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Hola beauties! If you’re following me on instagram you’ve probably noticed me gushing about my first ever Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow palette. This is actually my very first product from ABH aside from a teeny tiny sample of the Brow Wiz pencil. The ABH Soft Glam Palette caught my eye immediately once it was announced along with the Amrezy highlighter and for once I decided I needed to splurge.

I picked this palette up during the April Sephora VIB Sale for 10% off, which isn’t much but at least it saved me $5! The shade range can create beautiful bridal makeup looks or lovely glamorous but soft looks.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette
At A Glance

The ABH Soft Glam Palette retails for $55CAD and contains 14 x 0.02oz shades in a range of matte, metallic & iridescent shades. The value of ABH eyeshadow palettes aren’t great compared to other similarly priced brands at Sephora, the dollar value works out to $196.43 per ounce or $3.03CAD per pan. Though the value isn’t wonderful Anastasia Beverly Hills is known for their impeccable eyeshadow formula.

The Soft Glam Palette comes with a dual ended eyeshadow brush. It’s not bad, I like the small firmly packed end for applying shimmer shades all over the lid. The blending side is okay for applying transition shades and light blending, but I have brushes I prefer over the one included.

Colour Story & Finishes

The soft glam palette has a mix of warm orange & brown shades with a few shimmery pinks and golds. There isn’t anything too crazy in here, unless you count the Mulberry and Noir shades. This palette is in my opinion the perfect ABH intro palette because there aren’t really any colours that don’t go well together and you get a lot of matte shades to build up a smooth gradient.

There are nine mattes in the Soft Glam palette and five metallic/shimmer shades to build your eye looks with. This is a good ratio of mattes to metallics, especially for people who might be new to makeup or who just prefer mattes with the occasional pops of shimmer. I wouldn’t consider this palette a “beginner” palette, but it’s not the scariest out there to work with.

Although just about all the shades in the ABH Soft Glam eyeshadow palette can be used together I find that I am often lacking inspiration with these shades. I will often gravitate towards the same one or to looks over and over.

*There are repeat shades between the Soft Glam and MR palettes. You can find the shades Tempera, Burnt Orange, and Cyprus Umber in both palettes.

Pigmentation, Blend & Fallout

The matte shades in the ABH Soft Glam palette feel very smooth to the touch and swatch with insane pigmentation. I originally thought that the black shade, Noir, could use a little bit of work, but once I used it on the eyes I found that it blended out super well and applied very black to the eyelids. The mattes get an A+ from me. Just about all the shimmers/metallics are buttery and apply incredibly well, I do have a small amount of trouble with the shade Glistening, when I use it for a cut crease I really need to pack it on to my eyelids to build it up.

The mattes blend seamlessly into each other. I need to use a light hand with my brushes or else there is a lot of kick-up in the pan. Every shimmer/metallic shade aside from Glistening applies and blends well for me.

There is quite a bit of fallout in the ABH Soft Glam palette so I suggest doing your eye makeup before applying your base products.

Swatched with Urban Decay Primer Potion

Look #1 Soft Glam

I created this soft eye look with the shades Burnt Orange, Sienna, Cyprus Umber and Glistening. I built up a transition gradient starting with Burnt Orange, then went in with Sienna. I blended a little bit of Cyprus Umber into the outer corner and cut a half crease with Tarte Aquacealer concealer (reviewed here). Next I packed Glistening all over the lid on top of that concealer.

Look #2 Blushing Beauty

For this third look I wanted something that resembled a Bridal look. This palette struck me as perfect for wedding themed looks so I wanted to create something soft and pink like this. I remember specifically requesting a soft pink look for my wedding! I used the shade Dusty Rose in the crease, then deepened it slightly with the shade Rustic. On the outer 1/3 of my lid I packed on the shade Rose Pink and deepened the outer corner with Sultry. I cut the crease 2/3 of the way with concealer and applied Tempera over the concealer, blending it together with the Rose Pink. I am not a makeup artist so I am sure that a professional MUA would blow this look out of the water. But I can try!

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I can’t even tell you how excited I am for my June BoxyCharm Unboxing. The last few months I haven’t been completely thrilled with the box, but the spoilers this month really caught my eye! I switched to a Monthly subscription instead of a three month, which technically costs me more money in the long run but I didn’t want to pay over $100CAD right after getting back from my trip. Besides, my makeup collection is becoming overrun with full sized Boxycharm products so I might need to take a break.

About BoxyCharm

BoxyCharm is a monthly US based Beauty Subscription featuring 4-5 FULL SIZED and Luxury-sized beauty products.

Price: $21USD/Month (Less with a longer subscription term)
Shipping: Free to US, $5 to Canada
Points: Redeem points from referrals in the Charmer Shop

*Note: This post contains referral/affiliate links

The June Boxycharm

The June Boxycharm theme is Caribbean Queen. They did such a good job choosing products that fit the theme, sometimes I’m very confused as to why subscriptions have themes at all when the products never seem to fit. This month we got SIX products, counting the makeup brush trio as one product! This is why I switched to Boxycharm over my other subscriptions.

Alamar Cosmetics Reina Del Caribe Eyeshadow Palette $28USD

This makeup brand was created by Gabriela Trujillo. I’ve seen her quite a bit on Kathleen Lights’ channel, she’s a professional MUA who does the makeup for all of Kathleen’s KL Polish photoshoots. I love watching their videos together, she’s so talented!

This palette is so beautiful, I am stoked to try out the shades Coco Taxi, La Costa and Celia on my eyes! I love the overall look of the palette and that Gabby has placed little suns or water droplets to indicate if a shade performs best wet or dry.

Battington Monroe Silk Lashes $28USD

Hmmm… I have never worn falsies in my life, so I don’t actually have lash glue readily on hand. I will have to pick some up, do you guys have any recommendation on which type/brand to buy? These lashes look really luxe and pretty, I love the little case they come in!

Sol De Janeiro Bum Bum Cream Mini $10USD

EEEEEK. EEK. EEK. I can’t even tell you guys how long I have been wanting to try this body cream, I had no idea it would be in the June Boxycharm until a few days before it arrived when I was watching an unboxing and saw it. This cream is NOT cheap, which is why I have added and deleted it from my Sephora cart over and over again. I can’t wait to try this out!

Luxie Brush Trio $42USD

I have one of the brushes in this trio already, the Luxie dreamcatcher 660 brush. The only difference is that it has a purple handle. I use it everyday for so many different things from foundation to primer to undereye setting powder to highlight… subscribers received a Rose Gold Precision Foundation Brush 660, a Rose Gold Tapered Highlighting Brush 522, and a Rose Gold Duo Fibre Powder Brush 516. I’m not sure how I feel about the duo fibre brush, I had a similar Luxie brush in the past and it shed like mad. This trio isn’t available for purchase on Luxie’s website but according to the Boxycharm pamphlet it’s worth about $42.

JontéBlu Eyeliner Pencil $5USD

I have way too many eyeliners, if you read my Elle Canada Grand Prix Product Reveal I received five new eyeliners to test, and I still have three from last year plus a few from subscription boxes. Way too many! I appreciate that this pencil is brown, I don’t have any eyeliners that aren’t black. This pencil unfortunately performs poorly, which isn’t surprising to me give it’s price point. There was a lot of drag on my waterline and it barely showed up when I tried to tightline my upper lash line.

Ofra Liquid Lipstick in Verona $17USD

I feel like we always receive a similar shade of lipstick from Boxycharm. Or at least I always get sorted into the group receiving a nude pinky lipstick. Still, I am happy that I got an Ofra liquid lipstick because I have wanted to try them out for a long time. There’s a store in my city where I can buy Ofra but the lipsticks go for about $25CAD here which is way too much for me to spend on a lipstick that I may or may not like the formula. Now I can test it out first!

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Hey everyone! I can’t believe that it’s already halfway through June (basically), where is the time going? In two weeks it will be Canada Day, so in the spirit of celebrating the wonderful nation that I call home I have partnered with Nail Polish Canada to share some easy Canadian maple leaf nail art using What’s Up Nails vinyls! I have mentioned before that I am not a professional at doing my nails, which is why nail vinyls are great for girls like me who don’t have a steady enough hand for freehand nail art.

Nail Polish Canada was so lovely to send me a little set of vinyls to demo on my blog, and they’re also offering free vinyls to my first ten readers who use the code: J187J1PYE3

To get this nail look start with a white nail polish base. When it’s dry press on some of the stencils and paint in the gaps with red for the maple leaf. Remove the stencil and you should have a perfect little maple leaf! Let it dry and then seal it in with the top coat of your choice. Happy Canada Day!

Let me know if you guys decide to try these out and how you like them. I will be sharing my nail art later in the week on my instagram, I’ve been so busy with work that I haven’t had a chance to use them yet. I will very soon! Also FYI the code is NOT an affiliate code, I do not make a commission for providing it to you. You can get your own set of vinyls here.

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The post Canada Day Nails + Free Offer appeared first on Always, Cleia.

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The only thing more exciting for me than receiving a box full of products to blind test test from Elle Canada is finally finding out what the products that I’ve been testing are! Elle Canada always tapes over the labels for their Beauty Grand Prix so I never know what I’m testing (unless the product has very obvious packaging like last years Nexxus shampoo or this year’s EOS lip balm). Today I’m sharing my findings after submitting my logbook and finally being able to remove the (very) sticky labels

If you’re interested in becoming a Juror for next year’s grand prix you can read my How to become an Elle Canada Juror blog post!

Beauty Grand Prix Makeup:
Eyeliner

The Makeup Category I was chosen for this year (as well as last year) was Eyeliner. I was kind of disappointed, I still haven’t used up all my eyeliner from last year! But who can really complain about new makeup right!?

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon $31CAD
This eyeliner crayon was super exciting for me because there’s a sharpener on one end! Unfortunately the shapener was better in theory than in practice, the liner tip kept breaking off inside the cap. This eyeliner is super creamy and super hard to remove at the end of the night.

Lisewatier Féline Liner HD $22CAD
I know that I liked this pen, it went on super black and was easy to get a thin line. It’s been a while since I used all of the felt tipped liners so I don’t exactly remember a lot of specifics. I will have to retest them soon for the blog!

Sephora Colourful Wink-It Felt Waterproof Liner $18CAD
This Sephora pen has a sharp firm tip which helped a lot with creating a wing. Honestly I don’t get too excited about eyeliners, they all work basically the same for me! This one was good, but so were the others.

Pixi By Petra Endless Silky Eye Pen $15.43CAD
This gel liner glided on super easily. It set down pretty quickly too from what I remember. The tip was a little thick for me, it was hard to get a precise line. I gravitate towards liquid liner as opposed to gel so I probably won’t reach for this much. Only time will tell I guess.

Clarins Graphik Ink Liner $30CAD
I also don’t have a lot to say about this clarins liner. Excuse the Elle Canada sticky packaging on the lid, the tape is SO sticky that it was really hard to remove and left a gluey film on all my products. I will let you guys know when I get around to using it again!

Beauty Grand Prix Skincare:
Lip Balm

Out of all the many many categories of beauty products in the Grand Prix the one that I really hoped I wouldn’t get was lipbalm. Lo and Behold… Lip Balm. I just have so much of it lying around, my in-laws gave us so much lip balm for Christmas and I have so many tubes from Subscription Boxes when I subscribed to half the beauty boxes under the sun… But on the bright side I will use it, even if it takes me years to use it all up.

EOS Crystal Hibiscus Lip Balm  $7.08CAD
I wasn’t a fan of this balm. I’ve heard so many good things about EOS but the clear jelly balm inside was really strange to me, it smelled like plastic and the balm sat on top of my lips instead of absorbing in.

Sephora Collection Coconut Lip Balm $8CAD
I had NO Idea what this lip balm was. The packaging was very distinctive, white with a metal tube inside. I honestly found this lip balm very basic, I liked the smell but I don’t think that it performed any better than a $2.99 lip balm from the drug store.

Bioderma Moisturizing Stick $6.95CAD
This lip balm smells tropical AF. I really liked it, it absorbed quickly and left my lips hydrated & smooth. It was the perfect balm to wear on it’s own or as a prep step before liquid lipstick.

Clarins Hydra-Essential Moisture Replenishing Balm $20CAD
This balm was my favourite of the four I got to test. It comes in a squeeze tube so it applies more like a lip gloss but it doesn’t have the shininess of one. This was ultra-hydrating and lasted on my lips a lot longer than any of the others.

Beauty Grand Prix Skincare:
Moisturizing Cream

Once again I was selected to test moisturizers. It would have been fun to test another new category (aka eyeshadow palettes, I’m super jealous of anyone who got some palettes to test) but I’m totally content with a year of free moisturizer! I had just finished last years moisturizers when I received my new products.

Olay Total Effects Whip $38.98CAD
I knew immediately what this product was despite Elle’s attempts to hide it, I started seeing advertisements for Olay’s new Whipped moisturizers around the same time I received a suspiciously similar bottle! This moisturizer was very lightweight and I didn’t feel like it gave me the hydration I needed, especially in the winter. It absorbed almost too fast and my face still felt tight afterwards. I’ll try this out during those hot summer days, hopefully my opinion changes.

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream $29.97
The first few days using this moisturizer were fine but then I had a terrible reaction to this product. I think it’s because this is meant for deep set wrinkles which I don’t have, so the accelerated Retinol deteriorated my skin into a dry crumbly mess. I would have liked to know that this contained retinol before hand because it makes you very sensitive to the sun. It could be than I sunburned because of this and I just didn’t know the cause. I filmed a look for my ColourPop Double Entendre Palette Review and the skin under my eyes, on my cheeks and on my nose is so dry, it was awful. It took a full two weeks of discontinued use for my skin to repair itself.

Rocky Mountain Soap Co Pomegranate Day Cream $14.75
I was so curious about what on earth this moisturizer could be with the strange shaped (for a moisturizer) apothecary bottle. I couldn’t place the smell but it definitely doesn’t smell like pomegranate to me, it smells more medicinal. I remember I had to really work to run this day cream into my skin. I didn’t like that, and I didn’t like that my dry patches started returning while using it. I’m glad I was only sent the travel size, not the full size.

Bioderma Hydrabio Gel Cream $29.50
I recognized the packaging from last year with the blue cap so I already knew what this moisturizer was. It performed the same way it did last year, it’s a gel moisturizer that’s a little bit thicker than the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream but still applies easily. It doesn’t deliver quite as much hydration as I would like in the winter but in the Summer it’s fine.

Uriage Eau Thermale Light Water Cream $31.95
I really enjoyed using this product just like the one above. It’s definitely a water cream, it applied and absorbed so easily! I didn’t notice any dry patches on my face while using it and my face stayed hydrated throughout the day.

Nuxe Crème Fraîche® de beauté 48 HR Moisturizing Cream $39
After the Elle Logbook tallied my answers from the 5 point category..

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Hey everyone! Most of you are aware that I recently went on a vacation for a week to Panama & Costa Rica. I was so excited for this trip as I was really feeling the need to get away from all of my job related stress. Unfortunately the trip really didn’t go the way I had hoped it would. The countries we visited were absolutely beautiful, but the tour company was so incredibly disorganized that I felt less relaxed when I got home than before I left!

Day 1: Travel

The first day of the trip was a travel day. Our 6am flight out of Edmonton was delayed until 830am, so we got up at 4am for nothing. Talk about disappointing! Luckily we had a long layover in Houston so we didn’t miss our next flight. Just as we started boarding the flight out of Houston there was an announcement that we wouldn’t be able to leave due to thunderstorms, so we waited an additional 40 minutes to board. Finally we got on our last plane and we landed in San Jose Costa Rica at around 9:15pm. Flights are the worst!

We took a cab to the Alajuela Backpackers Hostel. My friend and I booked 2 beds in some 4 person dorms instead of getting our own room, we really just wanted to sleep after such a long day. I don’t know about you guys but I can never seem to fall asleep on planes unless it’s a red-eye flight. The next morning is where all the real issues started…

Day 2: Travel

At 730am we rushed to check out of our hostel because LBW, our tour company was supposed to be picking us up at 8am sharp. Only they didn’t arrive until 930am. So once again we could have slept in because of delays. I’m not by any means a morning person unfortunately. When the shuttle van finally arrived it was a squishy van that my friend & I had to cram into the back of. We met the other five travellers on the tour, I was surprised at what a small group it was.

Because the main highways in Costa Rica are one lane each way when traffic is bad there’s no way around it. Our transport to the Panama border was only supposed to take 5 hours, but it took closer to 8. When we got to the border we found out it had just closed at 5pm. I was so frustrated, our tour company apparently had no clue as to when the borders closed (to which I was like… isn’t that your JOB? Isn’t that why I’m paying you?)

We backtracked a full hour back to Puerto Viejo where we checked into a hostel. I first thought the cabin style accommodations were cute, but then I realized the room was full of cockroaches. At night about 7 cockroaches climbed up a hole in the drainpipe and got all through our room. They’re surprisingly fast for such big bugs! Our mosquito nets had holes all through them and I found a VERY large spider in my sheets. Thank God I shook them out before getting into bed!

Day 3: FINALLY in Panama

The problem with group tours is that they can have a really great, considerate group of people but sometimes certain travellers can be a pain. Unfortunately this tour was the latter. There was one guy from Michigan who was actually very nice and pleasant to travel with, but the other travellers were a group of four best friends who were very self centered. They were very rude to my friend and I. They probably didn’t even realize the way they came across, but If they had I don’t think they would have cared.

I don’t know if it’s just that I’m getting older or what, but after three or four days I gave up on trying to be nice. My friend asked me why I didn’t want to sit with them at the hostel all the time and I replied “Because I don’t like them?” I just don’t have patience for people who are rude and inconsiderate. I probably should have tried a little harder to be friends but I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s okay not to like someone. We all have different personalities and we’re bound to come across people that we don’t enjoy being around.

ANYWAYS, the girls insisted we get up at 6am to shuttle back to the Panama border. The security was so strange to me, we had to provide fingerprint scans to cross which I wasn’t too pleased about. I’m weird and full of conspiracy theories about how our genetic info will one day be used against us.

The tour company was supposed to include all transportation costs within the tour price but when we got to the border our guide said that we had to pay $10 to cross the border. I was rather angry about this, when transportation is included there shouldn’t be surprise fees. What made me extra mad was that when we were given our receipts it turned out that the crossing fee was only $7. Our guide waved it off and said he would pay us back the extra $3 each. I reminded him several times but we never got our money, meaning that he kept $21 for himself from everyone. We also had to pay extra for the boat ride into Bocas Del Torro, the island where we were staying.

Catamaran + Starfish Beach

We did a Catamaran sailing cruise that first day which we were originally led to believe would include drinks. We were told once we were in Panama that we had to buy our own drinks to take on the cruise. It wasn’t so bad, drinks are pretty cheap in Panama, especially beer. My friend and I bought a few sangria and strawberry daiquiri coolers for the boat. I laid on the netting that was open to the water below and chilled in the sun the whole time.

We finally docked at a Starfish Beach where the water was abundant with starfish. I don’t think I had ever seen a starfish in the ocean, my limited experience with them extended only to the starfish that you find in an aquarium. The water was very tranquil, We waded in the water and snorkelled before hopping back on the boat and sailing back to the hostel.

Day 4: Free Exploring Day

The second day in Panama was a free day. Most of the tour group wanted to learn to scuba dive, but since there aren’t any actual coral reefs there my friend and I honestly just wanted to walk and find a sandy beach. Our guide told us that there was a really nice beach called Paki Point that was a 20 minute walk from our hostel, so I convinced my friend to take a walk to find it. Only Paki point turned out to be a full hour and a half walk away!

We didn’t actually make it there, but we eventually came across a sweet hostel called Scully’s after an hour of walking in the sweltering heat. We stopped in and had some food and a few drinks at the outdoor bar. They served some kind of a mocha milk shake with kahlua, baileys and a few other coffee liqueurs as well as passionfruit daiquiris!

If I ever went back to Bocas del Torro I would probably stay at Scully’s instead of Mamallenas where we stayed. The manager came over and chatted with us for a bit, he was apparently from California. He admitted that he didn’t know where Alberta was so we gave him a little Canadian geography education! xD He told us that we were free to hang out and use the hammocks of the pool at Scullys so of course we happily obliged!

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Before we get into today’s blog post I wanted to chat with you guys really quickly about a coming change in my blog schedule. My blog schedule is changing starting next week. Posts will now officially go up Tuesdays and Thursdays by 9am MST. Since last Fall I’ve been upping and upping my content to the point where I was posting a minimum of three days a week to a maximum of five days and I realized that I’ve been sacrificing a lot of my personal life and interests to work obsessively on my blog. Not that I don’t love blogging, I do, but I’ve been falling short on the non-blogging related goals I set for myself this year. I need to take a step back and focus on other things. 

What I’ll Be Focusing On

I want to finish my approx. 100,000 word count fantasy novel and I’ve only recently hit the 20,000 mark. I’m very passionate about the world I’ve been creating and I know I’ll be letting myself down if I don’t finish the rough draft this year. I also want to spend some time catching up on my Goodreads reading challenge goal. I’ve only read 7 books this year and five of them were in the last two weeks when I went away. I’m not even close to half way through my 25 books goal for 2018 =O

I also want to finish learning the acoustic arrangements out of my final fantasy acoustic guitar sheet music books, my music practise keeps falling to the wayside. And speaking of final fantasy I need to play the latest release for PC! I have so many hobbies and facets of my personality that I just haven’t been satisfying lately so I need to take a step back from my blog to work on them.

And the final reason I’m slowing down on my content is so that I can spend some time reading blog posts from my readers in the blogging community. The majority of my readers are bloggers themselves and I’ve had a hard time balancing everything I have going on and also supporting my blogging friends. Moving to two posts a week will give me more time to interact with all of your blogs! I can’t wait to read what’s been going on in your lives. I hope you guys will understand the changes.

May Instagram Challenge Recap

Each month I like to do a little recap my my instagram where I feature my favourite 10 Instagram posts from the previous month. This month I did something different, Nova & I hosted an instagram photo challenge together! We worked together to come up with prompts that fit the #springintosummer2018 theme and I had a lot of fun posting and seeing the posts of everyone who followed along. Here are some of my favourites from the challenge:

Thank you so much to Nova for co-hosting with me, if you haven’t seen her blog make sure to check it out! And thanks to everyone who followed along and posted a prompt or two for this challenge, it’s a lot of fun doing something like this as a community See you all next Tuesday & Thursday! <3

Instagram ~ Twitter ~ YouTube ~ Pinterest ~ Bloglovin

The post May Instagram Photo Challenge Recap + Life Chat appeared first on Always, Cleia.

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Well, it’s that time again. My little bag under the sink was getting a little full after the past two months of storing my emptied product containers, meaning it’s time to share what I’ve recently finished up. I don’t have any makeup empties this month which isn’t surprising to me as it takes me forever to finish makeup products, but there are a fair amount of skincare & body care empties.

On a side note, I finally found a way to make my posts appear in the wordpress reader as self hosted. When I originally started my blog I had an alwayscleia.wordpress.com domain, so I’ve been reblogging my new posts on that account so that new readers can find them. If you’re already following me on alwayscleia.com you don’t need to refollow on the wordpress one or else you’ll see double the posts in your followed sites.

Body Care & Skincare

The Body Shop Strawberry Body Butter I love The Body Shop’s body butters. My favourite scent is Satsuma and I would probably purchase that scent next instead of the strawberry. This cream is so nourishing, I always leave it by my bedside so I remember to use it before bed.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser My HG cleanser, why does it have to be so expensive!? I typically buy this in between using other cleansers because I can’t afford to buy this cleanser every time I run out.

Tarte Maracuja Oil I just can’t get into face oils. Once in a while I’ll use them overnight on my face and I’m always surprised as how nice my skin looks the next morning, but I just can’t stand how greasy I feel when I do. I took a suggestion from Tati and started adding a few drops to my bath for extra hydrated skin. I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing, this oil is expensive!

Marc Jacobs Daisy Perfume Sample I’m torn about whether or not to purchase this full size. I love the scent so much, but it doesn’t last on me at all! After an hour or two I couldn’t even tell I was wearing perfume. Maybe I’ll just pick up a rollerball.

Dove Dry Spray Deodorant I love dry spray deodorant, I don’t know why but it lasts so much longer on me than stick deodorants. Maybe because it doesn’t apply creamy/wet like a stick?

Nivea Gentle Eye Makeup Remover I very strongly disliked this makeup remover. Even when I’m not wearing waterproof makeup I found I needed to tug a lot on my skin with the cotton pads to get all my makeup off. I’ve since switched to Lancome Bi-Facil and I love it.

Hair Care

Garnier Nutrisse Rich Nourishing Conditioner Cream This conditioner came with a hair dye kit that I used when I redyed my hair purple a few months ago. It made my hair super soft but I don’t know that it really locked in the colour any more than regular conditioner.

TresEmme Hair Spray This hair spray had pretty good hold but it wasn’t anything particularly special. I may or may not repurchase, I don’t really care too much when it comes to hair spray.

Ouai Treatment Masque Now this is product that warrants a repurchase. I loved the way this Ouai treatment made my hair feel after 20 minutes of soaking in the bath. It’s like a very deep conditioner. I love using it after I get my hair dyed at a salon, it softens all of that dry frizziness that takes over my hair after getting colour treated.

Sheet Masks & Foils

Manefit Mugwort Atringent + Pore Care Mask Honestly this mask didn’t stand out to me very much. Sheet masks never do, I rarely see an immediate effect from using sheet masks so I haven’t been buying them as much as I used to. This mask smelled really nice but I don’t think I would repurchase.

NuFace Prep-N-Glow Exfoliating Wipe I liked these cleansing/exfoliating/hydrating wipes but I think they’re way too expensive to warrant a repurchase. I got a sample wipe from a Sephora order.

What’s in your product empties this month?

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The post Product Empties | April & May 2018 appeared first on Always, Cleia.

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This blog post is very exciting for me because I’ve been given the chance to review a brand new Canadian subscription box from Sweet Oak Care! The original reason I created this blog back in 2015 was to share my love (obsession) of subscription boxes so I am so grateful to the team at Sweet Oak Care for sending the May box my way. I hadn’t heard of this subscription box before until co -founder Alannah reached out to me, but once I learned a bit more about the company’s vision I was very exited.

There aren’t many really great Canadian subscription boxes out there. If you’re a Canadian like me you know how frustrating it is waiting forever for your boxes to clear through customs at the border so it’s a breath of fresh air finding a box that ships out beauty and wellness products quickly. Not only are they Canadian but all the products that are shipped out in the box are from local Canadian makers.

What is Sweet Oak?

Sweet oak is a subscription box geared towards women that want to discover new natural products. We believe that the best products are made from natural ingredients. We hand test every product and only deliver what we believe will replace your existing ones. — Sweet Oak Care

Sweet Oak Care is a Canadian subscription box that specializes in natural body care products. The box is based out of Ontario and run by couple Alannah and Collin. The box I received was focused on body care products but due to customer feedback future boxes will include products like organic teas, coffees, and snacks & treats in addition to body care products. The price of all future boxes is also being reduced from $40 to $30CAD.

What’s Included: 4-5 natural & handmade Body Care, Beverage & Snack Items sourced from local Canadian businesses.
Price: $30 CAD
Shipping: $10
Discount: Use the code CLEIA10 for 10% off your first box! (Expires July 16 2018)

The May Sweet Oak Box

The mint green box is sooo cute!! I’m happy subscribers receive a solid box in the mail instead of bubble packaging. Many businesses are now packaging products in plastic mailers but for body care products I prefer a box to keep my products protected. I’m reviewing the May box so I received only body care products (the new changes start in June). I don’t mind, I’ve been wanting to subscribe to a bath & body style subscription for a long time but most subscriptions have exorbitant shipping costs to Canada. Sweet Oak to the rescue!

Included was a product card from Sweet Oak which said “Thank You For Subscribing”. This is a small detail but I don’t think I’ve ever received a thank you notice from a subscription. The back of the card details the brands featured and a bit about each product.

Wilderness Soap Co. Rosemary Mint With
Glacial Clay Soap $9

We handcraft all of our products using only the finest, 100% natural ingredients from the wilderness to create an eco-friendly product that is safe for both us and the environment. Our soaps are handcrafted from scratch using the traditional cold process method and are air cured for 6 weeks. — Wilderness Soap Co

Wilderness Soap Co. is a local brand to Collingwood Ontario. Boxes like this are great if supporting local businesses is important to you. This is a great way to discover local makers. Collingwood Ontario isn’t local to me exactly, but it’s still a small Canadian business. I took a look at the different soaps on their website and there are so many different scents to choose from: Coffee, Coconut Milk, Seaweed and Salt, Citrus and Hops Beer, Chocolate Mint, etc.

This soap smells SO. GOOD. It’s pretty too! I’m more of a shower gel kind of girl to be honest, but I was willing to give this bar soap a try. This bar contains Glacial Clay from Canadian Glaciers which is supposed to be able to absorb impurities without drying out the skin. According to the back of the biodegradable label this bar is great for all skin types and is also cruelty-free and vegan. I’ve used it twice so far, I don’t really find it any more moisturizing than the regular bars of soap I use but I do enjoy the smell.

Natural Panda Bath Bomb $4.52CAD

This bath bomb is handcrafted with no dyes, perfumes or added preservatives. Enjoy a relaxing bath that will rejuvenate and revitalize your skin. Packed with skin loving oils + natural scents, these bath bombs will give your mind a break from your busy day. — Natural Panda

I do wish that the product card provided the website of each brand so that I wouldn’t have to search for it, especially when it comes to Etsy creators versus brands with established websites. It didn’t take me long to find the Markham Ontario Brand’s Etsy Shop, Natural Panda.

The product didn’t have a label so I’m unsure which exact bath bomb this is, whether it’s the Rose Blend, the sweet orange or the grapefruit. I’m pretty sure it’s the rose blend given the colour. I wish more beauty subscriptions featured bath bombs, I adore them but I always save them because I don’t want to use them up! Natural Panda ships to Canada for $5.

Delia Organics Wake Up Moisturizing Lotion 30ml $16.99

Pamper your skin with this moisturizing toner. Gently tones the skin without over drying. Great for all skin types. Your skin will have a more even complexion, reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and beautiful glowing skin. Great for after workouts in gym bags when you can’t wash your face. — Delia Organics

Delia Organics is a Vancouver BC brand that formulates it’s products with plant-based organic ingredients. I’ve never heard of Delia Organics but I love the brand aesthetic! They have a beautiful website and Instagram Feed. Not that that really matters as long as the products are good, but I can appreciate a well done website.

I love the smell of the Wake Up Moisturizing Lotion, it reminds me of pears for some reason even though it doesn’t contain any pears. The product comes in a little 30ml bottle with a pump. The brand suggests using this after a shower or after a gym workout when you don’t have time to shower for a quick refresher. It contains Sweet Orange Oil, Aloe Vera and Witch Hazel.

I’ve noticed that it does make a good toner but I absolutely need to layer moisturizer on top of it as it tends to leave my skin feeling a little tight (probably because of the witch hazel). I can see this being perfect after a workout!

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