December 16, 2015

In the Mail: Topbox November + December 2015

Today I want to share the products that I received in my November and December Topbox(es). Topbox is a monthly Canadian beauty box subscription service with four deluxe samples for C$12 + tax per month (shipping inclusive).

November 2015 Topbox



December 12, 2015

Almay Haul

Shoppers Drug Mart has pulled Almay from its locations and all products went on clearance earlier this week. Today I want to share some of the products that I picked up.



  • Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipstick x 5 (Red - Light, Berry - Light/Medium, Pink - Light/Medium, Nude - Light/Medium, Red - Light/Medium)
  • Almay Intense I-Color Eyeliner x 2 (Purple Amethyst for Brown Eyes, Black Pearl for Hazel Eyes)
  • Almay Intense I-Color Volumizing Mascara x 3 (Black Plum for Brown Eyes, Sapphire for Blue Eyes, Midnight for Hazel Eyes)

There are rumors that the shelf space left behind by Almay will soon be occupied by NYX. I also purchased a few more products that I intend to donate this holiday season and perhaps for a future giveaway.


Did you pick up anything during this sale?

November 30, 2015

Empties: November 2015

Today I want to share the products that I finished this month.

Avene Hydrance Optimale Rich Hydrating Cream (15mL)
This is my second tube of this moisturizer in this sample size. I have been using this (along with the other sample tube [Read Here]) as my daily morning moisturizer for the past 6-7 months. It served me well and I like the light texture, but I will not be purchasing the full size.

L'Oreal OleoTherapy Oil Infused Shampoo (250mL)
I was a little apprehensive that this shampoo would make my hair more oily and that was the case for the first couple of washes. After my hair got used to this product, the balance was restored. I did not purchase the conditioner from the same line, so I can't comment on how the pair works together. While it is marketed as a sulfate-free shampoo, the formula does create a lather. The scent is lovely. I would repurchase.

OGX Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner (385mL)
This is in the older packaging with the Organix label. This conditioner works very well with the L'Oreal shampoo above to leave my hair feeling clean and soft. I would repurchase.


What products did you finish this month?

November 22, 2015

Asian Skincare Haul

Today I want to share a short post on my recent skincare purchases.


  • Banila Co. Clean It Zero (100mL)
  • DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (200mL)
  • Shiseido Perfect Liquid (150mL)
  • Shiseido Speedy Perfect Whip (150mL)


Have you tried any of these products?

October 17, 2015

In the Mail: Topbox October 2015

This month kicks off my second year of Topbox subscription. Today I want to share what I received in this month's box.



Topbox is a monthly Canadian beauty box subscription service with four deluxe samples for C$12 + tax per month (shipping inclusive).

My box for an approximate value of C$45:
  • Cuccio Nail Lacquer (Bologna Blush) - 13mL (full size 13mL for $4.21) - value: $4.21
  • Delectable Ultra Nourishing Hand Cream (Coconut & Cream) - 60mL (full size 118mL for US$12) - value: US$6
  • Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara - 4mL (travel size 4.8mL for C$14) - value: C$11.67
  • Starlooks Gem Pencil (Ultra Violet) - 2.4g (full size 2.4g for US$16) - value: US$16

I have previously tried a sample of the Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara as it was included in the Sephora birthday gift last year. The brush is too big for my liking and the formula doesn't wear well on me. I will pass on this new sample since this mascara does not work for me.


What did you receive this month?

October 12, 2015

October 4, 2015

Topbox: One Year in Review

I have been subscribed to Topbox since last October and today I want to share an overview of my experience over the past 12 months. Topbox is a Canadian beauty subscription box with 4 deluxe samples for C$12+tax per month (shipping included).



September 30, 2015

Empties: September 2015

A very short Empties post today!
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 (59mL)
I received this travel bottle in my April Topbox this year and it accompanied me on every trip that I made this summer. The formula absorbs quickly and leaves no greasy residue on my skin. The coconut scent is lovely and the sunscreen doesn't leave any marks on my clothing. I would purchase the full size next summer.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Intensive Hand Cream - Vanilla Apricot (30mL)
This product came in the Josie Maran Winter Dreams Argan Skincare Collection that was available last holiday. It is a good hand cream and I used it up. I will not repurchase since the Vanilla Apricot scent is too sweet for me. The 30mL tube retails for C$15.

What did you finish this month?

September 7, 2015

Review: Sephora Favorites Lash Stash To Go

I have been wearing these five mascaras for the past few months and today I want to share my thoughts on the Sephora Favorites Lash Stash To Go.



August 22, 2015

August 12, 2015

NOTD: Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Grapefruit

Today I want to share one of my favorite low maintenance bright nail polish.

The formula is thicker and I used two coats for this manicure as one coat was a bit streaky. I don't usually follow Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paints with a top coat since the finish is already very glossy.

Even without a top coat, this nail polish lasts over a week without chipping. I have a habit of filing my nails more often when I wear nail polish, so that takes care of any tip wear.

The Grapefruit shade is much brighter in reality than it appears in the photo. I really like it for the summer.

This nail polish retails for £3.99 and I purchased mine the summer before I moved away from the UK.

Have you tried any nail polishes from Barry M?

July 31, 2015

Empties: July 2015

Another month, another quick review on the products that I finished this month.

Avene Hydrance Optimale Rich Hydrating Cream (15mL)
I am very light handed with my morning moisturizer during the summer, so this sample lasted me almost 3 months. Despite the name, this cream doesn't feel heavy on my face. I have another sample, which I will use, but I am not interested in purchasing the full size. This is a mineral oil based moisturizer.

Bioderma Crealine H2O Solution Micellaire (500mL)
This is my absolute favorite micellar water. It gently removes majority of makeup and I feel no residue on the skin even without rinsing. I am already using another bottle and I will most definitely repurchase. The 500mL retails for C$26.95 in Canada.

Dove Oxygen Moisture Conditioner (355mL)
I used up the shampoo from the same line last month [June Empties] and since then, I have paired this conditioner with other shampoos. On the moisture front, this conditioner is below average for me. I will not repurchase.


What products did you finish this month?

July 19, 2015

June 30, 2015

Empties: June 2015

As always, the final post of June will feature the products that I finished this month.
Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo (355mL)
I adore the ombre packaging! I like how light my hair feels when I use this shampoo, even though it feels slightly stripping on the strands when I work it through my hair. I enjoyed using it, but I probably wouldn't repurchase.


Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh Rollerball
I prefer the scent of this variation over the original Marc Jacobs Daisy. Considering I used this at least 3-4 days per week, I am surprised that this little rollerball lasted me over a year. I liked it a lot and I would repurchase if I did not already have multiple fragrances in rotation. This rollerball retails for C$30.

June 20, 2015

In the Mail: Topbox June 2015

Another month, another Topbox. Today I want to share what I received this month.



Topbox is a Canadian beauty subscription box with 4 deluxe samples for C$12/month (shipping included).

My box with a value of approximately C$35
  • Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner (Beyond Brown) - 0.01oz (full size 0.04oz for C$31) - value: C$7.75
  • China Glaze Nail Lacquer (Hawaiian Punch) - 14mL (full size 14mL for ~C$8) - value: C$8
  • Fruits & Passion Aloe Face Mask - 1 sheet - value: C$2.5
  • Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant - 30mL (trial size for US$14) - value: ~C$17

There are also two coupons, one for a Fruits & Passion targeted solution (value C$2.5) and another for a complimentary Deborah Lippmann Smooth Operator Nail File (value C$15) redeemable at Holt Renfrew.

I have previously tried the Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner in Black [Original Review Here] and it did not wear well on me. I'll give this another try since I really like the look of brown eyeliners. This eyeliner (in Beyond Brown, Beyond Blue, Beyond Green, Beyond Purple) is launching June 26 in Canada.



Update (July 25, 2015): Review for Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner (Beyond Brown)


The shade of this brown is beautiful, but unfortunately this eyeliner crumbles off my lashline within a few hours. I am done with this eyeliner.


(November 5, 2015): Updated impressions Here.


What did you receive this month?

May 31, 2015

Empties: May 2015

Today I want to share a very short empties post for May 2015.
Live Clean Nourishing Body Lotion - Exotic Shine (500mL)
This lotion is light and the coconut scent is very appealing. I am always happier with a pump, but the formula isn't moisturizing enough in the winter. Live Clean is an affordable Canadian brand and I would try other products from the range. I don't know if I would repurchase this particular body lotion.

My opinion on the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre Nourishing Moisturiser and the Bioderma Crealine Yeux Gel-Creme Contour Dex Yeux are as positive as ever and I will definitely repurchase. Both of these products made it into my 2014 Beauty Favorites.
What products did you finish this month?

May 24, 2015

In the Mail: Topbox May 2015

This month has been very busy and unboxing my subscription box is always a welcoming break. Today I want to share what I received in this month's Topbox.



Topbox is a Canadian beauty subscription box with 4 deluxe samples for C$12/month (shipping included).

My box:
  • The Face Shop Herb Day 365 Cleansing Foam (Aloe) - 100mL (full size 170mL for C$6) - value: C$3.53 [Review Here].
  • The Face Shop Seaweeds Moisturizing Pack - 30mL (full size 110mL for C$12) - value: C$3.27
  • Essie Nail Lacquer (Flowerista) - 5mL (full size 13.5mL for C$9.99) - value: C$3.7
  • Medusa's Make-Up Eyeshadow (Jungle Fever) - 2g (full size 2g for US$8) - value: US$8

Although the total value of this month's box is less than C$20, I am looking forward to trying out The Face Shop skincare products and the Essie nail lacquer. There is also a C$5 off C$30 purchase coupon for The Face Shop. Given my fabulous experience with the brand's Lovely ME:EX Design My Eyebrow (one of my 2014 Beauty Favorites), this is a coupon that I may actually use.

I won't be using the Medusa's Make-Up eyeshadow since the shade doesn't suit my style.



Update (July 25, 2015): Review for Essie Nail Lacquer (Flowerista)
This nail polish dries very quickly. I didn't need any wait time between coats. With two coats, the color isn't completely opaque. The color doesn't really suit me, so I probably wouldn't wear it again. The tip wear was minimal when I removed it on day three.

What did you receive in this month's beauty boxes?

April 27, 2015

In the Mail: Topbox April 2015

This post needs no introduction, it is the unboxing time of the month again! Today I want to share what came in my April Topbox.



Topbox is a Canadian beauty box subscription that delivers 4 deluxe samples for C$12/month (shipping included). This month, I also received a bonus item in the form of a Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30.

What's in my box for a value around C$40:
  • Fresh Botanicals 4-Step System - value: C$2.85
    • Eye + Face Makeup Remover - 5mL (full size 200mL for C$18.99) - value: C$0.47
    • Foaming Facial Cleanser - 5mL (full size 100mL for C$18.99) - value: C$0.95
    • Facial Toner - 5mL (full size 200mL for C$18.99) - value: C$0.47
    • Daily Facial Moisturizer - 5mL (full size 100mL for C$18.99) - value: C$0.95
  • LA Splash Diamond Lipgloss - Pink Revolution - 6mL (full size 6mL for US$8.98) - value: US$8.98
  • Matrix Style Link Smooth Setter Smoothing Cream - 118mL (full size 118mL for US$18) - value: US$18
  • Sweet Pea Soap Company Mango Papaya Soap - value: C$5.95
  • Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 - 59mL (full size 177mL for US$9.99) - value: US$3.33 [Review Here]


I am actually looking forward to trying the sunscreen the most. The other four products are not items that would catch my eyes in a shop, so we'll see how things turn out.


What did you receive this month?

April 19, 2015

Sephora Spring Beauty Insider Sale Haul

The only product that I picked up during the sale was the Sephora Favorites Lash Stash To Go for C$25.5 after the 15% discount (Review Here]. This set of five mascara samples retails for C$30 and includes a voucher to exchange for one full-size. Even without the discount, I think this set is a fantastic deal.


April 12, 2015

Review: L'Oreal Colour Riche Extraordinaire Lip Colour x 3

Back in September, I spent a few days experiencing the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). L'Oreal was one of the major festival sponsors and they were giving away some goodies, including these Colour Riche Extraordinaire Lip Colours.

As full disclaimer, I did not purchase any of these three shades myself. I received one from the festival and the other two were gifted to me. Today I want to share my opinion about how I feel about these lip products. As always, anything I write is 100% my honest opinion.



April 5, 2015

Review: Korres The Softest Skin Nourishing Greek Yoghurt Collection

This set comes with a full size Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial at a lower price than buying the sleeping facial on its own. I made my purchase last December and today I want to share my thoughts.



March 31, 2015

March 23, 2015

March 19, 2015

Review: Josie Maran Winter Dreams Argan Skincare Collection

I have been interested in trying more products from the Josie Maran line ever since the 100% pure argan oil became a part of my regular routine. I purchased this Winter Dreams Argan Skincare collection last December and today I want to share my thoughts.



February 24, 2015

In the Mail: Topbox February 2015

Another month and another subscription beauty box. Today I want to share what I received in this month's Topbox.



This Canadian beauty subscription box is $C12/month with free shipping and comes with four deluxe sample in each box.

For a total value of C$50:
  • Aveda Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme - 40mL (travel size 40mL for C$13.5) - value: $C13.5
  • Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide Eye Gel - 5mL (full size 15mL for C$48) - value: C$16
  • Eyeko Hydrogel Eye Patch - 1 set (full size 4 sets for US$18) - value: US$4.5
  • Be a Bombshell Lip Gloss (Hooked) - 3g (full size 3g for US$14) - value: US$14

Aside from the lip gloss, I am looking forward to trying everything else in this box. The value of this box for me is ~C$35.

So far, I have only tried the Eyeko Hydrogel Eye Patch. The gel patches has enough serum such that it didn't feel dry even after 30 minutes on my face. I am glad that there wasn't too much excess serum and the eye patches stayed in place as I worked on my laptop. There was a slight tackiness when I removed the eye patches, but that disappeared in a few minutes. The shape of the eye patch was not a good fit for my eye area and I didn't really see any visible results. I would use it again, but I would not spend money on it.


What did you receive this month?

A Week in Switzerland: Geneva

Today I want to share the last stop on my trip. Geneva is about an hour and half from Bern [Read Here] and a one-way second class train fare was CHF50 (purchased on the day of travel). The city offers a complimentary Geneva Transport Card with any overnight stay for free local transportation.

View from the North Tower of the Saint Pierre Cathedral.



February 15, 2015

A Week in Switzerland: Bern

After little over an hour on the train from Lucerne [Read Here], my friend and I arrived in Bern, the capital of Switzerland! A second class one-way ticket costs CHF38 (purchased on the day of travel). The only tour offered by the tourist information center was an IPod audio tour for CHF18/person (available in English). Today I want to share some of the attractions that I visited on this self-guided tour.

The Confoederatio Helvetica inscribed on the Parliament Building is Latin for the Swiss Confederation. This is the reason why Swiss websites end in .ch.



February 10, 2015

A Week in Switzerland: Lucerne

My trip continued from Zurich to Lucerne [Zurich Trip Here]! The two cities are an hour apart by train and a one-way fare is CHF25 (purchased on the day of travel). The first sightseeing that my friend and I did was to go out of the city (10 minutes by train) for a tour of the Aeschbach Chocolatier facilities. Return fare (priced as a day pass) is CHF15.20 (zones 10 and 28 access).

Mount Pilatus in chocolate! We weren't able to visit the real Mount Pilatus since it was raining during our stay and there was limited options to ascend/descend the mountain in the winter.



February 7, 2015

A Week in Switzerland: Zurich

I recently went away on holiday to Switzerland and today I want to share the first stop of my trip in Zurich. The first thing I did when I got off the plane was to purchase a ZurichCard. This pass is available for 24 hours at CHF24 or for 72 hours at CHF48. It provides free transportation in and around the city as well as discounted admission to museums. The airport is a 10 minutes train ride from the heart of the city and the fare is free with the ZurichCard.

My first day started with a 2-hours city tour operated by the tourist information center that departed from the interior of the main train station (Zurich Hauptbahnhof, or more commonly appears as Zurich HB). Regular price is CHF25/person for the English tour and there is a 50% discount with the ZurichCard.

On the walk...the view from Lindenhof of the tower of the Predigerkirche in front of University of Zurich with Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich on the left.



January 31, 2015

Empties: January 2015

I didn't finish any products in December, so surprisingly I don't have many empties to share today. Let's get started with my brief reviews of the products that I finished this month.



January 15, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit [Closed]

I visited the US over the holidays and I brought back two of this new Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit. I have been trying it out over the past few weeks and today I want to share my thoughts on this mascara kit.

January 10, 2015

Afternoon Tea in Toronto (Omni King Edward, Park Hyatt, Windsor Arms)

I have been seeking to replicate the English afternoon tea experience ever since I moved away from the UK. Today I want to share three afternoon teas that I have tried in the past few months.



January 4, 2015

Project 10 Pan: 2015

Happy new year and hello 2015! I want to start the year with my project 10 pan. The idea is to pick 10 products to use up before purchasing new products. However, I don't think a comprehensive no-buy policy would work very well for me, so I am adapting the basic rule to each of the products that I have committed to using up for 2015. I have chosen these products as items that I like, but do not use regularly enough among everything that I own.