Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Too Faced Deals!

I'm excited to share a couple of my recent Too Faced deals from Hautelook.  For those not familiar with Hautelook, it's an online shop that offers thousands of the top fashion and lifestyle brands at amazing savings. Each day at 8 AM Pacific, shop new sale events featuring the best names in women's and men's fashion and accessories, beauty, kids' apparel and toys, home décor, and travel getaways at up to 75% off.

So what did I get??

Galaxy Glam Baked Eye Shadow - Magenta Moon - $5.00 (Regularly $19.50)

Galaxy Glam Baked Eye Shadow - Mocha Meteor - $5.00 (Regularly $19.50)

Single Eye Round - Glamazon - $8.00 (Regularly $16.00)

Regular Price: $55.00
Paid: $18.00
Total Savings: $37.00

Can't wait to try them!!

If you want to sign up and get awesome deals like this, click here. Membership is free and everyone is welcome! Best of all, get a $10 credit for every friend you invite when they make their first purchase.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Expired Product in November Luxe Box

If it weren't for the wonderful folks on Facebook, I'd never know that one of the products I received in my November Loose Button Luxe Box had expired - the Moroccanoil Styling Cream

Upon checking my sample, indeed the Moroccanoil Styling Cream had an expiration date of 03/2011.

I further noticed that Loose Button had commented on their Facebook page "We have resolved the issue with Moroccanoil. We will be contacting the limited number of individuals affected directly by email in the next few days."

I will be waiting for my email to see how Loose Button handles this.

It hadn't occurred to me to check the expiration dates of the products I receive in my beauty boxes, but I definitely will be checking from now on.

UPDATE: Just received the email from Loose Button

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Beauty Products to Try

I recently just signed on as a preferred customer with an environmentally friendly company that manufactures all-natural products called Melaleuca.

What I like about Melaleuca is they don't use any sort of chemicals, especially formaldehyde, peroxide, ammonia and phosphates. They adhere to the FDA's rule very seriously, and market products that provide consumers with safer, less toxic products at superior quality and better prices! What's not to like?

Melaleuca has everything from vitamins, cleaning and laundry products to weight loss and pet products. What I'm most excited to try are their beauty, bath/body and hair care.

I placed my first order last week and it arrived today ...

Sei Bella Mini Eye Shadow Palette
I love the colors in this palette (Raisin, Blushing Coral and Brown Sugar) and can see this becoming a favorite. We'll see how easy they go on and if they last throughout the day.

Body Satin Hand Creme

With living in Western Canada and with our cooler fall and cold winter temperatures, I am obsessed with finding a good hand cream for my annoying dry itchy skin. According to their website, this hand cream has a "blend of shea, cocoa, and mango butter with firming Egytian blue lotus flower and powerful antioxidants found in white tea and vitamin E"

I did try this as soon as I opened the package and was pleasantly surprised. The lotion wasn't greasy at all and absorbs quite quickly. It has a super smooth texture with a really light scent.

Renew Intensive Skin Therapy

This is supposed to be Melaleuca's Holy Grail moisturizer helping provide relief to conditions such as eczema, and is scientifically proven tο bе more effective thаn Eucerin. Hmmmm ... I'll give it a whirl and see how great it really is.

Sei Bella Repair Hair Masque

With my hair being color treated, it often feels dry and brittle (I'm sure the cold winter weather doesn't help LOL) so was looking for a good deep conditoner. According to the information on the website, this "hair masque" is supposed to help by providing color protection, anti-breakage protection, and thermal and UV protection. I'll give this one a try also and see how well it works.

The last product I purchased isn't a beauty product, but one of Melaleuca's soy candles. I love candles and figure you can't go wrong with a burning a candle that gives off a nice scent - this one is their Cranberry Orange scent.

I will report back in a short while to give my review of these products.  If you've tried any of Melaleuca's products, what did you think??

If you'd like to know more about Melaleuca, this blog will answer most of your questions.

More LUSH Goodies

Have I mentioned that I ♥ LUSH??? LOL

When I placed my order through the LUSH UK website, I also placed an order through LUSH.ca ...

Christmas Kisses (Bubble Bar)
According to the LUSH website, "This is the spicy one that we can't live without during winter months, so we keep bringing it back again. We use this one when we're chilled to the bone, and when we've spent too much time on the hill skiing and snowboarding as it helps soothe sore muscles. Filled with warming ingredients like cinnamon, clove leaf, and sweet orange oils, and twisted into the signature ‘kiss' shape, this irresistible bubble bar is sure to get your blood flowing! This one is only available during the holidays." Price - $6.95

A Gold Star (Bubble Bar)

According to LUSH, "Give yourself a pat on the back with a golden bath that smells of frankincense. If you've been good all year round you can award yourself a few of these. Give a couple to everyone you know who deserved a reward for getting through 2011. A Gold Star is full of solar essential oils - sandalwood, frankincese and benzoin - which release as you bathe and fill you full of sweetness and light. Everyone deserves a bit of that." This one is available online only. Price - $7.95

Bling Crosby (Bubble Bar)

Another that is only available online. Lush describes this bubble bar as "A bit of bling always goes down well over the Christmas holidays. Or should that be a bit of Bing? Either way, our Bling Crosby bar celebrates two Christmas traditions in one. It looks a bit like half an orange dipped in glitter; buy two and wrap them back to back in tissue paper. It is scented with our signature Karma fragrance: oranges and spices. Crumble a Bling under the running bathwater for a warming, reviving, refreshing, sparkly bath heaped with bubbles – just right for capturing the spirit of the season." Price - $7.95

Green Party Bath Bomb

A returning festive favorite that is also only available online. According to the LUSH website, "We invented this one a few years ago; it was one of our first slow-frothing bombs that bobs about in the tub, gently foaming and releasing its fragrance. With a blend of galbanum essential oil, sensual ylang ylang and stimulating bergamot, you'll have a fabulous, ethical and perfectly legal party in the tub. For celebratory occasions, Green Party fizzes recycled paper streamers all over the place. If you're environmentally conscious (or if you just want to share the joy of this bomb), share your bath or recycle it and dump the kids in there when you've finished." Price - $5.95

*Note - I used half of this bath bomb in the tub the other night and while it smelled very good and made the bath very moisturizing, I really didn't like the green paper streamers and having to clean them up after I was finished

Snowdrops Bath Bomb

I'm very much looking forward to trying this one. This is a peppermint bath bomb that LUSH describes as "Take the head clearing, reviving citrus scents of mandarin and grapefruit, then add a genius a dash of peppermint and you have the most amazing, life-affirming bomb ever to sneak up on you and give you the slap in the face the you need (metaphorically speaking of course). Drop it in the bath and your life will change for the better." Price - $5.95

With this and my other LUSH UK haul, I think I have enough bath products to last a while.  What are your favorite LUSH bath products??



... and here is my most recent haul from LUSH UK

Skullduggery Bath Bomb

This was a "last chance buy", and seeing it wasn't available at LUSH Canada stores (or at least mine), I couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy one to try. According to the LUSH UK website, this was their "homage to Mexican 'sugar skulls': fizzy, uplifting lime and neroli bath ballistic" £2.75 or approx. $4.47

Happy Bubble - Retro Bubble Bar

Another I had not seen at my local LUSH store. The LUSH UK websites states "If you're having trouble lifting the corners of your mouth into a smile, sink into a delightfully fragrant blue bath covered in mounds of fluffy bubbles. With refreshing tangerine, neroli and orange blossom, your smile is bound to return. Sandalwood oil not only helps to rehydrate and soothe the skin, it's also very, very relaxing, helps you calm your anxiety and makes you feel lovely all over. So if you're feeling down, best take a Happy Bubble bath and feel much better." £2.85 or approx. $4.63

Think Pink Bath Bomb

Another bath bomb I had been wanting to get my hands on, LUSH describes the Think Pink as "The reassuring smell of tonka and vanilla, with a hit of neroli lifts you up; all wrapped in a pink and frivolous ballistic to stop you taking yourself too seriously. In the past this ballistic wasn’t vegan because of the ingredients in the candy flowers. But now they are suitable for vegans – because when you buy this many flowers, you can ask for the recipe to be changed!! So now, when vegans aren’t thinking cake, they can Think Pink." £2.08 or approx. $3.38

The Green Bubbleroon (Bubble Bar)

These were also not available in the LUSH Canada stores, so thought why not give it a try. Who doesn't like bubbles. According to the LUSH UK website, this would make your bath water "A foaming, meadow-sweet bath of grass and orange flower. A fresh uplifting bath that could bring sun to even the darkest winter days. Kind on your skin, with coconut oil and shea butter to give silky-soft water." £2.71 or approx. $4.40

Rose Jam Bubbleroon (Bubble Bar)

According to LUSH, the Rose Jam Bubbleroon provides "A bath that helps you get out of it feeling better than when you got in. With lemon to bring clarity and alertness and rose to lift the spirits. The geranium oil in here will balance the skin, whilst the coconut oil and shea butter will leave you feeling smooth and soft." This smells of roses, with the sweetness of jam." £2.92 or approx. $4.74

Yuzu and Cocoa Bubbleroon (Bubble Bar)

I loved how LUSH described this bubble bar ... "When yuzu feel the need for softer skin and a positive outlook, yuzu should yuzu this yuzu-inspired treat" ... how great is that LOL According to the LUSH website this bubble bar is "A cunningly bright and uplifting treat disguised in a rich warm fragrance of cocoa absolute and tonka. Let the light grapefruit and bergamot oils lift your mind, whilst the cocoa and tonka bring warmth and comfort to the heart. Coconut oil and shea butter pamper your skin whilst you soak." £2.46 or approx. $4.00

Magic - Retro Bath Bomb

The first thing I noticed about this bath bomb, is it's HUGE. Magic was originally created for Christmas 2008, and I had been wanting to try one for some time ... so Thank you LUSH UK. LUSH's website describes it as follows "Amongst all the sweet fragrances of this year’s Christmas products, Magic provides something a little different for the discerning bather. It uses native herbs to conjure a mystical aroma that’s sure to enchant and put on a colour-changing show as it fizzes round the tub.

With it characteristic tetrakaidekahedral shape (that’s a very cool way of saying fourteen-sided), Magic has a brilliant turquoise outer layer fragranced with marjoram and rose to bring calm and clarity.

As it fizzes away the water starts to turn a gorgeous purple colour and the pink inner core adds its colour to the mix. The centre is fragranced with a mix of basil and peppermint oils which blend with those of the outer layer to give a unique fragrance that manages to be both refreshing and utterly relaxing." My favorite description of this bath bomb is "Take your bathtub on a magical mystery tour" LOL   £3.13 or approx $5.08

So there you have it ... I can't wait to try all of these out (although not all at once) ... and will definitely let you know which was my favorite

Mini Dior Haul

I had been wanting to try some of the Dior palettes for some time, but because of their price I was a bit reluctant.  After reading/seeing so many positive reviews on the palettes, I decided to go for it and the two I purchased were:

5-Colour Eyeshadow Rosy Tan

How gorgeous is that palette ... Colors include: light pink, chocolate brown, ivory pearl shimmer, silvery taupe shimmer and taupe

5 Couleurs Couture Colour Eyeshadow Palette - Mitzah Mitzah

I love the colors in this palette ... not to mention the jungle print. Shades include: chocolate brown shimmer, golden tan shimmer, camel sheen, ivory beige shimmer and deep khaki gray shimmer.

The third Dior palette I received was in a MUA swap.  For those of you not familiar with Make Up Alley, it is a beauty community featuring product reviews, a makeup swap and message board.

Dior Ready to Wear Palette

This palette includes four eyeshadows, two lip glosses, a blush, a three-tone bronzer and mini brush applicators.

I'm very much looking forward to trying all three Dior palettes and will post a follow-up review in the near future.

November Luxe Box Review

After a couple months of disappointments, I was anxious to see what this month's box offered ... and admit I cheated a bit by watching some reviews on Youtube.

When my box arrived on Monday, I just had to open it right away.

This months's samples:

Lise Watier - Eye Glitter Liner
According to the information card "nothing adds glamour & sparkle to your eyes like a touch of Eye Glitter Liner.  Its non-smudging water-based formula lasts & lasts, giving your eyes a bright pop of colour that will make them twinkle."  Full size is 6 ml for $18

I don't know about you, but while the liner looks pretty, I really don't want to put any sort of glitter near my eyes ... EEK.  Additionally, this was the third sample we have received from Lise Watier.  We had also received two Lise Watier samples in the October Luxe Box.

Pur Minerals - Neutral Foundation Primer
According to the information card "the correcting primer in neutral is your go-to beauty tool for concealing minor imperfections.  Designed for all skin tones and to even out the look of your skin tone with a natural look."  Full size is 30 mls for $31

This was the third Pur Minerals product included in a Luxe Box in a few months. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed to receive, yet again, another sample from this brand. In the October and September Luxe Boxes, we had already received samples from Pur Minerals.

Moroccanoil - Styling Cream
According to the information card "the extraordinary conditioning properties of Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream are highly effective and versitile that is good for all hair types.  It provides soft-hold, adds definition, hydrates, leaves hair smooth, combats frizz and the effects of humidity."

I was very excited to receive this in my Luxe Box.  I'm not really one for putting pure Moroccanoil in my hair as it is fine and tends to be fly-away.  This may be a good alternative and am looking forward to trying this.

Benefit Cosmetics - Moisture Prep Toning Lotion
According to the information card "the special step for extra radiant skin that smooths & revitalizes, allowing skin to fully optimize benefits of your moisturizer.  Contains vitamin E, acetate, natural oat and meadow-sweet, botanical extracts known to purify & smooth while reducing fine lines.  This specialized forumla contains a blend of aloe leave & yeast extract, known to clarify & soothe the skin."


The first thing that I noticed in this lotion was "acetate" and the second was "yeast extract" ... .. another EEK moment ... I really don't know if I want to put either of those ingredients on my sensitive skin and I doubt I'll be trying this.

Teaopia - Cactus Fig Tea Kit
According to the information card "naturally flavoured blend of Organic Sencha Green Tea, fig pieces, aloe vera, sandalwood and orange flowers.  The combination provides an earthy yet sweet taste and awesome aroma that is perfect any time of day.  Green tea has a plethora of health benefits that's sure to leave you glowing."

Since I love tea (Idon't drink coffee), this was a welcome surprise in this month's Luxe Box.  Can't wait to try it.

One thing I didn't receive but was looking forward to trying was the ELF eye shadow.  Not a big deal as ELF products are cheap to buy (most are only $1) however, I would have preferred receiving the ELF shadow over the Pur Minerals or Lise Watier.

On their website,  Loose Button says "Discover new products" ... unfortunately they continue to send samples from brands we've previously received - which is a real pet peeve of mine.   I just signed up for a yearly subscription  as I was optimistic Loose Button would step up their game with Glymm and now Topbox providing a similar service.  Unfortunately I am seriously considering cancelling my yearly subscription.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Battle of the Canadian Beauty Sample Subscriptions

This was the first month I had received a Topbox.ca tube, and with now three beauty subscription services available to us in Canada, I thought it was appropriate to do a monthly showdown of the boxes.

Current standings, as of November:

#1 - TopBox - this box really blew me away - you can find my review here

#2 - Glymm - Glymm had knocked it out of the park with the previous two month's boxes, but unfortunately fell short this month by including a couple eye products I didn't feel were really suitable for someone over 40 - you can find my review here

#3 - Loose Button - I was so looking forward to receiving my November Luxe Box to see if Loose Button had stepped up their game with TopBox and Glymm also providing a similar service. Unfortunately, as in previous months, Loose Button continues to send samples from brands we had already previously received.  You can read my review here

How would you place each service??

November Glymm Beauty Box Review

I absolutely loved my first two Glymm Beauty boxes and was very much looking forward to receiving this month's wonderful samples.

Included in this month's box:

Rahua Shampoo/Conditioner
I always love trying out new shampoos and conditioners.  According to the information card, this shampoo and conditioner is Gwenth Paltrow's secret to luxurious hair.  The full size is 275 ml each for $32 and $34.

Orlane - Light Smoothing Cream
According to the information card "The hypoallergenic day cream is infused with rich vitamins and minerals to defend your skin against daily toxins."  Now that winter has arrived here in Canada, I am always on the lookout for a good day cream.  Looking forward to giving this a try.  The full size is 50 ml for $80

Lise Watier - Flash Lift Radiance Vial
I had received this as a sample in last month's Loose Button Luxe Box (although I still have not tried it yet).  According to the information card, this serum "erases the signs of fatigue and smooths the appearance of wrinkles."  Full size is 7-1 ml vials for $27.

Annabelle - Smudge Paint
I have been anxious to try this product for some time and was very disappointed when I saw the color I had received.  According to the information card you can use this as an eyeliner and a shadow.  I don't know about you, but I honestly don't wear either blue eye shadow or blue eye liner - especially someone who is in my age range (40+).  I know Glymm only receives so many samples but maybe they should pay attention to their subscriber's profiles more carefully to make sure they are sending a color that would be appropriate for their age range or for all ages.

RGB Nail Lacquer - Black
I was excited to see a nail polish from RGB in my box this month ... that was again until I saw the color.  I understand that black nail polish is no longer considered "goth" or "punk" but again, the color is just not right for some one in my age range.

Also included was a $10 off code for Brownshoes.com

All in all, I was very pleased with the products received, however, was disappointed in the colors of the eyeliner/shadow and polish.  Glymm had knocked it out of the park with the previous two month's boxes, but unfortunately fell short this month.  I would have definitely given this month's box higher marks if the eyeliner/shadow and nail polish colors had been different colors and more suited to "everyone".

Also, I had posted my concerns on Glymm's FB page over the colors received and received a reply that "we have taken this into consideration.  Meanwhile you can always e-mail info@glymm.com with specific preferences."  I thought that's why we filled out our beauty profile in the first place??

Hopefully next month Glymm redeems themselves.

**UPDATE** - rec'd an email from Glymm today (November 17) saying they would be sending me an RGB nail polish and a SmudgePaint in another color in my next box.  Now folks, that is what customer service is all about!!  Way to go Glymm!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

November Topbox Review

As mentioned in an earlier post, I subscribed to yet another beauty subscription service - this one by Topbox. Topbox is the new kid in Canada offering monthly beauty samples delivered to your door along side Loose Button and Glymm.

For only $10/month, you can sign up with Topbox to receive "4 carefully selected, indulgent, beauty products to test in the comfort of your own home". There are no hidden fees and no shipping costs.

Topbox only offers month to month subscriptions and if you enjoy Topbox, do nothing and your subscription will automatically continue for as long as you choose to remain a member. You can easily cancel anytime, online, 24 hours a day. There are no cancellation fees.

I was anxious to receive my box this month and according to the Topbox website and Facebook page, they ship their boxes on the 10th of every month. Now, those of you who also subscribe to either of the other two services will know that there have been some glitches in sending their monthly boxes. As promised, I received my shipping notification from Topbox on November 10th.

My box arrived today (November 14th) and I was surprised when I went to the mailbox that it wasn't the normal square box waiting for me.

Upon removing the brown paper wrapping and opening the tube ...


... along with a product card, the samples included:

Cake Velveteen Hand Creme- It's a Slice (full size sample)
I have only tried one other Cake hand cream and loved it, so am looking forward to trying this one - especially now that we're into the colder fall/winter months.

According to the information card - Velveteen Hand Creme soothes and nourishes dry hands with a luxurious and silky formation that absorbs quickly into your skin, leaving your hands feeling smooth but not greasy.  Full size is 3.4 oz for $18.00

Deborah Lippman Nail Lacquer - Some Enchanted Evening (full size sample)
I have never tried Deborah Lippman nail lacquers so was very excited to receive this as a sample this month.

According to the information card - Some Enchanted Evening nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann's luxury line of award winning hand and foot care.  This line was created as a result of her working with some more iconic figures in fashion from Cher to Sara Jessica Parker.  Full Size is 0.50 oz for $19.95

Dr. Brandt - Time Arrest Eye Serum
Now that I am getting older (eek), I am always looking for good eye serums to try and was happy to see this sample in my Topbox this month.

According to the information card - Time Arrest Eye Serum is formulated to smooth and help prevent lines around the eyes; optimizes hydration by providing a long lasting protection from moisture loss.  Full size is 0.50 oz for $85.00.  The sample I received was 2.5 ml or 0.085 oz

Stila Lip Glaze - Raspberry
I have only ever tried one other Stila Lip Glaze (yes I know, I've been living under a rock LOL) so I am looking forward to trying this color.

According to the information card - Lip glaze adds a splash of colour to the lips.  Can be worn alone or over top of your favourite lip colour to enhance the size and texture of lips.  Full size is 0.08 oz for $22.

I must say that I was really impressed with my first Topbox.  There wasn't one product that I didn't like and  I was most excited that there were two full size samples included.  I love the packaging and will most likely reuse it for my make-up brushes.

If Topbox continues to include such great samples I think Loose Button and Glymm will definitely have a challenge keeping their subscribers.  Well done Topbox and I look forward to receiving next month's samples.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Favorite Beauty Products - October 2011

I haven't done a monthly favorites post before, but thought I would try to do one of these each month outlining the products I used most often for the previous month.

... so here we go ...

Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream
I had been reading a lot about BB creams on different blogs, and hearing about them in youtube videos so thought I would give it a try. Rather than going out and buying one (I had no clue which one was best), I searched the MUA swap database for one and was lucky to find a great MUAer to swap with.  If you're not sure what a BB cream is, check out my blog post on BB creams.

The color I received was 21 (light beige) ... and on first application, I truly loved it.  I did notice the grey cast everyone mentioned, but with adding a dusting of Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation over top, my skin was not nearly as pale.  The coverage is light, however, after watching the pros on youtube I learned the correct way to apply the BB cream to make the coverage more full coverage.

To properly apply BB cream, pump an appropriate amount of BB cream onto the back of your hand.  Apply the cream in dots to your face - do not spread the BB cream like you would when you apply foundation.  Instead, use gentle patting motions to spread and blend it into your skin - you can even use a Beauty Blender sponge.  You can then use the same technique for covering up any blemishes or marks you would like covered.

Since trying BB cream, I'm never going back to liquid foundation again.  They provide excellent coverage, won't clog pores and provide excellent sun protection (this one has 42 SPF).  One thing I should mention about BB cream is it does oxidize throughout the day and will turn a bit darker.

Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation
I really like this powder.  As mentioned, I use it over my Missha BB cream to help with coverage and as a finishing powder.  It gives my skin a nice glow too, without looking sparkly or glittery.  My summer color is 30 watts, however, for Winter, I think I will try 20 watts.
It has a nice texture and looks very natural.  However, if you are looking for a powder foundation, this probably isn't for you.  I just want a finishing powder and this is perfect.

Guerlain Meteorites Pearls - Teint Beige
I had heard so many good things about this powder and was anxious to try it, however, couldn't justify the price  ($57 US at Sephora).  I finally decided just before our annual trip to Orlando that I would bite the bullet and make the purchase.

I am so glad I purchased this ... the powder adds a slight shimmer/glow to your skin and the smell is absolutely heavenly.  Definitely an good investment so don't be intimidated by the price.

Laura Mercier Creme Brulee Souffle Body Cream
Now that the weather is getting cooler, I absolutely love this ... the scent is so decadent.  It slides on the skin nicely and is non-greasy.  It has done wonders for my dry fall/winter skin and I will never be without this.

Principessa - Pretty Piede Foot Balm
I received a sample of this in my October Glymm Beauty Box and immediately fell in love with it.

The cream is very thick and contains fruit acids, shea butter, Vitamin E and organic indulgent extracts that really seem to soften the roughest skin on my feet.  It`s scented with Bellocia which I found out is top notes of peach blossom, vanilla, middle of the night blooming jasmine, ylang-ylang and a base of sandalwood and warm amber.  Yes it sounds like a lot of notes, but it`s really subtle and pleasant.

I loved it so much, I ordered a full size from the Glymm website.

Principessa Bacio Lip Balm
Another sample I received in my October Glymm Beauty Box and fell in love with immediately.

The balm is clear with a wonderful smell and contains Vitamin E and shea butter which is absolutely perfect for those of us who suffer from dry sore lips during the colder fall/winter months in Canada.  I can definitely see this becoming a staple in my purse for fall/winter.

... and there you have it ... my first favorites post.  Hope it's been helpful to at least one person out there.