November 29, 2012

November Julep Box / Suede Polishes

I'm really late with this post, Sorry guys!

I received my Julep box around November 9th. Most of this month's boxes contained what they call "suede" polishes. The suede polish has a matte finish with some shimmer in it. It's quite nice.

My box this month, Classic With a Twist, contained two polishes, a Body Frosting and three individualy wrapped one-step polish remover pads. The Body Frosting is pretty much like any body butter and smells like pink grapefruit - not overpowering.

The polishes I received were Brit (graphite) and Minka (oxblood red).

When I first tried using a base coat, it seemed like the polish would stick and not glide on my nail as smoothly, so I had to use an extra coat.
Of course, you can apply a top coat for a slightly different look.

Flash, no flash, first nail of each colour has a top coat

The great thing about these polishes is that they dry super quick. Downfall, without a base or topcoat, they don't last very long.

By the time I did my nails and woke up, not even 12 hours had gone by and the nails were ok. Took my shower, and they had a few chips. I quickly applied another coat let it dry then went to work. 8 hours later, this is what they looked like (and I didn't pick at them like I normally would have when this happens!)

With a base & top coat, the polish does last a little longer. Overall, good for a quick many as long as you're not expecting it to last. I was really hoping for a little more staying power.

What do you think of suede polishes?


November 28, 2012

Holographic Nails

While browsing through my local Shoppers Drug Mart, I found myself looking at their Gosh collection as I always do. They have some special edition polishes and while picking up each one to examine the colour, I noticed the holographic polish!  The light wasn't hitting it right while sitting in the display so one would have thought it was just a plain shimmery silver. The polish was less than $7.

There was no second thought, Holographic Hero was coming home with me.

Holographic polishes are tough to photograph!

Be sure to apply a base coat. This polish becomes opaque after about 3 coats.
Do not apply a top coat! It will dull the holographic effect.
Thumb has top coat. Notice how it just looks like a regular silver

Do not apply a top coat! It will dull the holographic effect.

The bottle does say "One Night Wear for Holographic Lovers", so they're not making any claims about it lasting 5 days or anything. However, I will say that it has lasted me about 28 hours before a major chip.

After 53 hours (including 8 work hours at a computer all day and not picking at the polish!)

Have you tried any holographic polishes?


November 24, 2012

Project No-Buy

I've finally decided to do it. I've thought about this for a while now and decided to put my foot down and just do it! A month-long no-buy.

It officially starts today. Over the past few weeks, I slowed down my spending on beauty products, purchasing only a few must-have items (which I will be showing you over the next week or so - no eye shadows!).

I have created a few rules for myself:

1 - No buying beauty products - unless I run out of a needed item(see below)
2 - The only beauty products that I will purchase without replenishing, is my current subscription to Topbox and possibly Julep (I skipped December - that was hard)
3 - Not allowed to purchase new lip products or eye shadows, even if I have emptied them (I have so many, I really should try to use up as many as I can!)
4 - If I run out of something (ie: mascara), I must see if I have samples to be used up before purchasing a new one.
5 - Where possible, try a different, less expensive brand (I've tried various eye shadow primers and I know that the only one that works for me is Urban Decay. However for face primers, maybe try something from Covergirl (just an example), instead of Smashbox)

This will run from November 24 - December 24 (oh my! we're about a month away from Christmas - eek!). I will possibly extend my no-buy depending on how it goes.

I do believe that will be all. Now I will admit that I *may* participate in the rumoured Mega Redemption at Shoppers Drug Mart (for the record, I'm not really using money out of my own pocket...)

Will you gals join me on this No-Buy? Or will you maybe wait until after Christmas?


November 22, 2012

Depotting and Yaby Freestyle Palette

Do we show the same amount of love to ALL of our makeup? I'm sure most of you are like me: have so much makeup (we'll never say too much!) that sometimes you forget which colours you have.

Since I'm planning on going on a no-buy soon, I figured it would be a great idea to de-pot some of my lesser-used  eye shadows and put them in a few palettes so that I can see them all without going through like, a million things!
Yaby Freestyle Palette

I was going to IMATS and debating on the Z Palette or the Yaby Freestyle palette. Z Palette was being sold full price for $21 and Yaby was on sale for $14 (instead of $22). Yaby is made of a hard, sturdy plastic, solid all the way around and has a nice full mirror that also doubles as a mixing tray. The Z Palette, while a little longer, is see through on the top so that you can see what you have in it and is made of recycled materials. I do prefer the sturdy-ness of the hard plastic from Yaby (I don't own and haven't held a Z Palette, so I can't compare the greatest there). If that doesn't wasn't enough, here's a little math I did to justify going with Yaby.

Yaby's palettes are 5.76 x 4.32
I bought 4, so the total space would be 23.04 x 17.28
They were $14 each, so the total was $56

Z Palette's are 7.44 x 4.13  (used the inner dimensions)
In order to get the same amount of space as Yaby: 23.04 / 7.44 = 3.10   and 17.28 / 4.18 = 4.18
So I would be missing space with 3 palettes, or I'd have extra space with 4.
Using the minimum of 3 Z Palettes at $21 each, the total would have been $63

If Yaby was not on sale, then the Z Palette would have been the cheaper option. But I honestly cannot tell you how much I'm loving these Yaby Freestyle Palettes!

Now for the fun stuff: De-Potting

I had 5 Kat Von D Palettes, 4 Lise Watier Palette and the Tarte for True Blood palette.

Kat Von D was a little tricky as you have to pop out the plastic piece that kinda holds things in place & fills in the gaps to make everything look pretty. That was a royal pain! I took a small spatula and fit it in the crack and tried to wiggle my way around to lift it from whatever was holding it there. There was a bit of glue holding them there, but I think that was just glue that spilled out from the pans - it was mostly just a really tight fit. No two palettes came apart the same way.
Each one gave me a different challenge

Once the plastic piece is out, you just use the spatula and poke around at the glue under the pans until they come loose.

For her newer palettes, the ones that are made of aluminum, the eye shadow pans are placed in the plastic piece that makes it all pretty, so all I had to do was get my spatula underneath it and gently pry it up. You have to be VERY careful so that you don't crack any of the shadows. My Lise Watier palettes were the same as this one.
Don't apply too much pressure or it'll crack

The Tarte Palette was a little tricky. I think the shadows are softer/more delicate. I had to try to pry one from outer edge with the spatula and try to make my way in. I tried two different corners and both cracked a little.
My first (and worst) casualty.

Once the shadow pans were all popped out, you have to clean the glue off. Lise Watier had just a small dot of glue on each and was super easy to take off with a little x-acto knife or your fingers. Tarte had a little more, but still really easy to take off with fingers. Kat Von D on the other hand, wow! Talk about lots of glue! I had to whip out the Goo Gone for those pans. Used q-tips to apply the Goo Gone, let it sit for about a minute then try to scrape it off with the x-acto knife. Some were so bad I had to do this twice.  Once they were all cleaned off, took another q-tip with rubbing alcohol, cleaned the bottom and used little round stickers to put the names on.
Kat Von D had a disgusting amount of glue

All cleaned up with the stickers and under Bayou you can see the grippy

Kat Von D & Lise Watier 's pans stuck to the magnetic base while Tarte needed small "grippies" from Yaby (small pieces of steel)

After that, it's like a big puzzle!

Each one is labelled on the front with tape & marker so I can change as I want later

 So I've gone from this:
Messy! Forget about some colours!

To this:
Organized, easy to see them all!

See how 3 Yaby palette compare to the True Blood Palette?  1 inch shorter in length and 7/8 of an inch  shorter in width and 3 are about the same height.
sorry for the crappy picture quality

Of course, I left out the dried out cream colours that some of the palette had and out of 5 Kat Von D palettes, I had 4 duplicate colours! I don't think I'll be using them, but for now, I've put them into the aluminum palette. Also have 5 dark colours (almost all forms of blacks) from Tarte that I doubt ever using, but for now, I'll keep them in a KVD palette. Maybe I can find them a good home.

Top are the dark colours from Tarte, bottom are the duplicates from Kat Von D

Do you plan on re-organizing your eye shadows so that you can share the love?

November 20, 2012

Toronto IMATS & Haul

The International Makeup Artist Trade Show (IMATS) was held in Toronto this past weekend and I decided to go on Saturday. This event is held annually and is open to the public. Tickets purchased online in advance are $30. After the cut off, they go up to $40 online and possibly even a little more if you purchase your tickets at the event (unsure about this!)

Naked Cosmetics
The event has multiple retailers (Make Up For Ever, MAC Pro, Nars, Nigel's Beauty Emporium, OCC, Yaby, Eve Pearl, Royal & Langnickel, and many more), a mini fx makeup museum (display), guest speakers and a student makeup artist competition.

part of the Makeup Museum

Part of the Student Competition

Many of the retailers/shops offer discounts on their products. For example, Royal & Langnickel had most of their brushes 50% off, Make Up For Ever usually has items about 40%, Nigel's had 7 false eyelash sets for $10. Nars last year didn't have any sales/deals.
Royal & Langnickel
It's a great way to stock up on items at a great discount - you just need to make sure that you do a bit of research first. Check the vendors' website and see if there's anything you'd like to get. Write it down and take note of the price. That way when you go, you'll know if it's actually discounted or not (and how much!). If you don't take note of the price before hand, you might get disappointed when you get home and look at it online (I do this to check out my great savings!). I know all the brushes I got at Crown were not on sale (I believe most of their brushes were not on sale), and take a look at what I seen over at Pari Beauty:
the 88 Palette by Pari Beauty. Look familiar?

L: Pari Beauty 88 Palette - Shimmer. R: my personal Matte 88 Palette from BH or Coastal Scents
As you can see, the two palettes are almost identical. I got the matte one a while back. I paid no more than $20 with shipping (bh currently has theirs on sale for $11.50 - normally $18.95) Pari was selling theirs for the "show special" price of $30, instead of the normal $45.

As mentioned, there are also guest speakers. They'll often talk/show how to do some makeup looks or techniques, etc.

This year, the guest speakers list was on the website after I purchased my tickets, so I wasn't able to choose which day I wanted based on that like I did last year. Didn't matter too much though; nothing really grabbed my eye for the seminars.
Sardines anyone?

I planned to go this year and had an idea of exactly what I wanted. I didn't want to be caught by surprise by all the pretty things and spend all my money! I went in knowing what I wanted and gave myself a spending limit. After I got what I wanted, I allowed myself to spend up to that limit. Knowing that I'm going to be starting a no-buy soon (I'll keep you posted!), I was really strict with myself - and Success! Only bought what I had intended on buying.

I was originally debating between the Z Palette and the Yaby Freestyle Palette. The Z Palette was $21 (full price) at Nigel's and that booth was so packed, I had waited 10 minutes before I finally got to the end where the Z Palette was. I was disappointed when I seen that it was $21. At Yaby, their freestyle palette was only $14, so I picked up 4. (I'm planning on doing another post in regards to my choice and the fun times of depotting)

I also picked up several brushes from Royal & Langnickel and a few from Crown Brushes. Royal & Langnickel were half price, meanwhile Crown was same full price (they are still very cheap though)

So I spent $126 on all this!!  If I would have bought it online, it would have been $217.42 (not including shipping charges!!)

Did you go this year? What did you pick up?

November 16, 2012

October's 5 Lip Products

For the month of October, I decided to go for colours that were a little more on the pink side as it was Breast Cancer Awareness month. I've posted two additional pictures to show the applicator as they're specifically mentioned in my comments, as well as swatches midway!

Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar in Hush

- Highly recommended to apply with a lip brush (this is the old/original packaging which looks like you could apply it directly to your lips - You shouldn't!)
- Should also use a lip liner to avoid feathering
- Nice colour, described as "bridal neutral pink"
- 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. I don't think I reached for it at all in October.

The Body Shop Hi-Shine lip treatment

- Smells nice - like grapefruit
- Really sheer with slight shimmer
- Thick, but not quite sticky
- Slightly moisturizing
Price: $5 (13ml). I got a 6ml sample free with purchase a while back.

Verdict: I would possible buy in the future. It's nice when you just want a little gloss.

Flash, L to R: OCC, Body Shop, Buxom, Bare Minerals. Bottom: Kat Von D

No flash L to R: OCC, Body Shop, Buxom, Bare Minerals. Bottom: Kat Von D

Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick

- Full review can be found here
- Extremely drying
- Smooth when first applied
- Dries matte
- Very pigmented
- Suggest to use a lip liner
Price: $23

Verdict: I want to love it. I really do. And while I have two (the other will be a different month), I don't think I'll be buying this again. Now that I think of it, I should have returned it after trying it out a few times at home.

Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in April

- Love the tingling sensation from the plumping - however didn't really notice any plump (some people may not like the sensation - it is more than others that I've tried)
- Gorgeous colour - perfect for that hint of shimmery pink
- After a while, you can somewhat feel the glitter/sparkle that's in it (it is very fine though)
- Not sticky
Price: $23

Verdict: You might be able to tell from the picture that there's less than half left (no, not just from October!). I did reach for this one at least 4 times a week. I really like this. I will possibly buy it again in the future. Once I run through anything & everything else that's similar that I may already own.

Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing  in Courage


- No taste, no smell
- Another perfect colour for me from this line
- I really do enjoy the applicator on this - I think they call it a paddle brush?
- Smooth, silky
Price: $20

Verdict: I've said it before, definitely a re-buy!

Anything you'd like to test out?  What are your favorite lip products?

November 15, 2012

November Topbox

I've seen many spoilers of this box (facebook group). I think I fell in love with the first box I seen (box 10). All the products looked great! So when I got home and found my box waiting for me at my desk, I was super excited to see what was in mine.

I was a little disappointed when I first opened it.

Here's what I received - Box 19:
China Glaze: I Herd That (full size) - $10-$12
Cuccio Naturale: Butter Blend in Pomegranate & fig - Full Size 240g - $18.95 (received 9.24g - $0.73)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 0L (black): Full Size (0.04oz) -$20 (received 0.025oz - $12.50)
Roberto Cavalli Eau de Parfum: Full Size 50ml - $80 or 75ml - $105 (received 5ml - $8)

Approximate total value: $31.23 - $33.23

China Glaze: I Herd That from the On Safari Collection
"These unique lacquers contain China Clay as a nail hardener, the same material that gives porcelain its shiny finish." 

Sometimes shows a little more gold than copper

Most accurately what the colour looks like

I was most excited about this product. I love this colour! I don't have any gold/copper sparkle polish in my collection and I think this is perfect for the holiday season around the corner.

Cuccio Naturale: Butter Blend in Pomegranate & Fig
"10x the moisturizing power of lotion. A non-oily, intence hydrating treatment for silky smooth skin."

It smells good. While my hands weren't dry, I did apply a small amount, which was enough for both hands and did make them feel silky smooth. Still quite smooth over an hour later.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 0L (black)
"An award-winning, waterproof, smudge-proof, and fade-proof eyeliner that doubles as a vibrant eye shadow."

This was my personal biggest disappointment in this box. I got one (this size)well over a year ago, and I've barely used it - mostly because I have like 6 blacks already on the go and it's so small that it get's lost with all the bigger ones. I will admit though, this tiny guy is the item that costs the most in this box. I'll see if I can pull mine out tomorrow - that's a lot of "proofs" and I'd like to test that out.  Also, I wouldn't use black as a shadow.

Roberto Cavalli Deluxe Miniature Eau de Parfum
"Roberto Cavalli eau de parfum embodies glamour, femininity and sexiness."
I wasn't too sure about this one at first. The more I smelled it, the more I think I like it. I can't tell you what any of the notes are because my nostril's don't speak that language, however I did see on the Sephora website that it had notes of orange blossom and tonka bean. Whatever those are, they smell nice.  It's not a young smell (like my Ed Hardy), but it's not a smell that you would associate with the elderly either. I think it's age appropriate, sophisticated, feminine and sexy with a slight edge to it.

Lastly, due to an error with my previous box, I have received this item as a bonus. 

Masker Aide Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask: All Nighter
"Whether you were up all night studying or out all night partying, we've got you covered to face the long day ahead. Apply our All Nighter mask to awaken, refresh and replenish your skin. The cooling effects of the mask will help de-puff and awaken your eyes while natural Peppermint Oil awakens your sences. Aloe, Argan Oil, Heartleaf (a powerful detoxifier), Honey, Super Fruit and Cactus Extracts works together to erase the signs of the previous night and get you "boardroom" ready!"

I've never tried a facial sheet mask, so it's kinda cool. I've also never done masks in the morning, so this will be a new one for me.

Which product are you most excited to try?

November 13, 2012

Try Before You Buy

This is something that we really should be doing more often: Trying things out before making the purchase. Sure there are some things that you don't really need to try out, but others, you really should. Foundation is a big one (you never know how your skin may react), perfume is another thing as well (just because it smells good in the bottle, doesn't mean it'll smell good on you, plus the smell changes over the course of it's wear).

Stuff like that you can usually get a sample at your cosmetic counter or Sephora. The great thing about Sephora is their return policy as well. If it doesn't work or you don't like it, bring it back with the receipt for a full refund. No receipt? Then you'll get a store credit instead.

There are also various sample boxes out there that you can subscribe to. Topbox, Loose Button, Glossybox, ipsy, BB5 and possibly a few others (as of right now, I believe the least expensive is $12). These boxes will provide you with deluxe size beauty samples (and sometimes full size) for you to try out. These are normally bigger than the ones you'd get in the stores.

Now what about every day stuff? Other than liking the company's Facebook page and hoping that they have free samples to give away, there are two places that I personally know of that you can get samples: P&G Brand Sampler and Sample Source. While you don't get to pick exactly what you want to try, they'll usually have a few things that you get to pick from (usually a limit as to how much you can grab). Then they send it to you for free, and voila! You get stuff that you can try out.

While it's been a while since I got my P&G Brand Sampler (and no pictures), I did recently get my sample box from Sample Source.

While I already received the Frizz-Ease, Tums and Quaker Harvest Crunch from my bag at the National Women's Show, they were still great things to get.

Boyfriend's happy that he gets to try out a new razor that's not a disposable razor. I get to test out laundry detergent packs and hopefully with the help of Breath Right, might get good sleep. There isn't any harm in it. So while both companies are currently "sold out" of their samples currently, keep an eye open on their website - you never know when they might have new offers.