Tuesday, 16 October 2012

TOPBOX - October 2012

Yesterday evening when I came home from a lovely dinner out to celebrate my boyfriends birthday, I found a little present waiting for me in my mailbox! It was my October Topbox, which is always a welcome surprise :)


For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Topbox is one of Canada's subscription beauty box programs. For only $10 a month (plus tax) you get a lovely box filled with premium cosmetic samples delivered right to your door. You can usually expect four samples per month, although sometimes you get more!

In my September Topbox I received:
Aveda Invati Shampoo and Conditioner samples (10 ml each) (full size shampoo retails for $27.00/200 ml)
MaskerAide Facial Sheet Masks (one mask) (retails for $4.99)
Stila "eye shadow palette" (this is not a real palette. It is a piece of paper with a little one-use trial of eye shadow on it) (value: I would say $0.00) (full size retails for $50.00/14g)
Stila Lip Glaze in 'raspberry' (1.5ml) (full size retails for $29.00/2.4ml)
Aveda Invati, Stila Lip Glaze in 'raspberry'

Stila "eye shadow palette" 

MaskerAide Mask in 'detox diva'
So there you have it, October's Topbox. I will note that Topbox recently accepted what I can only assume was a large amount of new subscribers. I say this based on the hundreds of posts on their Facebook wall by excited new subscribers who finally went off the wait list. I was worried this influx of new Topboxers would affect the quality of the boxes, and if this is my only box to judge, I would say the quality has gone down considerably. The Aveda Invati hair samples are so tiny, it won't likely be enough for one single shower for me, since I have long hair. One single wash is not enough to tell if you like a product, and at $27.00 a pop I doubt I would splurge on this product without trying it out with a decent sized sample.
The MaskerAide mask is lovely, and since I have already reviewed them, I can say this is a great product and I am very glad to see it in Topbox! I hope all the subscribers enjoy this lovely face mask, which is from a Canadian company! The Stila "eyeshadow palette" is the sorriest excuse for a "palette" I have ever come across. Topbox made a mistake in labeling this a palette in their description card, they should've called it an eye shadow sampler or something. To me, this is not a real sample. This is the type of thing you get for free in a magazine page. The big redeeming item in this box was definitely the Stila lip glaze, which is a very generous 1.5ml sample and will last quite a while. Overall, this was definitely not one of my favourite Topboxes. I always rave about how wonderful they are, but this month I was a bit disappointed. I won't cancel quite yet though, they have a great track record and I will hope that next month is better!

What do you think of the October Topbox?
--S


Topbox is currently on a waiting list, so if you are at all interested in getting a subscription you should go to their website and get on the wait list today! 

You can read about my May Topbox here. June Topbox here, July Topbox here, August Topbox here, September Topbox here

REVIEW: LUSH Halloween! Calacas Shower Jelly & Twilight Shower Gel!

Halloween is slowly creeping up on us! It is a mere half month away, and you can now purchase LUSH Halloween items in store as well as online.
I have now tried two of LUSH's new Halloween items for the first time and I must confess that they're both MORE than I was hoping for.



CALACAS SHOWER JELLY: This item is already sold out on the LUSH.ca website but you should be able to get your hands on some in-store. Always reasonably priced, Calacas is only $4.95/100g. Unlike the permanent line shower jellies (Sweetie Pie is my fave!), Calacas is molded to resemble a skeleton head! The scent is literally good enough to eat. I am not lying when I say I was so close to taking a bite of this thing, it smelled like pure candy!! Calacas is scented like lime jelly beans, om nom nom! I used some in my shower puff as I do with Sweetie Pie and I found that it did not lather quite as well as Sweetie Pie does, but the scent is so delicious that I couldn't even be bothered by that. You need this. Trust me!


TWILIGHT SHOWER GEL: this Halloween limited edition shower gel will be sticking around for Christmas as well, leaving you plenty of time to stock up. If you are a fan of the gorgeous Twilight bath bomb, you will love this shower gel! It smells of lavender and tonka, and the deep purple hue makes for a gorgeous shower experience. Just like snow fairy, twilight is laced with pretty little glitters that will settle at the bottom of your bottle. These glitters are unlikely to stick to you or cause any issues; they are there for visual effect. You can use this precious shower gel as a shampoo, and I highly recommend it to get the most out of the scent- it'll seriously linger in your hair for a day or two! 

Both of these products get a BIG A+ from me! Have you gotten your hands on any LUSH Halloween items? Tell me your thoughts!!

--S

note: these products were provided for my honest review. 

September Use-It-Up!

I am late to the party with this post, but I have my empties for September! I didn't use as many products as usual this month, so it is a tiny one:

Products I used up in September '12
Heavenly Bodies butter cream: The black LUSH pot contained Heavenly Bodies butter cream, a LUSH retro product that was released for a limited time only. It smelled of chocolate orange. It wasn't my favourite LUSH product. It doesn't lather (SLS free) and I like my lathering agents. The scent didn't linger either. I wouldn't be able to re-purchase even if I wanted to as it is no longer for sale, but I won't lose any sleep over that.

Cake Citrus Squeeze brown sugar body scrub: This scrub meant business! The granules were huge and abrasive, and the scent was delicious. I loved using this scrub on my feet to combat calluses! Cake is a favourite brand of mine and I would definitely repurchase another one of their body scrubs, although this particular scrub was too harsh for most body parts on me. I used it on my feet and back only.

Nexxus Shampoo: this little sample came from a past Topbox. The smell was nice! I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't go out and repurchase unless it was on sale.

Marcelle Lash Xtension mascara: my new FAVOURITE mascara! This stuff rocks! It beats out all my pricier branded benefit mascaras by a long shot. I will absolutely repurchase! Thanks Marcelle for this hidden gem :)

--S

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Getting ready for Halloween, LUSH style!

October! October! For Canadians, October means Thanksgiving with family, raking up tons of fallen leaves, adjusting to chilly Fall weather and the absolutely delightful holiday that is HALLOWEEN :) LUSH ensures that you never have to grow too old for Halloween treats by releasing exclusive Halloween items every year. These items will be available for sale in stores this year on October 13th, but they're already available for purchase online :) :) 

Here is their lineup:

Ghost shower jelly ($14.95): scented of orchid infusion, jasmine and ylang ylang, this florally shower jelly is white as a ghost!

Twilight shower gel (price ranges depending on size): scented of lavender and tonka, I have yet to try the shower gel version of this iconic bath bomb, however I am absolutely in LOVE with this scent and cannot wait to try it out.

Something Wicked This Way Comes bath melt ($6.25): this melt will keep you silky smooth and smelling of ginger and jasmine.

Jacko bath bomb ($5.95): scented perfectly for fall, this happy little bath bomb smells of cloves, cardamom and spearmint.

The enchanter bath bomb ($6.25): this bomb will keep your mood bright with lime oil and neroli.

Magic bath bomb ($7.50): a cult classic, this bomb is a must-see. It will turn your bath water into a masterpiece while scenting the waters of basil and peppermint.

Pumpkin soap ($6.95): to compliment the Jacko bath bomb, pumpkin pie lovers will be head over heels for the pumpkin soap, which smells of cloves, cardamom and spearmint.

Calacas shower jelly ($4.95): Scented like the cult favourite Lady Catrina soap, calacas shower jelly is in the shape of a skull! It is scented with neroli and lime oils. 

Witches Ball bubble bar ($6.95): if you're a fan of herbal scents, you'll love Witches ball! It has peppermint, rosemary, sage oil, parsley, cranberry and star anise!

Now that you see the lineup, how excited are you for Halloween? I can't wait to get my hands on some of these amazing items !

--S

REVIEW: LUSH Silky Underwear dusting powder

LUSH Silky Underwear Dusting Powder
LUSH cosmetics has such a wide range of products, they literally have you covered from head to toe. Their dusting powders are one of the more unique items that they offer. This product is used to keep your body smooth and dry. You can use it on your under arms, your bed sheets, or even in your shoes! Dusting powders will leave you feeling silky smooth and smelling wonderful- LUSH has five different dusting powders to choose from, with ranging scents.

Silky Underwear ($6.95/2.1oz) is actually the first dusting powder ever created by LUSH! It contains grated cocoa butter, alongside absorbent powders to ensure your body doesn't feel greasy. The name comes from the fact that this powder will help your clothing go on easily and slip off even easier ;) This dusting powder is jasmine scented, and I personally don't love strong jasmine scents. However, this has a nice light jasmine scent- it isn't overly florally and I can actually appreciate it! I really enjoy how it leaves my skin feeling- I highly recommend putting some under your breasts to combat boob sweat if you're well-endowed like me! I would say this could be used in place of a powdered deodorant like LUSH's coconut deodorant powder in the winter months, because it really does keep you dry and smooth.

Overall, I think this is a lovely little product and it is very well-priced because a little goes a very long way.
Have you tried a dusting powder? Let me know your thoughts!

--S

note: this product was provided for my honest review. 

GLOSSYBOX - September 2012

I received one of those annoying Canada Post notices in my mail box last week stating that my Glossybox was at the post office awaiting my pick up. Gosh I love Topbox for its ability to fit into my mail box! I just got around to picking my Glossybox up this week because the post office is generally out of my way. I know we're into October now but as a general rule, Glossybox always ships out at the very end of every month so this review is not really that late ;)

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

September 2012 Glossybox
In my September Glossybox I received:
Wella Mirror Polish Shine Serum (40 ml/full size) (retails for $16.99)
B. Kamins Lip Balm (4 ml) (full size retails for $21.00/15ml)
B. Kamins Maple Body Lotion (12ml) (full size retails for $41.00/180ml)
NYX Cosmetics 'The Crimson Amulet' palette (full size) (retails for $25.00)
Dove Cleartone deodorant (17g) (full size retails for $3.99/25g)

Wella Mirror Polish, B. Kamins samples

NYX palette- the back to show all the goodies inside the palette
I have to say, I was completely happy with everything in this months Glossybox! The shine serum is definitely something I will use, although it is a little tiring to receive a sample from Wella in every single box we get from Glossybox. The B. Kamins samples are awesome- I enjoy seeing a higher end brand in the box, as they originally advertised, and I think the sample sizes are decent. The Dove deodorant is kind of silly but who doesn't need an extra deodorant kicking around the house? I dislike the amount of Dove products Glossybox unloads on us personally, and I did receive this exact Dove deodorant sample in the mail for free a few months ago, but I don't mind getting another one. I think the big ticket item for almost everyone was the huge NYX palette but I personally have no use for this item.
Overall, this was an absolutely delightful box and it was well balanced. After hearing my mainly positive review, you may be shocked to find that I have cancelled my Glossybox subscription. I have been a subscriber since day 1 with this company, but cancelling was the right thing to do for me for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I hate that I have to go to the post office to get this package- for some reason the mailman doesn't ring the doorbell for my Glossybox packages, unlike other Canada Post packages I receive. I always have to go pick it up which is so annoying. Secondly, although I love the value of these boxes, I am getting too much of a collection of samples and full size products that I don't really have use for. I decided to cancel Glossybox over Topbox because it is: a) more expensive b) ships late c) has inconsistent samples and customer service and finally, d) because Topbox fits in my mailbox so I never have to go out of my way to get it!

That being said, I look forward to keeping up with Glossybox as a company by reading other bloggers reviews! It will definitely leave an empty hole in my lovely beauty blog to miss out on Glossybox reviews but it is really for the best, as I am mostly getting items I don't need or won't use.
--S


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


Saturday, 29 September 2012

REVIEW: boscia Luminizing Black Mask

boscia Luminizing Black Mask
The boscia Luminizing Black Mask ($41.00) is a bit of a cult classic, and I decided I needed to try it out and see if it was worth all the hype. I think it is very expensive for a facial mask, more than I would usually spend.
Boscia says this innovative peel-off mask helps boost skin clarity and minimize pores while absorbing excess oil and removing dirt and impurities. It has awesome ingredients like jojoba leaf, vitamin C and Willowherb.

First off, application of this mask is a bit tricky and definitely takes some practice. If you put this mask on too thick, it won't set properly. You need to keep the mask on for 20-30 minutes to ensure it fully dries, but if after 30 minutes of application it is still not fully dried, you're most likely applying it much too thickly. I found that it was best to layer it on so it was fully opaque on the face, but not overly thick. Avoid all hair!! Don't put this on your eyebrows, it'll be a pain in the butt to remove. This mask might not pull off in one full jelly-like piece. For me, it tore off in a few large pieces each time I used it, which worked just fine for me.
boscia Luminizing Black Mask

boscia Luminizing Black Mask
I found the results of this mask to be mediocre. I much prefer the proactiv refining mask for clarifying my skin. I think this mask is kind of fun because of its peel-off nature, but that also makes it a bit tricky to use. When I removed the mask, it certainly left my skin feeling soft, but so do all facial masks I use. There was nothing about this mask that made it worth the $41.00 to me. I will continue to use my current tube until it is all gone, but I wouldn't recommend this mask based on the price tag. I am sure others have found it to be much more enjoyable since it is such a well known product, but it was a miss for me. I will stick to maskeraide, LUSH fresh face masks and proactiv's refining mask :)

Have you tried the boscia Luminizing Black Mask? What do you think?
--S
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