Sunday, December 30, 2012

POLISHED: Color Club Winter Affair Mini Set

it would've been ideal if i got this post up before Christmas but sadly, it is not the case. i apologize! these nail colors are still great for the holidays! it is called the Winter Affair Collection and winter here lasts til like May so that's plenty of time! ;)
i remember i was at a Winners for an entirely different purpose when this cute little set caught my eye - i honestly cannot remember what i was actually looking for though... this mini collection consists of 4 of the 6* Winter Affair polishes and i loved each color so much that there was no way i was putting this down.
* i put an asterisk by that 6 because confusingly enough there are actually 8 different colors BUT only 6 nail polish names. in other words, there are actually 2 versions of the Holiday's 2012 Winter Affair Collection out there - the "regular" version and the "Sally Beauty" version. the versions differ in that 2 of the colors in each set are different but still have the same name. confusing, i know! "Gift of Sparkle" is a purple glitter in the "regular" version while in the "Sally Beauty" one, it is a blue foil. "Winter Affair" is usually a shimmery burgundy but in the "Sally Beauty" version, it is a gold foil.

"Berry and Bright"
the red is actually a deeper red than shown here... check below for a better representation

this red is the most beautiful red i have ever seen... it's a shimmery cherry red that is the very definition of 'festive'. the formula was a bit tricky though - it was very thick and goopy. 1 coat is sufficient but it looks slightly duller than what 2 coats gives you (which is a bright berry!).
between this one and the next two colors, "Berry and Bright" was the most chip-resistant (lasted 4+ days without chipping and without a topcoat). removing the polish took a bit of effort, especially around the edges. the red shimmer also got everywhere on my hand.
playing with the light to show you how the color changes

i know i just said this about the red, but THIS is the most beautiful green i have ever seen... they look so beautiful together! if i had any nail art skills, i would not hesitate to use "Berry and Bright" and "Ho-Ho-Holly" together.
"Ho-Ho-Holly" is a shimmery green foil with some gold in it. i absolutely loved looking at my nails and moving my fingers back and forth to change the lighting because it just looks so cool! the formula on this one was also very thick, which made it hard to bend the brush the way you want to. i used 2 coats since the first one was somewhat streaky. the polish started to chip two days later - not so much on the edges but on random areas on the nail like the center. removal was a long process since it was like removing two layers - first the green and then the gold. like "Berry and Bright", the green shimmer got a little messy during the removal process.
so prettyyy...

"Gift of Sparkle"
the one i got, which is the "regular" version, is a purple with a ton of holographic glitter. the "Sally" version of "Gift of Sparkle" is a blue foil.
again, the formula was thick so it was hard to control. these 3 polishes need some thinning (which i should Google on how to do this). first coat was slightly patchy so i used 2 coats. if you don't like the gritty feeling, you'd want to put a topcoat on this. within a couple days, there were some chipping on the edges of my nails. you could guess how long it took to remove this one... look at all that glitter!
the pics on the right (artificial lighting) is more accurate

this polish was the initial reason why i got really excited about this set (but i also quickly fell in love with the other colors). i've been wanting Essie's Shine of the Times and this is pretty much the same thing! my first flakie polish! i lurveee this topcoat! the flakes change from yellow to orange to green. i used 2 coats of "Snow-Flakes" over 2 coats of e.l.f.'s "Punk Purple". i wonder what polish i should use this over next!
also, i can see the ball inside this polish but when i shake it, i can't hear it... i am assuming this is the case with the other three polishes in this set... there is probably a ball but the formula is just too thick to mix!
removing this depends on the color you layered it over... here it was pretty easy but i have to warn you that "Punk Purple" stains like no other. no joke, it looks like i painted my nails with a fluorescent pink highlighter.
- - - - -

the size of each mini is 7 mL. i purchased this mini set for $6.99 at Winners. Sally Beauty also has a mini set but with the blue version of "Gift of Sparkle" rather than the purple and it is scented. from my research online, it seems that only the Sally Beauty version is scented - if you are lucky, you can have nail polish that smells like pomegranates, wooded herbs (what?) and cocoa marshmallow! the 6-piece full-sized set ("regular" version) on goes for $35 but is currently unavailable.

which one do you like best? what is your favorite holiday polish?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

IPSY GLAM BAG: December 2012

my December ipsy arrived in my mailbox on December 21 (last Friday). it came in a silver pouch that is much wider than the other makeup bags i have gotten. the interior had a pink lining with "ipsy" written all over it.
i oohed and ahhed over every single item i pulled out of this pouch. so far, ipsy has taken the first place honor this month (i have yet to receive Glossybox and BB5).

December's wicked items (entitled "Haute Holiday"; scroll all the way down for swatches):

1) Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in "Zero"
"Creamy, forever-lasting, award-winning and waterproof, 24/7 pencils delight you with lush tropical hues, deep metallics, and unusually vibrant neutrals. The best Eye Pencil ever, ever, ever! Never before has a pencil this creamy and brilliant been waterproof, too. Velvety-soft, this never-before-seen formula stays soft and creamy for blending (about 30 seconds), then dries down to a long-lasting finish that WILL NOT budge. Line eyes with a hint of color or go for the full artistic, multi-hued effect with the wide selection of lush tropical hues, deep metallics and unusually vibrant neutrals."

ooooh i have heard how amazing these UD pencils are and i am very glad to get a black one! "Zero" is a black that goes on quite dark which i really like. it feels very creamy - no tugging whatsoever. i am amazed by how well this eyeliner stays on your waterline! in fact, it is actually quite difficult to remove, even with makeup remover - it's the only time i get raccoon eyes with this eye pencil.
promotion: free gift (deluxe bag with samples) with $25 purchase not valid for Canadians
size: 0.8 g
retail value: US$19 (1.2 g) according to

2) NYX Ultra Pearl Mania Loose Pearl Eye Shadow in "LP05 Charcoal Pearl"
"It’s not hard to sparkle with one of NYX’s ultra-shimmering loose shadow powders that can be used on eyes, cheeks, even lips. These finely-milled mineral eye shadows are high-impact, long-lasting and a little addictive! Just the sparkle you need this holiday!"

i've only really tried NYX lip products and i am just starting my pigment collection so this is great! except i don't know how i feel about this color... it looks sorta boring, doesn't it? the swatch i did below was actually not impressive since i found it difficult to get the product out. i held my finger over the top and flipped it upside down and shook it a bit. it took a few tries to even get the swatch below (very little product comes out each time) and i am not really impressed with the pigmentation.
these NYX loose eye shadows come in 30 different colors.
promotion: 30% off Loose Pearl Eye Shadows again, not valid in Canada...
size: 5 mL (full size!)
retail value: US$3 according to

3) Mai Couture Highlighter Papier in "St. Barts"
"Add radiance to desired areas of your face and body. The shimmering highlighter paper from Mai Couture will illuminate any dullness for a glowing complexion.
How to use: Lightly press and sweep paper to desired areas of face and body.
Paraben and talc-free."

HOLY GUACAMOLE... let me count the sheets: one, two, THREE, FOUR.. 25?! this is unheard of!! how did ipsy ever manage to get us a sample half the size of the full version but Glymm could only get us a measly 2 sheets at a time?! 
"St. Barts" shows up really subtly on my skin - mostly you just see the shimmers. maybe a lighter color would allow me to actually use it for highlighting purposes. i did not feel like i needed a whole sheet each time so i only used half of one.
i think the idea is unique and i like how compact it is but i don't think i ever feel an immense need to highlight on the go... still it's great for touch ups throughout the day (if there was a lighter color available for me).
so shimmery!!

promotion: 20% off purchase these codes aren't very useful for Canadians!! boo!
size: 25 sheets
retail value: US$28 (50 sheets) according to

4) Be A Bombshell Lip Gloss in "Hot Mess" 
"The perfect holiday “true red” lip gloss that goes on sheer! Layer for a more opaque look. This formula instantly creates the look of fuller more voluptuous lips with luminous shine. This maximum-shine, moisturizing gloss will be perfect for any haute holiday party. The applicator features a soft sponged tip that picks up a generous amount of gloss."
the red was a tad scary at first but i understood that it was for the holidays. good news is that it applies sheerer than in the tube. i absolutely love this! i really enjoy the pigmentation of lipsticks but i like applying lipglosses better. i find that "Hot Mess" delivers in being bright but wearable at the same time. it loses the glossiness feel after an hour but still feels slightly tacky when you press your lips together. the color lasts an astounding length of time - i tested it for like 7 hours! i am not a huge fan of the scent though - it is undetectable unless you take a whiff straight from the tube. aside from "Hot Mess", there are 6 other shades available.
promotion: 30% off purchase the code is apparently valid in US and Canada...until they fool you into trying to check out and you find that the only option for "Country" is the United States. what trickery! 
size: 3 g (full size!)
retail value: $14 according to

5) Mirabella Prime For Face and Eyes
"Prime for Face and Eyes weightless, oil-free formula glides onto help promote long-wearing makeup. Vitamin E works as an antioxidant to smooth out lines as it moisturizes and protects skin. Prime provides a silky feel to the skin as it aids in repairing cellular damage. Application: Use a small amount and lightly pat into skin."

this primer feels smooth and velvety. be careful when you first use it since the product continues to ooze out so quickly grab what you need and close the cap. the primer worked wonders for me - i used it with my new MUA palette (review later! :)) and it made my eyeshadow last all day and look just as bright as it did when i first applied it.
promotion: 30% off purchase who would of thought that this wouldn't work either?
size: 12.85 g (full size!) 
retail value: US$29 according to

swatches of all the products:
two days later, the eye pencil and the lip gloss swatch still have a mark on my skin!!

- - - - -

so that is a ton of fantastic products in this month's bag! and not to mention, THREE products were full sized! ipsy takes the cake in being the most makeup-oriented subscription service out there. thanks for such a wonderful bag! in the new year, i will be reconsidering my beauty box subscriptions but ipsy is one that i am confident in keeping.
what are your thoughts on this bag? happy holidays!

Friday, December 28, 2012

SPOTLIGHT: Coral Lips featuring Revlon (ColorBurst and Super Lustrous)

i'm baaaaaaaaaack! sorry for not posting regularly but it is the holiday season! and yes, i am one of those people that still had shopping to do on Christmas Eve.
i hope you all had a fantastic Christmas (and Boxing Day!). i was completely exhausted from all that shopping. this year was the first time i've ever attempted a Best Buy trip when they opened their doors at the wee hour of 6 AM.

getting out of bed is one of my biggest challenges so i made it there at 6:10 AM - which i felt like i totally deserved a pat on the back for. feeling tired, cold and hungry, i found out they were already sold of the camera i was hoping to lay my hands on. guess i should've known - there was a ridiculous amount of cars in the parking lot and i've heard stories of people lining up at 5 or earlier!
so i headed over to Visions instead since they were also selling the same camera but with the Wi-Fi feature and at a slightly higher price. to my dismay, Visions was also sold out by then... BUT they earn an A+ in my book since they are able to order it for me at the same price. hooray! now i just have to wait for their call. guess i know next year i won't have to wake up at such a ridiculous hour to shop!

- - - - -

so back to the subject of this post... this actually has been delayed way too long. i remember mentioning that i picked up a handful of new lippies for my coral collection from London Drugs when they had a $3.99 Revlon lip products sale (it was seriously 6 months ago). i figured i'd finally squeeze this post in before 2013 since "Tangerine Tango" is the color of the year.

if you love corals as much as i do, then keep on reading! i am reviewing 5 coral shades, all of which are from either the Super Lustrous or ColorBurst collection but in different formats or finishes. here we go!

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in "677 Siren" - Creme (4.2 g)

let's start with the brightest color of the bunch - "Siren", an orange-red shade! the name is definitely very well-suited since it is a riskier color. the lipstick comes in a round tube, with a gold "Revlon" band around the middle. the top of the tube is clear so you can see the lipstick inside. the lipstick applies smoothly and evenly. after 5 hours of wear, the color is still vivid but my lips are a tad dry. the cracks and lines on my lips are very visible, as they normally are with bold colors such as this one. i'd make sure my lips are not peeling before using this one!

Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in "075 Peach" (3.7 g)

this lipstick is very soft, just like the ColorBurst Lip Butters. the packaging of this lipstick is a rectangular quilted black tube with the color indication on the top. when you twist it up, you can also see "Revlon" etched on the lipstick. "Peach" is slightly shimmery and quite similar to "Smoked Peach" (scroll down for swatches!). the lipstick is very smooth and pigmented. the wear time is a little over 3 hours.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in "170 Coral Reef" (5.9 mL)

"Coral Reef" was surprisingly pigmented. i love it when lipglosses have great color payoff! this made me purchase a second Super Lustrous Lipgloss in "Nude Lustre" (which isn't as pigmented). this lipgloss is light and not overly sticky. i love that it also has SPF 15. the color is a very pretty coral that leans pink. after wearing the gloss for about 3 hours, i found that my lips still had the glossy feeling but the color had disappeared.

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in "015 Tutti Frutti" (2.55 g)

the ColorBurst Lip Butters give you the buttery balm feeling while also giving your lips a nice touch of color. the Revlon website says that it gives you "sheer to medium" color - but with "Tutti Frutti", it is definitely not sheer. compared to the others in this review, it is the most orange shade. i really enjoy how effortless it is to put these ColorBurst Lip Butters on and achieve such a strong color. one issue i have with it is that the buttery aspect of the Lip Butter makes the color move around on my lips. it also tends to settle in the dry cracks. after applying the lip butter, there are times when the product won't go back down no matter how much you twist the tube. after 3 hours of wear, i feel that it is not as moisturizing as before and some of the color has faded.
the Lip Butters also come in the same quilted packaging as the ColorBurst Lipstick, but it is slightly transparent and the entire cap is in the same shade as the lip butter inside. the top of the lipstick is also transparent which makes it even easier to tell your lipsticks apart.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in "013 Smoked Peach" - Matte (4.2 g)

the packaging of the matte version is similar to the creme ones of the Super Lustrous Lipstick line. instead of the gold band, it is silver and slightly larger in size. the tube is also a "matte" black instead of the shiny one of the cremes. the color looks very similar to "Peach" (ColorBurst) except it is slightly more pink. even though this is a matte, it goes on your lips easily. however, perfecting the application is difficult since it is hard to get even coverage. after some time, the color looks pretty dry on my lips.

- - - - -

here are the swatches side by side to show you the comparison:
natural light
with flash; in direct sunlight

all of them have great color payoff which is why i am such a fan of Revlon lippies. a few of the colors do look similar to one another in the swatches - such as "Siren" and "Tutti Frutti"; "Peach" and "Smoked Peach". however, they look different on my lips:

these lippies differ in finishes and lasting power. aside from the gloss, "Tutti Frutti" (ColorBurst Lip Butter) has the glossiest finish. "Smoked Peach" is obviously the driest one.
in terms of lasting power, i'd rank them from shortest to longest: "Coral Reef", "Tutti Frutti", "Smoked Peach", "Peach" and then "Siren".
all of the them are unscented except for the ColorBurst lipgloss (smells sweet) and the ColorBurst Lipstick which smells slightly chemical.
for each lip product line mentioned above, there are plenty of other colors to choose from. the Super Lustrous Lipsticks has the most extensive range - i counted 58 color options on their website (not including the mattes)!
current prices for all the Revlon lip products mentioned above are $5.99 on (did you notice how they vary in sizes though? ColorBurst Lip Butters have the least amount of product in them).

if i were to pick a fave - i'd pick two! "Coral Reef" is absolutely lovely - i love the soft coral shade. i also quite like "Peach". it's a nice everyday color that requires little effort to apply. "Siren" is really pretty when you want the focus to be on your lips.
as much as i like Revlon lip butters, "Tutti Frutti" is just a tad too orange for me. plus, it requires extra effort to get even coverage.
my least favorite would have to be "Smoked Peach" due to its frosty sheen. you can see every single line on my lips! it looks gorgeous on other people though.

so thank you for reading this post! do you have any more corals to recommend me? i still have quite a few in my collection to review but that can come later... i don't think i will be getting any lipsticks in 2013's Color of the Year (it's emerald!).

Sunday, December 23, 2012

GLYMM BAG: December 2012

got my Glymm on Thursday, a day after Topbox and a day before ipsy. it was nice to have a little "present" to open each day and thankfully, this Glymm surprise was well-received!
it came in a gold snakeskin bag and felt very light and flat.
got a little creative with my pictures! :)
Glymm's goodies:

1) LASHEM Measurable Difference Eyelash & Brow Enhancing Serum - though this is very tiny, i understand that the product is very expensive and who doesn't want longer eyelashes? a few amazing details about this serum is that it is dual-patented and it's clinically proven! i hope this works out for me because not only would longer lashes be wonderful, but it is also much more affordable than Latisse and RevitaLash. i will update you on any changes!
size: N/A (Glymm says: usage up to 6 weeks)
retail value: $70 (4.2 mL)

2) LASHEM False Lashes - i know i don't use falsies as much as my pile of false eyelashes seem to suggest... but i'm still very excited about receiving this one. they look really pretty and fluttery with a bit of drama. strange that i don't need glue for the first use (apparently the lashes have "advanced lash glue technology"). what's also strange is that it says to visit the website for more styles but there are none to choose from.
Glymm labeled this item as up to 3 uses... is that it really? they're supposed to be mink!
size: 1 set (full size!)
retail value: $5

3) Suncoat Peelable Water-based Nail Polish in "Mulberry" - interesting concept but i don't think it's for me - i'd much rather spend my time putting on a nail polish that lasts longer than a day or two. it comes off really easily - all you need to do is soak your hands in warm water... guess i won't be surprised if it just came off in the shower.
the polish is made in Canada and is described as being the "cleanest" nail polish available. on the Suncoat website, these polishes are now relabeled as "Polish&Peel" instead of "Peelable" and there are 7 other colors. swatches coming soon!
size: 8 mL (full size!)
retail value: $9.99

4) Glamorous 5 Color Eyeshadow Set in "4 Athena" - i was really excited to see so many makeup-related items in this bag!
this eyeshadow set looked pretty enough but since i own too many eyeshadows as it is, i tried to search online for some swatches of Glamourous Cosmetics eyeshadows to see if they were any good. i found only one review and the eyeshadows she had seemed really pigmented so i cracked this open and put my fingers in it. but sadly, this is not very pigmented at all. most of the colors took 3 swatches to really show up. it's even harder to tell on my eyes! especially the blue and the green. no matter how much i put on my eyes, these two hardly build up any color.
natural light
flash; artificial light
oh well. Glamorous Cosmetics organized these 5 Color Eyeshadow Sets in that there are two color schemes for two different looks, with the center color being a "catalyst". it doesn't work out that way for me since only one eyeshadow from each color scheme shows up on me.
including "Athena", there are a total of 10 Greek goddesses to choose from on Glamorous' website.

size: 10 g (full size!)
retail value: $9.00 (

- - - - -

for December, Glymm also included a nice gift card to their Beauty Boutique! the largest amount was $1000 (someone out there is really lucky!) and everyone was guaranteed to get at least a $10 gift card - of course, that was me. sadly this code cannot be used with Loyalty Reward Points so i'll spend it on a free shipping item! keep in mind that this code expires February 1, 2013.
there was also a $20 off code for a subscription to Panty by Post.
i think Glymm really stepped it up this month and i am a happy customer. i may not use some of these products often but they are still exciting nonetheless: they were all from companies i have never heard of and the majority of the 'samples' were full sizes!
what are you going to buy with your gift card? did you enjoy your December Glymm bags?
happy holidays!! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

TOPBOX: December 2012

my Topbox arrived in Calgary last Thursday but Canada Post decided to hold it hostage until Tuesday. still, it was the first (and only) subscription box i have received this month.
when i got my hands on it, i didn't tear into it immediately... i had already read some comments about it on Facebook and let's just say, i was less than excited to see what was inside...
even though the festive packaging on the outside is so deceiving...

December's list of disappointment (Box 36) includes:

1) Chloe Eau de Parfum - Topbox, Topbox, Topbox... another fragrance, another Chloe. this time though, it's not a lotion. it's the kind where you have to dab the perfume on... and it smells way too strongly of flowers for me. i disliked the other Chloe lotion and placed it in the box to swap or give away. i think ever since Topbox started to include fragrances in their box, things have really gone downhill. i must remember to say i am sensitive to fragrances on the next survey...
size: 5 mL
retail value: $90 (50 mL); $115 (75 mL)

2) Ferro Cosmetics Blush X3 in "Miss Priss" - before opening the lid, you can tell the jar is only half full. once you open the lid... you will probably lose another third. it is the messiest product i have ever opened!! or closed! it really needs a sifter. "Miss Priss" is looks like a shimmery nude color so i don't really see how it would be a blush. on the site, it says that it is their "sexiest color yet" and it's a "warm kiss of pink with a quiet peachy afterglow".

both the pictures on the both were taken with flash to show you the color and shimmer better. also, you can see how opening and closing the lid is such a messy process. even the swatches on my arm were just taken from the product that had spilled all over. i don't really see any pink or peach in this shade. looks much more like a bronzer than a blush to me!
if you are interested in purchasing from the Ferro Cosmetics website, shipping to Canada is a steep $20! but i heard that Topbox will be selling some of their products through their site soon enough.

size: N/A but very little
retail value: $17 (4 g)

3) Goldwell Jelly Boost Bodyfying Spray Gel - bodyfying... that's a new one. so on the bottle itself, Goldwell says this product helps to style short hair. however, on the Topbox card, Topbox says it can be used on short or long hair styles. is this just to trick us long-haired folk in believing that this product is right for us?

this is the first time i've ever seen a gel dispensed as a spray. it smells Heads & Shoulders and does not leave your hair feeling crunchy at all. i tried to use quite a bit of it to make up for my hair length but i saw no difference.
size: 30 mL
retail value: $18.95 (150 mL)

4) Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser - i haven't tried any Murad products and i just ran out of my philosophy one (also from Topbox) so great timing!
i had no idea what AHA and BHA referred to so i did a little search and it led me to this Paula's Choice site: AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid; an example of an AHA is glycolic acid. BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid and an example of this is salicylic acid. both AHA and BHA are exfoliants but differ in terms of which types of skin they are best suited for. AHA exfoliants are better for dry skin while BHAs are recommended for oily skin. head over to the website for more info!
this Murad cleanser had tiny little balls in it - much gentler than a scrub. there was a slight scent to it but nothing unnatural.
size: 30 mL
retail value: $35 (200 mL)

so yep. that's it. i know it may have been a little greedy on my part to expect more during the month of Christmas but it has even fallen short of my normal standards. i hate to say it but Topbox has really fallen from the top.
i understand that they are announcing a "Privé Box" which will feature one brand specifically. everyone will be getting this particular box in January (which will replace the regular one) and then after that, there will be times when you can request one or the other. my question is whether or not we will have any idea what kind of brand will be featured before receiving the box.
after opening this month's box, i pretty much forgot about it.

- - - - -

maybe it's because i also just came back from seeing "The Hobbit".
** spoiler alert ** so a little 'review' on the movie: every time they played a familiar Howard Shore track, i was lost in it. or when the scene pans over Rivendell, i felt all gleeful inside BUT overall, it was a "good" movie. it's just that whenever the group got into a sticky situation, Gandalf would suddenly show up in the nick of time to save the day (he was always gone off somewhere else before this). it just felt like it was too easy... does this stay true to the book though? i read it ages ago and can't quite remember.
but on another note, YAY for being able to dive into J. R. R. Tolkien's and Peter Jackson's works again. it looked amazing (and i only watched it in 2D - i was going to watch it in HFR but i heard people got nauseous... i rather enjoy the movie than get sick from it... maybe HFR on a second viewing?).

and and and, totally swooning here - King Thranduil <3!!
Source: (2012)

we only got a glimpse of him in this movie but it's LEE PACE - who has been my laptop background for who knows how long. plus, he plays Legolas' father. everyone knows how obsessed i was with Legolas/Orlando Bloom so this is completely fitting!! :)
Source: Fanpop, Inc. (2012)
a sexy brief introduction to Lee Pace:
Source: /Film (2011)
Source: (2012)

okay so that completes my Topbox/Lee Pace post! haha
Topbox is having another Pari Beauty giveaway and it ends Christmas Day - enter here.
what did you think of your Topbox? or better yet, about "The Hobbit"??
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