Friday, November 30, 2012

a treat from Dior

Last weekend I found my self at Holt Renfrew Dior counter... and added a couple of shades to my ever expanding nail color collection. I got a little treat with my purchase. You might be wondering what that little case is for...
 well it's a nail polish traveling case! Look so cute... perfect for three Dior bottles...
 Now I just need somewhere to travel :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

earth to body skin nutrition - argan neem foot cream

I placed a little order with Earth to Body shortly after my Clay Neem purchase.

One of the items in that tiny haul was this jar of foot cream. Now this cream has some wonderful ingredients in it, like argan oil, rooibus, neem oil, peppermint and others. It has a very pleasant texture, and I should love it but I don't. I just really, really don't like the scent... maybe it's the neem and rooibus combo, I don't know, I just don't like it.

I find no pleasure in opening this jar and smoothing this on my feet, and I wish I did because other than scent it gets the job done and keeps my feet moisturized and soft.

But I take a pass on this tiny jar of 40ml (1.35 oz). I don't really regret spending $22 CAD on it, I just don't see myself doing it again.

Monday, November 26, 2012

it cosmetics celebration foundation

I didn't believe in powder form foundation. I just assumed that there is no way I can get the coverage I need from a powder vs cream or liquid. That is until I tried IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation.
Now I purchased this sight unseen and untested from the Shopping Channel. All I had to go by is their shade mapping chart, demonstrations, and online reviews. I don't think I would have bought this on its own, but the Showstopper made it all worth it. Even if this product turned out the be a failure, the brushes alone included in the set made up for it.

The packaging is nice and sturdy mattified-rubberized double level compact with a sponge applicator. I haven't used the sponge at all, I prefer my brush.
This stuff is talc-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free. I'm not sure what all of the next part means but the packaging states that this is 'full-coverage anti-aging foundation with hydrolyzed collagen, peptides and drops of light technology' along with 'niacinadmine, hyalournic filling spheres, antioxidants, rose, silk, and aloe'. So the package identifies this as full coverage, but really it all depends on how much you apply… this can be anything from sheer to full.

I have worn this daily for the past 6 weeks or so. I moisturize, prime (or not, depending on how rushed I feel), conceal, then use my IT Cosmetics brush to buff this in. I have the color Light-Medium and I must say I feel it's a tad too dark for me, but workable. I'm fair with light yellow undertones, but a lot of redness in my skin as well.
The formulation of this foundation is amazing. This being my only powder foundation, I can't say if this is unique to this product or if all powder foundations have this incredible smoothness to them. This product is extremely finely milled, it's beyond powder, it's silk for your skin. It blends in so well, doesn't settle into pores or lines, and doesn't look powdery either.

This foundation somehow continues to melt and fuse with your skin, because it just looks better an hour or so after application. I also feel that the coverage improves slightly as well. 

Even-though I do have to blot sometime during the day, this holds up really well and and still looks good when I get home from work, no settling, no migrating, absolutely no splitting…. I just can't get over how incredible this stuff is. I finally understand the phrase "looks like your skin, only better" :).

I've also dusted this onto my face on top of liquid foundation for a bit of extra coverage on days that I needed it. The effect was a more even complexion, but I didn't feel as if I had 5lbs of makeup on.  I really like this stuff.

There is a slight downer, currently supply can't seem to meet demand. I hope this is only temporary, because I feel I need this in my life :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

CHANEL Brillant Extreme Glossimer in Mystery #357, and a dupe of sorts...

I have added another CHANEL Glossimer to my collection on Nov. 4th. This time around I chose Mystery from the Holiday 2012 collection.
It's a lovely 'nude' kind of rosy shade... a perfect 'everyday' kind of shade... 'your lips but better' kind of shade... in a word a 'Lucy' kind of shade... I couldn't resit it.
The color is one-dimensional, there is not sparkle or shimmer in this formula.
It applies evenly, has no discernible taste or smell...
Feels very comfortable on the lips... a plus for many, it's non-sticky (for me personally that is not really a factor)
The color payoff on your lips will depend largely on your kissers' natural pigmentation. I fall somewhere in the medium range, not pale, but no super dark natural lips either. This is a really pretty, purse worthy shade.
But as I was swatching and photographing a little voice in my head kept telling me that I already have something like it... so I went to browse through my appropriately sized collection :)... and lo and behold the little voice was right, I have something 'like it' but not exactly 'it'. A close dupe in my stash is Estée Lauder's High Gloss lip gloss in Blush #11. A shade I wore along with Estée Lauder's Double Wear Stay-in-Place lip pencil in Rose 04 last year on my wedding day.

All three swatched below...
So EL's color is close, but not quite there. Mystery has bit more pink in it, and Blush has very fine gold shimmer suspended in the formula, which shows up above with flash, but not below in natural light.
Below one last shot of Mystery paired with EL's lip pencil. I outlined and lightly filled in my lips with the pencil before painting over with the gloss... a nice combo if I say so myself :)
On a side note... I should probably do a thorough review of my makeup inventory before I go shopping... still no regrets with regards to Mystery :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Boscia Clear Complexion Tonic

When the time came for me to re-stock the toner situation on my bathroom shelf, I decided to try something new. After some browsing, reading and comparing I purchased Boscia's Clear Complexion Tonic.  I've been really happy with everything I've tried from this line so far and wanted to build on my Boscia experience.

This toner is geared towards 'problem skin', that's me :) It's also preservative free (nice), dermatologist tested (wonder how many, and what kind of testing), and non-comedogenic (well I hope so, it's supposed to prevent acne, not cause them), alcohol-free (good I may be oily, but I don't want to dry out my face), pH balanced (ok), 100% artificial fragrance and color free (I am pleased), and no animal testing or animal products (that makes me feel good).

It claims to clarify, purify, and refine all without irritation.  It contains lavender and serine to help skin maintain it's moisture while making it soft and supple, sasa kurilensis water which supposedly helps to control excess oil production, as well as willow bark which we all now is a natural Beta Hydorxy acid that aims to make my pores smaller :)

This is a spray toner, just close your eyes and mist your freshly cleansed face. Of course you can saturate a cotton pad first if preferred and then swipe, but why would you want to. The atomizer dispenses fine mist, that feels so pleasant as it hits my face, I have hard time controlling my index finger, and stopping :) It has a light 'green' scent that disperses quickly. My face feels refreshed and comfortable once the toner dries down.

So far I've used up about 1/3 of the bottle, and I'm loving this stuff. It simply makes my face feel good... and since I haven't had major breakouts in a little while I guess the claim holds true and it's also purifying :)

I'm curious about Jurlique Citrus tonner as well... will try it, but Boscia's Clear Complexion Tonic makes it onto the 'possible future repurchase' list :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Josie Maran Argan High Gloss Lip Quench

Sometimes I am such a bloody impulse shopper... it has backfired on me a couple of times, and I was disappointed with my purchase a little bit later, however I am happy to report this was not the case when it comes to this lip gloss.

The incredibly delicious rich yellow of this stuff had me grabbing for a box, before I even knew what it was. Well it is a gorgeous supper shiny moisturizing lip gloss that has argan oil and jojoba oil... and is pretty wonderful at conditioning my pout while preventing dryness. Moisture is essential in the coming months.
The tube is slimmer than an average lip gloss in this kind of packaging only 8ml (0.3 fl oz) (compared to lets say something by Philosophy which has 0.5 fl oz of product), and it retails for $19 CAD.
I really like this gloss... or gloss-balm because it does the job of both. It's thick and viscous but not sticky, the scent: light and nutty, I like it. And strangely I'm also sweet on the simple packaging... "liquid gold" for sure, very shiny and wearable alone or over lipstick. No regrets.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

earth to body skin nutrition - clay neem

Before I talk about the product itself, let me summarize this company a bit for you. Earth to Body is all about natural, organic, and fair trade. Most of their products are plant based, and they have an excellent selection of vegan and gluten-free products. What they include in their skincare is just as important as what they don't. Everything is formulated without: "sulphates, parabens, polysorbates, fragrances, perfumes, dyes or harsh preservatives".

My sisters love it, and while I will never give up my more chemically based cosmetics (or at least I don't think I will :)), I do like to mix it up a bit.

Since my first concern when it comes to my skin is acne, then aging; my venture into this natural Canadian company starts with a product that aims to purify and detoxify.

Clay-Neem is a fine greenish powder. It contains only 3 ingredients:
1. French Green Clay - Suitable for all skin types, it has antibacterial and anitmicorbial properties, great for removing excess oil, dirt, and toxins
2. Oatmeal - Soothing properties.
3. Neem Powder - Soothing, antibacterial, animicrobial properties; good cleanser for acne prone skin types.
As to the benefits and what this little jar can do for you… well the company has a whole list:
- cleanses and revitalizes
- antimicrobial and antibacterial cleanser
- removes dirt and impurities from the skin, allowing skin to breathe and glow
- smoothes and softens the skin
- tones the skin giving it a youthful appearance
- removes excess skin oils
- absorbs toxins and bacteria
- cleans acne prone skin
- exfoliates dead skin cells
- removes grime lodged in facial lines
- has a purifying, nourishing and restorative action
- soothing after sunburn, chemotherapy or radiation
- soothing on rosacea, eczema, psoriasis
- soothes hives, poison ivy
- provides nutrients to the living layers of cells in the dermis
So I use this product in two ways:
1. I mix equal parts powder and water to make a face mask. Apply on cleansed skin wait for it to dry and gently rinse off. It really sucks up oils, leaves my face feeling soft and smooth. If you don't wish for the mask to dry on your face but want the benefits with a little extra, mix the powder with honey.

2. I add a heaping teaspoonful of this (sometimes two) to my bath water, and soak all the impurities away. I tend to mix it with a random bubble bar from Lush, since a bath is not a proper bath if I don't have lots of bubbles :)

A 190ml jar retails for $14 CAD, really good price, and I think this might become a staple on my bathroom shelf.

If you wish to explore this company further on your own they have a website you can find HERE.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Sheer Candy Glossy Balm Crystal Color in Sweet Fig #07

So I have absolutely no regrets with this purchase, just pain in my wallet for forking over $38 CAD for it :)
Sephora blurb:
"This balm dresses your lips in a sheer veil of brilliant color boosted with vitamin- and antioxidant-rich fruit extract. Its ultra-light, sensual texture leaves lips feeling soft and hydrated for up to eight hours and is ideal for year-round use."
Sweet Fig is a gorgeous sheer brick red. It's such a perfect fall color, but also a perfect natural oomph for your lips. Applied lightly it gives you that natural just better lip color with a touch of sheen. Layered a bit it intensifies but only slightly and it just gets more gorgeous. I've slathered this on, layer upon layer it doesn't get much more intense than the swatches below :) But nice color payoff for a product marketed as a "sheer lip balm".
Texture is unbelievable. I absolutely agree with "light and sensual". You feel as if you're wearing nothing at all on your lips. It's not sticky, and nicely moisturizing. It feels so good on. Application is the 'sensual' part… soooo incredibly smooth… melts on your lips. And lets not forget the scent and taste, it's deliciously refreshingly fruity. Just one of the reasons I keep reapplying and reapplying all day long.
But personally I don't get 8 hours of wear from it. Not even close… 3-4 is my max. I'm not disappointed by it, it's a sheer lip balm, I never expected it to last more than that. Or maybe I'm just an oblivious lipstick eater :) Either way, if you get 8 hours of wear, yay for you… I don't, but reapplying this is such a pleasure, that I don't care :)
I might need to restock on this gorgeous shade eventually, maybe even try a couple of other colors. But I'll try to hang on to my wallet until I find myself south of the border on vacation… according to Sephora it's only $30 USD for American beauties.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

a little Marshalls haul

A new Marshalls opened up not far from our house. On our way home from the movies on Sunday (we saw Skyfall... not the best James Bond... but still pretty good), we stopped by to have a quick browse. Well my browse turned into a tiny haul of "necessities" :)

The Aromatheraphy Co. Orange & Jasmine Hand & Body Lotion - never heard or used any products from this company before. This was a purely oflactory driven purchase.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream - I have always wanted to try this, and this is the perfect amount, two 15ml tubes to play with.

Maybelline Stiletto Lash Mascara - needed a new one, decided to give this one a try.

Spa Sister Pumice Sponge - need this for my feet. I exfoliate lightly every single shower... it's an obsessive kind of behavioral trait that I can't shake. Don't want to either... my heels are super smooth year round :)

Sleep Mask - I seem to have misplaced (lost) the one I received for Christmas one year. I decided to acquire a replacement while I wait for the original to turn up once again :)

Spa Sister Overnight Softening Gloves - I'm also obsessed with soft moisturized hands. Always wanted to give gloves a try and see if they truly make difference... so here we go... will let you know.

Monday, November 12, 2012

it cosmetics haul

IT Cosmetics has the best Showstoppers on the Shopping Chanel... no one gives as big of a discount as this company. It's incredible to me that they are able to do this.

Last month I waited until midnight, when a brand new day started with IT Cosmetics on the Shopping Channel. This stuff was so hot, within 15min they were sold out in a couple of shades... by mid-morning they were trying to secure more product... by mid afternoon it was all gone.

So let me show you what their Showstopper consisted of:
Bye Bye Pores Anti-Aging Silk Micro Powder (6.8g/0.23oz) (reg. $29 CAD)
Brow Power Pencil (reg. $24 CAD)
Heavenly Luxe Powder Brush (reg. $48 CAD)
Heavenly Luxe Airbrush Flat Top Buffing Foundation Brush (reg. $48 CAD)
Celebration Foundation (9g/0.3oz) (reg. $35)
So $184 CAD worth of stuff for around $50 CAD. I'm most excited about the brushes and the foundation. I have tried the brow pencil before, and it's a good one, glad to have a backup. Let you know how I fare with the Bye Bye Pores loose powder eventually as well.

But let me ramble about the brushes a bit more. They are incredibly, dense, soft, and awesome. I've been using mine daily, and washing regularly. Outstanding quality, and no shedding :)
Heavenly Luxe Powder Brush is a brush above all brushes. Look how thick the handle is compared to my fingers (excuse the polish swatch)... this brush is not only great for powders but also for "brush therapy". I learned this while watching the Shopping Chanel but supposedly some just use the brush to run over their face as a form of relaxation and a way to unwind, no makeup just brush and face :) I've done it a few times... it's delicious, like a soft kitten in your face, minus the claws :)
This was a worthy haul, glad I waited up for it :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

my first and only item from FCUK

Last month I acquired my first and only item from French Connection... they had a customer appreciation sale... I didn't see much that I liked.... except for this sweater... I had to have this sweater :)
Now I need the French hen sweater to go on sale at J. Crew, so that I can add it to my collection :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

October Empties

So last month I might have mentioned that you won't be seeing empties posts very often on my blog, yet here I am again a month later. It was fun to track stuff I used up... I still can't promise this will be a regular thing, but we'll see.

Now let's get on with it... last month I've run through the following:
Lancôme La Base Pro Primer - nice stuff but pricey... currently no future plans to repurchase

Aveeno Uplifting Body Wash with ani-oxidants (white peach + ginger) - purchased on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart. Lovely cleanser, that smells absolutely delicious. I think I might get myself another bottle.

La Roche-Posay Physiological Shampoo - light and refreshing, this was lovely. LRP products have been pretty good to me. I have too many shampoos going at the same time :), I've had this bottle since November of last year :) However once the crowd thins out, this might also be a future repurchase.

Secret Outlast Antiperspirant (in protecting powder) - ok I didn't actually use this up, but I'm throwing it out nevertheless. I suffered through about half of the product... it might outlast on most, but it does nothing to stop me from perspiring. No repurchase.

SheaTerra Organics Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Cleanser - lovely cleanser, even if the last dregs in the bottle weren't pretty, and it did stain my Clarisonic brush. However I replace my brush every 3 months, and it is my face and my cleanser so no biggie. I used up 4oz (138 ml) bottle in about 2 months (that's using it once a day). Definitely something I will go back to. 

L'Occitane Hand Cream - I keep repurchasing this cream, even as I find new favorites. It smells incredible, and it's also great at moisturizing and making my hands feel so soft. It will definitely make a comeback on my bathroom shelf eventually.

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector (in Rose Shimmer 01) - little sample tube is all empty. I already got myself a full-sized version a couple months back. It's just lovely all around lip balm/gloss, sweet scent and a light non-sticky texture make this very easy to reach for.

JUARA Candlenut hand & Body Balm - I tend to buy a little purse tube of this cream almost every-time I find myself in Hamam Spa (it's not very often :) ) I love the texture and feel of this balm... but it's the scent I can't resist... it just equals someone special, and brings such happy thoughts whenever I use it.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar K - this is the 3rd tube of this stuff I've used up. The whole LRP Effaclar line has brought such an improvement to my complexion. I haven't repurchased it yet, because I'm tempting fate by trying something new... but I know I will eventually.

Clinique Airbrush Concealer (in shade 04 neutral fair) - This little pen holds a fair bit of product. With daily use, it took me around 4 months to use it all up. I have a Laura Mercier and then a Lancôme under eye concealers to use up first, but after that I think I'll get myself another Clinique pen :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

necessities and treats haul

So time shifting occurred Nov. 4 and an extra hour allowed us all to sleep in on Sunday morning, without actually sleeping in :)

It is one of my favorite days of the year; when I look at my watch and say "oh wow it's already 4:30" and my husband says "no it isn't, you didn't adjust your watch, it's actually 3:30"… :)

Anyways seems that extra hour, allowed me to do some extra shopping on Sunday. Quick run down of what I felt my pennies were worth exchanging for:
L'Occitane Milk Extra-Gentle Soap with Shea butter - 3 bars (I like to have backups). It is the only bar soap we purchase. I purchased my first one years ago (I think more than 5) upon recommendation of my esthetician at the time, and haven't switched brands since. It's my husband's HG, he loves it, and it's a must have in his life.

L'Occitane Rose Soap - a tiny bar we picked up because 100% of the proceeds go to charity that helps finance eye health projects in developing countries. Should have picked up a couple more.

Jurlique Age Prevention Trio - I'm starting to love this line, and this set is such a good deal; $72 CAD 3 products: 1.7oz jar of Herbal Recovery Night Cream (reg. $62 CAD), 0.5oz bottle of Herbal Recovery Gel (1oz bottle retails for $62 CAD), and .2oz tube of Herbal Recovery Eye Cream (0.5oz retails for $50 CAD)... I hope my skin responds favorably to these :)

Bumble and Bumble Creme De Coco Conditioner - I wanted something heavier that I can alternate with my regular  Phyto. The delicious coconut scent of this one, won me over... a bit of tropics for sub-zero weather that's fast approaching :) 

Kheil's Creme de Corps - 1 lt bottle. I loved the scent and texture of my Rose CocoVie, but I just used it up in record time. So I repurchased Kheil's; texture and moisturizing power of this lotion also make me happy. Plus this size will last me for about 6 months, not a couple of weeks :) 

Anthony Logistics for Men Shaving Cream - a Jay purchase... seems there is a difference between a shaving cream you get in a drug store and something a bit more upscale. He's almost done with a tube of Zirh (which he loved), but still decided to try something new.

CHANEL Malice Nail Colour - saw swatches online and had to have it

CHANEL Mystery Glossimer
- gorgeous color 

Guerlain Nail Lacquer in Altoum (03) and Lou-Ling (04) - I own shade 01, and 02 from the summer collection. This is 03, and 04… so it's not so much the colors that had me saying yes to these (however they are very pretty), as the compulsion to have a complete collection :)

Diorific Vernis in Marilyn - I wanted Diva, black with gold shimmer, but it has sold out… well in the 3 stores I went to anyways. I checked online, and while I do have a 'polish problem' it is not so severe as to spend $65-$130 on a bottle of polish, which is what Diva is retailing for currently online. I really just wanted one, for the gorgeous bottle, (it looks like a tree decoration), so I bought the red, and I'm happy with my choice.

Kheil's Facial Fuel No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm - another Jay purchase. Cold weather can do a nasty number on your kisser if not protected... something new for Jay to try. He has washed Dr. Haushka one too many times... he's banned from owning an $18 lip balm for a little while :)

All this shopping came with a hoard of samples...
I'm quite excited to try a few specifically everything I received from Kheil's :) Also the sample of Guerlain's latest fragrance has me trying to justify a purchase... black cherry, black rose, patchouli, and smoked tea make for a wonderful fragrance cocktail :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

best deal ever

My sister and I were shopping for a dress one Saturday morning. We ventured into Fashion Crimes on Queen St for a browse... when I spotted this on the rack I instantly loved it... and the price had a lot to do with it... I mean just look at it :)
 I tried it on and it was a match made in heaven... My sister wondered out loud from what season is this dress to have such a huge markdown... I couldn't care less... what does it matter, it fit, it had no flaws, and it was so cheap :) Of course I bought it :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Robert Rodriguez Strapless Taffeta Dress

I had my eye on a gorgeous wine colored Robert Rodriguez dress that I found on Neiman Marcus online in October. However due to some weird procrastination on my part I put off buying it for a day, and when I pulled out my credit card it was no longer available.

Ahhh it was eating away at me that I let that dress pass me by. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to get my hands on it. I was searching the net for 2 weeks before, somehow magically it turned up on Saks Fifth Avenue site, only 1 size, but it was my size :), and it was on sale for 60% off. This time I didn't think twice about it.

Custom duties a bit pricier via Saks then Neiman but the packaging nicer via Saks then Neiman :) My dress came beautifully packaged in a garment bag on a quality hanger... no such extras ever from NM.
and the dress... as gorgeous in person as it was in the picture... well I think so... now I just hope I have an occasion to wear it this season :) For now all I have for you is the stock photo from Saks website... but as soon as I get all dolled up in mine, I'll snap some pics to share as well...