Sunday, February 24, 2013

REVIEW: Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lipstick in "Boogie Woogie"

one of the many gifts that my boyfriend picked up for me in Australia included today's featured product: the Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lipstick.

i put the Face of Australia lipstick on my wish list because it was recommended by a friend and it also had SPF 30. i figured i'd try the lipstick line from Australis as well just to see how they compare with their mineral lipstick.
i'll be doing the Face of Australia lipstick review later on since i was in the mood for some color rather than a nude :)
Australis states that the Colour Inject Lipstick (4 g) contains "vitamins, minerals and antioxidants". more specifically, it contains Kakadu plum (which has Vitamin C), Vitamin E and mica. it also has UV protectors such as titanium dioxide. 

the lipstick comes in a black tube with a reflective pink band around the middle. the tube gets wider around the top which is slanted. 

"71040 Boogie Woogie" is a dark pink - it's a very pretty color. it is very pigmented, as you can see by the swatch on my skin. my lips already have a lot of pigment but the pink still shows. i find that the color works well in brightening up my face - in a youthful kind of way, if you know what i mean.
as much as i like the color, i can't say the same for the formula. after a few minutes of applying it, your lips will feel neither moisturized or dry. i felt the need to reapply quite often - the color seemed to fade after an hour

and the thing i like least about it? the SCENT. some people like the old lipstick scent but this Australis lipstick is just way too waxy-smelling and it is way too strong. i can smell it while i put it on and also when i press my lips together. when i lick my teeth to make sure i didn't get any on there, it tastes like i've actually eaten the lipstick. 
yuck.

soooo, sadly i don't wear this lipstick often since the scent is a major turn-off. 
Australis Color Inject Lipsticks are $12.95 AUS but seems to be only available in Australia.
what is your favorite pink lipstick? 

Friday, February 22, 2013

GIVEAWAY: 150 Posts & 100 Followers // My Second Spectacular Giveaway

welcome welcome to my **Second Spectacular Giveaway**!!

iiiiiiiii know i have been neglecting my readers lately but i hope i can make it up to you... with some awesome gifts!
yaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy!

i've been meaning to do this for quite some time - ever since the end of my Fabulous First Giveaway 99 days ago, i've been shopping for you guys. i've put quite a bit of thought into these prizes so i hope you are as excited as i am!

first, some rules and other important info:
* open to residents of Canada and USA ... i have no idea how much shipping is going to cost me but i will figure it out!
* giveaway starts February 22, 2013 and ends March 8, 2013 (ohhh what a coincidence that i also started on the 22nd last time...)
* i will contact the winner(s) after the giveaway and they will have 72 hours to respond to my email
* must follow my blog publicly (GFC preferably but i will allow Hellocotton as well as long as i see your name)
* please do not un-follow me after a giveaway. how rude! (if you do, you will be excluded from all future awesomeness)
* i shall not be held responsible for any damage to your prizes after i mail it out

and now, onto the fun part.

if you actually read through the rules, you would see that i said winner(s). yes, that is me hinting you that there will be more than one.

in fact, there's THREE! 
yes that's right. THREE lucky winners :)

- - - - - - -

i've decided to put a spin on things so here is how it will work!
there are 4 categories of prizes:

1) MUA Makeup 
       * Eyeshadow Palette in "Starry Night"
       * Blush Perfection Cream Blusher in "Blossom" 
       * Intense Kisses High Intensity Gloss in "Kiss and Make Up"

2) Quo Minerals Matter Eye Quad
       * Pillow Talk
       * Smoking Hot
       * Eco You
       * Peacock
from Shoppersdrugmart.ca (2013)

3) Disney Villains Lip Gloss
       * Cruella De Vil
       * Evil Queen
       * Queen of Hearts

4) Victoria's Secret Nail Lacquer
       * Signature Pink
       * Devilish
       * Mischief 

first prize winner - chooses TWO categories above and gets first choice of item/color in those two categories
second prize winner - chooses ONE of the two categories left and gets first choice of item in that category
third prize winner - gets first choice in the category that is left over

that way, the third winner also gets the pick first in something. yaaaaayyyyy!

- - - - - - - 

FIRST PRIZE
  • 1 x MUA Makeup Product
  • 1 x Quo Minerals Matter Eye Quad
  • 1 x Disney Villains Lip Gloss
  • 1 x Victoria's Secret Nail Lacquer
  • 1 x Hello Kitty Sleeping Eye Mask
  • 1 x Styli-Style Smokey Eyes Pencil in "Charcoal"
  • 1 x Tweezerman Harajuku Lovers Matchbox Itty Bitty File 

SECOND PRIZE // THIRD PRIZE
  • 1 x MUA Makeup Product
  • 1 x Quo Minerals Matter Eye Quad
  • 1 x Disney Villains Lip Gloss
  • 1 x Victoria's Secret Nail Lacquer
  • 1 x Tweezerman Harajuku Lovers Matchbox Itty Bitty File 
- - - - - - - 

how do you enter? well, just right below with Rafflecopter!!
so get on it! i will be checking answers thoroughly so please read the tasks carefully. 

thank you for entering!!! i want to thank you all for your continued support of my blog! i really appreciate you finding the time to comment on my posts - i love the interacting with readers and other bloggers. i hope i get more into the swing of things and will be able to blog more often! :)


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

TOPBOX: February 2013 [featuring Benefit]

i thought that i wasn't going to be getting the Benefit Prive box since everybody seemed to be receiving it super early this month (Benefit was trying to send them in time for Chinese New Year). i got mine on the last business day before the Chinese New Year weekend and it was indeed a great surprise.

i already knew what was to be expected inside but the pretty packaging and the awesome contents still made me giddy all the same.
the recycled Topbox tube came wrapped in a pretty design featuring a snake since it is the Year of the Snake this Chinese New Year. there is a "red" envelope inside, holding the bonus product. there was also an invitation to some Benefit events held across Canada from the 7th to 9th but none of them was in Calgary.

- - - - -

Topbox sent an email on January 8th, informing us that we were able to make a wish list from the Prive boxes available. February's choices included: Benefit, Lippy Girl and Miracle10 (which had two variations).

the contents of each box were also listed which helped me make my decision. since i have not exactly tried many Benefit products before, added to the fact that i have an overwhelming amount of lip and skin care products, it was easy for me to select Benefit for my wish list.
both Lippy Girl and Miracle10 had retail values attached ($25 and $75, respectively).

Topbox mentioned that they had "thousands" of Benefit boxes and "hundreds" of Lippy Girl and Miracle10. it seems to me that if you selected just one of the brands, you got their box and if you didn't select any, you got the regular box. if you selected two brands (one of them being Benefit), then you most likely got the brand that was not Benefit. the majority of those that selected all 3 got Lippy Girl.

soooo onto the box's contents!!
1) POREfessional - i've received this before, also from Topbox, back in April 2012. i have not quite finished the sample yet but i really like the texture - it feels velvety and makes my skin very soft. not only does it help to reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines, but it also doubles as a primer. check out the above link for a swatch of the product. it has a light lemon-y scent.
size: 7.5 mL
retail value: $34 (22 mL)

2) Total Moisture Facial Cream - oh i really love the packaging of this sample! the mini jar is unbelievably cute. the cream itself has a nice fragrance to it that reminds me a bit of Ralph Lauren's Ralph. the cream feels slightly thicker than what i am used to (it is meant for normal to dry skin). i feel that i have to apply more of this product compared to other creams in order to cover my entire face. i love the results of this cream since it makes my skin incredibly soft. i prefer to use this at night as i prefer my day creams to have SPF.
size: 8.9 g
retail value: $42 (48.2 g)

3) Benetint - i've been wanting to test this popular Benefit product before but i was a little afraid of a liquid tint.
it actually blends out really well. if i just dab once on my cheeks, i can hardly even tell it is there (check out the swatch near the end of the post). i think i'll have to dab more on next time.
i tried using it on my lips and found it a bit too liquid-y. it is purely for staining purposes so it does not feel like anything on my lips once it soaks in.
at first, i just dabbed the product on my lower lip and pressed my lips together, hoping it would transfer to the top lip but it doesn't. if you choose to use it as a lip stain, i would recommend you apply it to both the top and bottom lip evenly. there were a couple of areas where my lips were peeled and this Benetint seemed to accentuate this area but making it more red than the rest of my lips... scroll down for a not-so-pretty swatch.

i think i am going to use this primarily as a cheek stain but if i am carrying a super tiny purse, it will serve well to give my lips a flush of color. i should also note that this Benetint smells like flowers.
size: 2.5 mL
retail value: $36 (12.5 mL)

4) Dandelion Brightening Face Powder and Ultra Plush Lip Gloss - Benefit is also well-known for their powders and lip glosses. i have the CORALista blush but i have not yet cracked it open. the Dandelion powder is a Top Seller and is a shimmery soft pink meant for highlighting the skin.
i find it very very subtle on my skin tone. i am surprised that this powder is also lightly scented - it seems that many of Benefit's products have a scent.
the Dandelion gloss matches the powder and is described as a soft pearly pink but it also seems slightly coral to me. however, on the lips, it just looks like a clear shimmer. the gloss is probably the non-stickiest gloss i've tried! and it smells rather delicious, like some kind of juicy citrus fruit.

size: powder - 3 g; lip gloss - 6.5 mL
retail value: powder - $36 (7 g); lip gloss - $18 (15 mL)

swatches:

and since the color seemed to remain on my fingertips when i tried to blend it...

5) *bonus* Fine-One-One - this is one of Benefit's newest products and like the Benetint, it can be used on the cheeks and lips. it seems like this sample can be used two or three times max so i did not choose to test it on my lips.
the full sized version of the Fine-One-One resembles a deodorant. the three colors - pink champagne, sheer watermelon and soft coral - blend together for a hint of peachy pink. it is definitely a convenient and easy product to use.
the swatch is very light since i didn't have much to work with:
size: N/A
retail value: $36 (8 g)

- - - - -

i am enjoying my Benefit products! there is a variety of products in the box and many are multi-purpose so there are definitely many uses for them. i found that all of the Benefit products here had a scent so i am thinking those that are sensitive to smells might not enjoy this brand as much.
i have yet to receive an email from Topbox in regards to next month's Prive box but i am excited :)
Topbox claims to be doing a lot of testing with this month's box so i hope that they iron out the wrinkles for next month. some concerns that were raised revolved around Topbox's decision to put Benefit boxes up for sale. if i had known that this was going to be happen, i would've selected none of the choices above and would have just gone with a regular Topbox since i was really curious what it would contain (a full size Deborah Lippmann nail polish!!) and then buy a Benefit box later on.

someone on Facebook wondered why extra Benefit boxes were being sold while people were still stuck on the waitlist. i completely agree with this - i would be frustrated too!
some people had also not received their Topbox prior to receiving the email and therefore, did not know which brand they would be getting. not to mention, many were angry because the Benefit boxes were available for sale at a ridiculously early hour on a Sunday!

all in all, i am excited to continue my journey with Topbox for the time being. what was your favorite item in the box? after seeing a regular Topbox, do you regret going with a Prive box?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

POLISHED: Pink Ombre [Valentine's Day] Nails

i am a tad late showing you my nails for Valentine's but here it is! i tried doing a form of ombre nails - the much simpler version across my entire hand rather than having an ombre pattern on each nail. i'll call this the amateur version :)

i was actually inspired by the Ombre kits by The New Black on the Glymm website. i was tempted to buy a set but i figured i could do my own since i already own a gazillion polishes.
i picked a number of pinks from my collection and i was looking specifically at ones that were not shimmery or glittery so that the color morphing would look... erm.. cleaner... subtler? 

anyway! this is what i came up with:
natural light; artificial light

seems like the last two colors (my ring finger and pinky) are almost identical in the pictures. whoops!

from thumb to pinky, i used:
* Zoya in "Shelby" (Glossybox July 2012)
* Nicole by OPI in "Something About Spring"
* Diana Manicure in "1104"

the two lightest colors, the Barbie one and the Zoya, required 3 coats while the other ones only needed two. this was the first time i did ombre nails and i thought it was really fun! i was hesitant at first, thinking that it may look slightly childish at work if my nails were all different colors but i think it works if the color changes weren't drastic. 

i am thinking of doing this again with purples next... it gives me a chance to use more polishes and to provide you with some swatches as well. win-win!
would you wear ombre nails like this? :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

GLOSSYBOX: January 2013

oh this is sad.
i was not motivated to write this post at all. Glossybox, what happened?? are you trying to compete for the largest amount of dissatisfied customers with Glymm?

i got this box 10 days ago. there was a Canada Post processing error and i didn't even notice.

onto the items (from V1)...

1) Wella Professionals Brilliance Leave-In Mousse - i enjoyed the other Wella products i have received from their Brilliance line. this one says it is for colored hair - why am i not surprised that i got this? all it says on the back is that it helps protect colored hair... i wonder if it does anything else. i am not much of a mousse girl so i will probably pass it on to my mom.
size: 190 g (full size!)
retail value: $17.99

2) Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme - i had to laugh at this. Glossybox hardly ever breaks from their drugstore brand preference so this is quite rare! but of course, it had to be the tiniest thing ever! it only looks large below because i had to zoom close enough to see it :D see below to see how it actually compares it size.
this lip plumper is clear and shimmery - something you can wear layered over a lipstick.
size: minuscule
retail value: $28 (6 mL)

3) Burt's Bees Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion - i already expressed my feelings on the scent of this lotion in my previous Glymm post. i am not exactly willing to open a larger sized sample.
size: 25 g
retail value: $12.99 (170 g)

4) Nivea Essential Lip Care - so a plain lip balm... that's rather boring, no? i have such a variety of lip products that i never reach for a plain lip balm anymore. passing this off to my boyfriend - he likes the plain ones. haha
size: 4.8 g (full size!)
retail value: $2.00

5) *Glossybox Best in Moisture* Vitabath Fresh Citrus Twist Hand Creme - at first, i thought it sort of resembled my Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter in the recent ipsy bag but it's nowhere as delicious-smelling. in fact, for a citrus scent, it could've been much better (the Pacifica one is also better for you - no parabens!).
i also got the same scent for my Vitabath shower gel (received in my Glossybox November 2012) and found that this hand creme smells more 'diluted' or 'manufactured' than the shower gel.
my camera does odd things to red/pink backgrounds

size: 60 g
retail value: $15 (120 g) ... according to myvitabath.com

6) *bonus* BeautySoClean Cosmetic Sanitizing Wipes - uhmmm so i was very happy to get these half a year ago (where i received 4) but i haven't even used them yet! i should definitely make use of them. anyone out there that uses these regularly?
size: 12 wipes
retail value: $12.50 (48 wipes)

so this box... rather blah. i am probably going to give away most of this stuff since i have plenty of other alternatives that i actually enjoy.
let's not talk about the box anymore.
who has seen Gangster Squad? i saw it on Tuesday and i quite enjoyed it! it was bloody and had plenty of guns but there was also Ryan Gosling. hahaha and Emma Stone. i liked most of the characters and was constantly on the edge of my seat (although you can sort of tell who is going to die... or not). :) what other movies in theaters would you like to see?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

GLYMM BAG: January 2013

after doing my report card on the beauty box subscriptions available to Canadians, the January boxes that followed seemed to reaffirm my decision in regards to Glymm and Glossybox - wowwwwwwwwww i honestly cannot believe how bad both are this month.
thanks to both of them for making it easy for me. once i cash in all my points, i am outta here!!
Glymm's recent price increase was very sudden - we got the email late last month (Jan 21) and the price change was effective immediately. to me, the contents of January's bag do not reflect the increase in price... in fact, i don't think i would have actually been happy if it was at $12 or even $10 (which was what i was paying). holy cow!!!! i just realized that this means that this is a 50% increase for everyone that was grandfathered at $10 during the previous price increase!

wwwwwwwwwhaaaaaaaaat

okay, putting the massive price hike aside, let's take a look at the products:
1) LASHEM Double Trouble Mascara - this is the teeniest mascara sample i've ever seen! it's the exact same size as the LASHEM serum from last month. i will start testing this mascara this weekend... i am on the verge of tossing a few so it's time for something new. i am pretty sure i can use this one up much faster.
size: N/A
retail value: $20 (6 mL)

2) La Fresh Travel-Lite Facial Cleansing Wipes - i'm sure no one is seriously overjoyed when we receive a couple foil packets of facial cleansing wipes...
size: 1 wipe ("full size") x 2
retail value: $3 each

3) 360 Skin Care Lavender Mint Firming Serum - the serum smells like lavender which i am not a fan of but i can hardly tell when i apply it to my face. this is unlike any other serum i've ever tried... it's rather thick and difficult to absorb onto your face. you know how lotion dries up and leaves residue around the cap? the texture is sort of like that but not nearly as hard.
this firming serum is to be used around the eyes. just make you sure you really try to smooth it out on your skin or you will get odd yellow globs on your face. just a suggestion!
size: 6 mL
retail value: $34 (30 mL)

4) Coolway Boost Repair Serum - this patent pending serum is to be used as a replacement of your conditioner and has strict instructions that you should wait at least 2 days between use. i found this serum to have a unique scent for a hair product - very sweet and sugary. the product itself is white and has a very very slight gritty texture. so far i haven't seen any transformation in my hair but i will let you know down the road if my feelings change.
size: 30 mL
retail value: $40 (236 mL)

5) ** bonus ** Burt's Bees Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion - ho hum. i am not a huge fan of Burt's Bees lotions - i don't find the scents appealing. oh shoot - as i stared at this sample while i type this, i realized i got a larger sample of this in my Glossybox that i have yet to post...
size: 7 mL
retail value: $12.99 (170 mL) ... according to my January Glossybox card

you can tell from the tone of this whole post that i am not exactly overjoyed with this bag. haha - it may be that i am harder to impress now that i've subbed to 6 beauty boxes but in all honesty, all of these samples are tiny and have very limited use.
does anyone have high hopes for February? also, who knows when Glymm's anniversary is?
by the way, i have a giveaway coming up!!!! please stay tuned!!! i am letting you know now so that you can make sure i do it this weekend. i am giving you permission to get on my case about it. 
i really hope that i can work on more posts for you this weekend! i miss this :(

Friday, February 08, 2013

BEAUTY BOX 5: January 2013

so many January boxes to be arriving in February... what is up with that?

still my BB5 is 'on time' - as in it has been consistently arriving a couple days after a new month has started (due to shipping from the States). i got my BB5 last Thursday/Friday. it felt rather light when i picked it up.

January's 5 beauty items:

1) Ferro Cosmetics Blush X3 in "Desert Rose" - if this looks familiar, it is because i received the same item (but in "Miss Priss") from Topbox last month. this color looks much prettier. however, the lack of a sifter calls for another mess...
"Desert Rose" is a shimmery peachy pink and is one of Ferro Cosmetics' new 2013 shades.
size: N/A
retail value: $17 (4 g)
shipping to Canada: $20

2) Pencil Me In Eye Accent Pencil in "Mint" - this shade is described as a "frosted pastel green". according to the Pencil Me In Cosmetics website, "Mint" works best for blondes (which i am not). 

i am not entirely sure what to do with this... on one hand, i have heard that these eye pencils were pretty awesome - they do not tug and are long lasting. on the other hand, when am i ever going to wear this color? i don't know if i can rock this mint green color... any suggestions?

the eye pencil comes with a sharpener. the black lid on it is removable and is supposed to be for dumping out the shavings.. but i can't exactly see why the shavings would be on the inside... hmmm.
size: N/A (full size!)
retail value: $6.99
shipping to Canada: $2.00 (by UPS Ground)
promotion: buy 2, get 1 free for "a limited time" (odd that this is not clarified!)

3) ModelCo Colourbox Lip Pencil in "02 Pomegranate" - one of my two favorites of the box. i don't have a whole lot of lip pencils so i was excited to use this. this tugged a bit and felt a bit dry on my lips but it was nothing a little lip balm couldn't fix. other than that, i found it to be quite pigmented and i really enjoyed the color. i've been using it as a lip liner and then filling it in completely with the color since i like it so much.
this pencil also has a built-in sharpener which is super handy. i hate looking for a sharpener!
size: 1.6 g (full size!)
retail value: $18
shipping to Canada: $15

4) Perfumies Solid Perfume Stick in "Text Me" - on the Perfumies website: "Sweet sugar cane with notes of lemon rind and shortbread."... which is definitely a unique combination - i don't normally like lemons but i think this smells really yummy! it reminds me of something else too... i can't exactly pinpoint it but... a Jolly Rancher maybe?

the texture of this one is softer than other solid perfumes i have tried. sort of reminds me of lip balm - especially when i compared it to my Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer. hope i don't confuse the two!

the Perfume Stick is 100% natural and comes with a cute seal that's partially cut off on mine but it says "smell pretty always".
size: 2 g (full size!)
retail value: $7
shipping to Canada: $3.00 (via First Class USPS)

5) *surprise 2012 favorite* Global Goddess Shine Coconut Amla Revitalizing Hair Treatment - ahh boo... this could have been a really good surprise, had it not been one of these foil samples :/ i got this only recently in my November box and i've used it once. one sample was enough for my mid-back length hair... or so i thought anyways. i don't like the feeling of greasy hair so i used it mainly around the ends of my hair. i felt that it made my hair slightly softer but failed to amaze me.
size: 5 mL x 2
retail value: $20.99 (180 mL)
shipping to Canada: $8.95 and decreases depending on your order amount

so overall, it was a pretty decent box. my favorites were the Perfumies Perfume Stick and the ModelCo Lip Pencil. in a time of increasing beauty subscription prices, i find BB5 much more affordable. if you are looking for some great samples from brands you haven't heard of, i'd recommend BB5.
what were your favorites for January?
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