photo aztec-mess_zps0a762b67.png

Sunday, 28 April 2013

April Favorites 2013

Alas, April is over! We are now going into May, which means it's time for another monthly favorites :).

1. Cake Beauty Ultra-Nourishing Hand Cream (Coconut & Cream): I received this in my April Topbox and I have to say, this is my holy grail hand cream. It smells like pina coladas, absorbs very quickly, doesn't feel sticky, and leaves my hands feeling very soft. Big thumbs up!

2. Escada - Cherry in the Air: Perfect perfume for spring time! Fresh, light, fruity, and sweet. I have a full review here for more details.

3. Illamasqua Speckled Nail Polish in 'Fragile': My new favorite nail polish of all time! It's just sooo beautiful and unique, I can't get enough of it! I reeaally wanted the pink shade as well ('Sparce') but everywhere I went, it was sold out :'(.

4. Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in 'In Bloom': I've been using this blush almost every day this past month. I'm obsessed with this color; it's just the perfect pink and lasts all day. Full review and swatches here.

5. Michael Todd True Organics - Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub: Another product I received from Topbox which I have been using all month. This is probably the best facial scrub I have ever used. It's not too gentle, but at the same time not too harsh on the skin. My skin has been a lot clearer thanks to this!

6. First Aid Beauty - Ultra Repair Cream: A very standard moisturizer for dry skin which I have been enjoying. Leaves my face hydrated and super soft. I wouldn't quite say it's a holy grail moisturizer, but it's definitely not bad. Great for those with sensitive skin.

7. Clarins Rouge Eclat Lipstick in 'Pink Berry'
: Normally, I can never pull off any berry-toned lipsticks, but I finally found an exception! This lipstick is a beautiful berry red, great for those days when you don't want a really bold red lip and are in the mood for something more subtle and everyday. Clarins have the best formulas when it comes to lipsticks in my opinion. This one is super pigmented, has a slight sheen, leaves a nice stain on the lips, and doesn't highlight any dry patches.

This month has gone by very quickly and I can't wait to see what May has in store for us!

What have your favorites been this month? :)

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Anti-Glymm Box

As of April 19, the popular canadian beauty box "Glymm" has officially gone out of business. Personally, this does not come as a shock as I remember predicting the company would go bankrupt eventually since so many subscribers (including myself) were disappointed in the company and canceled our subscriptions. However, many customers were not lucky enough to unsubscribe in time and have been left without any hope of a refund. For more details, you can check out the article on The Metro here. It's a very sad situation that has everyone seeking for some form of compensation or justice. My heart goes out to everyone that has been affected. 

However, there is some light to this very dark event. Nail Polish Canada is offering a free "Anti- Glymm Box" to anyone who has been screwed over by Glymm. 

"Did you have a Glymm Box subscription only to find the boxes stopped coming, but charges to your credit card didn't?
We think that sucks. We'd like to help.
Free $25 value box to those who got Glymmed out of their money.
Anybody who was a Glymm box member at any point during the last 4 months qualifies.
Email with proof of membership (receipt, confirmation email, credit card statement etc.) to [sold out]
  1. Within 24 hours we'll email you a coupon code to get this $25 value box for free!
Make sure to tell us if you want the Shocking Pink, Nova, or Towel Boy Toy version. (and give a backup choice too)
This awesome Anti-Glymm Box includes
  • 1 x Choice of: China Glaze Shocking Pink, Nova (silver glitter), or Towel Boy Toy (blue)
  • 1 x China Glaze For Audrey (best selling China Glaze ever!)
  • 1 x Color Club In Theory 
  • 1 x White Nail File 
  • 1 x mini Seche Vite Top Coat
  • 1 x mini Tend Skin
Note: The box is free, you don't need to order anything else. However standard shipping rules apply (basically order $25 of other items and everything ships free or it's only $3 shipping for just the box). Limited quantity available. "

The box can be purchased here.

I hope this tragic event doesn't discourage anyone to suscribe to other beauty boxes. There are loads of great boxes out there, including Topbox and Glossybox who offer excellent customer service. 

Friday, 19 April 2013

Review: Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush

Smashbox isn't a brand that gets a whole lot of hype in the beauty world, even though they do have some great quality products. When I saw MissChievous feature these blushes in one of her new videos, I was really intrigued! They are part of the new 'Halo' line that Smashbox released recently. I ended up spotting them at a local Sephora one day and used up my last giftcards to bring two of them home with me.

They come in multiple shades, but I ended up choosing "In Bloom", which is a gorgeous pink, and "Peachy Dream" which is the perfect orange/peach shade.

Now there are two big things that need to be covered in this review. Product and Packaging.

These are really nice mineral blushes. They're matte, very pigmented (you only need the tiniest amount of product), easy to blend, buildable, and last all day long without budging. True to the name, they are long wear. Great for anyone who doesn't have time for touch-ups and likes knowing their make-up will stay in place for the entire day. These make lovely spring and summer blushes. I absolutely adore the colours: they are flattering and look quite natural. I personally find blushes with shimmer hard to wear sometimes. 

Now... this is where the trouble begins. Don't get me wrong, I love how they look! They're small, cute, and have a nice sized mirror. But that's not where the actual trouble lies. The real problem is in fact the built in-grinder. I'm sorry Smashbox, but I do not get the "perfect amount" and "no mess" when using these grinders. The concept is good but it still needs a lot of work. Even when I only slightly twist the grinder, SO MUCH product comes out! It wouldn't be too much of a deal if the blush wasn't so pigmented, but that's just not the case. If you use up all the product that comes out of the grinder with one small twist, I guarantee that you will end up looking like a clown! It also creates a mess: powder flies everywhere when you swirl your brush in the compact. 

 But don't lose all hope! There is a way to make it work without using too much product and making a mess. I have two tips: save the sticker and don't use the grinder. The sticker will allow you to actually take the blush with you when you travel, otherwise you will have a big mess the next time you open the compact. And you don't need the grinder to get the blush onto your brush. One swirl around and you will find that your brush manages to pick up the perfect amount of blush through the small slots. This way, you can layer it up and not worry about having too much product on your brush. 

Conclusion: it's a great product, with a good selection of colours, but the packaging needs some serious work. I wouldn't discourage people from buying them, but I would urge them to listen to my tips on usage so as to avoid any frustration or blush-explosions :). Personally, I do still love them. They're like bad-behaved children, you love them even with their flaws ;). 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Review

Hey everyone! Here's another skin-care post for you all :)

Last month my beloved "Clear Skin Oil Balancing Moisturiser" by Simple (reviewed here) finally ran out and since it's not sold over here in Canada, I had to search for a replacement. I came across La Roche-Posay's 'Effaclar Mat' which claims to be a daily moisturizer for oily skin. I had hoped that it would be almost identical to the Simple moisturizer, but it ended up being quite the opposite.

For one: it's a gel, not a cream. It also has a lovely scent which reminds me of limes. 

 Second: it barely moisturizes. The first time I used this, I had applied it to my whole face and after it sunk in, any slightly dry areas instantly became VERY dry. My whole face just felt slightly tight and any hint of oil was completely gone. Normally when I apply a moisturizer, I have this "Ahhh..." moment, as I feel my skin absorbing all the holy goodness of moisture. Not with this though. It absorbs all oil (similar to blotting paper) and leaves your skin feeling very matte. The matte effect lasts quite a long time, definitely over 5 hours. 

I think this would be ideal only for those with very oily skin or for those who want to apply it to specific oily spots, such as the t-zone. It's also great for nights out when you wish to avoid any hint of shine. It's not a bad product, but I don't think it should be called a moisturizer and definitely shouldn't be used on a daily basis. However, this will definitely be useful during the summer when the humidity rises. It's also a great alternative if you hate using powders and want a more natural finish to your skin. 

I'll probably try out Bioderma's version next and see how it compares. If you have any recommendations, please let me know! :)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Topbox April 2013

Soooo... I was going to post a review on a skin care product today, but then this happened.... yep. My April Topbox arrived! I couldn't hold back and just feel the need to share my love for this month's box. There was an option to opt for the prive box which featured the brand Elizabeth Arden, but the selected products didn't intrigue me enough to give up the regular topbox.

The box's design is meant to celebrate Earth Day, and is eco-friendly while still being chic.

3 decently sized samples and one full size product! 

1. Michael Todd True Organics - Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub: I literally squealed when I saw this! I've been wanting to try out Michael Todd's products for ages, and ironically just orded some this very day before the topbox arrived! I can't wait to try this facial scrub out! Thank you Topbox!

2. KMS California - Quick Blow Dry: Out of all the samples, this is my least favorite. I kind of had an inner sigh of disappointment when I saw it. My hair doesn't take long to blow dry, so it's not of any use to me. However, I do have a friend with very long hair who could use something like this, so I think I'll just give it to her to try out.  

3. Cake Beauty Ultra - Nourishing Hand Cream (Coconut & Cream): I love this product! I'm not normally a fan of the scent of coconuts, but this cream smells like a yummy pina colada! None of the hand creams I own work well and Coconut Oil is known to be one of the best moisturizing oils out there, so I'm excited to give this a go :). It's also full-sized and the packaging is adorable!

4. Elizabeth Arden - All Gone Eye and Lip Makeup Remover: Really decent size for a sample! I've been wanting to try out this product for a while, though never actually purchased it. Reviews say that it does a fantastic job for those pesky mascaras that are impossible to remove, which I can really use in my life! I've never owned an oil-based makeup remover so this should be interesting to try out :). 

Conclusion: Two big thumbs up for Tobox! I'm super excited that they are now giving out Michael Todd and Elizabeth Arden products and hope they will continue featuring such amazing brands in future boxes :).

What did you think of this month's box? 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Escada: Cherry in the Air

Quite a few new scents have hit the market this spring! Just in time too since my beloved 'Fantasy' by Nina Ricci has finally run out. I tend to go for fruity perfumes so when I saw the latest release by Escada called 'Cherry in the Air', I knew I had to give it a go. I went to the store and was given two samples. Sure enough, I was hooked! I ran back to the store and purchased the full size (50ml).

It is honestly the best scent for spring. It's sweet,very light, fresh, and actually smells like cherries. It's definitely more on the sweet side than citrus. Sadly since it is a light fragrance, the longevity isn't great, about 4 hours maximum I'd say. The packaging is also a bit plain for my liking (each to their own), but it still looks nice on the vanity table.

Black Cherry, Raspberry, Mandarin, Marshmallow, Gardenia, Coconut, Sandalwood, Oakwood 

I highly recommend giving it a whiff next time you are checking out perfumes :). It is limited edition and from what the counter lady told me, seems to be selling out really fast. I also suggest asking for a sample to try out before deciding whether or not to buy the full size... After all, perfume is never cheap!

What are your favorite fragrances this season? :)