Saturday, December 14, 2013

LUXE BOX: October 2013 [Fall Edition]

hellooooooooooo lovelies! it is December! two weeks in and i hardly started Christmas shopping... i probably have 1.75 gifts done. ack! definitely got more shopping for myself done... how's your Christmas shopping going??

btw, parking is getting insane! the last two times i've gone to the mall, it has literally been like stalking prey and stealing their parking spots. it's crazy out there!

speaking of craziness, we had a blizzard that started about 9 days ago and temperatures dropped to about -43 degrees with windchill. since then, there has been over 2,000 car accidents! yikes! stay safe on the road!

anyway, quick post about my Loose Button box for Fall (you know, Winter hasn't officially started yet!) -

1) Loose Button Flat Eye Shadow Brush
The tapered, flat bristles work brilliantly for packing eyeshadow on the lid.

the Loose Button branded items are very hit or miss with me. with this eye shadow brush, it's a hit. at first i wasn't too impressed... but then i watched the Makeup Geek video and i realized that i had never pressed eyeshadow on like that - it's life-changing. really.
size: 1 brush (full size!)
retail value: $19

2) L'Occitane Supple Skin Oil
Enriched with powerful almond proteins and essential oils of peppermint, palmarosa and Immortelle. Supple Skin Oil works to protect the skin's support tissue and fight against loss of elasticity. Deeply nourishing formula can be used to prevent the formation of stretch marks.

i've bought a few stretch mark products in my lifetime but have not fully incorporated them into my routine regularly enough to see results. i do not see myself getting more stretch marks anytime soon but will definitely keep it in mind!
size: 15 mL
retail value: $52 (50 mL)

3) Michael Kors SPORTY CITRUS, SEXY AMBER and GLAM JASMINE Eau De Parfum Sprays
Sporty Citrus: A dazzling burst of citrus with luscious orange flower and a hint of warm woods. Casually chic and fresh.
Sexy Amber: A spotlight on warm amber wrapped in sandalwood, layered with white flowers. Sumptuous and deeply seductive.
Glam Jasmine: A bouquet of lush jasmine with accents of creamy woods. Overtly feminine and head-turning.

i'm a fan of Michael Kors but these perfume sprays are not exactly my cup of tea. "Sporty Citrus" was my least favorite - it was really musky and strong... not very citrusy at all and quite overwhelming actually.
"Sexy Amber" was slightly better, but still rather musky and overpowering. it does smell like flowers though. and next we have "Glam Jasmine". which would be my pick from the three. most floral and girly of them all. plus it is much 'lighter' than the other two.
i have the say the packing of the three scents are really cute though.
size: 1.5 mL each x 3
retail value: $75 (50 mL)

4) TheBalm Instain Powder Blush in "Swiss Dot"
TheBalm’s long-wearing, staining powder blush is a fashion must have! Perfect for all seasons and skin tones, it will give your cheeks color that won’t quit.

i have a full size version in "Houndstooth" which i am using almost everyday (much much delayed review on that one!) and this color - "Swiss Dot" is pretty awesome as well.
"Swiss Dot" is a peach color and it's a very pigmented peach. a little goes a long, long, long way. the sample looks rather tiny but i am sure it would last you a while. the little magnetic booklet is also super cute and convenient to throw in your purse.
size: 0.5 g
retail value: $28 (5.5 g)

5) HSI Professional Argan Oil 
Infuse your hair with essential nutrients to instantly give your locks a healthy, shiny and smooth appearance. This formula protects your hair from heat styling without weighing down your hair.

is it just me or should i be expecting more than sample sachets from Loose Button?? i mean, this is supposed to be a LUXE box and one-use sachets don`t scream luxe to me.

here, we have 4 one-use sachets of argan oil for your hair. my hair has been rather damaged since dying my hair (i cannot believe how quickly i got split ends) so sure, argan oil, i will use you. i`ve only used half of one on my ends since i am not a fan of oily hair. it feels nice and soft right now but that`s pretty much expected of any hair oil.
size: 1 use packet x 4
retail value: $30 (60 mL)

6) Simple Pleasures Hand Cream in "Melon Mist"
Pamper your hard-working hands with this enriching formula, by Simple Pleasures.

i am not exactly sure why - but it`s probably the packaging - but this lotion seems very cheap to me. the pattern, the gold font, the list of ingredients that include various colors and numbers... meh. i was not surprised that when i used it, the cream itself was very watery. i found that i needed to reapply within 30 minutes. "Melon Mist" could almost have been mistaken for "Unscented" since the melon is sooooo light, it is almost undetectable.

size: 50 mL (full size!)
retail value: $10

7) China Glaze Nail Lacquer in "81348 Gossip Over Gimlets" 
Dive into the Autumn Nights Collection with China Glaze. This formula not only includes nail hardeners, but is super opaque allowing for minimal coats.

the Fall 2013 Autumn Nights Collection consists of 12 colors. "Gossip Over Gimlets" is a silver foil with little gold specks in it. i don't exactly like silver nail polish so this would be my least favorite color in the whole collection. not going to do a swatch since i don't think it's worth cracking open...
size: 14 mL (full size!)
retail value: $7

sooooo i am sure you can tell that i was just not impressed with this box. it saddens me to think that i paid almost $30 for this. i am not amazed by anything really in this box but i am happy about the brush and the powder blush. i really hope the Winter box will  be better since it is around the holidays or i really will be saying goodbye to another subscription. i've finally discovered the power to say no to subscriptions so *pat on the back*.
so thanks for reading! happy holidays!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

IPSY BAG: October 2013

happy sunday! 
i finally have time to sit down and blog about this ipsy bag :) 

this weekend was quite eventful since we had the company holiday party on Friday night. it was a good time and i love dressing up for these occasions. holiday decorations and music make me so happy! the celebration was located at Spruce Meadows - i have not ventured out here before but i hear the Christmas Market is pretty fun. 

here's a picture i posted on instagram with my fellow accountants :)

and nowww the ipsy bag for October: "The Art of Beauty".

1) Bella Terra Mineral Cosmetics Mineral Shimmers in "NSH20 Emotion"
It's easy to create a variety of looks with Bella Terra Mineral Cosmetics Mineral Shimmers! As an 8-in-1 product, the Mineral Shimmers are a creamy eye shadow, matte eyeshadow, eyeliner, lip color, nail polish, mascara, body glitter, and hair color for fun hair streaks! Available for purchase in 60 luminous and luxurious shades.

this is a very shimmery purple pigment. the shimmer does not show up as much in the swatch though. i hardly reach for mineral eyeshadows but these are definitely fun for holiday parties! this was not very long lasting so i would suggest a primer, which would also help with the color intensity. 

the other option ipsy subscribers received was Navy. 
size: 2 g
retail value: $14.99 (2.5 g)
promotion: 50% off purchase and free shipping [expired Nov 15, 2013]

2) Coastal Scents Classic Medium Shadow Brush - Natural (BR-C-N02)
The Coastal Scents Shadow Brush is a medium sized brush made out of natural fibers that is wide in shape and condensed to allow an even distribution of eyeshadow on the lid. This professional cosmetic brush can be used for shading the crease and highlighting the brow bone with complete precision.

i used to contemplate about placing a Coastal Scents order for the longest time... but just never went through with it. now i get the chance to try one of their brushes! i was actually looking for this particular size of a brush. the natural hairs (there is also a synthetic version) are quite soft. i used this brush with the Bella Terra mineral shimmer - it picked up the product well and distributed the product evenly.
size: 1 brush (full size!)
retail value: $2.49
promotion: 25% off purchase [expired Nov 7, 2013]

3) Nourish Organic Deeply Nourishing Coconut & Argan Body Lotion
Nourish Organic's new Deeply Nourishing Coconut & Argan Oil collection is a new collection of ultra-moisturizing body lotions and body washes that hydrate, soften and smooth the skin. These products contain highly concentrated, precious ingredients that replenish your skin with essential nutrients and restore your skin's natural glow.

this body lotion has a whipped kind of texture and absorbs quickly... maybe too quickly - i feel that i need to use more of this lotion in order to feel that my hands are "deeply nourished". it's great if you don't like the greasy feeling afterwards (my guitar-playing boyfriend would have no complaints about that!). the scent is coconut and argan with hibiscus (i prefer just coconut but this smells alright - not too strong). according to ipsy, the hibiscus is rich in antioxidants and protects from environmental damage. other scents available are Lavender Mint and Almond Vanilla.
size: 30 mL
retail value: $9.99 (236 mL)
promotion: 20% off Nourish Organic purchase on or in store [expired Nov 10, 2013 and N/A in Canada]

4) Sexy Hair Spray Clay Texturizing Spray Clay
The Sexy Hair Spray Clay Texturizing Spray Clay creates and allover textured look with a matte finish. This spray allows for a fine and even product distrbution and is great for all hair types.

this Spray Clay is used for adding texture and movement without the crunchiness.
you can use the product just like a regular hair spray (same nozzle and aerosol can).

as you can see, the cap on mine is a little bunged up but the product is okay.
size: 50 mL
retail value: $18.95 (157 mL)
promotion: $5 off $25 Sexy Hair purchase on or in store [expired Nov 15, 2013 and N/A in Canada]

5) Zoya Nail Polish in "ZP679 Neve"
Part of the Fall 2013 CASHMERES & SATINS Collection, these shades are created to work together with this season's most stylish runway designs and luxurious fabric blends. These ultra long-wearing, glossy nail lacquers by Zoya are BIG5FREE - free of toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).

ipsy members either got this color Neve (sapphire blue metallic), Giovanna (emerald green metallic) or Mason (red violet metallic).
Neve is described as a sapphire blue and if you look closely, you will see fine green and red glitters. i really wish i could capture that on camera since it is really pretty. i find that my camera also captures more of the blue in the polish while it is actually slightly more purple.
 i apologize for the bad swatch! it is actually more purple than this!
i love the formula of Zoya polishes - they are 5 free and are rather easy to remove - no staining! the polish lasted me long enough before i got bored with the color. it did start chipping within 3-4 days.

size: 15 mL (full size!)
retail value: $8
promotion: buy 2 nail polishes, get 1 free and a free Zoya Remove + at [expired Nov 10, 2013 and N/A in Canada]

- - -

so here's the entire ipsy bag! ipsy always delivers in terms of variety... which can mean value for some. personally, i still enjoy ipsy. i need to make sure that i start doing those reviews on ipsy so that the ipsymatch could be more accurate.
thanks for reading!
have you started attending holiday parties / or started holiday shopping yet?

Thursday, November 07, 2013

TOPBOX: October 2013 [regular]

 to defeat the Huns!

actually, i determined the problem behind my inability to post anything in October.

it's because i'm lazy/busy and since i was already so behind in posting about my boxes, i was not motivated to put them up since no one was going to read them... but i will still put them up. just at a later date when i am caught up.
for now, i will post about boxes i just got - which means i will start digging through the pile of unopened boxes in the corner of my room.

yippee - blogging and not wasting products! i had almost forgotten the feeling of excitement of opening boxes and trying out new products...

here i go!

Topbox! yes, almost a month old but i am making my way through October. i can do this!

October's Topbox (regular) was the Murale (Shopppers Drug Mart) box. speaking of SDM, i misplaced my Optimum card for like 3 months and i was completely at lost without it. i felt like i was missing out on a gazillion points but i would not give up on it. i'd have terrible thoughts about some stranger finding it and using up all my points! agh!! the horror!
but the story has a happy ending! apparently i threw it in a box of receipts i was supposed to go through months ago but of course, i did not get to that.

so.... Murale! products in this box include:
1) Darphin Predermine Densifying Anti-Wrinkle (Anti-Wrinkly) Cream for Normal Skin - this is quite the fancy packaging. everything about this makes me think of something my grandma used to have on her vanity table - the lid, the other lid, the color, the scent... the texture feels light to the touch but once you smooth it on your face, it feels slightly heavier. this product comes in two forms - for normal or for dry skin.
size: 15 mL
retail value: $200 (50 mL) - ay, caramba! i will treasure this $60 sample... 

2) Erno Laszlo Transphuse Eye Refiner - this tiny sample is another anti-aging product but targeted for your eyes. this white cream smells a little funny to me... sort of like beer or something. see below 3) for a swatch of the product.
size: 2 mL
retail value: $120 (15 mL)  - looks like this box is filled with luxury items. this sample alone is worth $16

3) Rivoli Le Visage Luminous Serum - the serum is more like a very liquid-y form of a cream to me than a serum. most serums i have are clear and feels sort of thick. this one is white and runny. it has a light scent. i can't quite comment on much else since i've used it twice and the second time, i already had to squeeze the tube with my entire hand.
size: 3 mL
retail value: $220 (50 mL) - this $13 sample barely lasted me 2 uses...

4) Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Baby Doll Mascara - there are different versions of this mascara to achieve different lash looks. this Baby Doll one is particularly great for a wide-eye look with long and separate lashes. the mascara comes in 4 different colors including a black, brown, blue and purple.
size: 2 mL
retail value: $36 (5 mL) ... $14.40 sample!

so looks like the trend with this Murale box is higher-end items... probably geared towards middle-aged women with all the anti-aging items as well as the fact that they are more likely to be able to afford such price tags.
in my opinion, this box was just alright. with my current financial position, i am not looking to spend $200 on a cream just yet... but i will gladly use up my sample.
i am a tad jealous of those that got the Elizabeth Arden lipstick sample... i really need to replace my missing lip brush... and a mini one? that would come in so handy!

other Topboxes that i was debating about for the month of October included the Dermalogica box or the Cosmetics Magazine Topbox (for an additional $5) - i was tempted mainly because of the Bio Oil but really, i could actually go out and buy it... i guess.

thanks for reading!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

WANTABLE: June 2013 [jewelry box]

last June box post!
this one's about my second box from Wantable. after my free May box, i decided to take another risk and pay (almost full) price for another jewelry box.

the June Jewelry box cost breakdown was:
Box                                                 $ 40.00
- Subscription Discount            (8.00)
+ Handling, Tax & Duty              9.46
Total                              = $ 41.46

June's Jewelry box is slightly different in that it includes accessories like sunglasses, headbands and scarves. it features Lara Eurdolian, an 'accessories expert'. i edited my preferences on June 20 and that was the same day my order was confirmed so i am not sure if my new answers were taken into account...

the answers i changed/added were (you can see my change in preferences after my reaction to my May box):
  • type of accessories - sunglasses -- like; headbands -- like; scarves -- dislike
  • type of materials - multi-tone -- changed from love to like 
  • type of bracelets - bangle -- changed from like to love
  • type of earrings - hoops -- changed from like to dislike
  • scale of earrings - statement -- changed from love to like
in summary:

the box was shipped June 27 and landed in my mailbox on July 8. the contents of my box?

1) Sunny Sunglasses (2792)
nothing super crazy here. sunglasses usually look too big on me and my nose is never high enough to have it sit properly on my face. i don't think they look horrible on me - but someone did compare me to a bug when i wore these floating down the river.
the quality is alright with these sunglasses. doesn't feel flimsy so that's good. and it comes in a black drawstring pouch. UV 400 means that up to 400 nm wavelengths are filtered or reflected (see wiki). i will be putting 'Sunglasses' on my dislike list since i just wanted to try it once and see what i get.
retail value: $15.00

2) Maggie Bracelet
my least favorite item in the box... only because this is just not my style. at first, i really really disliked it but when i look at the pictures, it's not that bad. i just don't like how big and extravagant it looks on my wrist. the bracelet is adjustable in a sense since you can squeeze it around your wrist but i couldn't get mine tighter than this.
retail value: $26.00

3) Láska Necklace
these, more specifically the earrings, are my favorites from the box. i don't absolutely love them but they are cute - i like how these two pieces go together. i am not sure if i am actually supposed to get both of them since only the necklace is listed on the sheet. the necklace is cute but if only it was longer in length! i also found it difficult to match the necklace with any office attire so i have to save it for the weekends. the earrings on the other hand, are very easy to wear - very simple, very pretty.
retail value: $24.00

4) Beatriz Earring
hmmm so these earrings are just okay. they look a little too 'thick' for my liking.
retail value: $20.00

total retail value = $85.00

$85... not very believable in my books. i also wouldn't have actually forked over $41 for these items. i hope some of the cost was not for the new, fancier packaging. even though it looks good all packed individually and with a background sheet, it is a waste of paper/packaging.
i am pleasantly surprised that none of these items have caused any irritation. i thought it might be cheapie jewelry at first but it is not too shabby (definitely not worth $85, mind you).

i would like to say that i would probably have not gotten another box after this, but i forgot to skip... so stay tuned for another review (... and another - i am rather forgetful).

Saturday, September 07, 2013

BEAUTY BOX 5: June 2013

i realized it has been exactly one whole MONTH since i last posted. that makes me a really horrible blogger. i am well behind on all my beauty boxes but i feel the need to still post this June box...

then i'll have some more goodies for you! i went on a 9-day road trip to Vancouver and Seattle so i picked up a few things. not that many since i still have like 5 (maybe more) beauty boxes sitting unopened in a corner of my room. i know, horrible blogger!!

the trip was the longest one i took this summer. i hadn't been to Vancouver for a few years now so it was fun to visit again. ate oysters at Rodney's, discovered awesome bubble tea at Bubble Queen, walked along English Bay, biked through Stanley Park, went to the Richmond Night Market, shopped at Daiso (first time! and ended up visiting like 3 Daiso locations including the ones in Seattle).
it was also my first time driving across the border to the states. we did some shopping at the outlet mall, visited Pike Place (fish market), checked out the gum wall (gross!), Space Needle, Chihuly Garden & Glass (so pretty!), ate at Crab Pot... plenty of eating actually.
before this road trip, me and the boyfriend also went out for a weekend get-together at his uncle's farm. we got to shoot some arrows which is tough but really fun!
also did a couple of runs this summer - the Zombie Survival Run as well as the Color Me Rad one.
plus a friend's wedding as well as the Bruno Mars concert in Edmonton.
all in all, it's been a great summer! we've had a few days this week with almost 30 degree weather so i hope it lasts a little while longer :)

- - - - - - -

okay let's do this! i *almost* have June out of the way!

1) Coolway Cool Cleanse Shampoo & Hydrate Conditioner - with this shampoo and conditioner set, i am now able to enjoy the whole Coolway system together!
size: 30 mL each x 2
retail value: $25 (254 mL)
promotion: 20% off sitewide before 7/15/2013 [expired]

2) Just Being Sexy Body Bronzer - i've never really used body bronzer before... especially a liquid one like this. i find that it is too much of a hassle, even with the gradual tan body lotions - the 5-10 minutes i'd have to wait for it to dry before putting on clothes seems like forever!
size: 8 mL x 2
retail value: $49 (180 mL)
promotion: 15% off sitewide before 7/15/2013 [expired]

3) Brazen Cosmetics Eyeshadow in "No Regrets" - more Brazen Cosmetics! i am still not a fan of the packaging for loose eyeshadows since they tend to get messy everytime i unscrew the lid, even if i do the tapping thing before i open it.

"No Regrets" is more a antique-y metallic-y gold like the bottom left swatch and less yellowy than shown in the bottom right picture.
size: N/A
retail value: $7.99 (5 g)

4) Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen - mmm actually smells quite nice for a sunscreen. still has that sunscreen scent but slightly fruity at the same time. SPF 30!

size: 14 g
retail value: $9.99 (85 g)
promotion: $1.00 off any Aveeno sun care product - expires March 31, 2014 with coupon

this box was one of those meh boxes for sure. nothing i was super excited about. i hope the other boxes that are started to become a tower aren't as underwhelming!
i hope you all had a lovely summer! thanks for sticking with me :)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

IPSY BAG: June 2013

let's skip all the excuses and just say, i am a horrible person! gah!! i said in my last post that i was making it my goal to blog twice that week... well who would've thunk that 3 weeks can pass by so quickly? eep!!

today's quickie post will be on ipsy's... JUNE bag? man, that is old news! but i feel like i must post this anyway! bear with me!
cccccuteeeee - i love neon!

ipsyMatch was once again used this month and as a result, 5 products were chosen based on consumer preferences.
let's take a look!

"on the Wild Side":

1) J. Cat Beauty Sparkling Cream Palette in "SCP107 Suzie" 
"Everyone loves a little sparkle! Add a healthy dosage of sparkle in your life with the cream palette that comes in a variety of complementing colors. The creamy texture allows the sparkle to be applied easily with an applicator onto your skin.

This product should be used on the body and not on the eye area." 

oookkay so now i am at a loss - not to be used on the eyes?? well... that is rather limiting because i don't really add glitter anywhere else... the shades in "Suzie" are all gold or coppery so not a lot of choice in color here either. oh well, maybe save it for Halloween?
size: 3 g (full size!)
retail value: $4.49

2) Starlooks Lip Pencil in "K337 Tipsy" 
"Starlooks' long-lasting, full-coverage Lip Pencil enhances the shape of your lips and gives them perfect definition. This creamy, moisturizing formula glides on softly to smooth lips and ensure lipstick stays in place, while extending its wear. Can also be used as an all-over, highly-pigmented lip color. Comes in several shades and various finishes to pair with any Starlooks Lipstick, Lip Gloss, or Tendergloss!

Starlooks Makeup Line is entirely Lead Free, and Cruelty Free." 

i love love corals but sadly, matte corals is not appealing at all on me. i am a little afraid to open this up... but then again, i have heard so much about Starlooks that i feel that i must give it a try.
size: 2.4 g (full size!)
retail value: $12.00

3) Freeman Beauty Psssst! Instant Dry Shampoo
"Psssst!® is the TRUE original Dry Shampoo to put an end to bad hair days! Passed down from generation to generation, and friend to friend, this 40-year Dry Shampoo legacy now includes a system of essentials, dedicated to extending the life of your hair color and style.

Lightweight, talk-free formula soaks up oils, sweat, and product build-up, taking hair from dirty, flat and matte to refreshed and revived. Water not required: just spray, brush and go for hair that feels and smells freshly shampooed! Stash in your gym bag, work bag, or overnight bag.

To Apply:
When needed, shake can vigorously and hold 6” to 8” from hair. Lift sections of hair and lightly spray scalp and roots. Shake can between sprays for best results. Wait a few minutes, then brush and style as desired."

wow so the website for this product looks quite impressive - boasting plenty of celebs that use this as well as their 40-year Dry Shampoo legacy. i really had high hopes for this and yes - it does the job for removing greasiness and leaving your hair with a nice scent, but what i am always interested in is volume. like other dry shampoos, this gives your hair a bit of life at the roots but within the hour, my hair falls flat once more.

size: 50 g ("full"/travel size)
retail value: $2.99

4) NYX Rouge Cream Blush in "CB02 Natural"
"Adding a healthy glow to cheeks is effortless with the variety of blush styles and shades available from NYX Cosmetics!
The NYX Powder Blush delivers sheer, silky color that glides on and blends beautifully creating a natural glow.

The NYX Mosaic Blush contains five matte and shimmery shades in one compact blend to create a flush of color and dazzling glow!

The NYX Cream Blush offers radiant color for a dewy, sultry, long lasting finish!"

the shade of '"Natural" is a "soft light pink", i am loving cream blushes since powder ones always fade by the end of the day.
size: 3.5 g (full size!)
retail value: $6.00

5) Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil
"Chella's Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil is a fresh and pretty neutral pencil that will brighten and visibly lift your eyes when lightly applied on the brow bone, dark circles, blemishes and red spots. Draw a line under the brow with this creamy pencil and then pat gently into place using your ring finger. May be used above the brow for additional highlighting, as well as anywhere you would use a concealer."

fancccccccy! since receiving this product, i have heard many rave about it. i am so excited to use this product! even the name "Ivory Lace" sounds so pretty. i have been using my NYX Jumbo Pencil in "Milk" as a highlighter/primer and that works pretty good for me so i haven't opened this just yet.
"Ivory Lace" for light skin; also comes in "Cinnamon" (dark skin tones) and "Latte" (medium).
size: 1.4 g (full size!)
retail value: $18

in my opinion, ipsy knocks all the other beauty box competitors out of the water. every month, they deliver in terms of service and goodies. look at all these full size items! and each one is totally different from each other. i will never get through all my products but you definitely get your money's worth with ipsy. highly recommended for makeup lovers/hoarders!
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