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Happy Summer Solstice! Jason and I saw our first outdoor show of the season last night, so it well and truly feels like summer now and I’m so happy. I’ve been using the same products for what feels like forever, so I have been thrilled to finally change things up with the warmer weather, and add some new beauty bits to my routine. I’ve got a lot of products to talk about from skincare and makeup to haircare, nails and fragrance—so let’s get right into it!

Skincare

Dermalogica Calm Water Gel* This water-gel moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid, which not only replenishes the skin, but also helps the skin to retain water. The weightless formula has a cooling effect that instantly quenches my skin, making it perfect to apply after a day in the sun. This also creates a barrier to help protect your skin from the elements.

Nivea Essentials 24h Moisture Boost + Matte Day Cream SPF 15 My skin gets on really well with Nivea products and I’ve recently been loving using this as my everyday moisturizer. This day cream is oil-free and gives my skin the perfect amount of moisture, whilst also mattifying my skin as well. And even though SPF 15 is not a lot, at least I know my face always has a bit of sun protection.

Live Clean Face Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45* When I need a bit more sun protection, this is my current sunscreen of choice for my face. I love that this naturally derived mineral sunscreen contains no synthetic chemical sunscreen—or any nasty ingredients for that matter. It does take a few minutes to sink into the skin, but once it’s absorbed it wears fine under makeup, and keeps my skin protected all day long without clogging my pores.

Makeup

Hard Candy Sheer Envy Coconut Water Cooling Primer Stick This primer stick feels so cooling on the face, leaving my skin feeling soothed and hydrated. Before applying my makeup, I’ll just swipe this all over my face and then rub it in with fingertips. I will admit though—I’m not a huge fan of the scent of this, and I do wish it smelt like coconut like the name would suggest.

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in ‘Hu$tla Baby’ This highlighter is the perfect summer shade, as the peachy-champagne colour of this looks amazing on tanned skin and the shimmer in it leaves you looking like a glowing goddess. It’s very pigmented and it’s not only perfect for highlighting your face and collarbone, but it also makes a gorgeous eye shadow shade as well.

Essence Colour Correcting Mattifying Powder I love my colour/tone correcting products, and this affordable powder is perfect for helping to naturally even out my skin tone without applying too many products. It sets my makeup extremely well, does not look powdery on the face and also helps mattify my skin by eliminating any shine.

Revlon Kiss Balm in ‘Tropical Coconut’ These lip balms by Revlon are perfect for keeping in your purse or beach bag this summer. These contain natural fruit oils, which keep your lips hydrated and SPF 20 means your lips are kept protected. Plus, I love anything coconut scented and this smells just like a piña colada.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in ‘Rose’ I love these lip balms by Clarins, as they’re super lightweight on the lips and give the lips just a sheer wash of colour. I feel like this shade just enhances my natural lip colour and I love how fuss-free it is. This also leaves my lips feeling super nourished thanks to ingredients like mango and shea butter.

Fenty Beauty Gloss Balm ‘Fenty Glow’ I am absolutely obsessed with this lip luminizer, and it’s definitely going to be my go-to lip colour for the next few months. I adore the universal rose nude shade of this, as it wears beautifully and gives a subtle shimmer to the lips. The formula of this is not sticky, smells like vanilla and keeps my lips hydrated thanks to shea butter.

Nails

China Glaze Nail Polish in ‘It’s a Match’* I’m still loving my nude polishes and this shade is the perfect ‘summer nude’, as it’s a beautiful peachy nude crème. Since it’s a peach shade, it looks great with a tan and it’s likely all I’ll be wearing on my toes this summer. I also love the formula of China Glaze polishes—they’re some of the best on the market!

Haircare

Sun Bum Texturizing Sea Spray I love using salt sprays on my hair during the warmer months, as they enhance the waves in my hair without the use of heat. This spray actually has UV protection, so it not only gives my hair that low maintenance, beachy look, but it also protects my hair from the humidity and prevents frizz. It also smells good, sprays well, is not sticky, and gives my hair a matte-finish.

Fragrance

So…? Pink Grapefruit Body Mist* I like the lightness of body sprays, which is why I tend to gravitate towards them come summer. I love the tropical scent of this one—the pink grapefruit is such a refreshing and invigorating scent, but the added notes of mango and passionfruit help make it a bit more sweet. It’s the perfect fragrance for the summer.

What are some of your beauty picks for this summer?

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Happy Sunday friends! I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I actually wasn’t feeling too great Friday and Saturday, so today has been nice to get myself back on track and ready for the coming week. And to end this weekend on a high note, here are some product empties I’ve recently used up! I love these kind of posts, so let’s get right into it!

Haircare

Herbal Essences Daily Detox Volume Dry Shampoo

Pros: Love the fresh, invigorating crimson orange and mint scent of this, the citrus and mint feels stimulating, super inexpensive, no white residue, absorbs excess oil, free of parabens and colourants, don’t get as much product build up with this, as I do with other dry shampoos

Cons: Doesn’t give my hair much volume like it suggests

Repurchase? Yes.

Herbal Essences Tea-lightfully Refreshing Shampoo

Pros: Smells really refreshing, tea tree feels stimulating on the scalp, no heavy build-up, leaves my hair feeling really clean, inexpensive

Cons: Don’t find this as purifying as clarifying shampoos

Repurchase? Yes.

Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Conditioner

Pros: Smells really good, Detangles and conditions the hair, inexpensive

Cons: Just wasn’t really wowed with this conditioner

Repurchase? No.

Skincare

Palmer’s Coconut Oil Facial Moisturizer

Pros: Lightweight product that offers 24 hr moisture, leaves me with a dewy (not greasy) complexion, little goes a long way with this, love the coconut scent, affordable, uses ethically and sustainably sourced coconut oil and monoi oil, cruelty-free, free of any nasty ingredients

Cons: Very runny consistency resulting in the product coming out too fast

Repurchase? Yes, but not right away.

Herbacin Kamille Unscented Hand Cream

Pros: Excellent hand cream for sensitive skin, thick formula deeply moisturizes the skin and creates a barrier to protect the skin from the elements, relieves any painful tightness in my hands, contains camomile blossom extract, which feels very soothing, free of parabens, mineral oil, animal ingredients, synthetic colour and fragrance

Cons: Even though it’s unscented, I find this has a bit of a weird smell

Repurchase? Already have!

Herbacin Kamille Lip Balm

Pros: Such a great lip balm for dry, chapped lips, moisturizing and keeps lips from drying out, wears well under lip colour, contains camomile blossom extract, which feels very soothing, love the packaging, free of any nasty ingredients

Cons: Hard to find in-store

Repurchase? Yes.

Bath & Body

Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Creamy Body Wash

Pros: Smells incredible, creates a creamy lather, moisturizes the skin and leaves skin feeling clean

Cons: Not sure if they still make this product

Repurchase? Maybe.

The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Body Butter

Pros:  Love the warm, sweet and spicy scent of this, sinks quickly into the skin, moisturizing, non-greasy, scent lingers on skin

Cons: Seasonal scent

Repurchase? Definitely come the holidays!

St. Ives 24 hr Deep Restoring Almond & Linseed Body Lotion

Pros: Love the smell of this, non-greasy, absorbs quickly, lightweight formula, leaves skin hydrated and moisturized, good for sensitive skin, affordable, paraben-free

Cons: Didn’t ‘instantly boost skin’s natural radiance’ like it claims, 24 hr moisture is a bit of stretch

Repurchase? Yes.

Makeup

e.l.f HD Lifting Concealer 

Pros: Affordable, cruelty-free, good coverage, doesn’t settle into fine lines, lasts all day

Cons: Only comes in 3 shades, product is hard to get out near the end, contains paraffins

Repurchase? Yes.

Essence Colour Correcting Mattifying Powder

Pros: Set my makeup well, helped even out my complexion, mattified the skin, looked natural on the skin, affordable, cruelty-free

Cons: Essence powders tend to break easily

Repurchase? Already have!

Fragrance

So…? Vanilla Milkshake Body Mist*

Pros: Smells great, affordable, good mist on it, easy to travel with

Cons: Wish the scent lasted longer

Repurchase? Yes, but not right away.

You can read my last Product Empties post here. What products have you recently finished up?

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We didn’t really get much of a spring here in Toronto—it seems like we had a prolonged winter and then went straight into summer. However, the last few days have been a lot cooler and more ‘springlike’, but I’m definitely hoping the summer weather returns soon! Until then, here’s what I’ve been loving this spring!

The Body Shop Mineral & Ginger Warming Massage Clay Mask I’m a sucker for a good warming face mask, and this one does not disappoint. I love how hot this mask gets on the skin, as I can feel my pores opening up and it’s such a soothing feeling. The combination of the heat along with ginger, cinnamon oil and kaolin clay really works to deep clean the skin, as well as absorb any excess oil. My skin always feels amazing after using this, but I will say it is a bit of a battle to get this thicker mask out of the tube.

Sephora Collection Honey Lip Scrub I love lip scrubs, but they can be quite messy to apply and you end up wasting quite a bit of product. I decided to try this as an alternative, and it’s so much more convenient with zero waste. And since there’s no mess it means I can apply this before bed, whilst in bed. This exfoliates the lips upon application, and then I either rub my lips together or use my finger to further exfoliate and dissolve the sugar. And once the sugar is dissolved, you’re left with a super hydrating balm and the combination leaves my lips smooth and soft.

Live Clean Mineral Clay Rebalancing Shampoo* and Conditioner* This duo is the newest release from Live Clean and—no surprise—I absolutely love it! The use of three different mineral clays, along with vitamin E, provitamin B5, apple cider, witch hazel and tea tree removes product buildup and effectively cleanses and detoxifies the hair, while hydrating dry ends. This really has helped balance my hair out and since I’ve started using this duo I’ve been using a lot less dry shampoo.

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Headache Wellness Balm* This product has been an absolute saviour for me these past few months. Anytime I could feel a headache coming on, I just took one pump of this and massaged it onto my temples or wherever I was feeling pressure. Thanks to a combination of sweet marjoram, rosemary, peppermint and French lavender, this balm works quickly to alleviate any pressure or pain and allows me to get on with my day.

H&M Cotton Cargo Jacket (similar here) I’ve literally been living in this jacket all spring. The cotton material makes it super lightweight, but because it is more oversized you can also easily layer underneath it as well. It’s such a versatile addition to my wardrobe and I’ve been chucking it on overtop of all of my outfits. The H&M jacket I linked is a little different from mine, as I bought mine last year, but the two are extremely similar.

Westworld Season 2 I fell hard for season 1 of Westworld, so I’m so happy season 2 is finally here. It’s hard to say much about this season without spoiling anything, so all I’ll say is I’m really enjoying the new season so far. It is very different in comparison to season 1, as there is so much more going on amidst the chaos with all of the flashbacks, different storylines and other ‘worlds’. This sci-fi western is just written and executed so well and if you’re not watching it, then you’re seriously missing out.

What things have you been loving this spring?

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When I first started my blog in 2014, I watched a ton of different YouTubers for their product recommendations, as inspiration for my blog and just for good ol’ entertainment. However, within the last year or so, I have found myself watching less and less YouTubers for a multitude of different reasons (which could be a blogpost in itself). That being said, there are a small handful of YouTubers I do still enjoy watching, which is what I want to share with you today!

Tati

I’ve been watching Tati (or GlamLifeGuru as she used to go by) back when she had under 200,000 subscribers, and it’s been amazing seeing her channel grow into what it is today, with now over 4 million subscribers! She is my go-to girl for product recommendations, as I truly trust her opinion and appreciate her honesty when it comes to reviewing products. She loves her drugstore makeup just as much as her high-end makeup, and though she can sometimes be a bit dramatic, her content never comes off as pretentious, which I love.

NEW AT THE DRUGSTORE | Hot or Not - YouTube

The Anna Edit

I love the whole lifestyle vibe on Anna’s channel, as I find her videos just so relaxing to watch and listen to. I always find her and I like a lot of the same things—whether it’s food or television or fashion—which is probably why I still enjoy her content so much. For some reason though, I never watch Anna’s videos right away—I find myself letting her videos accumulate for a little bit before curling up and binge-watching 5 or 6 of her videos in an evening. Anyone else have a YouTuber they do this with?

The Vietnam Vlog: Packing, Beauty & OOTDs | The Anna Edit - YouTube

Niomi Smart

Niomi possesses this effortless elegance and grace that reminds me a bit of Audrey Hepburn, which is pretty much the ultimate compliment. She comes off so incredibly warm and inviting in all of her videos, but her ‘What I Eat in a Day’ videos are definitely my favourite of hers, as I love her passion towards food and the wonderful plant-based recipes she creates. She proves how delicious and easy a plant-based diet can be and she really inspires me to eat a healthier, more colourful diet.

26. WHAT I EAT IN A DAY | Niomi Smart - YouTube

Safiya Nygaard

I used to watch Safiya when she was on BuzzFeed (which is another YouTube channel I still love watching), but I had no idea she had a channel of her own. Her videos are always as equally fun, as they are hilarious, and I love how thorough she is in all of her videos. Whether she’s testing out weird beauty hacks, trying products that social media recommends to her or buying a weeks worth of outfits from an online retailer, all of her videos have a comedic undertone to them, which makes her extremely entertaining to watch.

Wearing Fashion Nova Outfits For A Week - YouTube

Who are some of your favourite YouTubers?

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Whether we wake up not feeling 100% or start to feel a little off later in the day, we’ve all been there and it’s definitely not fun. And if you’re like me, then you don’t want to be constantly popping pills for every little ailment. I love me some natural products, and these 5 are especially great for relieving everyday ailments, and helping me to get on with my day.

Headaches

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Headache Wellness Balm* As a high-stress person, I get tension headaches quite a bit, and this balm has been an absolute saviour. I take about one pump of this and massage it onto my temples or wherever I am feeling the most pressure. Key ingredients of sweet marjoram and rosemary work wonderfully together to help alleviate the pain and pressure, while peppermint offers instant relief thanks to its cooling properties. The peppermint, paired with French lavender, also gives this a very calming scent. Within 20 minutes, I am already feeling so much better.

Anxious Mind

Badger Aromatherapy Cheerful Mind Balm I’ve had this for a couple years now and it’s something I always reach for when I feel myself getting overwhelmed or anxious. It contains spearmint, which is an amazing stimulant along with ylang ylang, which has an uplifting effect on the mood. It also contains essential oils of lemon and orange peel, which are energizing and help with mental clarity. I absolutely adore the scent of this, and it really does help to relax my mind and improve my mood. I take a few deep inhales of the product or apply it on my wrists and it’s also perfect for taking on-the-go.

Stomach Discomfort

Saje Natural Wellness Eater’s Digest With the ingredient list only containing fennel, chamomile, peppermint, black pepper, myrrh and grapeseed oil, this balm is a wonderful concoction of 100% plant-based ingredients to help soothe any stomach discomfort. The peppermint, of course, gives that cooling sensation and fennel is the key ingredient here to help digestion. Whenever my stomach is feeling a little upset or bloated after eating, this helps to eliminate that uncomfortable pain. All I do is roll this on my stomach and gently massage it in, so it can sink into the skin snd work its magic.

Sore Muscles

Equate Epsom Salts Everyone knows that a warm bath is excellent for helping your body relax and unwind, but adding Epsom salts really takes that bath up a notch. Whether I am feeling sore after a workout or my feet are exhausted from being on them all day, an Epsom salt bath really is the best thing to help relax my muscles and relieve any stiffness. In water, Epsom salts break down into magnesium, which is a mineral our body needs and can be absorbed through the skin. This one from Walmart comes with no added frills and in a huge 4 kg container.

Razor Burn

Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner It’s shaving season once again, which means my legs are covered in itchy, red bumps. Thanks to my sensitive skin, it doesn’t seem to matter what razor or shaving cream/oil I use, I always end up with razor burn, which is really annoying. I already use witch hazel regularly as a toner for my face, but because it is anti-inflammatory, it’s also great for soothing razor burn. After shaving my legs, I’ll soak a cotton round with witch hazel and applying it all over my legs before moisturizing. By the morning the itching has subsided and the redness has gone down significantly.

Do you use any natural products for any everyday ailments? Let me know in the comments!

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I love my affordable body washes, and with the amount now available on the market there’s really no need to spend a lot on them—not that I ever did! However, with so many different brands offering a ton of different formulas and fragrances, it can definitely get a little overwhelming. So, to help you out, here are my top brands that do some of my favourite body washes!

Live Clean

I’m pretty vocal about this Canadian brand and how much I adore their stuff. And with their ever-expanding range of eco-friendly products—which are vegan, cruelty-free and free of any harsh chemicals—they’re definitely my favourite, affordable brand in terms of ‘green’ beauty. I love how gentle their body washes are on the skin and how nourished my skin feels after using them. Plus, the 500 mL size means you get a ton of product for the price, so you really can’t go wrong!

Some of my favourites include:

Live Clean Vanilla Oatmeal Soothing Body Wash*, Live Clean Fresh Water Hydrating Body Wash* and Live Clean Coconut Milk Moisturizing Body Wash*

Le Petit Marseillais

As the #1 selling body wash in France, this French company finally made it’s way over to North America last year. I absolutely love the unique scents they offer in their range, which are all inspired by the nature and culture of the South of France. All of their body washes are also pH neutral, meaning they are adapted to the pH of your skin to help keep the skin healthy and balanced. I especially love their shower crèmes, which leave my skin feeling really moisturized. Hopefully, they bring more of their products over to Canada soon, as I am a total fan.

Some of my favourites include:

Le Petit Marseillais Orange Blossom Extra Gentle Shower Crème*, Le Petit Marseillais Vanilla Milk Extra Gentle Shower Crème* and Le Petit Marseillais Cotton Milk & Poppy Extra Gentle Shower Crème*

Dove

I’ve used Dove since I was a kid, and it’s a brand I always end up coming back to because I love the nostalgic scent of their products and how gentle they are. At the moment, I have been using the Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash*, which I received complimentary for testing purposes courtesy of Influenster. Thanks to its NutriumMoisture technology, it creates a rich lather that leaves my skin feeling so incredibly soft and smooth out of the shower. So much so, that I feel like I don’t even need to moisturize afterwards, which is saying a lot, as I am someone that is very adamant about moisturizing my body.

Some of my favourites include:

Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash*, Dove Go Fresh Cucumber & Green Tea Scent Body Wash and Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar (great for new tattoos!)

The Body Shop

I absolutely love The Body Shop’s shower gels, as they come in so many different scents, and even though they’re shower gels range from $10-$20, they are almost always on offer, making them much more affordable (I usually wait until they’re on for 50% off). They use soap-free cleansers, so it doesn’t strip the skin, and they also use Community Trade ingredients, which is always worth supporting. Their Tea Tree Skin Clearing Body Wash is especially great for blemish-prone skin, and I love using it after the gym to help keep my skin clear on my chest and back.

Some of my favourites include:

The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Shower Gel, The Body Shop Honeymania Shower Gel and The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Body Wash

Do you also love any of these body washes as well? What are some of your favourites?

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You better believe I’ve still been focused on finishing up products left, right and centre. I’ve actually been meaning to get this post up for awhile now, so I can finally chuck these products in the bin! Just tackling my spring cleaning over here…

Haircare

Dove Refresh + Care Volume Dry Shampoo

Pros: Gives my hair noticeable volume and texture, easily absorbs excess oil, smells great, inexpensive

Cons: Tend to get product buildup more quickly when I use this formula

Repurchase? Yes.

Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo

Pros: Love the fresh, invigorating crimson orange and mint scent of this, the citrus and mint feels stimulating, super inexpensive, no white residue, absorbs excess oil, free of parabens and colourants, don’t get as much product build up with this, as I do with other dry shampoos

Cons: Doesn’t give my hair much volume like it suggests

Repurchase? Yes.

TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Hair Spray

Pros: Smells good, affordable, combats frizz, adds shine, sprays well

Cons: Can sometimes feel sticky and crispy, doesn’t hold as well as other hairsprays

Repurchase? No.

Boo Bamboo Anti-Humidity Hair Spray

Pros: Smells great, does not weigh down hair or make it sticky or crispy, holds hairstyle, protects against humidity, cruelty-free, paraben and DEA free, eco-friendly, all natural and organic ingredients

Cons: Nozzle sometimes gets clogged with product buildup

Repurchase? Yes.

Skincare

LUSH Santa Baby Lip Scrub

Pros: Effectively exfoliates dry skin on my lips leaving them soft and smooth, smells and tastes like cherry cola, Canadian, handmade, cruelty-free, vegan

Cons: Can be a bit messy to use, seasonal product, can do without the red dye

Repurchase? Yes, if they bring it back for Christmas.

Garnier All-in-1 Micellar Water

Pros: Easily removes dirt, oil and makeup, suitable for all skin types including sensitive, gentle and non-irritating on the eyes, contains no oil, alcohol or fragrance, affordable, great value for price

Cons: Contains the ingredient polyaminopropyl biguanide (PHMB), which is a preservative that is believed to be cancer-causing

Repurchase? As must as I love this micellar water, I will no longer be repurchasing it, as long as it contains PHMB.

Michael Todd Pumpkin Nutrient-Rich Facial Mask

Pros: Effectively removes dead and dulling skin, leaves skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated, feel like my skin can breathe better after using this, chock full of essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, smells like pumpkin pie, contains no nasty ingredients, cruelty-free

Cons: Horrible packaging—it was so hard to get the product out of here (thankfully, they have since changed the packaging), can only get this online, not suitable for sensitive skin and can irritate any broken skin (this stuff is heavy duty)

Repurchase? Yes, but not right away.

Boscia Oil-Free Daily Hydration*

Pros: Great lightweight moisturizer, oil-free formula helps control shine and minimize the appearance of pores, hydrating, absorbs quickly into the skin, a little goes a long way

Cons: Don’t think this is available anymore

Repurchase? If it was still available, yes.

Nivea Creme

Pros: Intensely hydrating, relieves dry skin, multipurpose, gentle, does not clog pores, a little goes a long way, comes in a variety of sizes, love the nostalgic scent of this, this size is perfect for your handbag and traveling

Cons: Since it is a thick creme it does take some time to sink in

Repurchase? Yes.

Bath & Body

Belcam Bath Therapy 3-in-1 in ‘Sweet Vanilla’

Pros: Smells delicious, affordable, free of a lot of harsh ingredients, pH skin compatible, softens skin, bubbles up well in the bath and the bubbles last, lathers up well and leaves skin feeling clean (I don’t use this as a shampoo, so can’t say if it’s any good in that department)

Cons: Find the lid tends to break on this

Repurchase? Yes.

Makeup

e.l.f. Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter

Pros: Both products blend easily, products did not crease, very affordable, cruelty-free

Cons: Concealer barely had any coverage, highlighter blends into nothing, packaging cracked, products smelt really off

Repurchase? No.

Essence Mattifying Compact Powder

Pros: Set my makeup well, helped even out my complexion, mattified the skin, looked natural on the skin, affordable, cruelty-free

Cons: Wasn’t the perfect match for my skin, powder broke easily

Repurchase? Yes, but not right away.

You can read my last Product Empties post here. What products have you recently finished up?

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I used to be that person that was guilty of buying things excessively just because something was on sale or was a good deal. And just because I really like something, doesn’t mean I need it—especially when most of the time I already own something similar. As I get older, I am learning that less really is more, and it is such a comforting and powerful mindset to possess. So, in this post I wanted to share 5 things in particular that I’ve stopped buying in excess—I still buy all of the things mentioned in this post, but nowhere near to the severity as I used to!

Nail Polish

I’ll be the first to admit that, as much as I love having my nails painted, I absolutely despise painting them. So, even though my nail polish stash wasn’t too excessive compared to other peoples, I had still accumulated a basket full of nail polishes, most of which I barely touched. Last year, I tossed a ton of old nail polishes out, and I think I bought only one nail polish last year. It just makes sense to have 5 or 6 of my favourite shades at a time, and wait and purchase new colours as I need them (because let’s be real, no one needs 5 different shades of red at once).

Costume Jewelry

I used to buy so much costume jewelry in my late teens and early 20s and majority of it ended up in the trash because it either tarnished horribly or just fell apart. And if I added up how much I spent on all of those tarnished pieces, I easily could of just treated myself to a piece of jewelry of better quality. Over the last few years, I’ve really only been wearing my good quality jewelry—a collection of pieces I’ve slowly accumulated and truly treasure, as some pieces were my grandparents, while others were gifts from loved ones. Sure, I’ll still buy a pair of inexpensive earrings or a fun statement necklace for nights out, but otherwise I try to steer clear of costume jewelry now.

Hair Styling Products

I had acquired quite a few hair styling products under my sink, and as someone who is pretty low maintenance with their hair, I really had no need for so many products. I finally managed to work my way through all of said products and it just felt so good to clear up all of that unneeded clutter. Now, I just tend to keep my essentials on hand, which are a dry shampoo, hairspray, a hair oil and some sort of treatment product, and replace them as I need them.

Cheap Handbags

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good affordable handbag, but there are a few brands in particular I won’t buy anymore because I know from experience how quickly they’ll fall apart on me. And like jewelry, handbags are also something that I believe is better in terms of quality over quantity. And when I say ‘quality’ I don’t mean that in terms of a $500 designer bag—you can easily get a great quality bag that’ll last you a long time for $50-$100! I donated quite a few of my handbags last year that I liked, but just never used, and I’m actually looking forward to purging a couple more that are on their last legs.

Lip Products

I really do love my lip products— from lipsticks and glosses to lip balms, I’ve accumulated quite a bit. However, instead of buying another nude lipstick, I’m learning to appreciate and use what I have in my collection in an effort to use some up. And since lip products—especially those with a doe foot applicator—get contaminated more easily, it makes sense to try and use those up before they go off. No doubt, I’ll still be treating myself to a new lip product here and there (I am a total lip addict after all), but no where near as often as I used to.

I think it’s really liberating to cut back on the excessive things we buy in our everyday life. It’s definitely taught me to appreciate the things I do have more, and being able to declutter and organize more easily has also helped with my anxiety.

Are any of you making an effort to buy certain things less excessively? I’d love to know!

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Whilst January seemed to drag on forever, February came and went like that *snaps fingers*, and now it’s already mid-March. Despite how quickly the last month and a bit has gone, I’m definitely ready to wave goodbye to winter, and transition into spring. However, not until I have shared some of my favourites throughout the winter months!

Here’s what I’ve been loving this season:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #12 I never knew I needed a $23 brush in my life, but this brush is a serious game changer in regards to doing your brows. I had purchased the Dipbrow Pomade a little while ago—which is so incredible—but paired with this brush it is seriously the best duo ever. The synthetic bristles on this are firm, yet soft, and the small, angled size gives you so much control and precision when filling in your brows. The spoolie on the opposite end also makes it super convenient to switch back and forth between while doing your brows.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in ‘Blonde’ I honestly don’t think I can love any brow product as much as I love this stuff. The pomade works as both a primer and colour, and leaves my non-existent brows looking full and defined. The shade ‘Blonde’ matches my hair and complexion perfectly, so it allows my brows to still look soft and natural, which is what I love. The formula is quite creamy, making it easy to work with, but it’s also smudge-proof and waterproof meaning it will not budge whatsoever throughout the day.

Herbacin Kamille Unscented Hand Cream My hands are always dry throughout the winter, but during January they were the worst I had seen them in a longtime. Thankfully, this hand cream helped alleviate the painful tightness I was experiencing. The thick formula really works to penetrate the skin and help heal it, while also creating a barrier to help protect your skin from the elements. And because it uses gentle ingredients and is free of synthetic colours and fragrance, it’s extremely gentle on dry, sensitive skin (I also love applying this on my feet before bed).

Herbacin Kamille Lip Balm The same time I grabbed the hand cream, I also decided to grab their lip balm, as it was on sale. This lip balm is intensely hydrating, but is still lightweight enough to wear throughout the day. With the combination of vegetable oils and camomile, this plant-based lip balm it is extremely effective for chapped lips and works to protect your lips from drying out any further. I have been applying this 24/7, and it gives my lips so much relief and leaves them feeling really soft.

The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Body Butter I was so excited to see that The Body Shop brought back Vanilla Chai for the holidays, as I love the sweet, spicy and warm scent of this. I also love the consistency of their body butters, and the instant hydration they give my skin. Made with handpicked vanilla from Madagascar, I’ve been enjoying applying this out of the shower and I love that the beautiful scent of this lingers on the skin for a little while.

I’m not gonna lie, I spent the vast majority of my evenings this winter curled up on the couch, so evidently I have a few TV favourites as well…

Black Mirror Season 4 Netflix released the newest season of Black Mirror at the end of December and even though there were a couple episodes I didn’t love, I still really enjoyed this season. ‘Hang the DJ’, which was episode 4 of this season, was definitely one of my favourite episodes in the entire Black Mirror anthology. The premise is a dating program that gives an expiration date on every relationship, and even though I was confused by the weird world they were living in, it all comes together at the very end, which really hit me emotionally. ‘USS Callister’, the first episode of season 4, which takes us into a Star Trek-esque realm, is another favourite episode of mine from this season.

Ozark Season 1 Jason and I wanted a new show to start, so we decided to give Ozark a go, and we were both instantly hooked—I’m pretty sure we watched the first season in just a couple nights. The show is focused around Marty Byrde, a financial planner who moves his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks after a money laundering scheme goes wrong, leaving Marty with a huge debt to pay off to a Mexican drug lord. Jason Bateman stars as the main character in it, and even though he is forever Michael Bluth to me, he’s absolutely fantastic in this. If you loved Breaking Bad, definitely give this show a watch.

Parks and Recreation Finally, Jason and I have also been binge watching Parks and Recreation from the beginning. I haven’t watched the show in years, and forgot just how hilarious and amazing the Parks Department of Pawnee, Indiana is. I love every single character in it (yes, even Jean-Ralphio who I quote on the regular), as each character is cast perfectly, which is really what makes the show. And even though I love each and every episode, ‘The Fight’ is still one of my favourite episodes of the entire series—I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched that episode.

What have you been loving throughout the winter season?

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Hey, hello! You may (or may not) have noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet over here on Ellerow. I might create a blogpost going into why, but long story short, I ended up taking the month of February off from my blog.

I’m now back, but with nothing too special—just another Product Empties post to share with you! Here’s another dozen products I used up over the winter months.

Haircare

Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo

Pros: Love the fresh, invigorating crimson orange and mint scent of this, the citrus and mint feels stimulating, super inexpensive, no white residue, absorbs excess oil, free of parabens and colourants, don’t get as much product build up with this, as I do with other dry shampoos

Cons: Doesn’t give my hair much volume like it suggests

Repurchase? Yes.

Live Clean Exotic Silk Keratin Oil Thermal Protective Spray

Pros: Smells amazing, protects hair from heat, can use on damp or dry hair, fast drying, smoothes frizz and adds shine, affordable, no nasty ingredients, cruelty-free

Cons: This is the second bottle I’ve purchased of this where the nozzle does not work/spray properly

Repurchase? Undecided. It’s a great heat protectant spray, but the nozzle never seems to work properly on it.

Skincare

Garnier All-in-1 Micellar Water

Pros: Easily removes dirt, oil and makeup, suitable for all skin types including sensitive, gentle and non-irritating on the eyes, contains no oil, alcohol or fragrance, affordable, great value for price

Cons: Contains the ingredient polyaminopropyl biguanide (PHMB), which is a preservative that is believed to be cancer-causing

Repurchase? I had already purchased another bottle before I knew what PHMB was, so I probably won’t repurchase this again after I finish my other bottle. Disappointing because I do love this micellar water.

Pixi Glow Tonic

Pros: Gentle exfoliating toner that really works to brighten and smooth the skin, instantly perks up my skin, gives my skin a much needed glow, got rid of any little bumps on my skin, suitable for all skin types, alcohol-free, cruelty-free

Cons: Pricey

Repurchase? Yes, when I can afford the larger size.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Face Lotion

Pros: Offers SPF 30, oil-free, absorbs quickly and feels lightweight on the skin, does not clog pores or break me out, moisturizing, water-resistant, smells good, my face never burns when I use this

Cons: Can’t think of anything!

Repurchase? Yes, but not until summertime.

Nivea Q10plus Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream*

Pros: Love the rich formula of this, left my skin super soft and smooth, coenzyme Q10 and creatine work to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, loved using this especially on my neck

Cons: More pricey for drugstore skincare, in a tub (contaminating)

Repurchase? Yes, but not right away.

Inecto Naturals Coconut Hand & Nail Cream

Pros: Smells delicious, absorbs quickly into the skin, lightweight formula makes it a great everyday hand cream, conditions nails and cuticles, contains no nasty ingredients, vegan, cruelty-free, uses organic and sustainably sourced oil

Cons: Not as ‘intensive’ as it claims to be, hard to find in-store

Repurchase? Yes! I also really want to try more products by this brand!

Bath & Body

Le Petit Marseillais White Peach & Nectarine Extra Gentle Shower Gel Body Wash*

Pros: Smells great, lathers up well, washes off easily, leaves skin feeling soft and clean, pH balanced, affordable

Cons: Found the shower gel doesn’t lather up as well as their shower cremes

Repurchase? Yes, but not right away.

NSPA by Nirvana Spa Vanilla Shower Scrub

Pros: Smells amazing, affordable, lathers up well making it a good body wash

Cons: Way too gentle for a scrub, barely exfoliated

Repurchase? No, but I love the smell of this, so I will try the other products in this range.

St. Ives Collagen & Elastin Renewing Body Lotion

Pros: Non-greasy, lightweight formula absorbs quickly into the skin, leaves skin hydrated and moisturized, collagen and elastin works to restore and revitalize, good for sensitive skin, smells good, affordable, paraben-free

Cons: Can’t think of anything

Repurchase? Yes.

Makeup

The Body Shop Extra Virgins Mineral Powder Foundation

Pros: Evens out my complexion, looks natural on the skin, good for minimal makeup days, like the mineral formula of this

Cons: Seems like this has been discontinued, not a huge fan of the scent of this, can make my skin shiny if I use too much

Repurchase? Even if it was still available, I probably wouldn’t repurchase it, just because I’m not a huge fan of loose powders.

Nails

Illamasqua Top Coat Nail Varnish

Pros: Absolutely love the formula of this, seals in nail colour and prevents chips, adds shine, maintains colour intensity, dries in seconds, love the fine brush on it

Cons: Pricey, no stores seem to sell Illamasqua anymore in Canada

Repurchase? I totally would.

You can read my last Product Empties post here. What products have you recently finished up?

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