Friday, 30 March 2012

GLOSSYBOX - March 2012


Glossybox is one of Canada's subscription beauty boxes. Alongside Glymm, Luxe and Topbox, Glossybox charges a monthly fee and sends out packages of deluxe beauty samples, such as lotions, makeup, nail care or skin care items right to your door step.
This is Glossybox Canada's second month in production, and they have been plagued with issues for their March box. Originally, Glossybox had promised to ship out the packages within the first half of every month, meaning I would've received my March box some time before my birthday. However, they had issues sourcing their products for the boxes, and my March box was just shipped out yesterday. At first, they were somewhat elusive about what was going on, and kept saying the boxes would be shipped out 'soon'. This was obviously frustrating for the many subscribers who were expecting to receive their boxes within the first half of the month as originally promised. Eventually, they became more forthright and explained when the boxes would be shipped out for each province. Ontario was the last province to be shipped out, but I still received mine promptly because I live so close to Toronto. I am lucky to have received my March box in March! Many Glossy subscribers on the West Coast won't get theirs until April :(
The packaging was consistent with last months box: a sturdy, pale pink box packed with black tissue paper. The black envelope containing product information did not have a sticker with my name on it as it did last month. I had enjoyed that personal touch which was missing.
The contents of my envelope included a Spring themed note from the Glossy team, a pamphlet with a coupon for Pandora's make up, and an extensive packet by Sebastian outlining their product line. 
In my long-awaited March box I received:
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion (71 ml) (full size retails for $11.99/354ml)
BAILEY Costmetics Duo Foundation Powder in GOLDEN (full size/9g) (retails for $40.00)
Evian Facial Spray (full size/50 ml) (retails for $7.00)
PANDORA'S Blush in ST TROPEZ (full size/4g) (retails for $18.00)
Sebastian Re-Shaper Hairspray (43g) (full size retails for $19.95/300g)
+ a bonus item: ALGEMARIN Foam Bath (15 ml) (retails for $17.99/500ml)
This box is a complete 180 from last months, where we did not even get a single full-size sample. I was given THREE full-sized items!
I have used the Aveeno lotion before. It is pretty standard. This is a generous sized sample bottle. It is apparently proven to moisturize for a full 24 hours! The duo foundation powder by BAILEY is a little dark for my skin tone, but when I get a tan this summer I think I will get away with using it. The product is paraben free.
I have used the Evian facial spray in the past- it is PERFECT for the beach. It is supposed to moisturize, refresh and tone. If you spend a day out in the sun, it is a total life saver.
The PANDORA blush I received is a nice pink colour. I am excited to try it out. The packaging with it is so cute, and it is made in Canada! The Sebastian hairspray I received is the perfect size for travel. I don't know about you, but I hate packing hair care products in my suit case- they're so big! This Sebastian hairspray is supposed to provide a long-lasting hold and humidity protection. This is a well-known brand that I am familiar with.
Finally, the ALGEMARIN foam bath sample has seaweed, algae and mineral salts which is supposed to rejuvenate and refresh skin. This one time use sample was a nice bonus item. I am unfamiliar with the brand, but the packaging says it was made in Germany.
Pandora's blush in ST TROPEZ
BAILEY Duo Foundation Powder in Golden
This month, Glossybox did a great job. The box itself has over $65.00 worth of product! I am glad they took our feedback from last months box and included more make-up products. I am even more excited to see no fragrance samples! I do not have a need for fragrance samples ever! I can test them out at the Bay or Sephora if I am so inclined, and fragrance is such an individual thing. This box was definitely a great value, and I will be keeping my subscription for another month. The contents in this months box are pretty impressive, so the bar is set high. I hope they can keep it up and avoid disappointment in April's box!
--S

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

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

eBeauty Birthday Bag & LAVANILA "the healthy deodorant"

Remember that little post I made a couple days ago about eBeauty's awesome birthday bag? Well I got my shipping notice today and in the mid-afternoon it had already made it to my door! Talk about FAST shipping! Thanks eBeauty :) I also ended up ordering a LAVANILA all-natural deodorant, because as you all know, I am all about aluminum free deodorants!
 Here is my glorious haul! All for under $40.00 after taxes! 
I purchased the LAVANILA deodorant ($19.00/57g) in the scent of pure vanilla. I was debating between coconut and pure vanilla, and I chose pure vanilla because I have my powdered LUSH deodorant in coconut and I figured I could always layer the scents. I sort of wish I had ordered the coconut scented LAVANILA deodorant now, though. The smell of 'pure vanilla' isn't very vanilla-y to me. It almost smells like baby powder. I've heard nothing but good things about this brand, and the deodorant stick itself is very large and should last quite a while. It comes in quite a few scents, so if you're thinking of making the switch to natural deodorant, LAVANILA might be an easier transition than any of the LUSH natural deodorant options. I say this mainly because it resembles 'normal' anti-perspirants, and it is applied like a regular stick deodorant, whereas most LUSH deodorants are either package-free, or powder. 
 My eBeauty birthday bag was only $15.00 and came LOADED with goodies! I highly suggest you all get one- for the same price as a glossybox monthly subscription, I got four full-sized items, and seven deluxe samples! A much better value. In the above picture, you can see my full-sized CARGO lash activator mascara ($35.00/11ml) in brown. I usually wear black mascara, so this will be a change for me. You can also see the Mereadesso Beautiful Body Balm (30ml- full size retails for $54.00/200ml), a high performance, non-greasy all-over body balm that smells of oranges. There is a small pot of Perricone MD Firming Neck Therapy (7.5ml- full size retails for $108.00/59ml) a lightly scented, thick cream meant to firm the sensitive neck area. It is supposed to be unscented, but I find it has a slightly medicinal smell that is unpleasant. As well, you can see my hair care samples, Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner (30 ml each, full size retails for $28.00/250ml each) which have very little scent. I do like a nicely scented shampoo, and I was surprised that these hardly smell at all.
I received a full-sized Consonant Ultra Firming Organic Eye Cream ($36.00/15ml) which is a 100% natural firming eye cream designed to improve the look of fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles, formulated with 100% natural and 75% organic ingredients. There is also a tiny sample sized stila Sheer Colour Tinted Moisturizer in Medium (5ml/full size retails for $45.00/50ml). This colour suits my skin tone very well. stila offers 8 different shades in the full-sized version. I swatched it on my hand, and it absorbed well into my skin with a matte finish. There was a full-sized Nail Tek Hydration Therapy ($15.00/15ml) nail varnish in MARDI GRAS MAUVE, which is a pearly mauve colour. This brand is supposed to maintain moisture on the surface of the nail. As well, you can see pictured a little sample of Mereadesso Face and Neck Toning Gel (7ml- full size retails for $120.00/50ml). This looks like a one use application based on the design of the packaging. I also received a Tan Towel (a full package of 20 retails for $38.99), a fake tan wipe that is supposed to make you achieve a healthy glow. I am always wary of self-tanning products, but I will try this on my legs. Finally, there is a full-sized Vasanti Tinted Lip Balm ($15.00/3.5g) in the colour Bahamas. This Canadian-made, paraben free lip balm looks like a lipstick, but goes on sheer. It is meant to dry chapped lips and add a touch of colour at the same time!
So in case anyone reading is no good at math like I am, I will re-state: I paid a mere $15.00 for this birthday bag, and the four full-sized items alone would've cost me $101.00 to buy outright! On top of this, I received seven generous luxury samples! It was so worth the money, and it came with a lovely makeup bag to boot!
If you are interested in trying some or all of these products, order your own birthday bag before they run out! There are 'limited quantities' available ;)
--S

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dr. Renaud Eye Care, LUSH goodies and more!

I have more birthday gifts pictured above, look at how spoiled I was! I got some cute Easter themed cookie cutters, some booze, hello kitty goodies (I can't get enough of her!), a shot glass from my good friends recent trip to New Orleans, some jewelry, LUSH products and Dr. Renaud products.
Amber and silver drop earrings and a lovely beaded necklace from Europe 
My dear friend (and blog reader!) Jen got me a cute little LUSH gift. It contained Sweetie Pie shower jelly, and a Shimmy Shimmy massage bar!
Shower jellies are multi-purpose blobs- they look just like jello! Sweetie pie smells like black currants, and it has little glitters in it. It has a seaweed base which softens skin, and it can be used as a shampoo as well! Just take a little pinch of the jelly, and smoosh it into your shower puff. It'll create loads of yummy smelling bubbles! Shower jellies are totally economical- they last forever! I am still on my first pot of Sweetie pie, and I have two more stashed away alongside a large-sized Iced Wine shower jelly. If you go into LUSH to purchase a shower jelly, they come in two sizes. I suggest you get the small one as a little goes a long way.
Shimmy Shimmy is LUSH's sparkly massage bar. Smelling of vanilla, this gliding little bar will cover you from head to toe in glitter, all the while relaxing and moisturizing your skin! It's fun for a night out on the town.
I also received some Dr. Renaud products. Dr. Renaud is a proudly Canadian-based beauty company that focuses on optimal skin care, with a wide range of products from blemish prevention to anti-aging. The products do not contain parabens, synthetic perfumes, colourants or alcohol, but rather focus on organic and fair trade ingredients, few preservatives and rigorous testing to ensure the best quality and results. I received two eye-care products as preventative measures for potential (gasp!) wrinkles and fine lines.
The Multi-Active Eye Contour Sensor ($42.95/15 ml) is an ultra-light cream that is meant to diminish the look of wrinkles and fine lines in a "lifting like" manner, reduce the appearance of bags and dark circles, smooth away any signs of fatigue, and brighten the eye area. This product is meant to be applied under the eyes in the morning before makeup application. I tried some out and found it to absorb very quickly.  It left my under eye area feeling exceptionally smooth all day long!
The Eye Contour Cream ($38.95/15ml) is a night cream meant to smooth wrinkles and crows feet, restructure and firm the eye area, reduce puffiness, hydrate and nourish the skin surrounding the eye, and lift the look of the eye. I found that it had a yeast-like smell. I am not sure why. This cream is a little thicker than the day cream, but still light and not greasy. It absorbed quickly into the top of my hand.
I am intrigued by these products- I had not considered anti-aging products because I still have acne-prone skin, but my eye area would be safe for these thicker creams. Do any of you ladies out there in your mid to late twenties use anti-aging beauty products? How do you know when the right time to start preventative action is?
--S

Monday, 26 March 2012

Review: LUSH Grease Lightning

Grease Lightning (12.95/1.5 oz) is LUSH Cosmetics spot treatment. They say it is a super effective, zit-zapping spot treatment with an anti-bacterial mixture of thyme, tea tree and rosemary to dry, shrink and generally combat acne. It also has a ton of grape juice that is meant to act as a powerful cleanser. LUSH uses 500 green grapes in every batch, in fact.
This all sounds great in theory, right? In general, good quality spot treatments are pricey. For a mere 12.95, I just had to try this generous 45g bottle of acne fighting goodness.
My thoughts? It is not effective. Not even a little bit. This clear gel leaves a residue behind on your skin, which dries peely and flakey. I like spot treatments that go on clear and absorb into the skin without leaving any residue behind so that I can use them throughout the day alongside my makeup. With Grease Lightning, makeup cannot be worn simultaneously. Once I discovered this, I decided to use it as a night treatment for spots, but I noticed it didn't have any effect at all! I am usually a huge fan of LUSH products but this was a huge miss for me. I will stick to my other spot treatments, such as the Shiseido blemish clearing gel (which goes on clear and absorbs well) or pure tea tree oil. DDF also makes a nice acne spot treatment, although I find it to be over-priced.
Do you have any suggestions on effective and reasonably priced spot treatments?
--S

We threw a party, yeah we threw a party

Just a couple photographs from a tropical themed party I hosted this past weekend. Photo credit to my beautiful roommate, Jenna Ferdinandi.

eBeauty is having a birthday sale!

eBeauty.ca is having a birthday sale! They have an amazing "birthday bag" on sale for only $15.00! I just ordered mine. It says they have limited quantity, although who knows what that really means ;)
Read all about this awesome deal here.
It contains a cosmetic case (striped or polka dots), a full sized Cargo mascara, a full sized eye cream, a Nail Tek polish, a full sized Vasanti tinted lip balm, and deluxe samples of Ojon shampoo/conditioner, Perricone MD neck firming creme, Mereadesso face and neck firming gel, a Tan Towel, and stila sheer colour tinted moisturizer. For the same price as a 'glossybox', this is definitely a much better deal for deluxe samples to try out, so if you are interested, order one while supplies last! They offer free shipping for orders over $25.00.
The site also has other birthday deals and a contest running.
--S

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Review: LUSH Sympathy for the Skin

As you all know, I am a huge LUSH fan. I had a chance to pop into a LUSH store the other day, and I purchased a lovely chunk of Vanilla in the Mist soap. This vanilla latte scented soap has been discontinued, but my shop still has 2 and a half loaves of it! Since it will soon cease to exist, I decided to try it. I love vanilla, after all :)
The shop lady offered me a sample of dream cream to take home as well, but I already use dream cream! I love LUSH's great body lotion offerings- my current stash includes dream cream (ultra soothing and great for super dry skin), ultrabalm which is LUSH's vegan version of vaseline, and Ro's Argan body conditioner, which smells of candied roses and can be used as an intensive body lotion even though it is intended to be used in the shower. 
The shop lady told me to pick another LUSH lotion to try, and I decided on Sympathy for the Skin ($25.95/240 g). 
Sympathy for the Skin smells kind of sour out of the pot. It is supposed to smell like banana custard, but in the pot it sort of stinks. Not overtly, or offensively. It just smells like sour banana milk or something. It is incredibly light and fluffy- almost like whipped cream! This texture is a huge contrast to dream cream, which is thick and creamy. You can see the dark vanilla flecks in this lotion. Once applied, Sympathy soaked right in, leaving my skin very smooth. The smell also changed, turning into a vanilla custard-like scent. It definitely smelled delicious once it soaked into my skin!
LUSH uses organic bananas in this lotion to deeply moisturize and condition the skin. The lotion also has vanilla pods and vanilla extract to combat redness, lemon oil to brighten the skin, and sandalwood to tone.
I am definitely going to pick a pot of this lotion up once my current lotion stash dwindles!
--S

Facial Fun from Philosophy, Fresh and Origins

As I mentioned in my last post, I got hope in a jar, help me and purity cleanser by Philosophy last week. The Purity cleanser smells very clean, and looks quite mild. I will use it once I am through with my current Body Shop tea tree cleanser. Hope in a Jar smells kind of yucky to me, and it goes on a little greasy even though it is oil free. It also doesn't come in a jar, but rather a tube :P I have been using Vanishing Cream by LUSH so I suppose it is quite different in formulation. I wish it had SPF in it. Help Me is a night treatment for both acne and fine lines. I have yet to see any results but I will keep it up!
I just picked up Mega-Bright skin tone correcting serum (1 oz/$69.00) by Origins today! It smells amazing, like oranges. You can apply it both day and night and it is supposed to clear away dark spots, acne scars, sun spots etc. I bought it for acne scarring on my chin area, but I am applying to everywhere in order to brighten up my entire appearance. I have read nothing but good things about this product, and I am a fan on the brand (natural ingredients) so hopefully it works well for me. I will update you all in a month on if I feel like it was worth the price tag.

Bubble bars! Candy Mountain by LUSH. I have pictured two full sized bubble bars, which I keep stored in my room in a ziplock bag to keep them fresh. I also have a crumbled up bar that I keep stored in an old Bath & Bodyworks candle jar! If you have used up candles, just pour boiling water into the glass to melt out the leftover wax, then polish the glass up with Windex! It'll make a very cute little glass jar for keeping things in. Pre-crumbling bubble bars makes for easy usage, and this one keeps my room smelling divine as well!

What a great week I have been having! Lots of goodies to enjoy, gorgeous weather, and three days of partying ahead! Hope you are enjoying March as much as I am :)
--S

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Philosophy Birthday Goodies

I have been MIA! Sorry blogger friends. I am super busy working a ton and it was also my birthday this past weekend! I got:

the great skin is in gift set from Philosophy from my dear mother and step-dad. I have been using a topical prescription called retin-A to combat my persistent acne lately. I only use it on my chin area, and its been working fairly well. However, this is for the rest of my face which has been acting up oddly. I think I have enough facial care products to last me a year at least, but none of them seem to work. Lets hope this set of Philosophy products does the job!

It other news, we've had an uncharacteristic heat wave in Southern Ontario! Yesterday was sunny with a high of 21 degrees (celcius). I am hoping this weather keeps up for my birthday party this weekend- I am having a tropical theme! I am also anxiously awaiting my glossybox that still hasn't shipped for the month! It better be worth the long wait...

--S

Monday, 12 March 2012

March '12 LUSH order

It is my birthday month. A girl has to treat herself, right? Well that is what I told myself when I placed a LUSH order last week. I decided to place an order online to get some LUSH retro products. As I've mentioned in the past, LUSH Retro are products that have been discontinued by LUSH but brought back for online purchase only. You cannot buy them in-store, and they could potentially disappear from production in the Retro range at any given time.
I got: 500 ml Coolaulin conditioner, 100 ml Slammer shower gel, 100 ml Freeze shower gel, Gentle Lentil solid shampoo, Trichomania solid shampoo, Waylander Rhassoul soap, Honey I Washed the Kids soap, Marzibain bubble bar and a sample of Dirty soap.
Trichomania and HIWTK are both non-Retro items. I had an issue with a previous LUSH order where they didn't end up packaging my order until well over a week of my placing an order. To compensate for this, I was given a credit for three free bath products! I redeemed those products in today's package: HIWTK, Waylander and Marzibain were all free :)
Trichomania ($10.95) is one of LUSH's solid shampoos. Solid shampoos are AWESOME for various reasons, a few include the fact that they're economical, and environment-friendly as they're packaging free. Smelling of coconuts, Trich moisturizes, and is suggested for frizzy or dry hair. It smells amazing. If you are new to solid shampoos, I cannot stress how important storage is! Do not leave your shampoo bar in the shower. If it is left in a puddle of water, it will dissolve. You need to dry off your shampoo bar after usage and place it on a shelf to dry. 
I also got a chunk of Gentle Lentil ($9.95) solid shampoo. I had heard rave reviews of this retro shampoo bar from other LUSHies. They're right, it smells AMAZING! Like sweet vanilla! Apparently lentils,which are packed with protein, improve hair strength, moisturize and add shine. I am excited to try this shampoo bar.
My Marzibain ($6.95) bubble bar was picked out for its delicious scent. I cannot get enough of LUSH's snowcake scent, and Marzibain has that scent. My readers will know I am not a bath-taker, but I do crumble bubble bars into my shower puff for a deliciously foamy, yummy smelling shower experience. 
The Coolaulin conditioner ($29.95) was purchased for my mom. It is packed full of coconut. She loves coconut smells, and this conditioner is made for curly and processed hair. She has majorly curly hair, and it is processed. Perfect match :)
Honey I Washed the Kids ($7.95) soap is a cult-classic. Everyone loves it. I am not a huge fan, but I got this as a little gift for someone. It smells slightly floral with a strong honey and toffee base. The scent seriously lingers on the skin. 
Waylander Rhassoul ($7.95) was a retro pick and a total gamble for me. I wanted to try something completely different. It smells purely herbal. This is a mud based soap, it contains pumice powder to exfoliate and rhassoul mud for a seriously deep cleansing experience. Goodbye body acne :)
I had to grab a couple of retro shower gels to try out. I got Freeze and Slammer. Slammer is another favourite amongst the LUSHie population- everyone seems to rave about it so I ordered a small 100ml bottle to test it out. It isn't what I was expecting. I am not overly impressed. It smells mildly sweet, and mildly citrusy, but nothing unique. LUSH says its packed with freshly squeezed lime juice, lime peel and lime oil, alongside seawater and honey to soften the skin. I will try it out, maybe it'll impress me in the shower. Freeze was purchased as a gift for someone who loves the Dirty shower gel. I wanted to try something similar but different for them, and Freeze smells exactly as I expected: minty yummy good! It is packed with peppermint oil, uplifting bergamot, soothing aloe and refreshing sea salt. It's a winner to me. 
LUSH always gives a sample or two in their mail order packages. I got a tiny sliver of Dirty soap to try out, which is nice because I actually haven't purchased the Dirty soap yet even though I do find the scent to be nice. 
There is nothing as exciting as hearing the doorbell ring and seeing the UPS man outside with my LUSH package! He must think I am insane though, with all the packages I receive! Oh well ;)
--S

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Review: LUSH ocean salt

I love LUSH cosmetics. One of my all time favourite products by LUSH is their Ocean Salt facial scrub. It is a part of my shower routine that I cannot go without! LUSH is currently having a campaign that features Ocean Salt so I thought I'd do a quick review.
Ocean Salt is made of fine and coarse sea salt, with cleansing grapefruit and lime, moisturizing avocado butters and coconut fat, and vodka to deal with clogged pores. It smells limey and salty. A little goes a long way; LUSHies compare Ocean Salt to gold. You do not want to waste it! It isn't particularly cheap for a scrub, and as such I personally only use it on my face. You can use it for your entire body if you are feeling luxurious but I personally use Rub Rub Rub as my body exfoliant.
While Ocean Salt is listed as a cleanser, you should not use it as a daily cleanser by any means! It will dry out and irritate your skin. I only use Ocean Salt when I'm in the shower as a facial scrub. If I applied it to dry skin, I am sure it would irritate it. However, my softened wet skin in the shower responds well to it, and Ocean Salt keeps my face free of annoying skin flakies. It also combats acne and moisturizes simultaneously which is awesome. This scrub comes in two sizes; I always buy the smaller size (120 g/19.95) because I find that the colour of it changes from pretty blue to yucky grey over time and I cannot use it up fast enough since I only use it on my face. When in the shower, I just cover my pointer finger in the scrub, and then rub it directly onto my cheeks, nose and chin area. I then rub it slowly in circular motions to scrub away any dead skin.
Overall, Ocean Salt is a must-have for anyone and everyone! Exfoliating is an important step in keeping your skin looking bright and fresh! LUSH has got it right with the perfect combination of ingredients to keep my skin happy.
If you have acne-prone or oily skin, you can use ocean salt 3-4 times a week. If you have dry skin or sensitive skin, I would suggest 1-2 times a week.
What are your thoughts on Ocean Salt?
--S

Thursday, 8 March 2012

LUSH Swap!

My exciting swap package!
 I belong to a lovely group on Facebook that is for LUSHies who like to talk about all things LUSH, as well as every other aspect of our lives. It is a North American swap group, although we do have a few friends in the UK. I participated in a swap with another lovely LUSHie who lives down South. Today, my swap package from Crystal arrived! I have sent hers and haven't got a word on if she's received it yet, but she completely spoiled me! We had agreed to swap one bar of soap for one bubble bar, plus a few extra samples. Crystal gave me TWO bubble bars and a chunk of soap! And I sent her one measly bar of soap as agreed upon, alongside 3 samples and 2 Canadian treats (did you know they don't have crispy crunch or fuzzy peaches in the USA?). I feel a tad guilty now. But I will definitely learn from this and be more generous in my next swap!
I received: 2 LUSH Candy Mountain bubble bars, 1 chunk LUSH Sweetheart soap, Unicorn Farts cream by Fortune Cookie Soaps, 3 LUSH soap samples: sexy peel, rockstar and 17 cherry tree lane, 4 almond joys!

I asked for Almond Joys because we don't have them in Canada and I loooove coconut. She hooked me up huge! I was also pleased to get a sample of 17 Cherry Tree Lane soap because it is a LUSH retro soap so I've never been able to smell it before. It is very floral and sweet, I think it smells like LUSH's rub rub rub shower scrub, yum!

Do any of you participate in swaps? I find the shipping for Canadians is quite pricey. Crystal shipped hers to me via air mail for $9.15. I shipped hers via ground mail for around $13.00. The price for air mail was quoted at almost $20.00! and I am positive that my package weighed less than hers since she sent me so many extras!
--S
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