Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

May you all receive the beauty products on your wishlist!

 With university finals over and just a few more days to enjoy the holidays, 
I have a bunch of exciting posts in store for you all!

Coming up on the blog:

- Sephora Haul
- Urban Decay Naked Palette Review
- Beautyblender Review
- Yves Rocher Haul
- December Empties
- 2012 Beauty Favorites

and more!
Enjoy all things beauty until next time!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Empties | November 2012 Edition

Today I'll be sharing my thoughts on products that I've used up for the month of November.  This is my first beauty product empties post on the blog, and I'm very excited to be sharing this with all of you. I really like the idea of sharing monthly product empties as it is a great way motivate people to finish up products they own or try something new in their collections.

For this post, I decided to number the products to avoid making this post too long. Please feel free to let me know if you'd rather I take individual pictures of the products for future 'empties' posts!
*Disclaimer: All of the products within this post were purchased by me, with my own money.*

Ready to see my November Empties?

  1. Lush Fresh Face Mask in Catastrophe Cosmetic (60 g)
  2. Lush Fresh Face Mask in BB Seaweed (60 g)
  3. E.L.F. Studio Conditioning Lip Balm SPF 15 in Mellow Mellon (26 oz)
  4. GLO Whitening Antioxidant Toothpaste in Superberry (42.5 g)
  5. Avon Foot Works Beautiful Lavender Comfort Soak (3.4 fl. oz)
  6. BURT'S BEES Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub (110 g)
  7. MARCELLE Xtension Plus Mascara in Black (0.33 oz)
  8. Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara (4 g) 
  9. Bliss Ingrown Eliminating Pads (10 pack)
  10. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (0.25 fl. oz)
  11. Vitamine & Sea Mineral Clay Mask (5 g) 
  12. Eclos Anti-Aging Regenerative Cream (0.25 fl. oz) 

1. Lush Fresh Face Mask in Catastrophe Cosmetic (60 g)
As I've already mentioned once before on my blog, I'm a huge fan of Lush's Fresh Face Masks. I've tried most of their Fresh Face Masks and my favorite two would have to be the ones I will mention here today. Here's a brief description from the Lush website for Catastrophe Cosmetic:
"Prevent disasters by taking regular care with our deep cleaning blueberry mask, Catastrophe Cosmetic. The little blue bulbs are packed with vitamins, with a gentle calamine base to cleanse the skin without stripping it of its natural oils. Use this one weekly as a deep cleansing treatment to kick off your regular skin care routine."
Catastrophe Cosmetic is my absolute favorite Fresh Face Mask, and I always buy two containers as I use them up pretty quickly. This is great for sensitive skin, and has a great texture.

2. Lush Fresh Face Mask in BB Seaweed (60 g)
Along with Catastrophe Cosmetic, BB Seaweed is another Lush Fresh Face Mask favorite of mine! Here's a brief description from the Lush website for BB Seaweed:
"BB Seaweed is a best-seller for its ability turn every rough patch into smooth, supple skin. No surprises here, BB Seaweed is packed full of none other than the ocean greenery itself! Seven pounds of it in each batch, in fact. Finely ground almonds gently slough away dry skin, rose absolute balances skin tone and organic extra virgin olive oil moisturizes. Slather up in seaweed and feel your skin smile."
For those of you who have not previously tried out the Lush Fresh Face Masks, they retail for $6.95 each, and they come in individual black pots with 60g (2.1 oz) of product. Depending on how much you put on your face each time you apply the mask, one container can hold 3-4 applications. Similar to MAC, Lush also has a "Back to Lush" program where you can return 5 empty black pots in store and exchange them for a free mask! As you can see, I go through my masks pretty quickly because they expire within 30 days of purchasing them due to the ingredients. I would definitely highly recommend Lush Fresh Face Masks!!!

3. E.L.F. Studio Conditioning Lip Balm SPF 15 in Mellow Mellon (26 oz)
I'm a big fan of E.L.F.'s studio collection and own nearly all of their studio line products. I currently own all of the E.L.F. Studio Conditioning Lip Balms as they are all very pigmented, I prefer Mellow Mellon because it's the perfect shade that's more subtle and is best for all the seasons. It isn't very long lasting on the lips, but there is a ton of product within the container and it does prevent lips from becoming chapped.
Here's a brief description of the product from the E.L.F. website:
"With the e.l.f. Conditioning Lip Balm, lips get treated to a sheer splash of color that's super smooth, velvety soft and non-sticky. Not only are these sheer, natural shades beautiful, they're also beneficial, with natural ingredients that condition dry, chapped lips including Vitamins A & E. SPF 15 to protect delicate lips against harmful sun damage."
 At $3, the E.L.F. Studio Conditioning Lip Balm is definitely a great product worth trying out.

4. GLO Whitening Antioxidant Toothpaste in Superberry (42.5 g)
I saw this product on my way to the Sephora checkout counter on their cash wraps and I'm so glad I picked this up! This product retails for $6 in this specific sample size. It smells like pomegranate, one of their main ingredients, and I have definitely noticed a whiter smile after having finished using up the product.  
Here's a brief description of the product from the Sephora website:
"A whitening toothpaste enriched with antioxidants and vitamins to promote a healthier, brighter smile."
I definitely recommend this product if you're looking for a great last minute stocking stuffer!

I purchased this product from an Avon catalog. It retails for $7.99, however, I bought it on sale for less than $2. Unlike most of the products in this empties post, this is definitely a product that I DID NOT LIKE. The smell is overpowering and gave me a headache. It really doesn't really do anything at all except for discoloring water. Just after one use I decided not to use it again.
Here's a brief description of the product from the Avon website:
"Soothes weary feet with the scent of calming lavender."
 Avon does have a lot of great products, but this one is one of their products that I would NOT recommend.

 6. BURT'S BEES Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub (110 g)
If you're looking to buy a new face exfoliater, look no further! I've been using the BURT'S BEES Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub for two years and it's just amazing. As I mentioned earlier, I have extremely sensitive skin, and this product works very well for me, even with the willowbark in it. It has a nice cooling sensation on the skin that lasts a few minutes after rinsing off and definitely leaves my skin feeling very smooth. As it is pretty expensive here in Canada, I always wait until I visit the U.S. and buy it for $8 at Target.
Here's a brief description of the product from the BURT'S BEES website:
"Keep your skin peachy clean. This natural sulfate-free facial cleanser rich with finely ground peach stone naturally and gently exfoliates to remove excess oil, dirt and dead skin cells leaving skin soft and smooth. Willow bark and golden seal extracts, known for their astringent properties, and ginger and sea algae extracts help to revitalize your skin and replenish essential minerals, leaving your face deeply clean and naturally nourished."
This would have to be one of my most highly recommended face products EVER! If you're at Target, don't hesitate to pick this up and try out!

7. MARCELLE Xtension Plus Mascara in Black (0.33 oz)
The MARCELLE Xtension Plus Mascara has become one of my favorites. I'm still on the search to find the 'perfect' mascara for me, but this one definitely comes close. Although this is a brand you can find at most drugstores, I would definitely categorize it as a higher end product at an affordable $12.50 price tag. I received this product in a GlossyBox this summer and I'm so happy that I had a chance to try it out. It definitely lengthens and separates my lashes perfectly. I also really like that it's hypo-allergetic and perfume free.
Here's a brief description of the product from the MARCELLE website:

"Give your lashes extra length and curl with Xtension Plus Mascara. The formula and brush curl, define and separate lashes while minimizing clumps. An innovative and specifically designed soft polymer brush offers a side with a row of longer bristles which reach even the shortest lashes and stretch them from root to tip, achieving their maximum lengthening potential. The tapered brush tip is perfect for extreme definition. Removes easily with any Marcelle eye make-up remover."
 I definitely recommend the Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara.

8. Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara (4 g)
The Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara is one that I like but can't say love just yet. This sample size is great for on the go or for when you're packing for a trip. This specific sample size did dry out rather quickly and clumped up on the lashes but I'd definitely consider purchasing the full size to give it another go!
Here's a brief description of the product from the Benefit website:
"Sexy, dramatic, pure unadulterated black mascara for full, voluminous lashes. Famously big brush coats lashes with our thick black formula. It's as BAD as you want to be!"

9. Bliss Ingrown Eliminating Pads (10 pack)
This next product is great for both men and women who have ingrown hair problems. I recently purchased the Bliss Ingrown Eliminating Pads and I absolutely love them! They really do work wonders for areas that you pluck or shave. This really does the trick to prevent ingrown hairs or help get rid of the ones you already have that seem to never want to go away.
Here's a brief description of the product from the Sephora website:
"Bliss Ingrown Eliminating Pads help nix ingrown hairs anywhere on the body. A must between waxing or shaving sessions, these single-use swipes tackle hair-raising lumps and bumps with alpha and beta hydroxy acids. Soaked in antioxidant green tea and soothing, smoothing oat extract, they'll get to the root of your ingrown issues."
This is another great stocking stuffer if you get the 10 pack that retails for $8-9 at Sephora. The 50 pack is more pricey but well worth it. I will definitely purchase the full size next time I get the chance!

10. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (0.25 fl. oz)
I received the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer in their Try It Kit that I purchased while I was searching for a new foundation primer that would work well with my currenlt liquid foundation. I was also curious to try different products from the brand itself. The kit retails for $22 which is an extremely great buy for 5 deluxe sample sized products from Smashbox. What I love most about this product as that it's a great match for my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum liquid foundation and that it's oil-free (another plus). As soon as I ran out, I placed an order on Sephora to get the larger size of this product! Can't wait!
Here's a brief description of the product from the Smashbox website:
 "Create a perfect canvas for foundation application with this silky, lightweight blend of vitamins A & E, grape seed extract and green tea. Worn alone or under foundation, our best-selling, oil-free primer helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores for flawless skin with a velvety-smooth finish. Now in a sleek tube for perfect dispensing down to the last drop!"
Love love love the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer! Highly recommended! The Try It Kit is also a great stocking stuffer!

11. Vitamine & Sea Mineral Clay Mask (5 g)
I received the Vitamine & Sear Mineral Clay Mask  in one of my Glymm bags. I am definitely a face mask gal and was excited to try this out. That being said, I was actually very disappointed with this product. It had a bad smell and made my face break out. Perhaps I got a bad batch seeing as I've read good reviews for this product, but I doubt that I'd ever buy this.
Here's a brief description of the product from the Vitamine & Sea website:
 "Get instantly radiant, tighter, softer, healthier skin with our natural and organic luxury facial mask made with clay mined directly from the Dead Sea, the worlds richest source of minerals that will tingle as it softly exfoliates, eliminates toxins, promotes circulation, cleanses and strengthens your skin. Our Mineral Clay mask is enriched with vitamins B1, B2, C, A, D and E from sweet almond oil to pamper your skin and a touch of honey that will protect from daily free radical damage and balance your skins moisture, and work immediate wonders on all skin types giving a soft, tight, sexy, radiant glow."
Would not recommend.

12. Eclos Anti-Aging Regenerative Cream (0.25 fl. oz)
I recently received this product in my ipsy bag which I received this month. It was a replacement item for one a lipgloss that Canadian subscribers didn't receive in this month's bag. I've been using this on my face and nech for the last week on a daily basis just before going to sleep, and I noticed a slight change with the lines at the bottom of my neck. It gave off a cooling sensation after applying which I like.
Here's a brief description of the product from the Eclos website:
"The latest in Plant Stem Cell technology helps protect skin’s ability to renew itself. The result? Sagging skin tightens. Wrinkles are postponed. Combined with PhytoPlex24™ anti-oxidants for the ultimate in aging defense."
Of course a sample size wouldn't be enough to see a dramatic change, but this is definitely another product that I would consider buying a full-size of! 
Overall Impressions:
I was very pleased with most of the products that I used up this month, however, there were two products that I wouldn't recommend. I love the idea of participating in monthly empties post so you can definitely expect to see more of posts like these here on the blog! I'm definitely looking forward to trying out different items next month!

What Products Have You Used Up This Month?
Please feel free to link below!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Becoming A SEPHORA VIB Beauty Insider

Having been a SEPHORA Beauty Insider for the last two years, I've always wondered how the SEPHORA VIB Beauty Insider Program worked. Just two weeks ago I finally qualified to become a SEPHORA VIB Beauty Insider. The VIB program works differently than the simple Beauty Insider program, in which VIB's receive more access to beauty deals and gifts while non VIBs do not. I'm writing this post in hopes that it will answer some of the questions that SEPHORA customers have. 

*Disclaimer: I have not received any monetary compensation for this post.*

How to become a Sephora VIB Beauty Insider Member:

What this means:
  • If you spend $350 at any SEPHORA location or online website within one calendar year (from January-December of the same year), you will qualify to become a SEPHORA VIB Beauty Insider. This status will begin the second you have met the qualifications and will last until the end of the following calendar year. For example: If you've placed a mixture of online and in store purchases (also just online or just in store purchases) that total $350 at March 5, 2012 from January 1, 2012, you will be a VIB Beauty Insider at that date that all your purchases from January 1, 2012 add up to $350, (March 5, 2012) and your status as a VIB Beauty Insider will last until the end of the following calendar year, December 31, 2013.
  • To continue with the above example, in order to keep your VIB Beauty Insider status in 2014, you must then make sure that you spend another $350 (total of all SEPHORA purchases) throughout the following calendar year (January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013). This is the annual requalification requirement by SEPHORA.
  • *IMPORTANT* The $350 excludes the purchase of gift cards.

What do you get as a SEPHORA VIB Beauty Insider:

All SEPHORA VIB Beauty Insiders will receive a Welcome Kit that includes the following three items:
  • A 10% off in-store coupon
  • A new VIB Beauty Insider SEPHORA member card which transfers your points so that you can continue to accumulate them for 100 or 500 point gifts (same as being a regular Beauty Insider)
  • An appointment with a beauty in-store specialist 

Other benefits include:
  • Access to private in-store events
  • Special VIB Beauty Insiders promotions on SEPHORA best sellers at certain times of the year
  • Special deluxe samples with online purchases exclusive to VIB Beauty Insiders 
  • VIB Beauty Insiders receive a special discount for their annual Holiday In-Store Shopping event (generally around 20%)

My Overall Impressions of the VIB Beauty Insider Program:
In only two weeks of becoming a VIB Beauty Insider, I've received access to quite a few beauty deals already, including in-store discounts and exclusive samples. (SEPHORA haul posts to come). I definitely think that becoming a VIB Beauty Insider is worth it because of the great deals being offered to VIBs only. So, if you're shopping at your local drug store for Smashbox or Benefit items, why not shop for them at SEPHORA and accumulate points to become a VIB Beauty Insider? I think it's also important to mention that just because you forget your regular or VIB Beauty Insider card at home when you're shopping at SEPHORA, you can always tell the cashier the email associated to your card so that you can still receive your points! Also, just because you may have more than 350 points on your card, doesn't mean that you qualify for the VIB Beauty Insider program as you must have spent the money on purchases (non gift card related) within one calendar year.

I hope this post will help answer some of your SEPHORA VIB Beauty Insider related questions! If you have any more questions, or know more details about the program, please feel free to post in the comments below!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

100+ Follower Giveaway Winner Announcement!!!

Total Entries: 302

I'd like to thank everyone who entered in my international 100+ follower (and very first) giveaway here on the blog! There will be plenty more international giveaways to come!

So without further ado, here is the winner selected through Rafflecopter!!!

Rafflecopter Winner:

I will be contacting the winner today, and she will have 24 hours to respond with her mailing address otherwise another winner will be selected.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mini Bourjois Haul & Product Review

Now that winter has arrived, our glamorous summer tans have begun to fade which means that it's time to update our foundation routines. In my case, I have to purchase all my foundation and concealer products in one shade lighter than what I normally wear during the summer. I also make the switch from mineral foundation which I normally use on hot summer days, to liquid foundation during the fall and winter seasons.

Pharmaprix, a Canadian drugstore also known as Shoppers Drug Mart, is currently having a promotion in which for every $50 purchase, customers would receive a $10 gift card to use for their next purchase. This promotion couldn't have come at a better time seeing as I was running low on my favorite Bourjois liquid foundation.

 Here's my drugstore haul!
Bourjois Haul:
The Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation (in the shade 52 - Vanille) is my absolute favorite liquid foundation in which I highly recommend. It gives great coverage, feels refreshing when applying, evens out all skin imperfections, gives an overall natural look, and is long-lasting. I've been using this foundation for a little over a year and I've never been disappointed. If you haven't tried this liquid foundation yet, I would definitely encourage you to do so as soon as possible, you won't regret it!

Here are some details from the Bourjois website:

"Healthy Mix Serum Foundation contains vitamin-gorged and anti-oxidising fruit to erase signs of fatigue, it evens out the complexion and revives its radiance.
Bourjois' 1st radiance-boosting fruit therapy foundation for a flawless complexion for up to 16hrs!

3 “super-fruits” are at the heart of this refreshing gel foundation - lychee, goji and pomegranate.

What is a super fruit? A “super-fruit” has an above-average nutritional profile compared with other fruit and an exceptionally rich anti-oxidant and vitamin content. The lychee, goji and pomegranate enhance the skin through repeated application thanks to its super-action:
- An instant, revitalising effect
- A refreshing and light sensation
- Radiance boosting shades

Its exquisite glide-on formula blends onto the skin for a flawless, yet natural finish.

And.. it's good for my skin!
- 8 hrs moisture
- Lets skin breathe
- Dermatologically tested

Price $27 Canadian"
The Healthy Balance Unifying Powder is a new favorite Bourjois product of mine. This is my first time purchasing this product, which is also new to the Bourjois collection, and I was definitely impressed with the quality. This pressed powder is great to set the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation, and gives an long-lasting matte and natural complexion. I'm actually tempted to go out and buy a second one (that's how much I love it!) What I also really like about this product is that it can easily fit in my purse in case I ever want to make any touch ups throughout the day.

Here are some details from the Bourjois website:

Give your skin a boost of radiance and even out that skin tone!

Enriched with exotic fruit therapy to restore and rebalance the skin:

  • Yuzu - Anti-shine
  • Sharon fruit - hydration
  • Its ultra-fine texture is easy to blend and its feather-light feel will makes application easy!
Its slim compact casing and large mirror inside is an ideal handbag essential and perfect for touch-ups on the go!

Available in 3 natural shades suitable for all skin tones.

And it’s good for my skin:

  • Hypoallergenic formula  
  • Non comedogenic 
  • Dermatologically tested
    $27 Canadian"

In addition to the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation and Healthy Balance Unifying Powder, I also purchased the Healthy Mix Radiance & Anti-Fatigue Correcting Concealer. Since I use the gel foundation in the shade 52, the best shade to get for the concealer would be a shade lighter (51 - Eclat Claire) as I have very dark circles under my eyes. This concealer gives excellent coverage with my dark circles, and is also long-lasting. This is definitely another new Bourjois favorite of mine! With the promotion going on in store, as the other two items added to a little over $50, I received a $10 gift card and was able to apply it on this concealer!

Here are some details from the Bourjois website:
"Bourjois’ new Healthy Mix fruit-therapy correcting concealer smoothes away dark circles and imperfections for a visibly rested and radiant look.

Its exquisite glide-on formula blends onto the skin for a natural result, with no marks.
Available in 3 natural anti-dull complexion shades, to reboost the complexion's radiance.

And.. it's good for my skin:
  • Moisturising
  • Lets skin breathe, oil-free formula
  • Dermatologically tested
Price $19 Canadian"
In addition to my Bourjois purchases, the cashier was kind enough to include two fragrance samples of:
  • Belle by Rhianna
  • Angel by Thierry Mugler
Overall Impressions:
The Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation is my absolute favorite product in my entire collection. I've used it several times and have never been disappointed. I don't think that I'll ever change liquid foundation as long as I'm able to get my hands on this product. Regarding the Bourjois Healthy Balance Unifying Powder and the Healthy Mix Radiance & Anti-Fatigue Correcting Concealer, this was my first time purchasing these products and I'm so glad that I did! All these items compliment each other and by purchasing all three, I've improved my entire foundation routine. I highly recommend all three Bourjois products!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

100+ Follower Giveaway! INTERNATIONAL

I'm very excited to announce that Simply Blushed has reached more than 100 blog followers! To celebrate this small milestone, I would like to invite you all to enter my 100+ Follower Giveaway! This giveaway is international, and all makeup lovers are welcome to enter.
Want to see what you could win?
Here's the prize!
The giveaway prize includes various beauty samples along with a makeup brush!
If you want to enter the giveaway, please make sure to enter through the Rafflecopter below! 
  • The giveaway ends on November 24th at Midnight Eastern time.  
  • Please visit the blog on November 25th for the winner announcement. 
  • The winner will be expected to provide their mailing address to me through email within 24 hours of the announcement, otherwise another winner will be selected.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck Everyone!


Friday, November 16, 2012

ipsy | November Edition

For those of you who are not familiar with ipsy, it's an American monthly subscription beauty sample bag that was formerly known as myglam. For $10 American or now $14.95 Canadian a month, subscribers will receive 4-5 deluxe beauty samples or full-sized products within each ipsy bag.

Before I continue, I just want to take a moment to disclose that I have not received any monetary compensation for this post. I'm an ipsy subscriber and I pay for the monthly ipsy bags with my own money.

Starting this month, ipsy has extended their monthly subscriptions to Canadians as well! I've heard many great things about this monthly subscription and once I learned that they were inviting Canadians to join, I immediately signed up. This is my first ipsy bag and I have to say, I'm so glad that I became a subscriber!

Want to know what's in the package? Let's take a look!

Within the November Edition, the following products were included:
  • Deluxe Sample Size eclos Anti-Aging Regenerative Cream (7 ml / 0.25 fl oz)
  • They're Real! Deluxe Sample Size Benefit Mascara (3 g / 0.1 fl oz)
  • Chocolate Scarlet Eye Pencil (1.5 g)
  • Millionaire Nailtini Nail Lacquer (15 ml / 0.5 fl oz)
  • Matt Batali the Balm Matte Eyeshadow (0.9 g / 0.03 oz)
 ipsy also included two special bonus items to welcome Canadian subscribers!
  • A myglam makeup brush bag
  • A myglam makeup brush

My favorite aspect of signing up to monthly subscription beauty boxes is that I get to try out products from companies that I may have never heard of. This month, I was introduced to quite a few brands such as eclos. I'm always hesitant when it comes to trying out creams because of I have sensitive skin, and after having tried out the eclos Anti-Aging Regenerative cream, I found that it works well for my sensitive skin. Of course, it'll take more than one try to see any effects and I'll definitely post a review of this product once I've used it all up.

The next product within the ipsy November Edition was a deluxe sample size of They're Real! Benefit mascara! Although this is the second time I receive this product this week, I was really excited to receive it as I really like this specific brand. I think I'm set with mascara for a while!
Scarlet Cosmetics is another company that I was introduced to this month. I received a full-sized Scarlet eye pencil in the shade Chocolate. I really like that the shade comes out in a light matte brown and that it can be built up to be darker if you want it to be. I'm definitely looking forward to expirementing with this product!

The Nailtini Nail Lacquer in Millionaire was another great product that I was excited to receive in my first ipsy bag. As I mentioned in my other beauty subscription post, I enjoy experimenting with nail polishes that are clear and have glitter in them. Nail polishes like this look amazing on top of dark shaded nail polishes.

The last product that I received within my first ipsy bag was a matte eyeshadow by the Balm. The shade comes out dark grey with a slight hint of purple and is great for creating a smokey eye effect. Another great product!

My Overall Impressions for the ipsy November Edition:
Overall, I was very impressed with all the products included within my first ipsy bag. I loved all of the products, and I appreciated that ipsy added some bonus items to welcome Canadian subscribers. This is definitely a beauty subscription box that I will be keeping for a while!
 I'd love to receive beauty box subscription recommendations! Also, please feel free to include links to your reviews of this month's ipsy bag in the comments below!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

E.L.F. Deal of The Day!

I received this offer in my email this morning and I thought that I would share it with all of you! E.L.F. ( if offering three of their studio palettes for just $33! The Coffee Break offer is only valid until 2 p.m. EST today. Follow the instructions below to redeem this offer!

1. Click the photograph to take your coffee break with e.l.f.
2. Add the Complete Set of 3 Makeup Palettes (#51243) to your shopping bag.
3. Add code 3GIFTS in the coupon code box at checkout to receive all three palettes for $33.
4. Cannot be combined with other offers, previous purchases, or applied to other products.
5. Limit of 3 pieces per person. Offer valid until 2:00 p.m. EST.  
:00 p.m. EST.  


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Topbox | November Edition

For those of you who are not familiar with Topbox, it is a Canadian monthly subscription beauty sample tube. For $12 a month, subscribers will receive 4 deluxe beauty samples or at times 3 deluxe beauty samples and a full-sized product will be included as the fourth product within the tube.

Before I continue, I just want to take a moment to disclose that I have not received any monetary compensation for this post. I am a Topbox subscriber and I pay for the monthly tubes with my own money.

This is my second time receiving a tube from Topbox, and today I received the November Edition. When I received it, I took a few moments to try and not have high expectations as I was fairly disappointed with the October Edition (which I will discuss later on in this post). This is the tube that will decide whether I continue as a subscriber.

Want to know what's in the tube? Let's take a look!


Within the November Edition, the following products were included:
  • They're Real! Deluxe Sample Size Benefit Mascara
  • I Heard That Full Size China Glaze Nail Polish
  • Red Deluxe Sample Size Pari Beauty Lip Paint
  • Lovestruck Floral Rush Deluxe Sample Vera Wang Perfume

I would normally be disappointed with receiving perfume samples, however, I really like this particular scent, and it us a pretty decent sample size.
I'm all for lip stains, however, I never wear red and this product is very sticky and hard to take off. Unfortunately, I know that I'll never use this product so I will be passing this on to a friend.

I know I know, I just got a SEPHORA FAVORITES - Lash Stash Sample Set, and I probably don't need more mascara but honestly, I was so excited to receive this product because it's perfect for keeping in my purse or when traveling! Second favorite item in the Topbox November Edition.

This would have to be my favorite product within this month's Topbox. I love glittery nail polish and I know this will look amazing on top of some darker shades! I'm also happy that this was a full-sized product that was included within the tube.

October Edition Discussion:
After having been on the waiting list since April, I was really disappointed with the October Edition as my first Topbox tube. There was nothing in the tube that appealed to me, and I had indicated in the survey I filled out for my beauty profile that I did not want some of the products that I had received. I do also know that I wasn't the only person that was disappointed and there were quite a few complaints made by subscribers regarding the October Edition as well.
Topbox | October Edition

My Overall Impressions for the Topbox November Edition:
Overall, I am very happy with two of the four products within this month's Topbox tube. I know that I'll have great use for the nail polish and mascara. As for the other two products, I'll most likely pass them on to a friend that I know will enjoy them. I'm still torn on deciding whether I should remain as a Topbox subscriber, and I may possibly stay just for one more month and cancel after I receive the December Edition. Hopefully, Topbox will include some nice goodies for the holidays.

So what do you think, is it worth remaining as a Topbox subscriber?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I'm sure most of you are familiar with the SEPHORA FAVORITES Sample Set that are usually offered around the holiday season. These are limited edition sets that sell out fairly quickly and are not always available throughout the year, however, Sephora does offer deluxe sample sets without as great a value is their SEPHORA FAVORITES Sample Sets
The SEPHORA FAVORITES Sample Sets that are currently available in store and online in order of price include:
- The Finest Shave Deluxe Sampler For Him

Give Me Some Lip
- Draw The Line Eyeliner Sampler (Update: Sold Out Online)

- Deluxe Fragrance Sampler For Her

- Beauty & The Bride

- Lash Stash

- Glitz and Glam Part Sampler

- In The Glow

- Collector's Edition Fragrance Sampler For Her

- Super Stars Beauty Essentials

Today I'll be sharing my product review for the SEPHORA FAVORITES - In The Glow: Blush, Bronzer, and Luminizer Sample Set. This set sells for $54 Canadian or $45 American at Sephora, and has an overall retail value of $133 Canadian. The SEPHORA FAVORITES - In The Glow
Sample Set contains 9 deluxe samples from various higher end brands which is very appealing to most makeup lovers as it offers the opportunity to try each product before committing to purchasing their full sizes.

Within this product review post, I'll be sharing swatches and reviews for each product within the In The Glow Sample Set, as well as my overall impression.
SEPHORA FAVORITES - In The Glow: Blush, Bronzer, and Luminizer Sample Set
Products offered within this set include:
- Lorac Perfectly Lit Oil-Free Luminizing Powder in Spotlight (0.106 oz)
- Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Golden Mosaic (0.14 oz)
- Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Splendor (0.11 oz)
- Benefit High Beam (0.13 oz)
- Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna (0.08 oz)
- Tarte Natural Cheek Stain in Flush (0.17 oz)
- bareMinerals All Over Face Color in Pure Radiance (0.02 oz)
- Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder (0.08 oz)
- Stila Convertible Color in Peony (0.07 oz)
I had some pretty high expectations for the Lorac Perfectly Lit Oil-Free Luminizing Powder in Spotlight as this has been one of the most highly recommended products that some of my friends have recommended to me. I have to admit that I instantly fell in love with this product after just one try. It has a great silky texture and sheerness that's perfect for highlighting  your cheekbones or using within the inner eye corners. This is definitely one of the products that once my sample is finished, I'll be investing in the full size!

Although the Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Golden Mosaic is meant to be a highlighter, I have to say that I prefer using each shade as eye shadows. Each shade within this product has great pigmentation and my only complaint with this product would have to be that the two middle shades are identical when swatching (reason why I only swatched 3 out of the 4 shades) in the above photograph.

The Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Splendor is another product within this sample set that I absolutely adore. As most of you know, I'm a blush junkie and this product has been on my radar for a little while now. This product works well with all skin tones, has great pigmentation, and has long-lasting wear. I also really like that there is a little bit of a golden hue in different lighting. This shade is definitely an eye catcher!

Benefit High Beam was definitely a product that I was skeptical about trying as I never liked the idea of applying a liquid highlighting product with a wand then having to use a blush to blend it out. I gave this product several tries and wasn't able to master a good technique of applying just the right amount of this product as I either put too little or too much and I often found myself removing it completely and using something else. Overall, this shade is gorgeous when swatching, however, I just don't think that I'll be using it again unless I find a good use for it. I'd love for any of you to recommend a good technique for using this product in the comments below!

The Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna is one of my new favorite bronzing powders. Because of it's great pigmentation, just a little bit goes a long way! Because of my light skin tone, I'll mostly be using this product in the summer when I have more of a tan. If I had to buy any NARS product in its full size, it would be this!

Tarte Natural Cheek Stain in Flush, was another product within the In The Glow Sample Set that I was very skeptical about. My skepticism stemmed from the product not being in powder form, so I was worried about it being too sticky or coming off way too pigmented on the skin. After trying out the product, I was glad that the sticky/wet sensation only lasted for a few seconds and it then dried into a powder looking effect. I also liked that it wasn't too pigmented and the product can be built up to look darker as you apply more. Overall, I'm still not completely sold on it but I'm definitely willing to try it out more.

The bareMinerals All Over Face Color in Pure Radiance is another new favorite of mine. There's a lot more shimmer and glitter in this product than the Lorac Perfectly Lit Oil-Free Luminizing Powder in Spotlight. It can also definitely be doubled up as a mineral eye shadow for those with darker skin tones or in the summer. Because it's easy to get this product everywhere when you apply it onto your blush, I would recommend sprinkling a bit into the cap then dab your makeup brush into the cap and tap off the excess before applying.

The Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder is another great bronzer within this sample set. For those of you who don't like shimmer or glitter, you will enjoy this product. There isn't much pigmentation and it comes off more sheer, which is great if you'd rather build up the product and not fear getting too much on your skin when applying.

The Stila Convertible Color in Peony is my least favorite within the In The Glow Sample Set. A lot of the product got stuck on my brushes and I found it to be too sticky and dark when I applied it with my fingers. I don't think I'll be using this product again and I personally wouldn't recommend it.
My Overall Impressions:
One of my favorite aspects of the SEPHORA FAVORITES - In The Glow Sample Set, is that there is a great variety of higher end products within this set. Like I mentioned above, this is great for makeup lovers to try out all these different brands before committing to their full sizes which can be quite expensive. When purchasing a full-sized higher end product without having tested it out before, there is the added risk that you may not like the product even with its rave reviews, and the product will end up going to waste. As a total blush, bronzer, and highlighter junkie, this sample set was definitely on my radar the second it became available. I ended up really liking the most of the products within this sample set that have also become my new favorites that I would have otherwise not tried out had I not purchased this set. Any products that I didn't enjoy, I'll be giving away to friends who I know will enjoy them. Overall, I would definitely recommend makeup lovers to purchase the SEPHORA FAVORITES - In The Glow Sample Set while it's still available!
Please feel free to share your thoughts on these products, other blush, bronzer, and luminizor product recommendations, or link to your reviews of the SEPHORA FAVORITES - In The Glow Sample Set.