imPRESS Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails Review

Hi everyone,

Recently Influenster sent me a two sets of press on nails to try out for free. I’ve been wearing them for a few days now and thought I’d share my thoughts on them.

imPRESS Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails in Evil Queen

On my nails: imPRESS Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails in Evil Queen

According to Broadway Nails: “imPRESS Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails is the revolutionary way to achieve a flawless manicure in seconds. Just peel off, press on, and you’re done – NO glue needed! More flexible than other artificial nails, imPRESS provides a comfortable fit and durable, lasting wear – twice as long as other press on nails. High-shine colours, trendy designs and glam glitter nails that last up to a week! Colours available for $8.99 and patterns for $10.99 at Walmart, Target, London Drugs, Jean Coutu, Katz, Loblaws, and more. For more information, visit imPRESSmanicure.com

imPRESS Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails in  Shout and Evil Queen

imPRESS Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails in Shout and Evil Queen

I got a pink and black patterned set in Shout, and a green/teal/purple duochrome in Evil Queen. Of the two, I liked Evil Queen a lot more, and since I just broke a nail the other day, I figured it’d be a good time to test a set out.

Each box includes a nail polish bottle shaped container, a prep pad, and mini file.

Each box includes a nail polish bottle shaped container, a prep pad, and mini file.

Each little box comes with everything you need to do your nails with. I like that the nails come in 12 different sizes so you’re bound to find one to fit your nails..

Opening the container is just like opening any bottle of nail polish - just twist it open!

Opening the container is just like opening any bottle of nail polish – just twist it open!

Applying the nails is super easy and you could totally do it while in a rush just before you headed out for an event since there’s no dry time, or while you were on the bus (or even in class?).

Step 1

Step 1: Find the correct size for each nail and lay out all 10 nails in finger order

Step 1: Find the correct size for each nail and lay out all 10 nails in finger order

Step 1 is to find the correct size for each nail. The package suggests to use smaller sizes for best results if you’re in between sizes. Personally I found that my nail beds are a lot more curved than the nails in the kit, so I found that by using a bigger size and bending them to add more curve I got the pressons to fit my nails much more accurately.

Step 2.5: Roll nails gently between fingers to curve them more to natural nail shape

Optional: roll nails gently between fingers to curve them more to natural nail shape

Step 2

Step 2: Cleanse natural nails with enclosed prep pad

Step 2: Cleanse natural nails with enclosed prep pad

The next step is to wash your hands with soap, dry thoroughly, and use the enclosed prep pad. The prep pad smelled pretty strongly of alcohol, and I think the purpose is to remove any oil/impurities on your nails so the sticky side of the presson adheres better to your natural nail.

Step 3

Step 4: Peel off and firmly press on

Step 3: Peel off the tab and firmly press on

The last step is to peel off the tab at the cuticle and firmly press the nail onto your natural nail, down the middle and then down each side of the nail. They suggest applying the thumbs last (probably so you don’t screw it up) although I forgot about this and did them first. Doesn’t matter as long as you’re careful.

…and that’s it! 2 minute mani complete.

d

Ta da! Gel worthy nails in minutes.

d

Oooh duochrome… The colour “Evil Queen” is supposed to represent the evil queen in Snow White. Other colours in the Disney Villain series by Broadway include Maleficient and Cruella.

End

Thought I’d add some extra bling. The colour reminds me a bit of mother of pearl so I thought little accent pearls would be fitting.

Overall I think these presson nails are a huge improvement over the fake nails I used to buy from the drugstore in highschool since you don’t have to deal with messy glue. These ones are way more convenient, just peel and press. It’s a subtle thing but I also really like that the cuticle end is tapered as well so it’s not so bulky and looks more natural. There’s a pretty wide variety of colours and patterns as well, although personally if I were to ever buy them I’d probably opt for a hard-to-recreate pattern. The colour I used, Evil Queen, while pretty, isn’t all that unique (dupes include Knackered by Butter or Wicked Game by Deborah Lippmann off the top of my head). Still, I got a ton of compliments on them, even from strangers, and everyone was surprised when I told them they were fake because the length looks so natural. At $10.99 they’re not cheap, but certainly cheaper than getting a gel mani at a salon. They claim to last up to a week, but after five days one nail came loose. There are 24 nails in each kit though, so it’d be easy to quickly put another one on if you wanted to keep your mani.

One thing I don’t like (but short nailed girls probably would) is the length of the press on nails. I had to file my nails down quite a bit so my natural nails wouldn’t stick out from under the ends of the press on nails, and even at the same length from the underside it looks pretty awkward since the press isn’t flush to my natural nail.. They’re like little shields on top of my natural nails right now. For short nailed girls this wouldn’t be a problem though.

Overall I’d recommend these. Ever glossy never chipping nails that are ready to go in minutes – what’s not to love?

Have you tried imPRESS nails? What did you think?

I’m back!

For the past two and a half months I went on a whirlwind adventure  starting in Mexico with my family and then making my way through Asia with some friends, to finally come home last week looking every bit the haggard dirty hippie backpacker in my beat up Birkenstocks and elephant print harem pants (I will add in my defense that I think I cleaned up pretty well for my convocation the following morning). After all that travelling, despite having loved my time exploring different cultures and eating my way through numerous cities, I can’t help but feel an immense sense of appreciation for being able to call Vancouver my home.

Maybe I’m a little biased, coming back just as summer is beginning when the city is at its most beautiful, but I can’t help but feel lighter and more relaxed being back. No more touts and sketchy tuk tuk drivers, hooray! Travelling gave me an incredibly deep gratefulness for the wealth and abundance that we enjoy in Vancouver, and Canada as a whole. As cheesy as it sounds, travelling truly does open your eyes and is incredibly transformative. While I don’t think I had any cataclysmic moments that made me want to reassess my life path and renounce all my worldly possessions, the experience certainly helped me better understand myself and my values. I’m planning on sharing pictures and stories from my adventures over the upcoming weeks once I get settled back into life and have some time to sort through the ten million photos I’ve taken, but until then here are some quick thoughts from me as to why I feel so lucky to live in a developed country/the city of Vancouver specifically:

1. The availability of clean drinking water (and other environmental goods). Good heavens, I don’t even want to think about the amount of money I spent on buying bottles of water each day. We are so incredibly lucky to live in a place where clean water is available in abundance straight from the tap. And to have the air quality we do, as well as the mountains, forests, and oceans at our doorstep (jeez I could be a Beautiful BC commercial).

2. Political stability/the ability to trust authorities/democracy. All these ideas sort of go hand in hand. In a few cities I was explicitly warned to stay away from authorities because they couldn’t be trusted to help, and felt somewhat uneasy in several others because of the volatile political situations at hand. I don’t think any country can thrive in the face of corruption and a merry go round of leadership.

3. Female safety. I can’t think of a better phrase for this, but what I mean by this is the freedom I have in Vancouver and North America to wear whatever I want, go wherever I want whenever I want (within reason) and not be stared at or feel that my personal safety is under threat. I hated having to wear long sleeves and pants in 40 degree heat with 95% humidity for fear of being sexually harassed otherwise (and still often was anyways).

4. Infrastructure development. Going to SE Asia around the start of monsoon season meant that I found myself caught in a number of, literally, monsoons. I live in Vancouver; it’s not like I’m not used to the rain. But here, there’s something called drainage so rain will, well, drain from the sidewalks. In Asia oftentimes I found myself walking on dirt clay roads that turned into gushing torrents of muddy clay water. Not fun. Also on the note of infrastructure, as much as Translink can ruin my day I am so grateful for the amazing connectivity Vancouver public transit provides in comparison to many world class cities. And our pothole free roads. Praise pothole free roads.

5. Wealth. This sounds terrible, but it is so true that money can buy happiness to a certain extent (I think research shows it’s around $70k per annum). I feel incredibly fortunate to grow up in a society where childhood education is mandated without regards to gender. Where social mobility is possible, and progressive taxation exists to help. I saw so many painfully young mothers with multiple children, and too many bar girls to count. It made me incredibly sad and thankful at the same time to be born into relative wealth. In developed countries we forget too often amidst our outrage at being the 99%, that in a global context we are truly in the top 1% of the world. Healthcare, sanitation, education, electricity, clean water, food to the point where obesity and lifestyle diseases are becoming ever prevalent… While I certainly will continue to chase my metaphorical cheese in this rat race, it was humbling to recognize how lucky I was to be born into such affluence.

Whoops, didn’t mean to end on such a sober thought. But at the same time, it’s something to reflect on.

Ok, fun stories and pictures next time, promise!

Betty

Introducing: Glitterbomb Nail Lacquer Swatches, Discount Code & Giveaway

Hi everyone!

Today I’m so so excited to share something that I’ve been working on since last summer. Introducing… (drumroll please)

Glitterbomb Nail Lacquer!

The Horoscope Collection

The Horoscope Collection

Yep, I’ve launched an indie nail polish line called Glitterbomb (my favourite type of nails!). Unique handmade nail polish for glitter lovers, the polish in this line is bursting with colourful glitter that will transform any manicure. 4 free and handmade to order, these polishes will leave your nails looking gorgeous!

To celebrate I’m doing a grand opening sale!

Take 25% off of everything and get free shipping in Canada and the US on orders over $30 when you use the discount code: GLITTER25! Hurry, the sale ends March 14th at 11:59pm!

Check out my store here: http://glitterbombnails.storenvy.com/

So how did this all start?

Last year I was introduced to indie nail polishes and fell head over heels in love with how unique and fun they were compared to most mass market and even high end nail polish brands. I amassed a pretty significant collection, but not too long after I ordered supplies to start making my own. Which got me thinking..Why not start sharing my love of glitter with others?

I worked on the polishes all last summer and was hoping to launch then but then recruiting season came up, and then school, and then exams, and one thing after the other (you know how it is). But now I’m finally ready to share my polishes with the world!

I decided to do a horoscope collection for my first collection because I haven’t seen any out there, and as cheesy as it sounds I think there’s a bit of truth to them. Whether or not you agree, I hope there’s a colour for everyone in the final collection I came up with :)

So without much ado, onto the fun part: the swatches! (and at the very end, the giveaway!)

Scorpio is a beautiful blend of multi-sized cherry red, holographic red, and iridescent glitter in a clear base

Scorpio is a beautiful blend of multi-sized cherry red, holographic red, and iridescent glitter in a clear base

Glitterbomb's Gemini is a beautiful blend of multi-sized matte watermelon pink, orange, peach, banana yellow, and orange bar glitter in a clear base

Gemini is a beautiful blend of multi-sized matte watermelon pink, orange, peach, banana yellow, and orange bar glitter in a clear base

Cancer is a beautiful blend of multi-sized orange, peach, banana yellow, white, and iridescent glitter in a clear base

Cancer is a beautiful blend of multi-sized orange, peach, banana yellow, white, and iridescent glitter in a clear base

Leo is a beautiful blend of multi-hued shades of yellow, white, and iridescent glitter in a clear base

Leo is a beautiful blend of multi-hued shades of yellow, white, and iridescent glitter in a clear base

Taurus is a beautiful blend of multi-sized matte aqua, pastel green, fern green, and iridescent glitter in a clear base

Taurus is a beautiful blend of multi-sized matte aqua, pastel green, fern green, and iridescent glitter in a clear base

Aquarius is a beautiful blend of matte aqua, iridescent, and holographic glitter in a clear base

Aquarius is a beautiful blend of matte aqua, iridescent, and holographic glitter in a clear base

Pisces is a beautiful blend of emerald, sky blue, and ocean blue holographic glitter in a clear base

Pisces is a beautiful blend of emerald, sky blue, and ocean blue holographic glitter in a clear base

Pisces is a beautiful blend of emerald, sky blue, and ocean blue holographic glitter in a clear base

Pisces is a beautiful blend of emerald, sky blue, and ocean blue holographic glitter in a clear base

Sagittarius is a beautiful blend of multi-hued purple, pink, gold, and holographic gold glitter in a pink tinted clear base

Sagittarius is a beautiful blend of multi-hued purple, pink, gold, and holographic gold glitter in a pink tinted clear base

Aries is a beautiful blend of multi-sized matte bubble gum pink, rose, silver, white and holographic glitter in a clear base

Aries is a beautiful blend of multi-sized matte bubble gum pink, rose, silver, white and holographic glitter in a clear base

Libra is a beautiful blend of multi-sized holographic silver, gunmetal, and silver bar glitter in a clear base

Libra is a beautiful blend of multi-sized holographic silver, gunmetal, and silver bar glitter in a clear base

Capricorn is a beautiful blend of multi-sized gold, holographic gold, and gold bar glitter in a clear base

Capricorn is a beautiful blend of multi-sized gold, holographic gold, and gold bar glitter in a clear base

Moondust is a scattered holographic glitter topcoat with a slight linear effect in a clear base

Moondust is a scattered holographic glitter topcoat with a slight linear effect in a clear base

If you like anything, you can buy them online by clicking here to visit my online store. Remember to use the discount code GLITTER25 to take 25% off of everything and get free shipping in Canada and the US on orders over $30 now until March 15th!

And what you’ve been waiting for: Giveaway Time!

I’m super excited to have started my online store, and I want to share my glittery goodness with you! Click here to enter my giveaway on Facebook to win 6 Glitterbomb polishes of your choice! Good luck :D

Which polish is your favourite?

Nail Friday: Valentines Day Nails & Julep Maven February Bombshell Unboxing

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Today I wanted to share the Valentine’s Day themed nails I did last night, as well as my February Julep Maven Bombshell box, which I used to do my nails :)

Valentines Day themed nails

Valentines Day themed nails

Here’s what I came up with! I used Seche Vite though and there is already major shrinkage :(

Julep Maven

Julep Maven

So this month (and last actually) I forgot to skip my box, so I didn’t actually choose what I wanted. It was fun to get, but gah, $19.99..!

A quick look inside

A quick look inside

This month’s theme was “the Dramatic Collection”

Oooh, so many goodies!

Oooh, so many goodies!

As always the packaging was themed and super cute! It’s always fun opening these boxes. In addition to the usual two polishes and one product, the extra this month was a new colour called “Love”.

Julep Maven February Bombshell Box

Julep Maven February Bombshell Box

My default option is “Bombshell” from the quiz I took when I signed up way back then, and thankfully the colours I got I like quite a bit! Kristen, the blue is described as “deep sea teal with silver microshimmer” and is super pretty! Judi, the purple, is described as “English violet crème.” It’s a bit too similar to what I already own though, so I’ll be trying to swap that soon. Love is gorgeous! It’s described as “gold, pearl & fuchsia microglitter” and is super unique.

Julep Kristen, Julep Judi, and Julep Love

Julep Judi, Julep Kristen, and Julep Love

A look at the polishes outside of the boxes. I don’t know why Julep is using boxes now for the polishes. It seems like a waste of packaging if you ask me, but I guess it makes them more “giftable.”

Julep Eye Sheen Liquid Shadow in Warm Fig Shimmer

Julep Eye Sheen Liquid Shadow in Warm Fig Shimmer

I kinda wish Julep sent a more neutral colour as the default for people who didn’t pick what colour eye sheen they wanted this month. Dark purple tends to make my eyes look a bit bruised, but luckily this one doesn’t! I love how it can be as pigmented or as sheer as you want depending on how much you put on and blend out. I tried to swatch this but my swatches looked nothing like the actual colour, which is a warm brownish purple. I guess I’m kind of glad I didn’t pick, since I would have probably opted for a champagney-taupe colour that I always default to and have a million of. This is definitely different from other colours in my collection!

Valentines themed nails

Valentines themed nails

I loved the look of Love in the bottle, so I knew I wanted to use it for my nails, and figured why not go a step further by literally having “love” on my nails :p I love the fushia microglitter in the gold shimmer base! So fun.

Nail Friday: Valentines Day Nails & Julep Maven February Bombshell Unboxing

Wet Seal red glitter polish, Julep Myrtle, Julep Love, Revlon Blackest Black

Here’s a pic of the colours I used for my nails.

Also, since it’s Valentine’s day here’s some pictures of what I spent my morning doing. I put my domestic goddess hat on (that’s a joke, I’d be an awful wifey) and did my best to make some magic in the kitchen (to varying degrees of success) so I could surprise my boyfriend and family with some treats. Here’s what I ended up with:

Peanut butter pie

Peanut butter pie

I AM SO EXCITED TO EAT THIS! I used a recipe from Skinny Taste and tasted the batter – soo good. I wish I made a third pie just so I could hide it away just for me haha.

Flourless peanut butter cookies

Flourless peanut butter cookies

I used a recipe from the Food Network for these. It was super easy, only five ingredients, but I think they turned out too sweet :(

Chocolate covered strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries

And finally I made a big batch of chocolate covered strawberries. They’re kinda healthy right? That’s what I’ll be telling myself as I stuff my face with them anyways.. Ha.

Are you doing anything special for Valentines Day?

The Empties Post of All Empties Posts!

Yikes, I can’t believe it’s been more than half a year since my last post! My life got pretty hectic last summer once I started preparing for the fall recruit, and it felt like things haven’t really slowed down until now. Last term was just cray cray for me. But as late December I’ve completed all of my classes, and since then have done a trip to Palm Springs, a case comp in Regina, and a trip to Vegas, and now it’s time for bum life! Woohoo. For the past two weeks I’ve just been living the good life with no classes or a job. It feels great.

Anyways, during all that I have been saving all my empties, and I wanted to do a giant empties post to share my thoughts on everything I’ve used up in the past half year. So be warned, this post is gonna crazy long and picture heavy! :p I think I probably have a gazillion products to show you. Ok maybe not a gazillion. But close.

Alright, grab some popcorn ’cause this is a going to be a long one! Here goes:

May 

May Empties

My May empties!

Last May was when school ended, and I had a few weeks of nothingness before I started a summer program to prepare me for the recruit. I was mostly at home during the day so I didn’t get through a ton of makeup, but managed to use up a ton of skincare.

Makeup

Makeup

Asian Brand BB Cream – I picked this up when I was in China last summer. At first I didn’t like it because it left me looking oily but once I started using it with a beauty blender it was love. Would I repurchase? No. Too many other BB creams to try!

Assorted Starlooks Foundations – I can’t remember what all of the formulas are anymore. What I do remember was that they were a pretty good colour match for my skin. Nothing really stood out to me though. Would I repurchase? No. Nothing was amazing. And especially with all the Starlooks drama, I don’t really trust the brand.

Skincare

Skincare and treatments

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream – I love how generous Kiehl’s is with samples everytime I buy anything. This was a good moisturizer, unscented and I’m sure great for sensitive skin, but it didn’t wow me. Would I repurchase? No.

Philosophy Eye Hope – I didn’t really notice any difference in my eye area after using this. Plus, as with all other Philosophy skincare products, it kinda smells funky. Would I repurchase? No.

3M Acne Dressing – A friend gave this to me when she came back from Hong Kong; I think it’s only sold in Asia. Basically they’re little silicone (?) patches you put on pimples and it sucks all the oil outta them. They were super cool. I would put them on before bed and the next morning I could literally see the oil and junk they sucked out of my face, as gross as that sounds. Would I repurchase? Yes, if I could find it.

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion+ Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ For Face/Body – Whew, what a mouthful of a name. I liked this a lot. It was lightweight, didn’t leave a white cast on my face, didn’t slide off when I sweated or leave me looking like a greaseball, and smelled great. And most importantly, I never got sunburnt when I was using it. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel – This was a nice cool gel, it felt really soothing and moisturizing and I liked that it was a really lightweight gel. But I don’t have saggy wrinkly eyes so I can’t comment on the lifting action of this. Would I repurchase? No.

LA Fresh Travel Lite Anti Perspirant Wipes – I used these on a short trip to LA and found them to be effective. I think they’re definitely a great space saver if you need to pack light for a short trip but seem awful for the environment given how much waste they create. Would I repurchase? No.

L’Oreal Lash Boosting Serum – I used this on and off for about two years until I finally buckled down for a few months and used it twice or sometimes even thrice daily when I was at home during the day. I think I saw some growth in terms of length and fullness to my lashes, but honestly the results were nothing spectacular. Would I repurchase? No. I’m way too lazy for this stuff. I’ll stick to mascara.

Skincare

Skincare

Neutrogena All in One Makeup Removing Cleansing Wipes – These wipes are a godsend. They cut through makeup and wash your face gently so you don’t even need to rinse after. They don’t completely take off waterproof makeup, but on those late nights when you’re tired, who cares? Would I repurchase? Yes. HG face wipes!

Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover – I’ve been using this all my life because I swear it comes with every single Lancome GWP ever. I have a huge hoard of them from my mom’s and my own purchases. I never realized how great it was until I switched to a different makeup remover after finishing this bottle. It’s super effective, and gentle, and doesn’t leave my eyes feeling like they’re soaked with oil. Would I repurchase? Yes, if I ever ran out. Which will probably be never. 

Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel – This was ok. I think it’d be good for girls with sensitive skin. It left my face feeling clean and took off most of my makeup, but it wasn’t anything special. Would I repurchase? No.

La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub – I really liked this scrub. It felt really gentle and not harsh or abrasive like many other scrubs. The beads in it are super fine as the name suggests and after using my face was super smooth. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Bath and Body

Bath and Body

pH Beauty Shea Nut Foot Scrub – I felt like this had been in my house for years so I set out to use it up. It’s fairly effective when used with a pumice stone, and it smells good. I think it’s pretty cheap too. It takes some muscle to get feet smooth, but it made my feet feel soft even if it didn’t scrub everything off. Would I repurchase? Maybe if it was on sale.

Honeycat Cosmetics Calypso Kitty Moisturizing Tropical Body Scrub – Mmmm this scrub smelled sooo good. It did a good job of exfoliating my skin, but I wasn’t a fan of the oily albeit moisturized feeling it left me with. Would I repurchase? No.

St. Ives Healthy Brilliance Firm & Glow Body Moisturizer with Caffeine – I remember I bought this a few days before prom back in grade 12. At the time, it wasn’t a great choice because it takes a few days for the bronzing effect to show up, so if you’re looking for an instant tan this wouldn’t be it. But I love how it provides a gradual glow over a few days and doesn’t have that awful fake tanner smell, and left me feeling super moisturized and smooth. Would I repurchase? Maybe.

L’Occitane Ultra Rich Shower Cream – I think I got this as a GWP. This was super moisturizing and had a nice light scent. It’s supposed to be used as  body wash and shampoo, and I think it doesn’t have any soap in it so it’d be great for gals doing the no poo method. It made my hair super soft when I used it, but I found my scalp got oily really quickly. Would I repurchase? Probably not, it’s pretty expensive and I prefer foaming body washes, which this is not.

Roberto Cavalli Perfumed Shower Gel – I got this in a Topbox one month. It smelled great and was super foamy, but I don’t think I would like the perfume for every day use. It was pretty strong scent that screamed “sexy,” which I am not. Or at least not trying to portray myself as haha. Would I repurchase? No.

Haircare

Haircare (why did this turn out so blurry? :( )

Pantene Repair & Protect Shampoo and Conditioner – These were ok, but nothing special. Would I repurchase? No.

John Freida Touchably Full Shampoo – I bought the dry shampoo from the same line a year ago and thought the awful smell was because of the aerosol can, but when I used this shampoo it had the same smell! So stinky. I didn’t find it made my hair any more volumized either. Would I repurchase? No.

June & July

June and July Empties

June and July Empties

June and July were busier months for me because I was preparing for recruiting and doing practice cases pretty much daily. But I still had quite a bit of free time and took lots of breaks at home, so I got through quite a bit of skincare and bath and body type products.

Makeup and perfume

Makeup and perfume

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara – I think using this in conjunction with lash serums definitely grew my lashes a bit, although it was nothing life changing. I wasn’t a huge fan of this formula. While I liked that it kept my lashes really soft and pettable (do you know what I mean? Like they weren’t crunchy or hard and were flexible if you touched them) but it didn’t do much in terms of length or volume. It’d be good for a daytime look, but with my short stubby lashes I need something that gives me a bit more oomph. Would I repurchase? No.

Sugar Lip Treatment – I got this for my birthday from Sephora and holy moly – life changing. This stuff is HG material. I love the scent and taste, and it makes my lips super moisturized, and I love that it has SPF. The packaging in the metal tube feels super luxe as well. Would I repurchase? Yes. I already have.

Lashem Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancing Serum – I got this from a swap as an extra, and was happy to get it but honestly the amount inside was good for maybe three uses, which is nowhere near enough to see any difference. Would I repurchase? Probably not.

Marchesa Parfum D’Extase – I really like this scent! I did the Scent IQ thing at Sephora and the associate made me a sample of this when she saw it in my results. It’s a really gorgeous mix of fresh florals and a bit of musk. It smells super feminine and romantic but complex and sophisticated. The strongest note I notice on me is jasmine. I don’t think I like it enough to buy a bottle though. Would I repurchase? No

Makeup

Makeup

Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector for Combination to Oily Skin – I loved this stuff! The light shade was a great match for my skin and it’s the only BB cream I’ve used so far that gives medium coverage and leaves me matte and shine free without oxidizing and making me look oompa loompa orange. Would I repurchase? Yes, I’ve since bought a full size tube.

Dermalogica Clean Start Brighten Up SPF 15 – This was basically a tinted moisturizer with a bit of shimmer and SPF. If I had perfect skin I think this would be great, but alas, I don’t. This sheers out to pretty much minimal coverage and left me looking oily by noon. Would I repurchase? No.

Boscia BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 27 PA++ – I go for this sample every time it comes up on Sephora’s online checkout. I think it does a good job of adjusting to my skintone, although I can’t imagine it would work for anyone extremely fair or dark skinned. I love that it has fairly high SPF and leaves me looking a bit dewy without looking like an oilslick, but it’s a bit too light in terms of coverage for me to use on a daily basis. Would I repurchase?  Probably, once I use up all of my samples.

Skincare

Skincare – yikes, sorry for the awful picture!

Biotherm Biosource Toning Water – I really liked this toner. I used it with my Biosource cleanser and felt like together they left my skin really clean and fresh feeling without feeling dry or tight. This toner smelled really good, and it was great for getting rid of last traces of makeup and leaving my skin feeling moisturized and balanced. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum – I got this as part of a free goodie bag from Sephora when they first opened their Canadian Website. This smells just like orange creamsicles. The texture is really light and I felt like it spread easily and soaked in quickly. I’m still using it in conjunction with my Truth Creme, but so far I don’t think it’s done anything significant in terms of improving brightness or increasing dark spots. Would I repurchase? No.

Neutrogena All in One Makeup Removing Cleansing Wipes – I already reviewed this above. I love these wipes! Would I repurchase? Yes.

Dermalogica Pre Cleanse – I got this in a Luxe Box last year and am glad I did. It introduced me to cleansing oils. I really like using this during the summer because I felt like it was the quickest and most effective way to cut through all the layers of sunscreen and makeup on my face. It was great for taking off every little bit of makeup so I felt like my face was extra clean after I used my regular cleanser, and there was never anything on my cotton pad when I used toner so I know it did a great job of removing makeup. It felt really luxe, and I liked the smell, but I don’t know if it’s completely necessary for me as I usually don’t wear a lot of makeup. Would I repurchase? Probably not, I’d like to but it’s hella expensive!

Montagne Jeunesse Passion Peel Off – I loved using this peel off mask! It’s so fun to peel it off in a big chunk. I find that there’s enough for two uses as well in a pack, so it makes these already dirt cheap masks even more affordable. It smelled great and was a ton of fun to use, and it left my skin feeling clean and soft. Would I repurchase? Yes.

ELF Clarifying Oil Blotting Sheets – These are super budget friendly, but not the best quality. It takes me forever to get through a pack of blotting sheets, so personally I don’t mind spending more for better blotting sheets, but if you go through a lot these are great since they’re so cheap! I found that these ripped really easily, and they’re kind of small so you need to use more than one to do your whole face. I’ve started using Boscia blotting linens and they’re soo much nicer. Would I repurchase? No.

Skincare

Skincare

Prevage Triple Defense SPF 50 Sunscreen Sheer Lotion – I loved this sunscreen. It was super lightweight and felt so silky and smooth going on. It felt moisturizing and it didn’t leave me greasy or with a white cast. Would I repurchase? No, too expensive! If I had the money I would though.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Cleansing Gel, Age Defy Serum, and Age Defy Moisturizer – I love that these products were organic, and I felt like they left my face feeling clean and hydrated, but they had the strangest funky pickle smell. Would I repurchase? No.

Racinne Ultimate Hydra Perfection Series – These left my face feeling hydrated and smooth, but I didn’t feel like they did anything special for my skin. Would I repurchase? No.

Bath and Body

Bath and Body

Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer – Can you tell I was hella tan this summer? I was pretty much indoors most of the summer practicing case interviews either at home or at UBC’s Robson Square which is underground, so I was super jealous of all my tan friends. These samples did a great job of giving me a natural looking tan that wasn’t streaky, and I think they’ve been reformatted so that they don’t have that awful fake tan smell they used to have. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Just Being Sexy Body Bronzer – I got a couple of samples of this in a Beauty Box 5 box, but I couldn’t bring myself to use the other packet. This does a great job of giving an instant tan and has really nice fine shimmer particles so your skin looks all glowy and pretty, but it smells like rust (yuck) and it harsh stained my hands. Plus I really don’t like the branding. The name makes me think this is geared toward middle aged women with too much money trying to well, just be sexy …No thanks. Would I repurchase? No.

Violet Oasis Therapeutic Body Butter in Orange, Vanilla & Fennel – I got this in the summer beauty bag I bought from the Shopping Channel and ahmagah this was love at first smell. This smelled amazing and it made my skin so so soft and moisturized. It’s a body butter so it’s quite a bit thicker than a lotion and felt so rich and luxe going on and made my skin feel so moisturized without feeling greasy. Would I repurchase? One day, but I have a million tubs and bottles of moisturizer to go through first!

Quince Relaxing Body Butter with Chamomile & Lavender – Another heavenly smelling body butter! I got this in a Starlooks box as a extra, which they suggested to mix with a bronzing pigment they sent. I used it on my own all over my body and loved it. It was super rich and moisturizing, and the scent was so pleasant and calming. Would I repurchase? This is another eventual purchase once I get through my stash! I liked it that much.

L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Hand Cream – I was surprised to find that this wasn’t the same formula as the original :( It smelled nice, but I found the scent a bit cloying if I put on too much. I definitely prefer the texture of the original, which I find way more moisturizing. Would I repurchase? Yes, but in original.

Dermadoctor KP Duty Intensive Priming Serum and Moisturizing Therapy – This was definitely very moisturizing, but I would never pay for this because I find that any rich moisturizer helps with KP. I’ve had KP pretty much all my life and I’ve found the only thing that really helps is time. My skin’s gotten so much better as I’ve gotten older on its own, and I really don’t think targeted products do much.  Would I repurchase? No.

Haircare

Haircare

Organix Rejuvenating Cherry Blossom Ginseng Shampoo and Conditioner – This smelled great, but I had to use SO much to make my hair feel clean with the shampoo and saturated with conditioner. Plus the texture came out really weird – it was like a thick gel that didn’t pool together, as if you were squeezing jello out of a squeeze tube. Would I repurchase? No.

Matrix Biolage Keratindose Shampoo and Conditioner – The packet was only enough for a one time use, and while it felt nice it didn’t feel amazing. Would I repurchase? No.

Hask Macadamia Oil Hydrating Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment – This made my hair feel super hydrated! I had really long hair at the time that was dry and awful and this made it feel soft and silky for a few days. The plastic packet was annoying though to make sure it didn’t tip over and spill. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Bath and body

Bath and body

Veet Rasera Hair Removal Gel Cream – I bought this ages ago in high school I think and decided to use it up. It’s pretty effective and got rid of all my hair sans any nicks from shaving, but I think I’ll stick to epilating. Would I repurchase? No.

Bath and Body Works Paris Amour Shower Gel – I find that BBW shower gels foam really well but this one smelled too sickly sweet for me. Would I repurchase? Not in this scent.

August

August Empties

August Empties

August was a pretty stressful month for me, preparing for interviews and then finding out I would be going to Toronto for interviews. So as always, my time at home meant that I used up lots of skincare samples :p

Makeup

Makeup

American Apparel Lipgloss in Pasadena – I only used this gloss a few times before the tube cracked :( So sad. The pigmentation was really good on this, but it was really sticky and my hair would always get stuck in it, which is why I didn’t use it often. Would I repurchase? No.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Clear and Rose – I absolute love this in Rose. It’s so moisturizing and it gives my lips a bit of gloss and natural looking colour. So much better than lipstick since it never sinks into lines or migrates far from lips. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Bare Minerals Mineral Veil – This is the second tub of Mineral Veil that I’ve used up and as long as I use BM foundation I’ll probably keep repurchasing. It does a great job of adding a transparent finishing touch that somehow makes my face look a little bit better, like it’s in soft focus. It’s great for setting other foundations too! Would I repurchase? Yes.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation – I got a couple of samples of this from magazines and absolutely loved it! The colour in the samples was a perfect match for my skin tone. The medium coverage went on smoothly and the fine shimmer gives a glowy effect without looking fake or sparkily. I’ll definitely be buying this if I ever see it on sale! Would I repurchase? Yes.

Ferro Cosmetics Ultimate HD Mineral Foundation – I got this in a Topbox I think and while the container sucked (it was just an open jar that erupted in a cloud of powder every time it was opened), once I put it into a sifter I really liked it. It’s supposedly a foundation, concealer, and powder in one and I would say this was true, it was full coverage and left me matte and not at all powdery. Would I repurchase? Maybe, it’s just as good as my Bare Minerals foundation and cheaper, but I can’t buy it at Sephora so it’s harder to get my hands on.

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer – Honestly… Ain’t nobody got time for that. Would I repurchase? No. In all seriousness, I found this to be a completely unnecessary product for myself as I don’t have any problems with my concealer migrating, but it might be great for those who do.

L’Oreal Miracle Lift Blur – This is such a weird (in a good way) product! I tried it on my hand when I first got it and right away you could see how where I used it looked like it was in soft focus and were no fine lines or pores. On my face I think it only was useful when I had no makeup on as again it gave me that soft focus effect, but then I would be red or oily throughout the day. I think this would be great for older women with wrinkles as a last step on top of foundation though. Would I repurchase? Not until I’m wrinkly.

Perfume

Perfumes

Calvin Klein Sheer Beauty – This was a really nice light floral scent. Very feminine and romantic without being overpowering. Would I repurchase? No.

See By Chloe – I love this scent. As soon as I tried it I couldn’t stop sniffing myself, it smells so unique and delicious. It smells just like spring time to me; warm and of apple blossoms. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Marc Jacobs Daisy – I know this is such a popular scent but I really don’t like it. It smells cold and a bit harsh and artificial to my nose. On some people it smells great, but I’m not a fan of it on myself. Would I repurchase? No.

Viva La Juicy – I think is such a good fragrance embodiment of the Juicy Couture brand. It smells so sweet and playful, and the mix of vanilla and berries and honeysuckle smell sooo good. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Skincare

Skincare

LA Fresh Makeup Removing Wipe – I think I got this from a beauty box. It did it’s job, but it wasn’t anything special. Would I repurchase? No.

Murad Clarifying Cleanser – I love the scent of this face wash! It smells like a lime margarita. It left my face feeling clean without dryness or tightness, and I never broke out while I used this. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Boscia Pore Refining Black Strips – I bought a box after having used Biore for years in high school to see what the hype was about and to compare. They are somewhat better, but if you’re on a budget I would still go for the Biore ones. I liked that these were black so you could see all the gunk on them after you pulled it off (I’m gross like that). They feel a bit more gentle than the Biore ones, but I think they did a similar job. Would I repurchase? No, I’ll stick to buying them from the drugstore.

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips – As I said above, these are just as effective and a heck of a lot cheaper than more expensive ones. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Boscia Bright White Mask – I had high hopes for this mask to brighten my face but I don’t think it did much. It felt calming and moisturizing on my face, and it was fun to peel off, but I don’t think I saw any difference in my dark spots. Would I repurchase? No.

My Scheming Camellia Japonica Hydrating Mask – A friend brought a box of assorted My Scheming masks back from Taiwan for me a year or so ago, and I’ve been slowly using them up. This was lot of fun to use and fit my face really well. It feels super calming and moisturizing, and I definitely felt like my skin was more hydrated and glowy afterwards. Would I repurchase? Probably if I found it.

Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 40  – I really liked this sunscreen. It was lightweight, non-greasy, and quickly sank into my face. It didn’t leave a white cast, and it felt like there was nothing on my face. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Bliv Off With Those Heads, Oil Leviate, and Squeaky Clean – I used all of these together and they actually did a great job of living up to their claims. My blackheads were gone after using the blackhead gel, and the oil control gel did a great job of mattifying my face during the day. I liked using the face wash as well – my face felt super clean afterwards. Would I repurchase? Probably not, since I started using my Aria I don’t have a big problem with blackheads anymore.

Prevage Anti Aging Daily Serum and Hydrating Fluid – The Elizabeth Arden counter lady gave me these samples to try out when I told her I wanted to lighten my dark spots from the sun. They felt and smelled super luxurious going on, but I didn’t notice any difference after using them. Would I repurchase? No.

Bath and body

Bath and body

Parissa Azulene Oil – I finally managed to use one of these up! I have so many of these lying around that I always forget to use. It definitely does a good job of preventing ingrown hairs after waxing or shaving, but it’s so messy to use and the applicator is really difficult so I never use it. Would I repurchase? No.

Tend Skin – This stings something AWFUL if you get it in the wrong place. It does a great job of preventing in grown hairs but be careful using it – if it gets in a cut it will burn. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Pedi Scrub Foot Buffer – I got this from Beauty Box 5. I’d never heard of this brand or seen this product before, but I think it’s pretty neat! It’s basically a sponge with two sides, a soft normal sponge and a harder more abrasive side that’s caked with soapy stuff. I don’t think it did a great job of getting rid of rough skin but my feet felt pampered and softer after using this. Would I repurchase? No, I’m too lazy for this sort of thing.

Cuccio Naturale Butter Blend in Pomegranate and Fig – This butter blend is really lightweight for a butter and very moisturizing, although I felt like it took a while to sink in. It smelled great but didn’t wow me. Would I repurchase? No.

LA Fresh Nail Polish Remove Wipe – This took off my nail polish pretty easily. One wipe was good for all five fingers of one hand, although I didn’t try it with glitter polish. I didn’t like the papery fabric of the wipe though – it ripped pretty easily and felt like it dried out rather quickly. Would I repurchase? No.

Revlon Shine ‘N Buff – I’ve had this for years and finally decided it was too dingy and had to be let go. I think this a great multi-purpose product with everything you need for your nails. The 4 step buff makes your nails super shiny, but I wish the surface area was a bit bigger – I felt like my nails would get scratched accidentally sometimes by the edges of the filing surfaces. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Teeth

Teeth

Go Smile AM and PM Whitening Toothpaste – I got these from the Shopping Channel’s summer beauty bag. I liked that they didn’t have that strong mint taste that most toothpastes have, so it didn’t hurt my tongue. Instead, the AM had a slightly citrusy taste that was energizing, while the PM had a soothing lavender and chamomile taste. I can’t say I noticed a big difference in my teeth, but I really enjoyed using these samples. Would I repurchase? No.

Crest 3D White 2 Hour Express Whitestrips – I keep getting sample packets of these from boxes. I used this a few weeks before I had recruiting interviews and definitely saw a whiter smile after 2 hours, but not as white as how my teeth looked after doing the 2 week treatments I’ve used from Crest in the past. Plus these made my teeth super sensitive for a day. Still, they’re great for a quick whiten before something important. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Haircare

Haircare

Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Repair Conditioner – I keep getting samples of this shampoo and conditioner so I keep using it. I have no complaints – it leaves my hair feeling clean and soft but it’s nothing special. Would I repurchase? Maybe if it’s on sale but otherwise no.

Element Body Essentials Silky Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner – I got this as part of a prize pack from winning a contest on Samantha’s blog, Beautiful, Free and Wonderful. I didn’t have any expectations for this product since I’d never heard of the brand, but holy moly, my hair was sooo soft and volumized when I used this. I was actually so sad when I used up these samples! Especially at the time, my hair was long and heavy and dry, I saw a huge difference using these products. Would I repurchase? Yes.

La Coupe Argan Oil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner – These samples smelled nice but I didn’t notice any changes in my hair after using them. Would I repurchase? No.

Bumble and bumble Gentle Shampoo and Super Rich Conditioner – I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect since I love Bumble and Bumble hair products so much but I felt like my hair was really soft and hydrated feeling after using these. Would I repurchase? Not until I make more money.

Bumble and bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner – I definitely noticed my hair was more volumized after using these, and they smelled sooo good. Would I repurchase? One day I will splurge.

John Freida Brilliant Brunette Colour Protecting Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner – Yum, these smelled like coconut and made my hair smell soo yummy. My boyfriend always noticed and complimented after I washed my hair with these. I don’t know if they protected my colour, but my hair felt soft and moisturized after using these. Would I repurchase? Yes.

September

September Empties

September Empties

I did a lot travelling back and forth between Vancouver and Toronto in September for interviews, so I got through a ton of travel sized products.

Makeup Empties

Makeup and perfume empties

Benefit They’re Real Mascara – HG mascara. I used this for all my interviews because I would put it on at 7am and coming home at 11pm after a day of running around to multiple interviews and dinners with firms my lashes looked the same as they did that morning, with no smudges. This basically wears like a waterproof mascara without having the hassle of actually being waterproof when it comes to removing.  Would I repurchase? Yes.

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara – This mascara gives lashes a really clean, defined look that lengthens and volumizes in a natural way. I love that it’s made with natural ingredients, but only wish it gave more volume. It’s a great daytime mascara though. Would I repurchase? Yes, I’ve already bought and cracked open a full size.

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat – What I learned from these samples was that I am most definitely not a No 1 or No 2. They worked well as a highlight, but gave me reverse racoon eyes. Would I repurchase? Yes if I get colour matched correctly one day.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup – I really liked the medium coverage and slightly dewy finish of this, it did great job of covering up my uneven skintone but still looking very natural. Would I repurchase? Yes, I’ve already bought a full size.

Givenchy Lovely Prism – This was a gift. It smells pretty similar to DKNY’s Be Delicious, which I also own and love, so I would use this so I didn’t use up my bottle of Be Delicious haha. Would I repurchase? No.

Skincare Empties

Skincare Empties

Biore Pore Refining Black Strips – I already reviewed this above. Would I repurchase? No.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Original Formula Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel – I definitely noticed my face looked a bit brighter and more glowy after using this, and my skin felt really soft and smooth, but the thought of using a chemical peel scares me a bit so I gave the box to my mom. My mom loves these though and insist they make her skin look amazing. Would I repurchase? No.

Garnier Skin Renew Dark Spot Treatment Mask – Masks are always fun to use, but I didn’t notice my dark spots looking any lighter after using this mask. Would I repurchase? No.

ELF Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths – These were effective for taking off makeup, but I found that I would get one or two little pimples after nights where I didn’t wash my face after using these. Boo! Would I repurchase? No.

Skincare Empties

Skincare Empties

B Kamins Nia Stem Moisturizer – This was a lightweight moisturizer I used at night. It was nice but nothing special. Would I repurchase? No.

Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub – I really liked this scrub! I loved that its made with organic natural ingredients, and the jojoba beads felt really smooth and not at all harsh or abrasive on my skin. I like to think that the charcoal drew out impurities as well while I exfoliated. The only thing was that the scent wasn’t the best, it smelled very natural and yeasty. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer – Another light moisturizer I used at night. Hydrating, but nothing amazing. Would I repurchase? No.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector – I used these religiously morning and night and at the end, which was equivalent to half a bottle I saw some of my dark spots noticeably lighter, although still there. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer – I like how this has a very high SPF, which is great for summer when I’m an a rush and don’t want to put on a layer of moisturizer, and then another layer of sunscreen on top. On it’s own it left my face a bit greasy looking though. Would I repurchase? No.

Bath and Body Empties

Bath and Body Empties

Nivea Extra Nourishing Body Milk – I liked the light texture of this, which sank in quickly and kept my skin feeling soft all day, and made my hands feel moisturized. The scent was a bit strong for me. Would I repurchase? No.

St. Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Body Moisturizer in Medium Dark – I got this in a prize package from Kathy of Take Her Word. It was my first time using a product from St. Tropez and I loved it! I was a little nervous to use it at first because it was labelled for medium to dark skin and I’m pretty light, but the lotion is white and really does give a slow gradual tan after using it for a week. The scent is super luxe and made my skin smell so good without any hint of fake tanner smell, and the lotion made my skin super soft. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Biotherm Biomains Age Delaying Hand & Nail Treatment – I love how even after washing my hands, my skin still feels moisturized and not at all like I washed off all the lotion the way some other hand creams do. The scent is light and pleasant. Would I repurchase? Maybe.

A Scent by Issey Miyake Shower Gel and Lotion – I did not like the scent at all of this sample set. It smells so strong and grandma like. Luckily the bottles were small and I used them up pretty quick. Would I repurchase? No.

Tree Hut Shea Body Butter in Tropical Mango – THIS. So good. I love how the product is made with organic ingredients, and I swear this body butter smelled good enough to eat, like a mango smoothie. I loved putting this on, the scent was so delicious and made it an absolute treat to apply. Would I repurchase? Yes, I’d buy tubs and tubs but they aren’t carried in Canada! :'(

Haircare empties

Haircare empties

Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Shampoo and Conditioner – I got a bunch of these samples and even though I’m not blonde, shampoo is shampoo to me so I used them. I can’t comment on how blonde this made my tresses, but I can say this smelled great! Like sweet lemonade. It lathered really well and the conditioner made my hair smooth. Would I repurchase? No.

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Colour Protecting Shampoo and Conditioner – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? Yes.

L’Oreal Power Moisture Shampoo, Conditioner, and Moisture Infusion Mask – Packets of these were being handed out like candy on the streets during the Toronto Film Festival so I took a few. At the time my hair was long, thick, and horribly dry and I really did notice a difference after using these, especially the moisture infusion mask. The mask felt like it penetrated really deeply into my hair and kept my hair soft even after shampooing again. It smells lovely as well. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Living Proof Prime Style Extender – I really don’t know if this did anything. In hindsight, I should have curled my hair or something to test out if it really did do anything to extend the life of my hair style, but I didn’t, so I don’t think I can say if this works. I liked that after putting it in I couldn’t tell any difference though. It didn’t feel like it added any extra weight or crunchiness to my hair – if anything, it made my hair smoother after blowdrying. Would I repurchase? Maybe.

October

October Empties

October Empties

October saw me flying out to Toronto for offer parties, and then the craziness of trying to catch up for my midterms after missing the majority of classes. Not fun.

Makeup

Makeup

Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray – This stuff is a lifesaver on days you know you’ll be out all day and need to look good. A couple of sprays after putting on makeup in the morning and my makeup stays put and keeps me shine free all day. So good. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Tarte Park Avenue Princess Mineral Powder Bronzer – I really liked this bronzer, it didn’t work for contouring but gave a really natural bronze glow to my cheeks. Would I repurchase? Yes, I already bought it but in a darker shade.

Ole Henriksen Perfect Truth CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – This CC cream smells just like the familiar orange creamsicle scent of the other products in the “Truth” line of products. I used this over my Truth Creme and it glided on super smoothly, and gave light coverage that left my skin tone evened out and gave me a dewy finish without leaving me oily. Would I repurchase? Maybe.

Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo – I was surprised how much I liked this little pod of foundation! It’s super full coverage and long lasting, to the point where it was little too much coverage. Once I sheered it out a bit by using it with a wringed out beauty blender it was perfect though, giving me medium coverage and a long lasting natural finish. On it’s own I’d say this would work as a concealer as well since it’s so pigmented. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Skincare

Skincare

Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus – Using this after using Clinique’s Clinical Dark Spot Treatment I think I saw continued gradual lightening of my dark spots, but my skin probably doesn’t need the other anti-aging/age-reversing benefits. Would I repurchase? No.

Olay Fresh Effects Shine, Shine Go Away Shine Minimizing Cleanser – This cleanser has the strangest silvery colour coming out of the tube. It smells really fresh, but I don’t think it really keeps my skin from getting oily. Would I repurchase? No.

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser – This has a really light barely there fragrance and makes my face feel clean without being stripped of moisture. I have a full size bottle that I keep at my boyfriend’s house that he uses as well. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Sephora Age Defy Moisture Cream SPF 15 – I only used this because I like travelling with as little as possible, which means a moisturizer with SPF instead of bringing both a day cream and sunscreen. I don’t need anti-aging stuff though, and I think this was too heavily perfumed. Would I repurchase? No.

Delon 100% Pure Cotton Rounds – I’ve gone through so many packs of these from Costco and love them. They’re super soft and don’t leave any lint, and there’s one side that has a sort of mesh surface that gently exfoliates. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Bath and body

Bath and body

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Energizing Bath and Shower Gel – Green Tea is one of my favourite perfumes, so I loved this body wash. It’s a such a great energizing scent in the morning. This gel did a good job of lathering up, and left me feeling squeaky clean. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Bask Heavenly Silk Daily Skin Nourishing Moisturizer Anti-Aging & Firming Lotion – I got this from a Beauty Box 5. I’d never heard of the brand before and think it’s meant for after tanning. It was nice enough to use and left my skin feeling hydrated and supple. The scent wasn’t my favourite though, it was a bit too strong for me. It smelled a bit like pear and mulled wine. Would I repurchase? No.

Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Body Lotion – This lotion quickly sank in and hydrated my skin, and I loved the citrusy green tea scent but I think there are other moisturizers that do an equally good job for a lower price. Would I repurchase? No.

Haircare

Haircare

KMS California Free Shape Quick Blow Dry – I didn’t find that this sped up my hair blow dry. I have really thick porous hair that just loves to retain water though, so maybe it would be better for someone with fine hair. Would I repurchase? No.

Peter Thomas Roth Mega Rich Shampoo and Conditioner – I loved these! They made my hair super soft and silky, and they smelled great. Would I repurchase? No.

White Tea Aloe Shampoo and Conditioner – These did nothing for my hair. Would I repurchase? No.

Haircare

Haircare

Pantene Expert Collection Age Defy Shampoo and Rejuvenating Hydration Mask – My hair felt really soft and silky after using these. Would I repurchase? Yes.

John Freida Touchably Full Shampoo and Conditioner – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.

Bumble and bumble Thickening Shampoo – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Bumble and bumble Surf Foam Wash Shampoo and Cream Rinse Conditioner – I felt like together these left my hair and scalp feeling clean, which gave my roots extra lift. Plus smell great. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Agave Healing Oil Treatment – This stuff is so great! I used it, and my sister commented later that day that my hair “looked soft” that day. It smells super good and a little goes a long way for dry damaged hair. Would I repurchase? Yes.

November

November Empties

November Empties

November was back to regular student life for me.  I had the worst case of senioritis this term. I’m so glad to be done school now!

Makeup and perfume

Makeup and perfume

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb – I know a lot of girls love this but it’s too overwhelmingly sweet for me. Very floral, sweet, and feminine. My boyfriend liked it though. Would I repurchase? No.

Billionaire Boyfriend  – The scent itself was nice, although not enough to purchase, but the name is just awful. I imagine gold diggers everywhere dousing themselves in this like warpaint. Would I repurchase? No.

Prada Candy – This is such a fun perfume, that smells just like a warm, sweet candyshop. It’s a bit too sweet for me to wear everyday, but good for specific moods. Would I repurchase? No.

Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia – I love the scent of tuberose, and this perfume captures the scent beautifully. It’s super rich and luxe but a bit too overpowering for everyday use. Would I repurchase? No.

Juicy Couture Couture La La – This is a fruity floral musk that smells a bit cheap to me, like a blend from Bath and Body Works. Not a fan. Would I repurchase? No.

Dior Hydra Life BB Eye Cream – This product is genious! Serious game changer here. I’m too pressed for time most mornings to use concealer under my eye, but I always put on eye cream (gotta keep myself looking forever 21). This saves so much time and ensures there are no harsh lines because it’s not as pigmented as a normal concealer. Love love love this. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? Yes, HG status.

Haircare

Haircare

Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.

John Frieda Touchably Full Shampoo and Conditioner – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.

HSI Professional Argan Oil – These little packets were only good for one use each but made my hair so touchably soft and shiny and smelled heavenly. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Skincare

Skincare

Love & Beauty Hydrating Makeup Removing Wipes – These did a good job of cutting through makeup and cleansing my face, and didn’t make me break out when I didn’t rinse afterwards. They’re super cheap from Forever 21 too! Would I repurchase? Yes.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – I was super sick and had dry cracked skin around my nose from blowing it so much, and thought this would hydrate and calm it down but it stung like a mother! On the rest of my face it was fine, but where I was in need of ultra repair this failed to deliver. Would I repurchase? No.

L’Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector – This smoothed and moisturized my skin making it feel velvety, but it was a little too heavily perfumed for my liking. The texture was really light and absorbed quickly though, and I believe I read that the active ingredient in this is the same as in Lancome’s Visionnaire serum, which is like 5x the price but it makes sense since Lancome is owned by L’Oreal. Would I repurchase? Maybe.

Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.

Biotherm Blue Therapy Serum-in-Oil Night – I really liked this serum. It feels like a jelly and made my skin so silky after putting it on, and didn’t irritate my cracked dry skin. It feels super luxurious on, and my face was hydrated and soft in the morning. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Everyday Beauty Makeup Remover Pads – I got these in a Beauty Box 5 and really liked this product. I’d never heard of a dry makeup remover pad before, but once I used it I was hooked. It’s like a giant cotton square infused with argan oil to cleanse and moisturize, that’s activated when you put water on it. It feels so silky and pillowy soft, and I loved that I didn’t have to rinse or put on moisturizer after. The fact that they are dry in the packaging too is great because with wet remover wipes I always have to be so careful to seal the package so they don’t dry out. I really liked these and will be looking to buy them in the future. Would I repurchase? Yes.

My Scheming Camellia Japonica Hydrating Mask – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? Yes.

L’Occitane Brightening Cleansing Foam – I got this in a GWP and really liked the foam. It smells fresh and lovely, and left my face feeling clean and soft after using it. I’m not sure how much it did to brighten though, and it wasn’t the best for taking off makeup since it was such a light foam. Would I repurchase? No.

Bath and body

Bath and body

L’Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream – This stuff is the best. HG hand cream for sure. Nothing compares to the thick luxe feeling of this cream that does wonders when my hands are super dry. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Western Family Bodyzone Nail Polish Remover – This stuff does the trick but is nothing special. Would I repurchase? No.

Bath and Body Works Night Blooming Jasmine Shower Gel – I love the smell of jasmine, but I find that BBW shower gels are really dry out my skin, although they do lather well. Would I repurchase? No.

CO Bigelow Shower Gel – The lavender scent of this shower gel as really calming and soothing, and it lathered well but I didn’t like how the texture was so runny – I felt like I needed to use a lot more than I would with other shower gels. Would I repurchase? No.

Elements Body Essentials Avocado and Hemp Body Lotion in Blackberry & Melon – YUM this lotion smells heavenly, like it’s bursting with fruit. My skin soaked this up quickly, and it left it feeling soft and supple without feeling greasy. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Jergens Ultra Care Body Lotion – I like that this lotion has such a light texture yet keeps my skin feeling moisturized all day. Would I repurchase? No.

December

December Empties

December Empties

December was awful! I only had three finals but I had an exam up until the very last day so I was a stressball for weeks.

Makeup Empties

Makeup Empties

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin – How did I survive without UDPP until I found this? HG status for sure. Eyeshadow lasts all day without creasing, and Sin is such a gorgeous colour on its own. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream – I liked the smell of this going on, it’s got a really lovely fresh floral scent that’s very energizing in the morning. The BB cream itself gave light coverage and left me looking dewy, although a bit oily by tht end of the day. Would I repurchase? No.

Ojon Restorative Lash Treatment and Mascara Duo – I love how this came with lash treatment on one end, and mascara on the other. Most days I’m too lazy to use a lash primer, but having the two together made it so convenient to use. Together they did a great job lengthening and volumizing my lashes pretty dramatically with no flaking or smudging. This was probably one of the best mascaras I’ve ever used. Would I repurchase? Yes.

NYC Kohl Brow Liner Pencil in Sable – Nothing to complain about. This pencil was less than $2 and was decently pigmented and stayed put all day. My only gripe is that the pencil looked super long, but in actuality didn’t have “lead” (what do you call the coloured center part on these things?) in bottom 3 inches. I kept sharpening, thinking there had to be more. Nope. But it’s so cheap, I can get over it. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super Charged Foundation – This was such a dinky sample, all I could do was see if the colour matched. The texture feels really light and weightless, but I couldn’t tell you anymore than than as it was only enough to cover my chin. Would I repurchase? No.

L’Oreal Miracle Lift Blur – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.

21 Drops 01 Invigorate  – This was a godsend during finals season. I used this all the time when I was getting tired or stressed out from studying. A dab on my wrists and on my temples and a few deep breaths honestly made me feel so much more invigorated and ready to tackle my notes again. Would I repurchase? Yes.

TokyoMilk Dark No. 62 – I thought I would really like this scent, but on me it smelled like sticky vanilla coke. Would I repurchase? No.

Skincare Empties

Skincare Empties

Neutrogena Pore Refining Cleanser – I got this a perk from Klout to review. I don’t have particularly big pores so I can’t comment on that aspect, but I felt like this cleanser left my face clean and refreshed feeling. The scent was way too strong for me though, it was really sweet and felt like it got into my nose and mouth when I used it. Would I repurchase? No.

Bath and Body Works Rainkissed Leaves Volumizing Shampoo – This smells great and lathers well, but I don’t think it did much to volumize my hair. Would I repurchase? No.

Kate Somerville Exfolikate – Where has this product been all my life?! I have KP and so I exfoliate my face religiously to keep it smooth with as few dry bumps as possible and this exfoliator did wonders to soften and smoothen my face. I’ve got a few more samples and then I think I’ll be buying a full size. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial – I was really sick for a while with awful dry skin and this did wonders to immediately soothe and hydrate when I put it on, and gave me the softest skin when I woke up. I don’t know if I like the smell or not, it really does smell like sweet yoghurt, which nice but a little stinky at the same time. My face normally leans towards the combination normal/oily type though, so I don’t think this is a necessity for me. Would I repurchase? No.

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel Creme – This worked really well when my face was dry and flaky in the winter. I really liked the light gel creme texture that felt super silky going on my skin. It immediately quenched my skin and felt cooling and soothing. Most of the time I don’t think my skin would need this much hydration however. Would I repurchase? No.

Shiseido Ibuki Moisturizer – This had a nice light milky texture and consistency, and it was nice to put on although was too heavily grandma perfumed for my liking. Not sure what the hype is about. It moisturized my skin but it didn’t feel like anything special. Would I repurchase? No.

Garnier Skin Renew Dark Spot Treatment Mask – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.

January

January Empties

All of my January empties!

January was pretty busy for me because I was busy prepping for a case comp, and then spent 5 days in Regina for the competition, and then jetted off to Vegas immediately afterwards. I managed to use up a few full sized items though, which I’m pretty proud of!

Makeup empties

Makeup, perfume, and nail empties

Boscia BB Cream – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Julep Acetone Free Conditioning Nail Polish Remover – This was definitely a more luxe feeling nail polish remover than drugstore removers, and I like that it’s acetone free which is less damaging on my nails. It leaves my nails coated with some sort of oil that does feel quite hydrating, although I usually wash my hands pretty quickly after taking off nail polish so I can’t say if it does much. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Makeup Academy Mascara in Shade 1 (Clear) – Well, it used to be clear. I’ve been using this as a brow gel and for 1 pound (about $1.75) it was great. If you’re on a budget I’d really recommend it, it grooms brows and doesn’t leave them looking crunchy. I’m throwing it out though because it lacks hold and because it just looks gross now that my brow powder has slowly made it inside the tube. Plus the bottom bit of clear gel has turned yellow – definite sign it needs to go. Would I repurchase? No.

Hanae Mori – Yum, this was a warm fruity floral with a hint of woodsiness. I really liked this scent, although not enough to repurchase. Would I repurchase? No.

Fresh Sugar – This scent is divine. It’s a really fresh sugary lemony spritz of sunshine that has great staying power and is so energizing to smell when putting on initially and throughout the day. I will definitely be buying a bottle of this sometime in the near future. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Skincare Empties

Skincare Empties

Lancome DreamTone – I really liked the light gel creme texture of this, that left my skin feeling velvety soft. It wasn’t enough to see any differences, but it did feel very luxurious putting it on. Would I repurchase? No.

Korres Grek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion in Combinaion/Oily – I have such a love/hate relationship with this toner. On the one hand, it does a great job of removing last traces of makeup, keeping pimples at bay, and leaving my skin feeling refreshed, but on the other the smell is so overwhelmingly strong of alcohol that I want to gag half the time. It’s the worst on days I’m hungover. What’s a girl to do? Would I repurchase? Maybe.

Kiehls Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream – I can’t comment on the wrinkle reducing aspect as I have none, but the texture was light and silky and was fast absorbing, and didn’t irritate my eyes. Would I repurchase? No.

Sephora Soft Touch Cotton Pads – These were really great non-shedding cotton pads. I only bought this because there were some samples I really wanted to try out at the time on the Sephora website (I’m rouge so free shipping on all orders), but I ended up liking these more than I thought I would. They’re very soft and pillowy, but a little steeply priced for what they are. Would I repurchase? No.

Bath and Body Empties

Bath and Body Empties

Aveeno Smoothing Body Wash in Rice + Pomegranate – This was a great body scrub and wash in one. With my loofah I felt cleansed and at same time soft and moisturized after using. It’s not overly abrasive, and it smells lovely. Would I repurchase? Yes.

Aveda All Sensitive Moisturizer – This was a nice unscented moisturizer that sank in quickly, but nothing special. Would I repurchase? No.

AquaMer Institute Swiss Body Lotion – Awful. I felt dry quickly afterwards and it did nothing for my hands. Would I repurchase? No.

Haircare Empties

Haircare Empties

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Olive Oil Shampoo – I loved using this shampoo, it smelled great and felt super luxe, and made my hair soft and shiny. Alas, it’s pretty dang expensive. Would I repurchase? Yes.

John Freida Precision Foam Hair Colour – This did nothing for my white hairs! I’ve been slowly getting a few more white hairs each year since I was a kid so I colour my hair every three or four months, but this did nothing for them even after leaving the dye on for a few extra minutes. It coloured the rest of my hair just fine, but my white hairs were barely tinted brown. My mom used a box too and said the same thing about her white hairs. I guess if you don’t have any greys to cover this is a great product for colouring (I really like the foam that doesn’t drip and is easy to control) but if you do, I wouldn’t look at this product twice. I’ve got another box that I don’t know what to do with now… Would I repurchase? No.

Phyto Express Conditioner – I liked this, it made my hair feel so silky and smooth afterwards but there are plenty of other conditioners that do the same at a lower price point.  Would I repurchase? No.

Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Repair Shampoo and Conditioner – Reviewed above. Would I repurchase? No.

 

…Whew! If you got through all of that, mega props to you. Now that I’m done school I’m going to try to get back into blogging. I’m going to start travelling through Asia in a month or so, so look forward to hearing about my travel adventures! I also am really excited to share something that I’ve been working on for the last six months or so, and will be posting about that soon as well.

Thanks a ton for reading! Let me know if you’ve tried anything in my post and if your opinion was any different from mine!

Betty

BA Star Glue Shadow Base and Holo Silver Glitter Review & Nail Art

Last week ago BA Star was generous enough to send me some samples to review, so I wanted to share them with you all today! BA Star specializes in dance/cheer makeup, and provided me with their Holo Silver Glitter and Glue Shadow Base to try out.

In packaging

The Holo Silver Glitter ($8.75 for .5 oz) and Shadow Glue Base ($8.75 for 1.5 oz) in the packaging

A look at the glitter and glue out of the plastic packaging

A look at the glitter and glue out of the plastic packaging

The holo silver glitter comes in a little pot

The holo silver glitter comes in a little pot . The weather in Vancouver was overcast and gross for a while so I couldn’t capture all the intense rainbow holo effect but you can kind of make it out in this picture!

I know this is a blurry pic.. but ooooh just look at that holo sparkily goodness!

I know this is a blurry pic.. but ooooh just look at that holo sparkily goodness!

The Glue Shadow Base comes in a plastic containerwith a sponge tip applicator.

The Glue Shadow Base comes in a plastic container with a sponge tip applicator

I tested out the glue and glitter on my hand - the glitter sticks really well to the glue! After about an hour of running errands I didn't notice any of the design rubbing off.

I tested out the glue and glitter on my hand – the glitter sticks really well to the glue! After about an hour of running errands I didn’t notice any of the design rubbing off.

I also tried doing some nail art with the holo glitter as an accent nail. I used a silver polish and while it was wet dipped my nail into the pot and rolled it around. I gently patted the glitter into place and tapped my finger to shake off the excess, then topped it with a thick coat of topcoat. The topcoat took away from the ultra-holo effect, but it still sparkled in the sunlight!

I also tried doing some nail art with the holo glitter as an accent nail. I used a silver polish and while it was wet dipped my nail into the pot and rolled it around. I gently patted the glitter into place and tapped my finger to shake off the excess, then topped it with a thick coat of topcoat. The topcoat took away from the ultra-holo effect, but it still sparkled in the sunlight!

Another look at my nails with BA Star's Silver Holo Glitter

Another look at my nails with BA Star’s Silver Holo Glitter

Overall I really liked the glitter and glue from BA Star. The only issue is that I find loose glitters to be insanely messy – once you touch it it’s like honey and just seems to get stuck everywhere! I can see how these products would be great for cheerleaders/dancers though because oh my goodness – they are so sparkily! For the rest of us, I think their glitters would be a ton of fun for special occaisions or a night out, and it worked really well for doing nail art.

If you’re interested in buying BA Star’s products, they’ve offered my readers a code for 50% off if you use the code “BBGLITZ” at their website http://bastar.com

NOTD: Gold Flecked Turquoise Water Spotted Nails & Nail Art Tutorial

It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday… Actually now that I’m out of school I can barely keep track of the days of the week anymore, but I knew it was Friday because my spidey senses were tingling and signalling it was time for a Nail Friday post.

NOTD: Waterspotted nails!

I’ve been seeing water spotted manis popping up everywhere all over Pinterest/Tumblr/all those other sources of pretty pictures lately and have been loving the look, so I decided to try it out for myself the other day. It’s pretty similar to water marbling, except you only drop one colour, and, there’s a secret ingredient: perfume (or hairspray, or even nail polish remover, which I’ve read work well too).

I thought I’d document my attempt to water spotted nails, and create a tutorial for anyone wanting to try it out. It was my first time trying this (I’ve never actually even tried water marbling yet) but I think the results turned out pretty decent! So if I can do it, so can you :p

Julep Felcity, Revlon Blackest Black, and Love & Beauty unnamed polish.

Julep Felcity, Revlon Blackest Black, and Love & Beauty unnamed polish.

Ok, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Turquoise nail polish (or a greenish blue/mint colour). I used a pretty dark turquoise I got in a swap and have been wanting to try out, but in hindsight I think it would look better if you used a brighter and lighter minty colour because the black marbling makes the colour look darker. I think Julep’s Denver or China Glaze For Audrey would look great for this.
  • Black nail polish. I used Revlon’s Blackest Black. I’d say use a cheapy drugstore polish, especially if you’ve never tried this before because you’ll probably waste a ton trying to get the hang of dropping the polish into the water. I think I went through a quarter of the bottle doing this mani lol.
  • Gold nail polish. I used Julep’s Felicity. Totally optional, but I think it looks prettier with bits of gold on top.
  • Vaseline or tape. Unless you want to spend forever and a day cleaning up around your nails.
  • Tissues
  • Q-tips
  • Toothpicks
  • A bowl or container for holding water. I’d suggest something you can just throw out afterwards like a plastic yoghurt container. Or if you’re Asian like me, a tofu container.

Got everything? Ok, here goes:

Step 1: Base coat! Make sure to use this especially if you're using a dark polish that might stain.

Step 1: Base coat! Make sure to use this especially if you’re using a dark polish that might stain.

Step 2: Paint your nails with a thin coat of turquoise blue polish. I'm using a nameless polish from Love & Beauty.

Step 2: Paint your nails with a thin coat of turquoise blue polish. I’m using a nameless polish from Love & Beauty.

Step 3: Optional, but do a second (or even third) coat until the polish is opaque.

Step 3: Optional, but do a second (or even third) coat until the polish is opaque.

Step 4: Use a small brush or a q-tip to paint a layer of Vaseline around your nail. I went up to the first knuckle. This step is essential! Don't forget to cover the pads of your fingers too. You could use tape as well.

Step 4: Use a small brush or a q-tip to paint a layer of Vaseline around your nail so the polish won’t stick to your fingers. I went up to the first knuckle. This step is essential! Don’t forget to cover the pads of your fingers too. You could use tape as well.

Step 5: Fill a bowl or container of some sort with cold water and drop your black polish into it. Don't make the drop too big or it'll be too heavy and sink to the bottom.

Step 5: Fill a bowl or container of some sort with cold water and drop your black polish into it – it’ll start spreading right away. Don’t make the drop too big or it’ll be too heavy and sink to the bottom.

Step 6: Keep adding drops of black polish to the center of your original drop as it spreads. You'll need probably around 5-6 drops but just eyeball it and keep dropping until your nail polish spreads out to a good size.

Step 6: Keep adding drops of black polish to the center of your original drop as it spreads. You’ll need probably around 5-6 drops but just eyeball it and keep dropping until your nail polish spreads out to a good size.

This took me forever to get just right! If the polish doesn’t spread out, or goes wonky, just use a toothpick to swirl up the polish in the water, pull it out, and try again. It might be because your container isn’t clean too. Try rinsing it out and adding fresh water. I don’t know why but cold water seems to work better.

Step 7: Spray perfume onto your polish. The alcohol will create holes in the layer of polish. The closer you spray it from, the bigger the holes will be.

Step 7: Spray perfume onto your polish. The alcohol will create holes in the layer of polish. The closer you spray it from, the bigger the holes will be. Spray it just once and wait for it to finish moving before deciding to spray again if needed.

This was my favourite part. It felt like spraying magic that suddenly gave life to my little puddle of black polish. Again if it turns out ugly and the holes are too big just use your toothpick to swirl it all up and fish it out.

Step 8: The fun part! Eyeball the holes in the layer of polish and decide what would look best on your nails.  Most tutorials recommend doing your nails one by one but I am lazy and just strategically placed my nails parallel to the surface where I thought the gaps looked best and dunked them all at once. Your call though. When your nails are in the water use a toothpick to swirl up the extra on top and pull it out. Use a tissue to wipe up around your nails where you have the Vaseline - it should come right off. Alternatively, pull off the tape at this point if you used tape (duh).

Step 8: The fun part! Eyeball the holes in the layer of polish and decide what would look best on your nails. Most tutorials recommend doing your nails one by one but I am lazy and just strategically placed my nails parallel to the surface where I thought the gaps looked best and dunked them all at once. Your call though. When your nails are in the water use a toothpick to swirl up the extra on top and pull it out before taking your nails out of the water so it won’t all cling to you. Use a tissue to wipe up around your nails where you have the Vaseline – it should come right off. Alternatively, pull off the tape at this point if you used tape (duh).

Step 9: The not so fun part. Use a q-tip or brush dipped in nail polish remover to clean up whatever you couldn't tissue off.

Step 9: The not so fun part. Use a q-tip or brush dipped in nail polish remover to clean up whatever you couldn’t tissue off.

Step 10: Let the water spotted layer of polish dry and TADA! You could stop here if you wanted and skip straight to putting on topcoat.

Step 10: Let the water spotted layer of polish dry and TADA! You could stop here if you wanted and skip straight to putting on topcoat.

Step 11: Drop a few drops of gold nail polish onto a piece of paper and use a toothpick (or if you're fancy and have a fine detail brush use that) to dab on little patches of gold in random places. I think it looks best when the sizes of the gold flecks are really different and not so uniform. They look best placed on really black areas when you leave a millimeter or so outline.

Step 11: Drop a few drops of gold nail polish onto a piece of paper and use a toothpick (or if you’re fancy and have a fine detail brush use that) to dab on little patches of gold in random places. I think it looks best when the sizes of the gold flecks are really different and not so uniform. They look best placed on really black areas when you leave a millimeter or so outline.

Step 12: Wait for your nails to dry for a bit and then slather on some topcoat. I use Seche Vite.

Step 12: Wait for your nails to dry for a bit and then slather on some topcoat. I use Seche Vite.

Et voila! Gold flecked turquoise water spotted nails.

…et voila! Gold flecked turquoise water spotted nails.

Closer

A look at then nails on my other hand.

Another shot

Another look at my (better looking) hand

Hope this helps out anyone wanting to try out waterspotting! Let me know if you try it out and how it goes.

Wantable May 2013 Makeup Box Unboxing and Review!

So my mailman came just now and dropped off my eagerly awaited Wantable box!  A few months ago Wantable announced they were going to start scaling up their service and offering their subscription boxes to Canadians, having previously only been shipping boxes within the US. The best part: the first 1000 to sign up would get theirs free! So of course I rushed to sign up.

Right now there are a million and one subscription boxes on the market I feel like, but I think Wantable’s done a great job of differentiating themselves by offering something different: a box of full sized products (not samples!) that are completely catered to your tastes. They offer a jewelry box and a makeup box and being indecisive, I went for both (ha). I haven’t gotten my jewelry box yet (and honestly am kinda nervous to get it based on the boxes I’ve seen so far), but here’s my unboxing of my makeup box!

When you sign up you go through a pretty comprehensive quiz of the types of products you love, like, and dislike, and more questions on the specific colours/types of products that you like/dislike. The only thing I disliked was blush, and based on my quiz, I think they did a pretty good job at curating my box! Ok, without further ado, here’s a whackload of pictures taken while I unboxed my makeup box:

The box

The box. It’s pretty cute looking. The cardboard is coated, which gives it some sheen and makes it look a little classier. It’s a pretty good size too – I think this would fit into an apartment mailbox for all of you condo dwellers.

A quick look inside after opening the lid...

A quick look inside after opening the lid…

Product info cards aside, here's what the inside of the box looks like. Black crinkle paper and and black tissue wrapped around the products

Product info cards aside, here’s what the inside of the box looks like. Black crinkle paper and and black tissue wrapped around the products.

A quick look at what i got! Besame Sweetheart Balm, Face Highlighter, Face Mascara, and Mia BelleZZa Eye Crayon. The products are safely packaged in a layer of bubble wrap under the tissue paper

A quick look at everything inside the black tissue paper! Besame Sweetheart Balm, FACE Highlighter, FACE Mascara, and MiA BelleZZa Eye Crayon. The products are safely packaged in a layer of bubble wrap under the tissue paper.

Besame Sweetheart Balm in Tangerine ($18)

Besame Sweetheart Balm in Tangerine ($18)

From the product sheet: “My Sweetheart Balm is a luminous lip moisturizing balm with a hint of colour that gives you an elegant, long lasting finish. I carefully crafted a healthy formula that deeply moisturizes and conditions, while fortifying with antioxidant vitamins C and E. It is highly emollient and protective as it drenches the lips with exceptional comfort and hydration in sheer, shiny pops of colour.”

This is my favourite from everything I received. The packaging is super super cute and looks vintagey and gorgeous. The lipbalm itself is great too, it looks like a gloss applied, but is thinner and completely unsticky. It’s super moisturizing, and it adds a bit of sheer colour and shine. The scent is great too – oranges are my favourite fruit.

FACE Stockholm Cream Highlighter in Dignity ($25)

FACE Stockholm Cream Highlighter in Dignity ($25)

From FACE: “Wear alone, over foundation or to add a lightness to tired eyes and under circles.”

I’m really happy to be receiving this too! I’ve been looking for a highlighter, so this is great to receive. I think I listed highlighter as a “love” on my quiz. I’ve never heard of this brand, but I swatched it (pics at end) and it’s super creamy and shimmery.

FACE Stockholm Volumizing Mascara in Black ($24)

FACE Stockholm Volumizing Mascara in Black ($24)

From FACE: “Our classic formula – create captivating eyes with just one coat.”

Mascara is my favourite beauty product, so I’m always happy to get another. I’ve got a million tubes to get through though, so I don’t want to open this one up and try it out.

MiA BelleZZa Summer Love Eye Crayon in Argento ($17.99)

MiA BelleZZa Summer Love Eye Crayon in Argento ($17.99)

From MiA BelleZZa: “Beautiful shadow crayons for easy application of rich creamy colour in a single sweep. With skin soothing Squalene, vitamins C & E your lids will be moisturized while providing antioxidant protection.”

Hm, not so happy to be receiving this. I didn’t “love” eyeshadow on my quiz, and asked for a neutral shimmer if I was to get an eyeshadow. I guess pink can be seen as neutral. I tried it out though and it was great being applied – super smooth and creamy with no tugging, but after only 10 minutes it settled into the creases of my eyelids. Hopefully it’ll be better with primer. By the way – not to be nitpicky, but I lol’d at the name of this brand. I’ve never heard of it before, but the name reminds me of the way I used to type back when I was 12 and just starting using MSN Messenger (“wUtz uP?!”).

Frownies Eye Gels ($0)

Frownies Eye Gels ($0)

Last, but not.. actually, yes, least,

From Frownies: “Anti-wrinkle treatment for puffy bags under the eyes contains powerful anti-oxidants that help protect your skin. With one 30 minute anti-aging treatment 100% of women testing Frownies eye gels saw a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and dark circles. The weight of the anti-wrinkle patch smooths the under eye area and protects the integrity of the acid mantle and skin. Frownies Eye Gels promote beauty and provide antioxidants to fight free radical damage. Natural ingredients help improve the appearance of the skin.”

Interesting concept, but I don’t think I’m really in the target demographic for this product. I think these will come in handy come recruiting season in the fall or finals season when my eye bags are panda-esque though.

Swatched: FACE highlighter in Dignity, Besame lipbalm in Tangerine, and MiA BelleZZa eye crayon in Argento

Swatches: FACE highlighter in Dignity, Besame lipbalm in Tangerine, and MiA BelleZZa eye crayon in Argento

Wantable May 2013 Makeup Box

Wantable May 2013 Makeup Box

Overall I’m pleased with this box. The total retail value of the box was $85. The subscription costs $36, plus around $9 for shipping, taxes, and duties. With the first box free I’ll be getting the $36 credited back. For what I paid, it was definitely worth it, but going forward I’m not sure if it’s worth it. $45 is quite a bit to be hiking out for mystery products, but the customization aspect is great. I think to get a great box though you’d need to be very very picky in exactly what you wanted and didn’t want to receive. In hindsight, I think I would have been happier with my box if I’d listed exactly what I wanted, rather than listing that I liked almost everything.

I’m a little upset that I only received 4 items however (I’m not going to count the Frownies sample, since even on the itemized invoice it lists the value at $0) – I’ve seen a lot of lucky ladies get 6 full sized products. But again, for what I’ve paid I really can’t complain. The customized aspect means that I will definitely use everything I got, and going forward if I did continue to subscribe I’d be a lot more picky with what I loved and disliked to make sure I loved the box I got.

If you’re interested in signing up, Wantable is available in the US and Canada and costs $36 a month for 4-6 full sized products. I’d love it if you signed up by clicking my referral link here.

Did you sign up? Leave me a link to your box if you did!

Julep May 2013: The Full Shebang Upgrade Unboxing

Oooh, I’ve been itching to get this box ever since the maven selection window opened. I loved everything this month, and for the first time had to go for the full upgrade. This month’s theme for Julep was “Set the Stage” and was 1920s flapper themed, probably to coincide with the release of the Great Gatsby (which I really really want to watch!). Well after waiting for what felt like forever, I finally got it in the mail yesterday. Here’s what I got:

Yay! I feel like I've been waiting for this box for ages

Yay! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this box for ages

Opening the lid.. I love the tissue paper they used this month! I don't know if you can see, but it has glitter in it. So pretty!

Opening the lid.. I love the tissue paper they used this month! I don’t know if you can see, but it has glitter in it. So pretty!

Opening up the tissue paper... Love how the bow and crinkle paper matches the tissue paper. This month was 1920s/The Great Gatsby themed

Opening up the tissue paper… Love how the bow and crinkle paper match!

Paris, Zelda, Millie, Gabrielle, Coco, Alice, Clara, Myrtle, and Zora

All of the polishes from this month: Paris, Zelda, Millie, Gabrielle, Coco, Alice, Clara, Myrtle, and Zora

This months box also included Julep's new lip trios and included both sets, Paris and New York

This months box also included Julep’s new mini lip trios and included both sets, Paris and New York.

Julep's Paris Jazz Lip Trio in Charleston (cranberry lip sheer), Sweet Lorraine (bubblegum pink lip sheer), and Lady in Red (matte crimson lip color)

Julep’s Paris Jazz Lip Trio in Charleston (cranberry lip sheer), Sweet Lorraine (bubblegum pink lip sheer), and Lady in Red (matte crimson lip color)

Julep's New York Jazz Lip Trio in Tea for Two (nude shimmer lip sheer), Satin Doll (poppy lip sheer), and  Lady in Red (matte crimson lip color)

Julep’s New York Jazz Lip Trio in Tea for Two (nude shimmer lip sheer), Satin Doll (poppy lip sheer), and Lady in Red (matte crimson lip color)

So many goodies this month! This month also had Julep's Sugar Smooch Lip Scrub. I haven't tried this yet but  it smells amazing! Something like sugar cookies or maple syrup

So many goodies this month! This month also had Julep’s Sugar Smooch Lip Scrub. I haven’t tried this yet but it smells amazing! It’s super sugary and sweet, something like sugar cookies or maple syrup

American Beauty Volumizing Mascara

This month was really makeup heavy, and included Julep’s American Beauty Volumizing Mascara

A close up of the American Beauty Mascara brush.. The mascara has tiny little fibers to lengthen lashes. Super excited to try this out! My short stubby lashes need all the help they can get.

A close up of the American Beauty Mascara brush.. It’s hard to see, but if you click the photo to zoom in you can see the mascara has tiny little fibers to lengthen lashes. Super excited to try this out! My short stubby lashes need all the help they can get.

This month Julep also included floral hair pins as a surprise extra. Super cute! The white and coral are perfect for summer.

This month Julep also included floral hair pins as a surprise extra. Super cute! The white and coral are perfect for summer. They’re surprisingly big too and the antique looking brass makes them look really nice.

Julep's May 2013 Full Upgrade Box

Everything in all it’s glory: Julep’s May 2013 Full Upgrade Box

So many goodies this month! Normally I skip or just go for one of the profile boxes, but I couldn’t resist treating myself and getting everything for May since at the time I was just about to finish writing all of my final exams. A girl’s gotta treat herself right? Anyways I haven’t tried anything out yet, but will post reviews when I do!

If you’re interested in signing up for Julep’s Maven Program, you can use the code PENNY or FREEBOX to get your first box free by clicking here. Lots of love to you if you use my referral code 1668128! :)

April Empties

Yay, another empties post! I know it’s well into May, but I wanted to share all the beauty products I used up in April. I actually love the feeling of using things up because it makes me feel better about my stash haha. Ok, here’s what I used up and I what I thought about everything:

Everything I used up in April!

Everything I used up in April!

Hair care

Hair care

From L to R, top to bottom:

Josie Maran Argan Oil for Hair: I really liked this sample! It added moisture and shine to my hair and it smelled really good. For the price though, I don’t think I would purchase just because there are so many similar serums out there for a way lower price point.

L’Oreal Mythic Oil: These vials liked tiny, but they were so deceptive and actually held quite a bit of product (or maybe I just used less than I thought I would need each time). Anyways each vial lasted for almost two weeks, although I guess I only used them just after showering. I really liked this and will probably buy this eventually.

Kerastase Reflection Bain Chroma Captive: Meh, didn’t see any difference while using this shampoo. I didn’t have the conditioner to go with it either. My hair looked no different, and it was way too perfumed. I wouldn’t buy this.

H2O Plus Bath Acquatics Shampoo: I really liked the smell of this shampoo, it smelled super clean and energizing. I can’t say it did much for my hair, although it definitely left it feeling very clean. I wouldn’t buy this.

L’Occitane Apres Shampooing Conditioner: I didn’t like this conditioner at all because the texture was too watery and drippy, and because it was so thin I felt like I had to use a lot of it to saturate all of my hair. It didn’t do much to help with detangling and despite being so thin I don’t think it gave my hair any extra volume. I wouldn’t repurchase.

John Freida Luxurious Volume Anytime Volume Refresher: Ugh, so terrible. I bought this last summer while doing my internship so I could get away with not shampooing in the mornings I woke up late and needed to rush to the office. This is the first dry shampoo I ever bought, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. At first it’s great, it completely absorbs oil and adds volume, but after using it around halfway through the bottle it just completely stopped working and wouldn’t spray powder anymore, but just whatever aerosol alcohol stuff the powder was suspended in. Plus when it is working it leaves a white film over your hair, which would be ok if you’re blond, but was super obvious in my dark hair. For only half a usable can, I would not recommend this and will not repurchase.

Face washes and exfoliants

Face washes and exfoliants

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser: This was nothing special. No scent, no special powers. I don’t feel like it even left my face feeling particularly clean – there were still traces of makeup left when I used my toner. I wouldn’t purchase.

Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil Face & Eyes: Ahmagah, where has this product been hiding all my life? I absolutely loved this. I was so skeptical that an oil cleanser would leave my skin feeling clean, but somehow it took off all of my makeup (including mascara) and left my skin feeling super clean, but at the same time moisturized and soft. I will definitely be buying this at some point.

Vasanti Brighten Up: I got this sample way back in my first Topbox in I think October.. And despite using it every week only finally finally managed to finish it last month. I really liked it – it’s super gritty and a little painful at times but it leaves my face feeling super soft (no pain no gain right?). I actually already bought the full size (way back in October).

Moisturizers and lotions

Moisturizers and lotions

Eucerin Hyal-Urea Anti-Wrinkle Day and Night Cream: I have no wrinkles, so I’m not sure why I even used this, but anyways I think it would be great for someone who does. The texture is super rich and creamy and was really moisturizing. Not for me though, so I wouldn’t purchase myself.

Curel Moisture Milk: I liked this quite a bit, it was a really light textured, somewhat runny lotion. It went on feeling light and moisturizing. I think it’d be great for dry sensitive skin. Personally I wouldn’t purchase though.

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer: This was ho hum. Nothing special at all. I wouldn’t purchase.

Kiehls Ultra Facial Toner: I reeaaally liked this toner! It’s got a thick consistency and felt really good on my face and could almost be used in lieu of a moisturizer. I think I’ll be buying this eventually.

Face masks

Face masks

Whitening Rehydrating Mask: I bought a huge pack of these on impulse when I went to China last year and have been using them for a while now. I don’t know if they’ve done anything to brighten my face, but they smell really good (kind of like grape jelly) and are definitely very hydrating. The shape is great too. If I see them again the next time I go back I might pick some more up.

Maskeraide Beauty Restore: This was fun to use, as all sheet masks are. I find that Maskeraide’s masks are kind of too big for my face and end up on my hair though, which is annoying. I enjoyed this, but for the price, I wouldn’t repurchase.

Makeup

Makeup

Makeup Forever Pro Finish Foundation: I liked this quite a bit, although this sample was too tiny to get a good feel for the product. I ended up blending the four shades it came with and putting it on with a sponge, which seemed to be a pretty good match for my skin. It felt really light and left my face completely mattified for the day. I would consider purchasing this.

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfecter Combination/Oily Skin: I think this has to be my favourite drugstore BB cream. It’s got great coverage, corrects redness, brightens, and leaves my skin matte all day. Love! I will definitely be buying this, once I used up all my other BB creams.

Physicians Formula Baked Pyramid in Baked Tan: This was my HG bronzer for the longest time, this is actually probably the third one that I’ve used up. The top cover of the compact is terrible though, and always ends up breaking off. But the colour on this is super natural, not orangey, and is completely matte. I really recommend this!

Hand and nail care

Hand and nail care

Julep Rock Star Hand Creme: I really like this, I love how light the consistency is, in comparison to all the super heavy rich feeling hand creams out there. The only thing is that I find the scent way too strong for my liking. I’ve got the full size, but I just like using up all the samples I get before they pile up.

Julep One Step Polish Remover Pad: I’ve been using these for a while now, but I figured I’d include them in my “empties” pile since I threw the LA Fresh ones too. Between the two, the Julep pads definitely win. The size is great and the remover cuts through everything, even glitter polish, although with glitter polish I usually put the pad on my finger and then put my finger in the bag for a minute, and the polish will just slide right off. I keep somehow getting these from mystery boxes, but if I ever do run out I would buy more.

LA Fresh Nail Polish Remover: I liked how thick the pads were for these (they were probably three times the thickness of a Julep pad) but I found they dried out really easily – when I tried to use it the first pad I used dried out before I could get the polish off of all of my nails, so I had to open up the second one. I wouldn’t repurchase.

Body washes and moisturizers

Body washes and moisturizers

Garnier Intensive 7 Days Refreshing Gel Cream: When I saw the ad that came with this, I kind of laughed because it was so cheesy. It said something along the lines of  “gel cream.. it changes everything” or something similarly dramatic. But once I tried it, I have to say that the gel texture actually is really cool. It felt super light and refreshing, and absorbed instantly, which is great for the summertime especially. I think I’ll probably buy this at some point this summer.

Soap and Glory The Righteous Body Butter: I loved this. It was so hydrating and absorbed really quickly, and made my skin feel really velvety. I’ll probably buy this at some point eventually too, although I think it’s better for winter when my skin is more dry.

Sephora Super Supreme Body Butter: I really don’t think this product deserves the name Super Supreme. It was ok, your typical thick richy creamy body butter. It was really moisturizing, but it left my skin greasy feeling and the scent was kind of overwhelming, speaking of which, I think should be changed – “Lusty Pleasure” doesn’t seem like an appropriate name to me. I wouldn’t buy this.

H2O Plus Spa Sea Salt Body Wash: I had really high hopes for this body wash, which promised to draw out impurities using sea salt. I liked it, it smelled great and left my skin feeling really clean, but it was nothing revolutionary. Although I liked it, for the price, I don’t think I would buy this.

 

Thanks for reading if you made it through all of that! Let me know if you’ve used anything and what your thoughts were.