Monday, August 27, 2012

eBeauty Haul (Too Faced, Alpha Hydrox, Sophyto)

While I am not always fond of shopping on, I really just had* to because they offered harder to find products and more "green" product selections.

Sophyto Balancing Daily Moisturizer
I was running out of my DHC Acerola Gel Moisturizer, (which I love - it's so fast absorbing for my morning makeup routine) but since it is not a very "green" product, I had to look for something else. I have never heard of Sophyto (as like most of the products I've purchased from eBeauty) but the description fit what I was looking for so I took the dive (50ml tube for $32!):
This cream energizes your skin, and helps harmonize and hydrate your complexion. The nurturing formula contains Asian ginseng, shizandra and astragalus to promote repair while nourishing jojoba oil and shea butter deeply moisturize. Fast-absorbing and lightweight, it does not contain artificial fragrances, fillers or parabens.
Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Cream
This was the main purpose for my order because I love this stuff. The cream really brightens my complexion and keeps my breakouts at bay. It's a must have in my skincare routine although I don't find the need to use it everyday (every other day does the trick for me). Also, it is has more AHA and is less expensive compared to the one from Paula's Choice.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder
I was especially looking forward to receiving and trying out this bronzer as my new contour shade however, in my box was the Milk shade instead. I was under the impression that this was going to be the Chocolate (original) shade since on the eBeauty web page, there was no option for selecting different shades as well as no indiciation that this would be the milk shade like on the Too Faced website and/or on Sephora. Yes another disappointment from eBeauty. This one I am definitely sending back and thus, have to attempt to get my hands on this product elsewhere, as I am hitting pan on my NYX blush in taupe (swatches here and here) that I use to contour.

Those are all the products!

XO Nicole

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Collection: Nude Lipstick Photos and Swatches

These are the nude lipsticks that I own. It’s not a big collection but I definitely gravitate towards these shades more than the other ones. I love that these do not make me look like a corspe and they neutralize my pigmented lips to the perfectly!

Fire Alarm, Fire Alarm, Soft Nude, Nude Attitude, Just Enough Buff, Creme Brulee, Creamsicle
Fire Alarm, Fire Alarm, Soft Nude, Nude Attitude, Just Enough Buff, Creme Brulee, Creamsicle
  1. Hard Candy Painted Lady Lipstick - Fire Alarm
  2. Hard Candy Painted Lady Lipstick - Fire Alarm
  3. Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick - 070 Soft Nude
  4. Revlon Matte Lipstick - 001 Nude Attitude
  5. Revlon Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick - 613 Just Enough Buff
  6. Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter - Crème Brulée
  7. Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter -  Creamsicle

Friday, August 24, 2012

Nail Polish Haul (OPI, Soulstice Spa)


I really do not need anymore nail polishes but I was completely intrigued when I saw swatches for one of the polishes from OPI's German collection. This particular polish is My Very First Knockwurst, which based on the swatches I saw online, reminded me so much of Essie's Topless and Barefoot. It looked like the perfect nude for me: not too pink and not too beige, but boy was I misleaded! I swatched this on one of my fingers and it is not a nude at all - it is actually more like a purple shade, similar to OPI's Steady As She Rose. 

I also picked up OPI's Step Right Up! and with the order, I was able to choose a Soulstice Spa polish for free and I, of course, chose the more subtle colour and went with a peachy shade called, Kyoto.

opi  My Very First Knockwurst

opi step right up

soulstice spa kyoto polish

XO Nicole

House of Harlow 1960 Black Leather Station Necklace

House of Harlow 1960 14k Yellow Gold-Plated Black Leather Station Necklace

The ever-so popular statement necklace is now in possession of my sister, courtesy of me! I purchased the House of Harlow 1960 Black Leather Station necklace for my sister’s birthday because she had mentioned that she really wanted it and I thought that this piece is a really simple yet nice piece to own so it was not hard to purchase something like this for her. There are a few variations of this necklace (material and colour) but my sister (and I) really liked the black and matte patent leather - simple and classic. The necklace is 14" in length with a 2" extender, and a lobster clasp.

A lot of companies have been inspired by this design and this one, being the original and yet not that pricey, makes for a great piece to have in your collection. I purchased this from ShopBop. I have read some reviews saying that the quality of the necklace was not high quality at all, for example, the the black patent leather material was not assembled on as nicely, so I was a bit worried that mine would have turned out to be like that but thankfully, that was not the case. The quality of the necklace is very sturdy and made really nicely. What I really like about this necklace is that you can dress it up (with a dress) or dress it down (with a t-shirt or tank even!), giving some edge to the whatever outfit you are wearing.

The packaging was not fancy at all though, as you see in one of the photos posted. It really did just come in a ziploc bag with bubble wrap (inside a ShopBox shipping box of course) but as long as the necklace was secure and protected, I didn’t really mind (I stuck this inside a GlossyBox and gave it to my sister)l

XO Nicole

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dr Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm Photos, Swatches and Review

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm is my first western BB cream and just BB cream in general. I've always known about BB cream but have never given it a try to the lack of reviews and the poor accessibility of these products as they were more localized in Asia. However, ever since BB cream became all the rave last year, almost everyone jumped on the bandwagon and reviews started spewing out. Now, I was very enticed at this point, however, I was very put off by the mixed reviews and the fear that the shade would not match, etc. etc. In addition, upon further researching, I found that a lot of the original/Asian BB creams contained ingredients that I would like to avoid: parabens and chemical active sunscreen ingredients. If I were to try out a BB cream, it would have to be an "original" (aka with all the benefits that comes with a true BB cream) so my BB cream journey stopped there - or never even started.. until I  stumbled upon this bad boy on the Sephora website. Although this is not a BB cream to be found in the Asian market, the Dr. Jart+ brand is Korean and is manufactured in Korea. Also, I am a sucker for products developed by doctors (#medicalschoolhopeful).

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm

This had everything I was looking for in a BB cream: it contains physical active sunscreen ingredients (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide), has benefiting properties for the skin (brightening with arbutin), being paraben-free and lightweight, etc, along with some added bonuses: it is cruelty free and dermatologist tested, it has nice and sleek packaging, etc. This is a true BB cream that has been made specifically for the Western market (you cannot find this on Dr. Jart's website). 

The BB cream comes in only one shade. Upon application, it does seem really pink based but when blended out and let set on the skin for a little while, the shade matches your skin-tone very nicely. The finish is definitely not a matte one but instead, is a more dewy-natural finish. I didn't find that the BB cream kept me skinfree, but then again, it didn't say that it would. It's no different than me wearing a foundation - I still have oiliness in my T-zone by the end of the day no matter what I set it with (powder and spray). The coverage of this BB cream is medium, meaning that concealer is only needed on areas where you have breakouts or darker acne marks. With this, if I am lazy, I am OK skipping concealer all together because this just smoothes and evens out your complexion that with even some imperfection left peaking out is not going to ruin your whole day (in my opinion, especially if you are going for the natural look). One pump (as seen in the photo) is all that I need to cover my whole face. I apply this with my fingers as it really helps melt the product into your skin that much better (I usually never use my fingers for foundation application but one reviewer on Sephora warned users to apply this as if you were applying moisturizer "or the results will be poor" - I took that advise and just ran with it and it works great!) I also love that this product is suitable for acne-prone skin and has properties to combat blemishes and scars left behind.

The packaging is super sleek too - I was really impressed by it. It's a tube but it's made out of shiny plastic material that makes it great for having it stand up on your vanity or what-have-you. I think that they did great in this department because it is not too masculine and not too feminine (this is suitable for both men and women). 

I am very content to have found a BB cream that has everything I am looking for and more! Ever since I received this, I have not touched my foundations at all. This is so easy to blend and if you are not like me and are OK with SPF 25 and the moisturizing properties of this, then this would definitely be the ultimate multitasking product aka timesaver for you! For $36USD/CDN, I definitely think that this product is worth it so I will definitely be repurchasing this.

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm

XO Nicole

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Skindinavia Haul

I've been going through my Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray pretty fast since I've been using it everyday for both the warmer weather conditions and for the long days and nights at school, so when I saw that Skindinavia was offering free shipping for international orders $40+ (the offer is still on till August 24 2012), I took the opportunity to stock up on some sprays for the fall/winter and special occasions. In addition, compared to eBeauty where I had purchased my current bottle, the price is actually cheaper on Skindinavia's website: eBeauty sells the 4oz bottle for $32 compared to $29 + free mini finishing spray with every order on Skindinavia's page.

Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray

Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray

Because I did not find the finishing spray to keep my face matte all that well, I chose to order the No More Shine Makeup Finish spray instead to see if it would actually help keep my oiliness at bay, especially for those long days at school when I have my labs.

Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray

To total my order up to the minimum required for free international shipping, I decided to go for the Bridal Makeup Finish spray. While I am not going to get married anytime soon, I thought it would not be a bad idea to have this in hand, that it would be good for nights out when I want a night luminous finish and my makeup to last all night long. 

Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray

 Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray

Whether it is the Urban Decay's De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray or Model in a Bottle, makeup setting sprays really do help make your makeup look seamless as well as helping it make it last longer than it would without a spray, so I think these products are great to have handy!

XO Nicole

Monday, August 20, 2012

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream Review

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

I have been meaning to try the Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream for a longest time now - it is about time that I paid my dried cuticles some attention, especially since I would love to post more NOTDs on my blog (I just hate seeing my dried cuticles all up on this blog). I wanted something that was affordable and works! The fact that I found out that Burt's Bee makes one and is therefore, natural, made me super happy and excited. 

I love the packaging of this: the product is in a sleek metal tin that makes it super easy to carry in your bag and to bring with along with you wherever you go (I also love that the image is not just painted on such that you can flake away the ink - it's glossy, like it is actually printed on the tin.. which is probably the case lol). I keep this in the front pocket of my bag so I can whip it out and use it when I'm waiting or walking to places. This smells of real lemons: it's so citrusy and authentic that it's almost delicious - if you like/love lemons. It gives your fingers and cuticles a nice and fresh feeling. Most importantly, this stuff works. Some say that this is a bit too thin but I find that this works great for the daytime as it does take some time to absorb into your fingers (it's waxy). Another thing I love about this is that you do not need a lot. The warmth of your finger helps melts the product as you rub it onto your cuticles. With regular use of this, my cuticles have gone from looking horrid to looking like I came out of a pedicure. 

I am definitely going to be repurchasing this after I run out.

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

XO Nicole

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sephora Haul (Dr.Jart+ BB Beauty Balm, Laura Mercier, Sephora Collection)

While this is a pretty small haul and a haul that I consider "essentials", I must say that this an exciting one for me, particularly because of the Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm! The story is that I had to pick up a new waterproof eye makeup remover so I used that as an excuse to toss a new face product in the basket as I am tired of wearing foundation everyday during the summer months.

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm

Dr.Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm - Upon reading the reviews on the Sephora website for this product, I just could not resist. I had literally just purchased a Jane Iredale Dream Tint for ~$40CDN but (thankfully?) since the shade did not match, I thought, I'd return that one and use that money on this baby instead. It is a bit risky too with this product as it is a one-shade-fits-all business but along with that risk comes with the great potential of it really actually matching your skin tone. In addition, one reviewer urged us to pick this up asap as it can easily and quickly go out of stock - and right she was! I just checked up on the Sephora page, this product is indeed out of stock (again?) as of right now (phewww). So so far, everything is looking as if it is meant to be for me to try this thing out. Hopfully, this will actually live up to the hype for me - you can expect a full review as soon as I give this ago (ie. right after I publish this blogpost!).

SEPHORA COLLECTION Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

SEPHORA COLLECTION Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover - Finally having used up my Marcelle Gentle Make-up Remover for Sensitive Eyes and some of my sister's Bourjois Express Eye Make-Up Remover, I decided that there has to be a better alternative to these two for my waterproof mascara out there. The reviews on this product seemed quite promising and the price of this is quite reasonable, compared to the Bourjois one as well as other higher end ones. It is almost actually the same price as a 150ml Marcelle bottle which is ~$11.99CDN at Canadian drugstores.

Laura Mercier Secret Concealer

Laura Mercier Secret Concealer - I have yet to try out any products from Laura Mercier so I decided to give this a go!

Let me know what you guys think!

XO Nicole

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

July 2012 GlossyBox Canada

I had thought that I had cancelled my subscription to GlossyBox after the second box but apparently, I didn't because I received my third GlossyBox this month.. And I must say, I really am pissed off about the fact that I was charged another month - especially since this month's box was quite disappointing. While there were three or two full sized products, they were mostly drugstore brand items.

Zoya Nail Polish - Wednesday (full size)
Out of all the beauty sampling services that I've tried, this month's GlossyBox finally gets it right and sends me a shade that I actually enjoy! I think I was debating on this colour a few months back. An added plus, this shade isn't from a collection that is years and years ago, which is what I found with most nail polishes received in beauty boxes. This polish was apart of Zoya's Summer 2012 Beach & Surf Collection. NOTD post coming soon.

Alessandro International Pedix Heel Rescue Balm
Hmm, another heel/feet moisturizing product - I haven't even found the use for the Curel Targeted Therapy Foot Therapy sample received in last month's GlossyBox yet..

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Xtra Strength Serum (full size)
I have never been a fan of John Frieda products but I do have some frizz going on so I am looking forward to giving this a try - this might change my mind for the John Frieda line.

Dove Softening Creme Body Wash (full size?)
I actually really enjoy Dove body washes so I am looking forward to trying this one as well. Glossybox says this is a full size, however, the Dove body wash that I am currently using, which is also from the same line as this one, is 300ml and not 200ml. It's probably considered a full size for this 'limited edition' bottle eh?

BeautySoClean Sanitizer Wipes
I've seen this brand at London Drugs and never really thought much about it - I have never really had any problems with my skin due to anything I've done during my makeup routine but I guess it's good to have these wipes in handy!

EUCERIN Calming Crème
Cute, ity-bity sample. Hopefully it will work great because they've also included a $2.00 off coupon for any EUCERIN product.

Overall, I did not find this month's GlossyBox particularly exciting, especially owing to the fact that most of these products can be found at drugstores, so it doesn't have a "luxury" kind of feel. Also, I think for beauty sampling subscription services like these, the whole point is to be able to try out higher-end products to see if we like them before we buy because they are so much more pricer, whereas with drugstore products, it's not hard to pick up a $4-5 body wash and try it out and if it's not great, then it was only a few bucks spent. So with that being said, my subscription to GlossyBox has not been amazing and I'm sad that it had to end at a bad note.