Friday, April 18, 2014

Topbox April 2014 Review

This is my 3rd Topbox so far and unlike the last one, I have mixed feelings about this box. I put the dermalogica Privé box on my Topbox wishlist but ended up with the regular Topbox again. Also a bit disappointed that I didn't get the Murale box but oh well. For those that aren't subscribed, Topbox is a montly beauty subscription box that lets you "get 4 hand picked deluxe samples delivered to your door for $12 per month."

- LA Splash Nail Spash in Mystique (full size - $7.50)
- Thierry Muglar Alien Eau Extraordiaire (6 mL - $7)
- Sweet Pea Soap Honey & Oats (half size? - 2.98)
- Miracle 10 Skincare Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 (50 mL - $38)

I'm happy with the Miracle 10 since it is a full size and I don't currently have a face sunscreen for the summer! I'll be trying this within the next few weeks to see how it does :) The SPF could be a bit higher but even a bit of SPF is already good enough, right?

The Alien perfume is decently sized but it is one of those dab type applications. I'm not really sure how those smaller 3 mL samples can have a spray application, but a slightly bigger bottle doesn't :/ Another downside is that I'm sensitive to stronger perfumes so I'm not sure what to do with this.

I also have mixed feelings about the nail polish because I have a similar colour and it seems a bit too shimmery for my liking. This will probably be gifted but it does seem like a wearable colour.

And lastly, I really like the soap! It contains almond fragrance so it smells sweet and nutty but there is also a hint of something else to tone it down (probably the oats). The soaps on their site don't seem as small so this probably isn't a full size but the ingredients seem like it could be a nice, moisturizing soap. Ingredients: coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, castor oil, distilled water, sodium, hydroxide, honey, oatmeal, and almond fragrance oil.

Total Value: $55.48
Paid: $13.56

This box was definitely a great value! Despite 2 of the products not really matching my tastes, I got a full sized product I think I will actually use so this was still a fairly valuable box to me. What did you get in your April Topbox?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sephora VIB Sale 2014 15% off

For those other Sephora VIBs out there, today is the start of the VIB Early Access Event where all in store and online purchases are 15% off! Today is also the only day to get the limited-edition cosmetic bag (in-store) :)

VIBs should have gotten an email a few days ago so check that one to get your in-store coupon, or use the promo code VIBTICKET for online orders. The offer is good April 3 - 11th. I'm not sure if this is replacing the usual 'Chic Week' but I really hope not and that they will have the sale later on for regular Beauty Insiders. I think VIBs can also bring a friend so make sure to share the love with other beauty lovers out there :D

I've been anticipating this sale for a while so I already have a wishlist compiled ;)

- Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush
- Ole Henriksen Cleansing Clothes: Oil-Free Pore Refining
- Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo or Perfect Brow Pencil
- Benefit Cosmetics Posietint
- Ole Henriksen Walnut Complextion Scrub
- Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup

Has anyone tried any of these products before and if so, how did you like them? What's on your wishlist for this sale? :)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Holika Holika Holy Berry Tint No. 1 Strawberry swatch + review

This was a spontaneous purchase as I was in Pacific Mall. I first heard about this brand from Jen frmheadtotoe so of course, that made me tempted to try something from there. I've been looking for possible dupes for Benefit Cosmetic's benetint and posietint for a while now so I was curious about Holika Holika's tints. It was also only $10 so it didn't seem too expensive to me.

Holika Holika is a Korean cosmetics brand and Holy Berry Tint in No. 1 Strawberry is a red-pink lip tint that is very highly pigmented. It is a liquid type tint and looks a lot darker in the bottle than it is on lips. Like most good tints, this does not dry out your lips and can be used for layering under other products. It comes with a doe-foot applicator so it is easy to apply too much product but at the same time, it gives you a lot of control. The applicator gives enough control so that you can easily create effects like gradient lips.

One downside for me is that it has a very artificial berry flavour that is too strong for my liking. It also tastes a bit like the smell. The packaging also makes me hesitant to bring it around in my makeup bag since I heard it could unscrew and leak so I always keep it in the little plastic bag I received with it.

In terms of the wear, it is a bit waterproof but fades quite a bit whenever I drink water. I'd say that it lasts for 2-3 hours if you are eating and drinking, but even longer if you don't. It goes on semi-opaque and can be built up for opaque and bold colour. It is a nice tint but because of the smell and lasting power, I probably will just buy benetint or another type of tint. I'll just finish off with a swatch:

This is available on eBay for as $5.40 and up.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Loose Button Luxe Box Spring 2014 review

So to add to my ever expanding collection of makeup/hair/skin care products, I purchased a 2 season subscription to Loose Button's Luxe Box for $25+tax/box (shipping included). Unlike most beauty subscriptions, Luxe Box comes every 3 months and comes with "7 to 8 trial sized beauty and lifestyle discoveries". There are 3 membership options so that you can pay $24 - 26 for each box, depending on your membership. The one I have for review is the Spring 2014 Luxe Box.

Each Luxe Box is a nice rectangular white box that is super sturdy and the products comes in a silky white dust bag. I wasn't expecting the box to be so sturdy so I was surprised, but glad because I now have something for nail polish storage! Now onto the products:

- essie sleek stick in oh my gold! (full size - $11)
- teeez trendy cosmetics Paradise Perfect Lipgloss in sheer gold (full-size - unknown price)
- Fekkai PrX Reparatives Conditioner with Argan Extract (59 mL - $5)
- Fekkai PrX Reparatives Shampoo with Argan Extract (59 mL - $5)
- Lancome Genefique Youth Activating Concentrate (8 mL - trial)
- Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion (28 mL - trial)
- Knotties (4 hair ties - unknown price)

Close up on the teeez lipgloss:


And essie sleek stick:

The total value of this box doesn't seem too high but I'm sure it is greater than what I paid ($28.25).

I'm okay with the Fekkai, Lancome, Essie, and Aveeno products but I'm not too crazy about the others. The Essie sleek stick is a nice design of gold hexagons and I actually like that I didn't get a bottle of nail polish since I have way too many of those. The Fekkai and Lancome are a decent size but since the Aveeno is a body lotion, I feel like it should be a bit larger.

I'm a bit worried about the teeez lip gloss because plumping products usually hurt, and I don't really need bigger lips, or the pain. I wish I had gotten a gloss with colour or one of their nail lacquers instead.The hair ties are the most disappointing product since you can get those anywhere and at a cheap price.

My next Luxe Box is the Summer 2014 box coming in June so hopefully that one will be better!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Topbox March 2014 Review

Even after the disaster that was the December 2013 Ipsy Glam Bag, I decided to give it a go with another subscription box, Topbox. I signed up around November but only got off the wait list in February. Topbox is a Toronto-based beauty subscription so yay for Canadian pride :)

I did receive the February 2014 Topbox but didn't have time to review it so here's my review for the March 2014 box:

- Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (7 mL)
- belvada cosmetics Blackhead Facial Mask (8 ml) x 2
- Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (unknown weight)
- Benefit Cosmetics the POREfessional (3 mL)

Here's a close up on the Clinique product:

I'm really impressed with this month's Topbox! The brands are great and I actually want to try these things :) (I gave the Estee Lauder to my mom though) The Clinique Almost Better Lipstick is one of my favourites because I was looking into it a few months ago so at least now I have a sample to help me decide. I'm also looking forward to the POREfessional because I am in need of a new primer so this will help in my decision!

I added the Glamglow Privé box to my wish list this month so I'm a bit disappointed I didn't receive it, but the regular Topbox this month was still pretty great.

With taxes, Topbox comes to $13.56 a month with the option of a $10 full-sized mystery beauty item.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

bliss Lemon+Sage Body Butter Maximum Moisture Cream review + swatch

I first bought this body butter as a filler item for my Sephora order last year and bought it again in one of my most recent orders. It was $7 for 50 mL the first time but the price has since been raised to $10. It also comes in a 200 mL size for $35 but I have seen the 'super size' which is 414 mL for around $30 at Winners!! Very tempted to buy it whenever I see it.

"A maximum-moisture, best-selling cream with a luxuriously rich texture."

My favourite thing about this is the smell! I really love lemony and fresh smelling things so this scent is perfect for me. The sage definitely makes it seem different and helps to tune down the lemon a bit. This is also more of a light lemon smell and does not smell super sweet. The smell lingers for around 30 mins - 1 hour on your skin but even then, it is not as strong as when you first apply it.

The texture of this cream is also light; it is not as thick as other body butters but also not too runny so it is very easy to spread. It is thick enough that it won't drip off you when you squeeze it on your skin and not so thin that it is like a runny lotion. When applied It isn't too greasy and really absorbs into the skin quickly. Since it isn't so thick, it is also good for hand cream and the 50 mL size makes it very portable as well.

In terms of the moisturizing, I'd have to say that it is also light and not 'maximum moisture' like they claim. It is sufficient for my dry skin but it does not make my skin feel as smooth as other body butters do. The feeling is probably equivalent to how your skin is when it is wet? It is fine for my skin in the winter but I prefer it more for summer since I need some light moisturizing then.

I really like this body butter for the summer so I will probably keep buying it if I ever need filler items. Similar to the Tony Moly Peach Anti-Aging Hand Cream, the performance isn't as great as some would expect but the smell is worth it for me ;)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Urban Decay Naked Flushed review + swatch

The Urban Decay's Naked Flushed Palette is a bronzer/highlighter/blush trio (which I received as a birthday gift this year). These type of trios seem to be very in right now and I can see why since they are quite multi-purpose! I'm not really sure which company came up with this idea first but the first one I heard of was Benefit Cosmetic's Fine One One stick. I'm more of a powder girl so when my birthday came up, I asked someone to get me the Urban Decay palette.
The packaging of this palette is very similar to the Naked Basics palette; it made out of plastic and has a full size mirror. The mirror is sufficient enough for me to see about half my face so it is great to use for touch-ups. It does not have any latches and is just a magnetic closure. This makes it very easy to open and close while still being secure enough to just pop in your makeup bag.

"Use these pressed powders individually or blend them together to create just the right effect—and let this seemingly straight-laced trio morph into a tangled color love-fest. Then bask in the radiant glow and let people wonder what you’ve been up to."

All the powders in this are full size, similar to how Urban Decay's eyeshadow palettes are. The great thing about this palette is that the colours can applied either separately or you can mix the colours together. My favourite way is to mix the blush with a bit of highlighter and apply bronzer separately. They are also super pigmented but have a very powdery formula so you definitely need to tap your brush to get off excess powder.

Bronzer - "a medium bronze satin" which is fairly pigmented but it may show up as slightly orange on some skin tones. It seems like a colour that is better for light skin tones and some medium tones because it may not show up on darker skin. It would be great all over bronze but doesn't show up enough to work for contouring for me. 

Highlighter - "a soft pink champagne shimmer" that is more pigmented than the bronzer and you will be able to get full colour with just one swipe. It is very shimmery and slightly pinked tone but seems like an okay highlighter for cheekbones. I'm not a highlighter person since I have oily skin anyways but I do occasionally mix it with the blush.

Blush - this "dusty rose satin with a hint of shimmer" is extremely pigmented and it is easy to go a bit overboard when applying. It is a very pink blush so it is not one that I wear everyday but it is still one I will use from time to time. The pigmentation allows it to last throughout the majority of the day so it is quite a long-wearing blush.

Swatch without flash

  Swatch with flash

My favourite part of this trio is definitely the blush since it is so pigmented so whenever Urban Decay blushes start to appear more in Canada, I would like to try one in another shade!