Saturday, 31 December 2011

December Monthly Subscription Boxes Comparison

So sorry for coming up with this review so late. Christmas has been really hectic and I really wanted to give some thought into who should win this month. And the winner is...*drumroll*...Glymm Box!!! You really can't decide which box to buy next month, because last month's champion is now this month's last place. I really do believe if you don't want to feel any regret, it's best if you just buy all three. So I really feel that Glymm beat its competition by a mile this month even though the scores don't reflect that, but that's mainly due to the fact that there was a lot of tying. I also did not make a category of deducting points for colours of lip products given, or both Luxe and Topbox would have received substaintially lower points than Glymm, but I choose not to do that, because I feel that it is unfair to judge the boxes on the shades that they give us, because they did not see our pictures and have no idea which colours go well for us.

Luxury - Based on the luxe factor of products received:  Glymm makes a great comeback, taking in the first place this month.  The Caudalie and Ahava products that I received in the box definitely ups the luxe factor for December.  Topbox comes in second this month; leaving Luxebox in last place.  The Cargo lipgloss that I received from Topbox is more luxurious compared to Luxebox's Yves Rocher Rouge Dragee Lipstick.

Quantity: Samples Received - Based on the number of samples received: Luxebox comes in first place in this category with five samples, while Glymm and Topbox tie at second place with four samples.

Quantity: Full Size Products Received - Based on the number of full size products received:  Topbox and Luxebox tie at first place with two full sized products received, and Glymm box comes in last with only one full sized sample received.

Range of products - Based on the different products that was received: Glymm and Luxebox tie at first place in this category.  Glymm hit four categories (Skincare, Hand, Perfume, and Lip) while luxebox also got four categories (Body, Perfume, Eye, and Lip) Topbox comes in last by only hitting three categories (lip, skin, and body)

Timeliness - Based on when box was received:  Topbox comes in first place in this category because it was the first box to arrive in my mail.  It comes almost a week ahead from Glymm and Luxebox.  Glymm comes in second place as it arrived a couple of days before Luxebox arrived.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Lush Boxing Day Haul (Big Savings!!)

Since I have become such a big fan of Lush, I decided to wake up extra early to go to their boxing day sale. Before heading out, I did do my research, and know that their pre-wrapped gifts, holiday bath products, and soaps were going to be buy 1 get 1 free.

I made a list, checked it twice, and here is what I bought:

1. Christmas Star

2. Happy Bathday

3. Truly Scrumptious

4. Billy Bonkers Bathtime Favourites

5. Bath Bomb, Bubble Bar, and Cakes

So, since I am an accountant, I decided to see how much my savings. My gosh, I saved $170!

Now this is not part of the haul, it is a gift that I received from my best friend Steph. This is not what a pre-packaged Happy Christmas contains, Steph had personalized a couple of things for me. Like I said, it's not part of the haul, but I really wanted to share what I got from Lush and I wanted to say thank you to Steph.

Monday, 26 December 2011

ELF Studio Beauty-On-The-Go Single Palettes Review and Swatches

When I saw this on ELF, I got so excited! I love the concept of switching up palettes and bringing such a small compact in your makeup bag for touchups. It is almost an exact duplicate for Sephora's Colour Play 5 in 1 Palette that was Sephora's Christmas palette last year.

These are the palettes that I bought:
- Night on the Town
- Pretty Picnic
- Shopping Spree
- Happy Hour
- Tuscany Retreat
- Day on the Beach

Unfortunately, the Beauty-On-The-Go single palettes just doesn't deliver in terms of the makeup quality despite it being from the studio line. If you gals are thinking that the product will be as good as the ELF Studio Single Eyeshadows, you are hugely mistaken. I am going to chuck mine into the garbage the second I am done with this review.

The quality of the eyeshadows vary immensely. Most shimmery eyeshadows have great pigmentation but are powdery in general and can not be swatched evenly on my arm. Matte eyeshadows are even worse. I press my finger very hard against the eyeshadow pan and I can not get any colour from it.

The quality of lipglosses are horrible. The lipglosses feel sticky and light colours do not even register on my arm. Darker colours show up as a lighter version of the colour from the pan.

All in all, yes, the palettes are cheap (I got them for $1.50 each because I got them during the Cyber Monday sale), but at the end of the day, what are you going to do with the palette that doesn't perform in a consistent basis? But what I am going to do is keep the palette case in case ELF comes up with palettes of better quality in the future.

If you are determined to purchase one of the palettes, I would recommend going with the Tuscany Retreat palette. Out of the six that I purchased, this palette was the one that showed up the most on my arm, and the pan does contain a pretty rusty colour that leans towards orange rather than red that is a pretty unique colour.

Here's a picture of Sephora's Colour Play 5 in 1 Palette that was available at Sephora last Christmas (Price: I think around $36)

Here's a picture of the palette with the cover closed

Here's the picture of the palette

Swatches of the Night On The Town Palette

Swatches of the Pretty Picnic Palette

Swatches of the Shopping Spree Palette

Swatches of the Happy Hour Palette

Swatches of the Tuscany Retreat Palette

Swatches of the Day On The Beach Palette

Monday, 19 December 2011

December Luxebox

My December Luxebox finally came in! I am happy that I got the box before Christmas, but I am a little bit disappointed by what I got.

This is what I got in my Luxebox this month:
- Yves Rocher - Rouge Dragee Lipstick in the colour Framboise Sorbet
- Yves Rocher - Italian Mandarin Shower Gel
- Nina Ricci - L'air Du Temp
- Nina Ricci - L'Elixir
- NYX - Slim Eye Pencil in Black

This is what the box looks like when it comes in

This is what the box looks like when you open it

I love the label that says that the box is made for me!

This is the picture of what I received this month

I personally don't like Yves Rocher because I tried their nail polish, body wash, and body lotion, and I didn't like any one of them, but people have nothing bad to say about the Rouge Dragee lipstick, so, maybe this is a product that Loose Button tested out and thought that it was good enough to end up in my box. The lipstick is suppose to be very hydrating and is infused with musk rose oil. I don't like how the Nina Ricci perfumes smell and will most likely end up as someone's Christmas stuffers.

I thought that the chocolate is really cute though since Loose Button went out of their way to make their own chocolate coin (did anyone catch the silver coin with the Loose Button logo?). According to the card, the chocolate coin is made from imported Belgian chocolate. All in all, the items that made up the box don't really excite me much, but the Belgian chocolate sure made me feel like an appreciated customer.

But what do you guys think? Did I get a good box this month? I think I am one of the lucky ones since I got a full sized product (and the colour does look pretty good to me), but I think I'm really loving the Glymm Box more than Luxe Box this month.

Friday, 16 December 2011

December Glymm Box

My December Glymm Box came in the mail today, and I can't wait to share what I got in it with you.

For December, I received:
- Caudalie - Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Mask
- Ahava - Mineral Hand Cream
- Yves Saint Laurent - La Parisienne
- Sula Beauty - Natural Lip Gloss
- $10 gift card to Glymm's Beauty Boutique

This is what the Glymm Box looks like

This is what the box looks like when you open it

These are the items that I received this month

So, I really have to say that I am very impressed with this month's Glymm Box. I can't go around saying that Glymm Box is a drugstore-ish version of Luxe Box anymore. I feel like this month's Glymm Box had a lot of luxurious items, and I will very likely make use of their $10 off gift at their Beauty Boutique since I am loving the Caudalie Premier Cru La Creme that I received in their October box.

I feel like the other boxes have really failed expectations this month (don't know about Luxebox yet, since I haven't received mine yet, but have received shipping notice last night). The items that came in the Topbox this month didn't really excite me a lot. In fact, all four products (click here to see what I got) are still sitting on my countertop and I just breeze by them every morning. Luxe Box have apparently been having problems with Canada Post, but I did not even get an email from Luxe Box saying that they were having problems. I don't mind when companies have problems, that's normal course of business, but I do expect to be promptly notified. There were a lot of wall messages on Facebook from customers wanting to be informed because their gifts might not make it to their loved ones for Christmas, while some say that they did not get the extra gift for the expired hair product that they received last month, and of course, no one can get reach customer service by email, wall messages, and telephone as well. I really hope that I get a great Luxe Box this month. Some people have received their boxes already, and it seems like most people got perfume and some other items that didn't really peak my interest either. I will keep you all posted on what I received in my Luxe Box when I get it.

So, what did you guys get in your boxes?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Urban Decay Naked Palette 2 Swatches and Review

I was very hesitant when I clicked the purchase button on Urban Decay, because there was a lot of mixed reviews initially. Some loved it, while some did not think that it was worth it because the colours were very similar to the Naked Palette.

Here is the picture of the Naked Palette 2 itself and swatches

Here is the picture of the Naked Palette2

Here is a picture of the palette itself with flash

Here is a picture of the palette itself without flash

Here is a picture of the swatches with flash

Here is a picture of the swatches without flash

I really like this palette, and I am very happy that I decided to purchase the palette instead of waiting till February to purchase the palette from Sephora in Canada. I think the people who decided not to buy the palette probably just read the reviews and made a decision. The pictures of the swatches and the palette really does not do it justice. The eyeshadows have a lot more sheen in actuality than the camera picks up. The eyeshadows have the same creamy consistency as most Urban Decay eyeshadows, last a very long time and do not crease. I think the palette complements the Naked 1 very nicely. I love the Sin + Suspect + Darkhorse and Bootycall + Snakebite + Hustle.

Friday, 9 December 2011

December Topbox

I am so excited to get my topbox in the mail today. It almost seems like Topbox wanted to make up for their boo boo last month and sent my Topbox extra early! However, I don't think I got an extra item because of their mistake last month even though they said that they will enter a note into the system to remind them to put an extra item in my box. Which is kinda disappointing...but I guess with so many boxes that they have to send put, that is expected. I still need to confirm though because I haven't seen what everyone else got to determine if I got an extra item than everyone else.

This is what I received this month:
- Cargo Cosmetics - blu_ray gloss in Big Sur
- Cover FX - Skinprep FX Primer
- Skinceuticals - Hydrating B5 Gel
- Bella Pella - Marula and Neroli Glyerine Soap

This is what I got

This is what the contents look like with the lipgloss out

This is what my lips look like bare, and this is what my lips look like with the cargo lipgloss on

I am happy that I got the Cargo Lipgloss, it is very pigmented and the colour is gorgeous on my lips!
So, what did everyone get? Are you happy with your box? Leave a comment! :)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss - Rosegold and Orchid

Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss - Orchid (Top) and Rosegold (Bottom)

What it claims to do:
Lips that shine with killer color. This weightless gloss makes lips pop with 5X more shine than patent leather

My thoughts: I thought that the lipgloss delivers a lot of shine and it is very well pigmented. I am not able to take a picture without the flash on because my condo is too dark, but Rosegold shows up as a very neutral colour without the flash on, while Orchid shows up as a very light pink on my lips. The lipgloss leans on the thick side but I like lip glosses that are thick, because liquidy lip glosses do not give an even distribution of the product on your lips.

Here is how Rosegold (Left) and Orchid (Right) look swatched on my hand

Here is how my lips look with just my EOS lip balm on

Here is how Rosegold looks

Here is how Orchid looks

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

November Monthly Subscription Boxes Comparison

Here are the criterias that I judged the boxes by with equal weighing. And the winner is...*drumroll*...Luxebox!!! With Glymmbox and Topbox almost tying at second place. I do prefer Topbox to Glymmbox and the scores will reflect that in December's box comparison if Topbox doesn't mess up their shipping again.

Luxurity - Based on the luxe factor of products received:  Luxebox scored a very high score this month because of the Benefit b.right products that I received this month.  I was very delighted to receive the Moisture Prep Toner and the Total Moisture Facial Cream together and I thought that it was very thoughtful of luxebox to put the two products from the same line together for me to try.  Topbox scored second because I received the Deborah Lippman nail polish which is more luxe than the Essie nail polish that I received from Luxebox.  Glymm comes in last in the luxurity score because most of the products that were received this month were drugstore products.  Some might argue that Lise Watier should be considered a luxury item since it is on the pricier side at Shopper Drug Mart, but hey, does Sephora carry Lise Watier?  If Sephora doesn't carry it, then it ain't considered luxurious.

Quantity: Samples Received - Based on the number of samples received: Luxebox comes in first place in this category because I received four samples, whereas, I received three samples from Glymmbox and two samples from Topbox

Quantity: Full Size Products Received - Based on the number of full size products received:  I received two full sized products in all three boxes.  The reason why Luxebox and Topbox tied at first place was due to preference to the full size products.  While I loved the Deborah Lippman nail polish that I received from Topbox, I actually prefer the ELF eyeshadow that I received from Luxebox compared to the Cake Velveteen Hand Crème that I received from Topbox.  Glymm came in last because the RGB red nail polish is such a boring red and the Annabelle eyeliner is a drugstore product.

Range of products - Based on the different products that was received: Glymm comes in first place in this category because it hits the most categories in one box (Nail, Eye Makeup, Skincare, and Hair).  Topbox comes in as a close second because it also hits four categories (Nail, Lip Makeup, Skincare, Hand), but I prefer trying out the shampoo and conditioner from Rahua than the hand crème from Cake.  Luxebox comes in last place because it hits less categories than the other boxes (Nail, Eye Makeup, Skincare)

Timeliness - Based on when box was received:  Glymm comes in first place in this category because it was the first box to arrive in my mail despite the box being sent out from Montreal.  It comes almost a week ahead from Luxebox.  The Luxebox is sent out in the middle of the month and I receive mine almost immediately since I live in the same city as head office of Loose Button.  I receive topbox at the end of the month due to a shipping issue between Topbox and Canada Post.  I would have given topbox a higher score if they had kept their promise of putting in a 5th product in my topbox since I had received my topbox late.  But because the box was not rerouted through Topbox, they never got the chance to put a 5th product in my topbox.  It comes in last because the box was almost three weeks late from Glymmbox and I never got the extra product that they promised me I will get. Albeit, one of the girls from Topbox did say that she made a note in the system and will try to get an extra product in December's Topbox.

Packaging - Based on the overall appearance of the box: Luxebox comes in first place with the sleek black box that encases the products and a personalized sticker on the wrapping paper.  Glymm and Topbox tie in second place since neither fare much better than the other.  Glymm's box is a very sturdy box made out of hard cardboard in Cotton Candy Pink.  I like that the box is very durable, but I don't like the Cotton Candy Pink.  Topbox is a tube with a design on the outside.  It is not apparent what it is unless you open it and you see the Topbox pamphlet inside.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Benefit's B. Right! Moisture Prep Toning Lotion and Total Moisture Facial Cream

I received the sample of Benefit's B. Right Moisture Prep Toning Lotion and Total Moisture Facial Cream in my November Luxe Box. I will now do a review of these two products and how they work together.

What it claims to do:
From Benefit's website, it states that the b.right! line cleanses, moisturize and specialize for a radiantly refreshed, lit from within look.

b.right! Moisture Prep Toning Lotion ($29 for 177.4ml):
Smoothing lotion to prep skin for moisturizer

b.right! Total Moisture Facial Cream ($38 for 42.8g):
Hydra-concentrated facial cream with tri-radiance complex
*tri-radiance complex: “Benefit’s exclusive tri-radiance complex includes several vegetable-based sugar and glycol derivatives plus a perfectly selected set of different sizes of hyaluronic acid, to boosts hydration in the skin as much as 73 percent within two hours after application (measured in triple performing facial emulsion SPF 15 PA++), an incredible result in an SPF 15 PA++ emulsion!” from Benefit's website Eric Perrier, Executive Vice President R & D at LVMH Parfums et Cosmetiques in Paris.

My thoughts:

b.right! Moisture Prep Toning Lotion
My first thought when I put on the Moisture Prep Toning Lotion was how nice it smelled. It is definitely a scented product, so, for those who are sensitive to scented products, this will not be the product for you. However, it is not a heavily scented product; it has a very light fresh scent to it, which I really like.
The texture of the Moisture Prep Toning Lotion is a mix between a toner and a gel.

b.right! Total Moisture Facial Cream
I have used the Total Moisture Facial Cream a couple of times in the morning and a couple of times at night. I would say that the cream does provide a lot of moisture to the face and it prevents my skin from flaking due to dry weather conditions and heating from central air.
The cream does feel a bit heavy and I think would not recommend this for a person with oily skin as Benefit states (Benefit recommends the Triple Performing Facial Emulsion for normal to combination skin type)
When I put it on in the morning, I do find that it creates a heavy layer between my foundation and my skin. I have to put a primer on top of the product or my foundation will be slipping and sliding on my face within two hours. It is a bit annoying to have to go through an extra step of putting primer on, but for those days when the wind whips around and sucks the water out of your skin, this will be the cream to protect your face.
When I put this on at night, I don't feel that my skin looks as oily as I think the product will make it, but when I wet my face, I feel the oilyness of the moisturizer and it makes me wonder if my skin had absorbed the product at all, or whether it just sits on my skin as a protective layer.

All in all, I love the moisture prep toning lotion and I think it works well with the total moisture facial cream, but I would not use the total moisture facial cream on a daily basis due to the heaviness of the cream.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Top 10 Christmas Gifts to Beautinistas

With Christmas just around the corner, I'm sharing a list of great products in different price ranges for the beautinistas in your life. Going from everywhere from $2 to $200, I'm sure that you will find the perfect gift that will suit your budget.

1. Lush- Lush Legend - $200
This is a gift box with a good selection of Lush's best products. This gift box contains products that your loved one will enjoy from head to toe. From shampoo and conditioner, to moisturizing their skin with the body butter after a good soak with the bath bombs; the receiver of the gift will thank you for your generous gift. And what's more? Lush ripped a page of the marketing handbook from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; there are golden tickets to be found in any gift box that you purchase. Gifts range from gift cards to a tour of the Lush factory in Vancouver.

2. Sephora/ - Clarisonic Mia - $149
The Clarisonic Mia has been out for more than a year now, and many makeup gurus around the world cannot live without their Mia. I've had the Mia now for 2 months and my skin has gotten a lot softer with the Mia. For those of you who don't know what the Mia is, it's like a supersonic toothbrush for your face that gently cleans pores. Word of advice, if you are going to buy the Mia, I would suggest that you also get the delicate brush heads. I find that the normal brush head to be too coarse for my sensitive skin.

3. Philosophy - The Care Package - $110
The care package is a holiday package that comes out during the holidays. It contains six of their most popular products, including Purity Made Simple, Microdelivery Peel Gel and Hope In A Jar. This is a great line that all women should try. The line is a very gentle on the skin and makes your skin nice and smooth.

4. Urban Decay - Naked Palette - $52
The Naked Palette is for women who likes a more neutral eye. The colours are great and the palette is definitely travel friendly. The Naked Palette has been out since 2010 Summer and it is definitely not a new product. But I noticed that Sephora started having the Naked Palette in stock at the stores again. Through out the summer, I never saw the Naked Palette at stores until recently. If the special person in your life was eyeing the palette and was waiting for Sephora to stock up on it and has given up, now is the time to show that you care and surprise her with this great palette.

5. Sephora - Deluxe Sampler for Her - $50
When you don't know what to buy for her, buy her the deluxe fragrance sampler. The kit contains 12 samples of different fragrances for her to try, after trying the fragrances, she can bring the voucher back to Sephora to redeem a fragrance of her choice.

6. Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Travel Size Set of Five - $32
Urban Decay released their 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil for a while now, and everyone agrees that this eye pencil is absolutely amazing; the colour pigmentation is great, it doesn't smudge at all, and the pencil just glides on when you put it on, no tugging and pulling. A normal sized eye pencil is 0.04oz at $18 each. Each set comes with five different colours, 0.03oz each, and the set costs $32. You get 5 different colours for the price of 2. There are two sets to choose from.
This is how the Naked set looks like:

This is how the Electric set looks like:

This is how the pencils look like swatted (Top - Electric, Bottom - Naked):

7. Ebay - Skinfood - Black Sugar Scrub Foam - $13
I love the black sugar scrub foam from Skinfood. As you rub the scrub in, you can feel the scrub melt in your hands. When you rinse the scrub off, you are left with nice clear skin that feels like a baby's bottom.

8. Essie - Nail Polish - Lady Like - $10
I saw this nail polish everywhere a couple of months ago and all the girls had this nail polish on. This is a very nice pink with a bit of lavender in it.

9. ELF - Glossy Gloss - Sweet Salmon - $3
ELF's glossy gloss is a gloss that delivers shine without glitter at $3. The gloss is very pigmented and the gloss is not sticky at all. There is a wide range of colours that will suit many skin tones.

10. ELF - Nail Polish - Champagne - $2
ELF's nail polish is chip resistant at $2 and there is a great variety of colour. When she puts on the nail polish, other people would not even know that it only costs $2. The packaging also looks very sleek, she wouldn't even know that it costs $2.