December 18, 2016

Project 10 Pan Update

I started this project back in January 2015 [Read Here] with the idea of picking 10 beauty products to use up before purchasing new products. Today I want to share a long overdue update and officially end the project as 2016 draws to a close.



November 29, 2016

Empties: November 2016

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

Alterna Caviar Replenishing Moisture Shampoo (40mL) + Conditioner (250mL)
I have gone through many travel bottles of this shampoo and conditioner. I still like the combination, and would continue to purchase the travel sizes.

Andalou 1000 Roses Soothing Shower Gel (251mL)
While I adore the body lotion from the same line, I don't feel the shower gel is as special. I may repurchase eventually, but it is not something I would miss from my routine.

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist (15mL)
I like the fine mist and the delicate rose scent, but this product didn't do much for me. The bottle is weighted and felt sufficiently heavy that I thought there was still product left when I stored it away in the spring. Technically this product should have been featured in an empties post months ago.


What products did you finish this month?

In the Mail: Topbox November 2016

Today I want to share my November Topbox.



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

My box this month with an approximate value of C$65
  • Bella Aura Antioxidant Booster - 10mL (full size 30mL for C$125) - value: C$41.67
  • China Glaze Nail Lacquer (Heroine Chic) - 14mL (full size 14mL for C$8.25) - value: C$8.25
  • Novex Bamboo Sprout Leave In Conditioner - 110g (full size 300g for C$15) - value: C$5.5
  • Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara (Jet Black) - 4mL (full size 11.5mL for C$28) - value: C$9.74

I have previously tried the Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara [Review Here] and while it wasn't a product that I would have repurchased, I don't mind receiving a travel size.

I am a little disappointed with this third Novex product within the past six months. Otherwise, I am happy with this month's box.


What did you receive this month?

October 30, 2016

In the Mail: Topbox October 2016

A quick post about this month's Topbox.


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

My box with an approximate value of C$30
  • Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 Lotion - 5mL (full size 40mL for C$85) - value: C$10.63
  • Eyeko Fat Eye Stick (Gilt) - 4g (full size 4g for US$12) - value: US$12 - not found on Eyeko's website, potentially discontinued?
  • Jor'el Parker Fango Mud Therapy - 1oz (full size 7oz for US$27) - value: US$3.86 - appears to also be branded as Harvey Prince
  • Revlon Equave Hydro Nutritive Detangling Conditioner - 9mL (full size 200mL for C$14.50) - value: C$0.65

The only product I am looking forward to trying is the Elizabeth Arden sunscreen.


What products did you receive this month?

August 31, 2016

Empties: August 2016

Empties time!
Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo (250mL)
I have previously gone through several travel size versions of this shampoo and I much prefer the squeeze tube packaging on those. I don't like the full size packaging and found it difficult to get the product out towards the end. I still like this shampoo, but will likely only repurchase the travel sizes.

Diptyque Multi-Use Exfoliating Clay for the Face
I had no idea that Diptyque made skincare until I came across this sample. This exfoliant has a gritty texture and it leaves my skin feeling soft. However, it is not special enough for me to purchase the full size, especially given the $65 price tag for a 100mL jar.

Live Clean Sensitive Hypoallergenic Shampoo (350mL)
I don't like this shampoo enough for repurchase.

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream (10mL)
The weighted packaging makes this sample feel very luxurious. This cream has a thicker texture that easily absorbs to leave my skin with a silky finish. The scent reminds me of rice cakes. The 50mL jar retails for $135 and I won't be purchasing the full size any time soon.


What products did you finish this month?

August 21, 2016

In the Mail: Topbox August 2016

Today I want to share the products that I received in my August Topbox.



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

My box with a value of ~C$45
  • Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Brightening Night Capsules with Advanced MIx Concentrate - 4 capsules (full size 50 capsules for C$105) - value: C$8.4
  • Manna Kadar Bronzer Highlighter - full size for US$21 - value: US$21
  • Novex Argan Oil Deep Conditioning Hair Mask - 100g (full size 100g for US$4.99) - value: US$4.99
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer - 7mL (travel size 15mL for C$20) - value: C$9.33

While this box has good value, I don't feel any enthusiasm to try these products.


What did you receive this month?

July 17, 2016

In the Mail: Topbox July 2016

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+tax/month (shipping included). This month includes a bonus fifth item.

My box with an approximate value of C$80:
  • Elizabeth Arden Grand Entrance Mascara (Stunning Black 01) - 2.5g (full size 8.5g for C$32) - value: C$9.41
  • Glamglow Flashmud Brightening Treatment - 0.5oz (travel size 0.5oz for C$24) - value: C$24
  • Lancome Genifique Yeux Light-Pearl Eye-Illuminating Youth Activating Concentrate - 5mL (full size 0.5oz for C$83) - value: C$27.67
  • Revlon Uniqone Coconut All in One Hair Treatment - 9mL (full size 150mL for C$19.95) - value: C$1.20
  • Starlooks Gem Pencil (Ultra Orchid) - 2.4g (full size 2.4g for US$16) - value: US$16


I am most looking forward to trying out the Glamglow Flashmud Brightening Treatment. I am very happy with this month's products, even though this is the second time that I have received the Lancome eye concentrate and the Starlooks Gem Pencil.


What did you receive this month?

June 30, 2016

Empties: June 2016

Today I want to share the two products that I used up this month.
Live Clean Hydrating Shampoo (350mL)
I really enjoyed using this shampoo - it does the job at an affordable price and I really like Fresh Water scent (in fact, the hand soap with this scent made into my 2015 Beauty Favorites). I am currently trying out another shampoo from Live Clean and I would definitely repurchase this hydrating version.

Rituals Zensation Foaming Shower Gel (50mL)
Although I adore the scent of this Rituals range with rice milk and cherry blossom [Body Scrub Review Here, Body Cream Review Here], this shower gel left my skin feeling more dry than usual. The gel-to-foam experience was also a bit disappointing. I would not repurchase this shower gel.

What did you finish this month?

May 31, 2016

Empties: May 2016

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



Etude House My Castle Hand Cream - Forever Rose (30mL)
As cute as the packaging is, this is not a travel-friendly hand cream and it is not convenient to get the product out. The formula is on the thicker side and the rose scent is as expected. I received this hand cream in a beauty box and it is not something that I would have picked out for myself.

L'Occitane Shower Oil with Almond Oil (75mL)
I really like this shower oil, especially for shaving. The shower oil is slightly tacky out of the bottle and turns into a milky solution with water that easily rinses clean. The sweet almond scent is strong from the bottle, but leaves only a subtle scent once rinsed off. This travel size retails for C$10 and I would repurchase.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (2oz) [Original Review Here]
I have been using this as my morning moisturizer for the past few months and I really like it. The scent has a hint of eucalyptus and lightweight cream absorbs quickly. My only problem is that the cap doesn't close completely and thus dries out the product around the rim. The 2oz size retails for C$15 and I have already repurchased.


What products did you finish this month?

May 7, 2016

Beauty Declutter: Eyeshadows

I am going through another round of decluttering my beauty products and today I want to share the eyeshadows that I am parting with.



April 23, 2016

In the Mail: Topbox April 2016

Today I want to share the products that I received in my Topbox this month.



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

My box with an approximate value of ~C$75
  • Avon Advance Techniques 360 Nourish Moroccan Argan Oil Leave-In Treatment - 60mL (full size 60mL for C$12) - value: C$12
  • CND RescueRXx Daily Keratin Treatment - 3.7mL (full size 15mL for US$19.90) - value: US$4.91
  • OFRA Lipliner (Wine) - 0.04oz (full size 0.04oz for US$13) - value: US$13
  • Pur-lisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Eye Adore Serum - 7mL (full size 15mL for US$65) - value: US$30.33
  • Schick Hydro Silk Razor - Single Pack - value: ~C$10


There are two coupons in the razor packaging for use on refills, unfortunately both expired last year.

What did you receive this month?

April 10, 2016

Review: Ted Baker Wallet

Today I want to share my thoughts on my Ted Baker wallet in black leather with rose gold hardware and bow clasp. I am not sure if this exact combination of Ted Baker's signature wallet design (the Caaro Bow Top Leather Small Purse) is still available. Ted Baker makes different versions of this wallet in different colors, materials and clasp designs from season to season, but the fundamental features are very similar. I hope this review would be a helpful reference for anyone considering one of these wallets from Ted Baker.



March 31, 2016

Empties: March 2016

Another month, another empties. Today I want to share the products that I used up this month.



Andalou 1000 Roses Soothing Body Lotion (236mL) [Original Review Here]
This is my second bottle of this body lotion in two months. I feel like I went through this bottle much quicker than my first one. I am already on my third bottle of this light moisturizer. I have repurchased and will continue to repurchase.

Korres Wild Rose Brightening 24-Hour Moisturiser (20mL)
The texture is light and the formula easily absorbs. The rose scent is heavy, but does not linger for long. I didn't notice any brightening effects from using this consistently as my night moisturizer for the past two months. I will not repurchase.

Shiseido Aquair Moist Hair Pack Shampoo (600mL)
The pump on this bottle was very convenient. I liked using this shampoo with the conditioner from the same line. The fragrance was enjoyable. However, this product was not special enough for me to repurchase.

SK-II Essential Power Eye Cream (2.5mL)
A little goes a long way with eye cream samples. I got about three months out of this sample and I really like it. Unfortunately, the 14.5mL retails for US$125 and I don't need such an expansive eye cream in my routine at the moment. I may splurge on the full size when my skin reaches a more mature stage.


What products did you finish this month?

March 24, 2016

In the Mail: Topbox March 2016

Although I don't feel very excited about this month's Topbox, today I want to share what I received.



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

My box with an approximate value of C$32.70
  • Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Foaming Mask - 10mL (full size 100mL for C$68) - value: C$6.80
  • MaskerAide All Eyes On Me Hydrating Eye Gel Patch - 1 pair (4 pairs for C$25) - value: C$6.25
  • Mereadesso Tinted All-In-One Moisturizer (Medium?) - 7mL (travel size 7mL for C$16) - value: C$16
  • Nova Scotia Fisherman Xtreme Lip Care (Fisher-Mint) - 5.2g (full size 9.9g for C$6.95) - value: C$3.65


What did you receive this month?

March 12, 2016

Review: First Aid Beauty FAB to the Rescue Sampler Kit

Today I want to share my thoughts on this US$32 First Aid Beauty FAB to the Rescue Sampler Kit. Based on the respective retail price of the closest available size for each of the five products, this set has a value of C$50.62/US$47. I think this is a great introduction to the brand and I will gladly use up every product.



February 29, 2016

Empties: February 2016

This month's empties has a rose theme!

Andalou 1000 Roses Soothing Body Lotion (236mL)
The is a light moisturizer and formula readily absorbs. The rose scent reminds me of rose tea. This tube lasted just over a month and retails for C$11.99. I am already happily working through my second bottle. The only aspect I don't like is that the cap is a bit difficult to snap close.

L'Occitane Rose Tenderness Hand Cream (30mL)
While the rose scent on this hand cream was nice, it was too strong for my liking. I believe this was limited edition, regardless, I wouldn't buy it again. I do adore the original 20% shea butter hand cream for its non-greasy moisturizing formula [2013 Beauty Favorites]. The 30mL retails for C$12.

Pai Echium & Argan Gentle Eye Cream (15mL)
This was an okay eye cream, light and almost scentless. I don't like the packaging: the cap falls off every time this tube rolls off of my desk. I couldn't get the product out without pressing the entire pump down and then I end up with more than twice as much product as I need. This was a gift and I believe it retails for C$57.60. I wouldn't repurchase.



What products did you finish this month?

February 22, 2016

In the Mail: Topbox February 2016

I don't feel very enthusiastic about this month's Topbox, but I will briefly share what I received anyways.



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

My box with an approximate value of C$40:
  • Morgan Taylor Nail Lacquer (Later Alligator) - 15mL (full size 15mL for C$15.83) - value: C$15.83
  • Nova Scotia Fisherman Sea Salt Soap - 28g (full size 136g for C$7.95) - value: C$1.64
  • Pop Beauty Kajal Pen (Inky Purple) - 0.9g (full size for $10) - value: $10
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer - 7.1mL (full size 30mL for C$44) - value: C$10.41


What did you receive this month?

February 10, 2016

Review: Lancome Noel Eye Set

I have been using the products in this holiday gift set for the past few months. Even though this set may no longer be available, today I want share my thoughts as every product is available individually.