Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Michael Kors McGraw Messenger Bags

Two new additions to my closet made this month... one was a birthday gift... and the other an excellent Boxing Day score...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Beauty Haul - December 2013

This video is so long... I don't know how I ended up with so much stuff and so much to say... youtube gives an option of 3 thumbnails and is usually really bad at it... but this time they got one right that defines this video:)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas :)


Lush Secret Santa Bath Bomb

This the biggest bath bomb available at Lush this season. It is described as 3 bath bombs in one, and is supposedly big enough for two baths. One can break it in half, but I did not. It also contains a surprise inside????  I'm not sure what it was supposed to be... it all fizzled out while I was soaking and not paying attention.
Speaking of fizzle this really melts fast... supper fizzle... and as it does your water turns a gorgeous shade of deep orange, and your bathroom is filled with a delicious citrus scent. It was a good soak.
However I don't feel the need to repurchase. As this is their biggest bath bomb, it's also the priciest at $9.95 CAD... and since I don't care to crack this in half and deal with the  bath bomb dust, it feels a bit too expensive for one bath.

Glad I indulged myself this once... no need to do it again. I know Lush has a great sale on Boxing Day, but I've allocated my pennies for other things this season :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Ultra-Hydrating Body Butter

I do love a good thick, heavy, body moisturizer. This was an instant “want” when I sampled this on the back of my hand… and once I got a whiff of vanilla-apricot I knew I’d have to splurge on this eventually. I call it a splurge because I feel it’s a substantial ticket price for not a substantial amount of product ($42 CAD for 8oz or 240ml) in comparison my still all time fave Kiehl's Creme de Corps retails for $87 CAD for a whopping 1L bottle. 

That’s the only place this product falls short for me. I need this tub to be at least twice the size, without doubling the price :)
Plenty of stamps of approval :)
Otherwise, this stuff smells and feels heavenly. Texture is creamy, consistency is thick… tub is more than half empty… This is very moisturizing, and my skin feels  soft, comfortable, with no dry patches in sight.
"Ultra-hydrating"... I have to agree :)
I want to repurchase, but this jar will barely last me 2 months… month and a bit is more likely.... actually I just hope I'll make it to week 4 :)… I think eventually I’ll splurge on this again… but next on my body moisturizing horizon is Caudalie, and then once it’s all gone in a couple of weeks (it’s a small tube by my standards), I’ll be back to my Kiehl's.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lush: Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb

Loved the name of this bath bomb, the pressed in star, and the colour. I imagined a beautifully fragranced green bath. It was not a green bath... it was deep plum-burgundy. There is another colour  in the centre, that fizzles purple :) 

This bomb also contains fizzing candies... but I did not hear them while this was melting or see the silver luster it's supposed to have (I'll pay closer attention next time I acquire it). Still loved this bath bomb. The colour is gorgeous... and the scent heavenly.  Lush lists pepper oil and patchouli oil as a couple of main ingredients.   I'm usually not crazy about patchouli, but in tandem with pepper... it works... it works very well. 
so pretty... It retails for $5.95 CAD for those who wish to know.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Regret - Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation

I purchased this to help lighten my dark spots... mostly post acne reminders. The high score on sephora.com and the claims got me. Described as a "lightweight, silky moisturizer that nourishes skin as it gently exfoliates and fades dark spots... it sounds just like what I needed.
The image below doesn't really show how crazy birth shade of white this cream is... blinding... you really believe it will lighten those spots. The texture is silky. The tiniest amount is need to cover face and neck. For $56 CAD this cream was going to be all worth it... since I anticipated it would last me at least 5 months.
But I celebrated too soon. Something in this list of ingredients just doesn't agree with my skin. I tried this on two separate occasions and both times I got deep, big, red, painful, cystic like spots... not pretty.
My jar is mostly full... I don't want to throw it away... bu it's too late to return it. I'm going to see if I can pass it on... This one was a personal dud....

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Limited Edition - CHANEL Charming Eyeshadow Palette - Holidays 2013

This is the only item that captured my attention from the Holiday 2013 collection presented by CHANEL… although when I went to visit the counter I also walked away with 2 new nail lacquers (see them here).
I don't know if I would have spent that kind of money on a palette if not for Lisa Eldrige who labeled this as "THE ONE" for her. Lucky lady received hers months ago from CHANEL, I waited until November then made a pilgrimage to Holt's and got one for myself. 

It comes housed in a soft velvety sleeve. I know some find this wasteful and useless and throw these out, but if my palette (shadow, blush, or bronzer) is encased in something so pretty, that's how I store it.
What I do find useless and wasteful are the applicators included with the palette. I just don't see the point, and they find no purpose in my house.
Black, sleek, beautiful.
Now I know what Lisa likes about it so much. Aside from the beautiful packaging, and the gorgeous crosshatch pattern, the shadows are extremely finally milled, nicely pigmented, and such "grown up" colors.
Except for the middle shade all are velvety matte. When I look at the 5 shade range the word "earthy" comes to mind. This isn't a typical holiday palette, no gold and no glitter, instead it is understated in a very sophisticated and elegant way.
My favourite colour is at the very end. This gorgeous dark grey-purple is hard to describe, but I reach for it every time I pop this open.
This was one heck of a splurge... but I'm glad I did it.
Next... to get on CHANEL radar so that I can get Holiday collections during the height of summer :) .... one can dream :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Love - Lush: Rudolph Fresh Face Mask

My new favorite item from Lush, and new current favorite mask. I'm talking about Rudolph, the limited edition, seasonal, treat. Lush brings Rudolph out once the weather turns, and Christmas is on it's way. Since this is the first year I've bought this mask, I'm not sure how long Lush keeps it around... but I do hope it's all the way to spring. 

This mask has been formulated for Canadian weather... or at least that's what I'd like to believe :)... but seriously this is ideal for this time of the year. When it's cold and frosty outside and warm/hot and dry inside... this kind of switcharoo in temperature can do a number on your face... suddenly your skin becomes, dry, dull, brittle, itchy and you want to give it some love but you don't know how... well this is the product you should slap on.
When you first take a look at the color of the mask, it is not exactly yummy (sort of brown-green)... but that red jelly nose is so cute (hence the name "Rudolph"). Apply this on clean dry face. The texture is a bit grainy and thick, but it does spread nicely and evenly. Lush suggests you pop the jelly nose on while you have the mask on... I tried... it didn't stick... I threw it out... I'm not sure if this supposed to go on top of the mask, or just your skin. I tried it both ways... no grab... no hold... It's ok, that's not the best part of this mask.
The best part is the mask itself. Lush suggests you don't wait for this mask to dry completely... so usually after 10min I'm ready to rinse... and when I do my skin feels so soft, supple, comfortable... this is a jar of relief for winter skin. I'm using it every  2-3 days, and loving the results. It contains soothing and calming ingredients like: oatmeal, calamine, and lavender, as well as revitalizing ones like mint and cucumber.

As you may know I am very acne prone... but his has not aggravated any existing beasts, nor caused any new ones to pop up. I actually find that this has a calming effect on my eruptions...
This is a mask for any skin type that is exposed to sub zero temperatures and needs some pampering. If you haven't tried Rudolph yet, I highly recommend you do. A 60g jar set me back $6.95 which doesn't feel terribly expensive. This mask is "fresh" meaning fresh ingredients, so it has to be stored in the fridge... the coolness feels great upon application. It is also vegan... so a feel good product for all.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Love - Lush Trichomania Shampoo

This is a repurchase. I recently used up the first chunk I bought a few weeks ago, and liked it so much I went back for another. 

As you can see on the sticker below it is meant for "dry hair" and "it smells lovely". First the scent... yes it's freaking unbelievably delicious.... if you like coconut that is, otherwise you won't be wowed much. I love coconut, and this has such a delicious creamy scent, that I'm in paradise each time I use it.

Second, the claim that it is meant for dry, frizzy, unruly hair.  I'm so confused on this one. While it lathers beautifully, and feels rich and creamy... when I rinse it out my hair feels stripped, and has super squeaky clean feeling, borderline almost comparable to straw.  How can something that claims to be super moisturizing, make your hair feel so not.

I follow the shampoo with a mix of two conditioners and so far my hair has been looking just fine. Lots of volume, lots of bounce... and I'm just a bit baffled.
So to use this product, step into the shower and wet your hair, grab a chunk of Trichomania and run it down your hair a few times. You'll be surprised at how quickly it lathers up into thick suds. Place the unused portion in a tight-lidded container, away from water. Do not leave this in a wet spot, it will melt and go all mushy and goopy and you'll run through it too quickly. That's why I had the SA cut my chunk in two. I rather use a smaller piece at a time, than a big chunk. Then shampoo, rinse, condition, rinse again... and enjoy.
Finally, the color is a lovely creamy pale yellow. I enjoy using this even if it feels strangely clarifying when rinsed out... I'll just have to keep note and see if there are any detrimental effects of using this in the long term.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Video: Lush Haul - Holidays 2013

What I picked up on my last visit to Lush. A whole lot of seasonal edition products for the holiday season. Here are my picks to get me through the wonderfully cold days of 2013.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lush - So White - Bath Bomb

A recent acquisition at Lush was used up this past weekend.  I couldn't resist the look of this giant snowball like bath bomb. Although it looks like a snowball it smells like spring or summer... specifically green apple... so delicious.

Maybe green apples are a Christmas thing... who knows... either way the apple smelling bath bomb contains bergamot and neroli oils to uplift your senses.

It's also not white all the way through; the core of this bomb is pink. As it fizzles out your water turns a lovely shade of pale rose... and the water smells incredible... mainly like green apple but also something more. I kept scooping up the water in my hands to have a sniff.

Another big plus is the fact that this is a bath bomb without any filler, meaning no flower petals, glitter, or shimmer, so no messy tub afterwards :)

This delicious treat warrants a repurchase before it's all gone for the season.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Estée Lauder Sagittarius Compact - Holidays 2013

A treat from my husband... and it's not even my birthday... not yet :)

I present to you Estée Lauder's limited edition Sagittarius zodiac compact for 2013.  This is the second zodiac compact I have in my possession. My sister gifted me one last year, you can click HERE to see the 2012 edition. 

Here is the 2013 packaging... which is exactly the same as last year :)
 I think I have the beginning of a new collection if EL continues this year to year... hope to see many exciting designs...
Little navy velvet pouch, to hold my treasure...
 The compact is exactly the same size... and it's just as pretty as the last one. This time the crystals are a part of the design.
 The clasp slightly different... no birthstone. But we have EL logo, year, and the sign embossed on the inside rim...
 EL does make powder refills, so this little baby will be used occasionally :)

I am thankful to the one and for the one, who spoils me so thoughtfully :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Love - Origins Starting Over Age-Erasing Eye Cream with Mimosa

The eye cream I've been using every single night for the past couple of months. The "age-erasing" phrase got me. Plus "Mimosa" brings Sunday brunch to mind... although I'm pretty sure this it not the same kind of mimosa :)

But regardless, this cream contains fennel seed as well, and aims at reducing eye area wrinkles and crepiness; growing concerns of mine as I get older.

I need to look into Origins products a bit more, because this is simply wonderful. Color light peachy beige... scent, none at all... consistency, thick and creamy. For a cream that feel so rich and velvety this pats in really quickly, feels light, with no residue left behind. It's a great moisturizer, that makes my under-eye area look more refreshed and plump. As for the wrinkles... well one can only hope that they are slowly being erased :)

At $46 CAD I find this cream is right in my price range, and I think once I run out of what I'm currently using I'll purchase this for my morning routine as well.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Marc Jacobs Honey Perfume

My husband brought this home for me one day... he knew I wanted it... not so much for the scent but for the name :) Honey because I have a Honey and she's pretty sweet.

Fragrance description is not my strong suit. I am unable to define, notes, hints, bases, dry down and so on. I can tell you that I like it, it's sweet, but fresh... young and summery. I find the scent pleasant, but if not for the gorgeous bottle and the name I would have never given it any of my attention... it's no Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise which I adore.

I reach for this on the weekends, when I'm feeling like stepping out of my JM comfort zone.

I'm including a proper description as found on Sephora online for those of you who wish to understand this scent a bit better. As I read it I was nodding to myself "yes, yes, yes, yup...". I totally agree with this write up... there is just no way I would ever be able to come up with one by myself...

"Honey by Marc Jacobs is a sunny, delicious floral—energetic and alluring, with a sparkling, golden touch. The perfect mix of brightness and warmth.

This buzzing fragrance energizes with the freshness of green pear and a bright splash of fruity punch and juicy mandarin. Orange blossom resides at the heart of the fragrance and mingles with the nectars of honeysuckle and peach for a note of sparkling femininity. Honey, vanilla, and smooth woods dry down to a warm, golden base.

Pear, Juicy Mandarin, Orange Blossom, Peach Nectar, Apricot, Honeysuckle, Honey, Golden Vanilla, Smooth Woods.
Sweet. Sassy. Energized."

And lastly my Honey....

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SK-II Brightening Clear Lotion

Before I acquired this I just used up another SK-II toner. I liked it so much I wanted to repurchase, however at that time Sephora was all sold out (online that is, SK-II is not in Toronto stores, that I'm aware of). I dropped this in my basket, somehow being under the impression that this is a toner as well. It wasn't... still isn't :) My confusion stems from the fact that the previous SK-II toner that I used was also labeled "lotion"; and so I just assumed that this product was in the same category, with slightly different benefits.

This claims to exfoliate, clarify, brighten, and hydrate. All SK-II products contain the brand's star ingredient: Pietra.

"Pitera: A blend of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and organic acids that work together to allow the skin’s natural surface rejuvenation process to function at its prime, enhancing the renewal of the skin’s outer layer. " 

 This brand has been built around this key ingredient, and every single of it's product contains some.
I find the word lotion is a bit deceiving. The first time I pumped this out I was so surprised at the consistency, thicker than water, thinner than a serum... not exactly something I'd qualify as "lotion". The instructions for use state to use a cotton pad to apply this to your face... but I'm not sure this is necessary. Most days I just use my fingers to spread this on my skin.
And this miss-purchase was a good one.  I started to apply this at night after I toned my skin, first using a cotton pad... then saving myself some cotton and product and just using my fingers. Half a pump is more than enough for my face... I think I need to include my neck and decolletage in the process.

This is a very light product that spreads easily and absorbs quickly. Non-sticky and non-greasy, it feels smooth and silky. I am also on board and agree with the brightening claim. My skin tends to be blotchy with plenty of post-acne dark marks... and I feel this has totally helped to lighten them. There is still plenty left, but when I look in the mirror I don't think they are as pronounced.

SK-II isn't cheap, this bottle cost me $70 CAD. Granted that only small amount is used every night, and so I hope this will last me for at least 7 month... in which case the price is bearable.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist

I did not purchase this product myself. I was running out of toner at the end of July, didn't know what to buy next... and then my husband comes home and hands me this. And so this is what I've been swiping over my face since. I'm more than 3/4 into the bottle... time to start researching what to try next.

However here I will share my thoughts on this. First, stuff that I learned from Aveda. Formulated for normal to oily skin with white oak, witch hazel, and peppermint; it is slightly astringent helping to balance your skin by controlling oil yet providing hydration as well. Well that sure sounded like a product that would benefit my face.

Second, the packaging; the bottle is a dark green glass. It has a spray nozzle... I suppose that's  were the "mist" comes in. I didn't spray this directly on my face, I just don't feel I want this near my eyes. I saturated a cotton pad first, and then gently wiped the toner over my skin.

Third, the impressions. It has a pleasant, light, herbal scent. It felt slightly cooling and very refreshing upon application; there was no stinging, and my skin did not experience any tightness after this has dried down.  Great "wake me up" in the morning... and a lovely perk in the evening after a long day. My skin felt soft and clean, but I don't think this has helped to balance or control my oiliness. My t-zone was not tamed by this mist. I think someone with a normal skin tone might like this a bit more.

Still it was free and really quite nice. I'm glad I got to try it, even if at this time I don't wish to spend my own money on it.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Dior: Diorific Duo Manicure Bijou - Holiday 2013

This is the only thing I wanted from the holiday collection Dior put out this season. I put my request in with my husband :) He put it in with his contact at Holt Renfrew... and it's a good thing he did. They only received 20 units... these puppies never made it on the shelf, every single one was spoken for... and one of them had my name on it... or maybe my husbands :)
 Inside the gold box more gold and sparkle. Nestled in soft black tray, a gold nail polish, a funnel, and crystal beads. Now I've always been intrigued by the 3D nail effects but never researched the stuff. I was surprised that the beads were loose and not suspended in a solution.
Then I read the instructions that were included and all became clear.   First I applied base coat and than a layer of the gold polish. I waited 10 minutes for it to dry, then applied a second coat, and immediately poured some crystals over it, they crystals stuck. I gently pressed them in and waited for all to dry.
The plastic tray that came included caught all the beads that didn't make it onto the nail. Then I simply poured them back into the bottle using the funnel provided.
 The base and top coat used. I chose Chanel because I have it, and also because I find this top coat to be really thin, so I felt it would get in between the beads and seal them in better.
 Below shots of the one nail I did. Yup only one. I really like this as an accent. I don't have the patience or the skill to do all 10. Plus I don't wish to use this up too quickly (limited edition).
 The texture drove me a bit nutty, definitely something to get used to. I couldn't stop myself from touching my nail... the next day the accent was gone.
 But I did love they way it looked while it lasted... reminded me of tobiko...
I'm looking forward to trying this over other colors.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Video: Beauty Empties - October 2013

Another month has passed... and here are some bottles and tubes that have joined the recycling pile :)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Love - LaVanilla Labolatories The Healthy Deodorant - Pure Vanilla

So I fear I have a super power... and it's not a good one. I can sweat through any deodorant. "Strong enough for a man but made for a woman" slogan... well my pits crushed that brand... and Dove... and Degree... and you get the idea. Seriously I don't even have to be hot or sweaty... at a certain point during the day it it just spontaneously occurs... lack of control over my super power makes it a inconvenient nuisance :) I can perspire, no anti-perspiration deodorant can stop me :)

So a couple of months ago I decided to give up the chemical concoctions and opted for a more natural product. If I'm going to sweat I might as well sweat. I've passed this brand at Sephora a few times, and on one of my visits I just decided to buy it.

This weekend I will need to buy a replacement as I'm almost done with my original tube. LaVanilla makes several flavors, but I chose Pure Vanilla for my first go, because I'm a vanilla fan... next time I'm going to change it up maybe Lavender-Vanilla...

But first some of my observations. One, Pure Vanilla isn't your typical sweet sugary scent. It quite fresh actually, and very un-vanilla in my opinion, but still I quite like it. It does apply a bit wet in my opinion, but dries down quickly, and I didn't find that too be too much of an inconvenience. Be careful if you're putting this on and then a dark top, it does transfer easily, but it's also easily dry brushed off.
Of course as this is a deodorant you will sweat if you sweat :) which I do regardless, but this does keep me dry for a few hours. Re-application needed throughout the day... for me at least... I'm a beast. And yet I want to repurchase. Maybe it's the scent, maybe it's the "nature" girl in me that likes this natural product, and accepts the fact that even girls perspire. I just know I like it, I like it a lot, and I want it.

Ingredient list for those who wish to squint and read :)
One last thing which took me like a month to get used to. This is a screw cap not a pop-off cap. Every morning I would find myself pulling on the cap wondering why it's stuck... and then the brain gears would slowly start turning and I'd remember to twist not pull :)