- See more at: http://tutorialgeek.blogspot.ca/2010/11/how-to-change-your-blogger-domain-url.html#sthash.JOLPbG90.dpuf my beauty full adventure - do not use: July 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Winner's Beauty Find Review & HauteLook Sale Event

Quick back story...a year ago I had no idea what Winners was or how amazing it is, and now I am obsessed with all things Winners; especially their beauty department. I am always finding something new there for a great price. Although sometimes their selection is horrible, I sometimes find that rare gem. This blog post has been inspired by one of those gems. On a recent trip to Winners I discovered 'The Fusion Essentials" Box Set. It comes with 3 full sized products from the Fusion Beauty Line and is definitely worth the Winners price.

On the box it states that this set has a value of $107 CDN.
The Retail price of this set (on most websites) is $52 CDN.
Winners sells this set for $19.99!! A definite steal if I do say so myself. That is almost a 62% savings off the retail price!!!

Also before I go into a review and breakdown of the products I wanted to let people know that if you are interested in this set or any of the products in it, they can be purchased at sephora.com. If you are looking however to save some moola you should check out HauteLook.com as they have an upcoming sale event on Fusion Beauty products. The info about this HauteLook sale can be found below.

Fusion Beauty Sale

Starts Friday 7/29 at 8:00 AM Pacific
Fusion Beauty - High-performance products that deliver

Visit HauteLook by clicking the link below.

Product Review & Breakdown

This is what the packaging looks like. And you can see the 3 products on the front. Surprisingly, the pictures on the front are about the actual size of the products in the box. So it's a good way to estimate what you are going to get before you buy it.

L-R: LipFusion, LiftFusion, LashFusion.

LipFusion Micro Collagen Lip Plump in Crave
Size: 0.29 oz./ 8.22g
What is it: A moisturizing treatment gloss infused with revolutionary technology to plump lips instantly.
What it does: Achieve maximum volume and brilliance for a truly stunning pout. This formula contains tiny, dehydrated, marine collagen micro spheres that absorb instantly and seek out the body's natural moisture. As soon as the spheres become rehydrated, they plump and hold onto the moisture they've collected, creating a mild "swelling" of the lip tissue. The result is fuller, smoother, perfectly plumped lips in seconds. Results can last for up to 48 hours.
Retail Price at Sephora.com: $46 CDN/ $38 US

My Thoughts: I love the color and texture of this lip gloss, but I am kinda disappointed in the plumping action. I don't get the usual tingle like other plumper's, so I don't know if it is working. And my lips look the same. As a plumper I only give this 2 stars, but as a lip gloss in general I give it 4 stars.

LiftFusion Triple Threat Intense Target Magic Wand
Size: 0.07 fl. oz./ 2 ml
What it is/does:
  • A convenient, portable wand for immediate firming effect
  • Combines powerful serum with wheat proteins
  • Plus liquid GABA & hyaluronic acid
  • Visibly reduces crow feet, expression lines & even deep wrinkles
  • Infused with a new breakthrough anti-oxidant to defy future signs of aging
  • Leaves skin velvety smooth, toned with a youthful glow
Retail Price at StrawberryNet.com: $42.50 US

My Thoughts: I can't really give my thoughts as I haven't tried this product yet. At 21, I don't really have crows feet or laugh lines I am trying to erase. The only thing I can comment on is that the smell of this product is not the best.

LashFusion XL Micro-Technology Instant Lash Volumizer
Size: 0.42 oz./ 12g
What it is: A creamy mascara that conditions and lengthens lashes for dramatic effects.
What it does: Fusion Beauty LashFusion XL Micro-Technology™ Instant Lash Volumizer delivers bold, healthy, voluptuous lashes. This rich formula includes a naturally emollient resin to encourage curl, and comes with a large brush that makes an impact in just one coat. This innovative breakthrough borrows the latest technology from the haircare world to nourish, protect, and enhance your fringe. The Fusion Beauty patented capisphere delivery system provides a reparative complex of fatty acids, avocado oil, and wheat flower lipids that fortifies lashes—even after the mascara is removed.
Retail Price at Sephora.com: $26 CDN/ $24 US

My Thoughts: This is hands down the best mascara I have ever used. I have tried almost every mascara there is, and I am always left disappointed by some aspect of it. It either lacks volume, or length, or the formula is just horrible. Not this baby though. It gives me the perfect volume at the base of my lashes and then the perfect amount of length. The formula is not to creamy or wet. And the brush is a dream. I literally need one coat and I get the same look as 3 coats of some other mascaras. If there was one reason to buy this kit it would be for this mascara. I give it 5 stars and I will definitely be buying another one, even at $26 CDN.

Below are some pictures of how 1 coat of the LashFusion looks like on my lashes. I am not wearing fake eyelashes.

I hope this breakdown and review was helpful. If you are interested in buying Fusion Beauty during its Sale Event on HauteLook just mosey on up to the link above. HauteLook is a free to register site with no obligations...just savings!

Thanks for reading!
~ I.D.S.M

Disclaimer: All the products mentioned were bought with my own money. All thoughts and opions are honest and my own. Winners, Fusion Beauty, HauteLook, or any other website or company mentioned are not compensating me for this review.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Be aware that this review may contain spoilers. If you have not read the book prior to this review you may want to.

Number of Pages – 487
ISBN - 9780062024022

Price In-store Hardcover - $19.99
Price Online Hardcover - $15.19
Pre-Order Trade Paperback Price Online - $27.95
E-Book Price - $9.99

Hardcover Release Date – April 25th, 2011
Paperback Release Date – October 30th, 2011

Genre – Sci-fi/ Dystopia
Location In-Store – Teens
Ages – 14 & up
Grades – 9 & up

From the Publisher

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to a cultivation of a particular virtue.
  • Candor – Honesty
  • Abnegation – Selflessness
  • Dauntless – Bravery
  • Amity – Peacefulness
  • Erudite – Intelligence
On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is...she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometime infuriating boy fits into the like she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves...or it might destroy her.

About the Author

Veronica Roth graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in creative writing. While she was a student, she often chose to work on the story that would become Divergent instead of doing her homework. It was indeed a transforming a choice. Now a full-time writer, Ms. Roth lives near Chicago. Divergent is her first novel.

My Thoughts

I was first introduced to this book through my job at Indigo Books & Music. As a new Teen read, it was my responsibility as a Customer Experience Representative to familiarize myself with this novel so that I could effectively sell it to customers. I was informed that if I liked The Hunger Games I would love Divergent. Once hearing that I was not very enthused about reading it. I could not get past the first few chapters of The Hunger Games and to this day still cannot force myself to read it.

At this point in my reading career I have moved away from Teen books and haven’t been able to read a Teen book and actually enjoy it. That's why I was so surprised that I LOVED Divergent. As you can see in the picture above I have the Advance Readers Copy. These ARC's are an occasional perk of working for a book company. Aside from a few spelling and grammatical errors, this copy of the story was exactly the same as the ones available for purchase in stores.

After receiving the ARC I put it on my bookshelf to await its turn in my Reading List. It probably would have sat there a lot longer if it hadn’t been chosen as the June Book at my book club. I had given myself 1 week to read this book, however, it only took me 1 day of continuous reading. Once I started it I couldn’t force myself to put it down. When I did I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next.

Veronica's writing style completely surrounded me, keeping me entertained until the last page. Even though Tris is 16 years old I could find my 21 year old self relating to her. I find she is a character most women of any age would be able to relate to as her fears and life challenges are things that we all go through.

I found the love story enough to keep me hooked (Me being used to adult love stories), however not to romantic as to make it to much for teens to handle. The appropriateness was perfect.

I have heard that a lot of people found the amount of violence in this book shocking. I however thought it was the perfect amount and it is what kept the story interesting and entertaining. The only thing I thought went a little too far was the scene which depicted fondling and the possibility of rape. I do not think this was needed and it was a little to mature for the intended audience of this book.

At the book club we all decided which faction we would have chosen to be a part of. Although it would be really cool to be part of a bad ass faction like Dauntless, I don’t think I could have handled the initiation process. So my reasonable choice would be Erudite.

I have heard that this series will have 6 books and the movie of the first book will be made around 2014 or 2015. However this is just speculation.

Overall, I would give this book a 5/5 stars. It was the best Teen book I have ever read, and it also makes my Top 10 favourite book list as well.

*Disclaimer – I was given this book for free through my place of employment. Neither the company or author is compensating me for this review. All opinions are honest and completely my own.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: Glymm's Pre-Launch V.I.G Box - July 2011

My Glymm-er of hope has finally arrived. I have only been waiting a month and a half but it feels like years. I was initially introduced to Glymm through Facebook. One day I signed in Facebook and had a request to "Like" Glymm from someone I assume now is associated with the company. Like all requests I thought nothing of it but after some investigation of their page realized that this company is right up my alley. I chose to "Like" Glymm that day, but I can now say I LOVE them!

If you are not aware of what Glymm is, it is essentially a beauty product sampling service comparable to Luxe Box and BirchBox. I was choosen to be part of their founding family and got to purchase their special pre-launch box. It is called the V.I.G. Box because it is for Very Important Girls. The V.I.G Box was released this month and cost a discounted price of only $5 (no tax and no shipping fees). For $5 I was willing to give this company a try and I am glad I did. This box blew my expectations out of the water. Below you will be able to see pictures and a breakdown of the products I received. Some pictures are blurry, I apologize now.

Instead of listing out how this company works and the prices I am going to link below Glymm's Informational Video and let them tell you all about it.

Glymm's Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/GlymmGirl?ref=ts
Informational Video - http://www.facebook.com/GlymmGirl?ref=ts#!/video/video.php?v=124709004276549

If you are interested in signing up for Glymm, click the link below :

So far Glymm's company, especially the customer service, has gone above and beyond for me. They are quick to reply to emails and Facebook comments, really showing that they value us as customers. No amount of questions are too much for them, they are willing to find and give you the information you need to be satisfied; and that is something I am very impressed with. I am used to companies that make me feel like I'm wasting their time with my questions, but not Glymm. They constantly re-assure me that I am no bother. Their emails are always personal and friendly and so are their phone calls. I give the company 5 stars for their customer service.

Here is what the box looks like. It is a hot pink shiny cardboard box with white lettering. The company website can be found on the sides of the box.

When you take of the lid this is what you see. The orange side of the card has a message, thanking you for joining Glymm and telling you a brief overview of the products inside. The back of the card has a more detailed breakdown of the products, including the price and size of the full sized products.

Here is the inside of the box with the 5 products I received along with a Jelly Belly treat.

Product Breakdown

1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 - 15mL
Retail Value - $27 for 100mL
Sample Value - $4.05
On the card - Combat sun damage in an intense and moisturized fashion with this non-greasy formula. Free of fragrance and full protection, use this fast absorbing SPF on the daily.
My Thoughts - This sample is the perfect sized for my travelling makeup bag. I love it. I tried some on my hand and it absorbs really quickly and doesn't leave the normal gross residue that I am used to with sunscreens. Although it says fragrance free I detect a slight typical sunscreen smell but I don't mind cause I like the smell of sunscreen. I also love that this is SPF 60. I am extremely pale and need all the sun protection I can get my hands on.

2. MYFACEWORKS - I Need To Replenish Facemask - 1 mask
Retail Value - $55 for a box of 6
Sample Value - $9.16
On the card - A skin quenching radiance promoting, youthfulness enhancing facemask that is easy to use and proves that results can be instantaneous. The 100% silk net promises to treat dry skin with love.
My Thoughts -  I am super excited to get this product as I have been wanting to try out this brand for a while. However, since it is so expensive I've been holding off. I am not sure how this mask is going to work for me seeing as I have very oily skin and it says it is for dry skin. My skin breaks out really easily so I may gift this alone to my friend who may get more benefit out of it.

3. Stila Raspberry Lip Glaze - 0.04 fl. oz. (Not 100% sure on the size)
Retail Value - $22 for 0.08 fl. oz.
Sample Value - $11 (Don't quote me lol)
On the card - A deletable, raspberry Popsicle coloured lip gloss that is not only easy to pair with any outfit, but also with any purse, sandal, or eyeshadow. Slim fitting and easy to use, this clutch-friendly gloss is sure to be an instant fave.
My Thoughts - This is my favourite product of the box. I am a lip gloss junkie and hot pinks are my fave colour. I have never tried Stila, as I think I can get comparable quality from cheaper brands, but now that I have tried this I may not be able to go back to my ELF lip glazes. The colour is sheer yet noticeable, and there is no stickiness at all. Stila you are my new favourite brand!

4. OPI Mini Nail Polish - Unknown Colour - 1/8 fl. oz.
Retail Value - $13 for 0.5 fl. oz.
Sample Value - $3.25
On the card - Smokin' hot for Summer, touch up your toes or fingers with this eye-catching polish. Promising to provide a fin and energetic bounce in your step, OPI once again proves it's worth with a shiny, smooth and enduring formula.
My Thoughts - OPI is my favourite nail polish brand, hands down. So I wasn't surprised that I love this sample. The colour is like a very pale grayish-lavender-blue. If that makes any sense. I really like the colour, I just wish I knew the name. Unlike my other OPIs this little bottle doesn't have a name sticker on it :(

5. Gucci Flora Fragrance - 0.16 fl. oz.
Retail Value - $70 for 1.6 fl. oz.
Sample Value - $7
On the card - Sweet and floral, this fragrance combines in perfect balance notes of citrus, peony, rose, osmanthus, pink pepperwood, sandalwood, and patchouli that is relevant to any woman who likes to be expressed with a sophisticated twist.
My Thoughts - First thing I want to say is that the bottle this sample is in is so flippin' adorable! You can see it above in a blurry picture. It isn't like any perfume sample I have ever gotten. I am used to the little cylindrical spritzers. This is a cute mini replica of the actual perfume. Genius. The second thing I love about this perfume is the smell. I hate floral, but this scent sings to me. I am going to be cherishing this sample, but I already know my next perfume purchase will be Gucci Flora.

Bonus - Cotton Candy Jelly Belly's
Value - Priceless
These were so cute and so delicious. They made my day!

Overall, this box was a success. Definitely worth the $5 and I cannot wait for my August box now. Glymm has made a for life customer out of me, and I am tempted to even say that they are better then Loose Button. But I will need to get another box before I can make that conclusion. Let the battle begin between Glymm Box and Luxe Box.

Price paid for box - $5
Value of box - $38.94 roughly

Disclaimer - This V.I.G. Box was purchased by me with my own money. All opinions are honest and my own. I am not being compensated for this review by Glymm or any other company mentioned.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review of July Luxe Box from Loose Button

My July Luxe Box has finally arrived!! I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival since I opened my last Luxe Box. Last month didn't disappoint and either did this month's box. If you don't know what Luxe Box is, but are a beauty lover, check out the details about this company in my June Review. Or you can find out all the information on their Facebook page or on their Website.

Here is the outside of the box minus the black and white ribbon.

This card shows the 4 products that I received.

And this is the inside of the box. Sorry for the quality. My camera is on its last leg and I am looking in to getting a new one.

Now for the product breakdown.

1. A full sized Essie Nail Polish in 572 Rock the Croc.
Retail Value - $8
Sample Value - $8
On the card - Today Essie Nail Polish has grown to be one of the industry's most popular professional polish brands. Due to Essie's long-lasting formula, Essie Nail Polish has been worn by many celebrities including Princess Kate Middleton on her wedding day.
My thoughts - I have never tried an Essie Nail Polish before so I can't really say if I like this brand yet. The color I have is a very deep berry red, that I think will look great as a pedicure colour. Hopefully, I like this brand once I use it, since I have been trying to branch out from OPI and China Glaze.

2. 15mL Bottle of Proclaim Hair Oil Treatment.
Retail Value - $7
Sample Value - $1.17
On the card - Proclaim Argan Oil Hair Oil Treatment is uniquely formulated with Argan Oil and natural ingredients that condition, help repair dry, damaged hair without weighing it down, eliminate frizz and infuse brilliant shine.
My thoughts - I have been wanting to check out an Argan Oil or Moroccan Oil hair treatment for a while now, so I am really excited to have gotten this sample. However, my hair is not dry, damaged, or frizzy so I am curious to see what it will do for me. After I have used this product I will do a full review.

3. 1.2mL Stella Eau de Toilette - Stella in Two Peony Fragrance
Retail Value - $56
Sample Value - $2.87
On the card - Light and sparkling Pink Peony spiced up with black pepper comprise the top notes, while the base notes of amber, cedar wood, and patchouli leave a warm and decidedly sensual drydown. A great spring/summer choice to add to your fragrance collection.
My thoughts - On first smell I really like the scent of this perfume. As a complete hater of floral perfumes I was pleasantly surprised I actually liked this scent. The cute little spritzer is the perfect size to keep in your makeup bag. The scent is light but noticeable, and the perfect scent for summer. Although I like this scent and will probably wear it occasionally until the sample is done I am not sure if I will purchase a full size. I can smell the patchouli in this scent and it is not something I am a huge fan of.

4. 1.1g Trucco Eye Liner Pencil in Ivy 7406
Retail Value - $20
Sample Value - $20
On the card - Pro Lip Pencil can be used to sculpt, color, outline, and reshape the lips. Outline lips before applying lipstick to create shape and help prevent lipstick from feathering. Or use this product to fill in the entire lip as a base for lip colour.
My thoughts - Firstly, the card talks about this being a lip liner, however, it is an eyeliner. This color is a really pretty dark forest green, and from initial swatches it has an okay consistency. I am not in love with the consistency but I do love the color. When I Googled this product (as I have never heard of Trucco Cosmetics) I came to realize that this brand is actually discontinued and only available on eBay or other auction sites. I do not like that this product is not readily available, because if I do fall head over heels in love with it I may never be able to find another one and have to settle for a mediocre substitute.

Overall, I am very impressed with this month's Luxe Box. I would have to give it 4/5 stars. I am also really impressed still with this company in general. The customer service is incredible and their use of social media is very impressive. Instead of just monitoring there page they are constantly commenting with their customers; really making an effort to show that they care, and to make us customers feel valued. Keep up the good work Loose Button, you have made me a lifetime customer already!!

Price paid for July Luxe Box - $11.30
Value of items in July Luxe Box - $36.21 (roughly)

*Disclaimer: This Luxe Box was bought with my own money. I am not being compensated by Loose Button or any of the other brands mentioned for this review. This is my honest opinion on the products and the Luxe Box service.

Review of June Luxe Box from Loose Button

I have always been a fan of samples and the try-before-you-buy approach, especially when it comes to the more expensive products in the beauty world. When I first started looking into these sample box services I heard about Birch Box, but unfortunately they don't ship all the up here in Canada. After some research I discovered Luxe Box by Loose Button.

Essentially, this Luxe Box is a beauty product sampling service. When I signed up I paid $9.99+tax per month with free shipping. Now that they have gone public prices are:
  • $12 plus tax per month (free shipping)
  • $36 plus tax for 3 months (free shipping)
  • $120 plus tax for 12 months (free shipping) *This package awards you with 2 months of Luxe Box for free, as well as, first in line when they ship out.
Each Luxe Box comes with 3-5 deluxe beauty samples from high end brands like principessa, Elizabeth Grant, Benefit, Laura Mercier, China Glaze, Dermalogica, etc! Deluxe samples are bigger then the one or two time uses we are used to from beauty counters. Every box is different, so it is always a surprise. It's like a present every month!!

Each month you get a personalized note thanking you for being a part of Luxe Box, and it also talks about the products in your box. The card shows the products, with a description of them, how to use them, and the price of the full-size product.

This month I got 3 products. A full size Laura Mercier eye shadow in the colour Sandstone, a 13g sample of Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant, and a mini sized China Glaze Nail Polish in Code Orange.

  1. Laura Mercier Eye Shadow in Sandstone - Sateen, with its blend of pigment and pearl, has a creamy, powder texture that creates a lightweight, supple feel on the skin. Laura Mercier Sateen Eye Colour is a lightweight eye shadow with a creamy powder texture that provides an immediate release of intense luminous colour with superior blending for a long-wearing, crease-resistant application.
  2. Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant - This unique Rice-based enzyme powder microfoliates dulling debris and instantly leaves skin noticeably smoother and brighter. Contains no artificial fragrance or color. Dispense about a half-teaspoon of Daily Microfoliant® into very wet hands and create a creamy paste by rubbing hands together. Apply to face in circular motions, avoiding the eye area. Massage gently for one minute, then rinse thoroughly.
  3. China Glaze Nail Polish in Code Orange - China Glaze is a professional-level nail enamel made with a special balance of polymers and resins that combine to create a nail lacquer that is long lasting, chip-resistant and resistant to color and shine fading. Will not thicken in the bottle, no thinners necessary. I was skeptical at first about this colour but now that I have been wearing it for a few days I am in LOVE! It is the perfect orange for spring/summer.  

Already I think I have gotten my monies worth seeing as the Eye Shadow retails for $22. I am extremely pleased with this service so far and cant wait to see what the July Luxe Box holds.

Another aspect of this company I am loving is the Customer Service. They take time to answer your questions both by email and on their Facebook page. I have never dealt with a company so new like Luxe Box is with such awesome Customer Service!

If you are a beauty junkie like me, or just looking to try some new undiscovered products I would definitely recommend Loose Button and Luxe Box.