Tuesday, July 29, 2014

TOPBOX: July 2014 [Regular]

hello everybody!
i'm on the last day of my vacation... after taking almost a week off for my boyfriend's sister's wedding, it's hard to picture going back to work tomorrow.

not only was the wedding absolutely beautiful and lovely ...
... this was what i was getting used to waking up to:

ahhhh Summerland, BC - you are gorgeous! food was delicious and the weather was super amazing as well!

i guess my Orlando trip is coming up just around the corner... it's going to be a hot one for sure!!

the July Topbox was delivered to my door July 17.

1) LA Splash Nail Polish in "12023 Foolish" 
size: 10 mL (full size!)
retail value: $7.50

i recognized this brand as being one of the cheaper brands on Cherry Culture. sure enough, the nail polishes are currently on clearance for $0.99. regular price was only $4.00 so i am not sure where the $7.50 price tag came from. in addition to this, this specific color is not sold through Cherry Culture nor LA Splash themselves.

i have too many hot pink shades like this that it would be a waste if i opened this up.

2) Clinique All About Eyes 
size: 5 mL
retail value: $62 (28 mL)

the texture of this eye product is more of a watery consistency than others i have tried. i only need the tiniest dab to get enough for both of my eyes.

3) theBalm Cosmetics IN-STAIN in "Swiss Dot"
size: 0.5 g
retail value: $23.50 (6.5 g)

IN-STAIN blushes are a super cute size and i love the magnet that keeps it closed. the "Swiss Dot" peach shade is very pigmented and blends well. sadly, i have already received this exact shade in a prior Luxe Box.

4) philosophy miracle worker miraculous anti-aging lactic acid cleanser & mask
size: 30 mL
retail value: $36 (236 mL)

this is similar to another philosophy cleanser i received from Topbox way back in the day. both are milky and gentle. "Miracle Worker" is scent-free. my skin is very nice and soft after using it but i am not sure how it could be used as a mask since it is such a watery texture.

andddddddd that's another boring Topbox for ya. i oughta stop missing those wishlist deadlines...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

IPSY BAG: July 2014

well would you look at this!

reviews for JULY beauty boxes in JULY!! say whaaaaaaaaaaat
i recently got my ipsy bag (July 15) and now i am posting about it. i hope i stay on track!! although it worked out better since i stayed in at lunch at work one day to blog. yaaaaye.
the fluorescent pink bag this month is quite adorable! i love the scallop edges!

July's ipsy bag is all about being "Sensationally Sunkissed" and to achieve this, you will need:

1) bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 2.0 in "The Inspiration"
size: 1 g
retail value: $20.00 (2.7 g)
promotion: free shipping with bareMinerals purchase on ULTA.com with code 'IPSYBAREFS'; US only; expires Aug 10, 2014

bareMinerals READY® Eyeshadow 2.0 provides vivid, pigment-packed color with seamless blendability that lasts up to 12 hours. Powered by the proprietary SeaNutritive Mineral™ Complex, it delivers skin-nourishing benefits including reduced appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness plus boosted moisture levels.

"The Inspiration" includes the shades 'Muse' and 'Passion'. 'Muse' is described as a pink frost and it is a very light shade of pink. 'Passion' is a glimmering plum with golden flecks. both are very smooth to the touch. the pigmentation from these didn't blow me away - especially the pink shade.

2) derma e BB Crème in "Light Tint"
size: 14 g
retail value: $29.50 (60 mL)
promotion: 30% off purchase at dermae.com with code 'IPSY0714'; US only; expires Sept 30, 2014

Instantly erase the look of imperfections and turn back the clock on aging skin.
This multi-functional mineral beauty balm is an advanced skincare formula that also conceals with lightweight, color-correcting coverage. 

i was thinking this was not going to work out well as i blended the derma e BB creme onto my hand. it looked way too pink for my skin tone but surprisingly, it blended extremely easily and gave me some pretty decent coverage! BB creams are normally way too sheer and therefore not as appealing to me and my many sunspots. which makes me love the SPF 25 in it so much more :)
the texture is also different from other BB creams - this is very gel-like so it is super easy to smooth all over your face. the cream/gel combination leaves a dewy feeling on the skin.

3) Pixi Beauty Mini Tined Brilliance Balm in "Unique Pink"
size: 1.8 g
retail value: ~ $20.00 (3 g)
promotion: 25% off purchase at pixibeauty.com with code 'flawlesspixi'; US only; expires Aug 31, 2014

Packed with lip-loving ingredients, this glossy gel balm protects & hydates lips instantly. After the balm wears off, lips are left tinted with a flattering, personalized hue just for you (color & intensity depends on pH level of lips).

what an adorable size! at first look, it looks like a clear balm but the words 'tinted' caught my eye. upon application, i watch my lips turn a soft shade of pink. i find out from the ipsy site that this balm reacts with your pH level, so it's pretty much a mood lipstick - neat!

4) POP Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer in "Secret Sunshine" 
size: 6.95 g (full size!)
retail value: $10.00
promotion: 25% off purchase at popbeauty.co.uk with code 'POPIPSY'; US only; expires Aug 31, 2014

This radiance enhancing bronze glow delivers a soft honey beamed hue, adding warmth and a sun-kissed lift to your complexion. With added vitamin E.

the bronzer looks darker than most of the ones i have but i'm sure that blending, like always, will help. it has some shimmer in it. i'm not going to be able to use this for a while so it's going on the sale board (to be announced in the far future).

5) Pur~lisse Pur~Protect Essential Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 Sunscreen
size: 15 mL
retail value: $55.00 (50 mL)
promotion: 30% off purchase at purlisse.com with code 'IPSYSUMMER30'; US and Canada; expires Aug 15, 2014

Stay protected with pure flower power. Pur~lisse's unique peptide complex, Lotus Lupine 5, and Hydra-Shield Complex, offers superior full-spectrum sun protection in a light weight nourishing moisturizer. Skin is pampered and protected against premature aging caused by the day's rays.

i never complain about receiving moisturizers with SPF! this one is very nice too - feels light, non-greasy and has a soft scent.

these days, opening beauty boxes does not bring about the same excitement as it used to but ipsy still finds the ability to impress me! it's sometimes even hard to pick a favorite item!
this month, i'd have to say it's either the derma e BB creme or the Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm. what did you think of "Sensationally Sunkissed"?

Monday, July 14, 2014

TOPBOX: January 2014

i went to another concert!! this has been a great year for concerts!! just recently i went to see SHANIA TWAIN! i heard she hadn't performed on a concert stage for over a decade... which is just crazy. her tickets were also crazy... crazy expensive! but i got a great last minute deal and was able to get pretty decent seats. she had back to back concerts at the Calgary Stampede since the first one sold out so quickly. i was definitely kicking myself when i missed the ticket release of both shows... blergghh... but i made sure i got tickets in the end.
here's her performance of one of my favorite songs of hers - From This Moment On

now back to a quick look at the last January box i have to review... after this... i am skipping to July boxes!!! i have accepted defeat.

January Topbox.
one word for this box: lame.
lame lame lame lame.
especially lame box to start off the year.

1) Aveda : Stress-Fix Body Lotion
size: 25 mL
retail value: $32.50 (200 mL)

yuck - stress-relieving or easy-sleeping lotions always throw me off because they never smell 'calming' or 'relaxing' to me. this particular scent smells like a spice to me... with some dirt thrown in. not good at all.

2) Miracle 10 : Solution II Extra Strength Clarifying Solution
size: 30 mL
retail value: $44 (120 mL)

i haven't used toners forever... forever as in since the time i was using the whole Pro-activ system for my pimples in junior high/high school. which is actually ages ago (almost time for a 10 year reunion!).
i did not forget the slight sting when i use toners... or how it burns my eyes a little when i use it too close to my eyes. it does make my skin feel a tad bit cleaner in a sense. as if all the bacteria are burning off of my face or something... haha

3) Elizabeth Arden : Prevage Anti-Aging + Intensive Repair Eye Serum
size: 3 mL
retail value: $275 (30 mL)

yeeeeesh. it is always the case with these super expensive samples: they are always itty bitty like this which is never enough to convince me to shell over almost $300.

4) Benefit : Benetint
size: 2.5 mL
retail value: $36 (12.5 mL) 

i already own one of these from last year's Topbox celebrating the same occasion - Chinese New Year. it's handy when you are carrying a small purse and would like to touch up later in the night. i find that it works better as a stain on the cheeks rather than the lips. please read post here.

and here it all is!
nothing to be excited about.
i hope you are happy to know the next box i review will be a JULY one. oh goodie. something relevant! :P
glad to get this final January post in and out of the way on my 27th birthday! now to start anew!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

FANCY BOX: January 2014 [Coco Rocha]

summer is upon us! finallllllly! 

here's a John Legend treat (from last week's concert) - mind you, the quality is not the best because i am realizing now that my iPhone 4 is really not up to par anymore... but it is John Legend nonetheless.

he spent the night making the audience swoon with his beautiful vocals in a very intimate setting - he pretty much played piano all night. it was different from other concerts i have gone to - less energy, but amazing!

quick post here about the January Fancy box - all this talk about catching up is really not working out for me, is it? i might need to look at another method here.... perhaps skip a few months again? yikes

bear with me here! i was all caught up with Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black - both great endings. GoT - always always exciting scenes that make your jaw drop; OITNB - season 2 ending was soooooooo satisfying that i had to re-watch it. 

what shows are you currently into?

okok back to the Fancy box.
i love opening these because the beauty subscriptions are losing its appeal but these boxes are unpredictable. 

i received the January one on the 4th of February after it was shipped on January 31st. it is delivered by FedEx so they usually leave it on the front porch. the box is wayyy to big to fit into a regular mailbox anyhow. 
the order was charged to my CC on Jan 3rd for $56.00 USD which came up to be $61.20 CAD - AHHH! ok very pricey. the shipping kills me. 

shall we see if it was worth it?

1) The Cottage Industry : Morning Mug
retail value: $15 USD

i've seen many versions of these hot & cold temperature-changing cups and now i finally have one! the 'awake' face looks better from afar but up close you can see the eyelashes and circle remaining from the 'asleep' face.
the cup changes only up to the level where your hot liquid is poured up to - so sometimes i get a streak of black along the brim since i didn't fill mine to the top. it's also a smaller size than the average mug - it only holds up to 300 mL. 
still fun though.

2) Echo Design : Sparkle Fingerless Gloves in "Denim Heather"
retail value: $35 USD

here's an obvious reason why i should open boxes in the month they are intended for. haaaaaahaaaaaaaa. the sequins are cute but i never find a need for fingerless gloves - i live in Canada remember?

these ones go up past your wrists.

3) Fred : Deep Tea Diver
retail value: $12 USD

AAAAAAAAAH so cuuuuuute. what a marvelous idea to be able to reuse this for brewing loose teas (as opposed to tea strainers).
now all i need is to become a true tea drinker and buy some loose tea.

4) Lexon : Bag Light
retail value: $12 USD

i admit that i scoffed when i saw this product. i mean, REALLY? how outrageous must a bag be to require one to throw a light in and scour its depths?
but it was only two days later do i find myself struggling to find keys in the massive bag that contains my life.

so yes, perhaps useful. perhaps.
the clasp goes around a bag handle so it doesn't also get lost. there's a button on the other end and the LED is actually quite bright.

5) Paddywax : Library Collection : Travel Tin in "Henry David Thoreau"
retail value: $10 USD

this is a very adorable tin and i love the nerdiness of it - a Library collection featuring different authors?? so cool. though i have absolutely no clue who Henry David Thoreau is. the mix of cedar, moss and juniper makes me think of a clean-smelling man. maybe that was a significant trait of Henry Thoreau's?
total value: $84.00 USD - and i paid $56.00 USD? hmmmm i wouldn't say this box was really worth it overall. the item that stands out the most to me is the Deep Tea Driver - not because it's something i would definitely have used but because it is just so adorable. the whole box contained items that are neat - yes - but not absolutely practical.
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