Thursday, April 26, 2012

GLYMM BOX: April 2012

my Glymm box arrived Monday and it was super lightweight. is the label correct?? it stated 30 g. my Glossybox last month weighed 700 g..
also i've never received a white cardboard box before - it's usually pink. don't think that was really noteworthy but here is a picture anyway!

before receiving the box, i already knew the general consensus regarding the box's contents was that it was disappointing.
let's get started with April's samples:

1) Lucia Soap No. 6 - this is a very small piece of soap. the scent and size reminds me of hotel soaps. i've tested it just once but overall, this product is not very intriguing to me.
i took a picture comparing it with a regular sized soap.

size: 25 g
retail value: $17.50 (8 soaps of the same size - 25 g each) or $10 (per 165 g soap according to the Glymm website; for comparison purposes, the Dove soap is 90 g and when you buy them, they come in like packages of 3 so this Lucia one is quite pricey in my book)

2) Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine Fragrance - this itty bitty perfume sample came with a postcard which is a cute idea. the perfume smelled exactly like its name - i have never smelled perfume that was exactly like oranges. it is very different and interesting! i've smelled citrus scents before but this is very very orange-y. i don't know how else to explain it. haha.
size: unknown - average perfume vial sample
retail value: $60 (30 mL); $165 (200 mL) - i believe this is a tad more expensive than most other brands...

3) Free Your Mane Sulfate Free Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner - can't say i have tried this just yet since i heard that someone on Facebook had a massive reaction to it. i'm generally not very sensitive to these things (except when i was younger I had a reaction to Lubriderm). i decided to take it slow and just try the Lucia soap out first.
also, what is with the tiniest sample sizes in this box? with these shampoo/conditioner samples, i believe that to be regarded as "deluxe size" there should be more than one use. as mentioned before about these samples, i dislike the packaging.
size: 7.4 mL each (14.8 mL total)
retail value: $16 (300 mL)

4) Mai Couture Social Gloss in "G'Vinity" - so hooray, another lip product. i honestly cannot keep up! my first impression of the gloss color was not a good one. i thought it looked very white and would only wash me out. i checked out some other blogs and found that many people got some really nice colors. however, i'd have to admit, once i tried it, i actually liked it. it is SUPER sparkly and gives my lips a pearly sheen. sometimes it catches the light and looks sort of blue though.
and, this is quite the expensive lipgloss!

size: 5 mL (full size!)
retail value: $28

5) *bonus* NuMe $100 Gift Card - soooo this gift certificate definitely bumps the box up a notch since i was not delighted by the majority of the items. i thought the $100 was super generous until i went to the site and found that all the items you can purchase are over $100 and shipping to Canada costs $15. plus, the exact  "4 play" set on the NuMe website can be found at Winners - my sister bought me one for Christmas and the only 2 differences are that 1) there is no "NuMe" label on the hair curler and 2) it cost $49.99.

i agree with many of you out there: i think this was Glymm's most disappointing box. is it just me or do some "beauty" box subscription services throw in one actual makeup product and a bunch of cheaper products such as perfume samples, shampoo samples and lotions? i apologize if i sound greedy but in all honesty, the Free Your Mane samples cost $0.79. my favorite product would be the Mai Couture gloss and i find the Orange Sanguine perfume quite nice.
one more month until i have had subscribed to Glymm for half a year. i think it is about decision time!

Monday, April 23, 2012

REVIEW: Cargo Swimmables Waterproof Pencil Kit

hello dears!
i recently picked up another great find at Winners (more specifically, the Stephen Avenue location in Calgary). it was a set of waterproof eye pencils. when i first saw them, i was a little iffy since i have purchased colored liners in the past and have not used them regularly. however, once i left the store and went online to read reviews, i decided i needed to add it to my makeup collection. i checked two other Winners but had to retrace my steps to the Stephen Avenue one - thank goodness because they only had 2 left.
i think my problem with colored eyeliners before was that they didn't stay on very long or the color didn't show up well - both of these problems are nonexistent with this Cargo kit.
the eyeliners were packaged in this cute box with a post office theme. there were 4 pencils, each 0.8 g.

i bought these for only $8.99! i can't find this specific set on the Cargo website but they do carry another set of shades for $19 US.

the colors included  in mine are:
top to bottom // left to right: Purple, Teal, Gold, Royal Blue

here is a swatch on my arm: (sorry for the weird indent near the Gold!! i had to roll up my sleeves)

these glide on SO easily - there is no tugging whatsoever. and the colors are just so vibrant.
since these are waterproof, i decided to do some tests to see how well they live up to this:

attempt #1: i submerged my arm underwater for a minute - i know it might be different depending on whether you are in sea water or chlorine water (and of course, the length of time but i got bored).

so after i took my arm out and wiped away the water, the colors are still pretty clear.

attempt #2: i used some tissue to try to rub it off - not only once but twice.

the colors hardly budged! very little product came off on the tissue. i think the one that faded the most would be the Teal or perhaps Gold.

so all in all, i find this a very good product. i use it only on my bottom waterline and it lasts all day for me. at first, i didn't know if i'd like all the colors but after trying each one, i really like the pop of color - some more subtle than others (like Teal) but pretty nonetheless. i really recommend this set to anyone looking for some fun summer eyeliners or waterproof ones.
what do you think? do you guys wear colored eyeliners?
thanks for reading!

Friday, April 20, 2012

TOPBOX: April 2012

aaaaaaaaand it has come.
hooray! it was shipped on the 11th and Topbox mentioned a batch that day was missorted so may take longer to arrive. the expected date was the 17th but i didn't get it until yesterday (19th). even with the delay, Topbox remains the first box i receive every month.
this month's box design was based on April's Earth Day. consumers are allowed to choose whether they receive this design or the purple design for their future boxes. i think this is a great idea - i like switching it up :) these boxes are great for storing makeup brushes or gift wrapping. i made a circle scarf recently and put it in this (it was a super tight squeeze though).

April's samples:


1) Benefit the POREfessional
YAY for a Benefit product!! i kept seeing people receive Benefit products in their boxes and this is my first time! i have some noticeable pores so this will come in handy! it comes with instructions as to how you use it. you can also use it under or over makeup. i tried it today using it over my makeup and the areas i applied it to became super soft. i didn't notice a big difference so i think i will try it again under my makeup. i like how it can also function as a primer! love multi-purpose products :)

the texture is very silky and there is a light fresh (lemon-y?) scent. it is an apricot color that blends into your skin.
size: 7.5 mL
retail value: $34 (22 mL)

2) Lise Watier HydraSmart
hmm.. does anyone else find that Lise Watier samples tend to be super tiny? plus, when i used it this morning it does not seem like the tube is even half full. not sure how many uses i can get out of this...
anyhoo, it is a "3D Hydration Tinted Veil". very fancy name. there is quite a bit of these fancy terms in the makeup market today like "3D", "blu_ray" (Cargo Cosmetics) and "HD" (Make Up For Ever).

this is also lightly scented like the Benefit balm but is much darker. however, it blends into my skin tone just fine. i am not really wowed by this product yet but will try again tomorrow.
size: 2 mL
retail value: $35 (40 mL)

3) Misa Nail Lacquer in "157 High Waist Hue"
this was actually the first item i pulled out and i was immediately overjoyed. love nail polish AND love the color. i don't know why but i have a thing with browns lately. not like super dark or dirty looking browns but pretty like this one!! this was a personalized shade according to the survey they sent out last month. i haven't seen any bloggers with this color yet. cute name too! i haven't been able to do a swatch yet since i bought some Orly polishes recently and immediately changed my nails like two days ago. will update with a photo soon!
on the side of the bottle, there is a special offer for 20% off your next Misa purchase.
size: 15 mL (full size!)
retail value: $8.99


-- update 05/01/12 --
i discovered that there is a blue shimmer to the polish when it is in the bottle, however it doesn't transfer to the nail when it is applied. i'm not a huge fan of the brush - it is too thin for me which makes me feel like i have less control.

here are some swatches of the nail polish: left pic was taken in artificial light; right in natural light.
sorry for all the imperfections again - i applied it before watching a movie and then became completely unaware as to what i did with my hands during it. oops! oh and this is 3 coats - 1 coat was way too sheer.

4) Bella Pella Tropical Flowers Body Lotion
ahhh i am having the hardest time pinpointing this scent because i am pretty sure i had a perfume that smelled exactly like this. hmmmmm...
so another body lotion. not very exciting but this is my first Bella Pella product and i like the scent. i find that is absorbs quite quickly.
size: 30 mL
retail value: $15.95 (175 mL)

5) *bonus* Cargo blu_ray Pressed Powder
i am considering this a bonus since it was just stuck onto the product card and is a "sponsored ad". in addition, this is not a deluxe sized sample since it is only for one use.

overall, i am happy with my Topbox (which is common). i especially love the Misa nail polish and the Benefit POREfessional. will have to try the color for the polish first to be sure but the shade seems lovely.
not surprisingly, Topbox is holding yet ANOTHER giveaway. click here to enter the Benefit Cosmetics gift set. you have until May 1 to enter :) 

a quick note on the First in Line program for Loose Button. it has been a super frustrating experience this month. it was supposed to open at 12 pm EST (or 10 am MST) yesterday. i decided to log in like 10 minutes after since last month it took me like 25 minutes to reserve a product. but of course, there were issues with the page. the program was not active on their website. Loose Button looked into it maybe an hour later? some people were finally able to log in - i figured they didn't want the site to crash or something so they were filtering access to certain people. but then for some reason, the program was suspended for everyone else. the company decided another approach - sent an email to everyone allowing them to choose a time slot. they would also be given a password so they will be able to reserve a product during that time slot.
again, problems arose. i was sent an email to register for a time slot 2 minutes before midnight last night. i selected 3-6 pm EST. did not receive a password, emailed them. the time slot has come and gone and i have yet to hear from the team. it is really too bad this is not working out because i really wanted the Essie nail polish i heard other people were reserving. i know many people think there shouldn't be complaints since this is supposed to be just an extra feature but the amount of time people have wasted trying to access it is ridiculous. hopefully Loose Button will be able to get things in order soon.

on a happier note, i reached 2000+ views today. yippee for another milestone :) thank you readers!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

REVIEW: Mink Eyelash Extensions - Week 3

so here we are at week 3 with the eyelash extensions. i'd have to say it wasn't a very good week.
if you'd like, you can compare them with week 1 and week 2.
i have no idea why but my left eye is almost completely bare as compared to my right eye. it looks quite strange..

if you look at the top right picture, you can see an eyelash that is just barely hanging there - it isn't glued down at the base.
so by Day 20, i was down to 2 extensions on the left eye. i decided then that it was much better to have my normal eyelashes and wear mascara instead of having two random eyelashes that stuck out like a sore thumb.
sooo to achieve this i began using mascara (which was not recommended - sohni skin & hair studio suggested their mascara specifically made for eyelash extensions). those 2 extensions remained stubborn for a couple days and i still have 1 of them today (which looks completely ridiculous - you will see pictures soon).
i recall the lady who applied my eyelash extensions spending less time on my left eye since she did that after my right eye (perhaps it was getting tedious) AND the fact that my right eye had more time for the glue to settle in than the left one. i guess these factors made a huge difference.

here is a quick comparison with before and Day 15 (sorry i forgot to take one for Day 20!). my left eye extensions seem to prefer curling downward than curling up :(
again, trying to keep a record of eyelashes lost:
Day 15 (April 7) - lost 1 in the morning
Day 16 (April 8) - 1 in the afternoon
Day 19 (April 11) - lost 1 at night
Day 20 (April 12) - lost 1 in the morning, 1 in the afternoon

one thing i noticed recently was that when i wore my glasses and i pushed them back up when they began to slip on my nose, i'd occasionally hit my eyelash extensions in such a way that they'd press into my eyeball - there'd be a painful moment where i'd have to squeeze my eyes shut until my eyes watered and the pain went away. maybe it's just me or how my glasses sit on my nose or something but it wasn't a pleasant feeling.
so i guess we are nearing the end of the eyelash extensions! week 4 coming up!
(oh and my Topbox should be delivered shortly!!)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

REVIEW: Fran Wilson MOODmatcher in "Green"

hi everyone!
i'm here with a very interesting product - i have never heard of this one in particular but i was very intrigued!
i've heard of other mood-related lip products before, like NYX'S Mood Lip Gloss and Too Faced's Mood Swing Emotionally Activated Lip Gloss. i was walking through London Drugs (which i hardly ever go to but you know, still on the search for a heated eyelash curler) and i saw this Fran Wilson MOODmatcher lipstick.

yes, it's green. that's why i was curious to see how it actually works. so i went online and did a little research and it seems that it is not widely known but those who do know about it, have used it for years and years.
there a range of colors available online - Green, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Purple, Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Brown and Black. each one changes to a different color family and depends on your body chemistry. for instance, the Green one will give you a dark pink color while Dark Blue changes into a purple. visit their website here to see the colors for your skin tone.

the lipstick is supposed to last 12-hours and will survive through eating and drinking. my London Drugs carried the Green color and it was only $3.49 before tax so i decided to give it a try.
it went on clear but changed color almost immediately. here are some swatches:
the first picture is of my bare lips and the second one was taken a minute after  i had applied the MOODmatcher lipstick. lastly, the third is what my lips looked like almost 10 minutes after.
the lipstick has a... well, lipstick scent to it - you know, not fruity or anything but just lipstick-y. haha. the formula didn't dry my lips out and was true to its word - it lasted a LONG time. more than 16 hours later, i still had a tint of color left. i find that this lipstick is similar to a lip stain. for me, lip stains tend to leave a deeper/brighter color on certain parts of my lips. i am not sure why, but it tends to be a deeper color near the center of my bottom lip. anyways, this lipstick has that effect many hours later when the glossiness wears away.
i found the color pretty bright when i first wore it but later towards the evening, it became a softer pink.

i decided to do a swatch on my arm to see if it would react differently to less pigmented skin. it actually became a nice coral color.

anyways, i enjoyed this lipstick - especially for such a low price, it lasts super long. if there were more colors available at London Drugs, i might try a couple more. it's fun! would you try it?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

REVIEW: Mink Eyelash Extensions - Week 2

soo a quick update on my lashes situation.
i apologize for not taking more pictures this week. please check out my first week here. by the 7th day, my lashes are completely different from a week ago. as i mentioned earlier, the extensions near the inner corner have fallen out which you can see in the pictures. (sorry for the color on my eyelids - it is so difficult to take off makeup since i have to be so gentle!) my eyelash extensions have also decided to turn in different directions. they've become a little tangled and requires some brushing to separate them.

i also posted a picture from the 9th day. i was driving when i noticed something was blurring my vision. once i parked, i found that one of my eyelashes have gone limp. BUT the thing is, it was still stuck onto the middle of my real eyelash - not the base, but the middle. so it just hangs there. sadly, this was the beginning of a common occurrence. as you can see, the extensions have also started to lose their curl.

so again, trying to keep count of eyelashes lost:
Day 8 (March 31): lost 1 in the afternoon
Day 9 (April 1): lost 1 in the morning, 1 in afternoon
Day 10 (April 2): lost 1 in the morning
Day 13 (April 5): lost 1 at night
i also found a few lying around my pillow.. i probably lose the majority of them during my sleep.

today, i must say i am not happy with my lashes. my left eye has lost almost every single eyelash extension (probably like 2 left - which does NOT look good) while my right eye still looks decent. i went out the other night and i had to put falsies on but only on my left eye just so it can balance out a bit. the falsies were much curlier than the extensions so it didn't work out too well. i am seriously thinking of using oil-based products on my left eye to completely get rid of the extensions that are left just so i can start using mascara. stay tuned for week 3 results!

i want to take the time now to mention something super exciting!
Steph Shoeaddict from Budget Fashionista held a birthday giveaway near the end of March and i won! so stoked to win a JustFab gift card - i have been building up quite a list of items i wanted to get for my first purchase so i am definitely very very excited. i never win giveaways (or anything really) so whoohoo! thank you so much Steph and happy belated birthday! she has some great shoes so check her out :)

Friday, April 06, 2012

POLISHED: Barbie Loves Joe Fresh Nail Polish Set

i am by no means a pro when it comes to doing my nails - in fact, i'm not even very good. but i did feel like reviewing some nail polishes for you.
i picked these "Barbie Loves Joe Fresh" nail polishes at Superstore a couple of weeks ago. who knows if they were meant for kids? i only paid like $2.50 (originally $12) for them so i thought it'd be fun! Joe Fresh also has their own line of nail polishes so maybe not?
the set included: Light Pink, Light Purple and Dark Pink (3.5 mL each).

i did a swatch of each, the left side was taken in natural light and the right, with artificial light (this is how swatches are done normally right? hehe)
here's Light Pink:

i did 3 coats since it is a very light color. as you can see, i am not very patient so i have a smudge already! i like this pink color; it appears very innocent and feminine.

Dark Pink swatches:

now this one is not so "innocent"-looking. i also like how this is a nice pop of color. needed only 2 coats.

and Light Purple:

sadly, i was racing against the clock and did not beat it. the sun had pretty much gone down by now but i decided to try anyway! i apologize! this purple is also a very cute lilac color. again, it is a lighter color so it took 3 coats.

the bottles were pretty cute - they were short and round. it may have been a little harder for me to adjust to painting my nails with such a large and round cap. i think the size is perfect though - i've never run out of nail polish before and i buy new colors all the time. and overall the formula was pretty good. the lighter colors needed more coats and may have been a little streaky at times.

and from this, i decided to do something a little fun with my nails which turned out to be very Easter-y. i did not intend for this but realized it after that it was perfect for the occasion. however, i took it off today since i was getting tired of it and Easter is just around the corner. oh well.
i love this idea of having one nail on each hand that is a different color. it makes it stand out with the contrast and all. :)

and on top of this, i used the OPI RapiDry Top Coat from my March 2012 Luxe Box. i did this on March 27 and i took a picture of my nails today before taking it off:

that's over a week (9 days)! and it looks almost like the previous picture besides some edges and a chip that i got the day before since i was getting careless with some hair rollers. i haven't used some of the more prestigious top coats like Seche Vite  so i can't compare it but this OPI one works pretty good for me!

have a fantastic Easter everybody!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

GLOSSYBOX: March 2012

dun dun dunnnn! it is finally here!!
it arrived yesterday, after much anticipation and delays. Glossybox was having a bit of trouble with customs. they continually updated their Facebook page on the status of the box as well as gave everybody 250 Glossydots for their patience. for some reason though, the company said the Alberta boxes were sent out last Monday and yet my tracking information said Canada Post received it on Wednesday. Glossybox said it was glitch with Canada Post. i liked being kept in the loop but placing the blame on someone else for the delay will not help the situation. i hope i receive April's box within the month!
so many people were super pleased with their box - i snuck a peek on Facebook. when i picked it up from the mailbox, i was shocked at how heavy it felt. it's a whooping 700 g. haha apparently March's Luxe Box was 500 g but the Glossybox feels really heavy!
so it is the first time i received the Glossybox so here's plenty of pictures.
the cardboard box is quite fancy. it has the Glossybox symbol and logo all over the box and perforation (? is that the right term?) along the side which makes it so much easier to open the box.

upon opening the box, there is a light pink box that seems really sturdy. taking off the lid, you will find some tissue paper wrapped in a pale pink ribbon with a logo sticker.

there's a large black envelope and this is the shot of all the products underneath it (there's a lot of them!):

the black envelope contains: a note from Glossybox including a list of the products, a Bailey Cosmetics product tag, a promo code for Pandora's Makeup Box and a huge booklet about Sebastian products.

products of the month:

1) Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion - i've seen plenty of ads for this so i'm alright with receiving this lotion. it claims that it moisturizes for 24 hours. great for my elbows! there is a very light oatmeal scent and absorbs really quickly. feels slightly more runny than creamy.
size: 71 mL
retail value: $11.99 (354 mL)

2) Bailey Fresh Lip Gloss in " Fresh Berry" - there's no label anywhere saying how big the sample was or what color it was, but i compared mine to some of the other blogger's and found that mine is a lot darker. it also looks more like "Fresh Berry" than it would "Fresh Pink". one thing to keep in mind is make sure you twist it all the way to close it. my sister wanted to take a look but didn't close it properly and it began leaking A LOT. it kept leaking until i figured out the problem. i put some on her, put a ton on me, did a swatch on my hand and still large goops of lip gloss was lost.

this allowed me to take two swatches of the gloss on my lips - one with just a normal layer of gloss, and the other one i layered quite a bit. the color looks darker (quite purple) on my hand and appears sheerer on my lips but you can build the color. it has a sponge applicator and does not feel all too sticky.

some people received an anti-shine powder or a duo foundation - both of which i would've preferred since i've got quite the stash of lip products from these beauty boxes.
size: 8 g (full size!)
retail value: $28

3) Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray - hmm interesting that Evian has "branched out" from bottled water to beauty products. i have something sort of similar that i use to refresh my skin - The Body Shop's Vitamin C Energizing Face Spritz.

i love the smell because the citrus definitely wakes you up. this Evian one however, is just water. so i am not entirely sure what the hype is about. this sample costs $7... i really don't know what you're paying for here.
size: 50 mL
retail value: $17.50 (300 mL); $12.50 (150 mL); $7.00 (50 mL)

4) PANDORA'S Blush in "St. Tropez" - yay! first time receiving blush in these boxes and great timing too! i think blush would probably be the product that i have the least varieties of so this is a great addition. it comes in a little magnetic box and is a nice pink color.
size: 4 g (full size!)
retail value: $18

5) Sebastian Re-Shaper Hairspray - this is a new type of product to receive in the beauty boxes. i have quite a bit of hairspray which i do not use often so i do not know when i will actually test this out. this product emphasizes brushability (did they invent the word?) which would be something i am interested in. i don't like it when my hair looks super hard after hairspray and when you try to brush,it causes little white flakes. will update you on this later!
size: 43 g
retail value: $19.95 (43 g) i heard plenty of bloggers/Facebookers mention that this was calculated incorrectly so i went online to check... $22.95 (300 g) according to Fabove.ca

6) *bonus* Algemarin Foam Bath - i like bonuses! i've never heard of Algemarin and i hardly ever take baths so will let you know later.
size: 15 mL
retail value: $23.95 (750 mL); $17.99 (500 mL); $3.99 (5 x 5 mL)

comparing mine to others, i would've preferred some different items but overall, it's a decent box. my favorite item would probably be the blush from PANDORA'S. the lip gloss is a darker shade than i normally get so that's a nice variation. i wish Glossybox had added those label stickers they sent out last month for new subscribers. i'll have to start thinking of uses for this box now! what do you use all your boxes for?
interested in signing up? i'd appreciate it if you use my link. :)

PS. Topbox is holding ANOTHER giveaway on Facebook - click here to win a top 10 gift set from Stila Cosmetics!
thanks for reading!
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