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Sunday, February 23, 2014

January 2014 Empties

One of my New Year's resolutions is to decrease my Beauty Inventory by at least 50%. Having 800+ products is not manageable, practical, or affordable. To do this I am trying really hard to use up my sample and deluxe sample products first, because they take less time to use up. As a way to keep myself focused on this goal I have attached a few other resolutions to it. Every month I am going to write an Empties post. This makes sure I will actually use products, and it will get me reviewing more. Also, the more products I use, the more money that will go into my "beauty bank", and this money can be used towards new beauty purchases.

Now onto my January Empties.

Clarins Super Restorative Replenishing Comfort Mask

There was enough in this sample for one use. I found that it hydrated my skin, but I didn't notice any miraculous results. Repurchase: No

The Body Shop Seaweed Deep Cleansing Facial Wash

I bought the sample size of this cleanser to try before committing to a full size. When used with the complete seaweed system I found my skin clean, clear, and less oily. It didn't cause me to break out and it wasn't too drying. Repurchase: Yes

Mario Badescu Strawberry Tonic Mask

I quite enjoy when I receive this mask sample. My skin always feels extra clean after using it, but not like all of the essential oils have been stripped away. It also helps with oil control. Repurchase: Yes

Garnier Skin Renew Dark Spot Treatment Mask

It's hard to tell by a one-time mask if it is going to do wonders. I had a hard time getting it to fit my face. My skin felt moisturized after, but I saw no major effects. Repurchase: No

Biore Pore Strip

I like to use these pore strips every once in a while when I feel like my pores are getting extra congested. I may use them once a month. They do a good job at clearing out my pores. It's always so gross seeing what comes out of my pores with these. Repurchase: Yes

La Fresh Oil-Free Face Cleanser Wipes

I wasn't a huge fan of these makeup remover wipes. I found them to be thin, and too small to cleanse my entire face. They also were not saturated with enough product. Eyeliner had to be scrubbed off and it felt like I was scratching my skin. I did enjoy the pomegranate scent though. Repurchase: No

Delon Exfoliating Cotton Rounds

I don't normally review/include these in empties posts because I am always going through them. These are my go to cotton rounds. I buy them in bulk at Costco and they work great. The soft side is good for removing eye makeup, and the exfoliating side is good when using toner. I go through about a pack a month. Repurchase: Yes

Bourjois Paris Volume Max Mascara

I loved this mascara! It both lengthened and voluminized my lashes, with no flaking or raccoon circles throughout the day. It also held a curl really well. Repurchase: Yes

MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in Light Plus

Did I like this powder? Yes. Did I love it? No. It gave pretty good coverage, and it worked well at setting my foundation. I just wish it did more for oil control. Repurchase: No

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February 2014 "The Look of Love" Ipsy Review

For February, Ipsy brought us an assortment of products to achieve the look of love. My bag came complete with a cleanser to prep my skin, eye shadows to play up my green eyes, and flirty eyelashes to bat at my love. Once again Ipsy delivered an assortment of new brands and products for me to try, all in a convenient pink and leopard print makeup bag.

If you are interested in signing up for your own Ipsy bag, you can do so by clicking here. Each month, Ipsy will send you 5 full or sample size products in a cute fashion forward makeup bag; all for $10USD or $14.95CDN.

J.Cat Beauty Eyelashes in EL13

Value: $3.99
"Cause a ruckus as you bat your voluminous faux eyelashes! Take your pick from 30 styles that you won't be able to resist. Each includes an individual eyelash adhesive for endurance through a night on the town!"

These are the second pair of J.Cat lashes I have received through Ipsy. I gave the first pair to a friend and I might do the same with this pair. My eyelashes naturally look like falsies, so I don't really have a use for these. However, I do have a wedding next week, so I may use these then. 

Zoya Professional Lacquer in Dot

Value: $9.00
"Zoya nail polish in Dot can be best described as a full-coverage pink petal cream (originally released as Dot for fashion designer Zang Toi's SS14 Collection.)"

Of the two polishes available this month Dot wasn't my first choice, however, I am always happy to add another nail polish/Zoya to my collection. I found this polish to be somewhat sheer, with two coats being only slightly opaque. This polish is definitely going to be a 3 coater. The colour is very pretty, albeit somewhat boring, it is a very nice work appropriate pink polish. 

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay

Value: $5.11
"Ideal for oily/combination or problem-prone skin, or anyone looking for an extra deep cleanse. Cleanses and detoxifies the skin. Unclogs and minimizes pores. Balances the skin and controls oil production."

I was so happy to receive this sample! I have been seeing/hearing great things about this brand on YouTube. Missglamorazzi raves about this line, so I cant wait to try it. I have been breaking out like crazy lately, and have had excess oil production out the wazoo! Although this cleanser is on the pricier side, if it works wonders I may consider purchasing it. 

POP Beauty Plump Pout in Peony Petal

Value: $7.53
"This plumping put perfector combines the high-shine of a lacquered gloss with the long wear of a stain, and is packed full of lip-plumping peptides and avocado & jojoba oils. Lightweight, creamy texture immediately merges with lips and delivers intense glossy colour for an extremely long-lasting finish."

I haven't loved the POP Beauty products I've received from Ipsy in the past, but I am totally digging this gloss! The muted rose colour is perfect for any day and will compliment any makeup look. The product applies smoothly and provides full colour coverage, that lasts all day. I don't get that painful plumping feeling which is nice, but my lips do look fuller. I am not a fan of the scent but it's something I can get over.

Jesse's Girl 9-Pan Palette in The Eyes Have It

Value: $3.99
"Nine coordinating eye shadows in a sleek plastic case."

This is my first experience with Jesse's Girl cosmetics, and I am neither wowed nor a I disappointed. Although this isn't my first choice colour selection wise, it's nice to add some variation to one's collection. The darker colours in this palette were more impressive than the lighter shades for sure. Overall though, the quality of these shadows are lacking compared to other drugstore alternatives. I will use this palette in conjunction with other shadows, however, I cant say I will be grabbing for this consistently over other shadows in my collection. 
L: Jesse's Girl Palette - Swatched L-R/ R: POP Lip Plumper

Beauty Blender & Mini Cleanser

Value: ????
"The Beauty Blender is the ultimate makeup sponge applicator that lets you look like a movie star without the pricey services of a makeup artist."

It's hard to put a value on this bonus, but I think it is totally worth 1000 Ipsy points. I could never allow myself to dole out the money or one of these, so it's great to try it out for free. I believe this is a mini blender, but I'm not thinking that will affect the results. I'm going to use this when I use my makeup for the wedding next week, and see what sort of results I get.

Total Bag Value: $29.62 w/o Beauty Blender

Although this isn't the highest value bag, I received 3 full size and 2 deluxe sample products. Again, Ipsy proves why they are the bomb dot com of the beauty box world. All of these products will last a long time and give me enough product to test whether I would really purchase the full size.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Influenster #MysteryBrand Revealed! Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser

A week ago I posted about Influenster's most recent Canadian Campaign: The L'Oreal Mystery Brand VoxBox. If you would like to see that first impressions post click here. 

Based on product smell and some Google sleuthing, I had guessed that the mystery product was going to be Garnier's new Damage Eraser line. Yesterday, a big white box showed up in the mail which confirmed that I was correct in my guessing. Inside the box was the complete, full-size line of Garnier Damage Eraser products. The line includes: fortifying shampoo, fortifying conditioner, split ends bandage serum, and strength reconstructing butter.

This line boasts that it is great for dry, damaged hair, which is exactly what I have. However, my hair also gets extremely oily, extremely quickly at the scalp. I like to say I have combination hair. Read below to learn more about this line, and my thoughts on each of the products.

Fortifying Shampoo

"Want to bring back strength, vitality & shine to damaged hair? Reconstruct hair's strength for strong hair that looks rejuvenated. The formula contains Phyto-Keratin complex, with plant-based proteins and active fruit concentrate, and cupuacu butter, with natural lipids. It works in two ways to strengthen and rejuvenate the look of hair."

This shampoo smells amazing, the whole line does! It lathers quite well, and my hair feels clean once I rinse it out, but not dried out. Although it is a good shampoo, it is nothing miraculous. I get similar results from Herbal Essences and other drugstore shampoos.

Fortifying Conditioner

"Want to bring back strength, vitality & shine to damaged hair? Reconstruct hair's strength for strong hair that looks rejuvenated. The formula contains Phyto-Keratin complex, with plant-based proteins and active fruit concentrate, and cupuacu butter, with natural lipids. It works in two ways to strengthen and rejuvenate the look of hair."

The real magic happens with this conditioner. It has quite a thicker consistency than most other drugstore conditioners, and works well at replenishing the moisture that my dry, damaged hair needs. I use this only on the ends of my hair. It rinses out easily, and leaves my hair feeling soft, manageable, and tangle free.

Split Ends Bandage Serum

"Formulated with Phyto-Keratin complex and cupuacu butter, each drop helps prevent split ends and reconstructs and preserves hair's strength. Apply on towel-dried hair to fragile or damaged areas. Do not rinse out."

This has been the magic step for me within this line. Once I am out of the shower, I brush through my hair, ring out any excess water, and apply a nickel to quarter sized amount to the ends of my hair. I find this serum is too moisturizing to use on my whole head. My hair dries, and I am left with soft, shiny, frizz-free hair. Most days I don't style my hair, but it looks great with this product so I don't have too. When I straighten my hair I have less fly-aways and frizz.

Strength Reconstructing Butter

"This rich, indulgent butter is designed to intensely reconstruct hair's strength for strong, rejuvenated and shiny-looking hair. After shampooing, apply to wet hair from root to tip. Leave on for 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse."

This was a surprise item in the box, as we hadn't previously received a sample of this product. I am not normally a fan/user of hair masks, because I am too lazy to take the time. However, I am willing to try anything to hep with frizz, so I am going to be using this during my next spa day routine. I will report back with my thoughts once I have used this product.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with this Influenster Campaign, and I'm so excited to bring life back to my hair with these products. If you would like to sign up for Influenster, for a chance to be part of the next Campaign, then email me at mybeautyfulladventure@hotmail.com and I will send you an invite.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

First Impressions - The L'Oreal Canada Mystery VoxBox

About two weeks ago I received an email, informing me that I was selected to possibly be part of the next Canadian Voxbox, from Influenster. Influenster is a word of mouth marketing website that sends out free products, to its most influential members, in exchange for reviews shared over all aspects of social media. The more you share the higher your meter climbs. The higher your meter the more likely you are to get the next Voxbox &/or extra goodies to try.

I completed the hair care survey, but was told that unfortunately I had not qualified for this Voxbox. Just a few days ago, however, I received a red Influenster box in the mail. Inside were three unmarked L'Oreal products: a shampoo, conditioner, and split-end serum.
The card states that this is a two part Voxbox. First, we are to try the mystery products for one week, and complete a series of social media tasks trying to guess what the #MysteryBrand could be. Then in a weeks time we will receive the next box which will include the full size products, and the brand will be revealed.

After smelling the samples (for 10 minutes) I took to Google and searched key words/ingredients from the info card. My guess by smell alone was Garnier and Google confirmed that I had guessed correctly. I am 99% sure based on wording and ingredients that these are in fact products from the Garnier Damage Eraser line.

The line seems intriguing but I was a little skeptical, as I have yet to find a Garnier hair product I actually like. These samples blew my expectations out of the water! Not only do they smell great, and that scent lingers in my hair, but they leave my hair feeling smooth, and feeling silky. All without weighing it down. I have noticed a visible difference in the texture and amount of frizziness in my hair with only a couple uses.

I can't wait for the full size products to get here so that I can test out long time use. If is continues to impress me like it has, I will be buying this over and over again, whether it is Garnier or not.

Were you chosen for this #MysteryBrand Voxbox? If so, what are your thoughts on the products, and guesses as to what the brand is?


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag Review

January's Ipsy Bag had us ringing in the New Year with 19 reasons why 2014 will be amazing. Everyone's bag came with an assortment of five sample products from a possible 19 different products. The theme of this month's bag was more skin care oriented than past bags, but I was lucky enough to receive a couple makeup products in mine. I subscribe to Ipsy because it continually send out more makeup then other subscriptions on the market. Here is hoping that next month provides more of a makeup selection.

If you would like to sign up for your own Ipsy Bag, I would love if you would use my referral link by clicking here. Ipsy cost $10USD or $14.95CDN per month and you are guaranteed 5 samples a month that can be either full size or sample size.

Willa Naturals Lavender Face Towelettes 

These cloths reminded me of the LA Fresh makeup removing cloths. These were thin, small cloths, not big enough to cleanse my whole face with one cloth. They did remove my makeup fairly well, however, waterproof/long wearing makeup was too much for these cloths. They have an earthy lavender scent which isn't my favourite, and I found them to be on the drier side. I would purchase these.

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo

This dry shampoo comes is a white powder, that has a slight perfumed scent. It did absorb oil, but not any better then drugstore dry shampoos that I have used before. Because my hair is so dark, I found that this product left a white cast in my hair, and it was very messy to work with. I think the mess was due to the packaging of the sample. I would not purchase.

Marula Pure Marula Oil

This is a tiny sample, but a little goes a long way with this oil. It has a woodsy, earthy scent. The scent actually reminded me of walking down the lumber aisle at The Home Depot. It absorbs fairly quickly into my skin, but leaves a greasy look and feel. I probably wont use this on my face, but on my hands or other dry areas of my body for extra moisture. I would not purchase.

Mica Tinted Lip Balm in Fiesta

This is my favourite product of the bag! This is a highly pigmented lipstick (not balm), that goes on smooth and dries to a semi-matte finish, that lasts all day. It starts out as a bright berry pink and fades to a light pink stain as the day goes on. It is a little drying, but with a balm under or over it, you are good to go. I would purchase.

Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow Eye Pencil in Penny

This creamy, pigmented pencil works well as both an eyeliner and cream eyeshadow. The colour reminds me of Maybelline's Colour Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze. The product is very long lasting and takes quite a bit of cleansing to remove the product once it sets. The only thing I don't like about this pencil is that it's made of plastic and I have to sharpen that plastic to use it. I would purchase.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Unboxing: Hard Candy 13 Piece Holiday Best Of Kit

Hard Candy has always been a brand that intrigues me. Whenever I am at Walmart, I peruse through the products and I'm tempted to pick up quite a few things. So when I saw this Best Of Kit at Christmas time I knew I had to pick it up. This kit normally retails for $19, however, I picked it up on Boxing Day for only $9.50. To me this was an unbeatable price, as the cost of the concealer by itself is almost that price.

I haven't had a chance to use everything in this kit, so this post will be more of an overview of the products. As I use these more in my daily routine I may post a review of the products I really like. If you would like to see an in-depth review of anything in this kit, leave me a comment below.

Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer in Medium Light

"A heavy duty, highly pigmented, blendable concealer that provides the ultimate coverage. Create a flawless surface by covering birth marks, freckles, dark circles, and even tattoos!"

I would have bought a lighter shade, but I can make this one work for my skin tone. I have heard great things about this concealer, so this was the main reason I bought the kit. I did find it a bit thick when I was swatching it, but hopefully after playing around with it I will find the best application method.

Glow All the Way Bronzer in Glamazon Bronze

"Glow All the Way with this pearly, luminizing highlighter that illuminates any skin tone. Infused with 24-karat gold for a million dollar look! Also available in two shades of tinted sunless tanners to instantly bronze and build a lasting tan."

This product was a lot darker then I thought it was going to be, seeing as this is the lightest shade available. It is too dark for my skin tone as a bronzer, and I find it too metallic for a bronzer as well. I am going to try it out as a cream shadow, or a base for other bronze eyeshadows I already own.

Plumping Serum Volumizing Lip Gloss in Girl Next Door

"Super glossy formula hydrates and instantly plumps for fuller, curvaceous lips. Layer on for outrageous shine and create the perfect pout. No collagen needed!"

I have used this type of Hard Candy gloss before but in a different shade. This milky pink shade reminds me of Nars Turkish Delight or Essence My Favourite Milkshake. I have really been loving this shade of lip gloss lately so I am excited to try this one out.

Concealer, Bronzer, Lip Gloss

So Baked Bronzer in Tiki

"Baked on a terra cotta pan to create a beautiful, dewy yet matte finish, the infused colour found in this compact gives the complexion a hint of bronzed colour for a sun-kissed look."

This product is extremely light and too frosty to be a bronzer. When swatched it barely shows up on my skin. I will be using this as a highlighter or eyeshadow.

Kal-eye-descope Baked Eyeshadow Duo in High Maintenance

"Palette duos of highly pigmented shadows to highlight eyes with rich colour. Apply wet for a dramatic finish or dry for a softer, shimmery effect. Available in a kal-eye-descope of coordinating shades."

These shadows swatched beautifully, and will look great on the eye. Although they felt dry when I was swatching, they apply smoothly and blend easily. They would both work well as an all over the lid colour or a lid and crease duo.
Bronzer, Shadow Duo

Take It Off Makeup Remover Wipes

"Take It Off makeup remover wipes remove long-wear and waterproof makeup in one easy step. Effectively cleanse skin while refreshing and moisturizing the surface of your face. No rinsing needed. Safe for all skin types."

Lashaholic Super Volume Mascara in Blackest Black

"Are you a Lashaholic? Our volume building mascara is formulated with unique powders that thicken and lengthen each lash with every coat. Paired with an outstanding molded brush to elongate, separate and define every lash to create the biggest, baddest lashes ever."

I am always excited to try out new mascaras, however the brush and formula of this mascara does not seem like anything special. The brush reminds me of the original Great Lash brush, and I really don't like that mascara. The formula also did not swatch overly pigmented.

Walk the Line Liquid Eyeliner in Asphalt

"A quick drying, liquid eyeliner that creates bold mesmerizing eyes with a precise brush for application. Available in rich metallic and sparkling glitter shades."

I really like the small brush size of this liner, as it will give me more control over the product, and I will be more apt to achieve a straight line. However, upon swatching the formula is not overly pigmented. I may need a few coats for it to look opaque.

Take Me Out Liner Pencil in Abyss

"These creamy eye pencils deliver powerful, vibrant colour that glides on smooth for a long-lasting finish that wont budge. Line eyes with a hint of colour or go for the full artistic, multi-hued effect. Formula's vary and include metallic, glitter, and matte shades for the ultimate custom eye."

This liner needed a few swipes before it became pigmented and creamy. After that it created a decent swatch with some silver glitter visible. Because of the glitter I am not going to use this on my water line, but it will provide a different look to my everyday liner.
Mascara, Liquid Liner, Pencil Liner

Eyelash Curler & 3 Mini Brushes

I couldn't find anything about tools on the Hard Candy website, nor do I remember ever seeing any in stores. I believe that these are just filler products for the kit. I will use the eyelash curler in my travel kit, but the brushes are a no go. They feel plastic, and picky on the skin, so I will be throwing these out.

Monday, January 6, 2014

December 2013 Ipsy Review

December was so busy, and went by so quickly that I just remembered I had to review my December Ipsy Bag. I don't know how I could have forgotten about this bag, as it is pretty amazing! It came complete with 4 full size products, and a trial size eyeshadow palette, that came with three full size eye shadows. My bag also came with a replacement bronzer from the November bag. Overall, I am super impressed with the contents of Decembers bag, and I was excited to see a variety of products from both brands I love, and brands new to me. The value of this months bag also far exceeded the cost in which I paid. The value of the products came to $59.19. Ipsy continues to impress me and provide me with new and exciting products to try, so I will be staying subscribed into the new year.

If you are interested in signing up for your own Ipsy Bag, you can do so by clicking here. Ipsy costs $10USD or $14.95CDN per month.

Mirabella Eye Blender

Value: $27
"This fluffy eye blender brush perfectly fuses eyeshadow to create a naturally sculpted eye. Tapered domed shape provides flawless and easy application. Mirabella hand sculpted brushes are made with the finest quality materials and feature exclusive brushed aluminium ferrules and handles."

Pop Beauty Naturally Bare Eyeshadow Trio

Value: $7.20
"This palette of bare pigments adds definition and intensity to lids, creating a broad range of shadow looks that complement all eye colours. From light bare to midnight bronze, these hues blend smoothly onto the lid, adding a veil of silky luster that will outlive the day or night!"

Be A Bombshell One Stick in Flustered

Value: $16
"An all-in-one multiple stick with a smooth texture. Apply to eyelids, cheeks or lips for the perfect pop of colour anywhere! Apply as you would regular eyeshadow, blush, or lip gloss."

NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Hermes

Value: $4
"The mineral-based emollient formula offers a beautiful velvet texture, saturated colour and it resists wear and smudging. It's your go-to lipstick."

NICKA K Nail Polish in Classic Taupe

Value: $4.99
"Our new and improved professional DBP, Toulene and added formaldehyde free lacquer easily glides onto nails for a picture perfect polished finish. Specially formulated to be applied minimal effort while offering smooth, even coverage. Our long wearing, vibrant NICKA K New York Nail colours are available in 44 variations."