January 28, 2013

Shopping the "Stash"

So I belong to a Facebook group dedicated to help each other with a beauty "no-buy" or "low-buy". We offer advice, tips and even convince people why they shouldn't buy something (which can be hard sometimes).

The term "shop your stash" has come up many times and I know I have used it once or twice as well. I thought I'd share with you my stash, and how I shop it.

Please note, my stash is just stuff that I'm not currently using. The stuff I'm in the process of using is either in my bathroom or in my makeup kit. Most of the stuff that is part of my stash have been received as part of a gift/swag bag, beauty boxes, swaps, etc.

So, here it is. It sits above my computer desk, so I see it almost everyday.  Helps me remember what I have. It's also somewhat organized: Hair stuff, face creams, cleaners, face masks, a few random stuff, and other creams.

The stuff above my desk isn't stuff that I buy on a whim.  I usually only purchase whenever I'm empty.

The two semi-clear boxes on the right: Mascara's, a few small random creams, other box is foil samples (masks, creams, etc)
Hair, face creams, makeup remover.  Stuff you can't quite see: Elin Bianco Hair Serum, Macadamia Deep Repair Masque (this I do use, but keep putting it back since I don't have room elsewhere), Oil of Morocco, Aveeno face cream, Jouviance face cream.
Face wash, toniers, masks
Eye  power pads, hand/food creams, a body wash, random nail polish, brush cleanser (the other's in the washroom), more masks
 Now you may have noticed the two GlossyBox boxes.  The pink one just holds business cards and product cards, while the silver one holds random makeup stuff:

Lots of lip stuff, primers, bronzers, eye liners, blushes, eye shadows, false lashes...
By having it in it's own box, where the items are not fully visible, if I have the urge to spend money (let's face it, sometimes it just makes you feel better), then I go in this box and pick something out. I also have a box beside this (the Topbox box), which I cut a hole in the top to put money in. So, if I take something out of the silver box, I try to make sure I put a bit of money in the other. Doesn't have to be the full value of the product, just a few bucks. We'll see how much money I've collected in the end :)

So, there you have it.  That is how I shop my stash. What about you? If you're on a no-buy or low-buy, I'd love to hear if and how you shop your stash!



January 27, 2013

December's 5 Lip Products

Getting near the end of the original lip products that took part in this project (like they had a choice!). Here are December's Contestants:
Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing in Strength, City Lips in SIN City, Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Sugar,  Stila Lip & Cheek Stain in Coconut Crush and Lancome Le Rouge Absolu in Crushed Rose

Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing in Strength

- Great coverage
- Love the paddle brush
- Not sticky
- I love red, but I think I'm realizing that it may not be for me :(

Price: $20

Verdict: Definately buy Pretty Amazing again. I love the formula and the paddle.

City Lips Advanced Formula Lip Plumper in SIN City

- Barely appeared on my lips
- Thick
- Instead of tingly feeling that I like, it was an almost burning sensation. If I smiled while wearing this, it kinda felt like when you have a face mask that's almost completely dried and pulling. Uncomfortable.
- Didn't see any plumping action
Price: $35

Verdict: From the website, it's almost like a lip treatment "We recommend you use CITY Lips every day for 30 days for the greatest benefit." There is no way I would ever purchase this. This sample is going in the garbage.

Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Sugar

- Sheer, but adds a little colour and shimmer
- Tingly feeling that I love
- I don't seem to have to reapply it often (unless I'm drinking)
- It has a slightly sweet smell that I like, but can't pin
- Not sticky
Price: $23

Verdict: A must repurchase! I love this one. 

Stila Lip & Cheek Stain in Coconut Crush

- Don't like the applicator - twist/click bottom with bristle on the top - usually end up with too much product
- No smell
- Not sticky
- Inconsistent - As much as I tried, I couldn't get it consistent for the entire lip. It was blotchy. 
- Do not like the colour at all. Sephora describes is as a Bronze Champagne. I say add a touch of purple in there would make the colour description more accurate. Doesn't look good on my lips at all

Price: $32

Verdict: Didn't like it on my lips, didn't like it on my cheeks. I don't think it's worth anywhere near $32. It's going in the garbage. 

Lancome Le Rouge Absolu in Crushed Rose

- It has a great slightly moisturizing texture
- Contains SPF12!! (not much, but it's something)
- This colour works great on my lips
- Lasted a decent amount of time
Price: $29-$35 (depending on colour - this one was $35)

Verdict: I would possibly repurchase. I do think that the price is worth it. 

In case you need/want to reference, these are my lips, naked, so that you can compare if you want.

A few more months left!

November's 5 Lip Products
October's 5 Lip Products
September's 5 Lip Products
August's 5 Lip Products



January 19, 2013

January Topbox - The Prive Box

Hello everyone!!

This month's Topbox was the debut of a new product by Topbox: The Privé Box. This month we didn't have a choice, we all got the Privé Box.

"Starting in 2013, we will be introducing the Privé Box™. Each Privé Box will showcase a selection of products from one featured brand. As a Topbox member, you get exclusive or priority access to these boxes. We are very excited to announce that you will all receive our first Privé Box this January, from one of the world's most iconic beauty brands."

Exclusive or priority access to these boxes?  They make it sound like it'll be available to non-Topbox members.

One of the world's most iconic beauty brands?  Oh the possibilities!

When I got my box in the mail, I have to agree, it is an iconic brand that's been around for a while: Clinique.

Clarifying Lotion: Formulated to help lift the world's impurities to create healthier, younger skin. Full Size: $16(200ml), $27(400ml). Received 30ml valued at $2.40

Rinse Off Eye Makeup Solvent: Make it a clean sweep, from lashes to brows. Or us for on-the-spot makeup fixes. Oil Free. Full Size $25(125ml). Received 60ml valued at $12

Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo (Strawberry Fudge): Go-together shades of silky, easy-to-blend colour in a chrome slide compact. Full Size: $25(2.5g). Received 1.6g valued at $16

Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector: Comparable to a leaidng drug ingredient in visibly reducing dark spots by 58% in 12 weeks. Full Size $63(30ml), $93(50ml). Received 7ml valued at $14.70

That brings the value of this box to $45.10!  Thank goodness because last month's value sucked! However, this is the last month that I will be getting from Topbox. I feel that while the packaging of Topbox is unique, that it actually hinders their progress. There is only so much you can put in a cylinder box.

Here's the card that came in the box. My cat was trying to be my little helper :)


January 15, 2013

December GlossyBox

I have fallen behind!  I've had this box for about 2 weeks now and I'm not 100% sure how I feel about it. Allow me to explain by showing you what was in the box.

Up first, a mini bottle of TRESemme Dry Shampoo

I have a full size one that I barely used. Not quite sure that I like it.

Next is Avon SuperShock Vivid liquid eye shadow
I like the colour, the staying power of it on my hand isn't bad either. Trying to stay out of all the drama surrounding the Avon products, I don't like the fact that Glossy included an item that you can't really purchase anymore in Canada. If it was a high end product that you couldn't get here, it'd be better. But a product from Avon? Not a big fan of this.

Aveeno Positively Ageless Day SPF 30

It's a nice full size product. I've never tried Aveeno before and I like that it has SPF 30 in it. I'm going to hold off on using this until the summer .

TRESemme Split Remedy & GlossyBox Lashes

More split remedy!? I've probably got about 7 of these by now. Haven't tried them yet. I'm waiting until I run out of my current shampoo & conditioner.
The lashes are very thick. Not something I'd pick up myself. I do look forward to trying these though.

Nobia Earrings
These are cheap. The colour is nice, but everything about it is cheap. The post one of of them still had a little piece of extra metal on it, so it wasn't smooth to the touch. The website says stainless steel for part of it, I thought aluminum, the man said plastic. lol.  That's how cheap these things feel. Would NEVER pay $14 for them. I wont even put them on.

And if you remember the first picture of the opened box, you may have noticed that there was also a redish nail polish and another Aveeno product. Unfortunately the Aveeno Tinted Moisturizer was too dark for me (light - medium).  If anything, I'm closer to fair than medium. The nail polish was Revlon Matte Suede in Fire Fox. The colour looked gorgeous, but I not one I would wear (I have a few reds already. Both of these items were given away at a swap.

Approximate total: $$69.55  (that does not include the Avon shadow or the TRESemme packet)

So there you have it. The box was full, contained several full size items (6 out of 8) and a nice variety. But I still feel just "meh" about this box.  We'll see what January's box has in store as their website states:
  • In January 2013, Embark on an Exploration of International Beauty

  • At Least 5 Globally-Inspired Deluxe Beauty Products Delivered to Your Door

  • Detailed How-To Guides for Mastering Looks from Around the World
Intriguing ...

Just a head's up, I am in the process of putting together a giveaway! Prize & Date to be announced in the next few weeks. Spread the love.


January 13, 2013

Mariah Carey OPI Liquid Sand

I wasn't looking for this. It was just there, right in my face as I was waiting for an appointment at the salon. I immediately fell in love with one of the new Liquid Sand which will be trending for the next little bit, I'm sure.
For those that are not familiar with Liquid Sand nail polish, it has a textured, slightly gritty finish. Something like a 180-220 grit sandpaper (but I don't think you will sand anything) The colour I purchased was Stay the Night, which is a black base with magenta-red glitter.

It took about 3 coats to get nice, full coverage. It takes a little longer to dry, but once it's dried, it's not going anywhere.

I decided to do my accent nail with a top coat. Because of the gritty texture, I needed to apply 3 coats to get a smooth finish.

For anyone who's wondering how's the wear without topcoat - It's been nearly 2 full days (applied Friday evening). It has survived showering, dishes and my normal weekend activities (including typing up blog posts!). Only now has it chipped ever so slightly on one thumb and one middle finger only.  After my shower, I did notice that some of the glitter had lost it's colour and turned silver. Still looks good!

January 11, 2013

Boxing Week Haul

I had to wait until I had everything before I posted this.

Here's my mini Boxing Day/Boxing week haul!

3 China Glaze Nail Polish: $2.26 (total, not each!)

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien: $6.37
(btw, I already read it years ago, but lost my copy. The movie made me want to re-read!)

- Lancome La Base Primer
- Essie Magnetic Nail Polish
- Revlon ColorStay Lip Butter
- Annabelle Twist-Up Lipstick Crayon
- EoS Lip Balm
- Tresemme Shampoo & Conditioner
$24.73  (purchased during a bonus redemption day)

Total spent: $33.36

I think I did good!

January 06, 2013

Hair in need of a pick-me-up?

When we ladies go out, we put lots of time & effort into our looks. We often plan our outfits a day (or more) ahead, usually know what we'll do with our makeup, and sometimes even know how we'll style our hair. Most of the time, our hair is the trickiest of them all. 
This picture was taken a different day, with different lighting and camera. Colours are not accurate. See other photos for accurate colours

Doesn't matter if my hair is long or short, I seem to always have split ends. If you have this problem, then you know how annoying it is. Split ends tend to dull your hair (not as shiny) and makes my hair look a little "wooly" (as my hairdresser would say). While I haven't found a cure for split ends, I have found something that makes my hair shiny & silky smooth, which is perfect for going out.

I recently had the chance to try the Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque. This was one of the items that I received in a recent swag bag that you can see here.

The directions say to comb through clean, wet hair and  let it penetrate for up to 7 minutes. Use no more than twice a week.

I've used it with and without conditioner (since it was the first time, so I didn't know!). Essentially, it didn't seem to make a difference if I used conditioner or not. Since I figured that out, I just forgo conditioner when I use this. 

The first time I used it, I didn't think I had enough in my hair so I added more, then I combed. That's when I realized that I had plenty! So remember to comb first, then add a bit more if needed.

My hair felt silky and had wonderful shine to it. It has a nice fresh smell to it. It's not over-powering by any means. I really like the smell.

Right now I'm using it about once a week and I've never received so many compliments on my hair!

*edit* Got my boyfriend to actually try it in his goatee. The end result? He said that it "didn't catch as much" while combing it and it felt a little softer than when he uses regular conditioner (which isn't too often to begin with)

You can purchase this product online or at a Trade Secrets. When this bottle is done, I'll be picking up another one for sure!

*While this product was not sent to me for review, I did receive it free as part of a gift bag. All opinions are my own. 
Please view disclosure if you have any concerns


January 03, 2013

Topbox: December 2012

I almost didn't post this. That's how disappointing this box was. But, I figured I might as well show you how bad it was.

I'll be honest - I've seen the different reviews about the various Topbox's this month and I was disappointed. But, I did keep an open mind and told myself that it can't be all that bad. After all, the hair products looked alright.

My box arrived 4 days later than it should have (no surprise there, and I don't blame Topbox at all for this!). When I got home, I ripped into it and was horribly disappointed. So much that I'm not going into the details that I normally do. Actually, I'll still do the break down of cost. I'm curious about this.

First disappointment: Pangea Organics Facial Cream. Nigerian Ginger with Lavender & Thyme. I got 2 packets, each containing 2ml. I thought Topbox prided themselves on Deluxe Samples?  These are like mail order samples, or samples that you get from walking into a store and they want you to try their new product. 

Ferro Cosmetics Blush X3. The colour's ok. Wouldn't use it as a blush and if I wanted to, the jar's too small for that. The jar is decent size, for shadow pigment, however the amount is very small. If I were to take a guess, jar's 5grams and we got maybe 1gram. (If anyone remembers the days of me experimenting with making eye shadows, this is very similar to a shade I've created)

Next dissapointments are the Goldwell products. First was the size of them. When I seen the pictures posted by others, I thought they were decent sizes, like about the size of my Beauty So Clean brush conditioning sprays. I was wrong. The larger of the two samples, is half the size.  One's a "Hot form spray" and the other is "Sleek perfection". One's a serum for silky straight hair, the other's a strengthening styling lotion. Honestly, not much of a difference to me.

Math time!

Ferro Blush X3 retails for $17 for 4grams (OUCH!). I'm guessing we got about 1 gram, so approx $4.25
Goldwell Hot Form Spray retails for $20.95 for 150ml, got 30ml so $4.19
Goldwell Sleep Perfection retails for $20.95 for 100ml, got 20ml so $4.19
Pangea Organics retails for $38 for 60ml, got 4ml (total), so $2.53
Total: $15.16

Wow. Paid $13.56 for this.... I'm going to stick around to test out the new Privé Box that they're putting out in January, but overall, I do think I'll be quitting Topbox. I've already got a new sub in the works. One that I think I'll be much happier with.


January 01, 2013

2013 Colour of the Year....

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope everyone had a great night sipping drinks, playing games or just chilling with your loved ones.

I thought what better way to start 2013 than to share with you Pantone's Color of the Year for 2013.

photo credit: pantone.com

In previous years, we've seen Tangerine Tango, Honeysuckle, Turquoise, Mimosa, Blue Iris, Chili Pepper... so what will it be this year?

This year's "Color of the Year" award has been given to Emerald!

"Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. It’s also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity – no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity."¹

Last year we've seen Pantone join forces with Sephora to create the Sephora + Pantone Universe line where we were able to explore Tangerine Tango in some great beauty products. This year we will be seeing the same collaboration with Emerald.

"Equally harmonious on the cosmetic color wheel, Emerald dramatizes all eye colors as it beautifully enhances green eyes, is compatible to blue eyes, emphasizes the green undertone in hazel eyes and intensifies brown eyes to make them appear deeper. Emerald is also a perfect complement to peaches, pinks, roses, ruby reds and aubergines – offering a variety of lipstick and blush options. For those who want to sparkle and stand out, Emerald is the perfect punctuation point in nail color because of its complementary nature.
Sephora and Pantone proudly announce the SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE™ 2013 Color of the Year beauty collection featuring PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, which will be available exclusively at Sephora in March 2013. Sharing a strong passion for how color can transform a face, mood or even an attitude, Sephora and Pantone continue to change how consumers wear, feel and think about color through the second annual radiant and modern Color of the Year beauty collection.

“At Sephora, we pride ourselves on giving our clients first access to what’s on trend – whether that’s a color, a formula or an ingredient story. With the 2013 Color of the Year collection, we achieve all of the above and we couldn’t have a better partner than Pantone,” said Margarita Arriagada, senior vice president of merchandising for Sephora.

The limited edition 2013 Color of the Year beauty collection features a variety of products in Emerald, including eye shadow, nail polish and accessories, and will be available at Sephora stores across the U.S., Sephora inside JCP and Sephora.com"¹
They don't mention the Canadian stores, but since Pantone is American, I didn't expect them to mention our stores.

So, are you looking forward to seeing Emerald as the Color of the Year for 2013?


¹ http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/pantone.aspx?pg=21056&ca=10