Sydney Grace Christmas in July Haul

Hello, friends! I spent way more money during the recent Sydney Grace sale than I should have, and today I have a haul for you. I’ve been wanting to try the brand for a LONG time now, and although I remember first hearing about them on IG, I can’t remember exactly who introduced me to the brand. I don’t usually like to share hauls, but part of my order came with a mystery bag, and I thought it would be fun to share what was included in the bag! I will also be sharing my experience as a Canadian ordering from an American indie brand.

Sydney-Grace-Haul

THE SALE

Sydney Grace has the Christmas in July sale every July, so I thought I’d give you some info in case you’re interested in shopping the sale next year! The sale runs for about a week, and each day of the sale has a different deal. All of the details of the sale are released a few days before the sale starts, although there are usually two days where the deal is kept a surprise until that morning. Each sale runs from 9:00am PST to 8:59am PST the next morning, so you have a full 24 hours to take advantage of the deal. The nice thing about the way the sale is run is that you can shop on multiple days, and the company sends your order out all at once after the sale ends. You are charged for shipping on each order, but once they ship your items out in one order, you’ll get refunded for the difference. I ended up shopping the sale twice, once on the second day when the offer was “Buy $50 and receive a mystery bag”, as well as the last day, when the offer was “25% off all eyeshadow singles”.

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August Makeup Focus and July Update

Hello, beauties! This post is a week late, but I’ve been trying to enjoy my summer and thus haven’t been posting on my blog quite as frequently. Today’s post is all about the products I’m choosing to focus on in August, as well as an update on how I did with my July focus items.

July-Makeup-Focus

For July, I wanted to focus on the Urban Decay Born to Run palette, which was really fun to play around with. It wasn’t the most usable palette for work, but it helped that I also had the Stila Shimmer & Glow liquid shadow in Kitten, which I used a lot for work. The blush I chose was the ColourPop Super Shock Cheek in Growth Flirt. Honestly, I can’t decide how I feel about this blush. I really loved the colour, but I found the texture to be super weird. The first two times I used it, I found it easy to use, but while using it in July, I found it hard to blend out using my fingers and difficult to pick up product using a brush. Either way, it worked for the month even though I wasn’t head over heels in love with the product. What I did enjoy was the Super Shock highlighter in Hippo. The lavender is such a pretty, unexpected highlight for the summer! The Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer remains one of my favourite bronzers ever, and I will probably continue using it in August. Actually, I would love to put this in a Project Pan at some point, if I can work up the diligence to do another Project Pan! The last makeup product I chose in my July focus was the MAC Fix+. I diligently rotated using these, and I just couldn’t pick a favourite scent. For skincare and body care, the La Roche Posay Anthelios Mineral SPF 50+ was in my focus because it was expiring in July. I really love this sunscreen because it’s non-greasy and has a slight tint so it doesn’t leave a white cast. However, I didn’t actually end up fully using it, so I ended up having to throw it out because it was expired. Finally, the Body Shop’s Pinita Colada body butter was the last item in my focus. I was hoping on using it all up this month, and I actually ended up being able to do that.

Now, onto the August products!

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Hair Tutorial: How I Make Messy Beach Waves

Hello, my beauties! Today’s post is all about how I make my undone beachy waves. I actually curl my hair this way all year round, BUT I tend to do it more often in the summer. This style only takes me about 8 minutes to do, but it’s always so dark and cold out in the winter that I can’t bear to get out of bed even 8 minutes earlier to curl my hair! Either way, I love this relaxed way of wearing my curls, which makes my hair look polished in an effortless way.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I will make a small commission if you make a purchase from these links. 

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🚨August Instagram Photo Challenge Announcement!🍹🌴🌺☀️

Hello, beauties! Today, I have something exciting and fun to share with you. My friend Always, Cleia and I have teamed up to co-host an Instagram photo challenge for August!

I personally love Instagram photo challenges because sometimes I feel like I’m taking photos of the same thing over and over again, and getting prompts from challenges really gets my creativity flowing. It’s the last month of enjoying hot weather and beachy vacays, so we’ve come up with some summer-themed prompts.

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The challenge begins on August 1st and ends August 14th. We would love for you to participate, regardless of how many days you can join us. It doesn’t matter whether you only want to participate on certain days of your choosing, or every day of the challenge – we can’t wait to see your photos!

It would be wonderful if you could regram the photo on Instagram so that your fellow Instagram friends can see it and join in. Please use the hashtag #summerbeautychallenge2019 on all of your posts so that Cleia and I don’t miss your shots!

View this post on Instagram

Hello, my friends! I wanted to let you all know that my blogging friend @alwayscleia and I are co-hosting a summery #instachallenge in August, and we'd love for you to participate! 🌴🍹🌺☀️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The challenge will begin August 1st. All you need to do to join is regram this post (optional), as well as use the hashtag #summerbeautychallenge2019 in all of your photos so Cleia and I don't miss your posts! Feel free to participate every day of the challenge or pick and choose days, it's all up to you! 😊 looking forward to seeing your beautiful posts! #beautylife #makeupobsession #beautymania #beautyaccount #yycbloggers #shopyourstash #beautyroutine #beautycommunity #discoverunder1k #flatlaystyle #happyshinybloggers #inspiremyinstagram #chooselovely #discoverunder2k #thatsdarling #yycblogger

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Review: Urban Decay Born to Run Palette

Hi everyone! Today’s post is a review of the Urban Decay Born to Run palette. When Urban Decay first released this palette, I remember really wanting to try it, but I couldn’t justify purchasing it at full price. I already own so many palettes and didn’t really “need” another one, and on top of that, I’ve owned large colourful Urban Decay palettes in the past (the original Vice palette) that I ended up decluttering because I rarely reached for them. However, Sephora had this palette marked down from $64 to $38. At that price, I couldn’t resist purchasing it. I’m weak against sales!

I’ve been playing around with this palette for the last month or so, and now I have a good idea of the performance of this palette. Keep reading to see what I think about it!

THE BASICS

The palette features of-the-moment shades ranging from jewel tones and modern neutrals to more colorful shadows. Made from Urban Decay’s mind-blowing formula that gives each shade its velvety texture, rich color, and blendability, Born To Run’s eyeshadow shades hold tightly onto pigment and stay put. No matter which shades you try, UD designed them all to be universally flattering for any skin tone and lifestyle.

This cruelty-free eyeshadow palette is made for the girl or guy who’s always on the go, whether it’s travelling around the world or . It contains 21 shades (0.8 g each) in various finishes and shades, and retails at $65 (I’m almost positive it was $64 when I bought it…did they raise the price?!). It is made in the USA, and can be purchased as Sephora, Ulta, Shoppers Drug Mart, and the Urban Decay website.

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Skincare Stories | Why Sunscreen is So Important

Hello, my beauties! Today’s post is another installment of my Skincare Stories series, and it’s all about sunscreen. Now that we’re smack dab in the middle of summer, I thought that sunscreen would be the perfect topic to talk about next!

Sunscreen is an essential part in your morning skincare routine, but I’m willing to bet a lot of people aren’t as diligent with it as they are with other parts of their skincare routine! For my own personal experience, I got burnt from the sun once in my teens, and since then, I’ve always been careful about applying sunscreen while doing outdoor activities. However, I definitely slacked on the “wearing sunscreen every day” front until the last two or three years. We all hear that it’s important to wear sunscreen every day, regardless of whether it’s summer or winter, but a lot of us don’t know why, or how sunscreens even work. That’s what this post is all about!

 

WHY DO WE HAVE TO WEAR SUNSCREEN?

While we all love spending time in beautiful weather, being exposed to sunlight is not good for us. The ultraviolet (UV) rays coming from the sun causes mutations in humans on a cellular level, which is how we end up with cases of skin cancer. UV rays will also cause your skin to age faster, which is something that beauty lovers like us spend tons of money on each year to prevent! UV rays break down collagen, resulting in fine lines and sagging skin, and it also increases melanin (dark pigments), which will develop into age spots. It’s easier to prevent this damage than it is to treat it; for those of us into beauty, you will end up spending thousands of dollars on skincare trying to reverse the signs of premature aging from sun damage, when using sunscreen could have prevented the aging in the first place.

Sunscreen-Flatlay

WHAT IS SPF?

There are two different types of UV rays that cause damage to the skin, UVA and UVB. UVA is the culprit that causes premature aging, and UVB is what causes your skin to burn (think UVA = Aging, UVB = Burning). SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it protects your skin against these rays.

When you see sunscreens with a rating of SPF 10/30/50, this actually is a measure of the protection you get against sunburn from UVB rays. What about UVA rays? If you see a sunscreen labelled “broad spectrum”, it can protect against both UVA and UVB.

Many Asian brands use the UVA Protection Grade (PA) rating system to measure protection against UVA damage. The PA system ranges from PA+ (lowest level of protection) to PA++++ (highest level of protection); when you see this rating on the packaging along with your usual SPF rating, you know the sunscreen can protect against UVA as well UVB.

Biore-UV-Aqua-Rich-Watery-Essence
This Biore sunscreen I purchased in Japan has both an SPF and a PA rating, which means it can protect against both UVA and UVB.

 

WHY WE NEED TO WEAR SUNSCREEN EVERY DAY

You might think that you can put away the SPF once you hit September, and keep it hidden away until April, but sunscreen isn’t just for beachy vacays and festival days. Even during overcast winters, clouds aren’t fully able to protect us from the UV rays, which makes it very important to slather that sunscreen on year ’round.

I used to wear sunscreen only on days I knew I would be spending time outside, and not on an everyday basis. I hated the sticky texture and white cast it gave. My foundation always sat on top of the sunscreen, which gave me total cakeface. Overall, sunscreen was always a mess and I would try to avoid using it unless I was in full exposure to the sun for a longer period of time. Luckily, sunscreen formulas these days have advanced to the point where they have a consistency that more resembles moisturizers rather than the traditional sunscreen consistency. We’re going to talk about this next!

 

TYPES OF SUNSCREEN

There are two different types of sunscreens: chemical and physical. They each protect the skin from UV rays, but in different ways.

1. Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens work by penetrating into your skin and actually allowing the UV rays to hit your skin, but it will convert the rays into heat, which are then released. Chemical sunscreens tend to have a lighter, more spreadable consistency, so they layer much better under makeup.

Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients such as Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. It takes about 10-15 minutes for these ingredients to soak into your skin, so you will have to wait to go into the sun after applying chemical sunscreen.

I mentioned earlier that chemical sunscreens feel a lot nicer on the skin; however, they do come with some cons. Oxybenzone can be irritating to the skin, or can have a stinging sensation when you use it, which means it might not be a good choice for people with sensitive or dry skin. It is also more likely to clog your pores, which may make it unsuitable for blemish-prone skin.

Oxybenzone and Octinoxate have also been proven to be damaging to the environment, particularly when it comes to the bleaching of the coral reefs. Hawaii has actually decided to ban the sale of sunscreens with these two ingredients beginning in 2021 (water-resistant beach sunscreens only, and not daily use sunscreens). If you’re going into the ocean, please remember to use a reef-safe sunscreen!

 

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2. Physical Sunscreens

When people think of traditional sunscreen with the white cast, and thick, sticky feel, they’re most likely thinking of physical sunscreens. This type of sunscreen sits on top of your skin, creating a barrier that bounces the UV rays off your skin. Physical sunscreens contain the ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. They are also the culprits that cause that white cast we all hate, because they are literally reflecting the rays off of your skin. Unlike chemical sunscreens, physical sunscreens start protecting your skin the minute they are applied, because they simply sit on top of your skin and act as a shield against sunscreen – there is no time needed for it to absorb into the skin.

Why would anyone choose physical sunscreens over chemical, when chemical sunscreens feel and look so much better on the skin?  Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are actually the only ingredients that are FDA-approved, so a lot of people feel like they are putting something on their skin that they know is safe. Physical sunscreens are actually less pore-clogging, and also less likely to cause irritation, which makes physical sunscreens a better choice for those with sensitive or blemish-prone skin. They also have no known effects on the environment, either.

 

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Source: Photo by yue su on Unsplash

HOW MUCH SUNSCREEN DO YOU NEED TO USE?

A lot of people (including me, for the longest time!) think that a higher SPF means more protection, but that’s only true to a certain point. It’s all about the percentage of rays it lets in! SPF 10 can block 93% of the rays, SPF 30 can block 97%, SPF 50 can block 98%, and the benefits of anything over SPF 50 is negligible. As you can see, there’s not even a huge difference between the protection that SPF 30 and SPF 50 offer. From all of my research, it seems that most dermatologists think that either SPF 30 or 50 will work just fine.

How do we know how much sunscreen we need? I’ve heard that the golden rule is 1/4 tsp of sunscreen for the face, and a shot glass worth of sunscreen on the rest of your body. With that being said, these are simply guidelines, as our faces and bodies are all different sizes. For example, my husband, who is almost a foot taller than me, should obviously be using more sunscreen on his body than me.

To calculate how often you need to reapply sunscreen, some simple math is needed. You take the SPF factor of your sunscreen and multiply it by how long it takes for your skin to burn without any protection. For example, if you’re using an SPF 50 sunscreen and it takes you 10 minutes to burn, you will need to reapply after 500 minutes, or 8 hours (500/60).

With that being said, when I’m doing outdoor activities like hiking, or we’re just spending the day out and about enjoying the sun, I always make sure to reapply every 2-3 hours. The actives in sunscreen break down when exposed to sun, causing it to be less and less effective every hour. If you’re doing something outside that will cause you to get wet, whether it’s going into the pool, or just sweating from activities or heat, you must reapply afterwards. If you’re putting sunscreen on daily in the morning just to head to the office, and you spend the day indoors, my research has shown that you probably shouldn’t need to reapply during the day (or at least I personally don’t – please let me know if you think otherwise!).

 

Coppertone-Sport-Broad-Spectrum-Sunscreen

HOW TO FIT SUNSCREEN INTO YOUR ROUTINE

On the face, sunscreen should be the last step of your skincare routine, after moisturizer but before makeup.

If you are relying on the sunscreen in your skincare or foundation, it’s better than no coverage, but it’s actually not enough. You probably need at least half a dozen pumps of foundation to fill 1/4 of a teaspoon, which is how much sunscreen you should be using every day. How much foundation do you usually use – 1, maybe 2 pumps? You will look crazy with 6 pumps of foundation on your face!

What is your favourite sunscreen, either  for the face or body? I’m always looking for a good sunscreen!

Review: Becca Glow Gloss

Hi, everyone! Today’s post is a review of Becca’s Glow Lip glosses. I’ve never really been a lip gloss girl as I always found them too sticky and too sheer. I’m not sure why, but I’ve really gotten into lip glosses this past year or so, and I’ve been eager to expand my gloss collection. I’ve been wanting to try these out for a while, but just never got around to it. When I saw them for 50% off during Sephora’s summer sale, I took it as an opportunity to try them out!

Flatlay of Becca Glow Glosses in Tigerlily and Snapdragon

THE BASICS

A luxe, conditioning lip formula with the shine of a lip gloss, pigment of a liquid lipstick, and nourishing benefits of a lip balm. This gloss contains 3D light-reflecting pigments as well as ginger, peppermint oil, and a non-stinging peptide, which make lips appear fuller and smoother. Vitamins C and E, plus hydrating shea and muru muru butters soften and condition lips.

The Glow Lip Glosses come in 11 permanent shades that are inspired by the shades from Becca’s highlighter and blush range. The shades range from nudes to plums in a semi-sheer to semi-opaque finish. They retail at $29.50 CAD for 5 g of product, and are made in the USA.

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