Monday, February 27, 2012

INSPIRED: Reusing Your Luxe Boxes

hi everyone,
so as mentioned in my last post, i wanted to show you what i have done with my 3 Luxe Boxes that i have received from Loose Button.
i never really sit down and decide to make something (besides sewing a few things here and there), so this little arts and crafts project made me *extremely excited*. i showed the finished project to my boyfriend over Facetime and the minute my sister walked through the door. both thought i was bouncing around a little too much.
anyway, before i show you what i was so excited about, i'd like to mention a few blogs that gave me the ideas to start reusing my boxes (2 of them are in French so i had to translate it). Many thanks to:
Crystal Candy Makeup (she used Glymm boxes and her idea is much more complicated but so pretty; thinking of doing this later too)
Canadian Coupon Mom (guest blogger on the Loose Button blog)

arts and crafts time!
aside from the 3 Luxe Boxes (2 black, 1 red), i also used:
* scissors, ruler, tape, pen
* double-sided tape (came in a pack of 3; purchased at Dollarama; $1.00)
* white shoelaces (there were actually 2 packs in here, but i took 1 out; purchased at Dollar Giant; $1.25)

first, what i did to each box was slide it out and took apart one of the sides. you can only do that to two of the sides and you would be able to tell which ones because the other two are glued down. you just put your fingers between the bottom of the box and the side and pull it out.
next i measured where i wanted to put the the shoelaces (which i am using for handles). i marked the spots with a pen and then used scissors to puncture the small holes.
pulling the shoelaces through, i'll tie a knot at one end, measure how much i'd want for the handle part, tie another knot at the other end, tape the area right behind the knot so that the shoelaces does not start to fray and then cut.
when that is done and you are trying to put the side back together, make sure the little piece i have highlighted nicely for you is not bent. i was confused as to why the box wouldn't look right but ta da! it will save you some frustration.

after doing this to all 3 boxes, i put double-sided tape on the top of one box and started building my little storage box from there.

this is what it looked like:

YAY! but i didn't stop there. with the nice Flare box on top, i decided to add some flair (does anyone get my humor??). while i was at Dollar Giant, i also found this pretty "Deco-Borders" thing intended for scrapbooking ($1.25). yes, i thought it was super pretty but it was a PAIN to work with!

it is self-adhesive so i thought okay, easy to use. but no, that means, trying to unstick your fingers constantly while trying to lay the "Flocked" sticker just right. i couldn't get it to lay straight for the longest time. this part probably took me about an hour. seriously!
anyway, after all that mess:

i am very happy with the results. :)
i decided to start throwing in the products i have received from the 3 companies. Luxe Boxes are not very high so i used it for only the smaller products. right now, the bottom drawer is for face products, middle is lip products and the top is all other makeup-related products.

let me know what you did with your boxes! (especially for Topbox; right now i am just storing all the tissue paper and crinkled paper i get from the boxes so i can use it for gift wrapping in the future)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

LUXE BOX: February 2012

so here's the last box of the month! according to Canada Post, it was delivered on the 22nd .
it arrived in the cardboard box in its regular size (instead of last month's extra large edition). but wait a second - this month's box is an eye-popping red instead of the usual sleek black! Loose Button partnered up with FLARE magazine to create this limited edition box.

FLARE's March 2012 magazine cover is featured on the front of the sample list card. aside from the greeting card, there is also an offer for a FLARE subscription where you can also get a Nicole by OPI nail polish for free as well as another offer for $25 off a minimum purchase of $75 on - haven't heard of this website before. sorry for the glare :)

Loose Button's samples of the month:

1) DKNY pureDKNY Verbena - cute bottle but i dislike not being able to spray it on! on the card, Flare's tip is to "spritz" it behind your knees or stomach so that it lasts longer which is a great tip since i was usually told pulse points were the way to go, BUT how do i go about this "spritz"-ing business?
the perfume is very floral - maybe i inhaled too much but i got slightly dizzy. i felt that the scent was a bit strong because once i got into a car (with the heater on since it was snowing), i was a little overwhelmed with the smell - again, the dizziness. and i had only dabbed it on!
size: 7 mL
retail value: $80 (50 mL); $105 (100 mL)

2) Cargo Lash Activator in Black - can't say much since i haven't been able to test it just yet. along with having quite a few mascaras (still unopened!), i also have many lash primers. i'd definitely use it in the future though since i am on the quest to overcome invisible eyelashes (slight exaggeration; very slight).
size: unknown - typical mascara sample size
retail value:  $35 (11 mL)

3) Redken Color Extend - i think Loose Button decided to give us 3 sets of these shampoo and conditioner samples to make them "deluxe sized". each one is like the sample you would've gotten from the mail/magazine. i am unsure why i keep getting sent shampoo for color-treated hair. i don't recall selecting that option... so i cannot really give you readers a review on it's ability to, well, extend color (hehe).
the smell was light and flowery. the packaging was the worst thing you could encounter in your shower. DO NOT ATTEMPT in the shower. it is impossible. i tried wiping my hands on a towel and still that was difficult. blargh! my hair is nice and soft now though. my hair reaches the middle of my back and i used about half the package.
btw, i thought the "Luxe Tip" for this was silly - i thought we were supposed to rub some in our eyes first? :)
size: 10 mL each x 6 = 60 mL
retail value: shampoo $15 (300 mL); conditioner $17 (250 mL)     -- guess, i don't buy salon shampoos/conditioners much since i did not know there was a price difference between the two.

4) Dermalogica Microfoliant - hmmm i don't think i've ever tried a beauty product that was rice-based. it even sort of smells like it. it did not feel like it was scratching my skin at all and now my skin feels really soft.

the top right image is when i just sprinkled the white powder onto my wet hands and the bottom right is when i had mixed in a little more water to create the paste. i will keep using this since it does not feel harsh like other exfoliating products and i've heard plenty of people have fallen in love with this product.
size: 13 g
retail value: $72 (75 g)     -- wowee, our sample cost almost $12.50!

so i am content with the box. it's a little depressing when you check out other people's blogs and find that they got different things like... NAIL POLISH! :( why not meeeeee. i've been hoping for one since i signed up for these boxes back in November but no such luck yet! i would've also very much enjoyed the Benefit Sunbeam some people received.
it's funny how once i decided to set up my mail account on my iPhone so i can be alerted the second Loose Button sends out those emails where you can reserve a product, the company chooses not to do it this month. oh well, better luck next month? :)
(sorry i forgot to take a photo of all the products before i used one of the Redken samples!)
stay tuned for an updated comparison of Topbox, Glymm and Loose Button. AND an arts and crafts special on what i did with my Luxe Boxes :) hooray for Reusing!

Friday, February 24, 2012

GLYMM BOX: February 2012

hi again!
i'm actually surprised at my own willpower - i received all my boxes at once but i told myself to hold off and open each one after i have blogged about it. that way, i can enjoy the element of surprise longer.

however, that excited feeling quickly diminished as i went through the February Glymm box.
the box was delivered on the 21st which is pretty fast considering it was shipped out on the 17th and i live on the west side of Canada. anyway, as you can see, the "Fragile" label appeared to not have been applicable during this shipment. there were two holes in my cardboard box and this was the first time i had seen any sign of damage on my Glymm boxes.

untying the bow, you will find this lady:

and this month's samples:

1) Sula Natural Shadow in "I'm in Heaven" - i must have jinxed myself or something when i said in my last post about Topbox that blue eyeshadow wasn't really my color, because here's another one! this one is even lighter in color so i'm fairly certain that it will not show up on my skin or if it does, it will be appear white. i actually received another Sula product from Glymm previously, back in December (it was a lip gloss). again, the packaging is very pretty and girly. i didn't do a swatch here since i wasn't sure if i will be using it. i know some people actually received a cream eyeshadow, which i would not have preferred anyway since i have oily eyelids and that would have caused major creasing problems.
size: 4.5 g (full size!)
retail value: $8

2) Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in "Rose" - this is yet another brand that that i have previously encountered with Glymm (January). i know Burt's Bees products are 100% natural but this also means they don't smell the greatest. as for the product itself, i'm liking tinted lip balms. in December, i got a Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter and i absolutely love it. it is my go-to lip product because it is so easy to apply, it's moisturizing AND it instantly gives you some color. for some odd reason, my camera makes the tube look more orange than it is - it's actually like a petal pink color. the color of the lip balm itself is actually a deep red color and once applied it's more red-orange. i wore it all day today and it is quite moisturizing.
size: 4.25 g (full size!)
retail value: $7.99

but look at this silliness! it is a bit ridiculous the amount of packaging for this lip balm. guess they needed the space to convince you how good this product is for you.

3) GlamGlow Tingling and Exfoliating Mud Mask - this one came with a promo code for a full size version. $50 is still pretty expensive - i currently do not have the funds to spend this much on mud masks. the advertising for this product is very flashy, which goes along with its name.

the sample itself is not very big. i applied a pretty thin layer when testing this out and i think i might have enough for one more very thin-layer use. the product is dark green and smells just like what you think volcanic rock must smell like. and a bit of the green tea that is also in there. let's just say that instead of the word "tingling", i would have used "stinging" because that's what it felt like for the first minute. after it dried, it became difficult to move my face (as it does with other mud masks). you can see bits volcanic rock and whatnot on my skin. after i washed it off, my skin definitely felt softer and smoother. as for the lightening of the skin, i probably do not have enough use left to test that one out.
size: 7 mL
retail value: $78 (50 mL)

4) Mai Couture Blush Papier in "Prettyful" - i must admit the concept is interesting. and it is paraben and talc free. but only getting 2 sheets to test this test this trend out? eh. "Prettyful" is a shimmery light pink. didn't get a chance to test this one out yet - think i should save it for times like it was intended for - when i'm in a rush? also notice how the little plastic bag was slapped on awkwardly (as if THEY were in a rush? funny, no?).
size: 2 sheets
retail value: $17.50 (50 sheets)

so final verdict: a tad disappointing this month. maybe it's that i feel that during months with holidays, it will be exciting to receive something themed. too high of an expectation? this was also the first time i got 4 products instead of 5 from Glymm and to add to that, the blush 'papier' sample should definitely not be considered 'deluxe-sized'. plus, there has been no replacement for those jellybeans yet! sad sad sad. it seems that Glymm is getting a little repetitive with its retailers these couple of months. i am hoping we get to try out some new brands in the future. on a lighter note, i am enjoying the lip balm and my currently soft skin from the mud mask.

one more month? what do you think?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

TOPBOX: February 2012

hello everyone!
so i have been waiting eagerly for my first subscription box of the month to arrive - my Topbox was sent on the 13th but there were no updates whatsoever until it arrived on the 20th. i left for Fernie on February17th and at that time, i had not heard anything about my boxes, but lo and behold, all three of them were waiting for me the moment i came home today.

BUT even stranger is that i had TWO Topboxes. whaaaaaaaaat?
i was very confused - i remember entering the contest to win the Valentine's Mystery Box on Facebook but i did not win that... i checked my credit card and it does not seem i was charged twice. i was only sent one tracking information email but received two from Canada Post when it was delivered.
so strange indeed! has this happened to anyone else before? i feel bad that i somehow got two while other people are still waiting to sign up for Topbox!

anyway, i opened one and let my sister open the other to see if she would share my enthusiasm (she did not).
it's the same cylinder box as previously used by Topbox except i think the package got wet sometime during the delivery because the purple design was smudged (on one of the boxes).

this month's product card had a slight change to the cover:

February's samples:

1) Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils in "1 High Intensity Black" - i've already heard fantastic things about how this mascara gives you a false-lashes effect. however, i am reluctant to open it just yet because i don't want to dry it out. (sorry my camera is terrible at focusing!)
size: 3 mL
retail value: $36 (7.5 mL)

2) Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat in "No 2" - another YSL product? no complaints there! i've seen ads for this in magazines and read how it is widely used by professional makeup artists. this is expensive stuff! there is definitely NOT enough sample to really try this product out though. it is similar to those tiny samples you would find it your mailbox or magazine.
size: super tiny
retail value: $50 (2.5 mL)

3) Pari Beauty in "ES 72" - this is a very pigmented blue eye shadow that looks slightly green in different lighting. the card says it was personalized for me and i do not mind the color. it is definitely a bright one so i will have to find ways to mute it out just a bit since blue doesn't really complement my skin tone. i've encountered this brand only recently when i was looking for a makeup case. i found them at a makeup counter at Sears. i didn't really browse their products but did see that they had one of those 88 eye shadow palettes that are quite common now. it seems that companies are just slapping their names on the same palettes and claiming them as their own.
size: 2 g (full size!)
retail value: $11

4) C. Booth Derma Skincare Collagen Elastin Restorative Hand & Nail Treatment - my cuticles are not in the best shape and i was looking to fixing that. along came this cream! and in full size too!! hooray. i'm getting just a little tired of all the lotions - maybe Topbox knew that and so they decided to throw in a "treatment". haha anyway, it is white in color and the smell is decent. not great but not bad either. it does have a greasy feeling right after you apply it but that disappears. as for all the other benefits it claims to provide, i will have to update you in the long run.
size: 120 mL (full size!)
retail value: $16

5) LillyPilly Kakadu Plum Hand & Body Creme - hmm. i received another LillyPilly lotion last month from Topbox. was not a huge fan of the rosewood smell so i am a little hesitant to try this one out. but plum does sound more delicious. there are two of these little packets and they come from Australia.
size: 3 mL each x 2 = 6 mL
retail value: $22 (150 mL)

SO you are wondering about the second box right? everything was the same except for the eye shadow. funny isn't it? since it was apparently personalized and somehow i end up with two different shades. lucky for me, it was in a more wearable shade: ES 35. it's a sparkly peach color that comes off quite pigmented when i swipe it directly on my finger, but once i swatch it on my wrist, i can hardly see it. hopefully it shows up more when i use a brush.

another slight difference was that one box has a large amount of the purple crinkly paper, and the other had less but also came with some scrunched up purple tissue.

so all in all, i am glad to be able to try all these samples twice! especially for the YSL products (or i guess i can share the love and give them to someone?). i am very happy with the eye shadow as well. quite lucky that it didn't break since i saw that happen to many people on Facebook. honestly, i am getting a little tired of the lotion samples. i have not received any nail polish to date so here's to the next two boxes i open today *crosses fingers*! it would really help my nail polish obsession phase (i bought like 10 in the last month!)

----- update 02/24/12: Topbox has a new contest where you can win a 3-month subscription! check it out here. contest ends 03/05/12. good luck! ----- 

oh and i thought i would just end this post with a photo i took while in Fernie, BC:

Friday, February 17, 2012

LOVE: RACHEL Rachel Roy - Carthay Shoes

hi all! sorry for the break between my posts - i'm still "patiently" waiting for my Topbox - agh!!! it was shipped on the 13th but there has been no update whatsoever on the Canada Post website so i am very sad. :( if it doesn't come tomorrow, then i won't be able to open it til Wednesday - i am heading to Fernie tomorrow! it's going to be lots of fun tobogganing!! last year there was soooo much snow on the ground - like a couple feet taller than i am (i'm like 5'6"). this makes for great snowball fights and jumping off patios.
so anyway, i've been doing a lot of shopping lately - even with no form of steady income - but i honestly believe that you can never have too many shoes!!
i was going through the huge sale going on at The Bay, where you can take an extra 40% off some already reduced items and my eyes fell on a pair of Rachel Ray shoes. my boyfriend's sister is a huge fan of her dresses but i never knew she had a shoe line as well. get this - original price: $165. reduced price: $99.99. super duper reduced price: $59.99. hooray!!!! and when the lady told me that it was unusual because they never get Rachel Ray shoes and that it was the only pair AND in the only size that fit me... SOLD!
meet Carthay:

it's made of black suede. according to the website, it has a 4.5" heel and 1" platform. both the heel and platform has some kind of silver reflective material.
here are some closeups:

love the stitching detail on the insole and underneath the shoe. also the cute Rachel Ray logo on the bottom!
in the last picture, you can see the heel better. the back half of the heel is reflective while the other half is just black. the fuzzy colors on the heel are reflecting from a poster on my wall.
and lastly, here's how they look like on:

so YAY! i really did not need another pair of black heels but these were so different i had to have them :) and they are the comfiest heels i have ever tried on! wow, i have been missing out! i need to find more shoes that have this special cushion. i seriously recommend checking out The Bay these couple of days for some great deals on clothes, shoes and bags right now (i also picked up a couple of Dex shirts for like $10 each).

Thursday, February 09, 2012

REVIEW: Fusion Beauty LipFusion InFATuation

hello :)
i have had some time in between subscription boxes, so i thought i'd share with you a great deal i found last month at Winners. one thing i must say is: i absolutely LOVE Winners. i'm one of those people who love to find great deals and Winners is a fantastic place if you are willing to do a bit of searching. i am also a very thorough shopper and can spend over an hour there.
i must admit that i was first intrigued by Fusion Beauty LipFusion InFATuation when i heard Kim Kardashian was a fan of the "Big & Bare" color. i know she's not a great role model, but i like her style and was looking for a nude lip color that didn't wash me out. i looked it up at Sephora but it was too pricey for me (can't remember exactly how much, but it retails for about US $29).
sooo back in December, i found Winners had the same brand but in a different color - "Angelic". this was lighter in color and more sparkly than "Big & Bare" but decided that for around $7 or $8, i could test the formula out.

-- update: i found the original box and it was actually $6.99. i also included a picture of the little brush applicator. for those who are interested in picking this up in Calgary, i swung by a Winners today (near Heritage and MacLeod) and found that they had this in "Angelic", "Big & Bare", "Full Frontal", "Pucker Up" and "In the Flesh".
turns out the formula is a bit on the sticky side, but that didn't stop me from buying a set of 5 mini ones a month later.
this set actually had the color i was looking for, and for $8.99, it was a steal! (on the box, it even says the value of the box is $42). the full size one i bought earlier was 5.5 g, while the set contained 5 that were 2.5 g each.
here are the colors all lined up, with the full sized one at the very end:
"La Lip Jolie" - a baby pink color
"Full Frontal" - coral pink
"Pucker Up" - another pink, but deeper
"Screen Siren" - cherry red
"Big & Bare" - nude
"Angelic" - very sparkly and light nude/beige color
as mentioned earlier, it is pretty sticky - i had to peel my hair from my lips a few times. it does last a while though and smells sort of sweet. 
now for some lip swatches:
left to right, top to bottom: bare lips; "La Lip Jolie"; "Full Frontal"; "Pucker Up"

the first 3 (all the pinks) look pretty similar on me - they are a bit too light so they appear sheer.
left to right, top to bottom: bare lips; "Screen Siren"; "Big & Bare"; "Angelic"

then i tried on the fourth one: BAM! color! this is seriously the strongest red i have ever tried. it made my lips stand out so much, my face looked unbalanced. these swatches was the first time i ever tried "Screen Siren". to me, it is definitely a color you wear on a night out. "Big & Bare" turned out to be okay - i have to layer it in order to see some color. as for "Angelic", it seems a little too pale and a tad too sparkly for my taste.
a special mention on "Screen Siren": it was a bit much for me so i decided to blot it on some tissue and i found a much more wearable color (pic on the right). look how much color came off on that tissue and there's still red on my lips. i also liked that it was less shiny after blotting.
anyways, i'm satisfied with these purchases. i am happy that i got to try so many of the colors for a low price. i don't think i'd be buying these specifically again, since i do not like the stickiness issue and i am not in love with any of the colors. i use the three pink ones and the nude color pretty often though. as for the lip plumping factor? i am not sure if it has had any effect and i don't mind. i did not buy them for this purpose since i think my lips are pretty big as it is. however, for those of you who are wondering, it does have a tingling sensation when you first apply it but it goes away after a while. has the lip plumping action worked for any of you?
thanks for reading! :) stay tuned because my Topbox should be arriving sometime next week! (too bad that i receive my Glossybox in March cause i heard some already got theirs!)
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