Tuesday, 31 July 2012

GLOSSYBOX - July 2012

On the very last day of July, my July Glossybox made it to my front door!! I was very surprised, because Glossybox had stated on their Facebook page that they were not expecting their subscribers to receive their boxes until the first week of August! I credit Canada Post for getting it to me so quickly- thanks CP :)

For those of you who are new to beauty boxes, Glossybox is one of Canada's subscription beauty boxes. Alongside Glymm, Julep, Luxe and Topbox, Glossybox charges a monthly fee and sends out packages of deluxe beauty samples, such as lotions, makeup, nail care or skin care items right to your door step. Glossybox comes in a gorgeous, sturdy pale pink box that is completely re-usable for giving gifts or personal storage. Glossybox charges $15.00/month for their service- more than Glymm and Topbox. However, they promise to send "5 luxury product samples from high-end brands " in every box.
July 2012 Glossybox

In my July Glossybox I received:
Zoya Nail Lacquer in KIMBER (15 ml/full size) (retails for $8.00)
Alessandro International Pedix Heel Rescue Balm (30 ml) (full size retails for $19.95/100ml)
John Freida Frizz-Ease Sheer Solution (10 ml) (full size retails for $14.99/60ml)
Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Cherry (2.6g/full size) (retails for $5.99)
Dove Softening Creme Bodywash (200ml/full size) (retails for $5.99)
*bonus item: Beautysoclean Sanitizer Wipes (4 wipes) (48 pack retails for $12.50)
Dove Softening Creme Body Wash
  
Zoya KIMBER
Alessandro International Pedix Heel Rescue Balm
Compared to last months box, which was chock full of drugstore branded products, this box is a drastic improvement. I dislike Dove as a brand and I do not want their junky body wash that is full of chemicals but I will find a home for it elsewhere. I am very excited to try the Heel Rescue Balm, which contains tea tree oil! I love tea tree. It also comes in adorable blue packaging, which I appreciate!
The tiny little Frizz-Ease sample will definitely be well enjoyed by my hair, but I did see that other Glossybox subscribers got a full-sized John Freida hair lightening spray. I assume that I did not receive this based on my beauty profile, since I do not have blonde hair. However, this is a pretty big sample disparity to go from a full-sized lightening spray to a tiny 10ml sample of hair serum?
I love the Zoya polish colour I received although it does remind me of OPI's 'I'm all ears'. The only difference is that 'I'm all ears' has pink micro glitter and 'Kimber' has gold micro glitter. I do think it is a unique shade that is perfect for summer time- good job, Glossybox! The Burt's Bees lip shimmer was a nice addition- much better than past Glossybox lip colours we have received! I like Burt's Bees as a brand because they're all natural :) Lastly, we got more beautysoclean wipes, which we already received in a past box. I used them all up, so I am not offended to receive this sample again, especially as a bonus item.

Overall, I am very happy with my July box! The only complaint I have is that Glossybox ships their boxes out so late into the month. They have said on their Facebook page that they aim to send the boxes out in the last week of every month, meaning that some subscribers will get their boxes in the following month. I think they need to work on changing this, rather than stating it will be that way. They have time to bill us at the very beginning of the month, so why not work on shipping the boxes out in a more timely manner? Besides this little annoyance, I am very happy with July's box! I can use everything I received (minus the cheap Dove bodywash).

Have you received your July box yet? Thoughts?
--S

If you wish to sign up for August's GLOSSYBOX, click here. A monthly subscription is $15.00 after taxes and shipping.
To read about the FEBRUARY 2012 GLOSSYBOX, click here, MARCH 2012 GLOSSYBOX APRIL 2012 GLOSSYBOXMAY 20120 GLOSSYBOXJUNE 2012 GLOSSYBOX.

HAUL! MAC, St Ives, Zinc, Barielle

I hit up the mall yesterday and ended up shopping my heart out! 
I picked up 4 candles from Bath & Body Works because they're have a great sale on right now. I got two frosted cupcake (my fave!), one peach bellini and one carribean escape. 
From American Eagle, I got a pair of black skinny jeans, a pair of mid-length jean shorts, and a pretty white lace top. They are also having big sales going on now! 
From Aldo, I got a gorgeous gold leaf necklace. I love their fashion jewelry because it is inexpensive but always fairly well-made and beautiful. 
At Winners, I picked up two new Ralph Lauren pillows for only $19.99! I also grabbed two decorative leaf plates for $5.99 each. 
Here are my beauty-related buys: 
The MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in 'medium' ($34.00/10g) doesn't really need an explanation- it is a cult classic and I am pretty sure most if not all of you own one or know of it. I am getting low on my current powder so I decided to grab this because I was doing a 'Back 2 MAC' return where I took in 6 empty MAC containers in exchange for a lipstick. I grabbed Vegas Volt which I had been eyeing for quite some time. The Sale Associate told me it seemed to be the most popular lip colour this summer and that they'd been selling it like hotcakes!
St. Ives Naturally Clear Cleansing Cloths with witch hazel
If you saw my recent empties post, you'll know I used up my travel wipes so I grabbed these because they were on sale for $6.99! St Ives isn't really a brand I buy usually, but these wipes are made for acne-prone skin with witch hazel so I decided to grab them! I used one last night and really like it, although the wipe is smaller than Simple's cleansing wipes.
Barielle Clearly Noticeable Nail Thickener ($5.99 at Winners)
At Winners, I grabbed this Barielle nail strengthener for $5.99. My nails have been so flaky lately, to the point that I cannot grow them out and I've had to keep them cut very short! I don't really know why, but I am hoping this will help. Anyone have experience with this nail strengthener? I do use cuticle oil on my nails daily to help them but it hasn't been paying off! 
Lastly, I bought a bottle of Zinc. I recently talked to a homeopath about my acne. I told her I was taking Cod Liver Oil capsules for it. She told me that those were fine, but that I should really be taking 50mg of Zinc every day! I grabbed some yesterday and I will try it out. I did some online research and apparently many people with acne have had great results from Zinc. My research says that chelated Zinc is the best (which I didn't buy) and that if you take Zinc on an empty stomach it will make you nauseous. I will keep you all updated on my results of adding this supplement to my daily routine!

--S

Monday, 30 July 2012

Topbox Guest Post!

Just a heads up, I have a new guest post over at the topbox blog that outlines some of my favourite acne fighters! Click here to check it out!


I also went to the mall this evening and did some serious damage to my bank account! I hit up American Eagle, Winner's, Aldo, Bath and Body Works, mac cosmetics counter, and Shopper's Drug Mart! Expect a little haul post tomorrow when the sun is shining!
--S

July Use-It-Up!

July flew by. I had a great month filled with lots of fun activities, from seeing the Tragically Hip/Death Cab for Cutie, to beachin' it in Port Dover, to a week at the cottage with my family. In between all that, I found a way to use some products up:
Products I used up in July '12 
I finished up a bottle of Cod Liver Oil capsules, which I take every single day to help with my acne. I have already replaced the bottle, which I wouldn't want to go without! Carlson is my preferred brand. You can get it at health food stores or from well.ca.

Clean & Clear 3 in 1 cleanser with BP has been a savior for my bacne! I use it because it is 1. cheap 2. exfoliating 3. full of BP which really clears up the skin. I dislike using BP on my face, but for my body acne it is great. I would re-purchase this cleanser, but I am not loyal to the brand. Any cheap drugstore cleanser with BP and exfoliating beads works for me.

I used up my little Wella Brilliance conditioner sample from a past Glossybox. It was fine. Nothing special. I don't really have a preference or loyalty to hair product brands. I usually buy a jumbo sized conditioner from Winners of a 'higher end' brand for under $15.00 and it'll last me anywhere from 3-5 months. I would not purchase this unless it was on sale for a significant discount.

Rocky Mountain Soap Company hand and body wash in lemongrass was a huge hit in our bathroom. We used it as a hand wash soap, and the scent completely lingered on the skin. You can also use this in the shower as a shower gel- it is filled with uplifting essential oils. I would re-purchase, but only if I was already making an online order from the company. Otherwise, we usually just stick with B+BW hand washes which are cheap and easier to come by.

Cake 'it's a slice' hand creme was actually a product I won in a giveaway! I love Cake beauty and they have delicious and fabulous high quality hand and body creams. I would absolutely re-purchase this product!

LUSH Snow Fairy shower gel is a limited edition shower gel that is only sold at Christmas time! I always stock up (I had four bottles of this yummy shower gel after Christmas to last me the year). As such, I already have more on the go, and in my stockpile. I love this shower gel, which smells like candy floss. It makes showering that much more wonderful, AND the scent lingers very well. I use it to wash my hair sometimes too!

Cake Satin Sugar dry shampoo is my preferred dry shampoo- I love it. It adds amazing volume, smells delicious and really takes care of any greasiness in your hair. I have tried other dry shampoos and always come back to this one! I have been using it since high school and it remains the best in my opinion! I have already re-purchased this must-have product that I cannot go without!

My simple facial cleansing wipes were great and I would repurchase! I love using these for travel as they're super easy and low maintenance. They're unscented, very gentle and a decent size.

There you have it- my fabulous July empties! I used up a lot of great products this month and I'm looking forward to August!!

For Canadian Glossybox subscribers, the "July" Glossybox is finally on its way to us! I just got my shipping notification. Can't wait to see what goodies they have in store for us.
--S

Sunday, 29 July 2012

July Favourites!

I have my absolute favourite products that have really been helping me out in the hot summer month of July! Each and every one of these products is fabulous and I wouldn't want to be without it.
LaVanila 'The Healthy Deodorant' in pure vanilla ($19/00/57g) is my go-to deodorant which has been keeping my underarms smelling fresh without nasty ingredients like aluminum! Some natural deodorants can be very irritating- this one is not! I have never experienced any irritation with this creamy, fresh smelling natural deodorant! I highly recommend it.
La Roche-Posay POSTHELIOS completely saved the day for me when I got a really nasty sunburn on vacation! This after-sun gel is meant to soothe irritated skin and it did a fabulous job! It also has a lovely scent and texture.
La Roche-Posay ANTHELIOS ($27.00/50ml) is my go-to sunscreen for the face. This sunscreen is fast absorbing with a matte finish, making it ideal for those with oily skin like me! I can lather up in sunscreen without ever fearing a break out triggered by it! This is a must-have sunscreen for anyone with acne prone skin.
Julep's Melissa has been my favourite polish in July! This sheer opal works well as a topcoat, base coat (for glitter) and it can be worn on its own.
LUSH coconut deodorant powder ($7.95/50g) smells DIVINE. Like, good enough to eat. This awesome powder has powdered coconut milk, creamed and desiccated coconut and coconut oils in it! It also has tapioca, cornstarch and natural mineral magnesium carbonate in it to keep underarms soft, smooth and dry.
I have been layering this over top of my LaVanila deodorant to smell great and stay extra dry. 


Tarte Smooth Operator micronized clay finishing powder ($35.00) is a dream come true! If you need to stay matte, you want this absorbent clay finishing powder in your beauty arsenal! It keeps me shine free on hot summer days.

Marcelle's BB Cream in light to medium ($22.99/45g) is my all-time favourite bb cream. It leaves me with minimized pores, a very even skin tone and a matte finish. It doesn't cause me to break out, and the colour matches my skin tone very well!

Proactiv Refining Mask ($31.20/70g) is my go-to acne fighter! This little product packs a mean punch and really diminishes the size of cystic pimples! I love using this as an over-night spot treatment. If you do so on a barely emerged pimple, it is likely that the pimple will be gone when you wake up! Yes, it is that good!

July has been a great month and these products really helped make it fabulous for me! What products were your must-haves in July?
--S

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE BLOGGERS!

Hi lovely readers! I am on the hunt for some fresh and new blogs to follow. I love the ones I have subscribed to, but I would love a few more. They don't have to be beauty blogs- just leave me a link to your fave blogs so I can check them out! If I like their content I will follow them and let them know you suggested I check them out!

Of course, I need to share a few with you.
Here are ten of my absolute favourite blogs:
Cosmetic Proof (beauty blog)
When The Dog Bites (beauty blog)
Roxy Love (lifestyle blog)
Lifesentropy (beauty blog)
The Pretty Vain (beauty blog)
Beauty Delights (beauty blog)
Chelsea Morgan Beauty (beauty blog)
Plumpish Beauty (beauty blog)
Provincial Beauty (beauty blog)
Strawberree Swing (beauty blog)

I totally suggest you check out these fabulous blogs! I look forward to you sharing links to your favourite bloggers with me!

--S


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Julep polish acting weird?

Have any of you girls noticed your Julep polishes acting kind of weird? Some of mine have been separating, and no matter how much I shake them up, I can't get them to act right! Hayden is the worst offender at the moment, but a few other colours of mine are also starting to separate! I put my Juleps in my minifridge because I am wondering if the heat is doing it? I do have air conditioning though.

Here are the photos:

Hayden (top) is really separated, and the bottom colour (Alyson) is starting to separate too!
Any suggestions on what I can do about this?

In other news, NOW IS THE TIME TO SHOP FOR SUMMER SHOES! Everywhere you go, summer shoes are on clear out to make way for the fall styles, so get out there and buy some for next season! I just picked up some TKEE'S which I've lusted after all summer! I refused to pay $60 for a pair of flip flops, but they were on sale: buy one get one free! I got two pairs and I am a very happy camper :)
 My TKEES in marshmallow and sable! So comfortable and stylish.  
Hope you are enjoying this lovely sunny week :)
--S

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

HIGHLIGHT YOUR ASSETS with benefit!

Coming back from vacation isn't all fun and games- I have been working double time since I returned to cover the hours I missed! Here is a quick little post to tell you about my favourite highlighters by benefit! You can read up on it over at the Topbox Blog in my recent guest post!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: Laboratoire Dr Renaud


It has been a little while since I have done a brand spotlight post! My brand spotlight's are meant to highlight exceptional Canadian cosmetic companies that deserve recognition for their excellence and commitment to using safe synthetics and natural ingredients! To re-iterate my purpose in this series, many brands use very scary ingredients in their cosmetics- things that are poisonous and toxic! Our skin is our largest organ, and it will consume anything you apply topically, or ingest via your mouth/eyes. All these chemicals can wreak havoc on our biochemistry, and the more you're exposed, the more endocrine disruptors your body has to deal with. In the USA, the FDA only tests 11% of the 10,500 ingredients approved for safe use in cosmetics (Master Your Metabolism, J. Michaels). Ingredients like mercury, lead, toluene, formaldehyde, parabens, placenta, phthalates, and triclosan are all lurking in some of your drug store and department store branded cosmetics. Today's brand spotlight will be on Laboratoire Dr Renaud  (LDR), sometimes referred to as simply Dr Renaud. 
Laboratoire Dr Renaud is a skincare brand that has been in business for over 60 years, with all of its manufacturing being done in Canada for over 40 of those years. This brand was first introduced to me at a local spa who used only LDR products; this acclaimed spa is known for its anti-aging treatments and the estheticians swore by LDR products for amazing anti-aging results. The treatments at the spa were extremely expensive in my opinion, but the spa was always booked up with women coming in and doling out the cash for the non-invasive procedures so I figure the products must really work! I have already started using Laboratoire Dr Renaud anti-aging eye creams as a preventative measure at home. They also have a line of anti-acne products that I have personally used and enjoyed. I am a huge fan of their at-home tanners as well.


Laboratoire Dr Renaud products are all made without parabens, synthetic perfumes/colourants, mineral oil, alcohol or formalin. They use reduced concentrations of preservatives, and they do not test on animals. This is a very scientifically based company, and they take skin care extremely seriously! Their website states that their 'science is safe and used with the utmost respect for the skin and the environment.' They use certified organic ingredients, fair trade ingredients and strive to create biodiversity awareness.

You can get their professional treatments at a licensed spa, or you can buy their products for at home use! They have products to assist with various skin care concerns, such as dehydrated skin, aging skin, acne-prone skin, sensitive skin, brown spots, dull complexions, sun protection and men's skin. This brand does not sell product directly through their website, but you can buy their products from licensed professionals. I personally have heard the testament of many older women who swear by these products to help them avoid more invasive anti-aging procedures! I love my eye cream and will definitely continue to add one new anti-aging product to my skin care routine every year as I continue to grow older. For any fellow readers out there in the mid-to-late 20's range, now is the time to start preventing future wrinkles! It is worth it to invest in preventive measures now, you have nothing to lose but everything to gain :)

Have you tried anything from Laboratoire Dr Renaud ? Tell me about it!! I would love to hear about your own preventative anti-aging routines, as well!
--S

Check out my previous BRAND SPOTLIGHTS: Cake Beauty, Rocky Mountain Soap Company
*please note I am in no way affiliated with this company. I am just highlighting Canadian cosmetic brands that I personally love. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

LUSH Cosmetics releases their own makeup line: Emotional Brilliance

Today, LUSH Cosmetics released their own line of cosmetics, named Emotional Brilliance. LUSH is known for their fabulous bath and body products. I am personally a huge fan of their fresh, hand-made products which are fun, smell lovely, and are all cruelty-free. The release of their makeup line is great news for vegans everywhere as the entire lineup is vegan and made with minimal synthetic ingredients!!
LUSH now offers liquid eyeshadow, liquid eye liner (both $22.95/0.2oz), lip colour ($22.95/0.2oz), mascara ($18.95/0.2oz), facial tints/primers ($18.95/0.7oz) and a setting powder ($18.95/0.4oz).

LUSH Emotional Brilliance is centered around concepts from 'colour therapy', and the colour of products worn are supposed to describe your mood at the time. LUSH has a colour wheel, and you are supposed to close your eyes, then open them and pick the first three colours that stand out to you, regardless of anything else. These are then the colours that Emotional Brilliance suggests match your mood at the time, and are suggested for you to wear. You can try out the colour wheel on the LUSH website as well.  I personally find this idea to be a bit silly, and I would rather buy my makeup based on what colours suit my taste and skin tone. I feel it is a gimmick-- what are your thoughts?

I have not made it into a LUSH store to check the line up out yet, but I was majorly tempted to place an online order. I am holding back until I see the products for myself in-store because the products are generally not cheap. However, I felt compelled to share this new line of LUSH products with you all- I am definitely interested in it and I think you should expect some reviews of products coming up from me soon!!

Are any of you going to make a purchase from the new LUSH makeup line? What interests you the most?

--S

Friday, 20 July 2012

Products that make vacation easy

I am back from vacation and thought I would do a quick post on some of the products that made my vacation super easy! Honorable mentions include my all-time favourite La Roche-Posay sunscreen for the face, and Cake beauty's dry shampoo
Bausch + Lomb Bio true multi-purpose solution (note: this product was provided for my honest review)
If you wear contact lenses, you know how important a good quality contact solution is! I usually use Bausch and Lomb eye care products and I had mentioned them on my blog in the past. A representative from the company actually emailed me and asked if I would like to try their newest contact solution, Biotrue, which is 'bio insprired', meaning it is inspired by the way our eyes work! It has a pH balance that matches tears, and contains Hyaluronan, which is a lubricant found naturally in the body and eyes; this lubricant keeps lenses moist and comfortable all day long. This contact solution is awesome! I wore my contacts for longer than usual while on vacation, because I had long days outside and glasses are annoying to wear- especially in the sunshine when you're sweating, erm I mean, glistening. I am very impressed with this contact solution and will definitely be buying more! My eyes just felt more moisturized and less irritated than usual. Bausch and Lomb said that if my readers were interested, I could give away some of this awesome product- are there any other glasses/contact lens wearers out there? If so, comment and tell me! It will also let me know if you all might be interested in hearing my reviews of other eye care brands.

benefit's highbeam facial illuminator
When you're on vacation, you don't want to be wearing a lot of makeup. I kept it to the bare minimum! All I wore was a touch of this awesome highlighter, highbeam by benefit, which completely uplifts my entire appearance. Alongside highbeam, I wore my sunscreen and lipgloss with SPF. What else does a girl need when she is relaxing in the water all day?
CoverFX MintGlaze FX ($22.00/3ml)




My go-to lip gloss was CoverFX MintGlaze FX ($22.00/3ml), which is a yummy mint lip treatment with SPF 15! This product is advertised as a primer for other colours, but I just wear it on its own as a clear lip gloss. I love this product because it is not sticky at all, and it is mint flavoured! It gives a simple sheen to the lips and protects them from the sun- plus I am a huge fan of the CoverFX brand! This product lasts forever on the lips, which is great when you're using it for sun protection. 


Finally, La Roche-Posay really saved the day for me on this recent vacation! I got a terrible, bright-red sun burn on my back on the first day. I was worried it would ruin my entire vacation! There is nothing worse than an aggressive sun burn. Luckily, I had packed my after-sun care gel from La Roche-Posay! It has a nice light scent, and goes on very smooth. This product completely soothed my angry skin and left me comforted. After two days of applying this product, my sun burn had turned into a tan and was no longer extremely painful! Hurray :)

--S

rest is good for the soul.

I am back from vacation and looking forward to commenting like a mad woman on all your posts!
If you missed it, I outlined my top picks for blush this summer at the topbox blog


here's a little taste of my family vacation:






--S

Thursday, 12 July 2012

This Little Blog is Going on Vacation!

Hello lovely readers,
I am stopping in today to let you know I am going on my summer vacation! I will not be around to comment on your posts for the next week, nor will I be posting any blog posts. I do not have any internet access where I am going and if I do get into an area with some, I will do my best to pop in and make a post and/or comment but I can't make any promises!
I am leaving my lovely roommates in charge of looking after the house, and I am out of here and into the wilderness :) I hope you all have a great week and I look forward to hearing from you all upon my return!
In the meantime, I will have a guest blogger post up on the topbox blog this coming Monday!
--S

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

NOTD: China Glaze Innocence

When I received my July Topbox I was so excited to see this lovely pale pink colour, China Glaze Innocence! I had thrown away my only pale pink because it was getting globby, so this was exactly the colour I needed for my collection. I immediately put it on my nails!
China Glaze Innocence
This colour is very subtle. It looks amazing on the nail! If you want something perfect for work that isn't too flashy, this colour what you need! The application with literally flawless, the polish dried quickly and went on the nail evenly. I love China Glaze brushes. Pictured is two coats.
As many of you know, I am all about SPARKLE! I decided to add a coat of Deborah Lippmann's 'Whatever Lola Wants' on top! This polish coincidentally also came in a past Topbox! I am having great luck receiving polishes I just love from my Topboxes!!
Deborah Lippmanns 'Whatever Lola Wants'

How gorgeous is this? As always with Deborah Lippmann polishes, this manicure was extremely chip-resistant and is still looking glossy on my nails as I type this!
--S

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

REVIEW: Wella Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Spray

Last week, I received my June Glossybox. It was loaded with drugstore samples, but there was one 'high-end' product,: Wella Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Hair Spray!
This spray is meant to make your hair look beachy, similar to Bumble and Bumble surf spray. Wella suggests you 'free the inner wild side of your hair' by spritzing this texturizing spray into your dry hair near the roots, then scrunching your hair and allowing it to dry. I know my own hair type, and the instructions sounded a bit silly to me. I have naturally straight hair. If I allow my hair to dry, it will dry straight. I know that if I add product like this, or anything branded as 'texturizing' to my dry hair, it will leave my hair looking chunky, crusty and not at all beachy! I figured if I followed Wella's instructions my hair would end up needing another wash ASAP, so I devised my own set of plans to make this texturizing spray work for my hair type!

What I did was: wash my hair and then blow dry it to partial dryness, I would say it was about 65% dry. Then I sprayed generous amounts of Wella's Ocean Spritz into my hair- everywhere! It has a nice, salon-y scent to it. After I spritzed my entire head in the product, I put it loosely into a bun and fastened it with a clip rather than an elastic. I made sure to give myself lots of volume in my roots while tying my hair up. I let it dry like that for 1-2 hours and then took the clip out.


When I took the clip out, my hair fell down and looked like this:

It was very beachy looking! It smelled nice! I just added a bit of hairspray because I was worried it might lose its shape otherwise. My hair stayed beachy and pretty for the entire day :) In other words, I think this product does what it is advertised to do! But for me, I needed to tweak the directions to suit my naturally straight hair.

What do you think? Like the look, or do you think I should stick to straight hair? Do any of you use texturizing sprays to get beach hair? I would love to hear your tips for using these products.
--S

P.S. check out my recent GUEST POST on the Topbox blog: MAKEUP BRUSHES 101 
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