Monday, 30 April 2012

GLOSSYBOX - April 2012

I have just received my April Glossybox! Who's ready for an unboxing? For those of you who are new to beauty box subscriptions, 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.
Glossybox hasn't been without its share of drama (just look at their facebook page!) but the past two months they have put out fantastic boxes which have to make subscribers smile- even if Glossybox seems to be shipping quite late into the month, at least their boxes are well worth the wait, unlike some of their competitors.
Similar to February and March, April's Glossybox came in a beautiful sturdy pink box that is great for reusing to give gifts or to store away trinkets. The very first month, Glossybox included personalized stickers with subscribers names on them so when you opened the box, you could see it was sent just for you. March and April have lacked this sweet personal touch and I wonder if it is because Glossybox is growing more and more popular and it was just too much work to print out individualized stickers.

In my April Glossybox I received:
AVEENO Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer (full size/120 ml) (retails for $22.99)
Elizabeth Grant Skin Care Shower Gel (full size/240ml) (retails for $20.00)
Wella Brilliance Conditioner (30 ml) (full size retails for $13.99/250ml)
Wella Brilliance Treatment (25ml) (full size retails for $13.99/150ml)
Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara (full size/9ml) (retails for $12.50)
+ a bonus item: Marcelle BB Cream (single use packet) (full size retails for $22.95/45ml)

I am very impressed with the amount of full-sized products in Aprils box! A full-sized mascara is always welcome in my books, and marcelle is a well-known and trusted brand. The Aveeno daily moisturizer had been a favourite of mine in the past, and I will definitely use it once my current moisturizer is used up.
I have yet to try a BB cream (behind on the trends, huh?) so I will give this little sample a go, and I was happy to receive it! As for the hair products, I am not a huge fan of receiving shampoo/conditioner samples in my beauty boxes and we've already received items from Wella in February's box, but I will not complain because they can be used in travel.
I have seen a few variations on the Elizabeth Grant shower gel scents received by Glossy subscribers- I got Golden Angel which is supposed to smell floral, of tuberose and freesia. My mother got coconut which I majorly would've preferred, but it is always tricky with scents since they're so personal, so Glossybox can't be blamed for that, it's just luck of the draw!
I will note that I am seeing some major trends in my Glossybox contents now. From February to April I have received three Wella products, two Aveeno products and two Elizabeth Grant products. Hopefully they'll be able to branch out and get some different sponsors for May's box.
 Overall, I am pleased with what I received from Glossybox this month! I think they're on the path to success and definitely bringing some competition to Topbox, however they have some kinks that still need to be worked out in regard to their sample variety and shipping times. I am excited to see what is to come next month from them! This month's box cost me $15.00 but I received over $55.00 worth of product- a pretty great deal if you ask me :)

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. To read about the MARCH 2012 GLOSSYBOX, click here.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

A peek into my makeup bag!

With beauty trends coming and going, sometimes its nice to document what you're using at a certain time period. A year from now, I will look back and see which of these products are tried and true favourites, and which are not so great. 
I took a picture of my 'makeup station' in my room, which is actually a mini-fridge with a towel over it- how classy am I? Hey- I do live in student housing, so don't judge me too hard :)
L to R: string and needle (never know when you might need a little stitching!), pretty cupcake candle (for decoration only, I'd never light it!), bare minerals foundation powder, tea tree oil, cuticle nail oil, origins dark spot corrector, dr. renaud eye cream, candy by prada, sexy by bcbg girls, bare minerals all over face colour, benefit luster duster, LUSH enzymion moisturizer, LUSH twilight perfume, bare minerals prime time primer 
This little glass oval was purchased at HomeSense a year or two ago in the bathroom section. I use it to hold some of my products.
Here is my makeup station is all its messy glory! In the top right corner you can see my elf kabuki brush, some retin-A, my philosophy moisturizer, and LUSH lip tint in celebrate plus my tin of honey trap lip balm. This is not my entire makeup collection obviously, but it shows the things I use on a daily basis, aka my 'must haves'.
I also have some rimmel bronzer, my pandora blush (thanks glossybox!), some MAC eye shadow, a tin of LUSH ultrabalm and some estee lauder eye shadow.
Finally, a peek into my makeup bag! There is my well-used and well-loved MAC peachy keen blush, my elf pressed powder, CARGO mascara, mary kay concealer, some brushes, lipgloss, and black eye liner.
Every day when I wake up, I wash my face (either in the shower, or if I've showered the night before, with a wash cloth). Then I apply philosophy hope in a jar oil-free, followed by origins mega-bright skin tone corrector, followed by dr. renaud's day time eye cream. After this, I put on my makeup! During the day I usually wear pressed powder, concealer as needed, blush and mascara- that's it!
What is your morning facial routine?

Friday, 27 April 2012

NOTD: Nude by e.l.f. !

I am wearing e.l.f.'s nail polish in the shade Nude. This is a lovely shade for every day wear, and it applied very opaque and creamy. Similar to Mint Cream, it is fairly chip resistant, and it dried quickly! I am quite the fan of e.l.f. polish :)
e.l.f. polish in Nude

e.l.f. polish in Nude with flash

e.l.f. polish in Nude without flash
 I also wanted to include a few photographs of me wearing my new turquoise clover necklace:

Isn't it pretty? :)

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Battling Acne: Cod Liver Oil &

Have you heard of For all my fellow Canadians, it is a must-have website that will change your life! Well, maybe not but it is fantastic! It is an online version of Shoppers Drugmart- they have sales, they have tons of inventory ranging from vitamins to makeup to food, and they ship for FREE across Canada! How amazing is that?
This is my first order with I searched ' coupons' on google and found tons of coupon codes to save $10 off your purchase! So I ended up getting free shipping AND I saved $10 off my order. I was very impressed with the fast service from and I will continue to use them. Check them out yourself- it's an easy way to shop for drugstore items online, and they have weekly sales as well as a wide selection of inventory, including tons of natural and organic brands. 
I picked up some Cod Liver Oil capsules because I had heard from Courtney at Strawberree Swing that they greatly helped her adult acne. I also picked up a sweet mint eos lip balm, and sent me some free samples of toothpaste, mouthwash and laundry detergent!

cute hand-signed thank you from the packer at!

sweet mint eos lip balm ($3.99)

The receipt that came with my package was signed by the packer, with a 'thanks' added. I thought this personal touch was lovely. It makes you feel like you're buying from a small business rather than a large faceless corporation. The eos lip balm matched my nails in the photograph, how hilarious. Many of you have previously reviewed eos lip balms so I won't go into too much detail about it, but I will say that it is yummy and minty but not that great at moisturizing- it doesn't last very long on the lips and I greatly prefer my Burts Bees lip balm and my LUSH honey trap lip balm (which is my all time favourite!). The packaging is novel, and I like that it is 100% natural. I will continue to use it but wouldn't purchase another one. 
300 capsule bottle of Cod Liver Oil in lemon flavour ($39.99)
Earlier in the month I had posted about my experiences with Retin-A, and commented about my acne battles as a young adult. The lovely Courtney from Strawberee Swing left a great comment on that post suggesting I try Cod Liver Oil supplements. I immediately ordered a bottle from I am willing to try anything at this point. Yes, that's how desperate I am!! I have nothing to lose by taking these supplements, and everything to gain! I hope they work out well for me. Please take a minute to read Courtney's post if you are curious about Cod Liver Oil by clicking here. I ordered the capsules because I was scared of the straight oil, but Courtney suggests taking straight oil because it is cheaper in the long run. I intend to try the straight oil once these capsules are all used up.
If you are a fellow adult acne sufferer, you can check out some of my posts about other products I use at the moment to manage my acne, including Philosophy Hope in a Jar oil-free Moisturizer, LUSH ocean salt facial scrub, and tea tree oil. I will post an update on my experiences with Cod Liver Oil when I finish this 300 capsule bottle!
I would love to hear about anyone elses experiences with Cod Liver Oil or any other successful acne reducing products!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Enter this fun GIVEAWAY!

Check out the Shopping Obsessions 100 follower giveaway. You can enter to win a lovely pair of Regina Pierallini earrings! 
This is a great fashion blog, and you'll be thanking me later if you start following her! 

Regina Pierallini Jewelry: My Order has Arrived!

A while back, I mentioned that I had ordered some Regina Pierallini Jewelry. Well my package finally arrived! Coming in a little bubble wrap packet, the items were carefully packaged and made the trip from NYC to Ontario safely. 
My goodies in their packaging!

Veronikas Mother of Pearl Stud Earrings ($38.00)

I am very pleased with the quality of the Regina Pierallini Mother of Pearl earrings. They're very pretty. I will note that they hang low on the earlobe- the post is located at the very top of the clover, not the middle of the earring.

Turquoise Enamel Crown Shape Open Clover Flower Necklace ($68.00)

The clover necklace is very lovely to look at, but the quality is not as great as I was expecting. On my first day of wearing it, one of the links broke and the entire necklace fell to shambles. I would expect a higher quality for $70.00! I was able to mend it back together, but it was upsetting since I hoped the price point would reflect the quality of the craftsmanship. On top of this, the gold clovers look to be made of a cheap material, and I expect them to tarnish quickly. I had read other reviews stating that Regina Pierallini jewelry tarnishes, but they were older reviews and I had hope that her quality would've improved.
A lovely handwritten note from Regina Pierallini!

Close up of the gold clover
I am not sure if you can see the detail in the above photograph, but the gold clover looks to be made of very cheap material that might flake or tarnish quickly. Not what I was expecting for $70.00!
Overall, I am pleased with my purchases- the earrings are gorgeous and well-crafted. The necklace leaves something to be desired and I would not repurchase another necklace with this make from Regina Pierallini at the current price point, but I will enjoy the one I do have! I still think the necklace itself is beautiful and eye-catching, I just wish the quality was a bit higher to reflect the price I paid for it!
If you want to purchase from Regina Pierallini jewelry, there is a 15% coupon code: VERBLOG15. You can check out Regina's Artfire site to see her clover line.

Glossybox Canada: April drama!

Glossybox Canada had a bit of a glitch getting their March boxes out last month. They ended up sending them in the final days of March and many subscribers did not receive their box until April. When Glossybox started out in February, they stated that their boxes would ship at the beginning of every month, but they have now changed their website to state that the boxes will ship mid-month. In March, Glossybox was excellent at letting its customers know about the delays- they were having issues with one of the products getting through customs in a timely manner. They informed everyone via Facebook that the boxes were delayed due to customs issues, and they awarded everyone 250 glossydots as a way of apologizing.
Unfortunately, Glossybox is shipping out late again this month, and they have been less forth-coming when it comes to communication as to why. I have taken some screen shots from their Facebook page:

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

I won Cosmetic Proof's 50 Follower Giveaway!

A little while back, Jayne from Cosmetic Proof  announced that she was hosting a 50-follower giveaway! She is an amazing blogger and blogger friend of mine. She is one of the first followers who discovered me, and she always leaves thoughtful comments on my blog posts. I love her. To my absolute delight, I won her giveaway! And today, the mailman brought me a package from her, squee! 
A little note from Jayne @ Cosmetic Proof
all my goodies!
look at all this stuff, I was completely spoiled and I am so grateful!

Jayne included a lovely hand-written note alongside all of my treats! What a doll.
Jayne knows how much I adore Hello Kitty and she thoughtfully loaded this parcel with HK items! I also LOVE Cake beauty, and the hand cream smells amazing. I am excited to try the pur minerals blush as well. Let's be honest, I am excited to try everything from this package!!
If you don't already follow Jayne, you probably should. Just sayin'!

NOTD: Mint Cream by e.l.f. !

I am rocking a gorgeous shade of e.l.f. polish! Mint cream goes on a little streaky. I needed three coats for the full-on colour, but once it was on I was in love! The formula is very chip resistant- I went three days (with frequent hand-washing due to my job) without a single chip! This pleases me, especially since the polish was a mere $2.00. It also dried quickly, and as I mentioned in a previous post, I like the applicator. This is a definite must-have for all of you! This colour is very in for Spring, and it's popping up everywhere but I can see myself wearing this colour throughout the summer as well.
Mint Cream by e.l.f. with flash 
Mint Cream by e.l.f. without flash
PS. Don't forget to enter MY 50-FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY by clicking HERE

Monday, 23 April 2012

Review: Lavanila All-Natural Deodorant

LAVANILA "The healthy deodorant" in pure vanilla
LAVANILA makes an amazing natural deodorant. I purchased my first stick of LAVANILA pure vanilla deodorant (57g/$19.00) back in March and I feel like I can give an honest review after using it for around a month daily. I have been a huge supporter of natural deodorants for around a year now. I always knew that aluminum antiperspirants were 'bad' for you, but I didn't get serious about it until last year when I started using LUSH deodorants. Coming in a wide variety of scents, LAVANILA offers an all-natural, long-lasting scent to fight body odour. Their deodorant is free of aluminum, parabens, propylene gylcol, and harsh chemicals. It is loaded with soothing essential oils, botanicals and anti-oxidants which are meant to nourish, soothe, and strengthen the sensitive underarm skin, and fight body odour.
This deodorant is very easy to use. Like your normal drugstore antiperspirant, you simply apply it to your underarms at the beginning of your day. It goes on almost wet, and the feeling might be odd at first. However, the deodorant quickly absorbs into the skin and the wetness disappears. I also layer my LAVANILA deodorant with LUSH coconut powder deodorant sometimes. It adds more dryness and a great scent of coconut at the same time.
Looks just like a regular stick of antiperspirant, but it's much better for you!
This deodorant does a magnificent job of protecting from body odour. I have used it at the gym with great results, I have used it in my day-to-day life with great results, and when I work double shifts at work, I usually bring it with me and apply it again half-way through the day to ensure I keep smelling great. It goes on clear and will not mark up your clothing like powder deodorants. As it is free of aluminum, it will not protect you from sweating, but it will keep you smelling great. I find the price tag to be abhorring. Literally, I couldn't believe I spent twenty bucks on a deodorant stick! I am the girl who would spend no more than $3.00 on an antiperspirant at the drug store! However, the stick is a decent size and I am hoping it'll last me a long time.
I like this deodorant better than LUSH deodorants because it is so soothing. LUSH uses lemon in a lot of their deodorants which can be irritating, especially if applied near after shaving. I also like how easy this deodorant is to apply. LUSH uses no packaging with their deodorants, which makes them more messy and difficult to travel with, albeit earth friendly.
If you are thinking of making the switch to an aluminum free deodorant, please expect the first week or two to be difficult. It will take up to two weeks for your body to purge all of the aluminum from your skin, and you may smell more 'funky' than you would like. After two weeks, however, your body will have cleansed itself and you should find that your natural sweat doesn't smell so funky. 
Overall, I am a huge fan of this natural deodorant. It works great, and it smells lovely.. I just wish it was cheaper!

Friday, 20 April 2012

e.l.f. haul!

I have read so much about how affordable e.l.f. costmetics brand is, I had to make a little order and try some products out for myself. I had heard that shipping with this company to Canada can be a bit dodgy, but I had no problems. I placed my order on April 11th and I received it on April 18th. If you keep your purchase order under $20.00, you do not have to pay any customs fees, so I ordered $19.00 worth of stuff to try out!
e.l.f. haul! 
 Here is my lovely $19.00 haul! Shipping with e.l.f. is not free for Canadians, but I used a coupon code for 'free US shipping' and it took $6.95 off my shipping price, so I ended up paying $8.00 in shipping. Standard Canadian shipping is $14.95 which I find to be quite high. I personally wouldn't pay that rate, being as the products themselves were only 'worth' $19.00! I am sure if I searched around the web, I might've found a better shipping coupon code, but being as everything I ordered was already so cheap, $8.00 didn't sound too outrageous.
e.l.f. nail polish in Plum, Mint Cream, Smoky Brown, Nude ($2.00 each)
Thanks to all you lovely nail polish lovers who are always tempting me with your blog posts, I had to order four polishes. The packaging on the polishes is very aesthetically pleasing. They're only $2.00 each but look like they could be high quality. I have only opened Smoky Brown, and even though it came sealed in plastic wrap, somehow a bunch of polish had leaked out around the neck of the bottle and it was very difficult to get open. I like the applicator, however. I have swatched Smoky Brown and it looks true to colour on the nail. It dried very quickly. I did two coats, and the colour looked great and glossy on the nail. However, it is not very chip-resistant! I painted my nails in the early evening and by the late evening I already had some chips. It doesn't measure up to higher end brands like OPI, but for the price tag what can you expect? I didn't use a base coat or top coat, maybe that would help.
e.l.f. pressed powder in Buff ($3.00)
I am almost out of my MAC pressed powder, so I grabbed an e.l.f. powder for a mere $3.00! These prices are just shocking to me. The colour is a touch dark for my skin tone at the moment but I've been using it and enjoying the added colour on my skin! It applies beautifully and it lasts just as long as my MAC powder. I have no complaints about the product, however it comes with a very cheap and flimsy application sponge that is just garbage. I've been using my Kabuki brush to apply it instead.
e.l.f. Slant Tweezer ($1.00)
These little tweezers are lovely! They aren't as great as my high-end tweezers but they'll do for keeping in my handbag for emergency tweezing situations! You can't go wrong with the price tag, either.
e.l.f. Kabuki Brush ($6.00)
My most expensive purchase was an e.l.f. Kabuki brush! I had read the reviews on their website and most people were very impressed with the quality of their brushes. I have to say, I am one of them! Does it shed? I've noticed a few stray hairs shedding, yes. The brush itself is incredibly soft, attractive and effective. I have Aveda brushes that are much stiffer and very scratchy- this brush is feathery soft. I love its small size too, it fits great in my makeup bag.

Overall, I am very pleased with my first e.l.f. order! I would be hesitant with some of their products. Things like lip gloss or mascara probably wouldn't be the smartest to buy from this company if you are concerned about consuming a lot of chemicals or potentially toxic ingredients. I was even hesitant to purchase the powder for this reason, but I decided to let the price tag win out. As always, be diligent in checking the ingredient lists on all your cosmetic products!

What are your must-haves from e.l.f.?

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Battling Acne: Retin-A Review

My trial-sized Retin-A's from my Doctor
When I was a teenager, I suffered from mild acne. I would get occasional deep bumps on my chin or nose area that would swell up and eventually, they would either go away or I would pop them if possible. I have a terrible skin picking habit. I know its bad, but I literally feel compelled to pick at my skin. I cannot help myself. I have made lots of 'goals' to stop picking but I can't seem to stick to it. I know it's a gross and harmful habit. I wish I could stop myself. 
My skin cleared up fairly nicely in my early 20's. I didn't even need foundation or concealer- I just used powder to keep shine away. At the start of 2011 I went off my birth control; I had been on it from the age of 17. I believe that going off the pill somehow triggered my hormones, and they went crazy. My skin erupted terribly in May 2011. Like, constant cystic acne all over my chin, as many as 10 painful lumps at a time. My self-esteem disappeared. I felt so insecure that I wanted to call in sick to work every day. I always felt like everyone was staring at my disgusting skin. It was confined to my chin area. If it was everywhere else too, it would've been even harder to deal with.
I spent a TON of money trying different face washes, acne treatments, masks- you name it. However, I know now that what causes acne is internal, and topical treatments can only mitigate acne once it's formed, not stop it from forming altogether. 
I still have bad skin. It is embarrassing at my age. I notice that most females in my age-range do not suffer from the persistent acne I have. I wonder to myself, "why me?" but I do not want to go back on birth control. What's worse is that it also affects my body: my back is covered in marks and scars now. It would be hard for me to wear an open-backed dress now, and yet I used to do that without a second thought. 
I went into my doctors office to ask for a birth control prescription back in February 2012 for my acne because I was getting desperate. The acne was NOT going away and it was killing my self-worth. I left with a bunch of trial-sized retin-A tubes to try out. I had already tried another topical treatment which stopped working, and I had already been on antibiotics which did take away my acne, but as soon as I stopped taking them, it came back full-force. I did not want to be on antibiotics long-term. Retin-A sounded like it could work for me- what did I have to lose? It has minimal side-effects. I read a ton of reviews online, some good, some bad. 
My prescription filled: 20g of Retin-A
I started applying retin-A every other night before bed in a very thin layer just on my chin. I had heard it could be very irritating and drying, so I wanted to ease into using it. My acne immediately started to heal much faster, my scarring slowly getting lighter, and I quickly began using it every night before bed.
I find this product to work very well. It is very drying, so I moisturize more and exfoliate more. However, this product makes my acne heal 2-3 times faster than it was healing on its own with tea tree oil, BP or salicylic acid. I have read online that retin-A can also be used to treat wrinkles and red stretch marks. It is a tretinoin; it causes the skins outer layer to grow more rapidly and to be replaced with new skin cells which can help reduce the formation of blackheads, whiteheads and other acne. If you want to know more about it, google will give you tons of information. I just wanted to share my success story so that if anyone else out there is suffering, they can try it too. You will need a prescription from a doctor, however. 
My 20g tube of Retin-A
Retin-A is fairly cheap if you have to pay for your own prescriptions. A little goes a long way because you are only supposed to apply a thin layer to avoid aggravating your skin. My tube should last me up to 6 months, and it only cost $25.00. This is a heck of a lot cheaper than all the store-bought acne remedies I've been splurging on! I still have acne- it is still coming in on the daily! But it heals faster, and I am having less breakouts as days go by. I hope that with long-term use, this will curb my constant breakouts. I will never take clear skin for granted again! Retin-A comes in various strengths, and it also comes in two forms: gel and cream. If you want to try it out, talk with your doctor about which prescription might be right for you. People with very sensitive skin might not find Retin-A to be a good solution as it can be very aggravating; luckily I have not suffered any side-effects except for dry skin.
Any there any other acne sufferers in their 20's out there? I'd love to hear success stories and product suggestions from you. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

NOTD: SEPHORA by OPI'S Mermaid to Order

I've never done a post to show off my nail polish choice before. So I decided to take the plunge. This is me wearing Sephora by OPI's Mermaid to Order. I took these photos in the evening and natural light was zilch, but I think the pictures show the polish as it truly looks on the nail. I love the formulation of OPI's polishes, and this is no exception. It is extremely scratch and chip resistant, and lasts quite a while on the nail. It also goes on very smooth and dries quickly!
I have some new polishes in the mail on their way to me, hope they get here soon!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Review: CARGO Lash Activator Mascara

A while back I posted about my awesome birthday bag, which was loaded with great products including four full-sized items. One of the full-sized items was CARGO's lash activator mascara in brown ($35.00/11ml).
Now I am not the type of person who would spend $35.00 on mascara, ever. As such, I was excited to try a higher end mascara. I usually buy drug store brands, benefit, or MAC mascaras- nothing over $20.00 though.

CARGO's lash activator is advertised as a 'safe and effective mascara that helps to promote lash vitality and reduce loss of lashes'; it is formulated with algae extracts and a peptide-biotin complex to enhance the appearance of your lashes without irritating them.

CARGO lash activator mascara wand

I usually wear black mascara, but I cannot really notice a difference once this mascara is on my eye lashes. I dislike the wand, however. It is a flexible rubber wand that I have bent out of shape a few times. I am used to bristle wands with metal applicators that are stiff, not bendy. I dislike this change. The mascara itself is nice, and it lengthens my lashes. It does not apply clumpy. However, it is no better than other mascaras I have used that cost way less. As for the claim that it will 'promote lash vitality'? I would say the opposite is happening. I've noticed I've been losing a lot more eyelashes lately! I don't know if it's because of this mascara, or because of the seasons changing or maybe it is even something else. However, I haven't noticed my lashes getting any healthier from using this product. 
Without mascara
With CARGO lash activator mascara

Pretty long lashes thanks to CARGO lash activator! 
Overall, I like this mascara. Would I pay $35.00 for it? Absolutely not. It is a fine mascara that looks great and works well, but I have other brands that work just as well for less money.
What is your go-to mascara brand?

P.S. Don't forget to enter my 50 FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY

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