Thursday, February 28, 2013

Birchbox January

Birchbox January 2013

Harvey Prince – Skinny Chic

Keep your energy levels high, (and fight cravings to boot) with this zesty blend of apple, mint and lotus blossom.  Really….???  A perfume that helps you lose weight.  I wouldn’t buy it or believe it.  The only thing this perfume did to control my weight was give me such a strong headache that I felt sick and couldn't eat.  But that is normally what annoying citrus perfumes do to me.  So predictable. 

LASHEM – Measurable Difference Lash Gel Serum
Made with nourishing goji berry extracts and fortifying biotin, this derm-approved serum gives you longer, thicker lashes.  Use once a day on eyebrows or lashes.  This teeny, tiny bottle will never be enough to see a difference as these lash serums normally take 6 weeks to see full potential.  In the case of lash serums, go for the gold and get the Latisse.  That truly works….tried and tested and you will have amazingly, long, thick lashes.

Number 4 – Clarifying Shampoo 52ml
A staple in my hair care regimen as I only shampoo once weekly.  My first shampoo is always a clarifying shampoo to remove my weeks work of product build up and bugs.  Joking, but there is a lot of hairspray grime.  Clarifying shampoo is good for everyone though.  I just got Glamma going on one as lately she has found her hair to be acting out with increase oil and all around 'blah' due to medication.  This shampoo was extremely gentle and had little suds.  Will I go out of my way and try to find a clarifying shampoo I have never heard of….no.  I will stick to my Neutrogena or Redken and continue my weekly ritual.

theBalm cosmetics – Hot Mama 1g
This is a two-in-one blush and highlighter.  I must say that this IS a universally flattering blush with a golden shimmer that highlighted my olive complexion.  Nars Orgasm (a cult favorite) does not do well on my skin but this worked just lovely.  This can also can be used on the eyelids.  Made me look just peachy. 

Fresh – Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream 2ml X 2 sachets
I try to like Fresh products, I really do but I fail every time.  My biggest disappointment with them to date is their soy cleanser which always gets great reviews but smell and performance just doesn't work for me.  This product has a faint cucumber smell and while it did hydrate I have a difficult time using just one product out of a line.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

BeautyBar - January

My January Beautybar with Allure Box

Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Eye Pencil – #1001 black (full size)

A black kajal eye pencil that goes on smoothly and precisely.  Great pigment, easy removal and waterproof.  Stayed perfectly in place for me all day long without the dreaded raccoon eye that I typically get from a mixture of my oily skin and my beautiful smile.   A beautiful pencil that I will definitely try in an everyday brown.

Nicole Richie Fragrance EDP Spray 1.5ml
A typical drugstore perfume that is sensual and feminine with notes of blackberry, rose and golden amber.  It is a lovely scent…will it last on you….no.  But, if drugstore perfumes is what you like then I would consider giving this one a try.

Snowberry Nourishing Lite Day Cream 7ml

A skincare line developed in 2007 in New Zealand.  This is a premium skin care brand that is free of the potentially harmful petrochemicals, parabens, artificial colouring, silicone's and Nano particles that are found in many skin care products today.  A great day cream that moisturized and was a perfect primer for my makeup.  Scent to me is crucial in skin care and I found this to be rather dull.  I wouldn't be too excited to wake up and smooth this cream onto my face…but that’s just how I am….particular.

Strivectin Instant Retexturizing Scrub 30ml
When I need exfoliation, I want to feel it and this scrub just doesn’t do it for me.  I would rate this a 5 out of 10 on the intensity of the scrub.  On the back it does say to keep away from the eye area and unless you want to learn braille, I strongly suggest you use with caution.  It smells of mint and I suspect this was the culprit for the massive lasting sting I received when trying to remove this scrub.  Not impressed.

Serge Normant mini Meta Revive dry shampoo  56.7g
Tons of white residue and powder did not dissipate after 
spraying this dry shampoo.  Not much else to say except that there are tons of dry shampoos on the market now and paying $25 for this one just doesn’t make sense.   In my opinion, this is a horrible product that I would never recommend.

Pantene Expert Collection AgeDefy Advanced 
Thickening Treatment 50ml

This is a thickening treatment for fine hair that plumps up your strands to give the illusion of thicker, fuller hair.  It is a serum consistency without the slip of silicone.   Instructions are to use daily and apply to wet or dry hair.  Spray 15 pumps at the roots to cover your scalp from ear line up.  Massage in with fingertips.  Do not rinse off.  Style as usual.  I’ve used this twice and have noticed no difference but that won’t stop me from buying the entire line and trying!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

LuxeBox by Loose Button - December

Luxe Box by Loose Button – Winter Edition
$26 CAD quarterly (every 3 months) 
Now here is a box that doesn't disappoint!  This is my second Luxe Box by Loose Button and a beauty box that I always look forward to.  It has beautiful elegant packaging and came in a silk drawstring bag that can easily double when travelling for intimates, makeup or anything you might want to pack.  Also, as you will notice, some killer samples and full size products inside.   Now, price might seem steep, but compared now to glossy charging $21 per month remember this is only every 3 months and these are definitely superior products that I have not seen in my local drugstore and that in itself is what these boxes are all about!  I do remember being on a waiting list before being accepted into this prestige beauty club but I now thank the beauty gods everyday that I got in!

Eyeko – Mini Skinny Brush Mascara 4ml

I loved the thin brush of this mascara!  It captured my shortest lashes to magically lengthen them.  Blushster thought I was still using my Latisse!  This I WILL buy again, however this mascara won’t give you the volume, but did give me the best length I have ever experienced.  Also extremely easy removal, but since I always cleanse with an oil everything is…

China Glaze – Nail Lacquer Beauty Within (full size)

A bright, shiny pink colour perfect come spring.  I LOVE all China Glaze polishes as they are always right bang on with the latest current trends.

Dermalogica – Precleanse 15ml
As I have already received this in another sample box, I have already reviewed and mentioned that this is one of my favorite cleansing oils of all time.  A lightweight olive and apricot kernel cleansing oil, that gently liquefies sebum and oil based debris from the skin.  I challenge any makeup users to first cleanse your skin with a cleansing oil, dry of course and you will wonder how you ever felt clean before.  You will never go back to basic cleansing again.

Schwarzkopf Professional – Dust it (full size)

Osis Dust It Mattifying Powder is lightweight to help create movement and texture with a matte finish.  I sprinkled this potion in my hands where I found the texture to change immediately to more of a liquid.  This stuff is designed for use on dry hair and boy oh boy does it deliver texture!  I like this stuff, although it does sometimes leave a sticky finish but fine hair gals will love the volume and texture that this delivers.  If you have thick hair and worry about oiliness then you are looking for a dry shampoo and not this product.

Donna Karan – Woman EDP 7ml

Creamy notes of orange flower, haitian vetiver and sandalwood.  Nothing special.  First of all the bottle design is not ideal for opening and application.  Travelling with this would definitely make for disaster.  The scent also didn't last on me.  I do get annoyed though when receiving perfume samples as I feel perfume can only properly be sampled with an atomizer.  

Kerastase – Cristalliste Lumiere Liquide 3ml
Definitely did the job leaving my hair frizz fee, weightless and with added shine.  However at $40 + a bottle, there are much cheaper alternatives that do just about the same thing.  Smell was soft but not the best hair product choice for me when I strive for volume and texture.

B. Kamins Laboratories – Day Lotion SPF 15 15ml
Was fragrance free, lightweight and left my skin smooth and hydrated all day long.  This will definitely be packed come time for my Caribbean vacation!

Loose Button – Kabuki Brush

Generally used for mineral makeup however Kabuki brushes are a great choice for buffing in any type of foundation for a seamless finish.  I especially like working with a kabuki to gently roll on blush.  They are great for bronzers, loose powders and anything else you might want a heavier application for.  I thought this was an excellent quality brush and a nice treat from Loose Button!  No loose bristles falling all over my face…yet.

Also included was a 6-month subscription to FLARE!
A great way to get even more beauty news from!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Topbox - December

A look inside my December Topbox.
$12 a month CAD

Chloe – EDP 5ml
 Here is a perfume that I always get numerous compliments on.  It is light and fresh with a powdery rose scent that never overwhelms on me.  I find it to be very feminine and a great daytime perfume that always puts a smile on my face every time I spray it.

Ferro Cosmetics – Suzie’s Glow Mineral Blush

This is a brand founded by Celebrity Makeup Artist Krissy Ferro.  Don’t worry, I had the same question….WHO?!  Ferro’s makeup is 100% natural mineral makeup and cruelty free.  I honestly can’t give this blush a fair review as the jar is so tiny that it becomes very concentrated in one spot on my blush brush.  I found this made it terribly hard to blend.  According to their website, this is the most popular shade with cool berries and warm peaches all mixed into one shade that perfectly matches everyone.  I didn’t find that it suited me at all.  Packaging was also boring...filter required!

Goldwell – Jelly Boost 30ml 

This is an easy to use spray gel for creating instant body and texture for short or long hair styles.   I sprayed onto my towel dried hair right at the roots where I wanted the most volume.  I found it had a light, pleasant smell, caused no buildup and did give me some extra volume with no residue.  I would definitely recommend giving this a try if you want some extra va va voom. 

Kellett Skincare – Clarifying Acne Treatment 3ml X 2 sachets
 This product contains 5% Benzoyl Peroxide which clears the pores, increases cell turnover and is antimicrobial, therefore helping to reduce P. acnes bacterial which is the bacteria that causes the dreaded pimple.  This is the reason it is a top choice for acne sufferers.  I would have preferred a lower concentration of this product as I found the 5% to be extremely irritating on my skin.  I placed a small amount on the side of my cheek in the evening before bed, where I commonly get my monthly flare-ups.  Come morning, I was red and irritated.  You could completely see the exact area where the cream was placed as it was very red and a little swollen.   Research has also shown that 5% or 10% benzoyl peroxide is not significantly more effective than 2.5%, while 2.5% is much better tolerated.  Dr. Lisa Kellett owns a fancy skin care facility on swanky Avenue Road in Toronto.  If Benzoyl Peroxide is something you want to try for your acne blemishes, then I suggest going to any Shoppers and grabbing one of the multitude of other benzoyl peroxide products which will probably run you under $10.  This one goes for $75, and unless you want the pretty silver bottle sitting on your vanity, benzoyl peroxide is benzoyl peroxide.  Also be careful when using benzoyl peroxide as it is a bleaching agent, and will cause fabrics like your pillow case or towel to loose colour on contact. 

All in all, a pretty underwhelming box from Topbox this month.  Let's spice it up a little, or my subscription will be cancelled.  If they keep this up, clearly I won't be missing much.