Friday, June 28, 2013

BEAUTY BOX 5: May 2013

oh maaaaaaaan. i am terrible! my attention span is really short these days - there's just so much to do! even though today was my first day at work since last week - which meant i had plenty of time to blog...

these days, much of Alberta is dealing with the aftermath of flooding. i never really thought that could happen here in Calgary. there was a flood in 2005 but i was completely unaware of it back then. Calgary goes through really random changes in weather (we get the occasional snow/hailstorm in May or June). and this June has brought in a lot of rain. and i mean, a LOT. of course, we had a leak in our roof (make that 2). 

last Thursday was very normal. i stood on the side of the street downtown where i work, waiting for my ride. but that changed within a few hours. i was not able to return to work until today - a week later - which i didn't really mind of course since i was able to work from home. but wow. so many pictures of disaster on Instagram and Facebook... stories of people forced to evacuate... people panicking and hoarding water and filling up their bathtubs... vendors jacking up the price of a bag of ice to $20...

really makes you feel rather small when Mother Nature can be so powerful. 
i hope those that have been affected by the floods are all healthy and safe. 

back to the err.. May BB5 (where did June go??):

1) Brazen Cosmetics Ultra Glaze Lip Gloss in "Centerfold"
This creamy formula will deliver a long lasting wear that will have you hooked! Apply alone for a slight hint of color or layer over lipstick for a bolder look.


- not Ferro Cosmetics as shown in the card above -
BB5 does not shy away from featuring the same companies again and again - which could be a good or bad thing.
Brazen has been on a 3-month streak with BB5 but this time around it is a lip gloss instead of a shadow.
i was a little turned off by the metallic-y copper color initially. it also slipped my mind that this was a gloss so i was thrown off by how gooey it is :)
still, the color isn't half bad. not a fan of applying lip products with my finger though - especially something that is sticky.
size: N/A
retail value: $8.99

2) Jean Pierre Self Tan Wipe - Jean Pierre is featured once again but i have not used self-tanning wipes before. i know there is two wipes but how much does one wipe cover? i don't want to be tanned only on one side of my body...
size: 1 wipe x 2
retail value: $8.99 (10 towelettes)

3) ModelCo Eyeliner in "01 Black" - again, a repeat brand. i thought i had an eyeliner from ModelCo already but i think i am just confusing myself with their lip pencils.
size: 1.2 g (full size!)
retail value: $18

4) Coolway Transform Styling Spray - Coolway has interesting hair products and are quite specific with their instructions on how to use the products. this one in particular lists the number of sprays you will need for your length of hair. my very long hair would require about 50 sprays. either this is quite ridiculous or i have been completely underestimating the amount of hair product to use in my hair...
this styling spray has the same sweet sugary scent as the other Coolway products but also smells like nail polish at the same time.
size: 100 mL
retail value: $24.95 (200 mL)

5) La Fresh Antiperspirant Wipes for Women - another 3-month streaker. La Fresh, how do you keep coming out with so many different types of wipes?! this is the first antiperspirant wipe i've seen (why only for women?). the weather is improving and getting crazy hot at times so i will likely carry these just in case.

size: 1 wipe x 2
retail value: $19.90 (48 packets)

summary? too much repetition. i am already getting a little bored with the whole beauty box subscription thing but now i seem to be getting the same brands again and again. and too many wipes! i thought everyone was impressed when BB5 took a step away from all the one-use sachets but it appears to be back again.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

WANTABLE: May 2013 [ jewelry box ]

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY !! 
to my truly fantastic papa who doesn't always get the recognition he deserves, i love you so much! right as i finish typing this sentence, you bring me some breakfast. i know i am supposed to be the one making you breakfast today but we all know i am not much of a cook. at least you won't have to suffer any ill effects from my cooking before we take you out for a feast tonight! :)
oh & congrats to my little sister!
- - - - -

on May 20th, i decided to finally put my order in for my first 'free' Wantable box. i had signed up with them back in March when they had the promo for one free subscription box as they made their way into Canada. the conditions was that i pay for the full price including taxes, duty and handling and then afterwards they'd credit me the price of the box (US$36). this promo was extremely popular and Wantable had to later adjust this for a free second box instead.

if you didn't know this, Wantable is different from other beauty subscription services in that they offer a makeup box and a jewelry box. i love my makeup but i felt the urge to be more daring and to take the risk. i bit the bullet and proceeded to complete the jewelry quiz.

PRICING
the Jewelry box is $36 a month if you subscribe monthly (with the option to skip - sweet!) or $40 if you'd just like to make a one-time purchase. shipping is $5, tax $1.80 and duty is $3.21 which comes to a total of $46.01 for a subscription box. this is definitely the most expensive box i have subscribed to. i already knew that this is not going to be a monthly thing for me. for this soft launch, i paid $10.01.
each box contains 3-5 'boutique jewelry' pieces.

PERSONALIZATION
since jewelry really depends on personal taste, Wantable takes you through a few questions so they can better understand what you love, like and dislike. you are open to receive anything you select 'love' or 'like' for. the company would not send you anything you 'dislike'. it helps that there are pictures in case you are not exactly sure what they mean by 'moderate' or something.

so before i show you what i got in my May Wantable box, i will let you in on my answers:

1) Personal style:
classic -- love                                         glam -- like                                              rock & roll -- like
boho -- like                                               quirky -- like                                            seasonal -- like
                                           
2) Type of materials:        
silver tone -- like                                  gold tone -- like                                    multi tone -- love
wood -- dislike                                       acrylic -- dislike                                     beads -- like
leatherette -- love

3) Type of accessories:
earrings -- love                                     bracelets -- love                                  necklaces -- love
rings -- love                                            watches -- like
---
BRACELETS
4) Type: 
charm -- like                                            bangle -- like                                           stretch -- like
clasp -- love                                            cuff -- like                                                 snap -- love
hinged -- like                                           adjustable -- like 

5) Scale: 
minimal -- love                                     moderate -- love                                  maximum -- like

EARRINGS
6) Type: 
studs -- love                                           drops -- like                                             hoops -- like

7) Scale:
minimal -- like                                       moderate -- love                                 maximum -- love

NECKLACES
8) Length:
mini (12"-14") -- dislike                      midi (16"-20") -- love                           maxi (22" and beyond) -- like

9) Scale:
minimal -- love                                     moderate -- love                                  maximum -- like

RINGS
10) Type: 
stretch -- dislike                                   adjustable -- like                                   hinged -- like
sized -- love

11) Scale:
minimal -- love                                      moderate -- like                                   maximum -- dislike

12) Size:
5     - 6 -    7    8    9

WATCHES
13) Scale:
minimum -- dislike                                moderate -- dislike                              maximum -- love
- - -
14) Icons:
skulls -- dislike                                       inspirational text -- love                  Christian -- dislike
Jewish -- dislike                                    Buddhist -- dislike                                 Muslim -- dislike
evil eye -- dislike                                  military -- like 

** there has been a few changes to the quiz for June - firstly, it is now the "Jewelry and Accessories box" in that they have added sunglasses, headbands and scarves to the list. they have also reclassified the Scale categories to be minimal, everyday and statement (instead of minimal, moderate and maximum). **

SHIPPING
my order was placed on May 20 and it shipped on the 23rd from Romulus, Michigan. my package was tracked by Landmark Global. after it crossed the border on the 24th, it took another 5 days to land in my mailbox -- oh Canada Post. all in all, it wasn't a long wait.

PACKAGING
my Jewelry box came in a white rectangular cardboard box measuring roughly 5" x 8" x 3". still fits in the community mailbox. the jewelry itself is bubble wrapped within some black tissue paper, which is placed upon some folded tissue paper (what is the term for these?),
CONTENTS
welcome card:
summary of my preferences:
what i got in my box & their "retail" prices (let's use 'retail' loosely here):
May's Jewelry box featured Suzanne Kopulos (a shopping and style expert).

1) Free Form Hoop Earring
i laugh now at the name of this earring because it is indeed free form. so free form that one of them did not exactly match the other. you can see that the right one is slightly warped differently. although i do not normally wear hoop earrings anymore, i would've enjoyed these if they had been identical...
but no worries here because i have contacted Wantable about this (read under Customer Service!).
retail value: $28

2) Return to Me Ring - size 6 
this was my least favorite item... the butterflies are cute but i was a little thrown off since this seemed like something a kid would play dress up with. the yellow is really... yellow.
funny enough, my sister likes this one.
retail value: $24

3) Kylie Necklace
next we have this layered multi-toned necklace. i prefer my necklaces long and the shortest strand on this one sits right on my collarbone...it is slightly adjustable but i wish it was longer. the necklace is not heavy but has that metal smell to it. i am scared if i wear it for long periods of time and/or sweat, my neck might become a different color...
retail value: $28 

4) Drew Earring 
i have not worn earrings like these before... i think i have to retract my 'love' for maximum-scale earrings. as well as my 'like' for beads... haha. these are actually pretty but just not my style.
retail value: $22

CUSTOMER SERVICE
my favorite item would have been the hoop earrings but i was saddened to see that they were defective. i contacted Wantable through email using their Support page and received a response within 2 days. the lady was really nice and after sending her a picture, she told me they are going to send me a replacement. it has been 10 days since she told me that so i should be receiving them soon... will update you on this when i do!

just so you know, if you wanted to return something, you'd have to pay to ship it back. i am not sure what this amount is.

SUMMARY
i was really afraid that this whole experience was going to be a bust since i've seen many complaints about Wantable's jewelry box. most of the complaints mention that the retail price listed does not reflect the jewelry piece. i agree with this in that i would not pay 'retail price' for any of the items i received. especially for the ring - $24 is really hard to believe.
i've come to understand that i need to more specific with my preferences. if there is something you are not sure you are a fan of or if you are just alright with receiving it, i'd suggest you select 'dislike' just so you can reduce the amount of risk of being disappointed or unhappy with what you get. i felt that i was just 'okay' with many of my selections during the quiz which led me to receive items that were just 'okay' to me.
with that being said, i think i might give this a go, one more time. i am more aware of what i actually like and do not like so i am crossing my fingers for a better experience.

for those who got a Wantable box, how did you fare? will you be receiving another box?
if you have not tried them yet, would you? and would you try the Jewelry box? (if you'd like, check them out through my link :))
thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

REVIEW: NYC Sparkle Eye Dust in "Smokey Topaz"

soooo i mentioned that there was talk of Glossybox ending its service in Canada in my last post.
after more than a week of unresponsiveness, Glossybox sent an email as well as posted on Facebook confirming that the rumors were true. 

why is it that when rumors first start popping up, the company absolutely denies it and cites another reason for delay or whatnot, stops responding to customer concerns which fuels more concern about the company's status and then BAM, come back only to say "we are indeed closing up shop" ("yes, you were right all along")?

this has happened twice now to many beauty box subscribers, but only this time, Glossybox is not taking our money and running. they will not be shipping a May box and people will begin getting refunds. sadly, i redeemed my Glossydots for a free box. i should have known better after the Glymm fiasco to stop hoarding points!

anyway, what's done is done. Glymm and Glossybox are out which brings my beauty box subscription count down to 4. 

- - - - - -

let's try something different - an actual review! i haven't done a review other than unboxings for a while. go me!

today we have the NYC Sparkle Eye Dust (2.1 g). this is not a product that i have read about but it is one of those last minute "why-not?" moments you get while strolling through Walmart. Walmart has these Sparkle Eye Dusts listed at $3.27, which is definitely a price that i have trouble saying no to. 
out of the 10 shades available, i chose "882 Smokey Topaz".
i was drawn to this since it was a "new" product on the shelves which i found out was only a new format of an older one. the old Sparkle Eye Dust packaging was a little pot with a built-in brush that looked like it would be an absolute mess to use.
this new packaging really isn't any better.
the Sparkle Eye Dust comes with a doe foot applicator. i should've taken heed to the name of the product, and more specifically to the word DUST. because that's really what it is. it gets everywhere. if you attempt to apply this directly on your eyelid, you are in for some cleanup duty for all the flakes that get on your cheeks.
a better idea would be to swipe the doe foot applicator onto the back of your hand and then dab it on your eyelid.

and now let's move on to color. here's a swatch:
uhh wait a second... what happened to the color??
let's try this again:
you see, that dark purple-y shade was what i was going for when i bought this. but it turned out to be nothing like this.

as i type this post, the lamp in my room is making the tube look more like the color it turns out to be when blended (more like an actual topaz color). i guess you have to be careful with lighting when purchasing these Sparkle Eye Dusts because they can change into a completely different color!

actually i can't say that's true for the other shades since i am not exactly willing to purchase another one to see. not a fan of how messy it is to use, the color and the lasting power is poor.

some good points? pigmentation improves if you use more product. and it's definitely sparkly if that's what you are looking for.

what is your favorite sparkly eyeshadow? do you own this product? 
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