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

August Luvs

As much as I love doing August favourites, it also means that Fall is approaching and to be honest, I think I’m ready for Fall and cozying up with a blanket on cold nights. Another reason I know Fall is coming? Yoshi has been sleeping outside on the patio at night, but slept on our bed last night for the first time in two months and stretched to his full sausage length. We barely had any room to sleep! My favourites for the month have been products that I have been constantly reaching for so here we go!

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Review–Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup

I am actually quite excited about this product because I feel like we’ve all been waiting a long time for Benefit to come out with a liquid foundation! I am a lover of almost all things Benefit so I felt confident in purchasing Hello Flawless. When it comes to foundation, I generally look for lighter coverage as I wear it more to even out my skin tone which is why I thought Hello Flawless would be perfect as it aims to give a natural complexion while making your skin look more vibrant and healthy-looking. This formula is also oil-free so this would be suitable for most skin types. I am actually a mixture of two shades, but because I am more tanned at the moment and will most likely go back to being “Vancouver-pale”, I opted for the lighter shade in IVORY aka the lightest shade in this line! Crazy! 

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August 2012 Beauty Box 5 (My First!)

When BB5 first came out, I wasn’t quite sold on it due to some mixed reviews and single packet Freeman masks (which I am still seeing in some boxes). After awhile though, the boxes did start to look better so I decided to try this American subscription service on a quarterly basis. I honestly had no idea what was going to be in this month’s box so for once it actually was a real surprise!

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Pretty & Polished–Jawbreaker

On the heels of yesterday’s white-based polish, is another Pretty & Polished favourite – Jawbreaker! I actually love this more than Party on my Yacht! This polish is a mixture of micro purple glitter, blue, red and yellow hex glitter, green bar glitter and of course red square glitter. I love the different shapes of glitter and managed to even get two of the elusive red square glitters out of the bottle! Application was smooth in 3 easy coats.

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Here We Go! The 31 Day Nail Challenge!

I never thought the day would come when I would even consider embarking on something like this, but the fact that Naomi from Bellezza is going to be doing this with me has really motivated me to go for it! Due to work constraints, we will be posting every other day starting Sept.1. It’s also nice to enjoy what we come up with for a day or two.

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We are adding a Day 32 challenge which will be another attempt at “sugar spun nails”! Woohoo! If anyone would like to join us just email me your blog link so I can add it to each of my entries! Can’t wait to start! I’m actually a little scared and I have no idea why!

Pretty & Polished –Party on My Yacht

I have finally dived in to swatching some of the Pretty & Polished polishes that I picked up about 2 weeks ago. This is Party on my Yacht in three easy coats and contains green, magenta, purple and gold glitter sitting in a milky white base. Looks like it’s a party on my nails too!

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All in all, I think this is a fun polish to wear and even though I’m not usually a fan of white-based polishes, I’m glad I have Party on my Yacht in my collection!

Made with Molecules Jewellery

I first read about Made with Molecules in 2008 while googling something nerdy like “DNA necklaces” to see if they actually existed which brought me to Raven Hanna’s beautifully made and nerdy creations! Raven has a Ph.D in molecular biophysics and it all started when she was looking at a picture of serotonin and realized how beautiful it was! She began searching for a serotonin necklace which of course did not exist so she took it upon herself to create jewellery featuring her favourite molecules!

All of her pieces are made in sterling silver, but can feature semi-precious gems upon request. They are incredibly well-made with fairly thick snake chains and good-sized lobster clasps that are often found on jewellery of luxury goods. Lobster clasps are generally more expensive than the circular clasps we often see on costume jewellery and are also more secure and resistant to breakage.

As a side note, even the name of her store when abbreviated, MWM, is representative of a carbon chain with double bonds where the “M” and “W” meet!  

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My first MWM piece was the chocolate necklace which always garners a lot of attention when worn. I just love the shape and how the molecule is positioned.

Some New Things to Try! (As If I Need More!)

As always, whenever I feel like trying some new beauty products, I do my best to wait for a Shoppers Drug Mart 20x the points day to get whatever I’ve been lusting for. I never have to wait very long because there is always at least one event per month, but ever since joining the beauty blogging community, the wish list gets pretty long over the course of the month!

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August 2012 Topbox

Like a naughty little Topboxer, I have been peeking at everyone else’s Topboxes and knew what was coming so I was quite excited about receiving mine! We also received a little bonus in our Topboxes this month which is always a nice little surprise. I actually don’t know how they managed to get everything in there so nicely because once I took everything out, I could not for the life of me get everything back in!

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Dot Marc Jacobs

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Introducing DOT MARC JACOBS, a lush floral bouquet of beautiful jasmine and juicy red berries. DOT MARC JACOBS captures a charming, upbeat spirit with timeless sophistication.

Thoughts: I was most excited about this ultra cute perfume sample! I am a big perfume person (I think I actively use about 10 different ones at any given time!) so this was what I was waiting to get my hands on and smell! I’m usually a citrus-lover, but this has just the right balance of sweet and floral notes and I look forward to wearing this scent in the coming months.

Full size: 50mL/$79 or 100mL/$105

I received: 4mL/$4.20 (used the lower value)

Expression Blush Brush

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Thoughts: I love brushes and I have been wanting another blush brush so I am very happy that I got one!

Full size: $22

I received: *FULL SIZE*

Pink Wipes

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A biodegradable, paraben free and hypoallergenic pH balanced feminine wipe that is perfect for your summer travels.

Thoughts: I have to say that I did not expect this to be in a beauty box, but I’m glad it is! These wipes are little expensive though so I don’t think they would be something I would buy all the time…I haven’t tried it out yet so I can’t really say how it works, but I’m sure it’ll make any girls’ nethers feel fresher!

Full size: 15 wipes/$12

I received: 1 wipe/$0.80

L’Eau de Chloe

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Chloe signature scent opens a new chapter in its story. This perfumed body lotion is as delicate as a breath of air.

Thoughts: Love the cute little bottle, but the scent is quite a bit stronger than I am used to. I don’t think I will be purchasing the full size anytime soon!

Full size: 200mL/$60

I received: 30mL/$9

Kellett Skincare Polishing Gel Cleanser

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Gentle exfoliants and purifying cleansers dissolve impurities, help regulate sebum production and soothe inflammation.

Thoughts: I feel like based on the description this is more for oily skin, but I do love a good exfoliant!

Full size: 130mL/$45

I received: 10mL/$3.46

Nexxus Therappe Luxurious Hydrating Shampoo and Humectress Ultimate Hydrating Conditioner

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Thoughts: I have used Nexxus products in the past in a sample pack format and really enjoyed how it made my hair feel so I’m very pleased to be able to try this shampoo and conditioner in some VERY good sample sizes! I wasn’t able to easily find a proper price for these (if anyone knows I will gladly update) and I guess since these were a bonus in this month’s Topbox, I won’t include them in the final value (even though we all know it made this month’s box a little bit sweeter Smile)

Total Value of Topbox: $39.46

This month’s Topbox is a far cry from this month’s Glymm bag and the Expressions brush alone more than paid for it. Topbox continues to come out on top and I don’t know how they’re doing it, but whatever it is, they know how to run the business of beauty boxes!

Review–Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Shadow Pencil

I received these Urban Decay eye shadow pencils from Miranda’s 700 Follower Giveaway and have been loving them! They are incredibly quick and easy to use and have great staying power. I generally wear a more neutral eye for day to day so I’ve been using mainly the brown eye shadows in Rehab, Juju and Sin. I've always been a fan of UD’s eye makeup so I am delighted that these eye shadow pencils lived up and possibly exceeded my expectations!

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Packaging: Yay for chubby pencils!

Formula: Very similar in texture to the NYX Jumbo Eye Shadow Pencils which I reviewed back in May. Creamy, smooth and easier to work with than the MUFE Aqua Shadow, which I also reviewed at the beginning of August, as the formula didn’t dry quite as quickly. I normally pair these eye shadows with UD’s Primer Potion and it lasts an 8 hour day with ease. I love the fact that I can line and shadow with just one product and still blend with my finger. In comparison to the MUFE Aqua Shadow, blending was much easier with the UD pencil most likely due to the fact that it isn’t waterproof like the MUFE one.

Final Verdict: These are fantastic, but they’re a little on the expensive side as the full-sized product is $24 CDN for a single pencil. I think the NYX Jumbo Eye Shadow Pencils are similar enough to the UD ones, that you don’t really need to have both. Personally, the NYX formula didn’t last as long on my eyelids even with primer so based on that, I would choose the UD pencils, but for those of you who have and love your NYX pencils, I don’t think you’re missing out on too much if you don’t get the UD ones!

Spun Sugar Skittles!

Last night I tried my hand at “spun sugar” or “cotton candy” nails and although it took awhile and had its challenges, it was quite fun to do! Waiting around for the polishes to get stringy took about 10 minutes and once they were ready, I just went crazy with my orange sticks pulling the strings across my nails!

I used different polishes for each finger so you can see that the orange didn’t really form strings, but just sort of globbed together. Something I didn’t think about is that if you want the stringy texture to really show up, don’t put a topcoat on like I did (GRRR!).

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Anyone else tried spun sugar nails yet? What do you think of them?

August 2012 Glymm Bag

For those of you looking forward to Yoshi presenting, I am sorry, but he was just not in the mood. He was crammed in a corner and unwilling to even give the camera a glance…

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I am one month away from the end of my year long relationship with Glymm and this month’s bag is not making me want to renew my subscription which makes me a little bit sad. I don’t want to break up! I feel like once those jellybeans disappeared from our boxes, things went a little downhill. I hope that the items I received add up to $10 because there isn’t one full-sized or even travel-sized item in this month’s bag!

Here is what I received this in this month’s Glymm Bag:

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I haven’t been a fan of the makeup bags we have received so far, but like a lot of other people, I LOVE this month’s bag! I love patent leather so this is perfect!

Naked Shine Luscious Lip Gloss in Barely Nude

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This sexy gloss stimulates collagen, is non-tacky and plumps your lips ever so gently.

Thoughts: This is a tiny sample! I actually think this will be the first lip gloss I will fully finish in awhile! The colour is quite nice and smells and feels great on the lips.

Full size: 2.96mL/$26.00

I received: 0.24mL/$2.11

The Laundress Delicate Wash in Lady

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Take care of your beautiful delicates and lingerie with a wash that's effective yet gentle.

Thoughts: I do handwash some of my delicates so I will use this sample. I thought this was an interesting addition to this month’s Glymm bag.

Full size: 500mL/$22.00

I received: 15mL/$0.66

Mai Couture Highlighter Paper in St.Barts

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The Papier collection by Mai Couture exudes novelty and modernism.
Whether you need coverage, color or highlights you’ll find a quick and effective solution.

Thoughts: I love the concept of having a single sheet be enough to highlight your face, but I don’t think I would ever spend the money on these considering how expensive they are.

Full size: 50 sheets/$26 (at the most)

I received: 2 sheets/$1.04

Vitamine & Sea Mineral Clay Mask

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This natural facial mask made with clay directly from the Dead Sea will tingle as it softly exfoliates, eliminates toxins, promotes circulation, cleanses and strengthens your skin.

Thoughts: It smells exactly what I would imagine a volcano would smell like! This smells very old and “fossil-esque”. It’s not my favourite scent and I hope it does more good to my skin than to my olfactory buds.

Full size: 210mL/$62.00

I received: 10mL?/$2.95

Bentaberry G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream for Boys and Girls

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This cream is made from 100% natural active ingredients: burdock, jasmine, mandarin, blueberry, white dead-nettle and zinc pidolate.

Thoughts: I guess this face cream had better be good what with the extra long product name and the ongoing list of natural ingredients! I’m having a hard time figuring out what zinc pidolate does which sort of bothers me…

Full size: 30mL/$22.00

I received: 3mL/$2.20

Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee

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An electrical current runs through the subtle sweetness of vanilla, jasmine and fresh lime to bond with rich oak moss, woods and spicy coriander.

Thoughts: I loved the Orange Sanguine sample I received before so I had high hopes for Vanille Insensee as well. I do like the scent, but I think I prefer a more citrus-like scent. The vanilla scent will be nice for the coming colder months.

Full size: 30mL/$70.00 – this is $65 on ebeauty.ca

I received: 1.2mL?/$2.60 – we’ll go with the lowest pricing

Total Value of Glymm Bag: $11.56…I’m not including the actual bag for $12 because I signed up for product and not packaging. Value was a little disappointing this month, but I did a cute makeup bag out of it. Those that received the full-sized nail polish definitely got the better Glymm bag this month!

BH Cosmetics Haul (Purchased at an Ungodly Hour!)

I have not purchased from BH Cosmetics in a very long time because I figured I was all done with palettes ever since the “Summer of 88 Color Palettes” in 2009.  At that time, BH Cosmetics was only selling palettes and brushes so there weren’t all these other beauty temptations to lure me in. I think I can thank Aleksandra at Plumpish Beauty for posting about this huge sale that I read about at a very late hour! I actually didn’t remember that I had even placed this order until around noon the next day at work…I know, it’s a problem…

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I don’t remember exact pricing, but everything was pretty inexpensive. I think the lip glosses and eye liner were around $2 each and the eyelashes around $4.

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Oh, forgive me Father for I have sinned…here are the palettes…I have been obsessed with blush this past summer and even though I have only ever used up one blush to completion back in 2002, I felt like I wanted all of my favourite blush colours in one place which is why I knew I had to have this 10 Color Professional Blush Palette. I love the quality and the range of colour with everything from a natural flush to a bright pink pop of colour.

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I also picked up a gorgeous lip gloss palette with you guessed it, 66 colours of glossy goodness. I am most curious about these blue glosses…whatever will I use them for? I shouldn’t need to buy another lip gloss in my lifetime right? LOL, that made me laugh. I love this palette and there is such a fantastic array of colours.

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I’m sorry I don’t remember exact pricing and I’ve also thrown out my invoice, but all together with $9 of shipping, my total was $51.61 which I think is an amazing price considering how much I got.

Any other BH Cosmetics lovers (other than Aleksandra! Winking smile)? Or better yet, have you ever made a purchase online and promptly forgotten about it?

Apples for Back to School!

I just this video from cutepolish today and it was so cute that I had to try this right away! Sorry, for some reason my hands look so dry in this picture. The apples are just so darn cute that I cannot get enough of them!

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For the red, I used Orly – Ma Cherie, the stem is China Glaze – IX and the leaf is China Glaze – Gaga for Green.

Is this a cutepolish design you might want to try? Happy Sunday!

eBeauty.ca (Very Reasonable!) Mini Haul

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Thanks to a heads up from Margo at City Girl, I decided to take advantage of ebeauty’s 20% coupon for this month. I was a good girl and only got things I had really been pining for.

Atelier Cologne in Orange Sanguine 30mL ($55)

Ever since I received a sample of this in April’s Glymm Box I have been in love, but it is a pricier perfume and not readily available in a lot of department stores or the Shopper’s Beauty Boutique. You can find this fragrance on the Glymm website, but the 30mL bottle is $5 more and I’d rather use my last Glymm points on Butter London polishes. Wouldn’t you? If you haven’t guessed already, this smells like oranges! Blood oranges to be more precise. What’s nice about the bottle is that the pump is removable for splash or spray use. The label on the bottle is actually covering a very long plastic tube that you can use to dab the fragrance on your skin. The other interesting thing is that there was a little card inside the box that said there were refills available and that all I had to do was email and they would send me a metal funnel. I just don’t know where I’d get the refills from!

LaVanila – The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Grapefruit

I love the Vanilla Grapefruit fragrance so I thought the deodorant would be just as appealing…it wasn’t…it smelled like neither to me actually, but the scent overall was still quite pleasant. I currently use a salt-based deodorant which I love because there is no scent or any scary ingredients so I’m really excited to start using this to see how it works for me.

Boscia Vanilla Blotting Linens

I actually didn’t think I would be able to smell the vanilla, but you really can! These will make a great addition to my purse for touch-ups during the day and I have a feeling I am going to love these! The blotting linens are a great size and more than enough for the entire face!

Did anyone else take advantage of ebeauty’s promotion?

Molecular Nails–Dopamine: The “Feel Good” Neurotransmitter

Welcome to another instalment of Molecular Nails! After going for some retail therapy after having a not so great day, I thought some nails with dopamine might be appropriate!

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is involved in numerous physiological functions, but the one I have decided to depict on my nails is how dopamine is involved in the reward system of the brain. Whenever we feel pleasure from a particular activity, that feeling of enjoyment motivates and reinforces us to perform that activity again. This is because of dopamine. Dopamine is released when we have a great meal, during the intake of drugs and of also with love and sex. I chose to go with the LOVE part of our brain’s reward-seeking behaviour hence the pink hearts. I wanted to try to keep my nails rated G! 

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The base colour is SH XTremewear in Mellow Yellow and the rest is all done in acrylic paint. Happy Friday everyone! I don’t normally get the weekend off, but this time I do! So for once I can look forward to a Friday night!

My Latest Subscription Service–Candy Japan!

While perusing SubscriptionBoxes.com, I decided to take a look at some of the food subscription boxes when I happened to come across Candy Japan. I don’t know how many of you adore Japanese candy, but when it comes to sweets, I feel like the Japanese have the cutest, tastiest way of making candy truly an experience!

Candy Japan is run by Bemmu and Nachi who carefully select interesting Japanese candy that you might not be able to find locally. So, don’t expect to find ho hum Pocky sticks in your bag of goodies unless they are a rare flavour only available in Japan! This subscription service is $23.95 USD/month so definitely on the pricier side, but this does include worldwide shipping. There are two packages of candy that are shipped from Japan in the middle and at the end of each month, so my post is really more like Part 1! Seeing as how all of the packaging is written in Japanese, Candy Japan sends out an email once the candy has been shipped with a description of what each item is and possibly what you’re supposed to do with it!

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For my first package, I received three candies. I left the mailer envelope in the background so that you can see that it’s quite a small and narrow package.

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An entrant in Morinaga's caramel series, these are matcha tea flavored caramels. Matcha is the expensive part of green tea, powder consisting only of the best hand-picked tea buds.

What I love about this candy subscription is the review process because instead of swatches, I get to TASTE the products! Although I could taste the beauty products too, but I don’t think the results would be quite as pleasurable ;-) These taste amazing! It tastes like real green tea mixed with a little bit of a creamy milky taste. I’ve eaten two of them just writing this paragraph…

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Cola turns out to be a popular flavour in Japan along with grape and soda tastes. This one is soft candy with gummies embedded.

This isn’t just gummy, it’s fizzy too! I love the taste of cola so this candy was also a hit with me. I felt like a little kid with this cola – gummy- fizzy hybrid of heaven in my mouth. I will be sad when these are gone…

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As the characters blowing balloons in the cover hopefully alerted you, this is bubble gum. But not the typical kind, but sort of a hybrid of cola-flavoured cotton candy and bubble gum.

I’m not a cotton candy fan, so this was just ok for me. The taste was great, but I’ve never been a fan of the cotton consistency. It’s definitely a candy that is interesting though because there are bits of bubble gum woven within each cotton cola-flavoured layer.

Obviously, this subscription box is very much a luxury. More so I feel than the beauty boxes as it is more expensive and because candy disappears a lot more quickly than lipstick or mascara! Japanese candy isn’t exactly cheap locally either which is a big reason why I never buy it here. I can easily see the Matcha Caramels being around $4 or $5 so if Candy Japan sends out about 6 candies this subscription is worth it. The main reason I love this subscription though is to the opportunity to try some really different types of candy. That is what I am most excited about! I am quite happy with what I received for this part of the month and I hope I get to keep this subscription for awhile!  

Anyone want to come over and have a Matcha Caramel?

Mini Nail Mail!

This is just a fun little post about what arrived this morning! I had signed up for the Pretty and Polished waitlist and after much deliberation, decided on these five amazing polishes! “Jawbreaker” and “Party on my Yacht” have been on my list of lemmings for a few months and then I saw “Phoenix” and knew this matte orange and yellow glitter had to be mine! 

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Question: When it comes to swatches, would you rather see them on a hand or on a wheel? I, personally, love seeing a full manicure with the polish in question in order to get the full effect. I buy so much at once that I feel badly not being able to show everyone what these polishes look like right away! Sometimes I feel like I should just pick a collection and not allow myself to try on any other polish until I’ve swatched it all! What do you guys think?

July 2012 Glossybox as Presented by Yoshi the Cat

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Hello minions,

My human thought it might be a nice change for me to introduce July’s Glossybox because you can see from my face that I was quite pleased with its contents.

Here is what my human received:

Beauty So Clean Sanitizer Wipes

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There convenient cosmetic sanitizer wipes are effective for sanitizing makeup that accumulates visible debris like dust, lint and food particles.

Thoughts: I really don’t use these at all…I can appreciate the concept of them and you’d think that after years of microbiology classes I’d be scared of little microbes living on my makeup, but I’ve never had any breakouts or weird skin upsets from my from my makeup so these will be probably just sit unused. I know some people really love them, but I don’t think these are for me…

Full size: 48 wipes/$12.50

I received: 4 wipes/$1.04

Dove Softening Creme Body Wash

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Get visibly more beautiful skin in just 1 week. Use daily for soft, smooth skin.

Thoughts: The scent of this is somewhat strong so I’m not sure if I like it yet…even Yoshi backed off right away when he got a whiff of this!

Full size: 200mL/$5.99

I received: *FULL SIZE*

Alessandro Pedix Feet Heel Rescue Balm

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Protects and nourishes your skin with shea butter, allantoin and tea tree oil.

Thoughts: I know foot creme has been a big thing for summer, but it has really come in handy! I don’t know how useful allantoin is, but manufacturers say that it does increase the smoothness of the skin due to increasing water content in the extracellular matrix of skin cells. I guess we shall see! This is a great little travel size and smells really nice! I also love the fact that it’s a German product. How exotic!

Full size: 100mL/$19.95

I received: 30mL/$5.99

Zoya Nail Polish in Arizona

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Summer 2012 is going to be super stylish season for nails with the latest offering designed by the Zoya experts. It is kissed by sea and sand with the famous full-coverage Zoya formula.

Thoughts: Aaahh! A colour I don’t have! I love Zoya polishes so I had my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t get a colour I had already! From the swatches I have seen, this is a bright and creamy orange. Makes me want creamsicles…

Full size: 0.5oz/$8.00

I received: *FULL SIZE*

John Frieda Frizz Ease Sheer Solution

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Shake to activate the dual formula – part lightweight serum, part smoothing elixir – to fight frizz from the outside while hydrating hair from the inside.

Thoughts: My hair actually gets pretty frizzy depending on the weather so I will definitely be using this. Did some people get a full size of this??

Full size: 60mL/$14.99

I received: 10mL/$2.50

Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Plum

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A kiss of colour and pearlized shine add a hint of glamour to this world famous lip balm.

Thoughts: It’s a little bit dark for what I normally wear, but the moisture factor was there and I love the minty scent and tingle. This is the first time I’ve tried a Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer so I’m tempted to get a lighter colour that I’d wear more regularly.

Full size: 2.6g/$5.99

I received: *FULL SIZE*

Total Value of Glossybox: $29.51

Okay, so you can probably tell that Yoshi didn’t get to present the entire Glossybox since he turned up his nose at half of the products…cats…so snobby. Anyway, I know the value of this month’s Glossybox wasn’t high, but I enjoyed the variety of products I received. The Zoya polish was what made it for me!