Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sephora Favourites - Give Me Some Lip - Lip Sampler 2013

As a lip product hoarder, I felt the need to purchase a few more on my trip to Philadelphia last month. With my $5 groupon coupon, I was just itching to pick up this set. The Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip - Lip Sampler retails for $25USD ($30CAD) and comes with 5 sample size products and 1 full-sized product. You can purchase it here :) 

Full Size Value
Sample Size Value
Bite Beauty
Laura Mercier

RETAIL VALUE = $100 CAD --> sold for $30CAD

Since several (if not all) of the products are considered to be in the "high end" range of beauty, this little box packs a punch at $70 of savings value. With the exception of the Fresh product, I haven't tried any of these before the set... 

On the Sephora website, range of colours in this set is "pinks and natural nudes". I have to agree with that. All of these are very simple, subtle, everyday colours. So there's some amount of "trying something new" without going too crazy with brights, neons, and purples. 

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Luster in Glitzy
This is the one and only full-size product in the set. Glitzy reminds me a lot of Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey but with pumped up glitter concentration. Unlike its drugstore dupe, this one's mint flavour is not as prominent. The glitter is not overly obvious on the lips, but I feel like it settles into my fine lines. I'd love to try a LipSurgence in the "Matte" range. 

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Rhubarb 
Rhubarb looks very pigmented in the swatch, but because my lips are quite pigmented, I'd call this colour "My Lips But Darker". The finish of the product isn't totally matte, not at all drying, and lasts for ages (4-5 hours with eating). Extra brownie points for this product because it's made by a Canadian company. This is my favourite product of the set.

NARS Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight
I'm not one to pick up a milky pink gloss or wear it on a daily basis, mostly because I don't feel like it suits my skintone. However, Turkish Delight is sheer enough that it's not overbearing and pairs well with dramatic eye looks. 

Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Dolly
The Full On Lip Polish has a lip plumping feature that makes your lips sting/tingle. For me, it has no plumping effect (not that I need it anyways). It's quite pigmented and not too sticky. I can't put a finger on the scent, but it's a little spicy. I like it :) 

Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bare Pink
This product has a beautiful formulation but "Bare Pink" is a little too bare for me. It's not sticky, but since I don't find it to add anything to my lips, I wouldn't repurchase this in the full size. 

Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment 
When I saw this, I thought... "Oh no. Not this again". It was a Sephora Birthday Gift and although I actually enjoy this product, I really wanted to try something new. There's a prominent citronella scent and the sheer red tint adds a nice glow to the lips. The packaging kind of sucks because the product melts so easily and the balm falls out of it. 

My love for "Fun Size" products is never ending. I prefer these minis to the full-sizes because I'm not sure of when I've ever actually finished a lip product. Now to oogle over the "Give Me More Lip" Sampler... sighh. 

Have you picked up this set or tried any of these products? What did you think? 

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Body Shop Colour Crush Eyeshadows via

Fall is nearly here and the Body Shop is launching a few sweet treats for eyeshadow lovers, namely the Colour Crush eyeshadow range. It consists of 30 pearlescent and matte shades with both bright colours and simple neutrals that are cruelty free and made with fair-trade marula oil. Each shadow retails for $10 and comes with 1.5 g (0.5 oz) of product that is  individually packaged cute little recyclable container. 

I tested three of the thirty shades - 301 Pink Crush*, 505 Boyfriend Jeans*, and 201 Melt My Heart*. 

The Colour Crush Eyeshadows feel like everything you could possibly ask for in an eyeshadow...buttery, silky smooth and easily blendable and buildable with fingers or a brush. All three of these colours have a pearlescent finish, but in other aspects, each colour has an enigma of its own...

Pink Crush 
Pink Crush is a baby pink. I found this colour to be a little on the chalky side but it's a nice shade for the all over the lid or just in the inner corners to brighten up the eyes nonetheless.

Boyfriend Jeans
If I was living in the 80s, Boyfriend Jeans is the colour that I would choose to wear all the way up to my eyebrows without a care. It's a bright baby blue but not in a crazy way. So if you like colour, then this one is perfect!

Melt My Heart
The most wearable of the three, Melt My Heart is a non-glittery peachy gold. It's a great shade, but not necessarily unique compared to colours from other brands.

The Body Shop Colour Crush Eyeshadows blew me away with their texture and pigmentation. The only issue I have with these shadows is that they don't come in a convenient little palette for me to carry around. Otherwise, I'm looking forward to stopping by the Body Shop to try out some other colours!

This post was originally written for :)

Products received for consideration are denoted with an asterisk (*).

Friday, September 20, 2013

FASHION Magazine Beauty Panel: NYFW - Jason Wu Spring/Summer 2014

Whenever I hear the words "fashion week", the first thing I do is stalk livestreams and recaps in search for dramatic makeup looks to recreate. My fave look for Spring/Summer 2014 from New York Fashion Week is the brown and golden glam eye created by Lancome makeup artist Diane Kendal for Jason Wu. 

For this look, it's all about the eyes. I patted the chunky golden-bronze glitter in the Revlon PhotoReady  Primer, Shadow + Sparkle Palette in Metropolitan all over the lid and drew a harsh line above the crease with the dark brown. I dusted a yellowy-gold pigment onto the centre of the eye for dimension and sparkle and finished with subtle liner and mascara. Staying true to the look, I kept the face and lips simple by using a luminous matte foundation by Make Up For Ever and a light pink lip gloss from NARS. 

As for making it work for the everyday girl, try blending out the dark brown above the crease. Harsh lines make the look more "runway ready" but blending out the darker shadow will make this glittery look perfectly wearable for a night out. 

Products Used: Revlon PhotoReady Primer, Shadow + Sparkle in "Metropolitan", Madison Street Beauty Pigment in "Mint" NARS Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight, and Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + Foundation

 photo fashion-magazine-beauty-panel-badge_zpse3b2caa9.png

Thursday, September 19, 2013

EVENT: P&G Beauty United

Even though it was more than a few weeks ago...It was both a pleasure and an honour to attend my first official blogger event, hosted by P&G Beauty. As you may already know, P&G is a huge brand and it's beauty product lines include CoverGirl, Olay, Pantene, Herbal Essences, Vidal Sassoon, and more.

Beauty United is a network of Canadian and indie beauty bloggers. Thirty lovely ladies from Fredericton all the way to Vancouver made it out to the launch event at the Trump International Hotel and Tower. Indeed, it was nice to see a few familiar faces and I was slightly starstruck to meet a few bloggers that are my daily reads. 

Photo Courtesy of Jeffrey Chan/MSL Group - Michelle of A Lovely Allure, Myself, and Christine of Little Red Bow

The night started off with chit-chat and introductions. My eyes immediately rushed to the huge table of chocolate and sweets made by the Trump's in-house chocolatier. Of course, I took a few goodies for the taxi ride home.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ageless Derma Satin Lip Gloss in Ruby

Ageless Derma is a brand that prides itself in quality skincare solutions developed by scientists in Orange County, California. I received the Ageless Derma Satin Lip Gloss in Ruby* to review. 

One thing to note... upon googling Ageless Derma, I stumbled upon a website (here) where scam claims are made. Several people purchased products from the website and their credit/debit were charged additional billings for orders that were not made. Though this won't change my opinion of the product itself, PLEASE keep this factor in mind when deciding to purchase a product. I will not be held responsible if you get scammed so I am warning you now. Buyer beware. 

Ingredients:  Petrolatum, Polybutane C12-15, Allkyl Benzoate, Myristyl Lactate, Ozokerite, Beeswax, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Vitamin A Acetate, Aloe Vera, Grapeseed Extract, Green Tea Extract, Wheat Germ Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil,  Peppermint Oil,  BHA
May Contain: Castor Oil, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Mica
I'm no scientist, but the ingredients listing seems pretty straight forward. Petrolatum... isn't that the stuff they use in Vaseline? ... If that's the case, then this is no different from a Vaseline with a few essential oils. This product retails for $15.

In fact, the texture of the satin lip gloss is somewhat similar to Vaseline, but slightly less thick. The gloss has no underlying scent. It's not sticky, but it's is quite pigmented for a gloss. Ruby translates onto the lips as a pretty sheer red. 

I'm not a fan of the pot packaging as it is pigmented enough to make a mess. Imagine applying lipstick with your fingers...not so fun. 

Overall, I found this product to be quite similar to the Korres Lip Butters in texture and pigmentation, which I like. The Satin Lip Gloss offers both pigmentation and moisturization.

Would I buy this with my own money? Probably not. I'm not fond of websites/companies that have bad reputations for double/triple billing customers (i.e. - see here) and I'm not willing to take the risk. Since sheer lip colours are easy to find at both drugstore and department store levels, I would opt for something else.

Would you shop from Ageless Derma? 

Products received for consideration are denoted with an asterisk (*).

Saturday, September 14, 2013

BA STAR Stardust Mineral Eye Shadow

BA Star is a brand that specializes in dance and cheerleading makeup. Despite this, the Stardust Mineral Eyeshadow* in the colour Chocolate is surprisingly wearable for the everyday girl. The product retails for $8.75 and can be found on the BA STAR website

The packaging comes in a cheap plastic container. The clear piece on my container fell off subsequent to opening the packaging. 

The mineral eyeshadow comes with an adhesive primer that I've reviewed in a previous post (see here. For this product, use of the glue/primer is absolutely necessary. Without it, the product immediately begins to fall off the eyelid and onto the face. Furthermore, the adhesive also gives more pigmentation to the product. 

The colour chocolate is a warm brown shade with gold glitters. I find it to be quite wearable if you don't mind a little shimmer. The gold shimmer has adds enough dimension that it can easily be worn on its own. The pigment isn't overly gritty but I found that it was hard to blend around the edges. 

Top - on BA STAR glue, Middle - no primer, Bottom - LA Splashproof Primer

Overall, a good product at a fair price. I wouldn't purchase other colours, as I think that you can find shadows of similar or better quality with more unique colours.  If you'd like to try this product for yourself,  you can get 50% off of this product with the discount code BBDUST on the BA STAR website. 

What do you think of BA STAR? 

Products received for consideration are denoted with an asterisk (*).

Friday, September 13, 2013

Feels like Fall... || Cheeky Monkey Nail Polish

You know it's fall when... 
  • The leaves start to change colours
  • People start wearing pants (instead of shorts)
  • Stores start stocking Christmas decorations
  • It's Oktoberfest in Waterloo 
  • It's September 21st (but not quite!)
  • You bust out the dark polishes

Oh how time flies. I'm in my third year of university, yet I feel like nothing has changed since I started. It's fall (yet again) and I've transitioned from my cute pastels and summery brights to something a little more... mature. 

Despite its name, the polish is actually quite expensive looking on the nails... 

It's a Cheeky Monkey polish and I'm not going to mention the name because you can read it for yourself on the bottle. Unfortunately, this colour is discontinued (I can't find it on the website). It's a beautiful ruby red and opaque in 3 coats. I've topped it off with 2 generous coats of Revlon No-Chip Top Coat for a nice shine. 

Sigh....winter is coming. 

Does it feel like time flies for you? How do you know when it's fall? 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Clinique Limited Edition Moisture Favourites Set

Clinique... the cosmetics brand with a focus on skincare. Allergy tested and 100% Fragrance Free... for every product. I haven't had much experience with Clinique other than a their Exfoliating Scrub and a sample of the Dark Spot Corrector, however the few experiences I have had have been successful. Clinique doesn't break me out or irritate my skin... and the products do what they say. 

The Clinique Moisture Favourites Set* is a limited edition set with three Clinique products and can be found at Harrods (£34.00) or on Amazon ($74.88). 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Long time no... GIVEAWAY! ft. Peach Tree Designs [WORLDWIDE]

It's been a while. Life in general has caught me off guard and I haven't been hosting giveaways recently. Well, it's time! Give a warm welcome back to Peach Tree Designs :)

Peach Tree Designs is an Etsy shop that began in 2012 and specializes in handmade jewellery by shop owner, Laura Powers. And that's not all, Laura also co-owns a vintage design store with her daughter (also on Etsy) called pineBrookVintage. Pine Brook Vintage offers one-of-a-kind retro and vintage finds.

When I browse the Peach Tree Designs shop... it emanates a kind of vintage classic vibe with a twist. Laura's latest fall releases emphasize her design aesthetic well.

Acorn Earrings, Golden Champagne Pearl Earrings, Wedding Earrings

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Lightbox Beauty Club - August 2013 - First Impressions

About a month ago, I did an "intro" post on the Lightbox Beauty Club. What is the Lightbox Beauty Club? It's a drugstore subscription box. For more info you can read the post HERE.

The company was kind enough to send me a box to try out. Note that this is a press sample and this box may differ from actual boxes. 

Honestly, I haven't had the chance to try out all the products in great detail. In particular, the mascaras remain unopened because I don't like to have too many opened mascaras laying around at the same time. This post will be based on general consensus product reviews from other websites and my first impressions of the box overall. Comprehensive reviews on individual products will be reserved for those that are standout or absolutely horrid. 

Here's what I got: 

The package came in a bubble mailer. The box is simplistic and chic, but there was no product card inside to tell me what I was getting or why the box was curated a certain way. This is something I expected because most, if not all, subscription boxes include some sort of informational card or note. 

LA Splash Mineral Blush in Baby Pink ($14.98), Ioni Matte Lipstick in Coral, Ioni PhatLash Mascara, LA Splash Spotlight Mascara ($11.98), LA Splash Splash Proof Sealer ($8.98), Ioni Bronzer Duo in Sun Kissed , LA Splash Duo Brush ($8.98)

For some reason, I couldn't find the price of IONI anywhere online. However, I've seen IONI in an EmilyNoel83 dollar store haul.  So I think it would be fair to give these products a value of $2 each. 

Ioni Phatlash Volumizing Mascara - I couldn't find any reviews on this mascara, which worries me a little. 

LA Splash Spotlight Lengthening Mascara - This is a light up mascara ... the light is inside the top of the brush and the brush is one of those rubberized ones. In general, I prefer a bristled brushes. 

Ioni Bronzer Duo in Sun Kissed - Again, I couldn't find reviews on this product. Both sides of the duo are quite shimmery. I could probably use the lighter side of the duo as a highlighter. The product isn't overly pigmented or sheer... just about right for a face product. 

LA Splash Mineral Blush in Baby Pink - I found quite positive reviews for this product and I must say that this is my favourite of the bunch. It's a cute colour and has a nice sparkly sheen to it. 

Ioni Matte Lipstick in Coral - This isn't a coral colour, but it's not bad. Again, not too many reviews on this Ioni product, but when I applied it on my arm, it felt smooth and was extremely pigmented, similar to wet n wild lipsticks. The packaging feels quite inexpensive. 

swatch, swatch, swatch: Bronzers, Blush, Lipstick

LA Splash Splashproof Sealer - This product looks, feels, and smells a lot like glue... which is slightly off-putting. The reviews on Makeup Alley are stellar. Some compare this eyeshadow base to Fyrinnae Epoxy (cult favourite) except more accessible. I have yet to actually test this with a glitter, but I have pretty high hopes. 

LA Splash DUO Brush. A fluffy blending side and an angled liner brush on the other side, this brush immediately fell apart as soon as lifted it out of the box. It's quite a shame because both brushes have nice, soft bristles...I'm considering gluing it back together. 

TOTAL VALUE: $48.92 - assuming Ioni products are worth $2

The Good: The box is pretty good for a price of $20. There is a wide range of product types, other than the fact that there was 2 mascaras. 
The Bad: There's only 2 brands in the box - Ioni and LA Splash. Furthermore, I couldn't find many reviews on Ioni even though it seems like the company was formed in 2009. 

If you're looking to ONLY try LA Splash or Ioni, then this would be a good option for you. If not, I wouldn't recommend this box. Personally, I will not be subscribing as there's not enough variety and the products don't particularly interest me. 

Would you subscribe to this box?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Goodbye Summer - 25 Vacation Tracks + The Boyfriend's Playlist

Going back to Toronto tonight! A little different of a post... but I've compiled a list of the music I've been enjoying lately. I could honestly listen to a select few of these songs repeatedly for hours but I thought it wouldn't be as interesting. 

My musical background consists of piano, violin, flute, and guitar.. some more basic (guitar) and others quite advanced (piano). At one point in time, my parents wanted me to become a music teacher. I never pursued this path... but learning different instruments has made me appreciate music more today. 

My taste in music is all over the place. It changes in stages. I had a punk rock/emo phase in high school... and now it's just everything and anything. From jazz rap to movie soundtracks and Beyonce, hopefully there's something for everyone to enjoy. 

I compiled a little youtube playlist where you can find all these songs in one place HERE. Clicking on the links will also take you to individual songs. Enjoy! 

  1. 1 Plus 1 (Beyonce Demo) - The Dream
  2. Gasoline - Alpine
  3. Crave You - Flight Facilities ft. Giselle + Adventure Club Dubstep Remix
  4. Dreaming - Sound FX
  5. Eyes (Extended Mix) - Kaskade ft. Mindy Gledhill
  6. Foreign Language - Flight Facilities ft. Jess
  7. Ham N Eggs - A Tribe Called Quest
  8. I Am Not A Robot - Marina and the Diamonds
  9. Ichill - Kakurenbo 
  10. It Can Wait - ILLY 
  11. More to Luv - Minnutes
  12. RIP (acoustic) - Rita Ora
  13. Set Fire to the Rain - the Scene Aesthetic
  14. Shake It Out - Florence and the Machine
  15. Skinny Love - Birdy
  16. Sky Stroll - Howl's Moving Castle OST
  17. Telescope - Lennon and Maisy Stella
  18. Time to Pretend - MGMT
  19. Thin Line ft. Buffalo Madonna - Macklemore
  20. You Can't Stop the Beat - Hairspray
  21. Thrift Shop - Macklemore
  22. Wildfire (SBTRKT) - Jeni
  23. You and Me - One Night Only
  24. Young Folks - Peter Bjorn and John
  25. Youth - Foxes

Ambrose and I hope you found something in common or discovered something new. Happy listening :) 
What type of music do you like? Favourite song of the moment? 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Snoopy Water Nail Decals from Born Pretty Store

The snoopy's can be found in the 11 Piece Nail Water Stickers Nail Art Decals Manicure Tuzki set, which also comes with other various cartoons and sells for $4.73

So... what's a nail art decal? It's basically stickers for your nails that work a lot like temporary tattoos. To use the decals, (1) cut the individual pieces for each nail (2) wet your nails (3) submerge the decals into water for 10-15 seconds (4) place the decals on each individual nail. 

As a beginner, I found the decals fairly straightforward and easy to use . Though there were a few issues:
  • After wetting the decals and placing them on the nails, you need to flip them over. I expected them to come backwards so that when I placed them on the nail they'd be right side up, but it was actually the other way around. 
  • Applying top coat smudged the decals slightly and left blank spaces in the image but from afar you can't really tell the difference.
Otherwise, these decals are cute and quirky... and much easier than freehand drawing snoopy on my nails! 

A little math... 
Each cartoon set has 20 decals, good enough for 2 manicures. 2 x 11 = 22 manicures. 20 x 11 = 220 individual decals and $4.73/220 = $.02 per nail and $0.22 for all 10 fingers. It's a pretty good deal for some snazzy nail designs that I'm incapable of free-handing. 

If you're interested in purchasing from feel free to use the code FSBW10 for 10% off (not an affiliate link!)

What do you think of snoopy on the nails...Weird or Cool? Have you tried Water Decals? 

Monday, September 2, 2013

CoverGirl Lipslicks Smoochies Lip Balm in #smooch

Upon first swatching, I absolutely hated this product. 

Glide on sheer color and keep lips moisturized with our fabulously flirty Smoochies lip balm. 

Catering to a younger crowd, CoverGirl has come out with a line of sheer tinted lip balms each named with  juvenile twitter/text talk. I don't remember the last time I used any of these short forms (if ever). Colours range from deep reds to pinks and there are 12 in the line - C U L8R, Tweet Me, 2 CUTE, Smooch, LUV U, TRU LUV, Sweet Tweet, ONLY U, Text Me, LUV BUG, Be Sweet, and B4N. I got the shade #Smooch in a goodie bag during the MMVAs, but these cost around $4-$6 at drugstores. 

The packaging is girly, simple, and plasticy. Not particularly a fan of the contrasting green and pink, but I don't have any real issues with it. 

#Smooch is a sheer nude pink with hints of mauve. The reason why I hated it so much at first was because there's visible silver glitter and it even feels gritty on the lips. As for how it actually looks on the lips...if you don't exfoliate and moisturize before use, the glitters and grittiness will easily catch on to dry patches. The wear is similar to a lip balm, two hours or less and it's semi-moisturizing. 

Ignore my messy eye makeup... I was playing around :)

I wouldn't necessarily wear this product on its own as a lip balm. Despite disliking it at first, it's growing on me. The glitters aren't visible from afar and I actually how natural and glossy the colour looks on my lips. I won't be picking up any other colours, but I will be putting this one to use. 

Have you tried the CoverGirl Smoochies? What do you think of the names?