Friday, November 30, 2012

REVIEW: Commonwealth Soaps and Toiletries Almond Bath Bar

i had no idea blogging in Calgary during winter can be so frustrating!
these past couple of days i have been trying to squeeze in as many product and swatch photos as i can in the very tiny span of time that we have sunlight. i don't like how it starts to get dark at 4 pm!! so i apologize that many posts have been delayed.

today i'll just do a quick post about a certain soap that i absolutely love. i grabbed it off the shelf randomly one time i was at Winners just because the UK flag packaging was cute. and then i took a whiff. and i fell in love with the scent. BUT i had never been a bath/spa kind of girl so i was not accustomed to paying $6 for one soap.

and so fate brought us together again, when on a later visit to Winners, i find it on Clearance. funny how the red sticker can play tricks on you since i immediately made a beeline to the cashiers only to find later on that i saved $1.

which brings me to yet another visit where i picked up a second set - this time, it was $4 off! if i was willing to buy it at $5, then it makes perfect sense to buy it $3! :)
and the cylinder box would be great for storing makeup brushes (at least i think ahead right?).

on the left:
one large rectangular soap in a box with a magnetic clasp. 340 g. retail $12.99 (Winners $5.99, marked down to $5)

on the right:
two small round soaps in a cylindrical box with lid. 142 g each. retail $14.00 (Winners $6.99, marked down to $3)

i also figured it'd be perfect if i kept one at my boyfriend's place and one at my house!

it took me a while to figure out who in the world actually manufactured these soaps. the label wasn't very clear at all:

i Googled several terms found on these labels and could not find a thing! the words "NBC Apparel" also threw me in for a loop (these are not related to any NBC shows).
FINALLY, i looked up "CST Fall River" and there it was - aha! CST stands for Commonwealth Soaps & Toiletries. they are also so hard to find since their website is "Coming Soon" and there is hardly any other information available except for contact info.

i guess this "review" is just me rambling really. these Almond Bath Bars smell fantastic! the scent is described as toasted almonds and cherries that come together to smell like freshly baked biscotti. mmmmmm! i actually don't think i've smelled fresh biscotti before but "mmmmm" sounds like it would be appropriate.

i find that it also lathers up quick well. my only problem is with the large rectangular soap - it is so big!!! my hand can wrap around half of the soap bar. and it's pretty heavy too (like 3/4 of a pound!) so it makes it difficult to lather up when you are afraid for your toes.

a bonus with this soap is that the scent is strong - not in a dizzy kind of way but more like a pleasant surprise when i walk into the bathroom and can smell this soap :)

by the way, i just saw this new display at Shoppers yesterday... eep! a new Revlon lip product!! i'm a huge fan of their lip products but i can't let myself purchase another one just yet. but lucky for me, i got an email from Revlon today about being accepted into Revlon Selects and this is one of the products they will be sending. HOORAY! are you guys excited to try these out? they are rather pricey right now - $14.99 each! that's much more than their other lipsticks... quite expensive for a drugstore lipstick in fact.

so what is your favorite bath soap? and can you believe that December is just around the corner? (seriously, it's in 13 minutes...!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SPOTLIGHT: Black Friday // Cyber Monday Shopping

Black Friday is becoming popular in Canada and i decided to partake in the madness this year. Black Friday is nowhere near as crazy here as compared to the States (i've seen one too many Black Friday Walmart YouTube videos). i did set out to two different malls that were in totally opposite directions, only because CrossIron Mills had 500 gift bags to hand out, first-come first-serve kind of thing (starting at 8 am). however, me and my sister went to bed late and could only arrive by 8:30 and by then, 500 shoppers had beaten us to it. i honestly thought that we could still make it cause it IS a Friday (people should be working right?) and the mall was an outlet mall (not even in our city! but then again, it wouldn't be considered far for us true shoppers).

after walking around CrossIron Mills for a bit, we headed out to Chinook Mall which was our original Black Friday destination.

lemme show you what i got over the weekend:
left to right:
* Forever 21 // "I Love Band Boys" Logo Top (White) - okay, this is not something i normally wear but my sister found it and thought it was funny (my boyfriend plays guitar in a couple bands). and it was only $2.49 (50% off sale items)! so i figured i can just wear it to sleep.
original price: $12.80; paid: $2.49

* Forever 21 // Lace Cami (Cream) - i've always wanted a bandeau to wear under sheer or low cut tops. i like how it isn't strapless either - one less thing to worry about!
original price: $9.80; paid $7.00

* Forever 21 // Sequin Shorts (Black/Blue) - they're sequin shorts! if i don't feel like wearing a dress or skirt, this could be an easy way to dress up an outfit. another 50% off sale item.
original price: $27.80; paid: $6.49

* Old Navy // Sequin Scoop Neck Sweater (Black Jack) - my sister has been eyeing down sweaters that have sequins sewn into them and this one was a good length and had a round neckline. the line at Old Navy was insane!!! there were like 7 cashiers and i still waited a good 15 minutes in line. geebers.
original price: $39.94; paid: $25.00

* Forever 21 // Button Up Peplum Blouse (Cream) - this was not on sale but i love the black collar and cuffs. it's also my first peplum top!
original price: $23.80; paid: $21.42 (SPC 10% off)

* Forever 21 // Zip Up Peplum Bustier (Black) - this is not something i would normally get but i like how there is a balance between edgy and girly. the top is form-fitting while the bottom half is semi-sheer and flowy.
original price: $23.80; paid: $21.42 (SPC 10% off)

* Urban Outfitters // Lace Floral Tights - these are officially my most "fun" looking tights. now we will see how often i will actually wearing them.
original price: $20.00; paid: $2.49 (50% off sale)

* Forever 21 // Makeup Brush Set & Holder - i could not care less for the brushes that are inside (in fact, i just noticed there is only 4 out of 5 in there - haha) but i just really wanted the animal print brush holder! i sometimes like to carry makeup brushes with me and this is perfect! it also has a zippered pocket inside and magnetic clasps.
original price: $5.80; paid: $0.49 (what! haha yeah it was 50% off sale too)

* Call It Spring // Esparaza Flats - so sparkly!! these flats are covered in white sequins that look pink when you move around.
original price: $30.00; paid: $4.99 (50% off sale)

* Bluenotes // Casual Skirt (Black) - sometimes i just need a really plain black skirt to go with a flashier top and here it was for $2!
original price: $6.00; paid: $2.00

 * Sephora // bareMinerals Let It Glow - so i really did not need any more bronzers but for some reason, i bought 2. i got this one because i loved the brush! it looks like it would be great for cheekbones.
original price & paid: $12

* Sephora // Too Faced Cocoa Glow - so with this bronzer, i much preferred the compacted version rather than the mineral bronzer. that is the story of how i ended up with both.
original price & paid: $12

* Sephora // Kat Von D True Romance Pigments (Meditation) - this pretty pigment was in the Sale section and i have not tried any Kat Von D products nor have i really experimented with pigments. guess i was in the mood to be a little adventurous!
original price: $19.00; paid: $7.00

* Rexall // Duo Eyelash Adhesive in "Dark" - who would have though Rexall would have some awesome sales too!! i don't wear falsies often but i could not resist this sale... i felt the need to pick up not one, but two of these eyelash adhesives because they were the dark ones! i've also heard that Duo eyelash glue is one of the best ones out there so now's a good time as any to try them!
original price: $7.29 x 2 = 14.58; paid: $1.87 x 2 = $3.74

* Rexall // Duo Professional Eyelashes in "Unknown, D13, D14" - i do not know why there is one unlabeled but they looked fun and dramatic so into the basket it went. i was not really feeling "D14 Short and Spiked" but it "adds thickness to thin, sparse lashes" which is an exact description of mine so again, into the basket.
original price: $13.69 x 3 = $41.07; paid: $3.47 x 3 = $10.41

* Rexall // Prestige Brow Lash - needed one for my boyfriend's place. can't say no to a 50% off sign either.
original price: $2.99; paid: $1.31

* Rexall // Prestige Brow Perfection in "Medium to Dark" - i have taken a deeper interest into eyebrows lately so this was great timing! all Prestige items were 50% off so i decided to try this one. it sounds interesting enough - step 1 is a tinted fiber filler and step 2 is a clear setting gel conditioner. i will let you know when i figure it out!
original price: $8.99; paid: $4.10

* The Body Shop // All-in-One Face Base - i actually bought this prior to Black Friday but it's only because The Body Shop was having awesome sales leading up to the date. i picked this up during their 50% off all makeup sale and i did a ton of research prior. i went to two different stores and both times, the sales lady did not seem to know what color suited me best. the first time, the lady was just handing me all the tester ones and waited for me to decide. the second time, the lady tried to test them on my arm but she'd also pick out shades that were way too orange. she said that if it didn't work out, i can just bring it back. guess i'll just take my chances with this one (it's #45).
original price: $22.00; paid: $9.90

* Winners // Color Club Winter Affair Mini Collection - say what! this is actually a Holiday 2012 collection. i did not know Winners carried the latest nail collections. anyways, i was easily mesmerized by all the pretty colors in this mini set! the colors are: "Berry and Bright", "Ho-Ho-Holly", "Gift of Sparkle" and "Snow-Flakes". i love every single one in this set - especially "Snow-Flakes" which is a flakie top coat! i had Essie's "Shine of the Times" on my wishlist so i can cross it off (for now). i'm so excited to use this!!
original price & paid: $6.99

okay so you think i've reached the end but nope!
i made a few online orders as well... i'll do a separate post on them later when i actually receive it but i'll just quickly summarize right now:

* MUA Store (35% off and free shipping) - really it is the timing! i have not tried MUA products before but they seem like a great and affordable makeup company. and then they reached 35,000 likes on FB and they had this crazy deal! i picked up 1 eyeshadow palette, 1 eyeliner, 5 lipsticks (oops), 1 gloss, 4 nail polishes, 1 concealer and 1 pressed powder. i had to refrain from making a ridiculously large order and kept telling myself that i could always try more later (like when they reach 50,000 likes!)
original price: $48.98; paid: $23.87

* Sea Lore Nail Polish (15% off) - i took advantage of Cyber Monday and decided to order my very first indie nail polish purchase. i picked up "Beluga Blizzard" (mini), "Ariel" and "Attina" (mini). "Ariel" was a must since i was already thinking months ago that it would be a perfect Christmas present for my sister (Ariel is her favorite Disney princess).
original price: $25.43; paid: $22.21

* Fanchromatic Nails (select full size polishes for $6, minis 10% off) - make that TWO indie polish purchases in one day. i absolutely love love love Firefly/Serenity so i was searching for nail polishes that were inspired by them. i missed out on the Nerd Lacquer ones but i found a couple from Fanchromatic Nails. i am very excited! i bought "Layer Cake", "Blue Sun", "Dire Wolf" and "Wowsville" (last 3 are minis).
original price: $27.83; paid: $22.01

* Miss KL (16% off and free shipping) - only ordered one item but this was the first site i've found that charges handling separately so that's the slight catch! it was $2.00 for handling.
i got a long-sleeve bodysuit that i can wear easily with skirts. i don't like how sometimes my shirt ridges up so this is a great way to make sure it remains tucked in all day!
original price: US$13 + shipping; paid: US$11.26

okay NOW i am done. or at least i think i am. i know i listed all my spending here but i am afraid to add it up.
what purchases did you make? any awesome deals you could not say no to?

Monday, November 26, 2012

GLYMM BAG: November 2012

i got my Glymm last Tuesday but this post has been delayed since shopping all weekend can be quite tiring ;)
even though Black Friday is not a Canadian thing, many shops have decided to extend this offer to us and i decided to join the fun. i went to the mall on Friday (okay, two malls) and did some online shopping today as well! i will do a separate post on all of this soon!

as for my Glymm bag, i can't help but describe it as "alright" or "okay" every single month! i am really hoping that December brings about some very very exciting bags! cross your fingers!

November's edition (in a black snakeskin bag):

1) Lys Parisien Professionnel Moisturizing Shampoo - so shampoo, nothing new here. except you have to admit that these are generous sample sizes and i'm intrigued about the argan oil. i haven't actually used argan oil on my hair prior to receiving this but i have heard plenty of great things about it...
my first experience didn't wow me but this will definitely get used up. the shampoo itself looks like a gorgeous shiny and shimmery light gold.
size: 60 mL
retail value: $24 (500 mL)

2) Lys Parisien Professionnel Moisturizing Balm - describing a conditioner as a balm was so confusing! good thing Glymm included the product information. both the shampoo and balm smell nice but the shampoo is definitely a stronger scent. the balm is a plain light gold (no shimmers in this one!). Lys Parisien Professionnel is a Canadian company and i can't seem to find any more information on them (there is no website either - strange).
size: 60 mL
retail value: $24 (500 mL)

3) Villainess Scintillating Bar Soap - i  don't mind trying more Villainess products since their creations all sound amazing. as described, the Scintillating soap smells strongly of mint with a touch of vanilla. i like the colors in this soap!

size: N/A
retail value: $6 (99 g)

4) The New Black Nail Polish - in who knows what color since they don't name them! i'd describe it as a tomato red (orange-red). if you take a look at the Glymm shop, i think this particular color may be found in the Ombre Kit in "Rover" or the I Want Candy in "Fever".
i had no problem with the formula - it applied thinly and evenly. you could definitely get away with one coat since a second coat only makes it slightly darker. i am pretty impressed with this polish! if anyone is interested, i've seen an 8-piece collection sold at Winners for $19.99 (compared to Sephora's $35).

size: 4 mL
retail value: $15-24 (set of 3-5)

5) The Beehive Eau de Parfum in "Alice Blue" - i didn't know perfume samples could get any smaller but here it is. i got "Alice Blue" which is described as flowery, sweet and fruity at the same time. i actually really like the scent. another surprise! i tried to find out where you can actually purchase the scent (other than Glymm) and their website is practically non-existent. they have their name, phone number and email - that's it! even the page is called "Untitled Document". they should get on that soon.

size: N/A... super tiny vial
retail value: $35 (100 mL)

as i come to use the products, i'm pleasantly surprised by a few of them. even though the sample sizes were ridiculously small, i do like The New Black nail polish and The Beehive smells really good! since i had not used argan oil on my hair before, i am eager to try the shampoo and balm. as for the Villainess soap, i enjoyed their Whipped! body creme last time so it is also welcomed.
did you enjoy your Glymm bag this month? did you take advantage of any crazy sales over the weekend?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

TOPBOX: November 2012

my Topbox arrived with my ipsy on Monday. i did the ipsy post first since it was new and exciting; meanwhile my eagerness to tear open Topboxes has been dampened these past few months. if you asked me a few months ago, Topbox and Glossybox was unarguably my top two faves. but after the price increases and the entry of a new player into the market, it seems that i am not so sure anymore where Topbox stands. Glossybox definitely does not seem to provide the same value for my money so it is going on the chopping block after the holidays. ipsy has shone a whole new light since they are more makeup-oriented, which is really why i started signing up for all these beauty boxes in the first place. Topbox used to never include fragrance or tiny tiny samples, but here we are today...

November's items (Box 26 - that's a ton of versions...):

1) B. Kamins Nia-Stem Moisturizer Kx & Nia-Stem Serum Kx - i tried my first B. Kamins (Canadian) product last month with the help of Glossybox. now i have two more - and these ones are also quite expensive!
the serum (to be applied prior to the moisturizer) does not feel oily and is absorbed quickly into the skin. the lightly scented moisturizer is also absorbed pretty quickly and my skin feels hydrated but i am surprised that it actually did not leave my face feeling smoother.

both of these products are part of the Nia-Stem line (anti-aging) and contain niacin, plant stem-cells and Bio-Maple Compound... wait a second! doesn't something sound familiar here? plant stem-cells!! i was just talking about another anti-aging product in my ipsy bag in the post right before this one! guess plant stem cells are all the rage right now.
size: 3 g each
retail value: moisturizer - $125 (50 mL); serum - $135 (30 mL)

2) China Glaze Nail Lacquer in "80527 I'm Not Lion" - this polish is part of the Fall 2012 On Safari Collection and the name is just too cute. there's another one called "I Herd That" and "Prey Tell" teehee.

i recall that when Topbox sent out their monthly surveys that one of the questions asked was about nail trends that i would like to try. i selected 2 of the 3 options: dark & stormy and bold sparkles (the other option was camouflage).
"I'm Not Lion" looks like a pale gold with holographic glitter. i'll have swatches coming soon!
size: 14 mL (full size!)
retail value: $10-12

3) Cuccio Naturale Butter Blend in "Pomegranate & Fig" - i encountered some difficulty when i tried to use this product... you actually have to cut the tip off. i like the tube packaging of this cream - makes it really easy to get the product out. plus, the tube is clear so you can see how much you have left.
i love pomegranates but this smelled more like grapefruit to me. i really like the formula - non-greasy, moisturizing and smells good :) perfect for throwing into my purse.

size: 9.24 g
retail value: $18.95 (240 g)

4) Roberto Cavalli Eau de Parfum - so this parfum sample is almost an exact replica of the actual bottle (just minus the tiger-print ring around the neck). i really like the perfume topper (the Roberto Cavalli symbol). i'd suggest you hold on to the base instead when wiggling the top off so you don't spill it everywhere.
the sample is the type where you have to dab the perfume on. from the website, i found out the top notes are pink peppers, the heart (middle) notes are orange blossoms and the base notes are tonka beans.
of course, i can't detect all that but it definitely is a floral. i don't love the scent but it's not bad either.
size: 5 mL
retail value: $80 (50 mL); $105 (75 mL)

overall, it's an okay box. there is a full size nail polish but on a whole, Topbox samples seem to be getting smaller and smaller. i really hoped that accepting more subscribers didn't impact the quality of Topbox but it looks like it did...
new Topbox card cover
what did you think about the box?
here are some Topbox giveaways you should check out:
- Pure + simple gift set (ends Nov 27)
- boxx cosmetics makeup set (ends Nov 29)

P.S. thanks Jayne for the Dropbox tip! :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

IPSY GLAM BAG: November 2012

first up, a little rant about Google.
apparently i have maxed out my Picasa storage for my account - i had no idea that i was using Picasa this entire time nor was i aware that i had limits but okay. so the only way i can fix the problem was to a) get more storage by paying each month or 2) upload photos that are within size limits. these limits depend on if you are a Google + user; if you are, you can upload photos up to 2048 x 2048 pixels. if not, the max is 800 x 800. and so, obviously signing up for Google+ seems like the better choice. but now i run into some issues with their "Names Policy". apparently my name, Helen To, does not sound legit. so i had to submit online proof (you can also do offline like scanning an id) and i had to wait a day since my account was pending review.
this was ridiculously frustrating!!! have you other ladies encountered this storage problem before? what did you do?

- - -

sooo the wait is over!! ipsy has arrived in Canada and i just received their first bag on Monday! i was definitely one of those people who scrambled to sign up the second i heard that they have expanded into Canada.
i have been pretty excited about this since i have seen previous ipsy (myglam) bags before and the amount of makeup they include appeals to me. this particular bag, entitled "Party Perfect!", was a hit in this regard since the majority of items i got was in fact makeup.

i was driving with my parents after i picked up my mail and i was singing "i'm so excited" the entire way home and they just gave me the crazy look.
so let's dive into this flashy pink bubble mailer!

first up, i see a welcome message for Canadians and two cards: one with the list of products (no other info besides offers) and $20 off JustFab (which is like a shoe 'subscription' company).
i've browsed JustFab plenty of times but one of the major turn-offs is the shipping charge to Canada. i checked today and i think they have lowered it since i last checked - $6.95. not too bad...

okay, let's keep diving into the chocolate brown bag (which is very plain but has the ipsy logo inside).

November's contents (since it doesn't come with a detailed product card, i'll be copying what the info on the site says here; prices are also in US dollars):

1) theBalm Meet Matt(e) eyeshadow in "Matt Batali"
"Matt Batali is just one of the nine shadows found in theBalm’s Meet Matte(e) compact palette (named after their favorite Matthews next door) which can be combined to create a multitude of soft and wearable looks. Matt Batali leaves a dark, matte finish, perfect for creating a smokey eye."

hi Matt! what a cute sample size you are! i love the little 'book' with magnetic closure. if you look closely, you can see that my eyeshadow was nicked a bit - it's obviously not a fingerprint but i guess mine got into a little accident.

i'd describe the color as a taupe-y aubergine since it looks brown, gray and purple at the same time. the eyeshadow is pigmented and lasts all day. it was a tad chalky when i first applied it though.

promotion: get the Meet Matt(e) eyeshadow palette for 50% off - the catch? shipping to Canada is $40. how is that right?? shipping to the US is $2.15 and somehow ours cost 18x more... ridonkulous. but you have to agree that it's so clever that all nine eyeshadows are different Matts.
size: 0.9 g
retail value: N/A but the palette with a brush (9.5 g) is $34.50, currently on sale for $17.25
natural light; artificial light

2) Starlet Intense Eyeliner in "Black"
"These creamy eyeliner pencils glide on to deliver a lasting vibrant color in chocolate or black. Blend or line your lids to create your favorite glam look, whether a smoky eye or straight line wing tip."

i am so glad i got "Black"! this specific eye pencil doesn't seem to be listed on the website since it looks different from the "black eyeliner". perhaps this is the more intense version.

to me, it still looks like a soft black though (see above for swatch). i used it yesterday on both my upper and lower lash line and man, was that a mistake. within an hour, i was having mad raccoon eyes. i had to keep cleaning up under my eyes since it continued to smudge all through the day. and as for my upper lash line, after 4 hours, i had huge creases on the inner corner. and to think i even wore an eye primer!
to sum it up, it was just a huge mess. no likey.

promotion: 20% off. shipping one eyeliner to Canada costs $17.84! eep.
size: 1.5 g (full size!)
retail value: N/A but the less intense version is $11

3) Nailtini Nail Lacquer in "Millionaire"
"Introducing Millionaire nail lacquer from the new Nailtini “Speakeasy” Collection chosen specifically for the ipsy community. Millionaire spikes a base of rose gold micro-glitter with iridescent gold and teal tinsels for statement-making nails, whether worn alone or as a dazzling special-effect topcoat. The only line of lacquer developed to maximize the creativity of the user by "cocktailing" different shades, Nailtini serves up endless color possibilities with amazing performance, hip sensibility and tongue-in-cheek attitude. Always 3-free, made in the USA and never tested on animals."

i've seen Nailtini before at Winners and have been tempted to pick one up. "Millionaire" also looks exactly like Nicole by OPI's "A Gold Winter's Night" and tokidoki's SANDy which i considered picking up after seeing both on sale at Shoppers and Sephora, respectively. however, i was feeling conflicted about the bar glitter - is it pretty or is it hairy?
i love the clever description!

on the website it is described as a "golden glitter infusion; teal & gold tinsels awash in rose-gold microglitter" (i like the word awash). the teal bars may appear purple when you play with the light. "Millionaire" is part of the Speakeasy collection. i don't think it's a polish i'd wear on all of my nails - i personally just used it as an accent. i also prefer it as a two-coater. 

promotion: 25% off. shipping to Canada is $11.95.
size: 15 mL (full size!)
retail value: $13

4) bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss eclos Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream 
"This medium-weight moisturizer with restorative benefits helps smooth and brighten for a youthful finish. Hydration replenishes dry, dulling skin suffering from the signs of aging. Powerful extracts and antioxidants boost collagen levels for noticeable tightening and firming. Exclusively formulated with rejuvenating Apple Stem Cells, clinically proven to significantly reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture in two weeks. Formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances or dyes, mineral oil or petroleum."

instead of the lipgloss, Canadians got an eclos anti-aging product instead. apparently, there were issues with shipping lipglosses here. this eclos product was included previously in the August 2012 bag.

eclos is part of the Freeman brand (you know, the bare foot products?). eclos is focused on using Plant Stem Cells from a rare Swiss apple that are clinically proven to help skin look younger. sounds promising.

it definitely has a herbal scent to it but nowhere as strong as CyberDERM's PM Anti-Age.

promotion: i actually found this on the eclos site listed specifically for myglam customers - use MYGLAM10 to save $10 and get a free sample. shipping to Canada seems to be about $15.57.
size: 7 mL
retail value: $24.99 (60 g)

5) Benefit They're Real! Beyond Mascara 
"they're real! beyond mascara lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts & separates. The jet black, long-wearing formula won’t smudge or dry out. A specially designed brush reveals lashes you never knew you had!"

i already have one of these mascaras from September's Topbox. i've heard both praise and criticism about the mascara but i am still excited to try it (once i get through my current round of mascaras!).

promotion: free Sugarbomb deluxe mini face powder with $35 purchase. international shipping is $18.95 and decreases if you spend over $75.
size: 3 g
retail value: $23 (8.5 g)

6) *bonus* myglam Glam Gloss in "01" - whaaa? i thought they couldn't ship lipglosses but here's one! i cannot find any information on this except that it was also thrown in as a bonus for the August 2012 bag. the box was a little bunged up but the gloss is fine. the holographic box lists an expiration date for this gloss as well as the production date. it was back in May which is why it was still called "myglam" instead of ipsy (changed in September). 
it looks like a really cute pink but i will have to get around to this later! (again, too many products on my hands - this is not a complaint)

size: 7 mL (full size! or so i assume)
retail value: N/A

so did you count it? that's 5/6 makeup-related items! *applause applause* i have been getting too many lotions and shampoos so this is a nice change. i am also glad to be able to try out new brands - 5/6 of the items are from brands i have not received in beauty boxes before.

one gripe i have with ipsy though, is that i get emails about products that are in the bag. ever since they sent me an email that my bag was shipped and up until i actually got it, i've received 3 emails. they need to understand that us Canadians get this box later than the Americans so stop spoiling the surprise!!
how do you like your ipsy this month? 

Monday, November 19, 2012

POLISHED: Forever 21 Hello Kitty Forever Nail Polish Set

so today i have a really cute nail polish set to share with you. i actually picked this up about two weeks ago in store but ever since Forever 21 announced the arrival of their Hello Kitty Forever collection on Friday, i was able to find this item on their website.

this was definitely an impulse buy; it was located RIGHT in front of the registers and it was just so cute. my mind registered the words Hello Kitty and nail polish and i knew i had to get it. i didn't even think twice about the quality or the colors, i just knew i had to own the:
cutest nail paint!

anyways, this Hello Kitty Forever Collection Exclusive Nail Polish Set consists of 5 colors: "Black", "Neon Green", "Neon Coral", "Neon Pink" and "Aqua". i am not sure why only three are neons... i guess you can't really have a Neon Black.
each nail polish is 7 mL and the set costs only $6.80.
and yes i know, it's the box that is really cute - there is nothing special on the polishes itself... guess i will just store them in the box!
i love Chococat in glasses (and the big bow)!
who is this new Hangyodon character??

i did some quick swatching today, racing against time as the sun starts to set at like 4 pm these days :(. so yes, nails are a bit messy but you get the picture!

first of all, the brush:


"Neon Green":

"Neon Coral":

"Neon Pink":
bad camera, bad!
a better picture of "Neon Pink" - less orange, more pink!


* 2 coats for all except "Neon Green" (3 coats).
* all the polishes dried quickly and did not stain my nails.
* "Black", "Neon Green" and "Neon Pink" applied very thinly. "Aqua" was slightly thicker and "Neon Coral" was the thickest.
* since "Black" is, well black, you can see how patchy the first coat was - definitely need more than 1 coat to cover up the nail!
* "Neon Green" was the most sheer. it is also quite unflattering on me since it looks like i put highlighter on my nails (which i have done before)...
* "Neon Coral" was the most opaque - and the messiest as well. it was the only one that dried matte even though there are two others that are supposedly neons (i have learned previously that neons usually dry matte). "Neon Green" and "Neon Pink" aren't really neons.
* i found "Black" also a bit hard to control - probably because it was also my first time using a black... all the flaws were so visible!!
* other than "Neon Coral" and "Black", i felt it was pretty easy to control the nail brush with the rest.

my favorite? well it will have to be...
Aqua in natural light; artificial light

these polishes are the first that i've seen that has an expiry date: 10/2014. apparently, they are good for about 24 months after you open them. i knew nothing about nail polish expiring so i did a quick Google search and found this blog: Sam, the owner of the The Polished Medic blog, contacted OPI about this and OPI pretty much said they are required by the European Union to list a "Period-After-Opening" number even though nail polish will never go bad. and the only reason they chose 24 months is because the European Union is wary of anything that exceeds that number. click on the link to read more - it's a very interesting read!
the Wikipedia page for period-after-opening symbol only mentions the European Union... so i am assuming it is not yet required of other countries (however, this nail polish set is made in China and distributed by Forever 21 which is based in California).

the Hello Kitty Forever Collection at Forever 21 also spans from leggings to necklaces to flip flops to pillows. the range is huge! i think i am going to go again tomorrow to see what they have in store :)

are you going to be buying anything from this collection?

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