Tuesday, December 16, 2014

IPSY BAG: October 2014

ipsy's Beauty Candy bag (love the colors - reminds me of ice cream):

1) Ayres : Body Butter in "Patagonia" 
Enriched with plant emollients, herbal extracts and vitamins, this ultra-rich creamy body butter provides relief from dry, rough skin. Vitamin E natural antioxidant provides protection to your skin, while shea nut butter gives long-lasting hydration. Just drift away on a cool breeze of delicate jasmine and aromatic rosemary blended with lavender, bergamot, ylang-ylang, oakmoss, patchouli and fir. Inspired by Patagonia’s snow-capped mountains and blue lagoons, this fresh scent inspires a soothing sense of calm. size: 28 g
retail value: $28.00 (191 g)
promotion: 25% off purchase & free shipping on orders $40+ with code AYRESIPSY; expired 11/30/14; US only

"Patagonia" is all about the jasmine and rosemary and was inspired by snow-capped mountains and blue lagoons in Patagonia. no idea where this is. Google tells me that this is in South America.
i find the scent quite fitting because it is a cool scent. the body butter is different from most in that it is not very oily and not very thick - it's more like a cream but the hydration is great. i especially love the non-greasy but soft feeling.
2) H2O+ : Face OASIS Hydrating Treatment 
This oil-free moisture gel delivers deep hydration while minimizing the appearance of fine lines with phospholipids, multivitamin complex and moisturizing marine botanicals.
size: 10 mL
retail value: $36.00 (50 mL)
promotion: 25% off purchase with code IPSY14; expired 11/30/14


fancy shmancy - clinically proven and #1 global bestseller? the gel gives the skin an instant cooling feeling. i don't feel like the gel is very moisturizing though. or maybe that's the oil-free feature. 


3) Jesse's Girl : Mineralized Baked Powder Eye Shadow in "Ocean Breeze"
Get out-of-this-world eyes with Jesse’s Girl Mineralized Baked Powder Eyeshadows.
size: 2 g (full size!)
retail value: $3.99
promotion: 20% off purchase with code IPSYOCT2014; expired 11/30/14

this is much too blue for me. as pretty as it looks with all the shimmer, there's no way i can wear this comfortably everyday. you know where to find this!
4) Skyn Iceland : Mini Glacial Cleansing Cloths
When you're too tired to deal with the whole cleanser and wash cloth routine, these on-the-go foaming cloths are the ultimate skin savior. Infused with Icelandic glacial waters and beneficial natural extracts, they sweep away makeup, dirt, oil and other impurities while refreshing and soothing stressed skin. Best of all, there's no water required. It has a clean scent, never tacky. Great for travel or every day!
size: 10 single-use cloths
retail value: $15.00 (30 cloths)
promotion: 50% off one item & 20% off all additional items with code IPSYGCC; expired 11/21/14

ooooooooh i should have brought these last weekend for the wedding! i went to bed everyday between 3 and 4 am so this would have been nice... and thank goodness for Sunday naps.
5) Starlooks : Lip Gloss in "LG46 Guilty Pleasure"
Starlooks Lip Glosses are created with a truly moisturizing, luxury, non-sticky formula. This neutral-rose, yet glamorous shade provides the perfect glisten for any lip look and complements any skin tone! Can be worn alone or in combination with other Starlooks lip products for a truly customizable finish.size: 1 mini sample ~ 1 mL?
retail value: $13.00 (4 mL)
promotion: 20% off purchase - no code required; ends 12/31/14

"Guilty Pleasure" is a soft pinky nude. i was surprised by the pigmentation of the gloss when i swatched it on my hand, but sadly my lips are also pigmented so the gloss doesn't show quite as well on them. i prefer a little more color payoff but my sister will be happy to have this.

eeeeeeeeeeh. the bag is aight. my favorite product so far is the Ayres body butter and i am looking forward to trying Skyn Iceland cleansing cloths - i mean, Leighton Meester uses them, so they must be good right? :P
AT THIS MOMENT ...
currently listening: "Make Me Yours Tonight" by Lara Fabian & Mustafa Ceceli [Turkish version]
just watched: nothing...
still watching: Doctor Who Season 4 // Walking Dead Season 5 // Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 1 // Vampire Diaries Season 5
now reading: "When God Was a Rabbit" by Sarah Winman (still!)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

FANCY BOX: September 2014 [Kelly Rowland]

here comes an orange Fancy Box, handpicked by Kelly Rowland. this month had no item card so i had to do a search on their website for all of the items below.

1) Mzube : Photomug Retro Camera Mug
retail value: $16.00

looks like i got the retro version of this Retro Camera Mug - the one they are selling on Fancy is an updated version. this is sort of cute but i have a handful of mugs at my work now, one of them being the Morning Mug from an earlier Coco Rocha Fancy box. i'll probably regift this! tis the season, right? :P

2) Isaac Jacobs : Neon Rim Frames
retail value: $15.00

this is a neat photo frame. at first, i thought it looked a tad boring but this is actually REALLY neon. so bright! and quite heavy as well. it fits a 4 x 6 photo and also comes in neon purple.

3) Galisfly : Gold Ear Cuff
retail value: $24.00

i've bought a few ear cuffs in the past but sadly, i don't wear them more than once because of sizing. they were either too tight or too loose. BUT this one is adjustable! it is handmade in Israel with gold plated brass. i think i might try to wear this at a wedding this weekend... we will see how that turns out!


4) Galisfly : Thin Ring Bracelet
retail value: $34.00 

another Galisfly item but this one is rose gold plated brass. i admit that i've been intrigued by ring bracelets before but never figured out how to pull it off. i feel like i have to exude a certain aura of cool before i can swing a ring bracelet. 'swing' is probably not the term i should be using when defining cool... maybe a wedding would be a place to test this out as well? an ear cuff is cool too right?
and tada!! the four items in September's Fancy box. not too shabby hey? the jewelry pieces are items i wouldn't have picked for myself but am intrigued to try. the neon photo frame may soon find its place on my work desk but i have yet to figure out what photo to put in it... i currently do not have any photos at work so the pressure is on to pick a meaningful one. :)
AT THIS MOMENT ...
currently listening: "Angel" by Yoonmirae
just watched: nothing! :O but i started another season of a series...
still watching: Doctor Who Season 4 // Walking Dead Season 5 // Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 1 // Vampire Diaries Season 5
now reading: "When God Was a Rabbit" by Sarah Winman (still!)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

BEAUTY BOX 5: September 2014

a quickie post to get September reviews out of the way... ugh it gets harder and harder to keep up and now the holidays are creeping up on us. next week is my work Christmas party already!

and i must say i am very proud of myself this weekend. got a few people checked off my shopping list already!!! normally i am panicking on Christmas Eve but i am hoping to avoid that at all costs this year. it's looking good so far... :)

September's BB5 - "Balancing Act"

1) Nicka K New York : Eye Light Crayon in "NEL007 Bronze"
size: 1.6 g (full size!)
retail value: $4.49

i was giddy when my eyes fell upon this item. giddy! a feeling i haven't had while opening beauty boxes as of late. but i have a thing for gold (this is actually a bronze, i know)... and crayons.
"Bronze" is not too bronze-y and is a very nice shimmer. i wouldn't use it as an all over color on the eyelids but it's great for giving off that POP in the corner of your eyes. prettttttty.

2) Natural Style by FUBU : Deep Conditioner & Co-Wash
size: 14 mL x 2 
retail value: $9.99 (340 g)

haven't tried this.
plenty of oils.
what is a co-wash?

3) Sally Hansen : Toe Spacers 
size: 1 pair (full size!)
retail value: $1.99

aaaaaand not going to use these. i've probably ever used toe spacers once or twice in my life.

4) My Beauty Spot : Nail Polish 
size: 12 mL 
retail value: $24.99 for a set of 6

aaaaaaalso not going to use this. the purple (with shimmer) is actually slightly darker than it appears in the photos.

5) Lashem : 3 in 1 Eye Bright
size: 5 mL
retail value: $40.00 (15 mL)

hmm. i've been told that eye creams are useful but i haven't seen its benefits just yet... so i will just hold onto this.

so one hit and the rest are misses for me. those aren't good numbers.
oh well. back to Doctor Who! i just watched a Steven Moffat-written episode and i can't stop thinking about it.

AT THIS MOMENT ...
currently listening: "New Flame" by Chris Brown featuring Usher & Rick Ross
just watched: A Million Ways to Die in the West (not recommended)
still watching: Doctor Who Season 4 // Walking Dead Season 5 // Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 1
now reading: "When God Was a Rabbit" by Sarah Winman (still - i know! i sort of took a break...)

Monday, November 17, 2014

BEAUTY BOX 5: July 2014

oopsie daisies - looks like i somehow skipped a box from July!! i apologizeeeeee!

today, a Christmas tree popped up at our building so i am taking it as a sign that i need to start shopping. for the past few years, i have been that person running through the mall on Christmas Eve and begging them not to close yet. i hope i learn this year... where are you planning to get your shopping done? online or at a mall?

let's do a topic switcheroo here from Christmas to July - here's a quick recap on July 2014's "Defining Moments" box.

1) Revlon : Bold Lacquer Mascara in "001 Blackest Black"
size: 7 mL (full size!)
retail value: $7.99
promotion: $1.00 off any Revlon mascara with coupon

drug store brand but i'm not disappointed. my main mascara is starting to dry out so i am reaching for other tubes - i've forgotten how nice it is to use a fresh and new mascara! i've tried a Revlon Grow Luscious mascara before and i was not overly impressed but the idea is always appealing.

2) Hask : Argan Oil Intense Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment
size: 50 g (full size!)
retail value: $2.49

i need to get a plastic bottle to pour this sample in since now that my hair is much shorter, there is noooooo way i can use this all at once.

3) Body Drench : Candy Licious Moisturizing Lip Balm in "Lime Gumdrop"
size: 2.55 g (full size!)
retail value: $3.99

hmmm lime gumdrops sound like they could smell quite tasty... although i am not a huge fan of limes. up for sale on the blog sale page!

4) Anna Naturals : Glowing Mama Walnut Face & Body Scrub
size: NA (1 small tub)
retail value: $10.99 (118.3 mL)

reminds me of the St. Ives Apricot Scrub.

5) Starlooks : Lip Pencil in "K308 Bare"
size: 2.4 g (full size!)
retail value: $12.00

"Bare" is a matte shade that i thought would look like a nude color. looking at the pencil, the lip liner looks sort of like a dusty brown-grey. when applied, it is much darker than 'bare' should be. i look sort of zombie-ish with just the pencil but on a positive note, it is very pigmented. the color is not an issue once i apply a lipstick over it - or just anything to warm it up a notch.


tada! it is an alright box - nothing really notable. it was my first time trying a Starlooks lip liner and i am happy about how pigmented it is.
AT THIS MOMENT ...
currently listening: "The Heart Wants What It Wants" by Selena Gomez
just watched: Saving General Yang
still watching: Doctor Who Season 4 // Walking Dead Season 5 // Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 1
now reading: "When God Was a Rabbit" by Sarah Winman

Sunday, November 02, 2014

LUXE BOX: September 2014 [Fall]

here are a few glimpses from last Tuesday night with Sarah McLachlan: 

she is so awesome live! her voice is amazing. i was a bit surprised by her rock side since all i really knew were her ballads. this is the second time i've been to the Jubilee (first was John Legend) and i am blown away by the acoustics there.  

1) Loose Button : Fan Brush
This brush is designed to dust, wipe, and redistribute powders along your features making it the perfect tool for all the finishing touches. The flat fan shape allows for even and soft definition, as well as, fanning away excess product, such as, eye makeup fallout.
size: 1 brush (full size!)
retail value: $18.00


i always forget about the fan brush but it is a great tool for brushing on highlighter. 
2) Jelly Pong Pong : Fairy Lashes Curl Mascara
Fairy Lashes Curl is a sculpting, curling mascara that continually curls lashes throughout the day with a unique synthesis of Moringa Seed resin that dries down and holds the curl of lashes for long-lasting results. The unique brush instantly creates dramatic volume and intense definition, while allowing eyelashes to remain spectacularly soft and light at the same time. This is a truly fabulous effect for the woman who wants to emphasize a deep, intense, seductive look.
size: 8 mL (full size!)
retail value: $24.00


i own the non-curl version from last year's Topbox... which i haven't actually used yet... so i can't exactly compare them. curl is definitely an appealing mascara feature for me though.
3) Blush : Body Wash
Blush Body Wash is handcrafted with a luxurious & nutrient rich blend of Coconut, Olive, Jojoba and Hempseed oils. A hopelessly romantic floral aroma with just a hint of citrus, Blush Body Wash will awaken your inner goddess and soothe your senses. Always created without the use of synthetic preservatives, sulfates or detergents of any kind...what you see is what you get...pure nourishment for your skin!
size: 60 mL (sample size)
retail value: $4.75 or $16.95 (240 mL)


beautiful label but the scent is not something i exactly want to lather all over my body. it reminds me of the Chinese oils used for sore muscles or even tummy aches... i don't know how it works but sometimes just the smell of the Chinese oil makes me feel better.
4) Vasanti : BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator Exfoliating Cleanser
Vasanti Brighten Up Face Rejuvenator is a triple action facial scrub that helps brighten, exfoliate, and
clean skin all at once.

size: 20 g
retail value: $34.00 (120 mL)


this was one of the first products i got in my Glymm and i recall the tiny crystals in the formula. great for exfoliating but those with sensitive skin might find it a bit harsh.
5) theBalm : En Root Hair Shine Serum
En Root Hair Shine Serum is infused with Green Tea, Bamboo, Rice Proteins and Vitamins A, C and E to give dry and damaged hair the gloss-over. Take fly-aways and frizz on a detour with this Paraben and Sulfate-free serum.
size: 30 mL
retail value: $15.00 (118 mL)


i have had enough of hair oils but maaaaaan, does this smell good! sooooooo gooooood, 
6) LVX : Nail Lacquer in "013 Tribute"
LVX brings you luxury and fashion without compromise. They are dedicated to launching the hottest collections for each season by translating the top runway colors based on emerging trends in high fashion.
size: 15 mL (full size!)
retail value: $17.00


Loose Button claims that the polishes are from the Winter Resort 2014 Collection but a quick Google search determines that this is not true. "Tribute" is a 'textured blue' from the 2013 collection. it is a dark sapphire with purple and green shimmers.
7) So Susan : Universal Blush
A micronized, jet-milled blush that works with your skin's natural chemistry to create a universal healthy flush that is flattering on all skintones. Made with Buriti Fruit Oil to repair the epidermis and improve skin elasticity.
size: 4 g (full size!)
retail value: $17.50


i was debating whether or not to keep this since i am not running out of blush anytime soon... and yet the color is quite beautiful. it is said to be flattering on all skin tones... and it has a sheen that is similar to the famous NARS Orgasm. 


so the total box value is $90.90... pretty impressive. about half the items are full size which is always nice. nothing in this box is a major standout for me, although theBalm's hair serum smells so good. check out the sale post for some of these items.
AT THIS MOMENT ...
currently listening: "In Your Shoes" by Sarah McLachlan
just watched: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
still watching: Doctor Who Season 4 // Walking Dead Season 5
now reading: "When God Was a Rabbit" by Sarah Winman

Thursday, October 23, 2014

TOPBOX: September 2014 [Regular]

i'm on ze late train again! posting about September when October is about to end.
speaking of which, what's everyone's Halloween plans?? as i get older, there's fewer and fewer things to do but i have more ideas of what i'd like to dress up as.

anyway,
September's regular Topbox:

1) Lancome : Genifique Yeux Light-Pearl Eye-Illuminating Youth Activating Concentrate
size: 5 mL
retail value: $88 (20 mL)

it's hard to imagine that this tiny sample is worth $22 but it is. the applicator is actually very fancy. it is an oval tip and it is bendable so it is easier to apply underneath your eye. it is also very soft feeling which is perfect for the delicate skin around the eye.

2) Amika : Perk Up Dry Shampoo 
size: 21.3 g
retail value: $29 (156 mL) / $11 (30 mL)

pretttttttttty bottle. not only is it pretty, it claims to be the only dry shampoo on the market that doesn't contain aluminum. i had no idea that dry shampoos even had aluminum in them. i checked my TRESemme and Redken dry shampoos and they both contain aluminum. however, my Batiste one did not. phew?
Sea Buckthorn Berry sounds so awesome and it does smell rather good too.

3) Bioderma : Sebium Purifying Foaming Gel
size: 15 mL
retail value: $19.95 (200 mL)

i know Bioderma is supposed to be really good for the skin so i am throwing this in the lineup for my next face cleanser.

4) Essie : Nail Lacquer in "Sand Tropez"
size: 13.5 mL (full size!)
retail value: $9.99

lurve. such a gorgeous color. very classy but not boring.

can i also just say how lighting makes a world of difference?? i took these pictures at my sister's boyfriend's new place. so. bright. i love it! :) :)

this is a decent Topbox. like most Topboxes, it's always very mediocre. probably because of all the skin care items... that nail polish color though is one of my new favorites!
AT THIS MOMENT ...
currently listening: "Only Love Can Hurt Like This" by Paloma Faith
just watched: Gone Girl
still watching: Doctor Who Season 3 // Walking Dead Season 5
now reading: "When God Was a Rabbit" by Sarah Winman

Saturday, October 11, 2014

IPSY BAG: September 2014

the September Ipsy bag was all about Street Style and came in a metallic grey studded bag.

1) Crown Brush : Deluxe Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush (C476)
This dual-ended brush offers the best of both worlds. The shadow brush is perfect for applying eye shadow or contouring the eye, while the crease brush is designed to be used dry for defining the eye, or wet for precision concealing. 
size: 1 brush (full size!)
retail value: $17.50 (on sale for $6.99)
promotion: 30% off $25 or more online purchase with code CROWNIPSY30; expires Dec 31, 2014

this duet brush is part of the Infinity series which are made of synthetic fibers. i have not owned any other dual-ended brush prior to this and although it is useful to just flip the brush over when applying eye shadow, it is a tad more difficult to store. if i store it upright, one of the ends is going to get bent... hmmmmm.

2) Hikari : Lipstick in 'Cabernet'
Amp up the color with Hikari’s richly colored lip stick. The high pigmented formula glides on smoothly with a matte finish. Layer this formula to build color for a perfectly enchanted pout.
size: 3.8 g (full size!)
retail value: $13.00
promotion: 30% off online purchase with code HIKARI30; US only; expires Oct 31, 2014


the packaging looks exactly like Be a Bombshell... so i am thinking the two companies buy their cosmetics from the same company and just put their labels on it. the black box and the sticker are exactly the same (check out some Be a Bombshell products here and here).

on the website, "Cabernet" is described as a rich red wine (which sounds about right). in the swatch on my lips, the color is not so pink but a deeper red. it is however, that pigmented - which i really like. i didn't find it drying and it is like the perfect color for fall. love!

3) Pacifica : Natural Eye Pencil in 'Fringe'
These rich water-proof, buttery smooth eye pencils glide on smooth and deliver big color pay off with every stroke. Long-lasting natural formula, provides hours of wear and contains beneficial ingredients great for the sensitive eye area.
size: 0.73 g
retail value: $11.00 (2.8 g)
promotion: 20% off online purchase with code FallBeauty; US and Canada only; expires Oct 31, 2014


the color 'Fringe' is essentially a brown. i haven't used an eye pencil in sooo long, let alone one that was not black. somebody suggested using this for eyebrows... i might just have to try that!

4) Briogeo : Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask
Repair and treat dry, damaged and breaking hair with Don't Despair, Repair!™ deep conditioning mask. Fortified with ultra-hydrating avocado, sweet almond & argan oils, strengthening keratin protein, power-conditioning rosehip oil, soothing aloe, and super hair-essential vitamins B5, D, A, E and biotin. This unique complex of targeted ingredients helps increase hair elasticity and moisture to prevent breakage, promotes healthy shine and luster, and replenishes strength. Comprised of 95 percent naturally-derived ingredients. This product is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, silicones, artificial fragrances, artificial dyes, and gluten. It is cruelty-free and contains organic ingredients.
size: 29.57 mL
retail value: $26.00 (155 mL)
promotion: free shipping with code IPSYSEP14; US only; expires Oct 15, 2014


i am not one for hair masks but i figured that since i did indeed get my hair dyed recently, i might as well try this. it softened up my hair and i really enjoy the sweet almond scent.


5) Nourish Organic : Moisturizing Cream Face Cleanser with Cucumber + Watercress
This gentle cleanser washes away impurities without drying, irritating or causing redness. Cucumber hydrates and soothes. Watercress, rich in antioxidants, helps protect skin from free radical damage. Alcohol-Free. Gluten-Free. Vegan.
size: 30 mL
retail value: $13.99 (177 mL)
promotion: 30% off any facial product with code IPSY30; US and Canada; expires Nov 30, 2014

the cleanser says fragrance-free but there is a scent to it - which i do not particularly like. maybe it's the watercress? not sure what watercress is supposed to smell like though.

aaaaaand that's it. it is a pretty decent ipsy bag. nothing too fancy but some key mentions include the Hikari lipstick and the Crown dual-ended brush.

AT THIS MOMENT ...
currently listening: anything by Jessie Ware [Wildest Moments / Want Your Feeling | If You're Never Gonna Move / Sweet Talk / Running] 
just watched: City of God
still watching: Doctor Who Season 3
now reading: When God Was a Rabbit

Sunday, September 28, 2014

WANTABLE: August 2014 [Accessories Box]

The August Accessories Collection features blogger/YouTuber Rachel Weiland and includes vintage-inspired pieces to help you prepare for the fall season.

i really like the pieces in the main picture (shown in the middle frame) with the antique gold tones. three of the four items i got were silver though. :(

1) Sydney Bracelet 
retail value: $18.00

pros - i like the pop of colour with the teal gem and how the bracelet can wrap/unwrap around your wrist.
cons - it is too loose so it doesn't quite sit right. it also feels a tad cheap - the metal band is very light.

sadly, i do not think i will be keeping this. check the sale board! (along with another item or two listed below)
2) Clara Watch
retail value: $24.00

the white straps on this watch have a plastic, low-quality feel to it but i like the face of the watch and how it's large size contrasts with the thin straps. the face is very simple but that will only make it harder for me to read. 
Wantable suggests wearing this watch with a coloured wrap bracelet which i think would look quite pretty.

3) Alissa Earrings
retail value: $12.00

i didn't think these earrings were all that cute at first but they are starting to grow on me. Wantable calls these horseshoes but they look more like wishbones to me. who else remembers Wishbone the TV series?
4) Pria Necklace 
retail value: $21.00

this necklace features 6 pressed round discs of different sizes. the length is adjustable but the lowest it hangs is around 18".

i am not super impressed with August's box so i logged in to my account in hopes of updating my preferences by retaking the test. however, Wantable just updated their website and that option was nowhere to be found! so i went ahead and skipped the month. probably better for me and my finances anyway.
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