Tuesday, January 29, 2013

REVIEW: Ameli Step Basic Cake Eyeshadows

i anticipated the arrival of my lucky winnings from Closet Voyage and Vanity Box's giveaway since i have not really dabbled in Korean cosmetics before. these Ameli Cake Eyeshadows were one of the items that i was especially excited about. 

Ameli is a Korean cosmetics company that dates back to 1996. they sell their cosmetics online and even have an American page which makes it much easier for me to understand :)
no idea what the sides of the boxes says!

the eyeshadows are well packaged - they come in a box within a box. they are stored in a reflective metal container with a lid that has "Ameli cake eyeshadow" inscribed around it and a little window so you can see the shade.
i received the Ameli Cake Eyeshadows (4 g) in two colors: "027 Nude Beige" and "217 Charcoal Brown", both from their "Step Basic" eyeshadow line. at first glance, these two looked a tad boring compared to most of the eyeshadows i own; however, i've come to really appreciate these matte shades! 

"Nude Beige" looks almost like my skin color; it doesn't seem like it will show but it definitely evens out my skin tone. i enjoy using this as a base since it makes the eye area look brighter and more even.

"Charcoal Brown" is another fantastic shade. i use this in the crease area and it is dark enough to pull off a smokey look but at the same time, toned down enough to wear it at the office. in fact, Ameli describes this as a "toned-down grey with brown hue". 

the texture of these eyeshadows are powdery soft and velvety. it feels very smooth and the powdery-ness may come off as chalky at first. i wore the shadows with primer and it has lasted 12+ hours (i can't really say for sure for "Nude Beige" since it is so close to my skin tone but definitely for "Charcoal Brown"). i can't read Korean but from what i gather from the websites, the colors are crease-resistant and long-lasting because they have "sebum control" built in. definitely a plus for oily eyelids!
i really like the packaging, pigmentation and long-lasting ability of these eyeshadows - this is my first introduction to Ameli and i am impressed!
Ameli ships worldwide and shipping starts at $20US (if you spend less than $100). you can purchase "Charcoal Brown" here ($12) but it appears that "Nude Beige" is no longer sold on their website. there are plenty of other pretty shades available though! you can also buy them both at Vanity Box where they are currently on sale for ~$6.82 CAD (50% off!) and shipping starts at $15.

i think i have discovered a new love for matte shades! let me know what your favorite matte color is!

Monday, January 28, 2013

IPSY GLAM BAG: January 2013

i am catching up on my posts... slowly but surely!! rest assured, i have NOT forgotten about you guys :)
oddly enough, i have not received any more beauty boxes yet this month and it's the 28th today. i received this ipsy bag back on the 16th and had received the tracking number only two days prior.

this month's bag is entitled "Super Stars" and comes in a navy blue pouch with a star pattern lining the inside:

the "Super Stars" of the month are:

1) SOHO  "Get a Grip" Crease Brush
"Create the perfect eye with the Get a Grip Crease Brush. First apply a neutral base eye color to the entire eyelid. Then apply a darker color to the eyelid crease – this will add dimension and depth. Finish the look by applying a shimmery highlight color to the inner corner of the eyelid and along the brow bone."
this is the first item i pull out since it is found outside the navy bag. i've seen SOHO brushes at Walmart before but have not tried them (and i am not 100% sure if they have this specific line).
the "Get a Grip" line consists of brushes that feature a tri-grip handle - very ergonomic indeed.
i have another crease brush from Topbox (Expression from August 2012) and this SOHO one is fluffier and softer. i enjoy the softness of the bristles (which is natural by the way) but the fluffiness seems to get the eyeshadow all over your eye rather than the area you are aiming for (the crease!). i don't have a ton of eyelid space so when i used this brush, i got some eyeshadow underneath my eye as well.
promotion: $3 off brushes on walgreens.com - they do ship to Canada but shipping starts at $12.49 AND this brush (along with many others) are only available in-store... you're better off buying from Walmart
size: 1 brush (full size!)
retail value: not sure - but i will check next time!

2) Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter 
"Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter is not only a highly effective antioxidant rich moisturizer that nourishes the driest of skin and helps fight off the signs of aging; it nourishes your other senses as well. The infusion of sparkling, juicy blood oranges that are highlighted with notes of red raspberry and spicy sweet Italian Mandarins take you to the beaches of the Mediterranean. Made with nature’s best moisturizers - Shea butter, almond oil and safflower oil - Pacifica’s vegan, paraben and gluten free Body Butter is a skin must have."

not only does this smell delicious, it has a good list of ingredients. upon pulling off the seal, you can smell the blood orange as if you are about to take a bite out of one. the body butter feels great on the skin - very smooth and hydrating.
sorry it's blurry!

promotion: 20% off purchase not valid in Canada but Pacifica does ship to Canada (shipping starts at $6.75)
size: 73 mL ("full size"!)
retail value: $7 or $15 (236 mL)

3) Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil (Organic Moisturizer)
"This 100% Pure Argan Oil is a legendary oil that's rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and grown organically in Morocco. With its multitasking benefits, Argan Oil can be used for many areas including hydrating and nourishing skin as a daily moisturizer, skin treatment, treating spilt ends, and softening cuticles. It's gentle enough to use on all skin types and is known to help with skin conditions including acne, eczema and rosacea. Argan Oil easily absorbs into skin to give you a youthful, dewy glow, and has astonishing healing, conditioning, and antiaging properties to keep your skin and hair nourished and revitalized and to keep you looking beautiful from head to toe."

there are so many ways to use this product - on your skin, on your hair or in your bath... i dabbed it on my face and ran some through my hair. i did so sparingly since i already generate enough oil in both areas on my own :) it absorbs quickly and leaves a glow to my skin without any greasiness. in the ends of my hair, it has a glossy feeling which may come across as oily to some people. i'd just be careful with how much you use since a little really does go a long way!  
promotion: 15% off purchase of $45 or more until Jan 31/13; shipping to Canada is $4.95 but free if you spend  >$25
size: 5 mL
retail value: $48 (50 mL)

4) Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray
"Your everyday spray for BIG volume! Spray & Play is a humidity resistant, flexible hold hairspray that provides fullness, lift and incredible shine! Perfect for all hair types."
i've been meaning to try this line FOREVER. i battle flat hair everyday so volumizing products are right up my alley. the other night, i did a quick spritz in my hair and it really did give my hair volume. however, the quick spritz did not last me an hour. i am pretty confident that if i was to use more of this, it will hold longer. 

promotion: $5 off purchase of $25 or more not for Canada!
size: 50 mL
retail value: $17.50 (300 mL)

5) Nailtini Nail Lacquer in "Bloody Mary"
"You can’t go wrong with a classic, all the way to your fingertips. These two are the all-time best selling Nailtini nail lacquers. Whether the glossy true-red of bloody mary or the hint-of-pink of frappe, your tips and toes are classic perfection anytime.
No makeup cabinet is complete without an all-star nail lacquer and Nailtini stocks top-shelf, 3-free nail lacquer in dozens of shades, textures and finishes. Wear them alone or layered to create custom looks and effects, each one a cocktail unto itself. Cheers to beauty, and as always, apply responsibly!"

"Bloody Mary" is described by Nailtini as a "classic true red" and it really fits the description. the red actually appears slightly darker than shown below. i've only been at my new job for a week so i don't know how bright i can go in terms of nails so i will have to hold off on swatches for now! 
promotion: 30% off purchase until Feb 28/13; shipping to Canada is $11.95
size: 15 mL (full size!)
retail value: $13

in a time where beauty boxes have started to go downhill and lose their appeal, i have yet to be disappointed by ipsy. i really enjoy the variety of products in each bag. though we've received Nailtini from ipsy before, this one is not a glitter and in a shade i do not own. my favorite product would be either the body butter or perhaps the hairspray - what about you?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

TOPBOX: January 2013 [featuring Clinique]

oh my goodness.
it's taken me like a week to get this post up!! why?
well...

i am officially an office girl. you heard it here first.
i've just completed my second day, but holy moly, working 8-5 really tires you out. it's quite sad going in when it is still dark out and leaving when it is dark once again.
still, i am rather enjoying work at the moment since it is completely new to me and everyone is really friendly!

it almost slipped my mind that my blog reached its first anniversary on the 19th. YAYYY it's been a great year!

also, i want to apologize for the terrible pictures that follow... i haven't had time to play around with my camera and the settings so i haven't quite figured it out yet. plus, can someone please recommend me a program that does frames for multiple pictures (and where i can adjust the frame sizes)? i used to use PicFrame on my iPhone for all my previous blog pictures and that was so.much.simpler.
i tried PicMonkey and it's too much of a hassle since it won't let me do the collage thing AND add font at the same time. lame.
so any recommendations would be oh-so-much appreciated!!

i'm going to keep this post short and sweet since you have already seen plenty of unboxings and reviews and there was only 2 versions anyway.

this month everyone got a Privé Box which is the fancy new thing Topbox has going where they will send out a box featuring one brand. this month was Clinique and from here on out, Topbox will be sending out emails beforehand where you can select from the brands they are offering - it is no guarantee that you will get it though. if you do not, you will get a 'normal' Topbox.
Clinique samples:

1) Clarifying Lotion 3 (Combination Oily) - this product helps to clear your skin of dirt and oil. Clarifying Lotion 1 is for very dry/dry skin while 2 is geared towards those with dry combination skin (there's also a mild version). hmm i wonder why it is called lotion? use this with a cotton ball and rub it over your face after cleansing.
it is not really pleasant smelling... smells slightly like alcohol and i felt a slight burning in my eyes when the 'lotion' got too close. the cotton ball actually looked like it got some dirt off my face.. haha is that too much information? it also does not feel like it dries out my skin so that's a plus.
size: 30 mL
retail value: $16 (200 mL); $27 (400 mL)

2) Rinse Off Eye Makeup Solvent - wow this is really big. it will definitely last me some time, though i am not running out of makeup remover any time soon. doesn't feel oily and doesn't sting - hooray.
size: 60 mL
retail value: $25 (125 mL)

3) Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo in "Strawberry Fudge" - this would have been the most exciting item had it been a different color... i already have a full sized version of this (included in the pic below since it was hard to capture the true colors of the sample with all that reflection)! just my luck :)
the case is really cute - slides out like a matchbox and can also double as a mirror.
colors are really pretty and shimmery. the pink doesn't show up as pink on my eyes - it looks more peachy. the pigmentation isn't amazing though - they are both softer colors and very wearable. i am putting the sample shadow duo on my swap list (on my to-do list).

size: 1.6 g
retail value: $25 (2.5 g)... my full size one is 2.2 g though...

4) Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector - seems like the other version (where they got a dark spot corrector) was not as common and i would've preferred that one since i became more aware of my dark spots recently. the Repairwear Laser Focus does have some effect on sun spots but the tests have been focused on anti-aging results.
the sample doesn't come with the dropper like the regular sized one would - you are supposed to use 3-4 drops twice a day which is approximately equivalent to flipping it two or three times onto your finger.
size: 7 mL
retail value: $57 (30 mL); $86 (50 mL)

so the first Privé box... was it amazing? ehhh.. it was okay. Clinique is definitely a higher-end brand but at the same time, these items are not really interesting. i am pretty sure i have gotten a couple of these items through gifts with purchase.
for next month, there were 3 brands you could choose for your 'wishlist': Benefit, Lippy Girl and Miracle 10. i chose Benefit since i haven't really tried many of their products though i have always wanted to and the other ones weren't as appealing to me. i guess we will see how this Privé thing goes!
what did you choose?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

SPOTLIGHT: Gifts from Australia - Many Thanks to the BF!

sorry for not posting many reviews and unboxings these days - my Topbox and ipsy posts are much delayed but it has been a slow transitioning to a new camera. there were some hiccups and deliberation over what color i preferred, which of course, is a very lengthy and important decision.

anyhoo, what i do have for today is just a quick post on some goodies my boyfriend brought back for me from Australia! he left on Christmas Day to visit one of his sisters there and they did all kinds of crazy stuff like surfing, bungee jumping and whitewater rafting. i did send him an email listing some suggestions of items to get me - there were a couple of Australian cosmetic brands i wanted to try and many thanks to Mishelle [Mishelle's Sleepy Time], i came up with quite a list. there were a couple of things that i didn't absolutely need but i just threw them in just in case he had a hard time locating some things (he has never been sent on a makeup run for me before so i am sure he is pretty clueless about this stuff). 

after giving it some thought, i felt it might be too much for him to conduct such a search when he's just a beginner so i amended it and said there was only really 2 things that i wanted.

he decided to get the entire list instead.
:DD
whOoooooooohOooooooooo!

so many goodies to play with!! ... but it also means that i now have three new highlighters...

Face of Australia Mineral Therapy Illuminator in "Angel Mist" - holy moly this is HUGE! it is gonna last me forever!!

Face of Australia Mineral Therapy Illuminating Pearls & Bronzing Pearls - i've never used any pearls before so this is really neat. i can also experiment with highlighting and contouring with this set.

Face of Australia Lip Quench 30+ Moisturizing Lipstick in "Lychee Crush" - Mishelle loves this nude lipstick! and it seems really popular so hopefully i can pull the color off. and SPF 30?? that's awesome.

Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lipstick in "Boogie Woogie" - yay another lipstick!... i know, i know, i shouldn't have put any lip products on my list but i couldn't help it!

Australis High Lights Mineral Face Highlighter in "Pearl" - i couldn't choose between this one and the Face of Australia Illuminator but now i don't have to! :)

Australis 10 Hr Wear Waterproof Eye Pencil in "Grape Cake" - yet another product influenced by Mishelle! i loved the swatch she has on her blog. 

Australis Make-Up Finishing Spritz - i don't really have a makeup setting spray so i am trying these out for the first time. i wonder how much of a difference it will make.

i am really happy that he took the time to get me such wonderful gifts. thanks babe! <3
now, what should i review first? 

Friday, January 18, 2013

POLISHED: Fanchromatic Nails Nail Polishes

wahoo!! it's been a crazy week and i have some fantastic news that i wanted to share with everybody:
1) i have reached 100 followers on my blog (January 16)!! thank you so much to all my lovely readers. i felt like there was a curse of the 99 or something since i was stuck for a week or so. you are all amazing!
2) happy 7 years to my lovely boyfriend. i less than three you!
3) i'm starting a new job next week. things are changing and i am very excited (and scared at the same time, but excited nonetheless)!
4) i picked up the camera i ordered on Boxing Day so here's to better pictures in the future.

- - - - -

after i received a number of nail polishes from my Cyber Monday haul, i had a bit of trouble deciding which ones to use first. i was also extra excited since these were my first indie nail polish purchase ever!

i picked a color from Fanchromatic Nails' Seven Kingdoms Collection: "Dire Wolf". i got this polish partly because of the name (i am very excited for Game of Thrones Season 3!). the glitters in the polish are also very gorgeous. i see a mix of black, white, gray and maroon glitters of different shapes and sizes in a light gray base. the polish was reformulated and re-released on November the 23rd and is now slightly sheerer than before.

next, i decided to wear "Wowsville" which is from the Quality Cafe Collection that is inspired by Ghost World. i had no idea what that was but a quick Google search tells me that it's a comic book that became a movie. "Wowsville" looks like a peachy pink with plenty of white and pink micro-glitters and some larger dark purple glitters. this was also released on November 23rd last year.
i really liked the base colors of these glitter polishes so i tried to find a similar color to wear underneath. for "Dire Wolf", the closest one i could find in my collection was Rimmel's "805 Grey Matter" (love the brush for this - one sweep provides great coverage of the entire nail). with "Wowsville", i chose Essie's "Eternal Optimist" (which i actually reviewed and swatched here). 

here is 1 coat of Rimmel's "Grey Matter" and 3 coats of Fanchromatic Nails' "Dire Wolf":
there was no need to fish for any glitters with "Dire Wolf". i really love the different shapes and the maroon glitters.

and here's 1 coat of Essie's "Eternal Optimist" and 3 coats of Fanchromatic Nails' "Wowsville":
with flash

the larger purple glitters are not as common so when there's just one on my nail it sort of looks like a mole. haha still i really like this. the formula was slightly thicker than "Dire Wolf".

here's the two side-by-side:
and now let me show you what the polishes look like on their own - busting out some nail wheels!

there were no issues with the application for either polishes. you can tell how big of a difference there is between 1 and 3 coats of each polish. removing the polish did take some time though - i really need to try the glue method!

both bottles are mini sizes - they each hold 5 mL. i am actually afraid of running out of these since i love them so much!

i purchased 3 minis for $10.80 US and shipping was $4.50. a full size polish (15 mL) is $8.25 US. Lynae is actually having a flash sale right now (until midnight PST Sunday) and you can get 10% off your entire purchase with the code "JANFLASH".

you can purchase Fanchromatic Nails nail polish from her Etsy shop here (the listing for "Wowsville" can be found here but it seems that "Dire Wolf" is sold out at the moment). you can also see all of her nail polishes and swatches on her Facebook page.

Monday, January 14, 2013

SPOTLIGHT: My Fab Prizes from Closet Voyage and Vanity Box

ahhh i feel so lucky to have been one of the winners from Closet Voyage's and Vanity Box's BIG giveaway back in October - not to mention... i was the first prize winner!! :)
the giveaway was indeed huge - there was over $450 worth of prizes and 19 winners! thank you so much Jiawa (Closet Voyage) and Vanity Box for your generosity.

Jiawa is a beauty and fashion blogger over at Closet Voyage. i love her outfit posts - she finds really unique items and i especially love her taste in shoes :) Vanity Box is an online Korean clothing and cosmetics retailer based in Australia (they ship to Canada!).

Closet Voyage and Vanity Box shipped the prizes out separately (from Australia) and i recently got them both so i was finally able to share my winnings with you. there are so many goodies to play with and review - what should i do first??

first up, i got Vanity Box's... box!
here's what i found inside:
* Cath Kidston iPhone Case in "Electric Flowers" - ahhh so pretty!!! it's about time i changed the case of my iPhone 4 and i couldn't have found anything prettier than this Cath Kidston iPhone cases are available online at the Apple Store website for $34.95 in case you are interested or you can purchase them on Vanity Box's website on sale for ~$18.16 CAD (as "Rose Deep Pink").

* Ameli Plat Lips Lip Rouge in "100 Nude Beige" and "501 Natural Beige" - very neat! i tried going to the Ameli website to find out more about this product but i do not understand a word of it. it's on sale for ~$5.19 CAD each.

* Peripera Nail Polishes in "GR308" and "PP108" - another brand i have never tried - these bottles will definitely stand out in my collection. i do not know if there are official names for these colors but some eBay sellers have translated the colors as GR308 = "Acid Lime" and PP108 = "Holy Lavender".

i also got two mini Chupa Chups!! my sister and i used to always buy these in Chinatown after Chinese school... and what a crazy coincidence that they will send me a Coca Cola-flavored one (my sister's favorite) and a Strawberry one (my favorite).

from Closet Voyage, i got:
* Peripera Wonder of Lips Lipstick in "3 Wonder Beige" - sounds like i might be able to pull off this nude color. on sale for ~$12.45 CAD.

* Peripera I Love B.B Light Brightening effect B.B Cream - very excited to use this! i haven't actually tried a whole lot of BB creams yet... and even the box is so pretty. SPF 50 is pretty dang impressive. found on Vanity Box for ~$19.19 CAD.

* Minibus Louis Sticky Notes - cute!

* Ameli Plat Lips Lip Rouge in  "501 Natural Beige" - hmm i think i was only supposed to get 2 Plat Lips but hooray for an extra one :)

*Ameli Cake Eyeshadow in "027 Nude Beige" and "217 Charcoal Brown" - both are matte shades which i have taken an increased interest in. they are also very wearable colors. on sale right now for ~$6.74 CAD.

as for the jewelry in the white bag:
* Baby Ribbon Stud Earrings - i am wearing these rightnow! very cute :) ~$7.05 CAD on Vanity Box.

* Corius Ring in "White" - i usually only wear rings on special night outs but i like how these are stackable. ~$13.28 CAD.

* It Girl Necklace in "Pink Gold (White)" - i love the look of this necklace even though i prefer longer necklaces (this one sits near my collarbone). on sale for ~$10.37 CAD.

* Heart Hoop Earrings - can't seem to find these on the website but the hearts are so tiny and cute.

- - - - -

phew!! that is quite a few items and i am very excited to use and review them all! but where to start? let me know if you have any suggestions!
again, many thanks to Closet Voyage and Vanity Box!

Friday, January 11, 2013

REVIEW: Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick in "Berry"

late last year, i started dabbling with darker lipstick shades. i put aside my corals and pinks and sought out wines and plums.
i picked up Joe Fresh's Matte Lipstick in "Berry" (3.3 g) on a whim - i could not really find any swatches of it online and there was no tester either - so i based my decision solely on the color of the label.
so imagine my surprise when i opened it and found that it was so dark and so purple! there's nothing in my  lipstick collection that even compares to it.

seeing the color of the lipstick, i applied it to my lips with the utmost caution. i breathed a sigh of relief when i saw the color was actually not as scary on!
top to bottom: natural light; with flash

"Berry" is a purple wine color. i don't usually take lip pictures with flash since you can see every imperfection on my face so clearly - it adds depth to my pores like you wouldn't believe... but i wanted to show you that even though this is a matte lipstick, there is actually a slightly shiny finish after you apply it. you can also see how the light reflects off the actual lipstick in the tube in the pictures above.
the lipstick applies easily to your lips too (there's no tugging) but it eventually dries to a matte finish. it doesn't feel overly dry on the lips though (as in i am not frantically searching for a lip balm). the color starts to fade after a couple hours of wear - mainly around the middle of the lips but it does leave a stain behind.

i would suggest a lip liner as well as a lip balm prior to applying this shade. if you look closely, you can see that this lipstick emphasizes the dry patches on your lips. applying the lip balm beforehand will also make the lipstick apply sheerer if you desire a softer look.

i was too afraid to apply more than one layer of it on my lips but on the swatches on my hand, the left swatch is one layer and then i built it up on the right.
natural light; with flash

oddly enough, i decided to google this color to see if it is sold on the Joe Fresh website and found my own link to another Joe Fresh matte lip product - a lip crayon - in almost the same color ("Plum")... which i have almost forgotten about. but what a weird coincidence! maybe i should always google a lip product before purchasing to make sure that i don't already have a similar one...

 Joe Fresh Matte Lipsticks are $6 each at Superstore. when i picked up "Berry", i was also considering "Brick" but can Joe make it any more confusing for a girl?

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

REVIEW: MUA "Going For Gold" Eyeshadow Palette

i know there are plenty of reviews of the MUA palettes all over the web but i had to do my own since well, i wanted to and this was my very first MUA eyeshadow palette.

i placed my first MUA order when they reached 35,000 likes on Facebook and had a 35% off sale and free shipping. how i did not buy one of everything is still shocking to me (see my haul here).

the "Going for Gold" Eyeshadow Palette (9.6 g) is £4.00 but i paid £2.60 which is roughly $4.11 CAD today (current exchange rate: 1 British Pound = 1.58 Canadian Dollar). $4.11! i had some restraint and only ordered ONE palette. i chose this one in particular because i've been on the hunt for the perfect yellow gold. the name of this palette has the word Gold in it so i was positive that it would be the answer to my search.
"Going for Gold" contains 10 medal-colored shades (gold, silver and bronze) in square pans which sets it apart from the other circle-panned MUA eyeshadow palettes. this palette is also limited edition since it was released in celebration of the 2012 London Olympics (which ended back in August so perhaps they made a few too many of these? ... not that i am complaining!!).
the palette comes in a rectangle plastic case. you can see the colors through the lid and it comes with a double-ended sponge-tip eyeshadow brush. the plastic lid is really easy to open - no breaking your fingernails - and it clicks shut.

this is the eyeshadow palette i've reached for most often these days. the one downside is that i really wish that there were a few darker colors in here. i have a monolid so i need a darker shade to pretty much draw in a crease where it should be. Shades 2 and 10 would be considered the darkest colors in the lot but 2 is still too light and 10 is too shimmery.

i find that the golds are more pigmented than the silvers. the silvers are actually a tad disappointing except for #10.
some special mentions:
#1 and #6 are the softest and least pigmented shades
#3 - antique gold
#4 - white silver that is rather chunky and uneven
#5 - orange gold
#9 - bronze copper; slightly patchy
all 10 are shimmery but # 7, 8, 9 and 10 have a metallic-y finish (#1, 2 and 6 are semi-matte)

my favorites are #7 and #8!
if you haven't tried MUA before, they are praised as being a low-cost, high-quality makeup company. so far, i am really enjoying their products (i've tried this eyeshadow palette and a lipgloss). i experienced hardly any fallout with this palette. they also lasted all day (with primer). there are some colors that are not that great but on the whole, it is worth it for me since i really like the gold shades. . i've checked the MUA website to see if they sold some gold eyeshadow singles but can't seem to find any.

do you own the "Going for Gold" palette? what have you tried from MUA and what would you recommend?

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

GLOSSYBOX: December 2012

i bet you have heard plenty in regards to the drama with the December Glossybox. you might be sick of it already, but let's recap just in case you haven't heard it.

- 2 items in the box - the Avon and the Revlon product - may have been discontinued/expired products
- some people have said that the Revlon nail polish had dust or Rite Aid clearance stickers on them
- some have also contacted Revlon Canada who said that they were not in partnership with Glossybox
- others said Avon confirmed their product was discontinued (there were a variety of Avon products sent out so i am not sure which one they were talking about)
- Glossybox's first response didn't help the matter either - they were very careful choosing their words. the first sentence angered many people, including myself: "GLOSSIES, we are sorry that some of you were disappointed with your full-size Revlon nail polish."
pretty much, they are emphasizing that the Revlon was full sized (lucky you!) and that they are not apologizing for the product itself but sorry that you are disappointed with it.
- Glossybox said they needed to speak to their European supplier about the Avon products. they later updated us with "We’ve communicated with our supplier in Europe, who has been a reliable GLOSSYBOX provider in the past, and they have reassured us that the product is in date, new and unopened, but we are devastated if our GLOSSIES are upset."
see that last part of the sentence? again, they are not taking responsibility.
- Glossybox said they will keep investigating the matter and will reevaluate their quality control processes for the future.
- this box was partnered with LOULOU Magazine. all they have said about the issue is that they are looking into it.
- some say that Glossybox has been deleting negative comments on their Facebook (i do not have evidence of this myself since i haven't been following that closely)

so personally, i do not have any issues with my Revlon nail polish. i can't find any information on the Avon lip gloss i got on the Canadian website nor the European website. i've seen a few eBay listings but none of them say discontinued...
what bugs me most is how Glossybox is handling the matter. they are not being honest upfront. plus, they claim to offer the "latest in high-end...beauty" and "only sources from the best cosmetics companies". both claims are directly challenged with this box.

everything was silver/gray this month - the box, the ribbon and the tissue since it was specially curated by LOULOU Magazine this month. there was also another Golden Ticket item - 50 people got a Nobia necklace. (by the way, i got the box on December 31).
even the GlossyMag is gray-ish

onto the products itself - this month's box is called the "Bejeweled Box" (i got V2):

1) TRESemme Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo - i actually have a full size version of this which i bought when i was trying dry shampoos for the first time. it didn't do much in terms of removing oil - i thought my hair still looked and felt greasy. near the end of the day, it even made my scalp itchy. the only plus side i could see is that it smells good.
size: 56 g
retail value: $5.99 (161 g)

2) Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 - i have been using my Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer (also from Glossybox) since April last year! it was a huge bottle and now i have two more Aveeno moisturizers to go through. i think i am set, Glossybox - in terms of moisturizers and in terms of Aveeno.
i do like that it has SPF 30, but i don't have dry skin nor the redness that comes from dry skin.
size: 73 mL (full size!)
retail value: $22.99

3) Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer (Fair to Light) SPF 30 - like what i said in 2)... so many full sized moisturizers from Aveeno... when will i ever try something different?
this one is tinted though and it is in my skin tone so that's neat. SPF 30 is a plus so i will definitely use this... after i finish the Aveeno i am currently using. i will do a swatch then!
size: 75 mL (full size!)
retail value: $22.99

4) Avon Glazewear Extreme Lip Gloss in "Pale Pink Shine" - ahh.. here we are. we've reached one of the products that have caused a flare up in the discussion on the Facebook page. there are plenty of variations of "Glazewear" lip glosses on the Canadian and European Avon website but no "Glazewear Extreme".
either way, i am unsure exactly what to do with this. i have way too many lip glosses opened as it is so i would prefer to give it away or something but i don't think anyone would want it now. i read that someone else used this and it was fine and surprisingly pigmented.
size: 6 mL (full size!)
retail value: N/A

5) Revlon Nail Enamel in "168 Temptress" - i was initially turned off by the color and the packaging since the Revlon label does make it look like a really old polish... but i changed my mind!

the color "Temptress" is actually from the 2010 Limited Edition Fire and Ice Collection. the collection was inspired by Revlon's first lipstick EVER - "Fire and Ice" from 1952. back then, they released a collection featuring matching lips and nail polish. in 2010, they relaunched it with new shades (but kept the Fire and Ice lipstick, of course). my info sources came from Nouveau Cheap and IAMBRIGITTE.

so now i understand why the Revlon label looks so vintage. i also appreciate the color since i've seen some swatches where the pink is actually brighter than it appears in the bottle (shimmery peachy pink). plus, nail polish doesn't go bad so this product is fine with me. i did some research about nail polish and expiry dates when i wrote my Forever 21 Hello Kitty nail polish set (scroll to the bottom).
it's not quite as pink in real life...

size: 14.7 mL (full size!)
retail value: $5.99

6) Glossybox Lashes with Adhesive - i see how holidays = false eyelashes for everyone in the beauty subscription world. 3 of my December boxes contained lashes... and these Glossybox lashes are the er.. worst looking ones. the lashes are so long and dramatic and too shiny! the whole thing, including the box and adhesive, looks cheap.
size: 1 pair (full size!)
retail value: $12.50 (are you kidding??)

7) *bonus* TRESemme Split Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner - my hair reaches the middle of my back so i can tell you that aside from lack of volume, i suffer from split ends. when i am bored, i even like to pick at them. i won't be able to see the "80%" reduction in split ends since i don't see how i will get 3 uses out of this sachet.
size: 9 mL each x 2
retail value: $5.99 (700 mL) each

8) *bonus* Nobia X-Cessories Tiny Mint Earrings - at first, i thought this was the Golden Ticket item since these earrings were not listed on the card. i did not think that these were all that special but it turns out that everyone got it as a bonus item anyway. check out Petite Pear Style's blog to see what her Golden Ticket item was!
according to the Nobia website, these are $14.99! honestly, i would not pay that much for these "aquamarine" earrings. i don't mind the blue jewel but i don't like the rim (correct term here please?) around it.

size: 1 pair (full size!)
retail value: $14.99 ... according to nobia.ca

- - - - -

so drama aside, the box is decent but you gotta admit, it's pretty boring - just like every past Glossybox. they contain products i'll (most likely) use but they are pretty much all drugstore. it's hard to pick a favorite since i am not really excited about any of them but i'll have to say the Aveeno tinted moisturizer, though i haven't tried it yet...
i really hope Glossybox addresses the problems soon because people want some answers!
what are your feelings about Glossybox at the moment? did you have a discontinued or expired product in your box?
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