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

Nail Mail from the Hungry Asian and Cult Nails!

I swear this is my favourite kind of mail! I have been wanting to try out some nail polishes from Kae at The Hungry Asian and Cult Nails for the longest time so with my birthday coming up, I decided to give myself a little treat (as if I don’t do that enough already!).

Here is one Mint Condition, which is one of Kae’s latest creations, U Jelly?, On a Budget and Twenty Ten.

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This is the Cult Nails Fairy Tale Collection and my first Cult Nails purchase! I have been drooling over these ever since they were announced and I pre-ordered this set last month. From left to right we have: Evil Queen, Feelin’ Froggy, Princess, Charming and Happy Ending.

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This is the Hypnotic Collection which consists of: Enigmatic, Awakening, In a Trance and Hypnotize Me. Drool! 

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I guess I’m going to have to update my nail polish count again huh?

One Lovely Blog Award!

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Kristy from My Glittery Obsessions, Sabina from Beauty Blogs and More… and Andrea from Cutely Whimsical nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award for which I say thank you and sorry I’m only doing it now! All three have awesome blogs you all should also check out if you haven’t already!

For this award, I get to share another 7 more facts about myself so I hope no one is bored with me!

1. I have a size 2 ring finger. My engagement ring had to be specially remounted and was the smallest-sized engagement ring Birks has ever made.

2. I currently have 266 bottles of nail polish in my collection and it will probably continue to grow.

3. My birthday is coming up, it’s on Canada Day!

4. I have two tattoos. I got the Chinese characters when I was 22 and the snowflake was a 25th birthday present from my mom. These pictures were taken right after they were done so my skin looks pretty raw.

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5. I’m Chinese, but I don’t speak Chinese. I can’t even understand it when spoken.

6. I cried the day I got my Driver’s License because I didn’t believe that I deserved to be on the road! I was scared of driving until I had to start driving myself to university.

7. Along with my love of potatoes, comes a love for tomatoes of all kinds! I love snacking on cherry tomatoes all the time and must always have them in salads.

LOL, hopefully you guys don’t think I’m any more weird after this!

I Love Nails and Origami!

Today I thought I’d share a hobby of mine that I find to be very relaxing seeing as how the last couple of days have been somewhat trying for me. I started making kusudama or origami balls a few years ago and even though they take me about seven hours to make, I’m always so satisfied by the result of holding a colourful ball in my hands! Kusudama are composed of identical individual units, usually flowers, that are put together to form one spherical unit. I just love the fusion of math and art and I feel more relaxed just looking at one of these guys!

This one is about the size of my head. My cats are scared of this one!

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This one fits in the palm of my hand!

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Instead of flowers, I was thinking of making these as centerpieces for my wedding reception. What do you guys think?

Review–the Balm Plump Your Pucker Sheer and Tinted Gloss

I have just begun my foray into the world of the Balm and everything from their packaging to their saucy product names to the actual product quality has me falling in love!

I recently picked up a Plump your Pucker Sheer and Tinted Gloss ($15 USD) in Cocoa My Coconut (hehe…) which is formulated with menthol and vitamin C and promises to increase circulation as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines. The formula  also features a special ingredient called “Maxi-lip” that is supposed to hydrate your lips while making them look more plump. I wonder which ingredient in the list you really are!

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Packaging: This is a standard lip gloss tube with a doe-foot applicator. Nothing too crazy. This isn’t the cutest of the Balm packaging as their blushes and shadows come in much more racy packaging.

Scent: Minty! It also actually smells more like milk chocolate than like coconut and I thought that the scent was a standard for all of the lip glosses, but when I went to London Drugs to have a sniff of Squeeze My Lemons, it smelled like minty lemons! Every colour smells different!

Formula: As you can see, there is some decent colour payoff and I absolutely love the minty tingle on my lips! It’s not uncomfortable though, like Duwop Venom. That stuff is brutal! No wonder your lips look bigger. It’s because of inflammation! Cocoa My Coconut is a beautiful nude that I’ve actually been wearing everyday this week because I’ve been loving it that much. In terms of coverage, it is a true gloss, not one that has the colour opacity of a lipstick like Lancome’s creme La Laque Fever lip glosses. Now, I haven’t really noticed that my lips have gotten any more plump thanks to “Maxi-lip” so I feel like it’s more of a marketing thing…regardless, I thought the formula was good.

Final Verdict: There are 10 other colours in 10 wonderfully delectable scents so this certainly isn’t going to be my last Plump Your Pucker! I have to admit that a big part of the appeal for me is the minty fresh feeling on my lips and the fact that it smells like dessert! Nonetheless, this is a great gloss and I do recommend it, but if you don’t care for sensation or scent, you probably already have a gloss like this that costs less, so then I’d say give it a pass.

Has anyone tried any other Plump Your Puckers?

Orly–Sweet Peacock

I know, it’s strange. I don’t normally do back to back nail posts, but Flirty Tankini was chipping like crazy and coming off in almost whole pieces on both hands so I had to take off the few remaining bits and find another colour to wear. Excuse the dry cuticles, but this has got to be one of my favourite blue polishes! Here is Orly Sweet Peacock which is a rich (2 coats) metallic blue foil that was a breeze to apply. I am also really loving the rubberized cap! I never thought I would like blue, but I can’t get enough of this!

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Anybody have any other “non-work appropriate” colours they love?

China Glaze–Flirty Tankini

It’s funny, it has only been two days since I’ve posted and yet it feels like so long ago! I’ve had the most awful weekend involving work and all I can say is that sometimes you just wish everyone got along, but I guess there will be times when you feel like you’re in high school even in your adult life! Anyway, I’ve been really bummed, but I do have a very pretty polish for you and that’s China Glaze Flirty Tankini! This is a shimmery neon coral that is my first from the China Glaze Summer Neons series. Here I have two coats plus my OTD topcoat. Isn’t it purdy? The neon effect is really not captured well on camera, but it’s quite bright and punchy in real life. Believe me!

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Review - Maybelline Mega Plush Volume Mascara

I’m not normally one to buy mascara considering the number of mascara samples I’ve been getting, but the new Maybelline Mega Plush Mascara really caught my eye because it uses a gel-mousse formula leading to less “crunchy” and brittle lashes. This lighter formula also promises massive and supple volume as it contains 40% less hard waxes and uses a new Flexor Brush. To be honest, these flexible brushes scare me…I feel like I have no control when I’m applying mascara! I’m like a woman gone wild!

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As you can see, I didn’t really get a lot of “mega volume”, but I did get some lash lengthening. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with how little this mascara plumped up my lashes, but the gel-mousse formula definitely left my lashes feeling not quite so brittle. There were moments in my day when I forgot I was even wearing mascara! The other positive about this mascara was that it was really easy to remove with just water. The packaging says to use soap and water, but I’m too scared to have soap anywhere near my eyes because I dread the stinging sensation!

The Flexor Brush is not my favourite as I do feel like the extra “gumbiness” of the mascara wand makes me feel like I have less control. I like being able to push a little to really get the brush in between what few lashes I have, but with the Flexor Brush, pushing just caused the brush to bend and not really get into the lash crevices.  One thing I did notice was that the length of the wand is quite short in order to compensate for the “gumby” brush so at least the physics involved are correct!

Final Verdict: Do I suggest that you run out now and snap up this mascara? Probably not. After this experience, I definitely prefer stiff mascara brushes much more to flexible ones. The concept was interesting, but it just didn’t work for me. I did like the formula though, so MAYBE I could substitute a stiff brush with this formula? My lashes didn’t feel quite so heavy so the gel-mousse formula definitely lived up to its promises in that respect, but I didn’t get the volume that was promised which is a huge factor in why most of us buy mascaras anyway. I don’t really care too much for lengthening if my lashes look sparse. As much as I hate to say I don’t like something, I’m going to have to say NO to re-purchasing this mascara Sad smile

June 2012 Glymm Bag

Helloooo!

This month’s Glymm bag has gotten some negative reviews compared to those from last month. I also thought that last month’s Glymm revamp meant things were really going to be amazing for the coming months, but I think it’s just getting harder for all of these beauty boxes to compete and continuously pump out amazing samples (I really don’t know how Topbox still does it while still charging $10/month!). There was even an article in Macleans magazine that said because of the booming business of beauty boxes, the same companies get approached for samples and have now started asking that beauty box companies cover the cost of producing samples. This could explain the recent price increases for both Glymm and Loose Button. Anyway, the article is pretty interesting and also touches on how cosmetic companies now have a goldmine of consumer information as well because we all gladly fill out those feedback surveys!

Enough chatter, onward to the unbagging!

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In June’s Glymm Bag I received:

La Fresh Eco-Beauty® Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover Wipes

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Remove your nail polish in the most eco-friendly way possible. It does no harm to you or the planet, and it smells so delicious.

Thoughts: I have been wanting to try these nail polish remover pads so I am really happy that we got them this month. Each pad contains aloe, glycerin, vitamin E and rosemary horsetail extract to keep nails strong. These are supposed to clean all 10 of my nails which I find hard to believe, so I will definitely be putting these to the test! Since these are acetone-free, they won’t remove glitter polish so I will save it for a creme polish. These pads also sound like they smell so good! Fresh Tuscan orange? Mmmmmm!

I received: 2 pads/$1.11

Full size: 18 pads/$9.99

Clark’s Botanicals Smoothing Marine Cream

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This exfoliating and moisturizing cream will leave your skin feeling smooth as can be.

Thoughts: I have never heard of this company which I guess is good so it’s something new to try. This face cream both exfoliates and moisturizes with glycolic acid, algae extracts and jasmine absolute. Due to the presence of glycolic acid though, they have recommended not to apply this cream to red or peeling skin. It says on the online info card that Clark’s Botanicals will also donate a potion of sales to the Christopher Reeve Foundation. Now, why this collaboration? The founder of Clark’s Botanicals, Francesco Clark, suffered a crippling spinal cord injury in a diving accident in 2002. Not only was he left unable to walk, but unable to sweat as well which led chronic skin breakouts and Clark Botanicals was born!

I received: There is no size on the container, but it’s probably about 7mL/$16.10 for 10 – 14 uses.

Full size: 50mL/$115.00

Salvadore Dali ItisDream Perfume

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This fragrance radiates romance, tenderness, optimism and joy. If you’re artistic and love to dream, then this is the fragrance for you.

Thoughts: This is possibly a bit too strong for my tastes…I feel like I should be a large Italian woman dressed in her finest when I smell this perfume!

I received: 1.2mL/$1.08 for 35 sprays

Full size: 60mL/$54.00

Vitamin & Sea Perfect Skin Solution

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This miracle serum is 100% natural blend of vitamin E and essential oils. It will leave your skin flawless.

Thoughts: I don’t think you should ever use the word “miracle” in your advertising one-liner, but from the ingredient list, it looks like there are a number of different oils in this little vial each having its own role in revitalizing skin. There aren’t any harmful chemicals which is nice and all the oils sound really pretty and nice so I guess we’ll see what this little vial of miracles can do!

I received: Hmm, no amount again. Looks like the perfume sample I guess so 1.2mL/$1.81 for 5 uses.

Full size: 45mL/$68.00

Belvada Harmony Duo Lipstick in Soft Pink

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Everything your lips need for a night: some balm and some color in one lustrous package.

Thoughts: This is an interesting product in the sense that there is a lipstick on one side and a balm on the other where you push on one end to get the other side out. It took me some time to open this product because I didn’t read the product description first! I was fiddling with the case for longer than I’d like to admit! The colour I received is a nice neutral pink with a virtually clear balm on the other side. The container is refillable so as you collect more colours, you can swap out/in what you’d like. You can just buy the lipstick/balm alone though the actual Belvada website as the Glymm website just has the full product for purchase.

I received: *FULL SIZE*  for 16 months

Full size: 3.4g/$20.00

Total Value of Glymm Bag: $40.10 with my guesstimates of product sample sizes.

The lipstick and La Fresh pads were my favourites of this month’s Glymm bag, but I can see how people would be disappointed when comparing to last month’s Glymm bag. There were some interesting things to try this month so I’m not too upset. All in all, I’m pretty happy with what I received so we’ll see how we do next month!

Review–Konad Basic Nail Art Stamping Set

Hello and happy first official day of Summer! It’s actually sunny in VanCity today so it really does feel like summer!

Psst…today I’m going to share a little secret with you all…it was my first time last night…stamping with Konad! I’d obviously heard of and seen some wonderful sets of nails with amazing designs, but had never thought to try it out myself. Nail Polish Canada was kind enough to send me the Basic Konad Nail Art Stamping Set to review and I have to admit, I was a little scared because I didn’t know whether I’d even be able to use a stamper!

The Basic Konad Nail Art Stamping Set comes with a stamper, scraper, mini bottle of white Konad polish and an m36 plate.

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For my first Konad manicure, I started off with two coats of OPI – A Roll in the Hague which is a beautiful dark orange creme and goes on a bit darker than how it appears in the bottle.

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I followed with the special white Konad polish and the flower from the middle of plate m36. I decided to add rhinestones in the center for some extra *pop*.

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I had to practice a couple of times and even with those practice runs, my flowers still didn’t fully transfer at the edges. As for ease of use, let me tell you, at the beginning while I was still having trouble getting all of the pattern to transfer to the stamp, my fiance was HAPPILY stamping away! He actually said,”Jayne, this is so easy, I don’t get why you’re having trouble!” For a guy who’s a computer scientist and runs away at the smell of polish, HE found this Konad kit super easy to use!

I think this is a great starter kit if you’re just venturing into the world of Konading. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think flowers are harder to stamp than French tips or whole nail patterns so I think I’m going to try again with different patterns and see how that goes. As we speak, I’m going to pick up one of the special Konad polishes in black from Nail Polish Canada to see how the two colours compare. I think this is just the beginning of nail art stamping for me!

If you haven’t shopped with Nail Polish Canda before, they are a fantastic site for new collections and coveted rare nail polish brands like a-england, Orly, SpaRitual, Nubar, Nfu Oh as well as luxury nail polish brands like Butter London and Deborah Lippmann. They’re based right here in Vancouver so you can imagine my delight when I realized they carried all the brands that I’ve been ordering from the States! Shipping time and communication is amazing, the minimum for free shipping is only $29 and did I mention that there is a nail polish rewards program too? I honestly cannot say more wonderful things about this company! Oh wait, yes I can! They are also running a contest to win Konad Prize Pack ($51) which includes:

1 x Konad Basic Kit

2 x Choice of any image plates

2 x Choice of any special polishes

If you haven’t entered already, enter here. A winner will be chosen July 30th.

Have a great day everyone!

disclaimer

Recent Winners Damage :(

I’m sorry this post is going to be so short, but I’m not feeling very well today so I’m just going to be staying in, curled up with a cat and possibly Diablo 3…? These are just a few things that I couldn’t resist buying from Winners over the last few weeks:

Cargo Lip Gloss Quads ($8.99 each) in Ibiza (left) and Naples (right) and from what I’ve seen, you cannot get these particular combinations anymore from the Cargo website, so I’m guessing they are discontinued. I also saw on both the ebeauty and Cargo websites that there is even a Vancouver lip gloss quad which is all sparkly! Totally not what I would have imagined a Vancouver palette to look like! I must have gotten to the Cargo display pretty early in the game because you can see that these lip quads have no little finger marks in them!

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Next up, is a ginormous tub of Lemon Cupcake Smoothing Body Scrub from Cake ($8.99) which smells ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Lemon is another one of my favourite scents and when it is paired off with “cupcake”, it’s a winner in my books! The last things I picked up were two bottles of my new favourite Out the Door Topcoat. This is where Winners can really ruin in for you. I purchased my bottle of OTD from Nail Polish Canada for $11.50 so when I saw it at Winners for $4.99, my eyes almost fell out of my head! I really should have bought out the entire display at the rate I go through topcoats! Does anyone else find that once it gets to the halfway point, you don’t feel like slanting the bottle to the side so that the ENTIRE brush gets coated with topcoat?

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I have been trying to be good and limit how much I’ve been shopping at Winners so these four items over the last 2.5 weeks is actually not bad for me! I keep forgetting that I have this *ahem* wedding to save up for…

P.S. For those of you who wanted swatches of the NYX Crimson Amulet Palette, I’ve got them up now Smile

Review - The Body Shop Beautifying Oil

I’m sure many of you have seen the new line of beautifying oils at The Body Shop that come in 11 of Body Shop’s house scents: Mango, Satsuma, Shea, Olive, Cocoa Butter, Strawberry, Coconut, Chocomania and Moringa. I picked up Satsuma, which is my all-time FAVOURITE scent and Pink Grapefruit. I’ve pretty much tried everything at the Body Shop already, so whenever there is something new, I’m always all over it! This caught my attention because it reminded me so much of Moroccanoil that I love using in my hair, but would NEVER use on my body because it’s just too expensive!!

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I’ve been using this beautifying oil in my hair right after blow-drying and after coming out of the shower and it is just delightful! I love the fact that my hair can smell like oranges and pink grapefruit and feel nice and smooth just like with the Moroccanoil! I was actually really impressed with how well this moisturized and made my skin feel smooth. I thought it would be too oily, but my skin just slurped it up and stayed happy! It’s also a lot quicker to use the beautifying oil rather than lotion if you’re in a rush since oil just sort of distributes itself much more smoothly. It was so hard to choose just the two scents because they all smelled so good! They retail for $14, but with the number of promos that The Body Shop has going on, I’m sure you will either be able to get this for 50% off or for free!

Has anyone else given these new beautifying oils a try?

Molecular Nails–Nucleotide Skittles

I have been wanting to try out something DNA-related for awhile, but there is no way in hell I am drawing this on my nails:

I’m sure one of you, should you decide to take on the challenge , will be able to make the DNA double helix look like a work of art, but it ain’t going to be me! I just decided to do something simple instead. For those of you who possibly remember some Grade 10 Biology, I’ve actually ordered the molecules in a certain way because within the DNA helix adenine pairs with thymine (uracil in RNA) and guanine pairs with cytosine.

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Let me just say, it’s VERY hard to make nucleotide bases look pretty and yet they are the basic building blocks of our DNA! You know what? Maybe they just need some glitter!

June 2012 Topbox!

Hi!

This Topbox was a little strange for me because I’ve been so busy with work that I didn’t actually know what was in it until 2 days AFTER it arrived because I didn’t open it! It just goes to show how busy and stressful things were! As usual, Topbox did not disappoint! Their consistency of great products is very impressive. As a bonus this month, we even got to try out some new drugstore products!

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In June’s Topbox I received:

Bread&Butter Face Cleanser

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Excitement Level: Well, I knew I was getting this so it wasn’t really a surprise, but I’ve seen Bread&Butter products before and was curious so I’m very grateful to have a 90 day supply! Oh wait, this was supposed to be for my fiance…I guess he’ll have to share with me!

Full Size: 90mL/$11.67 (I don’t really know so I just took their 3 piece kit and divided by 3 because there aren’t any individual prices)

I Received: *FULL SIZE*

Pari Beauty Precious Glow

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Excitement Level: Ooooh, when I was seeing what everyone was getting, this was the one that interested me the most! It’s a liquid shimmer lotion that can be used on the face, eyes or body, but works best as an eye primer or highlighter when mixed with lotion of foundation.

Full Size: 10mL/$15.00

I Received: I’m not sure because the picture of this product on the info card is in a much bigger container and says 10mL on it so I’m pretty sure we have a sample size ranging from 3 – 5mL ($7.50 at most)

Stila Forever Your Curl Mascara

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Excitement Level: I really don’t know how good this will be…I haven’t seen too many raving reviews about it, but I’ll give it a try. There is supposed to have an “encapsulated raw ingredient” that enhances lash-curl memory. I’m kind of confused about what that means. To me, that either means that whatever ingredient they are using are found protected in a capsule OR in computer science it means “hidden”. I feel like it means the latter because we’re not being told outright what it is…

Full Size: 0.24oz/$29.00

I Received: 0.12oz/$14.50

Redken All Soft Argan-6 Oil

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Excitement Level: Now this is one product that I hadn’t seen other people receive, although I haven’t watched any YouTube unboxings yet. I’m pretty excited to try this because I actually go to the salon twice a year to get the Redken All Soft Treatment so this will be great to try out! This is an Omega-6 enriched, fair trade argan oil that supposed to make dry, brittle hair incredibly soft. At the salon it totally works so I hope this stuff does too!

Full Size: 90mL/$34.99

I Received: 9.4mL/$3.65

Simple Eye Makeup Remover *Bonus*

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Excitement Level: I’ve already received this in May’s Glossybox, but I use eye makeup everyday so having another one is more than welcome! It’s a great travel size and a great bonus to an already great Topbox!

Full Size: 125mL/$9.99

I Received: 56mL/$4.48

Garnier BB Cream *Bonus*

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Excitement Level: Ah, so now I get to try Garnier’s BB Cream! I wonder if it will live up to my Marcelle BB Cream? I just hope the “light” shade I received is not too light for me…

Full Size: 75mL/$14.99 (London Drugs)

I Received: 4.5mL/$0.90

Total Value of Topbox: $42.70

I thought it was really cool of Topbox to provide the Bread&Butter product for the men as it gave my addiction to beauty boxes a little bit of validation! Great range of products once again and no shampoo samples! Yayyyy! I like shampoo samples, but it was getting to be a bit much so it’s nice to have a break this month. Overall, another great Topbox!