Friday, May 31, 2013

IPSY BAG: May 2013

hello dearies!
what is up with all the beauty box drama these few months? as someone else said on the Glossybox Facebook page, it looks like we are getting 'glymmed' - i laughed out loud when i read that. 

i had just redeemed my points for my second free box too :/ i hope they don't completely screw us over and take our money and run.

on a happier note, this is what my May ipsy bag looked like - colorful on the outside as well as inside :)
May's Spring Fling:

1) Pacifica Luminizing Body Butter in "Coconut Crushed Pearl" 
Ride the fresh and sensuous look, feel and scents of summer into fall, holiday and beyond with the body-loving brilliance of Pacifica’s Coconut Crushed Pearl Bronzing Body Butter and Coconut Crushed Pearl Luminizing Body Butter. Two indulgent products combine the perfect flush of mineral color, luminescence of crushed pearl, sultry fragrance notes of coconut and vanilla and serious skincare benefits of tropical actives like coconut (the ultimate super food) for a healthy, head-to-toe glisten and glow. So, kick back, soak in the skin-quenching and sun-drenched goodness of these color-meets-treatment stunners and experience tropical bliss and beauty any time of year.

Coconut Crushed Pearl Luminizing Body Butter: Treat, enhance and illuminate. This Body Butter – full of crushed pearls, minerals and ultra-nourishing phytonutrients - leaves skin hydrated, youthful, gorgeous and glowing. Coconut oil, tropical extracts, antioxidants and sea minerals hydrate and nourish.

i have been obsessed with coconut lately so i was really excited about this. usually i don't like shimmer in my lotions but i guess for summer, i can use a little sparkle. 
lemme show you how it sparkles in different lighting:
all taken in natural light but the top one is in the shade, bottom left is in the sun and bottom right is when the sun is setting. hahaha. it is very pretty!

and if you love Pacifica body butters like i do, then you would be happy to know that i found these at two different Winners this week - and for only $4.99! on the far left, there is a "Coconut Crushed Pearl" one but it's a bronzing body butter instead of luminizing. i am very tempted to get the "Tahitian Gardenia" one!
size: 58 mL (full size!)
retail value: $7
promotion: 20% off online purchase until the end of today (May 31) - only for Americans

2) Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Treatment 
Macadamia Hair's light weight Healing Oil Treatment instantly absorbs into the hair to provides intense nourishment. It contains Omega 7 fatty acids, which is an essential component of skin and hair health. The Healing Oil penetrates the hair and scalp to improve strength, eliminates frizz, reduces blow drying time, and extends the life of color treatments. Instant absorption, light-weight and has a non-greasy feel. Natural UV protection.

Apply to clean, damp hair or dry hair. Let air dry or blow-dry. Add 1 pump of Healing Oil Treatment to 1.5 oz of any permanent color line to enhance vibrancy,dimension and lock in color. Avoid applying to root area for extra volume.

i've already received the exact same item in my February Glossybox. i got a trim recently (first one since last September) so i have been neglecting my hair oils. when i used this in February, i felt that it made my hair look healthier so i should definitely resume usage.

those who did not receive this oil treatment received a Nume Finishing Serum instead. 
size: 30 mL ("full size"!)
retail value: $13.50
promotion: 30% off online purchase of a 125 mL bottle in the States until July 31, 2013

3) Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in "Pink" 
This exclusive, pre-launch of the Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss will give your lips brilliant shine while keeping them healthy and nourished. A combination of antioxidant-rich acai and goji berries, natural minerals and sweet agave nectar that will give your lips radiant color! Made with certified organic ingredients.
another gloss! i am drowning in lipgloss.
this one is quite unique looking with the frosted glass. i can tell that the gloss itself is quite shimmery though.

i've also never seen such a long list of organic fruit in a lipgloss - check it out:
organic acai & goji berry, blueberry & cranberry & strawberry & pomegranate & red raspberry & grape seed oil. oh my.
size: 4 mL
retail value: $15 (8 mL) or $48 (4-pack full size of "Champagne", "Pink", "Fig" and "Guava")
promotion: 20% off online purchase of $30 or more until June 15, 2013 for both US and Canada!

4) Zoya Professional Lacquer in "ZP654 Jacqueline" 
Zoya Nail Polish and Treatments puts beauty, fashion and style into every bottle with innovative custom color creations and fashion trend adaptation resulting in a truly luxury cosmetic experience. Created with the finest quality pigments and finishes, each bottle of Zoya is as special and unique as the woman who created it and whose name graces every bottle – Zoya herself! The award-winning, ultra long-wearing Zoya formula is also vegan friendly and Big5Free*.
*Formulation contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, dibutyl phthalate or camphor.
i was very excited to see a Zoya polish since they are harder to come by here but a little disappointed by the color.
BUT i just changed my mind again when i saw the online swatch of this color! it's full coverage (intensity is rated a 5, meaning opaque) which makes it very impressive for a cream color like this. "Jacqueline" is described as a magnolia nude cream. it is part of the Lovely Spring 2013 collection. i am totally going to try this color next and if i get bored of it, it's nothing a little glitter can't fix (or a lot of glitter, either or!)
i only know one Jacqueline... she was one of my best friends way back in grade 2. she also lived on the same block as me and i thought she had the prettiest name.
i should also point out that Zoya is not 3-free or 4-free but 5-free. what what!

size: 15 mL (full size!)
retail value: $8
promotion: buy 2 bottles and get 1 free & free Remove+ & $5 shipping - what a sweet deal so of course, it is only available in the states. and only until today.

5) Yaby Concealer Refill in "CC008 Buff" 
yaby concealers have a creamy texture and are extremely easy to apply. They are highly pigmented to correct any imperfection on the face and body, are creamy and gentle for around the eyes and are tear proof! Vegan friendly and contains no animal byproducts.
The heavy duty metal reusable pans are designed to be sturdy and not easily warped - sanitize empty pans with alcohol and keep some for other special beauty mixing needs!

i really like how my little GlamRX palette is filling up! i've also had a thing for concealers lately so i am excited to try this one. this product was another item ipsy personalized to their customers using YouMatch. out of the four color options, i think i got the best match for my skin so good job ipsy! it is just a tad lighter than my skin tone but that's usually fine for concealers.

pigmentation wasn't amazing though. i had a few problem areas on my face - especially a pimple that i accidentally keep scratching when i put on my glasses (grrr) - and i didn't feel that it covered it up that well. please scroll down for swatches!
there was also a random black dot in it...

size: 20 mm / 3.5 g (full size!)
retail value: $4.85 / 5.24 (camerareadycosmetics.com)
promotion: 20% off online purchase until June 10, 2013 - ships to Canada starting at $7.50

6) *bonus* Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in "Stargazer"
Sparkly shadow goes ultra-sophisticated—with intense hues, microfine sparkle and lush, 3-D metallics, with a look out of this world!
Moondust is dazzlingly sparkly but with a super refined, incredibly sophisticated feel (and not a single speck of chunky glitter).
New technology gives Moondust an amazing effect not found in traditional pressed-powder shadows. It feels like a cream but goes on like a powder to create a smooth, brilliantly reflective look. The result? Sexy, twinkling sparkle with a ton of depth and movement. (And a LOT of questions about what you’re wearing!)
Works best when applied with your fingers. For extra intense color payout, try it wet.

what a nice surprise!!! i got a little note with this item, thanking me for being an active member of the ipsy community - yay!  i've always wanted to own a UD shadow and this one is gorgeous. even the packaging is super pretty! love the compact-like case with the little circular window in the middle. this product is also brand new to the market - sweet! there are a total of 7 shades available.
if i compare it to the other Moondust colors available, it may not be one of my favorites but it actually is very pretty, especially today when i experimented with it and applied it over teal and yellow eyeshadow using the Essence Quattro Eyeshadow in "Vamp It Up" from my February Glossybox. "Stargazer" has a somewhat greenish hue to it so it worked well over the yellow and the teal. Urban Decay actually describes the color as a metallic lime-gold w/ gold 3-D sparkle and is marked Vegan, Metallic, Shimmer and Sparkle.

trying to show you the sparkle in this but failing:
the shadow does not show up super pigmented but works wonders when worn over another color. what i do is just dab the eyeshadow on using my finger.
size: 1.5 g (full size!)
retail value: $20

tada! another great ipsy bag! you know, i am not actually sad about Glymm and (reportedly) Glossybox going down... those were the two i was most displeased with but i still had a hard time breaking up with them. ipsy has gives me plenty of goodies each month and they are all fantastic. just look at the variety:
lotion, nail polish, concealer, hair oil, eyeshadow, lipgloss. that's a bagful!
this bag was the first that i've seen where ipsy has personalized the contents to the customer. i think they did pretty well in regards to my own personal experience and i hope they continue to do this! i like seeing the different items other people are getting.
i am definitely happy keeping my subscription to ipsy. my favorite of the bunch this month is the Urban Decay eyeshadow and now i am excited to use my Zoya polish too. what was your fav?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

TOPBOX: May 2013 [regular]

once again, i went with the regular box for my May Topbox. other choices included Coolway, Maskeraide, Elizabeth Arden or a February Favorites Topbox. there was also an option to upgrade to a Ferro Cosmetics or a PretendTAN Topbox.
i was slightly interested in the February Favorites Topbox that included a Deborah Lippmann polish, MUFE foundation and a B. Kamins cream but the colors available for the polish and the foundation was limiting.

here's what my regular Topbox looks like:

1) Cuccio Colour Nail Lacquer in "Tel-Aviv About It" - hmmm i think i've seen this brand before but i can't pinpoint where... was it Winners? or a liquidation store?

"Tel-Aviv About It" is a very neutral color - a "light tan" as described on the Cuccio website. neutrals tend to be more on the sheer side but Cuccio boasts a Triple Pigmentation Technology where you only need a max of two coats for opacity. i will put this to the test and update you on these claims at a later date since i am in the mood for some bright fun colors right now (it's too gloomy and rainy these days).

size: 13 mL (full size!)
retail value: $10

2) Lise Watier HAUTE COULEUR High Coverage Lip Lacquer in "Stylista" - doesn't the color look absolutely gorgeous in the tube? such a purdy shade of pink.

way way way back in my December Luxe Box, i also received a Lise Watier gloss but that was a sparkly nude and i don't think i've used it since then. "Stylista" is very pretty though and i've been using it quite often. the scent is actually the strongest fragrance i've encountered with a lipgloss. the color payoff is great but only lasts about an hour. 
size: 1.5 mL
retail value: $23 (6 mL)

3) Yaby Eyeshadow Refill in "ES553 Dragonling" - love the name! and the color is unique too - a matte lilac shadow (the photo is slightly more blue).
pigmentation is good at first but it will fade and become less intense throughout the day. it also applied patchy  (not super smooth as the card says) so a little blending is required.

i wonder if Topbox assumed that most of us were already ipsy subscribers since we all got a GlamRX Palette that is perfect for Yaby eyeshadows a couple of months ago. 
size: 15.5 mm / 3 g (full size!)
retail value: $3.15

4) Deborah Lippmann Smooth Operator Nail Buffer - it's a little hard to get excited about a nail buffer but this one has the 4 sides for shaping nails, buffing ridges, smoothing surfaces and adding shine. 
too bad this didn't come with a Deborah Lippmann polish! 
size: 1 nail buffer (full size!)
retail value: $12

so there we have it! looks like everything is a little small when i put them all together. it was an alright month... in fact, all the regular boxes i have gotten (last three months) were just okay, a little boring actually. it's too bad that even though there are more and more Prive box options available, none of them are appealing enough to me. i hope that next month will bring about better choices! 
also i was tempted to get something during Topbox's Spring Sale yesterday - but i forgot to actually get an order in. did you order anything?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

BEAUTY BOX 5: April 2013

April's BB5... and yes i am finally getting to it on this May long weekend. my friend Jenny came back home for the week so it was absolutely lovely to see her :) i hope you are all having a fantastic long weekend!

without further delay...

1) La Fresh Instant Body Soother - so this is different from the other wipes i've been getting... the Instant Body Smoother wipe can be used to soothe tired or tense areas. it sounds like it would be refreshing, especially in the summer months. perhaps i can put it to use when i go canoeing?

who am i kidding? i don't do any work while canoeing... the boyfriend is in charge of any paddling that may be required. :)
size: 1 wipe x 2
retail value: $9.99 (24 wipes)

2) Minxxette Brush Hanger - i love how BB5 includes unique and useful items like this (remember we also got a brush guard a couple of months ago?). well, this handy dandy brush hanger allows you to dry your brushes after washing, without damaging the ferrule (the clamp thing that holds all the fibers/hairs together).

it can be hung using the hook or attached to a mirror with the suction cup. and it comes in two different sizes - we have the small one here:
size: 1 small brush hanger (full size!)
retail value: $4.69

3) Jean Pierre Cosmetics Oil Absorbing Facial Tissues - i keep trying all different kinds of oil blotting sheets that i haven't finished one whole pack yet but i am close! 

does anyone else pull out a pack while with friends and compare who's the oiliest or is that just gross? hahaha
size: 50 sheets (full size!)
retail value: $1.99

4) ModelCo Illusion Lip Pencil - i thought it was going to be hard to get ModelCo products in Canada after getting a taste for them in Australia but they have popped up four other times in beauty boxes - twice in Glossyboxes and now three times for BB5.
this lip pencil is great - i don't have a nude lip liner and this is a great nude. it is pigmented but it is not super creamy (but not drying either) so it takes a bit of work to get it evenly on my lips. it is really long-lasting as well. i wore it for a while on its own and a couple of hours later, i applied a lip crayon over it and it lasted 5 more hours. 
scroll to 5) to see an arm swatch. 

size: 1.5 g (full size!)
retail value: $20

5) Brazen Cosmetics Organic Mineral Eye Shadow in "Birthday Suit" - i seriously think BB5 can read my thoughts - every time i really enjoy a product or brand, i will receive another one next month!
i got a delicious-smelling Tree Hut scrub in February and then in March, i received a Tree Hut body butter (also quite delicious).

last month, i fell in love with Brazen Cosmetics Eye Shadow in "Buzzed" and today, i bring you "Birthday Suit".
"Birthday Suit" is an odd color on me - it wouldn't be considered a naked/bare color on my skin tone. the shade is too tan and when applied to my eyes, it makes me look sick. 
arm swatches:
size: 3 g
retail value: $7.49 (5 g)

i really like how BB5 has been introducing us to some great makeup tools. my favorites are the ModelCo lip liner and the Minxette brush hanger. on the other hand, i am getting a little sick of the La Fresh samples.
i also wanted to throw in a quick note about a movie i was very excited to see but left thinking that it was just alright: "The Great Gatsby". i've never read the book but it is definitely on my reading list. the movie was very pretty to look at - the backdrop, the characters, the costumes... all very gorgeous (special mention about Leonardo DiCaprio here - yum!) but i felt the story line was sort of slow. i was expecting to bawl my eyes out but i didn't shed a tear. maybe if i read the book...?
oh and the music is good but i was constantly thrown off when i'd hear Jay-Z or will.i.am when it is set in the 1920s... 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

GLOSSYBOX: April 2013

so this month's Glossybox had an extra sticker on it - Danone Silhouette... which is
yogurt?

well, it's not in the box itself but there is a coupon for a FREE Greek yogurt pack. sweeeeeet :) the only Greek yogurt i've tried was rather sour-tasting... is that the norm?

April's "Work That Beauty" box:

1) Jelly Pong Pong Lip Blush in "Marshmallow Pink" - well that's definitely an interesting brand name. Jelly Pong Pong is based in the UK and ships worldwide (minimum order is approx $40 CAD and shipping is a little over $6).
it took me a while to figure out what color i got since the outer packaging looks like it is "Cranberry" but the color itself is definitely a pink.
the lip blush is nice - moisturizing and pigmented. below, i have swatched it on my arm - the left is one swipe and the right one is 5.
"Marshmallow Pink" is described as a "soft petal pink"; i find that the blue base of the pink is very evident. still i love how pigmented this pink is on my lips. i didn't notice this at first but when the sunlight hits it directly, it sort of looks metallic-y (see top pic below).
lasting power of this lip blush is pretty impressive - about 4 or so hours. it is slightly awkward using it right now since the tip is really pointy but i'm sure it will round off later.

size: 2.5 g (full size!)
retail value: $18.70

2) Schick Hydro Silk Razor - oh hello first razor (from a beauty box) of the year! i wonder how many of these are there to come?

size: 1 razor & 1 cartridge (full size!)
retail value: $10.99

3) Boscia Recharging Night Moisture - this moisturizer feels light and absorbs quickly into the skin. it has a herbal scent to it that is not overly unpleasant. this made me curious about the ingredients so i did a little research and found that this moisturizer is like, good for (almost) everything: it targets wrinkles, dryness and redness. it is recommended for normal to dry or aging skin.

size: 15 mL (not full size like the info card says)
retail value: $44 (40 mL)

4) POP Beauty Cat Eyes Eye Liner in "Tasty Teal" - i was actually contemplating this eye liner when i saw it at Winners a couple months ago but they didn't have a black which is pretty much all i wear. still, "Tasty Teal" is a fun color and i like how the liner is slanted. 

however, what i do not like about this eyeliner is quite the dealbreaker. 

it creases. and it creases ridiculously fast.
i was doing my makeup in the car and had lined one eye, glanced down for a second and look up to find that it had already creased. yes it was that quickly! there's no way my eyelids were already that greasy since i was doing my makeup on my way to work (so at like 7 am!). in order to fix this, i just blended it and used it as an eyeshadow instead.
the next time i attempted this eyeliner, i used it on my lower lashes and it stayed relatively well put there. 
i think if i try this again on my top lashes, i will use a heavy duty primer and check on it multiple times a day, just in case it became super messy again.

size: 0.4 g (full size!)
retail value: $16

5) Heartland Fragrance Soothing Epsom Salts in "Jasmine" - this was definitely what i smelled the second i lifted the lid off the Glossybox. i am not a fan of the smell of jasmine but it is relaxing. i haven't used it in the bath yet but in the shower, the salts dissolve rather quickly.

the boyfriend also noted that these are probably specifically labelled "epsom" salts now due to the bath salt incidents - which were so crazzzyyy.

size: N/A
retail value: $10.10 (850 g)

so here's the whole box! it was definitely jam packed and there is a variety of items this month. favorite of course, is the lip blush. most disappointing? the eyeliner but i will try to make it work again. what were your thoughts?

also, Target arrived in Calgary a couple days ago - and i found it underwhelming. yes, there were two cosmetics brands that i haven't seen widely available in Canada before (Sonia Kashuk and Pixi) but i thought the prices were pretty high. my first purchase there that night included a body wash for the boyfriend and 2 pairs of socks. nothing cosmetic-related! however i did find the Sonia Kashuk area quite empty so maybe next time i will find some goodies.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

IPSY BAG: April 2013

i don't know why i wasn't motivated enough to put this up earlier since it is a good bag... but i am blaming Glymm for dampening my spirits regarding beauty boxes. i was able to leave my Glossybox and BB5 untouched for two whole days! what what!

anyway here is a quick blurb about the ipsy bag for uhh... April.
"Pretty in Pink":

1) Be A Bombshell Blush in "Sweet Cheeks" 
"A highly pigmented pressed powder blush that highlights the complexion and provides long lasting color. Can be used both as a blush or a bronzer."

oh how pretty! i love the packaging and the names - hilarious! i got "Sweet Cheeks" (which has shimmer) but others got "Beach Please" (a matte).

i haven't gotten around to using this since i love this color (described as "medium rose pink") so naturally, i have like 10 variations of it :)

size: 5 g (full size!)
retail value: $16
promotion: 30% off and free full size pink shadow that expired on April 30, 2013 and was only available in the US - shucks cause that would've been awesome!

2) MicaBeauty Cosmetics Shimmer Powder in "72 Earth" 
"MicaBeauty Mineral Eyeshadows are extremely gentle, free of preservatives, chemicals, dyes, talc, oils, and other fillers. With this unique formula, the eyeshadows will look ultra smooth and stay put for hours without creasing or pulling the delicate eye area. Can be mixed with clear lip-gloss, clear mascara, and clear nail polish to add pigment to lips, eyelashes and nails!"

this is the deluxe sized version of MicaBeauty's multi-purpose shimmer powder. those who did not get this got a full size Two Cosmetics Duo Eye Shadow.

"Earth" is a shimmery pink champagne color. it looks to be a comfortable everyday kind of color and works on all skin tones.
i was thinking that it looks like a very pretty color but also so familiar at the same time...
so very familiar... and that's when i started digging through my collection and found this Bellapierre version - which is yet to be opened (like many, many, many others).
well would you look at that!
they are identical! they even have the same name! i tried to dig up some more info to confirm the relationship between MicaBeauty and Bellapierre but cannot find anything except someone posting in a forum that MicaBeautyMicabella and Bellapierre are all just using different names.
i did find that MicaBeauty and Micabella are the same company - MicaBeauty is the US website while Micabella is the Canadian version. all three priced their "Earth" shimmer powders at $14.95-14.99.
did anyone else notice the similarities?

size: 2 g
retail value: $14.95 (2.5 g)
promotion: 30% off but expired April 30, 2013 and only valid in US


3) Miss Professional Nail Sation Nail Lacquer for ipsy in "2012 Of Corset I'll Call You"
"Sation Nail Lacquer is a contemporary beauty company, infusing a creative direction in nail care through a blend of lifestyle aesthetics. The collection features 120 colors from its seasonal & limited collections."

i have never heard of Sation nail polish or Miss Professional Nail before. the color "Of Corset I'll Call You" is part of a limited collection and is described as a "romantic lavender-rose". i think the color is just okay, maybe slightly boring so i am not in a rush to use it. i'd probably put it on my swap list.

size: 15 mL (full size!)
retail value: $5
promotion: 20% off online for US only until May 31, 2013


4) Sexy Hair Big Sexy Hair Powder Play
"Get ‘POW’ volume in an instant with Sexy Hair's Powder Play! Powder Play adds instant volume to any type of hair style or texture. Weightless, odorless, and colorless! Instantly liquifies when applied and adds volume and texture in seconds. Just sprinkle on dry hair at the root for lift and volume. Apply throughout the hair for extreme volume and texture."

anything that promises volume is always welcomed but i have gotten a bit lazy with these powders. even with dry shampoo (powders), i've found that if i am not careful, i would go to work and discover later that i had white residue on my scalp. and of course, it'd be on days when i'd have a conversation with some VPs of the company.

i have thick hair so i definitely have to use quite a bit in order to achieve the voluminous look. it looks great for a while but my hair would resume its natural flat state an hour or so later. but with this size, i guess you can always carry it with you and reapply it throughout the day/night :)

i've always been interested in the Big Sexy Hair line so i am glad i got this. ipsy members either received this or Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal.

size: 2 g
retail value: $15.95 (15 g)
promotion: $5 off $25 purchase of Sexy Hair products from Ulta until May 10, 2013 - so again, not for Canadians

and that's that! all of these products are great but for me, i already have similar colors in my makeup collection so i'd prefer to swap them with someone.

i'm sorry this post is up later than usual but i have been busy with other fun events like the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo (if you have seen my instagram pic, you will know what i mean) and Army and Navy's Legendary Shoe Sale. they probably deserve their own blog posts - what do you think? ;)
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