Cosmetic Proof : February 2012 | Vancouver beauty, nail art and lifestyle blog

February 2012 Glymm Box

 Hi Ladies!

What better time to get a post on my February Glymm box than on the last day of February! I just received mine this past Monday and I guess I was just relieved to finally have mine in my hands! I was also really excited to try the Mai Couture bronzing papers ever since I saw the blush papers given out in the MyGlam bags, but I was a little sad that there were only two papers! If there were more, I could have at least tested one, but now I feel I have to find the right moment to use it! They'll be my precioussss for now...

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The items I received in this month's Glymm were:

Sula - Natural Eyeshadow in the shade "Smoke and Mirrors" (full size 0.15oz/$8.00)
Burt's Bees - Tinted Lip Balm in the shade "Hibiscus" (full size 4.25g/$7.99)
Glamglow - Tingling and Exfoliating Mud Mask (full size 50mL/$78.00)
Mai Couture - 2 - 1 Oil Blotting/Bronzing Papier (full size 100 sheets/$24.00)

You can see in my swatch of "Smoke and Mirrors" that it is a soft-looking grey with a very slight shimmer to it. The packaging is very cute with little butterflies fluttering all over the front. I'm not sure whether I like this shade yet as I feel like it might be a little bit light on me, but I don't own a light grey like this, so it'll be fun to experiment. 

The Burt's Bees lip balm has actually been something that I've been curious about for years, but never really got around to buying. The first thing that surprised me was that because of the packaging, I always thought these lip balms were like giant ones! Like those crazy huge Lipsmackers that you could practically moisturize both your upper and lower lips at once, but no! It's just a regular-sized lip balm packaged inside a large cardboard tube which I thought was kind of weird. "Hibiscus" is actually a really nice coral colour, is really moisturizing and smells good! 

Next up is the Glamglow Mud Mask which is a mask that caters to Hollywood stars and is supposed to tingle, tighten and lighten skin in 15 minutes. It's made with volcanic rock, French sea clay and real pieces of green tea leaf that will make my skin "super sexy and super radiant". I never really thought my skin could be sexy, but I guess I'll ask my bf whether I'm sexier  after using the mask ;-) The only thing that kind of turns me off this product is that it has all the different types of parabens in it...it's funny how I'm willing to tolerate one type of paraben, but not five. I'll still give it a go though since I am curious about its immediate effects.

Last, but not least, the Mai Couture blotting/bronzing papier. The idea of being able to blot and bronze on the go is a neat one, but it is a fairly expensive product for a sheet that you use once and have to throw out. For $24, I would think that you could probably just buy a bronzer that would probably last you more than 100 days (assuming you use one sheet per day) and a pack of oil-blotting sheets. It's definitely the convenience of use that you pay for.

Sula Eyeshadow *FULL SIZE* = $8.00
Burt's Bees Lip Balm *FULL SIZE* = $7.99
Glamglow Mud Mask - 7mL = $10.92
Mai Couture Papiers - 2 sheets = $0.48
Total Value of Glymm Box = $27.39

Although the box value wasn't as high as others, I enjoyed the predominantly makeup products in this Glymm box. It's like it was all about having a pretty face this month! I also loved that once more, all four of these products were items I had never tried before so yay!


An Updated Midweek Mani with Nubar Meadow Sparkle

Hello!

So, I have been in love with my CG "Gaga for Green" mani for the last couple of days and I wanted to attempt a glitter gradient. It was harder than I thought and will take some refining, but I think it looks alright with the exception of some bald spots. Now I can salvage a few more days out of my green mani and cover up any chips while I'm at it! Incredibly enough, there aren't any chips on my left hand, but of course a few on my right since the hand I use the most. Anyway, this was a nice way to spruce up a manicure and give it some life!

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Review: Finally in Canada - Marcelle BB Cream!

Hi Girls!

There has been a great amount of online buzz about the introduction of some of the first BB ("Beauty Balm") creams in Canada and now it looks like quite a number of brands have emerged with their own version. I know BB Creams have been around in Asia for awhile now and from what I can gather, the Asian BB creams still reign supreme. I'm only going on reviews I've read though, not personal experience. I have to say though that my experience with the Marcelle BB Cream has been pretty awesome! 

There are two different shades of the Marcelle BB Cream: Light to Medium and Medium to Dark. I guess the idea is that you can blend until you have your desired shade, but I can't imagine being African American and being able to use the Medium to Dark because it's really not that dark...I know it says there are self-adjusting pigments but still...anyway, I was a Medium to Dark which I figured out from finding out what the Asian model in the ad was wearing! This BB cream is great for all skin types, hypo-allergenic, paraben free, perfume free, oil free and non-comodogenic. What I really love about this product is that it pretty much sounds like a "renaissance cream". It does everything (except provide SPF coverage. Grrr!) and when you're in a rush or just feel like keeping thing simple, it can act as a lightweight moisturizer, tinted skin corrector and makeup base. Today I wore it alone with my daily moisturizer and it kept my makeup in place and shine in check for my 10 hour day! 

Upon application, I felt like my skin was a little brighter looking and just more even in colour. You can use your normal foundation on top of the BB cream for more coverage, but I really wanted to see how it would fare alone and boy was I happy! It also has a really cool hybrid pump/tube bottle that I'd never seen before.

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You can kind of see in the BEFORE and AFTER shots that my skin is a less red and more even in colour once I've used the BB cream. It also blended perfectly with my skin tone.

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A part of me didn't want to buy this at first because I had just gotten my new Stila foundation to try, but I realized that this morning when I was just a little short on time, I found the BB cream to be my everything for the day acting as a light concealer, skin brightener and skin tone corrector. My makeup looked great on top and didn't budge all day. When I need more coverage then I'll go back to Stila or real foundation, but this Marcelle BB Cream has really impressed me! I love finding stuff I love! 

February 2012 Topbox

Hello again!

This month my Topbox was MIA for about a week and I was a day away from getting a replacement box when all of a sudden it arrived! Of course, I'd already seen what I was supposed to be getting so it wasn't really a surprise, but I tend to do that with everything...I always know what happens in movies or books because I have this urge to know whether I should even bother continuing to watch/read. Bad habit, I know! 

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The items I received this month were:

C. Booth Derma Skincare - Collagen Elastin Restorative Hand and Nail Treatment (full size $16 for 120mL)
Yves Saint Laurent - Mascara Volume Effect Faux Cils (full size $36 for 7.5mL)
Yves Saint Laurent - Touche Eclat (full size $50 - I can't seem to find the volume...)
Pari Beauty - Eyeshadow in 72 (full size $11 for 2g)
LillyPilly - Kakadu Plum Hand and Body Cream (full size $22 for 150mL)

This is a better view of the Pari Beauty eyeshadow out of the box:

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Here is a swatch of this colour which in the past, I would have been completely afraid to wear, but now I embrace colour! This eyeshadow was the personalized shade for me because I knew choosing "trendy" would get me colours other than neutrals, which I own MANY of. This is a blue with a shimmer to it and had good pigmentation. This may not be an everyday colour for me, but it's still a beauty! I can imagine wearing this as a smokey eye with a black shadow for a night out. 

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I guess the most exciting part of this month's Topbox was the fun eyeshadow. I have another mascara to try so I think I'd better start putting on multiple coats of mascara if I'm ever going to go through it all before they get dry! I tried putting on three coats of the new Benefit mascara I bought and because I'm not used to applying so many layers, I seriously felt like my eyelids were closing due to the weight of the extra mascara!

The hand cream (yay full size!) is one of those hardcore hand creams that not only moisturizes your hands, but is an anti-aging treatment that diminishes lines, wrinkles and discolourations due to age. I don't have old hands...yet...so the lines and wrinkles aren't there, so I might pass this along to someone more mature, but the one thing I noticed was that the hand cream smelled "medicinal". Definitely not sweet at all. I'm sure you all know what I mean when I say that, but it definitely smells like serious stuff.

It was nice to see two YSL products although the Touche Eclat sample wasn't exactly the most generous. It's definitely a one time use, maybe two if you've got like a really small face...

It was fun to see LillyPilly again too since I did like the hand cream we were given in January's Topbox. The scent was nice and subtle so if you don't like strong smells this is probably something you'd like.

C. Booth Derma Skincare - FULL SIZE = $16
YSL Mascara - 3mL = $14.40
Pari Beauty - FULL SIZE = $11
LillyPilly (2 packets 3mL each) - 6mL = $0.88
Total Value of Topbox = $42.28

I didn't include the Touche Eclat sample, one because I would only be estimating how much is in that peel off packet and two, I don't think it would make too much of a difference to the overall value of the box. Overall, this wasn't my favourite Topbox, but what I did like was that I had not tried any of the products in this month's Topbox. I also love the fact that because Topbox is a tube, the odds of having larger sized products is a lot higher. They totally chose the right shape!    

Baby Shower Goodies!

Why, hello there!

I was at a baby shower for a friend of mine last week and there were goody bags! It was like being at a birthday party in elementary school again except the birthday girl is pregnant...but anyway, we all had a lot of fun eating and playing games. In fact, that creepy little baby that's sitting on the Tweezerman files was part of the game called "My Water Broke". If you haven't heard of it, everyone gets a creepy baby frozen in ice and the first person who is able to melt their ice and pull out their baby wins! I won this game so as a prize I received the mini nail files and can you believe it, an OPI nail polish! Apparently the girl who organized the prizes was secretly hoping that my baby would be freed first so that I could win the nail polish since she knew I would appreciate it the most!

The other items from the shower included a Cinnamon Apple Candle, nail file and Pink Chiffon body lotion from Bath and Bodyworks, a sachet of one of my favourite teas and a GIANT Pocky stick! Being Asian, Pocky sticks in all flavours were a big part of my childhood recess snacks so I fully appreciated a giant version of it ;-)

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Swatch – China Glaze “Gaga For Green”

Hello Beauties!

Now that the spring/summer nail polish lines have been released, we've been surrounded by almost nothing but these beautiful, bright, opaque cremes that are slowly making its way into my glitter-covered heart. Yesterday, I picked up China Glaze's "Gaga For Green" from their Electropop collection and man is it nice! I applied two coats and a China Glaze Fast Forward Topcoat, but now looking at the pictures, I could have used three coats since you can still see my nail line underneath. I definitely don't own a green polish like this and what I love about it is that's it's a bright green that's not neon. It has a sort of yellowy undertone to it that makes it soft and still Spring - appropriate.    

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* Pig Squeal * Shoppers Redemption Event!

Hello!

I have been waiting for a Shoppers redemption event for awhile since I missed the last one this past December and my wishlist has been growing like a hungry tapeworm ever since! This particular event was for $200 of cosmetics for redeeming 80 000 points when you normally get $170 worth of product for 95 000 points so it was a pretty snazzy deal. I even had a list that was colour-coded and prioritzed according to need/want. The sales girl at the Beauty Boutique thought I was charmingly neurotic.

One thing I really wanted to try was Lancome Teint Miracle foundation, but that didn't end up working out because I needed TWO different shades to make one shade of Jayne and there was no way I was spending $100 on foundation that I would have to mix every morning! Instead I decided to try Stila's Illuminating Liquid Foundation in the shade 30 watts which matched me perfectly and was nice and smooth-looking on my face. 

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This purchase of Prada Candy was solely due to the MyScent sampler pack from Loose Button's January Luxe Box so this right here is an example of these sample boxes achieving their purpose! Love the scent. It's light and sweet and has become my go-to perfume for now.

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This is the Lancome 5 Pan Palette in Emerald Boudoir which I fell in love with because of that gorgeous green right there! It's not too bright, but shimmery which I love. I see myself using this palette through the year with the green being a nice pop of colour when I need it. I should do a EOTD with this!

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This is Lancome La Laque Fever in the shade Spot Pink. It's a happy pink with silver glitter in it. I have a LLF in a nude shade which I love because the coverage is so nice. I've mentioned before that I always wear lipstick + gloss because I like having some colour left once the gloss wears off, but with these guys, I don't need that safety lipstick layer. The deterrent for me getting more of these is the $31 price tag, but that's what these redemption days are for! Indulging a little bit!

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This was a last minute addition because the friend that I went shopping with said that this mascara "changed her life" right when I was at the till to pay. Yeah, how can I say no to a magical mascara? This is Benefit's They're Real mascara and if you see the picture below on my naked Asian eye, the eye without this mascara looks almost droopy even though they're even! This mascara lengthened and even lifted my lashes sky-high! I didn't curl my lashes, I just let this baby do all of the work! It's pretty crazy how well it worked! Must buy for anyone who wants a great mascara!

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So, there it is! I loved everything I picked up and I had a really fun time at the Beauty Boutique with my friend because we were the only ones there on a Monday night and had the sales girl all to ourselves! Then we had a girls night out with some food and played with everything we purchased! It was just such a nice way to start the week with some good company and product. Until the next redemption event (sometime in the summer, I think?)!


February 2012 Luxe Box

Hihi!

So, this month's Luxe Box is a special one with its bright red packaging and collaboration with Flare magazine. I guess the collaboration allowed for more high end items in this month's Luxe Box? It was all very cute and I was excited as always when it arrived 4 days before the scheduled delivery date!

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This month I received:

Mereadesso Beautiful Body Balm (full size 200mL for $54)
Lise Watier 24 Hours Glam Mascara (full size 8mL for $22)
Redken Color Extend (full size shampoo 300mL for $15 and conditioner 250mL for $17)
CK One Shock For Her (full size 50mL for $45 and 100mL for $65)
*Bonus* Mereadesso Face and Neck Toning Gel (full size 50mL for $120!!)

My favourite product in this month's Luxe Box has to be the rollerball CK One perfume! I almost bought it the other day at Shoppers, but I already had Prada Candy in my hands so I thought getting two perfumes at once was a little indulgent...I do love rollerballs because I can actually see myself using them up in my lifetime and they easily slip in my purse. It's a sweet, youthful scent that is described so colourfully as a "fierce bouquet of passion flower, pink peony and jeweled poppy flower and deepens with blackberry, jasmine and narcisse flower drizzled with a liquid chocolate accord with an addictive signature that finishes with magnetic ambers enveloped in vanillin and patchouli wrapped in second skin musk". Dear God, that was long...

I have yet to try any Mereadesso products so I'm glad that I will get to now, but man are they ever expensive! What I found interesting is that the woman behind this company has degrees in chemistry and botany and has used her knowledge to develop a skincare line full of sciencey goodness. When I went to the Mereadesso website, what I found nice is that next to each product is the amount of time it should last (possibly to justify the luxurious price tag!). The full size body balm should last 6 - 8 weeks and then full size toning gel should last up to 4 months.

As for the mascara, another product I have yet to try, but I seriously have soooo much mascara now!! I'm never going to be able to get through it all! Most of them are samples, but still when you have 10 sample sizes of mascara, it's still a lot! I feel like mascara is given out so frequently as bonuses! At any rate, what sets this Lise Watier mascara apart from the others is its elastic polymer formula and FlexiQueen brush. I did notice that the brush was very flexible and bouncy. 

I've used Redken products in the past, so the shampoo/conditioner wasn't THAT exciting for me. It's nice that Loose Button gave three sample packs, but I'm sure I'm not the only one that despises these types of pouches! You're in the shower, your hands are wet and you'll be damned if you can get into that silly little packet! Grrr!

Mereadesso Body Balm 30mL = $8.10
Mereadesso Toning Gel 7mL = $16.80
Lise Watier Mascara 5mL = $13.75
Redken Shampoo 10mL x 3 = $1.50 Conditioner 10mL x 3 = $2.04
CK One Perfume 10mL =  $6.50 (I used the 100mL size to minimize on price inflation) I also don't think this is quite accurate seeing as how in most rollerball perfumes, there is about 10mL of fragrance and the cost averages around $20 so I almost want to say that this sample is actually more like a $20 value!
Total Value of Luxe Box = $48.69 or $62.19 depending on the way you look at the CK One sample!

Either way, the value of the box was great, the perfume was really something that I loved and the Mereadesso products will be a fun indulgence :-)


NOTD – Blue Plaid

Hi!

I've been wanting to do a blue plaid look for awhile so here it is! I just don't understand why my white striper polish is so gummy and thick which is why my white lines are never thin and crisp. It's brand new and I've already put in a few drops of nail polish thinner...anyway, it was just really frustrating to use so if anybody has any other ideas as to how I can salvage my white polish let me know! By the way I used SH Xtreme Wear's "Blue Me Away" as my base blue which for a blue polish that I never thought I'd use, is beautiful to work with! 

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I’m Special, I’m a Julep Maven Now ;-)

Hi Everyone!

When I embarked on my nail escapades in July of 2011, I kept seeing the words "Julep Maven" sprinkled all over the web and of course it peaked my interest, but at $19.99 a month, it seemed a bit excessive and totally unnecessary seeing as how if I wanted nail polishes, I could easily get them at a much cheaper price right in my neighborhood. The promise of being a Julep Maven is that I'll be among the first to experience the newest colour trends of the season and that each month's box will be personalized to suit my tastes. Being a maven also means 20% off anything in the Maven Boutique as well as $40+ worth of product in each box. I finally caved this month when I learned of the Julep Maven Box for one penny promo by typing in "COLOR 2012" at checkout. I couldn't believe it when I saw that my credit card charged for exactly $0.01 shipping included! 

After taking a little quiz, I was found to be "Classic with a Twist", but looking back I think I should try to be "It' Girl" which just gives you a 3 or 4 polishes instead of a hair product. I received a creme grey polish in "Meryl" and a sparkly gold polish in "Oscar" in honour of the Oscars this month, hence the fun confetti colours. I also received a hair topcoat which can be used on dry hair after straightening or as a thermal protector on damp hair which is something I use all the time, so it's not like this is a product that will go to waste. I did get a preview of what I was going to get so that if I didn't like my box, I could have gone back and redone it, but I wasn't thinking!

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Am I going to keep this subscription? I don't know...with my two yearly subs to Glymm and Loose Button, the Topbox and now Glossybox, I just have a lot of boxes! What's nice about Julep is that there is a "skip a month" option, but I just don't know if I can keep skipping for months at a time. To cancel, I do have to call them which I HATE doing and was what made me hesitate to sign up at all. I did enjoy what I received in my Maven box, the hair topcoat was nice and light and gave my hair a nice sheen. I liked the nail polishes, I found the formulas to be thick and creamy and in shades I'd wear. Unfortunately, I already have a grey creme polish so Meryl is a dupe for me, but Oscar is a new addition that I will wear on Oscar night :-)

So, I guess for now, the Julep Maven box is a maybe for me, but my hesitation is mainly due to price. Anyone else feel this way?


What’s on my Dresser?

Hi Kitkats!

This is just a short little post on my recent reorganization of what's currently on my dresser. I picked up the silver tray from Birks and was using it as a centerpiece for my coffee table, but then realized that it would be much more useful as a tray for my perfumes and other cosmetic paraphernalia! I also have my Cake hand cream which I always apply while I'm getting ready for work because my hands are so dry in the mornings and my CLEAN body souffle that I apply immediately after showering.

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In the little ceramic pen holder (on sale at Indigo for $3 now!) are my roll-ons which were literally rolling all over my dresser up until last week! 

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In here are all of my hand creams, most of which are the L'Occitane ones...I need to stop buying them...I think I have 10 now...

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And then in here are my aromatherapy essential oils from The Body Shop and Escents to use in my diffuser.

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Anyway, I hope that was interesting for you all. I was just proud of how much more contained everything was once I put it all on the silver tray. Until next time!