February 27, 2013

The Breakup: A tale of Topbox & I

Having recently dropped Topbox, I was feeling a little sad. I had absolutely loved them at the beginning of our relationship. Topbox was also my very first beauty box. It was love at first sight. We shared car rides, lovely dinners and even long nights just staring at each other.

Then like many relationships, Topbox had seemed to stop caring about itself. The effort to grab my attention wasn't there anymore. I still got anxious when I received their email, but disappointed when they'd show up! So I had to call it off. It wasn't easy.

Shortly after the breakup, Topbox started going around, talking about Prive box! There it went, losing someone that it loved so dearly, that it was trying to win me back. It was hard, but I stayed strong.

Then a friend told me that Topbox had paired up with American Express for a special box. It had double the products for about the same price! Looked like Topbox was really trying to get me. The result was like a one-night-stand complete with the walk of shame. Never again.

The Amex Topbox was about $15 (I'm rounding up because I don't remember the exact price). It offered 8 samples as opposed to the regular 4.

Now having worked with American Express, I know they hold their standards pretty high and I expected it to follow suite with this promotion. We were told that they would have some products featured from the January & February boxes, which was fine by me. What I got, well, not so content with it.

Of the 8 products received (the Aveda is considered 1 product), I have received 6 duplicates. Talk about pulling the same boring moves in bed! No new tricks. It was like they wanted to get rid of overstock. I should have known better.

Pure + Simple, mark. lipgloss, Robert Cavali, Benefit They're Real,  Butter lotion and the brow brush I have received them all. The gloss is the exact colour - Frilly Frou Frou. The only difference is the Butter lotion smells different. Which I don't care.

Aveda Shampoo + Conditioner is small, single use for just about any lady who has hair on their head. The Clinique Wrinkle & UV Damage corrector is just not for me.

So I do have to say, Thank You Topbox. You have introduced me to some great friends (as well as some that I never want to meet again), however I think we're in different stages of our lives and you're just not cutting it. You have just made our break up that much easier for me.


February 25, 2013

Macadamia Natural Oil - Flawless

My normal hair routine usually consists of shampoo & conditioner, and a frizz control oil/serum. If it's right before work, I don't have time to blow dry my hair  so I'll through some curling product (lotion or mousse) and let it air dry.

There isn't much volume going on with my hair, it's thick and slightly frizzy.

So something that is marketed as a 6-in-1 is bound to get my attention! Let's face it, we all wish there was more time to do at least one thing in our day. For me, it's my hair, especially if I don't take a shower the night before and have to do it before getting ready for work.

The Macadamia Natural Oil Flawless is a 6-in-1 Cleansing Conditioner. A cleansing conditioner is exactly what it sounds like: a conditioner that cleanses. No need for harmful shampoos, and like most cleansing conditioners out there, it doesn't contain surfactants or parabens. I've been told that this is the ideal method of cleansing your hair for those with curly hair.

6-in-1 claims

- Cleanses
- Conditions
- Reduces blow drying time
- Detangles
- Enhances volume
- Eliminates frizz

Is there anything more that we could want in one product? Didn't think so. I've tried this product for about 3 weeks and here are my thoughts:

- Dispenses the same way as regular shaving cream. It gets a little foamy (you can see a little bit of bubbles), but rubs to be more like a conditioner.

- Very light fresh smell. Reminds me of what they use at the salon. (I'm horrible with scents) 

- I only used it every second/third wash

- Because I'm used to products that lather, it took me a few tries to get the proper amount in my hair. At first I used too much. My trick is to comb it through.

- Cleanses & Conditions:  Normally after washing & conditioning my hair, while still wet, I can feel the difference. With this, not so much. My hair felt the same way as when I first wet it. Once dried, you can tell that it was washed.

- Reduces blow drying time: I timed myself on several occasions. On average, it would take me 13 minutes to fully blow dry using Flawless. Regular washes took me about 15 minutes to blow dry.

- Detangles: I usually always comb my hair before entering the shower and I always end up with a knot or two afterwards. For the sake of experimenting, I didn't comb my hair at all before (and the first time, there was no comb in the shower). I combed my hair after using Flawless and there was no snags or knots.

- Enhances Volume: Didn't do anything for my hair. My hair was still on the flat side.

- Eliminates frizz: Gave me the same result as when I use an oil/serum so it obviously works!

So those are my thoughts on the individual claims. All together was a little different story. I do believe that they have something to combat the frizz - maybe their oil treatment - mixed into it. So even though my hair felt cleaner than it was prior to washing, it did have a bit of a oily feel (more than when I apply my oil/serum). Because of this, my hair wasn't quite as soft. A major downside is that the very next day I had to wash my hair. While it didn't look too bad, my hair felt very oily/greasy the next day. I normally wash my hair only every second day.

The biggest downfall to this product is the price: $33USD for 250ml.  I suppose when you calculate the individual price of the items that I use regularly it's probably close to the same (but I'd probably have to re-buy the regular items less often)

So overall, it's a short term fix for managing time. I'll continue my search for finding a faster way for my hair routine, but in the meantime, I would not purchase this in the future.



*This product was sent to me for review. You can view my disclosure policy here.

February 24, 2013

Sephora + Pantone Universe Emerald

Wanted to share with everyone that Sephora + Pantone Universe have released two items for the colour of the year: Emerald!

Sephora  $12

Sephora  $31

I'm loving the colours in the palette!

Are you planning on picking up one of these items?


January's 5 Lip Products

After this, I only have February as part of the original group! However sitting next to me is a box full of lip products that I've accumulated in the past few months that I haven't touched! Some are from subscription boxes, a few I've purchased and most are from swaps. I think I just counted about 34! That's not including my EoS lip balms that I got for Christmas - but that's a little different.

January's contestants are as follows:

Sephora Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencil in Gorgeous Peach, The Body Shop Born Lippy in Satsuma, OCC Lip Tar in Reverb, Lise Watier Plumpissimo Le Gloss in Nude and Kat Von D Foiled Love Liquid Lipstick in Adora

Sephora Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencil in Gorgeous Peach

- Beautiful colour with a little shimmer
- Decent lasting
- Easily applied
- Slight waxy feel, but barely noticeable
- Needs to be sharpened, so you have to remember to take it out of the purse (or carry a sharpener with you)
Price:  $10 (I don't remember the price as it's no longer available, but it wasn't expensive)

Verdict: If I could find it somewhere, I would re-buy it in a heart beat!

The Body Shop Born Lippy in Satsuma
(no pictures)

- Love the smell of it, but the smell lasts long on the lips and you can taste it. It's not good
- applied clear with a little shimmer

Price: $6

Verdict: It's so disgusting that I threw it out after a few days.

OCC Lip Tar in Reverb

- Orange based Red (not the colour I asked for)
- Highly recommended to apply with a lip brush
- Should also use a lip liner to avoid feathering
- Very drying on the lips
- Little goes a long way - very pigmented
Price: Website $16, purchased at last year's IMATS for $10  (the prices online used to be $13, however new packaging and a bit more product has increased the prices)

Verdict: Would not buy again. I feel like this is a high maintenance lip product - too much work for the upkeep. Used it this one time only to test it out.

Lise Watier Plumpissimo Le Gloss in Nude 

- No plump, no tingle
- Very thin, almost liquidy
- Very sheer
- Not sticky
- This sample came with a brush tip, while online pictures look more like a doe foot

Price: $21

Verdict: While I wouldn't purchase again, I'll do my best to finish this one. It's not that bad.

Kat Von D Foiled Love Liquid Lipstick in Adora

I've already tried this a few times and not a big fan, so this actually went into a swap. I found the formula a little hard to work with (need a lip brush) and because of the colour, there is no room for errors! It's also a little on the drying side.
Price: $23

Verdict: I think it's safe to say that I'd pass on all of Kat Von D's liquid lipsticks, as much as I'd like to like them. 

Bonus item! Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothy

Since one item went into the garbage right away and another was swapped early on, I figured I needed at least one other thing to report on! This was a new purchase...

- Buildable color
- No smell, no taste
- Slightly moisturizing
- It's not a lipstick, more like a balm
- Glossy
 Price: $11 (once again, don't remember the price)

Verdict: I would buy again. It's nice for those days you want some moisture and a touch of colour.

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!

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



February 13, 2013

Revlon Selects: Photoready Primer + Shadow

Several weeks ago Revlon Canada offered the chance to Canadians to take part in their Revlon Selects program. They would send out a package of new products in hopes to get people's opinions/reviews about them. All you had to do was fill out a form on their Facebook page and hope for the best. I was chosen as 1 of 500 lucky ladies across Canada to receive a package.

You can view the nail items review here.

I received the Revlon Photoready Primer + Shadow in Metropolitan. The colours are quite nice. Before applying it, I tested the colours on the back of my hand using the provided primer and my go-to primer (Urban Decay Primer Potion).

The provided primer was more like a very smooth, shadow. Wasn't very creamy at all. The colours popped a lot more when used with the UD primer. I find the main colour to be quite dark with UD - just too dark to be used all over the lid for an everyday look. The middle colour, a sparkly grey-ish colour is nice. I really like it, however the texture wasn't the greatest.  Because it contained some sparkle to it, it was a little flaky, but not too bad. The brow bone colour is great. No complaints there.  The last colour is the brown/gold sparkle (glitter) topcoat. This was messy, lots of fall out. It really just lightened things up a little by giving it some sparkle - nothing too noticeable. Like I said, messy more than anything.

Top with provided primer, bottom with UD primer. Left: the regular colours, Right: the colours with the glitter topcoat added
No issues with application other than some of the fallout mentioned above. While I did think that the "order" of the colours was a little strange, it looked alright together. The middle colour didn't show up very much against the brown main colour.

Left: No glitter topcoat.  Right: With glitter topcoat

I decided to do two looks. The first is using the order of how they have the colours placed and the second is using the brow bone colour all over, the middle colour in the crease and the darker colour as a liner. I then added the topcoat to the darker colour for both looks. You can actually see in the picture below the fallout I got from applying the glitter topcoat.  Best applied wet.

Left: No glitter topcoat. Right: With glitter topcoat

After a few hours of sitting around the house, it started creasing which completely sucked. My go-to primer is usually Urban Decay, however the dark colour turns up too dark. The primer colour does look great on it's own though.

My overall thoughts: The actual shadows of this palette work well together. The bottom part of the palette (the primer & glitter topcoat), are not that great. I would use this as a backup in my car for those days that you leave the house without makeup and suddenly something important comes up and you wish you had something. It'll last that short time perfectly, otherwise, bathroom for touch ups! Just be sure not to use the glitter unless you have access to use it wet.



February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day - One Look, Two Ways

Hello my lovelies!

I think that lots of guys like the pin-up look (as it doesn't really look like you're wearing too much makeup). Let's face it, the pin-up look with the red lips is super gorgeous and sexy ... and intimidating. Not everyone can pull off the bold red lip. Some people, while they can pull it off, are just intimidated by it. I don't blame them!

So here I have my pin-up inspired look, done two ways.

The first isn't as dramatic, but still absolutely gorgeous!

- Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
- Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Foundation
- Kryolan for Glossybox blusher in Rosewood

- Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
- Urban Decay Naked Palette Bootycall, Naked and Buck
- Sephora Long Lasting Eyeliner in Black
- Lâncome Hypnose mascara
I kept the liner relatively thin with a smallish wing. 

- Maybelline Color Whisper lipstick in Lust for Blush

Now, if you want to for for a little bolder, here's how you can add to the above.

So everything stayed the same except for the following:

- Liner is a little thicker and the wings are longer
- Added false lashes for added sexyness
- Instead of the Maybelline Whisper, I used Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Love Lipstick in Outlaw with a bit of clear gloss over top.

Hope you enjoyed!



February 11, 2013

Valentine's Makeup for the Minimalist

I know lots of women out there don't like to wear much makeup. Some of them go completely au naturel when it comes to their makeup. For these lovely ladies, sometimes applying a bold lip or eye can be just that - bold. Throws them out of their comfort zone.

And that is why I have decided to show you a very simple, full faced look useable for Valentine's Day or any other date night.


- Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
- Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus SPF15 Foundation
- Kryolan for Glossybox blusher in Rosewood
- Nars highlighting blush in Albatross

- Urban Decay Eyeshadow Potion Primer
- Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Foxy
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On  Eye Pencil in Bourbon
- Stila Forever Your Curl mascara

- Laura Mercer  Lip Glace in Sparkling

The highlighting blush (or a highlighter) is optional (well, most of it is depending on your comfort level). I chose to use it to add a little glow to the look.



February 10, 2013

Versatile Blogger - Another Award!?!

Wow! Another award?

This award was given to me by Samantha over at Beautiful, Free and Wonderful. It's another great blog if you haven't checked it out yet.

The rules for this award are a little easier and can also be found here.
  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.  (Thanks again Samantha!)
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

 More facts!

1 - I have central heterochromia (that golden/brown ring around my pupil) in both eyes.

2 - I have kissed the Blarney Stone
3 - I'm a sucker for just about any dessert with apples in it
4 - I have 8 piercings in total (1 navel and the rest are ears)
5 - My current makeup obsession are lip products. But I don't wear them often as the bf hates them.
6 - I can make my own eyeshadows & blushes
7 - My dream car would be a Ferrari (458, FXX, California, Enzo.... I'll take any of those!)

So, here are my Versatile Blogger Award Nominees:

1 - CarlyJean
2 - Cindy's Love of Books
3 - Cosmetic Proof
4 - The Crow and the Powderpuff
5 - Crystal Candy Makeup
6 - Crystal Pistol Beauty
7 - Fun Sized Beauty
8 - Glossy
9 - Little Red Bow
10 - My Beauty Full Adventure 
11 - Nailed Beauty
12 - Pink & Polished
13- Plump and Polished
14 - The Pretty Vain
15 - Steps to Perfection

So be sure to check all of them out. All of these blogs are amazing and I love going through them. Also, CarlyJean & Steps to perfection also have YouTube channels!These links to their youtube channels :)


Liebster Award - I got nomiated!

Totally shocked and completely honoured!  Priscilla over at The Rural Canadian Shopper nominated me for a Liebster Award! She nominated me a little bit ago, but only now am I getting around to it (sorry for taking long Priscilla!)

This award is given to up & coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. The rules are quite simple!

- Post 11 facts about yourself
- Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you
- Ask 11 question to the people you are nominating
- Find 11 blogs with less than 200 followers and nominate them

Ok, while it sounds easy, it's a little more complicated than I thought. 11 facts and I have to make up some questions? Yikes!

Let's start with the Nominees!

1 - A.M. Polishes
2 - Batting a Lash
3 - Beatrice Trang
4 - Beauty Box Canada
5 - Beauty Delights
6 - Beauty with a Latte Love
7 - Canuck Beauty Reviews
8 - Cherise Cheeks
9 - CityGirl
10 - Plumpish Beauty
11 - Steph's Beauty Boutique

11 Facts:

1 - I haven't dyed my hair since June 2011
2 - I have 3 tattoos
3 - I'm bilingual (French & English)
4 - I have not watched Breakfast at Tiffany's ...
5 - I'm a very picky eater
6 - I love mint chocolate
7 - My fave super hero is Wolverine
8 - I am terrified of spiders
9 - I only got into makeup in College (my mom did my makeup for prom!)
10 - My favourite books are the Harry Potter series (Snape is such an amazing character!)
11 - My favourite video games are the Zelda games & Final Fantasy series.

My 11 Answers

1 - What is your must have cosmetic item?  Eye Primer
2 - Do you have a nickname? What is it? Sam (short for Samantha)
3 - What is your favourite book? Movie? Book: Harry Potter  Movie: Footloose
4 - What is the last song you listened to? Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne
5 - If you had to choose between getting a man or a pedi, what would you choose? Pedi (they last longer)
6 - Do you have any tattoos? How many? Yes - 3
7 - What would be your dream prefession if money/salary wasn't an issue?  This is a tough one! Really not sure. Help the bf run a shop? Makeup artist? (I gotta get a bit of talent for that last one)
8 - How many polishes do you own? approx. 32
9 - If you could move to a foreign country, which one would it be? Ireland
10 - What's the worst job you have ever had? Toss up between a pizza place (I had the late night closing shift during the week - 2am), or the inbound call center.
11 - Who was the last person you held hands with? The BF

My Questions to the Nominees!

1 - Do you have a go-to makeup look? What is it?
2 - Have you ever done a fashion/beauty faux-pas ?
3 - Do you have a favourite online shopping site?
4 - If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? (and no, it wouldn't affect your weight!)
5 - Whats your favourite season?
6 - What's the further place you've traveled? Of if you've never traveled, where would you like to go?
7 - What makeup item'(s) are you dreaming of getting your hands on?
8 - If you can choose one designer to design clothing for you, who would it be?
9 - What are your favorite topics to blog about?
10 - What are your favourite topics to read about on other blogs?
11 - What's your favourite candy/chocolate?

And there you have it!  Once again, thank you to Priscilla over at  The Rural Canadian Shopper for nominating me.

So go, enjoy and explore some new blogs that I enjoy and have a great weekend.


February 09, 2013

Valentine's Nails

Hi everyone!

I wanted to do a Valentine's Day themed nails and use the new nail stripping tape that I got along with my stamping tools. This was the first time I've really used them, so I think they turned out ok. Could be better (much better), but practice makes perfect!

To do this, I used two coats of Rose by Julep, followed with strategically stamped black hearts, followed with red stripping tape and a coat of Seche Vite.  I'll have to test it out with different top coats, but the tape lost some of it's metallic shine.

Stay tuned!  I'll be trying something else soon!


February 07, 2013

Men & Your Lips - Valentine's Day Lips Preferences

I heard part of this on the radio the other day so I had to hunt it down and share it with you.

There seems to be lots of smooching this time of year, and since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, women are trying to get the perfect lips. Here are some stats from a Lavalife/Revlon poll.

66% of men think that well made-up lips are important    - 72% of women think that this is important
76% of men prefer red                                                   - 64% of women prefer red
23% of men prefer pink

Matte vs Glossy

50% of men prefer glossy                                              - 61% of women prefer glossy
49% of men prefer matte

Other Randoms

77% of men think a message written in lipstick in the bathroom mirror helps set the mood meanwhile only 69% of women thing the same

57% of men thing your lipstick should match your nail polish and a whole 32% of women think it should match

Last, but not least, 54% of men would be OK if you accidently smeared lipstick on their shirt collar - they take it as a sign of a good date.

Here are my top 10

Will you be rocking the Red or Pink lips this Valentine's Day?



February 04, 2013

Look Book: Femme Fatale for V-Day

Hi everyone!

I'm hoping that this might be a weekly thing that I'll be doing, but with time never being on my side, no guarantees. I want to do what I'm going to call "Look Book". I have a few books that have some makeup looks. Some are full face and others are just eyes. So, I'm going to replicate them using products that I currently own.

I thought that this would be a good look to kick off a string of looks for Valentine's Day. Let's face it, not everyone likes pinks and red and lovey-dovey-ness. This a a fierce, sexy look. So for those that don't want to go the soft route, here's a little something for you.

Femme Fatale from Rae Morris' Express Makeup

This first look is from Rae Morris' book "Express Makeup", "Femme Fatale. Hollywood glamour for Drama Queens". I think it looks amazing in the photo.

So what do you think? Will you be rocking the Femme Fatale look anytime soon?


February 02, 2013

January GlossyBox

Glossybox came in the mail Thursday! I was super excited as the theme was "Globally Inspired: In January 2013 embark on a exploration of International Beauty".  Sounds pretty promising doesn't it?

Well, I've read the reviews that came out just a day or so before my box arrived and I was disappointed. When someone on Facebook asked about the theme (and maybe they misunderstood it), Glossybox replied by saying that the sub-theme was "Winter Skincare" and that "Since we're representing Canada, our Glossbox reflected the harsh winters we endure with some ultra moisturizing products".

Wow. Not what I was expecting at all. Actually, I don't think anyone was expecting this. Now, if these were new products (not repeats) and moisturizing products from around the world, then it'd be ok.  But it's not.

Here are two other GlossyBoxes from around the world that had more-or-less the "Globally Inspired theme. The links lead to their January boxes, however you may have to Translate to see the description of the boxes, which are "A World of Beauty" and "On the Trail of Global Beauty". 
Spain    Germany

As I mentioned above, some of these products are repeat products. Lots of speculations about this. I have to agree with what a lot of people are thinking: That they had some extras and had to move them out of their warehouse, so why not throw some of those in the boxes?  Curel, Vitabath, Be Fine, B. Kamins, Beauty So Clean, Alessandro and Elizabeth Grant are all from previous boxes.  One can argue that I didn't receive many duplicates (only one item in my box is a repeat item, however that 1 item, I've gotten it from one of their previous boxes), but it does look bad on their part.

Anyways, here's what I received:

Curel Hand & Cuticle Cream
I already own this. I have way too many hand creams. This will probably go into a swap.
Full Size: $3.99

Burt's Bees Milk & Honey Body Lotion
Another item that I have way too much of. Plus I'm not a big fan of Burt's Bees.
Estimated value: $1.91

Nivea Essential
Other than the fact that I'm pretty sure you can get this at Dollarama, it's ok. I do like lip care products.
Full Size: $2.00

Wella Brilliance Leave In Mousse
I only really use curling mousse and my hairs a little short for a nice sleep ponytail or braids. Someone did mention that it's more like a leave-in conditioner. I'll give it a try, but Wella didn't do a good job at making that clear.
Full Size: $17.99

Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme
Holy cow is this ever tiny! It's so small, that it doesn't have the size listed on it anywhere. The total height of it is about the length of my thumb. I'm going to guess that it's maybe 1/5 of the full size?
Estimated value: $5.60  (really can't guess without a size)

Total estimated value:$31.40

I tested the Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme. OMG. Does it ever burn.  If you've read my blog, you know that I like the tingling feeling of some lip products that claim to plump. This was border line unbearable for me. It burned so much it caused an almost itchy sensation. If it lasted any longer, I was going to wash it off. After a few minutes, the feeling went away.

I've read some reviews online and some people are ranting & raving about how amazing this product is. While I don't think my lips need any kind of injections, I personally don't see much of a difference. Only difference is that they appear redder. Possibly because of the blood rushing to the burning sensation. Maybe someone who has thinner lips would benefit more. But the amount of pain and the price isn't worth this product for me.

Overall, the box was very meh. Disappointing. I can't speak on behalf of everyone, but I'm sure lots of people would agree with me when I say that we get these subscription boxes because we want to try new products that we haven't tried before. Repeat products doesn't help. Products that you can pick up at the dollar store doesn't really help either.

February will be my last month with GlossyBox. I would have cut it at January's box, but I'll be honest, February is GlossyBox.ca's 1-year birthday. I'm really hoping that they are going to wow us. Through their teaser video, we know that we'll be getting the Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Treatment (approx 30ml?) So, I know there will be 1 product that I like.

Have you tried Glossybox?  What are your thoughts?