My Solo Trip to Vancouver, Canada

When I started thinking about a solo trip I thought of a few things: where can I go that is safe, and where can I go that is fun but not too much fun. I have always wanted to do a solo trip and I have always wanted to go to Vancouver. Now that I am employed, I thought this was a perfect time to take some vacation and get some R&R. 

On my first day of adventuring, I went to Calipano Stanley Park which was an absolutely beautiful place to go. It was super serene and super easy to navigate. What was nice about traveling solo in Vancouver was it is Canada. So that made everything easy to understand which already removed a barrier. The city is also super easy to navigate. My hotel was within walking distance to pretty much any tourist attraction in Vancouver. This made it easy to explore and go to everywhere I saw on Pinterest. After this, I went to Canada place and walked along the Canada Walk. Then I did some shopping (classic) at the CP Pacific Centre which was one of the nicest laid out malls, and the Nordstrom was just beautiful to gander around in. I also had chipotle for dinner which was amazing. 

My second day was Grouse mountain. Now, I don’t ski so I didn’t go skiing which might have been something I could have looked into, but I did rent some skates and skate on their little dinky rink. In the lift I chatted with two fabulous ladies (one that offered me a ride but wasn’t going to where I was heading) and it was just nice chatting and see why people were there and where they were from. I ended up busing to Stanley Park where I walked along the seawall and checked out the Totum poles. It was a very peaceful walk and of course, my legs were sore at this point, but it was lovely. The weather was also so nice, it was plus 5 and the vibe was so chill in the city and on the Seawell. After this, I went to try and find this Italian resteraunt but somehow ended up in the Downtown Eastside. I eventually made it to Gastown where I ate the best Carbonara of my life. Also only in Canada can you go in the same city to snow and then go back down a mountain and it is practically Spring!

My third day was full of adventures let me tell you. First, I went to Granville Island where I got lost and couldn’t really find where I was going. I walked around the little market and then got myself some fish and chips. I then went downtown again near my hotel to check out Robson Street, the most popular street for shopping. What a fun place. The whole vibe of downtown was actually quite chill, but as I found out during my time in Whistler apparently this is not always the case. After this I might have gotten Chipotle again…

My next and last day was a day in Whistler. This was a fabulous day. I met two women who where traveling together, we had lunch and gabbed. They told me about Vancouver and Whistler and we exchanged emails. To me, this is what solo travelling is all about, meeting new and interesting people. It was great! I then went to the Squamish cultural centre which was very interesting. 

What did I learn solo traveling? It was an experience that I want to do again. I am really glad that I went within Canada and that I had the confidence to take public transit. I also liked that I could wake up when I wanted, eat when I wanted, and essentially had the freedom to just roam around and adventure. Where should I go next!?


Sephora Haul: Mini Reviews

I did a bit of shopping over the past few months at good old Sephora. I have been near a Sephora about twice a month for the past 6 months for work training, and I always took the opportunity to do a little bit of a pop in at Sephora. I got a few of these products online (during the Sephora sale) and a few in store during my journey’s there. I wanted to do a few mini reviews rounding up my thoughts on these products. I will do some more in-depth reviews coming in the next month! 

In Store Purchases

Mac fix plus and nudestix nudies matte

Mac Fix plus: This is an iconic product. I have heard on several makeup podcasts that its purpose is to not actually set your makeup but to refresh your skin and melt the powders together. I really like this, however, because it is not a setting spray it makes me miss my beloved Too Faced Hangover RX setting spray. This doesn’t irritate my skin and has a lovely scent. 

Nudestix nudies matte in sunset strip: This was a YouTube made me buy it product. As soon as I saw Jamie Paige Beauty and Samantha Ravndahl use this, I knew I was going to “need” it in my collection. This is a lovely, coral blush that is the perfect summer flush (or any season flush). It is creamy, and while it claims its matte I don’t find it to be a flat matte, it is almost like the Physicians Formula butter blush in a cream stick version. 

The Online VIB Sale Purchases

Clockwise: Kosas tinted face oil, Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar bronze and glow, Bite Beauty lip balm, Charlotte Tilbury Magic away concealer, Coverfx matte and shimmer blush duo

CoverFx Matte and Shimmer blush duo: This duo, again, something I saw on Instagram and it immediately piqued my interest. I love the idea of having the option of using a shimmer or matte blush or layering them. I also like to use these on my eyes as well. Full review and comparison coming soon! 

close up of charlotte tilbury filmstar bronze and glow
coverfx matte an shimmer blush

The Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow: This has been on my list of things to get for YEARS. Since I saw Allanarama use this back in 2016 I have been eyeing it ever since. Now, that Charlotte Tilbury is finally in Sephora (and I finally could justify this in my budget) I bought it. This is a lovely product. The sculpt shade is the perfect contour without being too grey that I feel I can wear on its own or paired with bronzer. The highlighter is beautiful and glowy, without being metallic or glittery. This is the perfect palette for work!

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away concealer: Oh mama. This concealer. Is. Magic. See what I did there? This concealer creases so minimally and spreads out so easily while maintaining excellent coverage, I don’t know if I ever want to go back to any other concealer… although you know me I’ll always be trying more. However, I think that this is going to be my new holy grail concealer … it’s just lovely! 

Kosas Tinted Face Oil: This has mixed reviews from various sources. However, I really like this. It does tend to look greasy so I usually set my t zone when using this. I was concerned that this may break down on my skin but honestly, it lasts really nicely throughout the day. I don’t recommend this if you already have oily skin, but if you have normal to dry skin this is a lovely light coverage base. Full review to come! 

Bite Beauty Agave and Daytime Lip Balm: I got this because I needed a good lip balm. This is nice, but I find that it doesn’t really hydrate my lips as much as I thought it would. I wear this in the morning as I’m doing my makeup. I find that my favourite lip balm is still the Fresh one in terms of actually hydrating my lips. I will use this up but I’m not sure if I would repurchase this!

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Beauty Minimalism as a Beauty Blogger

Beauty minimalism is something I wanted to talk about. I think the definition of minimalism is very personal but is tied with surrounding yourself with things that you genuinely love. The way I want to talk about the idea of minimalism from a beauty standpoint is discussing release fatigue. Basically release fatigue is when you are tired of brands releasing and releasing product (looking at you Colourpop). This is my daily struggle: my content that does well is reviews and hauls, and what else do you review than a new product? However, I battle between wanting maybe one or two products of each makeup category to loving trying and buying new products. I wanted to share some thoughts I have about release fatigue and the over-consumption (me included) of the beauty industry.

According to an article I found on the Allure website- over 3,000 women were surveyed by skinstore and found that women in the united states spend $300,000 on their face over a lifetime. A LIFETIME. I have never counted or added up the value of makeup collection mostly because I could porbably pay a large chunk of my OSAP. When you are not into beauty or skincare to this number is probably terrifying and the amount of makeup I personally own is probably mind boggling – however it is my only hobby that costs me money so I think somehow it balances out! But, to think about numbers like $300,000 shows how much the beauty industry is growing.

I think my biggest gripe with the beauty industry right now is how much companies are releasing. If you take a look at Trendmood’s Instagram you can see photo after photo of new products and new brands – which is great but can be overwhelming. NARS, Colourpop, Morphe are a few of the brands that I’ve noticed have been releasing collection after collection, MAC has always done those limited collections so I don’t get sick of their collections because in my humble opinion I feel like brands have tried to emulate that. I think my main issue is it feels like brands are capitalizing on trends and targeting consumers so they will buy more and feed into capitalism (which again obviously I do this too). However, I think that brands that curate well (like Glossier) do so strategically for marketing purposes. I think Glossier, and Hourglass are a few brands do well with having releases every 3 months or so making it less overwhelming for consumers. When brands like Colourpop (who I will admit don’t compromise quality) release a collection every which way I feel like for the average consumer this can get overwhelming. Even for me, an avid lover of the brand, it can just get overwhelming.

When I say overwhelming I say this for one reason: that someone new to makeup is just going to buy this affordable makeup and then not realize what they actually like. Am I speaking from experience? Yes. Yes, I am. When you first discover the world of beauty YouTube you just want to try everything and that means buying inexpensive products that either don’t work for you or you bought to try because you saw your fave person using or like me you use it once and realize its not your makeup style. Now I’m not saying Colourpop doesn’t make some of my favorite products or in fact doesn’t make products I use on the daily they are merely a good example of a brand that releases collections twice monthly. In fact most of the time I find myself gravitating towards my colourpop items because they are so good – however it is the best example I personally have in my Instagram feed of new releases.

What is the point of this post? I think my point is that I strive to be more intentional with my purchases. At the beginning of 2019 I bought a million drugstore products that didn’t “spark joy” as Marie Kondo would say (still need to read the book and will do so this summer) and then finding myself not gravitating towards drugstore makeup but using my high-end and boutique makeup (like the body shop). I think the other thing for me about trying to not buy makeup is to not buy it as an excuse for “research” for the blog. I built the beginning of this blog on drugstore beauty which I will never not lover but more and more when I picture my “ideal” collection it consists of high-end makeup with some drugstore and boutique brands spackled in there. While I don’t ever see myself losing the drugstore/affordable side of my blog I do think that because the beauty industry has boomed so much I want to start doing quality over quantity as well as treating ALL my purchases with more thought.

I also think that I struggle with the fun of trying new makeup and being creative with only owning what I need. For example, as a blogger, I love finding dupes for holy grail products which then means I am feeding into the mass market to try new things to help my readers find alternatives! Alas, the balancing act continues!

What are your thoughts on beauty minimalism as a beauty blogger?

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What Happened to My skin After only Using Drugstore Makeup for Month

In the name of science, I decided that for the month of April I would use all drugstore makeup for a month. In doing so I kept all my project pan items the same – such as the body shop foundation which is mid-range as well as my pan that palette, palettes, but other than that I switched out my normal high and low routine, for all drugstore affordable products. I Kept my skincare routine basically the same. I did get two new cleansers and a new moisturizer. I also added a new face oil, but that only made my skin feel better. I wanted to say that normally I switch between the IT Cosmetics CC cream and the Benefit foundation as well as my Body shop foundation and my Andalou Naturals cc cream, with a smattering of the Maybelline BB Cream in there. I know – I keep it wild. My reasoning for this project was mainly for the foundations. I wanted to see what would happen to my skin if I used only drugstore foundations, powders, concealers for a month. Mostly – I was curious about the effects of the wide range of foundations I owned price wise.

My skin before the whole experiment taken on April 1st.
Joe fresh concealer and Burt's Bees Goodness Glows foundation product shot

Day 2: new pimples have popped up. Literally, the day after I began using the Covergirl Outlast Active foundation  I got new spots. This is the thing – I wanted to make a more inexpensive drugstore foundation work which I why I used the CoverGirl and the Rimmel breathable foundation for the first half of the month. But, my skin just did not react well. Which is extremely frustrating because makeup should be accessible and affordable and not give your skin wild reactions. While most young people have great skin and don’t need foundation, I am fully aware that teenagers want to wear foundation and yet the foundations they can afford are clogging their sweet young pores.

Day 3

By day 3 I had sprouted new friends on my chin. Alas, I was still using the CoverGirl and Rimmel foundation. I had bought the ELF BB Cream which I actually quite like and doesn’t irritate my skin so that will be on my rotation for after May. I noticed an improvement after I started using the BB Cream and then just using concealer.

Day 15 – a bit more congested than usual, lots of redness and spots.
Physicians formula butter high lighter, bronzer, blush.

By day 15, halfway through the month my skin was visibly more textured and had small breakouts – bare in mind when I used the Burt’s bees foundation for my skin drastically improved. When I returned to the Maybelline BB cream and  Covergirl foundation my skin then turned slightly red and those small breakouts returned. At this point, I decluttered the Rimmel and Covergirl foundations that I knew were causing this and switched to only using the Maybelline BB Cream, and the Burt’s Bees Foundation.

The Last day of the experiment. A few spots but looking a lot less congested

At the end of the month, you can see that my skin had improved – there are a few uncharacteristic spots around my mouth and on my forehead that I never get. However, this was only because I was gifted the Burt’s Bees foundation that is a clean foundation and I bought the Physicians formula healthy foundation that is $20 CAD which resulted in my skin healing. I also was using my L’Oreal shaping stick foundation that has never irritated my skin and is also $20 CAD. As someone who loves affordable makeup but also loves skincare, it is interesting to see the difference in using more expensive products from the drugstore that give my skin a better reaction than that of the less expensive foundations you can find at the drugstore.

L'Oreal shaping stick and Maybelline Instant age rewind
Joe Fresh single eyeshadow

This experiment really taught me the value of ingredients in foundations. CoverGirl by far had the most ingredients but that doesn’t mean they aren’t bad – it just means my skin might react to those differences but other peoples skin might be totally fine. What I did find was that the drugstore does concealer formula’s very well. I know in theory they should be similar formulas to foundations but I found that the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind and the Joe Fresh illuminating concealer were wonderful.

In the name of science, my conclusion is that my skin prefers higher end base products but can handle the powders at the drugstore which tend to not give my skin a reaction – however, I do use the more expensive drugstore products so that is defiantly a factor.

Look out for the end of May when I post about my high-end makeup every day and see the results of my skin then!

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