August 11, 2013

Coterie Gift Bag - First Impressions

If you haven't heard of Coterie, it's a website where you get to connect with other makeup & beauty junkies, collect items to your virtual vanity and comment on those items. Sure, it's a little like Pinterest, but think of it more like a giant pinboard with reviews on all the products you're thinking of getting your hands on. Go check out & follow my vanity.

At the end of June, they were hosting a launch event in NewYork and a Virtual Launch for members online. The virtual launch was at the actual event and they had some webcams so they got a few guest speakers to chat with us, including celebrity makeup artist Tina Turnbow!

Since they couldn't send a gift/swag bag to all of the attendees of the virtual launch, they selected a few participants who's questions they really enjoyed. I was one of those winners! But, before I get started with my first impressions, here's a few things I jotted down during our chat session (only the stuff that I could make sense out of)

- Seems like the most liked Tube mascara is by Blinc Cosmetics. Other fave mascaras? Maybelline's Falsies and L'Oréal's Double Extend
- To avoid that under eye creasing (and possible mascara transfer - hours after application): Use a good under eye moisturizer, followed by Benefit's Stay Don't Stray under eye primer and tap on concealer.  (I haven't tried all this yet, but I'll let you know once I do!)
- Face routine order: Cleanse, Tone, Medicated treatments (acne, wrinkles, etc), Serums, Moisturizer then SPF.
- Don't have much time to transform your makeup before going out? Add some indigo blue and more mascara.
- for Glowy-Healthy skin, get a good primer or a products that evens out & adds radiance. Tina recommended Laura Mercier Radiance Primer.
- Some favorite dry shampoos: Oribe, Drybar (by Detox) and Oscar Blandi

While I was waiting for my gift/swag bag/package to come in the mail, a fellow Canadian and winner sent me a link to a un-boxing of the swag bag from a NY attendee. I was really looking forward to some of the items she received. I would have loved the The Ellis Faas foundation, 29 Cosmetics Lipstick, both Kinara creams and Chella eyebrow kit. That's not what I received. None of it.

So, after 3 days shy of 1 month of waiting, I received my package, and here are the items.

  If you've followed my lip product adventures, you know just how much I dislike Stila's Lip & Cheek Stain in Coconut Crush. So I went to Sephora and exchanged it. I paid an extra $4 and got Benefit's Girl Meets Pearl instead.

Cane + Austin Retexturizing Body Pads - Full Size - $70

"This one-step, at home glycolic treatment is clinically proven to visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and age spots,while firming skin and improving tone and texture. Uniquely formulated with pure, active pharmaceutical grade ingredients derived from natural sugar cane, the pads gently exfoliate and retexture skin while helping to rebuild collagen. Plus viatamins A,C, E, COQ10 and anti-oxidants protect the skin from environmental stressors. Skin luminosity and vitality are restored, revealing a more radiant, healthy-looking complexion. Non-irritation. For all skin types" .

Wow; wrinkles, age spots, firming skin, tone, texture... I feel like I may be a little young for this right now. Do I sell it or do I keep it to use it in like, 10 years?

Nailuv in Hollywood - Full Size - $14.95.
Not only do they recommend using this product with their Bonder & Base/Top Coat, but you need an LED lamp. You know, the one that I don't own and don't plan on purchasing.

MOR Lip Macaron in Cassis Noir - Full Size - $10

I'm not sure what Cassis Noir is (I think a fruit?) but it smells divine. I'm looking forward to testing this out.

Stila Lip & Cheek Stain in Coconut Crush - Full Size - $32
I'm not sure if it's a lousy colour or product. I dislike it so much, that I traded it in at Sephora and received...

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl - Full Size - $36

Love using luminizers/highlighters. This one is a golden pink colour and looks great.

Veil Illumination Complexion Fix for face and eyes, colour 2N - Full Size - $38

This is essentially a illuminating concealer pen. Quickly reading some reviews online and someone compared it to YSL Touche Éclat! I'm waiting for the day that someone buys me one to test out, but this sounds promising.

Hamadi Shea Hair Cream - All Around Styling Solution - Full Size (8oz) - $38

"Texturizes, separates and smoothes. Enhances naturally curly or wavy hair. Soothes dry, damanged ends and calms frizzy hair. May be used as a straightener [...]" 
I love throwing product in my hair and letting it do it's own thing. Specially in the summer when I don't want to blow dry and straighten my hair. This smells very lemony. Looking forward to trying this out.

Butter London in Wallis - Full Size - $17

I'm not sure what the big hype about Butter London polishes are, but I guess I'll soon find out! This is a very lovely colour (it'll be perfect for fall), it's 3-free, however I don't like the price!

Nicole Richie Perfume - Sample vial
I'm very picky when it comes to perfumes. I gave this one away.

Total estimated value: $219.95 (prices are mixed - Canadian & US Dollars, used value of Stilla, not Benefit)

Being able to switch the Stilla for Benefit brought my happiness level up a level. I wont be using the NailUV polish and I'm unsure about the Cane+Austine, but I'll be using everything else.Check them out. They seem to have giveaways on a regular basis!

Speaking with another girl that also won a prize, they were identical. EXCEPT, she got another Butter London (All Hail The Queen) instead of the NailUV. Jealous! The colour looks great in the picture she sent me.

Anything you want me to review?



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