Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Impulse Buy... Here Comes the Sun Cosmetics Bag on ebeauty.ca

Well, I just saw this on a blog (HERE) and impulsively decided to go for it... I don't know how I feel about my purchase yet because I'm not an impulse buyer AT ALL and that makes me uncomfortable... And I don't have any experience with any of the products in that bag. Some of them are familiar from reading reviews and posts though. Can you tell I'm unsure and iffy about this purchase?!

The bag, with tax and shipping, will be costing me 36.73$ because of a promotional code giving 20% off (code= summerbeauty)

You can get the bag or check out the contents in more detail on ebeauty.ca here: http://www.ebeauty.ca/Combination-Sets/eBeauty-Here-Comes-The-Sun-Cosmetic-Bag/pages/productdetails?nav=R:972228

What do you guys think? Have any of you ordered this? Do any of you have experience with these products?


MEH/BLAH Products I've Been Trying

I like to post positive reviews more than negative ones and I put a focus on that, but what about products that left me with an impression of "MEH" and "BLAH"? I believe that it can be useful to someone somewhere to read about negative or neutral experiences others have had with products so are some of these products that didn't quite do it for me: 


Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution Complex 


Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution Complex is one of those products that had nothing positive to offer me. I got this product in my June Glossybox and it was a 7ml sample which did last a little while. I applied it to the entire face a few times and found it OK. It had a grainy texture when applying which was weird and is perfumed, not especially pleasant but perfectly tolerable... This product is NOT a moisturizer and cannot replace a person's moisturizer so this was a huge negative before even with the hope that it could work for wrinkles...

Note: I don't have mature skin so it might not have been the right product for me to to be trying, but I do have some small lines on my forehead and around my mouth which bother me and make me feel like I have wrinkles. I thought it could have a chance at helping these tiny lines so after realizing that it was bad as a moisturizer, I only applied it to these areas, figuring I could go the full 14 days they say will make the difference.

I didn't notice a difference in these lines. Left me with a huge impressive of BLAH about this product. Completely useless for me. It could possibly work for someone with deep wrinkles and in full honestly, it's deep wrinkles that it is supposed to help with in 14 days.


Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo


I saw this product on special last week at Loblaws and since I don't know much about argan oil except that it's supposed to be good, I picked it up. I am not loyal to any shampoo and almost every shampoo I've tried has not impressed nor disappointed. Shampoos and almost anything hair doesn't interest me much so I bought this expecting close to nothing. I expected it to do something more than my cheaper shampoos but nothing spectacular. 

Instead of meeting my low expectations, it bombed completely and disappointed me. Now that is some (bad) achievement!! It left my hair dryer than normal and just not good. Simply, I cannot recommend this product in any sort of way. I don't imagine what good it can do to anyone's hair when it dried up my oily hair and couldn't even do as good as the regular brands of shampoo I normally use (like Herbal Essences, Avon, Fructis, Head and Shoulders, etc) Only thing I can think of us that with the conditioner it might be different,  but I'm not used to using any because of my oily hair.


Neutrogena naturals purifying facial cleanser

This cleanser was promising! I like natural products as much as possible so when I read that this cleanser doesn't contain parabens, dyes, phthalates, petrochemicals or what they call "harsh chemical sulfates", I was glad to try it! Especially with a pump like that, it would be easier to use in the shower than my tube one by Aveeno that I like.  

My dislike for this product is more subjective than the other two. THE SMELL, for me is just PUKEPUKE! I hate it so much that I cannot even tolerate it for the 30 seconds it takes to wash my face and rinse it in the shower. My husband uses it now. 

Other thing I wonder is why it foams? I wasn't expecting it to since it's supposed to be all natural... Is it "harsh chemical sulfates"? They have some, but they are not as harsh? I'm not sure and I'd love to know! Because I was under the impression that natural cleansers did NOT foam. 



Monday, July 30, 2012

A Thing I Noticed - Need feedback

I started this blog just over a month ago after starting to be a bit more into other beauty blogs. I noticed A LOT of self-promotion in comments with the girls putting their blog links as a sort of comment signature or often flat-out saying "Please follow me" which I found sometimes tastefully done (when the comment was specific to the post and the link was just a signature) and sometimes a bit spammy (when the comment was obviously only there to ask to be followed with no real interesting reference to the post itself).

Both ways seemed perfectly accepted and got no negative responses on the blogs themselves... I decided to promote my blog with a signature-link in comments. After all, I do want people to read my blog! But I don't want to spam anyone and I want my promotion to be "natural and effortless". By that, I mean that I don't want to attract readers by being real and myself without being forceful or spammy. I post links every few posts to my Facebook and I've mentioned my blog a couple times on my other blog and I comment on people's blogs which I figured could be a good way to effortlessly and naturally get people to my blog.

I was very politely and privately messaged that since my blog was accessible through my profile, me putting a link in my comments was considered spam. She was very nice in telling me this and actually did it the ISLAMIC WAY :) I really appreciated that and it was definitely goo to know.

What I noticed though especially after this was that on CANADIAN BLOGS, self-promotion was "rampant" while it was not the case on American blogs like her's. Is it something that is accepted in the Canadian beauty blogosphere and not the American beauty blogosphere?!

You guys who have blogs, how do you feel about it and where are you from? What has your experience been and how to you promote your blog?

THANKS YOU GUYS!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Skincare Cost Beakdown

*not me*

I just saw this idea on the blog Provincial Beauty where she calculated how much her make-up routine costs. I'd done something similar for skincare before starting this blog and posted it on my other blog but it wasn't detailed enough for a cross-post here so I'm completely rewriting it and updating with new products I've added to my list to calculate how much my skincare routine costs me monthly. This will be an approximate since I can't know how long a product will last exactly and it will be based on a summer routine which might be more expensive than the winter one. And it includes a lot of free products right now but they will last me a long while especially with samples I'm getting from beauty boxes which I'm using (and therefore not using up other products) so I won't count any re-purchase price for these products and they will be noted as "got free".

What I use on my skin:

+Sun protection

Neutrogena Age Shield Face SPF 55: 11.99$ (on special) for summer and more = 4.00$/month
Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen (Sheer Touch and Silk Hydration), 2 bottles (on special) at 9.00$ each for summer and more = 6.00$/month
Aveeno Positively Ageless Youth Perfecting Moisturizer SPF 30: got free

SUB-TOTAL: 10.00$/month

+Moisturizing (face)

Eminence rosehip whip: 40.50$ (I get a discount) for 5 months = 8.10$/month
SUB-TOTAL: 8.10$/month

+Treatments and exfoliation

Eminence rosehip and maize exfolating masque: 31.50$ (I get a discount) for 10 months (used maybe 2-3x per week) = 3.15$/month 
Aveeno Positively radiant skin brightening daily scrub: got free
Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2 in 1 fight & fade gel: got free

SUB-TOTAL: 3.15$/month

+Cleansing

Aveeno Ultra-calming moisturizing cream cleanser: got free
Neutrogena cleansing wipes: got free samples
Neutrogena Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover: got free
Neroli hydrosol (toner): 10$ with shipping, will last forever and not sure I will replace with any other toner... 1.00$/month

SUB_TOTAL: 1.00$/month

+Body care

Aveeno lotion that I mostly just use on my eczema hand: got free
Olay in-shower Body Lotion: got one free but will repurchase so 6.99$ per month approx.

SUB-TOTAL: 6.99$/month

+Halfway between skincare and makeup (calculating half the monthly cost to put half of it in the make-up section)

Eminence Sun Defense Minerals: 46$ for 6+ months/2 : 3.87$/month
Macelle BB Cream: 19.96$ for 2-3 months (2.5) /2 = 3.99$/month

SUB-TOTAL: 7.86$

+Beauty Box Skincare Samples

I'm subscribed to beauty boxes now and a bunch of what they send is skincare so I  must calculate these in my costs. I based this on Ellesy from Petite Pear Style's awesome post comparing beauty boxes in a way I haven't seen anywhere else. She did an amazing job in THIS POST where she goes into all sorts of details about the boxes including percentage of items from different categories (like skin care, make-up, etc). Her percentages are based on months up to June and I've only gotten July boxes, but it's better than basing it on one box since I will continue to receive these for a little while. She has Glymm as 41% skincare and Glossybox as 46% skincare which is what I'll work with:

Glymm skincare: Average 4.92$/month
Glossybox skincare: Average 6.90$/month 

SUB-TOTAL: 11.82$/month

GRAND TOTAL: 48.92$/month 

It's a bit more than I was expecting, but it's an honest idea of how much a full skincare routine can cost. And this is with a bunch of free stuff which would've added at least a few dollars to my total.

Fabulous Blogger Friday - Plumpish Beauty



I'm loving Canadian blogs since I started my own and have found a good bunch of really good ones that people should definitely read. One of those is Plumpish Beauty! Aleksandra has such a nice variety of posts which include beauty boxes (I'm kinda crazy about those lately), reviews of products, hauls (from the Shopping channel to Yves Rocher or others) and nails too like this most recent post. A general beauty blog featuring things all of us really like! Be sure to check it out at:
http://plumpishbeauty.blogspot.ca/

Friday, July 27, 2012

July Glymm bag - FINALLY, my first experience with Glymm

Well, the bag finally arrived yesterday, July 26thThere were problems with my order so let me tell the story of my experience with Glymm. I'm not dissatisfied but I'm not especially impressed with some of it either. 

I decided at the end of June that I would subscribe to Glymm (as well as Glossybox and putting myself on the waiting list for Topbox) so on June 29th, the second to last day to sign up in time for the July bag, I tried signing up - MAYBE 20 TIMES or more! The website was having problems, or maybe it was just me... It was just not happening no matter what I did. Changed browsers, cleared my cache memory, etc.

I contacted customer service by email on June 30th and got a response extremely quickly giving me tips on how to sign up as well as offering to do it for me by taking my credit card information by email and telling me I could also call July 3rd. There were a couple emails exchanged until July 3rd when I called in (I wasn't comfortable giving my credit card information by email). I got the voice mail in the morning and no call back later in the day so I just ended up doing it by email anyway on July 3rd, being very clear that if it was not possible for the July bag, I did not want them to process the subscription. They took out my August payment right away and told me that I'd have a second payment taken from my credit card as soon as it was manually approved by another department. I saw July 13th arrive with bags being sent out, the week after everyone was getting their bag...

July 17th I was sick of waiting and I emailed them and was told, again very quickly by email, that it just hadn't been processed manually yet and that it would be sent out as soon as it was. MY GOSH, how long is it to process?! It had been 2 weeks!

July 25th arrived (2 days ago) and I was still waiting. I emailed again, starting to be *really* sick of waiting and again got an extremely quick email response - this time telling me it had been processed and I should expect it soon. YAY. And for the inconvenience was given 50 Glymm points.

I got my bag yesterday morning, July 26th about 15 minutes after getting the email from Canada Post telling me Glymm was sending me something. LOL.


ONTO THE "UNBAGGING"



I really like the bag personally. Maybe because I don't have an actual make-up bag.

Glymm July 2012 products

We've got:
  • Cyberderm H2O Hydration, an anti-ageing moisturizer
  • Cyberderm PM Anti-Age, an anti-ageing night cream
  • Joico K-pak Revitaluxe, a hair treatment which I will use on my daughter 
  • Maneteeze Social Butterfly hair perfume
  • Dirt purify + glow salt scrub, a body exfoliating treatment
I'm quite happy with all of these products! I'm a newbie to the beauty boxes so I haven't received tons of products in any category (hair, make-up, lotions, skin care, perfumes, etc) so there's nothing that I'm disappointed about as far as the product use goes. Hair stuff will all be tried on my daughter, anti-aging on newly-obsessed-about-her-"wrinkles" me, perfume I'll be sick of after another 2 samples because it's not my thing and the body scrub is a really nice idea for a product to me.

INITIAL REACTION TO PRODUCTS


Cyberderm products
Just a small word on Cyberderm... What weird (but original and creative) packaging! The products came in oral syringes, the type my daughter uses every day for her arthritis medication... Initial thought is that they are still a very small company since they can't find a normal type of packaging but really, it's professionally done and effective for dispensing the product. I guess it's not yet worth it for them to get syringes made just for their samples. The full sized product comes in a regular pump container. Second thought is about their slogan "the sunscreen company"... Umm... this isn't sunscreen and they weren't even selling sunscreen yet when most people got their boxes. They are now though. Yep, that confirms it, they are very small and new. Good thought: it's a Canadian company and my experience with their products just from one use has been extremely positive. Good on Glymm for introducing us to Cyberderm!

Cyberderm H2O Hydration: I tried this once this morning and it feels great on my skin. Absorbed super fast, leaving no greasiness. It doesn't smell like much to me which is a good thing. I used 0.5ml for my whole face and it felt like plenty. The cream almost foams and whitens when you spread it and that little bit went a long way. There was a bit of a heating feeling which made me think that there's some sort of active ingredient that is working in this cream. 

Cyberderm PM Anti-age: I tried this last night and really liked what I felt. It has a strong smell that made me think of a pine forest but made my husband think of cactuses... Either way, it's "naturey" and not the flowers and grass kind. It's strong and wouldn't suit everyone. The cream absorbed very well into the skin and left no greasiness AT ALL. I felt a slight burning sensation that was not unpleasant and if anything made me think it was actually working. 

It was just one try for each of the Cyberderm products so I will change this if need be, but they feel like quality products. PM Anti-age expensive and not exactly in my price range (115$ for 50ml) but the quality still comes through and some people do pay that much for cream. H2O Hydration is 60$ for 50ml which is more in a regular price range, just a bit more expensive than the one I use on a day to day basis. 

Joico K-Pak Revitaluxe: I haven't tried this yet but it has gotten such great reviews everywhere I've seen that I can only be happy to get such a strongly recommended hair treatment. My daughter has curly hair and it gets a lot more wear with playing outside and in the mud, etc like any 5 year old. PLUS she loves having it loose so it needs a little extra love. Hopefully this helps her out :)

Manteeze Social Butterfly hair perfume: I'm not a fan of perfume and I don't wear any and never did BUT this surprised me with how much I liked it! It's a vanilla coconut smell that I got a whiff of every once in a while for at least a few hours after putting 2 spritzes. It's supposed to be more potent and longer-lasting than skin perfume as well as being more delicate for our hair. I felt like a woman wearing perfume, it was great! 

Dirt purify+glow salt scrub: I haven't tried this product yet but it smells really nice a citrusy. The sample is not exactly "wow" since it seems so small that it wouldn't even do the whole body... Glymm says that it will be good for 2 uses so hopefully that's the case because at 45$ for 12 oz, it's a really expensive scrub! There's been a confusion about the amount of product though. The bottom of the little jar says 15ml, 0.05oz when really 15ml is 0.5oz. That means that 3.75$ per oz and 1.88$ for the sample we got, not 19 cents like some bloggers were writing.


Last thing 

This is my first experience with Glymm so it's my first Glymm bag and I love the bright colour orange of this bag and the size is great for short travels as well as storing samples or hair accessories at home... Personally, I love this feature and I'm looking forward to having the bag in other colours.

It was really a winning idea by Glymm to make the switch to these bags. The way I understand it, they raised the price of their subscription by 2.00$ when they introduced the bag. A good way to get clients to accept paying more (though old clients continue to pay the old price), giving the company a "greener" style and give collecting personalities a reason to stick with Glymm. Who wouldn't want this bag in all sorts of colours? 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I own a lot of Aveeno products

Aveeno makes A LOT of products. A lot of good products, actually! And I own quite a few of them from various lines they have for facial care: Positively Ageless, Positively Radiant, Positively Nourishing, Ultra-Calming are the ones I've tried at least one product from. For body care, I've tried their lotions (maybe 5 of them) but they also carry bath products I've never tried. I have also tried baby products but no hair products which I just found out they also carry.

Any review requests for Aveeno? I will be featuring them in some future reviews for sure though.

Also: Would anyone reading this be interested in a future Aveeno giveaway? It would be new unopened products by Aveeno with maybe other products thrown in (the other products would be products I have but don't suit me).

Ridiculous claims

I really hate deception, as I wrote in my other post Companies with Integrity and this is related to that a little. I want to post about a product in particular: Maybelline Dream Fresh 8-in-1 BB cream and a little something that bugged me.

I saw this product at Walmart the other day and since I've never tried a BB cream, I was interested. The price is great at about 10$ or less so I figured it could be a good one to try to begin with as far as BB creams go. I read what was on the packaging. 8-in-1. I thought: 8?! How many different things can one cream do?! Let's see what was written on there:

* Blurs imperfections
* Brightens
* Evens skin-tone
* Smoothes
* Hydrates
* Enhances
* Protects with SPF 30
* Oil-Free

Is anyone else seeing how ridiculous some of these claims are?! I see it as a 3-in-1: sun protection, moisturizer and foundation. Basically, it's a tinted moisturizer with SPF, am I right? Maybe it could be a primer, I don't know... So max 4-in-1.

How is "oil-free" something that this cream does?! My moisturizer must be a 5-in-1 then, it hydrates, it's oil-free, it's natural, it's organic, it's got rosehip. What is up with them adding anything to make it a bigger number? That's called deception. And I don't know that much about BB creams but as far as I understand it, this might not even qualify as one under a standard definition. Isn't it missing the "activeness" of a BB cream. Either fighting ageing, blemishes or something like that?

I've heard good things about this cream, but for it's deceptive advertising, I'm personally staying away from it. I'm sure I can find another tinted moisturizer with SPF that will suit me OR flat out a complete BB cream that I like.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My mom and products

My mom is funny. She's very careful about how she uses products. It's as though it's a crime to buy more, you know? I'm sure that comes from being one in 10 children (6 girls) and probably being used to taking products from her sisters for free and overall having some financial difficulties throughout her life and having to be careful about purchases. My parents have been doing well financially for at least 10 years though, able to get a new car and finished paying it, finished paying their house, renovating, etc. but this part has stuck with my mom.

I got her some products for her birthday a couple years ago and well... she wasn't especially pleased and was mostly offended actually since they were labelled anti-aging. I didn't mean that she had unimaginable wrinkles when I gave her a night cream, day cream and cleanser. It was just skin care for her age (51 at the time). I'm 25 and I use that many products, some of which are labelled anti-aging!

She told me a couple weeks ago, all proud, that she finished her creams. It took her TWO AND A HALF years to use up that cream. And I think it might've been only one of the two.

And today, she reminded me of the Quo duo lip gloss I got her for Christmas (7 months ago) that she likes a lot. How it's coming to an end so she's only using it on weekends now. I have to laugh. I'll go out and get her a new one next time I'm at a pharmacy because seriously there's no need to ration lip gloss like that! It doesn't need to last a whole year. :)

Funny, funny mom of mine. <3

Mascot Festival Fun! (+more samples)

Train ride my daughter enjoyed (can't see her in this pic)
The festival is over and I'm going through a bit of a down after being there every day for the past 5 days having fun visiting the stores, eating street food, watching my daughter play in the inflatable games, seeing and interacting with mascots, watching the shows and getting free stuff. 

I ended up getting more samples than what I shared the next day at the Jean Coutu circus and actually got a third bag right at the very end when they were getting rid of them. I'm not sure she knew I had one already since I wasn't standing right beside it but she offered so I said yes of course! 

Not beauty related, I got: 2 packs of gum, a pack of Halls, 3 packs of Maynards candies, a water bottle, a Tide pod sample, those stick flossing things (3 packs of 3 of them) and 3 reusable bags. 

Beauty related and with approximate value, I got: 

Neutrogena wipes: 3 packs of 7 = 21 wipes = 5.46$ value (this is based on the 25 wipe full sized product but well.ca sells the small pack of 7 wipes for 2.49$ which gives a value of 7.47$ for my samples)
Burt's Bees lip balm x3 = 13.47$ value
Nivea Men Q10 15ml = 4.20$ value (I think this has been discontinued and replaced)
Biore nose strip  = 1.24$ value
Tresemme Freshstart dry shampoo 56gx2 = 5.07$ value (this product comes strongly not recommended from a lot of people but I'll be glad to at least try it)
Nivea cream shower gel = 0.10$ value (tiny packet)
TOTAL: 29.54$

The other stuff might be worth about 10$ so that gives a total of about 40$ for my sample bags provided by Jean Coutu. I'm pretty darn happy about that. Not only was their circus show really awesome (we saw it 3.5 times in 2 days) and their other activities (make-up tent where we did our own child'd make up with help from instructions and different circus tries where the artists themselves gave tips and helped us) they also had free stuff! 

A really winning event by Jean Coutu! 
Really impressive strength by one of the artists on the platform 

The two girls doing their thing on the bars

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fun at the mascot festival - SAMPLES!


This is such a fun festival with over 60 mascots walking a stretch of Main street for 5 days. Businesses are on the streets so it's also a sidewalk sale (if you guys ever have those in your area) and it's got lots of freebies too! Here are my Jean Coutu sponsored freebies that I got just before the circus show yesterday.

 1 Tide pod, Maynards candies, a water bottle and a reusable bag.  

BEAUTY-related samples!
1) Burt's Bees full sized lip balm
2) Nivea (for men) Q10 anti-fatigue 15ml
3) Biore cleansing strip (same as I got in my Glossybox)
4) Neutrogena All-in-One Make-up Removing Cleansing Wipes (7 wipes)
5) Nivea shower creme soft shower cream (8ml)

I'm loving the lip balm, it's really refreshing! The Biore strip I'll try at the same time as my other one and make myself look like the woman in the picture (forehead and nose) and I'm pretty excited to try the make-up wipes. I wonder how good it is on eye make-up. Nivea cream seems like a pretty weak sample but anyway!

Fabulous Blogger Friday - Cosmetic Proof



I'm loving Canadian beauty blogs and Cosmetic Proof  by Jayne is one of them! As a bit of a newbie I love learning about new products and I get a lot of that from this blog. For example, a recent post of products (haul) from an asian company and a giveaway that she's having sponsored by a Canadian company that does natural skin care products (SEE HERE to enter). She blogs often with good posts and her blog is well organized and professional; anyone can appreciate an easy reading experience! I strongly recommend you check out here blog at:

http://www.cosmeticproof.com/

PS: Sorry for the lateness, it has been a very busy couples of days!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Generous Ramadan to all! رمضان كريم

A generous and blessed month of Ramadan to all my Muslim (and non-Muslim) friends and readers!

In honour of that, here is some "muslim fashion" by Rabia Z for you to enjoy:






What do you guys think of the mix of fulfilling religious obligations and being fashionable at the same time?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Companies with Integrity

I respond well to a company that has good values. A company that is open and honest, gives good quality products and services for a decent price that reflects what they're offering. A company that cares about integrity over profit.

These are the companies I want to encourage and that I want to help succeed and help them make that important profit!

It's why I like to point things out like what Loose Button seems to be doing (creating a false need for their boxes to increase demand). And it's why I noticed right away what Glossybox wrote on their Facebook page.
We're almost sold out! Subscribe for the July GLOSSYBOX today to snag one of the last remaining boxes.
I actually believe them unlike Loose Button. I have seen a lot of positive reviews and recommendations for Glossybox and a lot of people who want to lessen the beauty box load say they don't know which they should unsub from but it wouldn't be Glossybox. Based on this, I subscribed and so far my experience with them has been extremely satisfactory. I have no reason to think that they are falsely creating demand for their box because people have been openly saying that they will not unsubscribe and have been recommending the service in a very genuine manner and people have been subscribing!

They seem to be becoming the next Topbox with an actual waiting list and inability to fulfill demand. I hope for them that this is true. For a business to have so many people interested that they aren't able to fulfill demand is great! And I also hope it's true so I can keep my respect for them. I love loving companies and recommending companies a lot more than I like critiquing!

More to come on companies I love. More to come on complaints and critiques too but hopefully I do it with respect and hopefully it's constructive.


This part is me trying to shamelessly take points if you want to subscribe to Glossybox. Use my link to give me referral points that I'd love to use to eventually get a free box. My positive post has nothing to do with getting points, I just like getting myself closer to free stuff. You understand I'm sure. 
http://www.glossybox.ca/invitation/MTMxMDg=?utm_source=Customers&utm_medium=link&utm_term=MTMxMDg=&utm_campaign=Refer-a-friend/

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Julep O Canada nail polish - Disappointed

Disclaimer: I suck at nail polishes and have very little experience and this might account for why polishes don't last a long time on my nails. I am very active though since I do all the housework, errands, childcare and that includes an 8 month old baby... I honestly don't know if the poor performance of polishes in general has more to do with the polishes themselves or with my lifestyle.

I was happy to receive O Canada in my July Julep Maven box because I liked the idea of a clearer, less flashy nail polish that I could apply to my fingernails that would not appear worn out as fast as an opaque colour. I figured chips would not be apparent because most of the nail is clear anyway and that this would make the polish last a long time (compared to the others which I'm finding look like crap within days).

Here is my hand with O Canada, 2 days after application. Notice 2 things:
1) Uneven red dots. It was very hard to get the red dots on there. Sometimes there were none, sometimes there were tons...
2) Most importantly, the lack of polish on the tops of all nails!

2 days after application 

I'm so terribly disappointed!!!!

I was really stoked about this nail polish. I loved the look of it and the clear base, I still love the idea of it. But the result was super disappointing.


This is O Canada 2 days after application. It looked like that yesterday too which means that within 24h, half of the nail had no polish on it from GIANT chips. I put it on the same way as I have been my other Julep polishes so my conclusion is that this polish is not durable since 8 out of 10 fingernails were totally and crazily chipped.

Any nail polish application advice is VERY welcome because as I wrote in my disclaimer, I have problems with nail polish staying on.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm really not "diggin'" Loose Button

I have never been subscribed with them but I got an offer to join in June by email through my subscription to Today's Parent magazine. I wrote about it here:
http://candiceandbeauty.blogspot.ca/2012/06/loose-button-new-seasonalquarterly-luxe.html

If you recall, they were telling me I had a special chance to skip the waiting list if I signed up before July 4th. And I think I called their bluff.

I got an email today directly from Loose Button telling me I have less than 24h to sign up. Obviously, there was no waiting list. I'm not a fan of manipulation and for that reason, I strongly stand by my decision to not sign up to their box. A company that manipulates potential customers into signing up for their service does not deserve those customers.

Gillette Venus Embrace REVIEW


I got the Venus Embrace razor in my first Glossybox last week and had a chance to use it once for my legs and armpits. I normally use my husband's razor, a Gillette Fusion razor which is a pulsating one with 5 blades.

I liked the idea of trying a "woman's razor". I wasn't using my husband's because I have extremely thick hair to shave or anything - it was only out of convenience and laziness; buying a razor is never really interesting. I thought that a "woman's razor" might be better for my needs since I do not have crazy-thick hair like a man's and I have pretty sensitive skin.

I personally found that from using this razor the one time, it didn't do anything that the Gillette Fusion didn't do (like be more gentle or precise) and it just felt completely cheap in my hand compared to the heavy, battery-filled, metal Fusion that I normally use. I could maybe use "delicate" instead of "cheap" but for me it was not a good change really.

Personally I will not buy this razor again but the company is not losing anything since I'm keeping my business with Gillette with my regular (husband's) Fusion razor.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fabulous Blogger Friday - Fashion for Giants


This week, I have to recommend my very favourite fashion blog, Fashion for Giants. I love seeing what outfits Gracey puts together every day. She has a feminine style, preferring skirts and dresses to pants and mixing patterns and textures and colours together in ways that are to me, unexpected but very often totally winning! I strongly recommend that everyone check out her blog at:
http://fashionforgiants.blogspot.ca/

It literally has managed to make me look at fashion differently!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My first Glossybox!

I received my first Glossybox this morning and I'm so excited! It came beautifully packaged in the baby pink box. A nice, sturdy box that I will use to store products for sure. The packaging was black with a pink ribbon and the Glossy sticker and there was an envelope containing the product card.



Just from this, I was impressed. They included the card in ENGLISH and FRENCH probably since I'm in Quebec. I'm very impressed at their sensitivity to French and inclusion of a French card, especially since the website is in English only. Their attention to this detail makes me feel confident in recommending the service to francophones.



I will give a brief idea of the products and I will give you the full size cost of the product, the worth of the sample, and my personal worth for this sample. If it's something I wanted to try, whether or not I ended up liking it, I will rate it with the full worth of the sample. If it's something that is uninteresting for me in every way, I will rate it as 0$. I will adjust this amount if I know the product is currently or often on sale (that I know of) and will adjust if I would never have tried the product but still find value in it. My "personal worth" is completely personal and just to give me an idea of how much the box is worth to me PERSONALLY. :)


Here are the products: 


Biore Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser


I tried this cleanser  this morning out of principle (because really, I only use fragrance-free and soapless) and I liked it. It has fragrance which I normally don't like in a product, but it was not overpowering. It left my skin feeling clean and not feeling tight. I'd recommend this product to a friend and probably will be passing it on to one.
Cost: 9.99$ for 200ml
Product worth: 9.99$ (full size)
Worth: 5.00$ (I would never try a foaming cleanser with fragrance and parabens but I like it and it's not worthless in any way so I'll give it half price for the worth of giving it to someone else)

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion SPF 55


I absolutely love this sunscreen!!! I tried the same sample previously and went out to buy the full size. I'm happy to have a small sample again that I can carry around in my diaper bag for a quick application while I'm out and about. I strongly recommend this sunscreen to everyone!!
Cost: 15.99$ for 88ml
Worth: 2.54$ (14ml)
Personal worth: 1.75$ (I recently bought the full size for 10.99$ for 88ml)

Wella Professionals Ocean Spritz



I'm really looking forward to trying this! I have super-straight, lifeless hair so it will be interesting to see if I can get any volume and texture by using this product. Will give an update with pictures when I get around to trying this.
Cost: 16.99$ for 150ml
Worth: 16.99$ (full size)
Personal worth: 12.75$ (I would never have been interested in getting a sample of this product because I just don't do anything with my hair, but at the same time, I am looking forward to trying it, so I'm going halfway between full worth and half worth with 75% worth)


Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution Complex


I'm very happy to have gotten a wrinkle cream because I have a couple lines that are bothering me on the side of my mouth and on my forehead. OK, I'm only 25 years old and I don't think those lines count as wrinkles exactly, and they seem to be invisible to all but myself, but still!
Cost: 30.99$ for 50ml
Worth: 4.34$ for 7ml
Personal worth: 4.34$ (full sample worth)

Cover Girl Flipstick- Blendable lip duo


The idea of getting a lipstick in my Glossybox makes me very happy. I want to try to add a bit of colour to my lips and I'm not 100% sure where to start with that but the colour of this thing is HORRIBLE. I can honestly not even imagine a person who could wear this colour and look good. It feels like a leftover colour that no one would ever buy and that they probably regret ever making. From reviews I saw of the June Glossybox, not everyone got this colour so there were some luckier than others.
Cost: 12.50$
Worth: 12.50$ (full size)
Personal worth: 6.25$ (I find the gold colour to maybe have potential as a blender with another different lipstick)

Gillette Venus Embrace Razor


Yay! A razor! I've been using my husband's for too long so this is a super addition to my box. Any woman would love a razor I think so this is a winning item, even if it's not "special". It adds solid worth to the box.
Cost: 13.43$
Worth: 13.43$ (full size)
Personal worth: 8.00$ (A quick search on Well.ca shows that the same razor with not 1 but 2 cartridges AND the shower pod for 10.00$. At the moment, this razor is not worth 13.43$)

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Stip


I'm excited to try these! I've never tried a pore strip before so this should be pretty cool. Whether or not it actually is, I'm stoked to have gotten this sample.
Cost: 9.9$ for 8 strips
Worth: 1.24$
Personal worth: 1.24$

FINAL THOUGHTS


Glossybox definitely delivered with 7 samples total, 4 of which were full sized! If I'd been of the lucky ones with a better shade of that lipstick, I'd be more than satisfied, I'd be over the moon with this box. I'm pleased though for sure based on the variety of products received and overall worth of the box. There are a couple of basic products that I'm happy to have and a couple of interesting products I'm excited to try so YAY is what I have to say!



Total box worth: 61.03$
Total personal box worth: 26.58$ 
*With tax, the worth is 30.57$, I'd add 1$ for the box itself since it's my first and I will find good use so: 31.57$ for me personally in Quebec, putting no worth on the shipping costs. :)*

If you want to sign up to Glossybox, feel free to use my referral link, which will get me 1/5th of the way towards a free box :) Do a quick search for a promo code that gives you 10% off, making your box cost 13.50$ total (shipping and tax included).
http://www.glossybox.ca/invitation/MTMxMDg=?utm_source=Customers&utm_medium=link&utm_term=MTMxMDg=&utm_campaign=Refer-a-friend/


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Eggplant and Yellow Peppers

You know when you're cooking up a random meal and the colours hit you and you decide that you need to create an outfit? Well, this is such an outfit. Inspired yesterday while I made some random as-I-go type of meal with eggplant and yellow peppers.

This is aubergine and yellow pepper with its special aztec touch. What do you think?


Eggplant and Yellow Peppers




Neroli Hydrosol/Hydrolat/Flower Water/Distillate Update

I talked about this in my review for Annmarie Gianni Skin Care products which I had samples of. One of the products (product 2 in my review) was the neroli toning mist which the official Annmarie Gianni Skin Care website sells for 27.95$ for 50ml. The only ingredients are "love" and "pure organic neroli distillate". Basically, organic neroli distillate is the only ingredient if we take out the cute words.

I found this ingredient sold very inexpensively in a lot of different places and decided to order and compare. If a 5$ bottle (that is bigger than 50ml) is the same, I would not be able to recommend the Annmarie neroli toning mist at all.

What did I find out?


Well, I don't have anything definitive to share so I won't update the review to add a star rating. I hope to buy another bottle of neroli distillate from a different store to compare again because this is the only experience I have with the product and two samples is not enough for me.

That said, I smelled a difference between the two that, to my inexperienced nose, seemed important enough to not be due only to the different batch (because different batches will smell slightly different). There was a pretty big difference in smell and the Annemarie neroli toning mist smelled a lot nicer, sweeter, and simply more pleasant.

I tried smelling the other one from further away, in a different container, after letting it air out a little... And the Annemarie one simply smelled better to my untrained, inexperienced nose.

As far as how well the product works, there was no difference to me. Both are good products, refreshing, toning, astringent to the same degree. So what is the difference? Why do they smell so different?

There will be more to come on this topic in some time after I order and smell other different neroli distillate...




Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Olay In-Shower Body Lotion REVIEW

This body lotion is to be used in the shower after cleansing. Basically, you smooth it onto your skin using a quarter-sized amount per body part and rinse off after (towel dry when you get out). The product is said to work with the warmth and moisture of the shower to make your skin softer and better hydrated. You should notice smoother skin after one use and with daily use, more moisturized skin after 5 uses. 

Consistency and Application


It feels halfway between lotion and shower gel. Since you're putting it on while your skin is wet, it slips onto your skin easily and you're literally done putting in on in under one minute since you don't need to be careful about putting it on very uniformly. You can have a bit more in certain spots and who cares, you'll be rinsing it off!

Scent


This is the part that bugged me because I hate perfume. I used it a couple months ago and didn't continue because of how perfumed it is. This would probably not bother people who don't mind perfumes but could be a deal-breaker for people who are sensitive to smells like I am. 

I returned to the product because my skin was feeling dry and I just didn't have time to perfectly smooth on body lotion after drying off. I normally have to run to the baby before I even get dressed after my shower so this was a try at moisturizing myself without taking much extra time and effort. And I am now OK with the scent. It definitely stays on the skin though - my husband smelled it immediately when I saw him about 8 hours after my shower and I can still smell it on myself 12h later.

Does it moisturize? Final thoughts.


It absolutely does! This is the answer to my moisturizing problem and is what I consider a "mom product". Not as in "Your mom would like it." but more like "If you're a busy mom, you'll like it." I can't complain that I have dry skin for lack of time because this stuff takes less than a minute to smooth on and rinses itself off while I finish my hair. My skin felt softer after the initial use as promised. 

I'm not sure I've ever seen this product in stores and from what the reviewers are saying at Well.ca, they have trouble finding it too. You can buy it though on the Well.ca website for 6.99$ (250ml)  HERE. I'm only posting a link because I read that it's hard to find and because I have personal experience with Well.ca and trust them. They will ship for free in Canada with no minimum purchase (excluding far-out regions). 

Overall, I would recommend this product with no hesitation for people who find putting on lotion over the entire body too time consuming or annoying and who don't have sensitivities to perfume. For those who like putting on lotion after their shower and are comfortable in that routine, I don't think this would do more for your skin than your current routine. For those sensitive to smells... Depends. I don't like perfume but I still like this product a lot.




Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Makeup Stash

This will not be very impressive. Part of the reason that I'm presenting this now is that I have a feeling my stash will grow in the next few months and it will be interesting to see what I had when it started. I don't actually wear make-up daily apart from my Eminence sun defense mineral powder but I do have what I think is a small but complete stash of makeup for the times when I do actually wear it. I got my first basic makeup "kit" for prom about 8 years ago because I felt it was ridiculous to pay that much to get makeup done when I could buy all the products myself for that price. Most of this stuff is pretty old, some ancient and a few things have been added in the past year.

Here goes.

SKIN


I've got :
My newest and most-used product up on top (opened to see the brush): Eminence sun defense mineral powder SPF 30.
My concealer by Rimmel.
My blush by Annabelle.
My bronzor by Personnelle (the Jean Coutu brand). 
My foundation by Mabelline.
My pressed powder by Rimmel.







EYES


I've got: 
My favourite eye makeup product from Saudi Arabia, kohl eyeliner powder with application wand.
L'Oreal brown eyes eye shadow.
2 mascaras (and Great Lash by Mabelline and lashblast fusion by Covergirl)
Green eyeshadows by Rimmel.

Mascara is probably the thing I spend the most on since I hardly use it (think about every week or two on average) but I change it often to protect my eyes.











This is my back-up complete makeup kit that I use for the eye shadows. I think it was like 4$ at Walmart on boxing day a couple years ago. That lip crap is not coming anywhere near my lips (I used it when it was new) but the eye shadows have the possibility of being useful since I don't own much of it.







LIPS




I also have Julep Poppy lip vernis to add to this collection!
From left:
Rimmel StayGlossy (hate this so much)
Quo duo lip colour (sticky but I like it!)
My only lipstick, need to get another, it's almost finished.
Nivea lip balm (I like it)
Blistex lip balm
Julep lip balm (loving it!)
Fruits & Passion Pomelo-Vanille gloss that I got with a complete kit for Mother's Day the other year.











ACCESSORIES



I'm pretty limited in my accessories but I've got 2 Ecotools brushes and some sponges for foundation. Better than nothing! 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fabulous Blogger Friday - Beauty Delights


Beauty Delights is a blog that features a lot of reviews and unboxings of all the available beauty boxes as wells as reviews of a lot of beauty products and even nail polish! It's a very well-rounded blog with a little of everything that I think anyone "into" beauty would enjoy. I sure do!

I think she is subscribed to all the main ones (Topbox, Glossybox, Luxe Box, Glymm and Beauty Box 5) and she reviews them in an honest fashion, supported by pictures of the boxes, the contents and swatches for colour of what she receives.

Very informative and professional. Please check it out!

http://beauty-delights.blogspot.ca/


Thursday, July 5, 2012

July Julep Maven Box Arrived - Boho Glam O Canada Edition

I was so excited to wake up from my little nap and find the Julep box in my mailbox!! I almost didn't see it in there, the box has been downsized to a cute little "just fits" type of size. Nice!


I definitely like this small packaging. It's more environmentally friendly and I know it could very well be in my mailbox even if I can't see it! The box was packaged in a 4th of July modified theme to make it look more "Canada" which was a nice attention even if it wasn't completely different packaging than the USA. The American packaging looked like this one but with some blue paper in there as well to make the blue, white, red America is known for.


They were cute in throwing in 3 candies with the nail polishes and lip vernis.



Here is a look at the 3 polishes and the lip vernis which is supposed to match one of the polishes. I thought it was matching the lighter one, but it seems to be somewhere in the middle as far as colour goes when looked at from outside like this.

I got: 

Georgia - A golden coral micro-shimmer.
Mischa - A cherry scarlett micro-shimmer
O Canada - Sheer glitter with an accent of cardinal red.

Poppy lip vernis - Peachy coral-creme lip vernis.

Thoughts

It was a nice idea for Julep to have a theme for this month since it was both National holidays happening. It brought some good "hype" to the box but I'm pretty certain that not a single Canadian got her box in time for Canada Day (July 1) so it was a bit of a miss for that reason. Good thing for them, they had a secondary theme of matching your lips to your nails and that was definitely a winner. 

Lip vernis

I don't wear much makeup at all. Normally just my Eminence sun defense mineral powder which is some very light skin coverage and some lip balm. Sometimes a quick whip of mascara but under the glasses I don't think it shows. Anyway, I was excited to try something a bit more punchy and exciting with this lip colour. Excited and a bit nervous. 

When I first pulled it out, I noticed the very nice pleasant sweet smell. YUM. Then I noticed the applicator which, contrary to what I was expecting, is a brush and not those regular spongy applicators. I like it better this way. 

The colour is pretty bright and punchy. As I put it on, it felt like "too much" for me as a person who is not used to seeing her lips a different colour. 30 seconds after I finished putting it on, I felt good about it! It's different but kinda nice, adds a touch of spice! 

What do you think??





















I'm so happy with Julep right now! :D 



If you are interested in trying it for yourself, the 1 cent promotion is still going on with the promotional code PENNY or COLOR2012 at checkout. Follow these steps: 

1) Go to JULEP.com 
Note that this is my referral link and that signing up with it will get me halfway to a free box, thank you for using it if you're planning on signing up. ;)

2) Take a quick style quiz to determine your profile.

3) Add the product to your basket.

4) Checkout.