December 28, 2014

In the Mail: Topbox December 2014

I originally planned to include first impressions with this unboxing. Unfortunately, since the two weeks from when I received this month's Topbox in the mail, my skin has not been feeling well to risk new products on my face. As the end of the month nears, today I want to share what I received in the December Topbox.

Topbox is a C$12 monthly Canadian beauty subscription box with four deluxe samples and free shipping.

What's in my box this month:
  • Marsk Natural Mineral Eyeshadow (Black Comedy) - 1.2g (full size 1.2g for C$22.5) - value: C$22.5
  • Eslor Introductory Collection - 5mL x 4 - value: $17.80; ~C$20
    • Soothing Refiner and Cleanser - 5mL (full size 60mL for $28) - value: $2.33
    • Botanical Peeling Gel - 5mL (full size 60mL for $38) - value: $3.17
    • Chlorophyll Lifting Mask - 5mL (full size 50mL for $38) - value: $3.80
    • Firming Collagen Day Cream - 5mL (full size 50mL for $85) - value: $8.50
  • Kinetics Nail Polish (Ice Smoothie) - 15mL (full size 15mL for C$12) - value: C$12
  • Me MAXeffects Naturals Eye & Face Makeup Remover Plus Toner - ??? (full size 400mL for C$19.99) - value: ???

This box has an approximate value of $C55, giving it the highest value out of three Topboxes that I have received so far [Unboxings Here].

However, I will not get much wear of the Kinetics nail polish since this is the second purple color nail polish that I have received from Topbox in three months. The Marsk eyeshadow looks very intriguing, but I just don't wear black eyeshadow. I always lean toward dark plums and navies when I want smokier eyes. If I had received this mineral eyeshadow in a more neutral color, I would be much more excited.

I will try out the Eslor mini kit, but the MAXeffects sample probably won't get the chance to be used. The value of this box to me is around C$20, making it worth the C$12 subscription price.

What did you receive from subscription boxes this month?

November 30, 2014

Empties: November 2014

I have been very busy this month and will continue to be busy until end of the year. Today I want to share a quick post about the products that I finished this month.

November 22, 2014

In the Mail: Topbox November 2014

Today I want to share a quick unboxing post about this month's Topbox.

This is a C$12 monthly beauty subscription box with 4 deluxe samples.

My box this month with a value of C$22:
  • Benefit Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer - 0.04oz (full size 0.54oz for C$38) - value: C$2.81
  • Eyeko Black Magic Mascara - 0.13oz (full size 0.29oz for C$29) - value: $C13
  • UniqOne All in One Hair Treatment - 9mL (full size 150mL for C$19.95) - value: C$1.2
  • La Splash Nail Polish (12019 French Pink) - 10mL (full size 10mL for C$4.99) - value: C$4.99

I don't wear foundation, so I won't be using the Benefit Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer. The La Splash Nail Polish looks pretty, but the baby pink color isn't anything special. The nail polish packaging is really sturdy and nice, but even with the cap tightly sealed, I can smell the formula through layers of bubble wrap.

I am looking forward to trying the UniqOne All in One Hair Treatment and the Eyeko Black Magic Mascara. The value of this box for me is C$14.2, just above the C$12 subscription price.

Update (January 27, 2015): Reviews for Eyeko Black Magic Mascara and UniqOne All in One Hair Treatment.

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara
I adore the curling and lengthening effect of this mascara. The formula has a watery consistency and the flexible bristles coat every lash without clumps. Unfortunately this mascara irritates my eyes when I apply it to the roots of my lashes. I enjoyed trying it out, but I will not purchase the full size.

UniqOne All in One Hair Treatment

The scent is the only reason why I am giving it up. I like to apply this treatment to dry hair and it makes my hair smoother without making it look greasy. I really just cannot stand the scent.

Did you receive any subscription boxes this month?

November 12, 2014

Beauty Goodie Bag Giveaway [Closed]

It's been almost a year since my last giveaway and today I am trying out Rafflecopter for the first time. Keep reading for the goodies included in this giveaway!

Congratulations Marilena!

November 9, 2014

Shoppers Drug Mart Holiday Beauty Gala

I recently checked out the Shoppers Drug Mart Holiday Beauty Gala event and today I want to share my experience.

The C$5 from the C$10 ticket price is intended for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the remaining C$5 can be redeemed toward purchase of cosmetics, fragrance, or jewellery on the day.

Despite the advertised refreshments, I didn't see any at the event. I wasn't interested in booking a makeover, so the gala didn't feel any different from a typical shopping day at the store.

October 26, 2014

What's in My Beauty Bag: Trip to Mont-Tremblant

Earlier this month, I took a weekend trip to Mont-Tremblant to appreciate the fall foliage. Today I want to share some first impressions and detailed reviews for some beauty minis that I brought with me.

Make-up Products

October 18, 2014

In the Mail: Topbox October 2014

I had one previous beauty box subscription and I really enjoyed that experience with Glossybox UK [Review Here]. I justed started my subscription with the Canadian-based Topbox and today, I want to share my first box.

October 10, 2014

Review: KIKO Ultra Tech vs. Ultra Tech Curve Mascara

Today I bring another review with side-by-side comparisons of two mascaras from the same brand range. Let's talk about the KIKO Ultra Tech and the KIKO Ultra Tech Curve mascaras.

October 5, 2014

Review: Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip

I purchased and loved the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip set from last year [Swatches Here], so naturally, I picked up this year's version. I have had these six products for over a month now and today I want to share my thoughts on this C$30 lip set.

September 26, 2014

Beauty Declutter: Eyeliners and Eyeshadow Primers

For the finale of my beauty clutter series for this year, I want to share some brief thoughts about the eyeliners and eyeshadow primers that I am getting rid of.

September 20, 2014

Beauty Declutter: Nail Polish

I went through a nail polish phase a few years ago when I purchased dozens and dozens of bottles within a few months. In addition to the colors that were gifted to me, I found my place cluttered with too many bottles of nail polishes that I don't wear. Today I want to share the first wave of bottles that I am getting rid of with some swatches.

September 14, 2014

Review: BareMinerals Bare Tutorials Neutral Eyes

The neutral eye is my most worn and my favorite type of look. Today I want to share the most recent addition to my neutral make-up: the limited edition BareMinerals Bare Tutorials Neutral Eyes set.

September 9, 2014

Beauty Declutter: Lip Products

Even though I have been out of school for a while now, September always feels like a new start. Today I want to share some brief thoughts about the lip products that I am getting rid of.

September 6, 2014

Beauty Declutter: Eyeshadows

Refining one's inventory of beauty products has emerged as a popular theme over the past few months. Today, I will kick off my Beauty Declutter series with brief thoughts about the eyeshadows that I am tossing out.

September 1, 2014

In the Mail: Sephora Haul and Samples!

I placed two Sephora orders over the past month and half and each order coincided with awesome promotions. Today I want to write a brief post sharing everything that I received in the mail.

August 27, 2014

Review: Catrice Kohl Kajal + Pure Shine Colour Lip Balm

As part of my Europe travel haul last Fall [Read Here], I picked up several products from the German brand Catrice Cosmetics. Today I want to share my thoughts on two products from the permanent range.

August 9, 2014

Review: Mascaras (Covergirl, KIKO, and L'Oreal)

I always like to have a couple of mascaras on rotation and these three have all reached that three to six months mark. Today I want to share some brief thoughts before I bid these mascaras adieu.

August 4, 2014

What's in My Makeup Bag: Trip to New York City

For the week that I spent in New York City in mid-July, I packed minimum make-up as clothes and documents were prioritized into my carry-on. I refrained from checking my bag since it would be an awful start to my business trip to lose my luggage. Today I want to share the few products that I packed for my trip.

July 29, 2014

Sephora Hair Products Haul!

As I only paid for one thing (technically a set), titling this post a haul may be a bit of a stretch. Regardless, today I want to share my recent Sephora order that is all about hair products.

July 25, 2014

NYC Trip Roundup!

It's been a while since my last post...because I have been away on a business trip in New York City! Although I was only gone for little over a week, it took just as much time to get ready and to settle back into my daily life. Today I want to share the bits and bobs of my trip.

July 6, 2014

Review: Too Faced La Crème de La Crème Long Lasting Lip Collection

I had my eyes on this lip set for weeks last year and unfortunately it sold out when I finally decided to make the purchase. Fast forward a few months later, when this set came back in stock this January, I immediately placed an order. I have had my set for over six months now and today I want to share my thoughts on each of the products. All items in this set are available individually and this set is now back in stock at Sephora for $38.

July 2, 2014

Strawberry Picking!

It has been over a decade since my last visit to a berry field and I reacquainted with the pick-my-own experience this past weekend with some strawberries at Whittamore's.

June 29, 2014

Empties: June 2014

Time for another empties post! Without any more intro, let's just get started with my thoughts on the products that I finished this month.

June 22, 2014

DIY: Paper Baskets

This past week has been extremely busy for me. I spent close to 12 hours at the office every day and had to work overtime both days this weekend. Totally irrelevant, but today I want to share a brief DIY for paper baskets.

I always have a couple of these baskets around my apartment, especially to keep my work space tidy by temporarily storing small things such as paper clips and staples.

I also find them to be a great help in the kitchen as mini trash baskets to hold things like egg shells, orange peels, and etc. Let's get started with the step-by-step folding tutorial!

June 14, 2014

Review: Physicians Formula Eye Definer Felt-Tip Eye Marker (Ultra Black)

I have given this eyeliner more chances that it probably deserved over the past 4 months and today I want to share my thoughts on why this Physicians Formula Eye Definer Felt-Tip Eye Marker does not live up to any of its claims.

June 6, 2014

The Lip Product Addict TAG

Out of all the beauty products that I own, the lip products category definitely takes up the most inventory. Today I want to share my candidates to the Lip Product Addict TAG.

May 31, 2014

Empties: May 2014

This month's empties features products that belong to categories that are truly day-to-day essentials, so starting in June, I will be adding a ton of new products to my routine. Let's get to my thoughts on the products that I finished this month.

May 22, 2014

Review: Seventeen Mirror Shine Lipstick x 4

As one of the last beauty items that I picked up before moving away from the UK, today I want to share my thoughts on the four Seventeen Mirror Shine Lipstick that I own.

[L-to-R]: L.A., Shouty, Belle, and Beehive

May 14, 2014

Sephora Chic Week Haul!

For the past two months, I relied on my friends' hospitality to buy me time for my apartment hunt. The Toronto apartment vacancy rate is definitely not a welcoming factor for the city.

Now that I have finally moved into my own place, I can catch up on some posts that I have been meaning to write. Today I want to share the few products that I picked up during this year's Sephora Chic Week, even though the orders for the 15% off sale were placed over a month ago.

May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

For the first time in a long time, this year I spent mother's day with my dear mother who is staying with me for the week. As part of her gift, I got her one of the Lush Madame Butterfly bubble bar with hopes that she would adore the Rose Jam scent as much as I do.

This limited edition 75g bar retails for CAD$8.95, which is more expansive with less product than the Rose Jam Bubbleroon [Review Here]. However, on a per-use basis, Madame Butterfly may be the better deal since it claims to last for up to 6 baths compared to the 2 uses of the bubbleroon. Then again, if I was more proactive, I could probably divide up the bubbleroon to make it last longer.

How do you celebrate mother's day?

April 29, 2014

Empties: April 2014

Another month, another empties. Unfortunately, I don't think that I would be repurchasing any of the products that I finished up this month. I also tried a few sheet masks this month and my thoughts on those are available Here. Keep reading for my thoughts on the products included in this month's empties.

April 26, 2014

What's in My Work Bag (Coach Legacy Chelsea Carryall)

Given the circumstances of my somewhat recent relocation for a new job, I thought it was appropriate to mark the occasion by sharing what's in my current work bag.

April 20, 2014

Review: The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX BeBe Lip Mask

My usual remedy for dry lips is to apply a thick layer of the Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm [Review Here] and wait overnight for the magic to happen. There are definitely days when I wish that I had an immediate cure for dry lips and today I want to share my thoughts on the The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX BeBe Lip Mask.

April 10, 2014

Asian Beauty Haul and First Impressions

One of the perks of having a large Asian population in the greater Toronto area is the convenient access to various brands from the Far East. Today I want to share the few products that I have picked up in the last two weeks and my first impressions on three items from the bunch.

April 6, 2014

Review: Physicians Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Lash Mascara (Ultra Black)

I have been using this Physicians Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Lash Mascara for the past 2 months and today I want to share my thoughts.

April 2, 2014

Mildred's Temple Kitchen

Brunch is a must-have for me to truly feel like the weekend has arrived. I started checking out various brunch places since arriving in Toronto and today I want to share my dining experience at Mildred's Temple Kitchen.

My party arrived near 11am on a Saturday and we waited about 15 minutes for a spot at the bar. The wait-time would double for a regular table and is even longer on Sundays.

March 30, 2014

Empties: March 2014

I spent quite a few days hopping from hotel to hotel earlier this month before finally settling into my current temporarily residence. Naturally, I have been going through quite a few travel size items that I want to share in this month's empties.

March 9, 2014

New Job, New City, Start of a New Chapter

For those who have stumbled upon this blog in its early days, then you would know that I started posting while living in the UK. Now, this Canadian girl has relocated back to Canada and it is time to get ready for a new job in Toronto.

I love to travel and I have moved time and time again for one opportunity or another. To document my travels, I have amassed over 50 postcards over the last two years. Part of my collection is from friends & family and I always make an effort to write a postcard to myself from every new place I travel to. Small details that may seem memorable at the time will not stand a chance against the constant flux of incoming information if they are not written down. I love to take the time to read these postcards occasionally and be reminded of the great time I had during my travels.

This has not been the smoothest relocation so far, but I am slowly settling down thanks to the hospitality of friends. Although I already miss my life in the UK, I am excited to explore Toronto!

Any tips for relocation?

March 4, 2014

Review: IsaDora Lip Products x 3

I have never heard of the Swedish beauty brand IsaDora until I came across a display while in Munich [Haul Here]. With no prior knowledge to guide me, I picked up several products and hoped for the best. After wearing the three lip products since last summer, today I want to share my thoughts.

February 28, 2014

Empties: February 2014

Despite being the shortest month out of the year, this February was full of life changes for me. As mentioned in my previous post, I am still in the middle of relocation, so today's empties post will try to be short and to the point.

Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo (311mL)
I have been using this shampoo with the conditioner from the same line for the past three months and as usual, the shampoo ran out before the conditioner. After each wash, this shampoo always makes my hair feel very light and soft with a fresh melon scent. My only problem is that the formula tends to dry out my scalp with extended use, but I may repurchase it in the future to use as a clarifying shampoo. The shampoo retails for $7-9 and is suitable for all hair types, including color treated hair.

Olay Active Hydrating Cream - Original (56mL)
This facial moisturizer is one of the classic products in my skincare routine. I have gone through dozens and dozens of these over the years and I will be repurchasing eventually. I would recommend this product to anyone who is looking for a basic moisturizing formula.

Olay Silk Whimsy Body Lotion (350mL)
While I absolutely adore the body wash from this rose-scented line [Read Here], the scent of this body lotion is a bit too strong for me. After applying it before bed, I would go out and return home the next day and there would still be a strong scent lingering on my pajamas. Aside from the overpowering scent, I do like the texture of this lotion and how quickly it absorbs into my skin. I have another bottle of this body lotion to get through, but after that, I am not repurchasing.

Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil (150mL)
I bought this cleansing oil last June [Haul Here], but I only started to use it regularly since November. At first, I used 3-4 pumps as indicated in the directions, but soon I realized that I only needed 1-2 pumps to remove every trace of makeup. I usually massage the oil around for a minute before wetting the face to emulsify the oil and rinsing off. The scent is a soft floral and the oil washes off without too much of a greasy residue. I don't find this cleansing oil to be any more brightening than other ones that I have tried and at £30 for 150mL, I would not repurchase even though it performs amazingly as a makeup remover. This cleansing oil claims to be suitable for all skin types, non-comedogenic, and ophthalmologically-, dermatologically-, and allergy-tested.

Which products did you finish this month?

February 22, 2014

NOTD: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Red Carpet

I have been making moving plans since January and this week marks the start of the actual moving process. Since mid-week, time and internet access have been scarce, but today I still want to share one of my favorite red glitter nail polishes: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Red Carpet.
The first coat applies to a pink-red color that turns darker with additional coats. The glitters are layered within the red jelly base, thus creating dimension to the finished look.

This manicure features 2 coats and there are some visible nail lines that would disappear with 3 coats.

The thin formula dries extremely quickly, wears well, and looks absolutely gorgeous. This color is very flattering and is really a classic.

If I only keep one red glitter nail polish, this would be that one polish that comes up on top. For under $3, Red Carpet is a great value and I highly recommend this color.

What is your favorite red glitter nail polish?

February 17, 2014

Review: Nuxe Gentle Exfoliating Gel

My encounter with the Nuxe with Rose Petals range started with the Micellar Cleansing Water [Review Here]. While the scent was divine, that product itself did not perform to my expectations. However, I was so taken by the lovely scent that I became eager to try out other products in the range, thus leading to my purchase of this Nuxe Gentle Exfoliating Gel. I have been using this exfoliant on a weekly basis since early November and today I want to share my thoughts.

Since my first use, I could not shake the disappointment that the dried petals are not rounded. Personally, when I use physical exfoliants, I want every microbead to be perfectly smooth. Otherwise, I worry about tearing my skin with the uneven pieces if I apply even a little bit of pressure when I massage the gel around my face.

To be fair, my fears of bad reactions to this exfoliating gel have not yet realized. I am careful to only gently pat the gel around my face to minimize the risk. The little pieces become less abrasive when mixed in with the amber gel and my skin feels softer and brighter after each use. While the brightening effect does not last overnight, I could count on the smoothing effect on my face for a couple of days.

When used very carefully, this exfoliating gel is gentle to its name and delivers great results. It leaves my skin feeling so clean without drying it out. I will use up the rest of this 75mL tube that retails for $26/€16.70, but the unevenness of the petals would prevent me from repurchasing this exfoliating gel.

Do you prefer rounded physical exfoliants like I do?

Update (Aug 31, 2014): Updated impression in my August Empties.