me was: "You're on birth control pills, right?" Fifteen minutes later he prescribed me an IUD and faxed me a blood test to check pretty much everything that can possibly be checked with a blood test, and had my insertion appointment booked.

IUD Insertion and reaction

I was told to take two pain killers about an hour prior to the IUD insertion, which I did (except I only took one ibuprofen since it was 400mg). I had my husband drive to my appointment since that was also a recommendation as some women can become dizzy or feel sick. I was a bit nervous because I'd seen so many videos of people saying it was terrible, or from those who reacted very poorly. I figured it would be worse than getting a pap smear, which isn't the worst thing, but it does cause discomfort for me as my cervix is tilted, which means it causes some trouble to get in there properly.

I checked in, removed my pants and underwear, and awkwardly waited below the medical exam paper for my doctor to show up. I was a little weirded out because not only is my ObGyn a man, he's also quite old and resembles Danny Devito under the mask. I ended up being super impressed at how quick and painless the insertion was. The doc knows what he's doing and explained to me that a pap smear or IUD insertion should never hurt or be very uncomfortable, which was shocking to me after hearing the majority of people online and in real life saying it was the worst pain they'd experienced. I felt no pain and it was at least three times less uncomfortable than the pap smears I'd gotten at my family doctors office.

After insertion I went over my blood work with the doctor and learned I'm extremely deficient in vitamin D and Iron, so we created a plan for that, but the doc explained that my libido should be back within three months and I would likely start noticing its return through my dreams. Apparently that's the most common reaction to a dormant libido waking up from a long slumber.

I asked the doc about what I could and couldn't do and he said that after a few days I should be fine to resume sexual activity, but I could pretty much do everything as normal right away except for exercising if I did end up cramping as it isn't the normal period cramping.

I did end up cramping on the drive back home, so I was grateful that my husband took a half-day to go with me. It got worse and I ended up taking a two hour nap in a position that didn't make everything hurt.  I only waited two days to resume sexual activity, but should've probably waited a few more as I did end up cramping all over again after the deed was done, but it wasn't nearly as bad. I still get a mild pain on the left side (near my hipbone) after sex, but it's been less and less each time.

Up until May 10th I was still spotting.  The week before the 10th I suddenly started cramping like I would prior to my period starting. Of course on the morning of May 10th my period started, lasting ten full days. It wasn't ideal and I was worried that it'd stick around forever, but once it ended, I was no longer spotting and could start wearing my cuter underwear again without fear of ruining them. According to the doc and most resources online, it can take up to three months to stop spotting, six months in very rare cases. Thankfully mine was less than a month, including the slightly early period. HOWEVER, I did end up being one of the 10% of individuals who experience prolonged periods after IUD insertion. Apparently this should stop after three months, but I'm on day 16 of my second period post-insertion and I'm getting a little annoyed at it. I will update after three months have gone by.

Some side-effects I've experienced from going off the pill, not necessarily from the IUD, include:
  • A few acne spots on my back, along with the recurring pimples on my chin, but that seems to have calmed down.
  • Body odour. This may sound normal, but I'm one of the rare humans that don't produce B.O. I'm talking hours of rollerskating with super sweaty feet and if you were to smell my wet socks, you wouldn't smell anything other than the smell of detergent and my shoes. I'm not even exaggerating, it's a real thing. A few weeks after going off of the pill, I started having smelly underarms, but thankfully that went away after my first period was over and hasn't returned since.
  • Terribly period cramps before and during my first period, including extreme (for me) bloating. I did a blog post where I tried on crop tops I ordered and the difference from one day to the next is very noticeable. Thankfully, that's also gone away.
  • Early first period. I don't know if this is from the IUD, from going off the pill or from getting my first vaccine only one week after insertion (it's known to affect the menstrual cycle), but my period was over one week early, and painful as per my previous point.

At the time of writing this on June 16th, I'm still on my second period on day sixteen, as mentioned before. It was very light every day and I had minimal cramping and bloating, which makes me really happy. Of course I'm annoyed that I'm one of the unlucky 20%, but I'm holding out hope that once three months go by, I'll go back to a regular length period, or even better, no period at all. I'm still less than two-months out from the insertion so things might still change, but I'm probably going to do an update post at some point, perhaps three or six months, to let you know if anything else has changed.

See you soon!

Friday, June 04, 2021

How my Six-Week Dark Spot Routine Performed
June 04, 20210 Comments
 Hello and welcome back!

I can't believe it's already been six weeks, but here we are. My skincare routine for fading dark spots post explained that I wanted to was target my dark spots and acne scars and make them fade as much as possible by sticking to the routine for an entire six-week period. This is the most consistent I've ever been with a skincare routine in terms of doing it every single day in the morning and at night. I wasn't even this good for my wedding, which is a little confusing for me, but I also didn't have the dark spots back then.

I was really good about following the routine every single day, except for May 4th where I missed both routines, but still applied sunscreen. There were other speed-bumps in the way, such as stopping birth control and getting an IUD, which I will write about in the near future, so my hormones were, and still are, on a rollercoaster ride. My chin area has been getting a new pimple friend every few days, which means new dark spots are being left behind, however, those small spots seem to be fading much quicker and I really think it's thanks to some of these products. I do have a big pimple on my chin, which is pretty visible in the after photos. If you pay attention to the original dark spots, you'll clearly see how much lighter they've gotten, though not completely gone, which I'm really hoping will change in the upcoming months.

I do feel like this routine made a big difference and will show you comparison pictures. In the six-week photos, my face is a bit red from just having gotten out of the shower, so keep that in mind. However, when I'm not freshly out of the shower or back from a workout, the redness on my face has pretty much stayed the same as it was at the start of this routine.

I feel like the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% made the biggest difference for fading the dark spots and will continue using it in conjunction with the Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer and whatever moisturizers I have when I need something more. I'll keep using the Divine Essence Rosehip Oil at night since it is supposed to be good for irritation and eczema-prone skin. Unfortunately, I don't think the Azelaic Acid suspension 10% helped as much, especially when it came to my nose eczema spot, which appears to have stayed the exact same, even looking in the mirror now when my face is completely dry. I will probably continue using it every few days until it runs out, but I don't think I'll be repurchasing, at least not for a while.

I'll sign off now and leave you with the comparison pictures so you can see the results for yourself. Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you soon!

April 18th: Full face

May 29th: Full face

April 18th: Chin (right side)

May 29th: Chin (right side)

April 18: Chin (left side)

April 18th: Nose
May 29th: Chin (left side)

May 29th: Nose
May 29th: Forehead
April 18th: Forehe

Friday, May 21, 2021

My Simple 'Zoom' Makeup
May 21, 20210 Comments

Makeup isn't something I was worried about for the longest time when the pandemic first hit. I think I went an entire quarter without even putting so much as mascara or brow gel on. The company I work for made it a point to minimize meetings in order to avoid "zoom fatigue" so I was rarely seeing others online, so it never crossed my mind that I might want to look presentable during the work day. By presentable I don't necessarily mean makeup, but more so not having a really messy birds nest on the top of my head with PJ's that I'd been wearing for a week straight.

Several months into the pandemic, the realization hit that we'd be working like this for a long time, so everyone slowly started creating new routines and looking like humans on video calls, with the number of video meetings going up. One year in now, I have a really quick and easy routine that works well with the low quality webcam so I can look really good on camera without having to put much effort in. Some of the links in this post will be affiliate links.

The webcam in general blurs my skin because it is such low quality (you'd think for the price of a MacBook that they'd be great), but on Zoom specifically, I have the beauty feature enabled, which smooths everything out a little bit. Those features make my brows look a lot lighter, as well as my eyelashes and lips, so that's where I focus. This is the makeup I've been doing whenever I have slightly more important meetings, without the potato quality camera from my work computer:

The first picture shows what I look like with the lighting I utilize with zoom calls. The second picture is with my phone flash, which I never use at work, but does show the concealer marks more clearly.

Brows are my priority. I'll mainly opt for my Essence Make me Brow Gel since my brows are fairly decent on their own and the fibres to make them look a little bit fuller. If it's something very important, I'll first go in with my Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade to make me look extra put together. I use the smallest amount of product, but it makes all the difference.

Concealer is the next thing I go for because my under eye area will forever be darker and I also like to spot-conceal my darkest acne scars (which I'm in the process of trying to fade as much as possible, check out my last skincare routine post for more info). Since the webcam helps with some blurring, I don't use my full coverage concealers and instead opt for my Revlon Photoready Candid Antioxidant concealers, mixing colours 015 and 020, which are both warmer (yellow) toned. This is my new favourite drugstore concealer and it's super easy to blend with my fingers or a brush, which is a big deal because getting my beauty blender wet and having to wash it is just too much work.

Mascara is my third priority, which may seem weird, but for that I'll use whatever mascara is open at the moment. I ran out of my last lash paradise (my favourite) and just started using the Almay Liquid Lash Extender mascara, which I'm not sure if I love it or hate it just yet. I do like my Covergirl Clump Crusher mascara for my bottom lashes since it doesn't smudge, the wand is small enough to not make a mess and it's easy to remove.

Finally, lips. I avoid lip products as much as possible because if we go out after work for something, I'll absolutely destroy my mask. I'm also no longer used to the feeling of a lipstick or lipgloss on my lips, so when I pulled out my NYX Lip Lingerie in “Push-Up”, I was really happy to see how good it looks on camera and how thin it feels. I often times forget I have it on at all and once it's been on for a while, it doesn't transfer to my mask. I'm honestly surprised liquid lipsticks haven't made a comeback because of the pandemic. This is definitely my favourite formula for what I own because it is so light on the lips and it's easy to take off when you want to.

Those are all of the products I focus on for meetings. Once in a while if I have a big meeting, like interviewing candidates or presenting to important stakeholders high up in the company, I'll do a few extra steps, so I'll quickly list those below.

In real life the makeup won't look heavy since I'm going for sheer options and no foundation. Of course doing my hair look nice, either having it straight and brushed, or reviving my natural curls with some water and conditioning products, makes a huge difference and for my more casual meetings, that's all I'll really do.

Let me know if you have any recommendations for 'Zoom Makeup' that are easy to put on and remove. I'm really liking this little routine right now and can see me sticking to it even once I'm back in the office since my skin has been a bit nicer without foundation, but we'll see what happens once things start going back to normal.

I'll be back next week with my review and results of my six-week skincare routine for trying to fade my spots!

Friday, May 14, 2021

Forever 21 Canada Crop Top Haul + Try On
May 14, 20210 Comments

If you're in Canada and reading this, I'm sure you know that Forever 21 shut down all of their physical stores few years back and no longer shipped to Canada either, which was very sad for many people including myself. I loved buying undershirts from there, but I also used to buy a lot of tops and dresses in my university years.

A few months ago I got an email from Forever 21 letting me know that they had a new website specifically for Canadians! The re-opening sale was really good, but everything was sold out in my size because everyone was so excited that they were back. I decided to wait, especially because my entertainment budget is super strict and not very large, so I could get a decent amount of clothing that I'd been needing. Fast forward to April and I found myself scrolling around on Dynamite's website (my favourite clothing brand) after some targeted Instagram ads got the better of me. Everything was so cute, but after years of pretty much exclusively buying clothes second-hand, I couldn't stomach the price. A lightbulb then went off in my head and I remembered that Forever 21 was back so I switched to their website and was pleasantly surprised to see that they were not only having a sale, but I'd get an additional 10% off by signing up with my cell number (I haven't received any texts since the promotion code).

I needed shirts, specifically crop tops that work well with high waisted pants. I don't have many crop tops, probably three that I've collected during the last decade, so I figured it'd be a good idea to buy a bunch in my colour scheme (pastels, white, black and grey) since that's pretty much all I wear. Here's everything I bought! (I took these photos a few days apart, but due to my beloved monthly visitor, I was very bloated for the indoor photos).

I went back and forth with this one because it was difficult to settle on the colour. Originally I wanted multiple, but ultimately decided to just pick the colour Rose, in a size Small, since this is the shortest crop top of the bunch (and with a scoop neckline), which means I won't wear it nearly as much as all of the other tops I ordered. I can see myself wearing this when I want to get my tan on, but I'm not wearing a bathing suit. I don't think I'd wear this with shorts since I don't own many that are high-waisted, but I can see myself pairing this with a high-waisted skirt from time to time. It's also a great option for wearing around the house since I don't like to wear my pajamas throughout the day. This is available in a few other colours, including grey, white and a weird shade of green.

I purchased this in White and Black. I've only ever owned one bralette and I don't even have it with me in my temporary living situation, but it's also a shade of pink that I don't really love and won't work as a shirt on its own. I got both of these in an XS/S (Extra Small / Small) because I'm pretty flat and the only other size was the Medium/Large so it was really my only option anyway. These are pretty stretchy, but also thick and feel higher quality, so I can wear the black one on its own without it being super obvious that I'm not wearing a bra underneath, however, the white one is a lot more obvious. The back has lace detailing, as well as along the top boarder, so this will look really cute under shirts or dresses that show those areas off. I'm very impressed with this top, so I'm now tempted to pick up the last colour available, pink (the same Rose colour as one of the shirts mentioned later in this post) if I end up making another order in the future. Hopefully it's still available if I do!

Cropped Tank Top (Semi-cropped hem)

I got this one in the colour Heather Grey in a size Small. I liked the look of this because of the high neck cut and the deeper cut in the armpit area since I'm pretty sweaty (not stinky though, thankfully) while it's more of a ribbed material (think early 200's racer-back tank tops). There's also some subtle detailing on the shirt that is pretty flattering. The material is also thicker than some of the other crop tops I picked, which is ideal since I can also wear this without a bra sometimes, specifically when I go swimming once my bathing suit is wet so I don't have to bring a bra with me and make changing even more of a hassle. Since this one is thicker, I do prefer it with sweats or pants that aren't tight the way leggings are. It's also a bit long for the high waisted leggings to look good with it since my ribcage and hip bones are barely two inches apart. Other available colours in this style include pink, black and white.

Cropped Tank Top (Cropped hem)

Last, but not least, I picked up two of these in size Small, one being the colour Sage and the other being Lilac. The Forever 21 Canada website unfortunately doesn't give unique names to their styles, so I've linked directly to them to make it easier. The material of these is definitely thinner, but I could tell from the photos online and it's what I wanted. I'll 100% have to wear a bra with these, but because they're thin they'll be pretty comfortable when it's hot out, even though they're on the longer side of being crop tops. I love pastel colours and have been having an obsession with pastel purples lately so I knew I had to pick this one up, but I also realized that while I have a lot of green in my wardrobe, I only had one other light green shirt so I figured I'd get the Sage colour as well since the pink option was too light and resembled the white option, and I'd already picked up the black bralette so that's more than enough since I stick to lighter colours in the summer.

All in all I'm impressed with the shirts I ordered and I'm definitely ok with the price they came out to (with taxes and shipping I paid $60 CAD). I will say that there's not nearly as large of a selection on the Canadian website, and from what I saw, the options available in the main section of the site aren't available in the plus-sized section of the website and vice versa, so you will have to specifically shop in the section according to your size. While I definitely prefer shopping for clothes second-hand, especially because I'm not really good with fashion and hate spending money on clothes, this seems to be the most affordable option while I'm not able to safely go into physical stores. I'm just making it a point to buy pretty basic options that I can wear for years on end, like I do with all of my clothes.

Have you ordered from the new Forever 21 Canada website? Let me know your thoughts and if there's something I should consider getting as a tall flat-chested girl with a large behind.

I'll see you soon with a new post!

Friday, May 07, 2021

Fairywill Water Flosser and Electric Toothbrush Review
May 07, 20210 Comments

Welcome back to a new review! This is, in my opinion, an exciting review because I've gone years with my dentist begging me to buy both of these items, but I recently (finally) in early March purchased an electric toothbrush and water flosser. I've always been hesitant because they're normally so expensive, especially if you want a cute one, which of course I did so I kept pushing it off for years.

Due to the pandemic, I haven't seen my dentist in over one year (closer to one year and a half). This is very bad because I'm the patient that always has at least one cavity, despite visiting every six months. For some reason my teeth don't hold the fillings well so they always break and expose my teeth to cavities. I've been worried since it's been so long, so I finally started researching what the best electric toothbrushes are on the market, while still hoping for a cute pink one, and discovered Fairywill.

Originally I discovered their pink toothbrushes and was very close to buying them after reading the amazing reviews, but when I saw the water flosser set, I knew I had to get it. I have permanent retainers, which makes flossing almost impossible (even the dentist has a hard time), which is why he's always recommended me to buy one of these. I immediately ordered the Eight piece set after confirming it had the features of the super expensive tooth brushes and it arrived within two days, despite not having Amazon Prime.

I'll start with the toothbrush itself since that was the most important part of my purchase. The toothbrush included in this set is the D7 Series Electric Toothbrush. Fairywill has a chart that compares the different toothbrush models on the product page, and this one appears to be the runner up to the strongest model, their Pro Series. 

Main Toothbrush Features
  • Five brushing modes
  • Sonic cleaning
  • Automatic timer 
  • Waterproof
  • Great battery life
  • Low battery reminder
  • USB charging with auto shut-off
  • Four brush heads included
  • Brushes have blue replacement bristles 
  • Brush head cover with ventilation

The five brushing modes include: 
White: The strongest, consistent pulse brushing mode. This is what I use every time I brush.
Clean: Not as strong, consistent pulse every day mode, more suitable for those with sensitive gums.
Polish: ?
Massage: Inconsistent pulse brushing mode meant to help massage the gums. I have used this a few times when my gums were feeling sensitive due to the water flosser.

Charge: Low battery warning will light up once the brush is running out of battery life. I used this brush every day, three times a day, for nearly a month and a half before having to charge it (after the initial charge when I first received it).

I really love this toothbrush. It works really well, it's easy to use and clean and it's really pretty to look at. It's surprisingly light weight, which makes it great for travelling. My teeth felt much cleaner after the first use and when I tried using my old manual toothbrush for my mid-day brush (yes, I brush my teeth after every meal) I was unimpressed and brushed them again with this toothbrush. This has the same technology as the toothbrushes you'd pay $200 for, all while being really cute and affordable, with the ability to purchase replacement brush heads in bulk when needed. It's water proof, making it easy to clean, and it charges very quickly without needing a bulky charging station. It's also nice that I can't mix this up with my husbands boring white, bulky electric toothbrush. I love the rose gold ring around the power button too. I'm sure enough my husband will decide to upgrade, at which point I'll give him this one and will purchase the pink version of this same brush (I'll take the brush head from this one to place on my future new one, of course).

Now onto the Water Flosser. I've never used one of these before, with the closest thing being the water hose used at the dentist. I was pretty scared at first since it'd been over a year since going to the dentist, and quite honestly, since I attempted flossing. I knew my gums were going to hate me, so I was grateful to see the different settings.

Main Water Flosser Features
  • Three floss modes
  • Waterproof
  • Also a great battery life
  • USB charging as well!
  • Four water nozzle heads included

The three flossing modes include:
Clean: This is the strongest mode and I highly recommend not starting with this one.
Soft: This is the softest mode and what I use each time and recommend starting with.
Massage: I've used this a few times. It appears to be a mix between the first two settings, so it's good for transitioning to the Clean mode after getting used to Soft.

This thing is very effective at removing anything from your gums or around a permanent retainer. I was always sceptical as to how a water flosser would do that, but this thing is so much stronger than I thought it would be. As I mentioned above, I recommend starting with the Soft mode unless you're already a really good and consistent flosser. Most people I know definitely aren't. The Soft mode is still pretty strong made my and my husbands gums bleed the first time we tried it. My husband also has permanent retainers, so I'm not surprised about that. I use this every few days and my gums have definitely gotten stronger over the last month and a bit. My husband has upgraded to using the massage mode, which is basically the in-between setting. Even if my gums become super strong, I don't see myself needing to use the Clean mode, unless I get something really stuck in my gums, like popcorn. I do highly recommend this as well.

The only negative I've seen so far with the flosser is that you have to properly air it out. While the instructions say you don't have to unless you're going long periods of time without using it, we noticed that it was getting gross so we now open the drain tab at the back and open up the components so it can 100% dry (including turning it on briefly without water in the tank to clear out the hose). Once we started doing that, we haven't had any issues. 

If you're on the market for a new electric toothbrush, a water flosser, or both, I highly recommend this set and each separate individual component of it. You can buy the toothbrush on its own, as well as the water flosser, so it's very customizable. This particular set comes in white as well, but the toothbrush on its own comes in pink. Fairywill has lots of dental products in their Amazon store, so check them out because they all have amazing ratings and are very affordable compared to what you can get in stores.

I hope you've enjoyed this random review. Let me know if you end up trying these or any other products from Fairywill.

Sneaky self-promo: If you like Fantasy and even Romance novels, my newest novel is available for pre-order, available on May 9th. Check it out here!

See you soon!

Friday, April 30, 2021

Empties from the last year
April 30, 20210 Comments

Welcome back to the sister post to "Products I'm Throwing Out". This is the one for products I've actually run out of over the last little while, which makes me feel a lot less guilty. I'll be doing the same thing where I'll give each product a mini review and sometimes a mini back story if there's anything interesting I have to share. As always, most links are affiliate (I don't know why I bother, I've made like 20 cents over the last five years) but I'm sure some of these also aren't available anymore.

Cetaphil: Oily Skin Cleanser - I swear I mention this cleanser is every other blog post,  so this should not come as a surprise to anyone. I've been using this stuff since I was fourteen when I had the worst bacne (which thankfully improved with a combination of this cleanser and hormonal birth control). I also have eczema, so this being gentle is great for that. It's not cruelty free (at least not yet) nor is it Vegan, but it's really the only thing that works well for me that won't break the bank. I've used it for over a decade, so I'll likely continue using it unless something better pops up that ticks all of the same boxes for me.

Batiste: Original Dry Shampoo - I go through several of these each year, even during this pandemic. I love this stuff and I've tried many different dry shampoos on there. I do feel guilty since it is an aerosol product and it's terrible for the environment, but this works a lot better for me than the powder dry shampoos, and it's also SO cheap. I'm talking two 400l bottles for $12 CAD at Costco. I really love Costco. I hope that they'll one day they'll come out with a non-aerosol version that works just as well, but at least the brand itself doesn't test on animals and this particular product (and I'm assuming most others) are also vegan friendly!

Moroccan Oil: Moisture Repair Shampoo and Conditioner: I'm cheating a little bit here because I'm only actually out of the Shampoo, but the Conditioner is almost done and will be empty in a few weeks. You read that right, I use up my shampoo faster than my conditioners. I wash my hair once a week and like rotate through my hair products about once a month or every four to five washes. I got this almost three years ago at an event hosted by the brand and it's definitely one of my top favourites. It's very moisturizing and it makes my hair look the best when I leave it natural and curly. This helps my curls look way more defined and less frizzy, so if you have curly hair, I highly recommend. I won't be repurchasing right now since I still have a lot of other products to go through, but if I ever decide that I want to wear my hair natural more often, this is what I'm going for first.

Degree: Motionsense DrySpray Workout SeriesAntiperspirant - I got this from one of the product testing in exchange for genuine reviews companies over a year ago while still living in the condo. This claims o be a 48h antiperspirant, but every one I've tried from any brand that claims the same hasn't worked for me, including this one. I sweat excessively under my right arm and nothing can tame it except for the liquid that fully stops the area from sweating (I believe it blocks it). Antiperspirant, however, does help reduce the amount of it and this one was no exception. My reason for not repurchasing is that it's an aerosol. Not only does it feel like I'm in a room where a poisonous gas was just released when I use it, I find that it wastes a lot of product if you aren't a pro at aiming for your underarms. It's also only 107g, which means if it's your primary antiperspirant, you're going through it quickly and it's really bad for the environment, like I mentioned with my favourite dry shampoo, which has almost four times more product in it for only slightly bigger packaging. I say skip this one and stick to a non-aerosol one!

The Ordinary: Salicylic Acid 2%  - Unfortunately I haven't been able to get this in Canada for a few years now. I was always quoted that they were reformulating, but it seems like the product wasn't allowed to be sold here in its current state (at least without a prescription), which is strange because I can easily buy 2% salicylic acid from the drugstore from many brands. This one was the 30ml version (larger than the original) so it did last a few years, but it's finally come to an end so I purchased a new acne spot treatment a few months back, which I mention in my current skincare blog post. If this is available where you live, it's definitely worth picking up!

Wet n Wild:Under The Sheets Makeup Remover Towelettes - I've had these for many years and only just used up the last wipe, but I don't remember how I got it. I'm pretty sure it was sent to me at some point, but truly don't remember. These do remove makeup well, specifically stubborn makeup, but I found that my skin is a little bit too sensitive for them so I normally ended up cutting each sheet in half and using them to remove swatches from my arms, especially if they were liquid swatches that don't come off very easily. I wouldn't purchase these, especially now that I'm aware of how bad they are for the environment and stick primarily to my Makeup Eraser, but if you do need a good makeup remover wipe, the Simple ones are my favourite.

Dr. Belmeur: Dry Repair Panthenol Soothing Gel Cream - I got this and the next product for free from Chick Advisor back in August of 2018. I really loved this and used it as a daily moisturizer. Like with my haircare products, I have a lot of skincare because it was often sent to me, so I always cycle through them all. This is definitely at the top of my favourites list so I might purchase it once I run out of everything else I have, unless I want to try something new first that I think I might like more. This is super moisturizing and sits under makeup really well and since it's a gel, I think it works great on combination and oily skin.

Dr. Belmeur: Advanced Cica Recovery Cream - I just finished this up a few days before this post is going live. This stuff is way more intensive than the Soothing Gel Cream, but in a good way. I allocated this to nighttime use only, which is what I recommend due to it being heavier. This one is definitely better for dry skin, but since I used it at night it didn't really matter since I didn't need to care if it made my forehead look shinier, or that it might be too heavy under makeup. When I got this, the packaging was the big tub that came with a little applicator stick to remain sanitary, but I looked it up to get a link and it now comes in a squeeze tube, which I think is better. While I loved this, I have tried other heavier moisturizers that I liked better, (specifically polypeptide ones) so it's unlikely that I'll repurchase because of that, but I still highly recommend if you're looking to try out something new!

iQ Natural RestedEyes Brightener Gel. - This was the second product I ever received as PR in exchange for an honest review, back in 2016. I definitely went overboard because I was so excited so it's a long one that includes full ingredient lists. This eye gel contains hyaluronic acid and retinol and it was the first time I used those ingredients after learning a little bit more about skincare. I loved this stuff. It did feel a little bit sticky under my eyes, but it also felt nice and cooling and definitely moisturized them. I would put this on first and then moisturize my face so the hyaluronic acid could do its job better. I made this last for a really long time and was sad when I finally ran out so many years later. I used to have a 10% off affiliate code, but they've done a rebrand in the last few years and even changed all of their own packaging, while also removing the program, so this new link won't give you a discount any more.

Moroccan Keratin: Sulfate Free Shampoo - I had to look this one up because I have worked with a Keratin treatment brand before, but this wasn't the one and I actually purchased this one according to my Amazon history... twice! This came in a set with the clarifying shampoo meant to be used right before applying the treatment, the actual treatment itself, and the matching conditioner to this product. It works ok, but it's unfortunately not strong enough to get my hair straight. I don't know if I'll continue repurchasing this in the future because at this point, I'd rather save up for longer and get the Japanese permanent hair straightening done again. I've also been wearing my hair curly more often recently (yay quarantine), but with my new favourite hair styling tool (which I'll write a review on in the near future) that gets my hair straight pretty quickly, so I don't have to spend a bunch of money on a product like this. If your hair is less curly than mine, I'd say try it at least once if you want it to be straighter and less frizzy, but if your hair is like mine, or curlier, you'll probably be disappointed because it doesn't compare to getting a treatment done at a salon.

Laneige: Lip SleepingMask - I've had two of these mini jar's (original flavour), each one lasting roughly about one year each because I only used the tiniest baby amount. Both times these were included in gift sets, the last one being my 2019 Secret Santa at work. Once I ran out in late 2020, I purchased the full size one, this time not in the candy flavour. I love this stuff and I can't sleep unless I have it on. That sounds dramatic, but it's true. I feel the same way about not having any moisturizer on my under eye area. It works super well and I love it so I highly recommend. It lasts so long if you don't over use it (only use it at night, and don't take more than you actually need) so it's worth the price tag in my opinion! I will 100% keep repurchasing and might even have more than one on the go so I can try the different flavours.

We're finally done! That was a lot, but I'm glad that I can finally recycle most of these and throw the ones that don't allow me to do so away.

Sneaky self-promo: If you like Fantasy and even Romance novels, my newest novel is available for pre-order (ebook only), and the paperback will also be available on May 9th. Check it out here!

See you soon with a dedicated product review!

Friday, April 23, 2021

Products I'm Throwing Out
April 23, 20210 Comments

Welcome back to another post. This one is a little bit different since I used to film an empties video every few months back in my YouTube days, but it's been a long time. It's been over a year since I've stepped foot into my office, which means I've been using up product way less with the only person who has to see me being my husband. This, unfortunately, means that a lot of products that I've owned have expired and gone bad. Well, to be perfectly honest, a lot of these products were already expired, but now they're completely unusable. In this post, I'm going to focus on the products that aren't empty and will give each one its own mini individual review. Next post will look at product I've actually used up!

This makes up roughly half of all of the products that are being thrown out, which is terrible. Most of these were products that were sent to me in some form of PR or to try out, so while my wallet isn't necessarily crying over it, it's still terrible for the environment and I really hate being wasteful. I feel especially guilty because I wrote a good chunk of this post on Earth Day. Oops. I've committed to not buying products that I won't use so I know I'll be better going forward, but it still sucks that a lot of these went to waste.

Most links are affiliate, though a lot of the products are no longer available.

Bio Oil - Yes, THE bio oil. I'm pretty sure I've had this stuff since late middle school or early high school. I still remember the day my mom bought this for me while at our nearest Walmart. The promise of this stuff getting rid of stretch marks was what drew us to it first, but what made my mom actually buy it was the hope of it fading scars. I will say, this stuff did help, but it's so expensive (at least it was at the time for us) and it was very high maintenance. I'm talking three times a day (once before school, once directly after school and once before bed) just to fade some light scars. It worked, but I suspect that with a few more years of patience that the shaving scars would've gone away on their own like all of the other ones I've gotten have without me using this stuff. It's nearly half full, but it's been well over a decade so it needs to go.

Elancyl: Slim Design lotion - This is meant to eliminate cellulite by applying every night. This has a caffeine complex and what they call a "GP4G" night booster. This was sent to me by a PR firm to test out. I remember being late to posting this, but they were ok with it because I wanted to make sure to test it for at least ten days, which was the earliest it claimed to show results. I won't lie, this stuff did help a little bit, but it is pretty high maintenance in that you need to apply it every single night, using "professional massage techniques" that they provided in the manual all over your legs, hips and butt area. I feel like it helped firm up the area and decreased the look of my cellulite, but to be honest, I doubt it would ever completely get rid of it (I'm pretty sure that's impossible, but correct me if I'm wrong) so I gave up on using it. At the time I could barely wash my face every night so it was too much work for me.

The Green Beaver Company: Boreal Body Lotion (Dry Skin Therapy) - This was sent to me in a box that was periodically sent out to Canadian beauty bloggers. Unfortunately they no longer send these boxes out, but I did love them and all of the natural products they promoted (all of which you can find on Well.ca). I loved other products by this brand, but this body lotion was too hard to work with. It's very thick, but even when you try to use a really small amount, it takes forever (if ever) to absorb into your skin. It was to the point where I'd think I'd massaged it for long enough, but would put on a pair of pants that would immediately have a giant white cast on them from the lotion. My husband tried using it for a little while, but also couldn't get past how hard it was to work with, so unfortunately this is being thrown away as it's been at least three years now and it is a very natural product. The product linked is the closest thing they have now, so I guess they received negative feedback overall for the Boreal lotion.

Clean and Clear: Acne Triple Clear Clay Mask - I've had this for at least four years now. I got this in one of those online sample website cycles (I can't remember if it was Influenster or Chickadvisor... I just know it wasn't Topbox). I loved this stuff, but because of the nature of the product I couldn't use it every single day. This is a 99g tub so that's huge. I really slathered it on my breakouts and all over my face whenever my skin was being oilier, but even though I desperately tried to use this up, I just couldn't get through every last bit before it completely dried up and became unusable. It does work well and it's pretty affordable, so I do recommend, but maybe get this if you have someone else that can also use it.

Catrice Cosmetics: Prime and Fine Mattifying Powder (Waterproof) - I won this product in a giveaway I entered while attending an event at Shoppers Drug Mart that a PR firm invited me to. The gift was a lot of products, but this happened to be the one that I dropped. It was pretty much annihilated by my floor, so my only hope for saving it was doing the alcohol trick, but I feel like it was never the same and when I use it, it leaves a very obvious white cast. It doesn't help that the packaging is broken and looks really sketchy so needless to say, it's going in the trash. Thankfully I have a loose setting powder that was included in the giveaway that I like much more!

Delectable: Everything Balm - I got this at the 2016 Generation Beauty Toronto convention as part of my goody bag. I'll never forget since I met my now real-life friend Chantel there for the first time after only knowing each other through YouTube. This stuff is pretty good and works as a million different things. It works as a balm for your lips, a highlighter, taming eyebrows, dark circles, dry skin etc. It works well for anything related to moisturizing, but because it had so many uses, I kept saying I would wait for the perfect time to use it and it ended up staying at the back of my drawer for too many years and is now, unfortunately, way past its expiry date.

Bioré: Baking Soda Pore Cleanser - I'm pretty sure this is a sample, but it's a full 30ml that I never got through so I'm including it. I had this for years and really enjoyed it, but to be perfectly honest, I lost it for about two years. Once I found it I tried using it again, but my skin is just too sensitive to risk it. I think this works great if you have combination or oily skin, but I don't like it as much as my Cetaphil, so I wouldn't repurchase.

Wet n Wild Photofocus Face Primer (Dewy) - This stuff is great if you don't already own a dewy face primer that you enjoy. It looks sparkly until you put in on the face, but under makeup it just makes your skin look super dewy... almost  too dewy for my liking. This is good, but I had so many other products like it from similar brands that I ended up using those and this one has since expired. I did try using it up as much as possible. Two summers ago I actually used this all the time on my shoulders and collar bones as a highlight. I never ended up using it up, so that's why it's being included in this post, but it was well-loved while it lasted.

Essence: Rock 'n' Doll Volume Mascara - This one is kind of cheating since it's pretty much used up and I feel like most people I know won't actually use up every last bit of a mascara before they toss it. It always feels wasteful to me, but my eyes are truly so sensitive that I can't use a mascara for more than four months at a time. The longest I've been able to go in recent years is six months, but that's only with my Lash Paradise mascara if I'm not putting it near the root of my lashes. My eyes will actually hurt for days if I wear an expired mascara so I never risk it anymore. I probably made it to the full four months with this one, but it said six months on the back, which is why I'm including it in this post. There's definitely enough product left in it for another two full months of wear. 

Maybelline: Fit Me Concealer (10 light) - This one is kind of a shocker to me since it was once my favourite concealer of all time. I loved this stuff and exclusively wore it for years to the point of having it be a subscription item on Amazon that got shipped out every six months. Unfortunately for my wallet, I discovered my Too Faced concealer which has won my heart. There are other concealers that I enjoy now, specifically the Revlon Candid, so I don't see my self repurchasing this again. I stopped wearing this and it expired to the point of it starting to smell funny and the colour going off, so in the bin it goes!

That was A LOT, but I wanted to give decent reviews to the products that I've wronged. Even if some of them were negative. I mainly want to make sure I let you know if I don't like something to avoid you buying it if you like similar products to me. I tried providing links, but a lot of these are hard to find since they're old, so many of the links are for American websites. Let's focus on not over buying so we can avoid products going to waste like this.

Sneaky self-promo: If you like Fantasy and even Romance novels, my newest novel is available for pre-order, available on May 9th. Check it out here!

See you soon with my actual empties + their own mini reviews!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

New Trial Skincare Routine for Fading my Dark Spots
April 17, 20210 Comments

If you've read my last blog post, you'll know that I've been having some skin issues that have stopped me from being able to wear makeup and even skincare.  Months later, my weird patch of nose eczema hasn't been active, but it has left behind a light scar. Over the last month I started using skincare again and even washing my face with my foreo without irritating it, so I know it's similar to my other eczema scars and is dormant at the moment. Because of this, I want to start using proper skincare again to target all of the acne scars I have on my face, the acne itself and my uneven skin tone. Of course I will be linking to the products I mention, and those will be affiliate links where I'll only earn commission if you make a purchase.

I haven't been able to see a dermatologist at all. Everything is locked down again and I haven't moved yet, so I'm still stuck with the only doctor in this town. I've been doing research on skincare and have decided, after testing out ingredients for a few days, to try a strict skincare routine and see what results, if any, it brings.

In the mornings I will wash my face with water (nothing else) and will apply my The Ordinary Azelaic Acid suspension 10%, and on days where there's sun I'll top it off with my Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer. It's not the most moisturizing product out there, but it's nice and thin and keeps my face safe from the sun without me needing to apply multiple products. If there's no sun, I'll use a very small amount of my The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

Flash photo of my face on Day One

No flash photo on my face, Day Two

In the evenings I'll be washing my face with my Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser, and two to three times a week I'll use my Foreo (original Luna Mini) to get a deeper clean. Once dry, I'll apply my Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% and then massage my Divine Essence Rosehip Oil into my face. The rosehip oil is very moisturizing and doesn't irritate my skin at all. If anything, it soothes it, which is great considering Vitamin C can be irritating to people with sensitive skin, and this seems to counteract that part for me.

For my actual acne breakouts, I've been using the Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Gel. I've always loved salicylic acid, but The Ordinary hasn't been selling it for years now and a few co-workers gave this one a good review. I do really like it, but I will say that you should only apply it directly to the spot and only sometimes over the surrounding area because it will completely dry out the surrounding skin if you use it every day.

I'm hoping to do this routine for at least four weeks, but will be taking weekly progress pictures to include in my update post at the end of this trial period. Here's what my face looked like at the start so you can have a good look at the dark spots/scarring I have around my chin, the very light spot on the bridge of my nose, and a few on my forehead. My cheeks are always red (though you can't tell from these pictures), so I'm hoping that will subside as well.

I'm hopeful that the Vitamin C and Azelaic acid will help with the dark spots and the redness with consistent use. I'm publishing this post on day four and so far nothing has gone wrong, which is great! If anything weird happens, like my nose eczema spot returning, I'll definitely do an update post to talk about it, but otherwise I won't update about this routine until the end of the four weeks! My next post should be a mini-review post with a bunch of products I've used up/expired/are being thrown out so keep a lookout for that.

See you soon!

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Where have I been and what's going on with my skin?
February 20, 20210 Comments


It's been a long time since I've done a blog post and believe me when I say that it was not the plan. I haven't been able to wear makeup in a while now, and I haven't even been able to use most of my skincare either. I have a weird eczema (I think) situation going on with one spot on my nose that has been out of control. 

It started a few months back and got worse when I poked at it, but eventually calmed down. It's never gone away completely, but it was just flat, didn't itch, but looked pink. I thought it was acne at first, but I was very wrong about that. A few weeks back the spot was no longer flat and a tiny bump formed, soon turning into several bumps that all connected and suddenly that spot was red and angry. It was so bad that I had to wear a bandaid to hide it for video calls. The bandaid looked ridiculous and I had multiple co-workers message me to ask if my nose was ok, or if I'd gotten work done on my nose, but it was still better than having the Rudolph like spot on the bridge of my nose.

The bandaid worked for about three days before my skin reacted badly to the adhesive. I had blotches on both sides of the spot that were itchy and raised (it looked like contact dermatitis) so I had to put an end to hiding the spot, even though I could clearly see it in my peripheral vision.

What the spot looked like for most of February + irritation on the sides of my nose from the bandaids

My doctor isn't seeing patients aside for pregnancy-related appointments due to the pandemic. Because of this I resorted to doing online doctors appointments, but when I finally booked one, it lasted three minutes with me having to convince the doctor to go on camera to look at my nose. It didn't matter because she'd prescribed me antibiotics for cold sores before even looking at it and hung up before I could ask if she thought a warm compress could help. Of course the antibiotics did nothing, because the spot on my nose is most likely eczema. The cream I normally use did help, but it's been weeks since the flare up and it still hasn't fully gone away.

Before the flare up I tried using skincare, but everything would make the spot really red. I can't even wash my face with my cleanser or apply a moisturizer all over without it being irritated. I'm at a loss at this point and really want to see a dermatologist, but I need a doctor in order to do that and that isn't looking very plausible in the near future. When it finally calms down I'll go back to using skincare so I can hopefully find a good routine that won't irritate my apparently super-sensitive skin.

After a few weeks of applying my prescribe steroid cream for eczema MULTIPLE times a day (I'm talking three to five times a day) and not using any product aside from water on my face, the spot started to fade from the middle.

Slowly starting to heal from the middle outwards.

I'm hopeful, but still very annoyed because this spot is super noticeable and obviously not just acne. If you've ever experienced this, please let me know what I can do to make sure this dosn't happen again, or at least how to make it go away much quicker!

See you soon!

Saturday, January 02, 2021

My 2020 Makeup Favourites
January 02, 20210 Comments

 Happy New Year and welcome to my first blog post of 2021!

2020 was the year that I wore the least makeup since I was seventeen-years-old. I'm not just talking about the amount of makeup going on my face at once, but also the frequency in which I wore it in. I did purchase a decent amount of makeup in relation to the past few years since it was also the year of my wedding and I wasn't going to skimp out on something that'll live forever in pictures, but overall I mainly repurchased things of filled the few gaps in my collection.

My wedding day reaffirmed to me which beauty items I own that are truly my favourites so I thought I'd dedicate a post to makeup since that's how this blog started. I won't be following any type of structure (so some categories may be missing and some may contain multiples) and I will only be sharing products that I consider favourites of the last year. Most of the links will be affiliate links that will give me a few cents if you decide to make a purchase, but won't cost you anything at all. One affiliate code will be included as well!

Eyes + Brows

After years of not purchasing an eyeshadow palette (I don't include ones I received for free in PR) I finally decided to fill the gaps in my eyeshadow collection.

RawBeautyKristi AKA my favourite YouTuber for the past few years did her first collaboration ever with PÜR Cosmetics and created a double-sided eyeshadow palette. Thankfully I pre-ordered for the second launch and received my palette in late September. I could easily live off of this palette, my custom Makeup Geek palette (I talk more about this in my wedding makeup blog post) and the last palette of this post forever and be perfectly content as long as they kept magically refilling.

Too Faced Chocolate Gold eyeshadow palette - This is my last favourite of 2020. I'm pretty sure this is no longer available, but I sometimes see it for sale so I'm not 100% sure. I talked about this briefly in my wedding makeup blog post, but I did a dedicated blog post for swatches and a mini-review so check that out for more information! 

ESQIDO False Lashes - 'Heart and Soul' is my favourite lash style that I own from ESQIDO and what I wore on my wedding day as well. I've had these for years and they're still going strong since I'm careful when removing and cleaning them. These were sent to me and if you use my affiliate code 'amys' you'll get 15% off your order!

 L'Oreal Lash Paradise - There isn't much to say here to be honest. The brush, formula and application is all amazing. It's black, doesn't clump my lashes together and makes them look really nice and long. It's not impossible to remove, which is also always a plus for me!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade -  Dark brown - best tone and with Inglot duraline it'll last you forever

Face (Base)

Nars Sheer Glow foundation - I've mentioned this  countless times on my YouTube channel and Instagram page, but I've never reviewed it on this blog before! This is my favourite foundation formula out there. The coverage is good, but not too high that it looks cakey and the shade (Punjab) is perfect for the summer. Several years ago when I went outside more and gave my skin a chance to tan the shade 'Stromboli' was better, but now I no longer lay out in the sun for the purpose of tanning and spend most of my time indoors, so Punjab works well for me. This was my wedding foundation so I bought it for that purpose along with a pump because foundations are truly better when they have one. I don't have a perfect winter shade (Ceylan is the closest undertone wise, but way too light), but if i did it would replace the next foundation on the list.

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation -  This is pretty high coverage, but it works well in the winter and when my skin is acting up. I mix it with a bit of beauty oil so it applies a bit more sheer since I'm not a fan of super high coverage and the matte finish. The shade is as close to perfect for my winter skin-tone as I've ever seen. It's beautiful, but NARS is still #1 and I hope they expand their light shades to include more yellow undertones. I did a review blog post on this foundation as well as a first-impressions full-day wear test on this and other products in the line if you want to learn more!

RCMA No Makeup Powder - This is still amazing and for a lighter, more natural finish. It lasts forever and even though the price has gone up quite a bit, it's still very affordable for the amount that you get.

Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder - I used this on my wedding day and it looked beautiful. It's super thin and luxurious (the packaging is also really nice). This is so similar to the RCMA, just slightly thinner and the packaging is way nicer. If you're on a budget, stick with the RCMA, but if you're buying a translucent powder for a special event (like your wedding) I would splurge a bit on the hourglass because it does look the slightest bit better, but the experience of using feels a lot more pampering for some reason.

Under Eyes 

Too Faced Multi-Use Sculpting concealer - I have the shades Vanilla and Swan and these on their own and together cover my skin-tones throughout the seasons. These are HUGE (about 1.5 the regular amount) so I can justify the high price tag of $40. I always go a few shades lighter for concealer so for me it works well. I used both on my wedding day and now that it's winter I exclusively use a tiny bit of Swan under my eyes and lightly under foundation to cover dark spots. This concealer was also featured in the full-day wear test from two years ago (as well as the chocolate gold palette) so that's a good video to watch if you want to see a lot of these products in action.

Revlon Candid Antioxidant Concealer - This is fairly light coverage, but I love both shades I have. They're SO yellow, which is all I've ever wanted in a concealer. It blends out beautifully and doesn't look cakey whatsoever. It's not very affordable considering it's 'drugstore' since that means it's normally around $10 nowadays, but if you don't want to deal with a high coverage concealer, this is worth it!

Becca Undereye Brightening Corrector - I got the light/medium shade Colour corrector - After watching tutorials on how to use this (spoiler alert: barely use any at all) I fell in love. I also used this on my wedding day and I use it any time I'm wearing a full face of makeup. Originally this was only going to be for special events, but since I don't buy makeup often and this makes such a huge difference in making me look healthy and awake since it reflects light in a way that hides my darker under eyes, I've decided to use it any time I wear more than just the absolute basic face of makeup. 


MAC 'Cosmo' - This has been my #1 favourite lipstick of all time since I first bought it back in 2014, on the day my husband officially asked me to be his girlfriend. The medium pinky brown colour looks amazing with my yellow undertone and the formula is really comfortable. I also wore this on my wedding day which shouldn't be shocking to anyone who follows my Instagram page or YouTube channel due to a million mentions over the past six years. This is the 'Amplified' formula, which is definitely my favourite.

Rimmel London 'Notting Hill Nude' - This is definitely my second favourite of all time. It's very similar to the MAC 'Amplified' formula, but just a bit thinner. It's the same undertone as 'Cosmo', but the colour itself is more brown-nude so it all depends on what colour I'm feeling more like on a specific day. I'm almost out of this so I really need to get a new one if it still exists. I'll be really sad if it's been discontinued so I really should have a look sooner than later. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills 'Pure Hollywood' -  This one is a liquid lipstick, which I rarely wear anymore, but if I'm going to throw something onto my lips, especially if I'll have to wear a mask at some point, this is the only lipstick I grab for. The colour is perfect and the formula isn't too drying, but will not come off once you blot (I just kiss the back of my hand a few times after it's dry).

Face (The rest of it)

NYX Bare With Me Setting Spray - This is technically also a priming spray, but I find it doesn't really do anything for that. This works great to set my face and make me feel less dry. It doesn't give me any type of dewy or luminous finish, but it certainly makes the makeup look a bit more natural and helps make it look like my skin is showing through a bit, including my natural sheen. 

Lancôme Fix it Forget it Setting Spray  - I spray this on days that I feel like I'm looking really oily (depends on the time of month) or if I used something too shiny on my skin while applying makeup. This helps make the makeup look a bit less cakey (not quite as good as MAC fix +, but decent) while keeping my forehead and chin from getting shiny. It also helps my makeup stay in place, which is helpful with masks since they love to rub off makeup from my nose or chin. While I've used this a lot and it's a favourite for 2020, I do think I'll pass on it once it's gone and give MAC another try just to make sure I don't like that one better.

Milani 'Luminoso' Blush - Another long-standing favourite of mine that I wore on my wedding day. The tone is perfect, the application is great and the sheen is also really nice for not making my cheeks look dry. It works well with my skin-tone, no matter the time of year, and just makes me look healthy without making my face look red and defeating the purpose of putting foundation on in the first place. This is also a drugstore product so I highly recommend picking it up!

The Balm 'Mary-Lou Manizer' Highlighter - This has always made the top of my highlighter list and 2020 is no exception. At this point it's pretty much useless to link back to mentions of it because there are so many, so I'll let you know again that I wore this on my wedding day!

That's it for my 2020 makeup favourites! I'm not sure if I'll do any other posts since my skincare and haircare favourites haven't changed and if you scroll for one or two pages you'll see what I used for my wedding and that sums it up.

2020 wasn't a great year aside from getting married (it actually sucked quite a bit aside from the wedding) so let's hope that 2021 will be better. If you can, stay at home and stay safe!

See you soon!