Cosmetic Proof : August 2013 | Vancouver beauty, nail art and lifestyle blog

Review | The Body Shop Drop of Youth and Giveaway!

The other day I wrote a review for The Body Shop Nutriganics Skin Care Starter Kit which I loved. I have also been using another product in conjunction with the starter kit and it is a facial serum called Drops of Youth. I’m sure this product has caught the attention of many of you with its green bottle and apparent Fountain of Youth magical properties as it has been created for the first skin with the first signs of aging. It promises to enhance the surface of the skin leaving it smoother, fresher and healthier-looking with the help of criste marine plant stem cells, which are found in sea algae on cliff tops on the coastlines of France. These plant stem cells keep these sea algae alive in a constant regenerative state as conditions along the coast are very extreme.

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Price: $36.00 CDN, but The Body Shop has so many promos going on all the time that I’m sure you will be able to get this for less!

Packaging: Green glass bottle with glass eye dropper. Serum is administered by pressing the white button on cap.

Formula: Criste marine plant stem cells are said to improve skin elasticity and radiance, promote healing and dermal metabolism, preserve the skin’s structural integrity, reducing freckles and initiating skin protection functions (anti-aging) (Ping of Health, 2013). The instructions say to use this facial serum before regular serum and moisturizer, but I have been using it as my main serum instead. All you need is 2-3 drops which for me was more than enough to cover my entire face and neck. The serum feels a little bit slimy when you first drop it onto your fingers, but the consistency actually helps in spreading the serum around your face. It absorbs extremely quickly as its dry within 20 seconds, which is when you know your face is ready for moisturizer. All in all, a very pleasant, no fuss formula to work with!

Final Verdict: So, the more important question, did this product restore my skin’s youth and vitality? I have been using this in conjunction with the Nutriganics skin care line for almost 8 weeks and mentioned in my review that I have been receiving compliments on the condition of my skin and how bright it has been looking so it’s definitely something in the Nutriganics line that is working for me! I’ve been able to get away with just wearing a sheer BB cream for my 8 hour work days so something in my skin has definitely changed even if it is a subtle one. Everyone’s skin is different, so even when reading reviews of Drops of Youth from other bloggers, I knew that it was something that I had to experience for myself. I am going to finish the bottle I have and pick one up during the next Body Shop event to see how my skin responds as the weather gets more dry, but for the summer, I have really been loving how lightweight and quick-absorbing this serum has been.

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Are you guys curious to try this product out for yourselves? If you are, you’re in luck because I have an extra bottle to give away!! This giveaway is open internationally!

PR sample sent to me for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are of course my own!

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July 2013 Empties

Oh boy, has it been a busy summer! Weddings, work and planning my own wedding! Empties seems to have fallen by the wayside even though I still have my box of empties glaring at me every day as if to remind me of how behind I am!

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Review | The Body Shop Nutriganics Skin Care Starter Kit

I have been trying something new in my skincare routine for the last 8 weeks and that has been The Body Shop Nutriganics skin care line which promises to smooth skin, reduce fine lines, and increase suppleness. I recently had the opportunity to try the Nutriganics Starter Kit which contains the: Refreshing Toner, Foaming Facial Wash, Smoothing Day Cream and Smoothing Night Cream for $35 CDN. If you are unsure of whether certain products will work for you or what to try, I found this starter kit to be quite helpful as these are all deluxe sample sizes and really give you a chance to see what these products can do for your skin. I have been using these for 8 weeks straight and I still have product left!

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Smoothing Day and Night Cream

These two products were my favourite of the group because they absorbed so quickly into my skin, which I initially thought was a bad sign as it meant that I’d have dry skin in a few hours, but I was quite mistaken! Using these creams had my skin hydrated 24\7!

There is a very light “plant-like” fragrance that is actually quite pleasant and refreshing. Although the product description on the website says that these two creams “protect your skin against sun damage”, these DO NOT have SPF in them so wear sunscreen if you’re planning on being outside. There are quite a number of fancy organic ingredients contained in these creams, with babassu oil from Brazil (similar to coconut oil), antioxidants from organic red grapes from France and buddleja and thyme to help protect the skin. I can’t actually figure out what buddleja is doing, but doesn’t it sound nice to have it there?

All of these ingredients sound wonderful, but did they actually do anything for my skin? If you’re looking for a lightweight, yet hydrating moisturizer, these two products are wonderful! Thankfully, I am blessed with good skin, so I generally look for moisturizers with optimal levels of hydration. I have had compliments on my skin and how “happy” it has been looking over the last couple of weeks so I think using the day and night cream has been helping! There is also mallow extract in the night cream which will soften your skin and make it feel more supple.

Refreshing Toner

Most toners that I have used are pretty much like water or feel like I’m just rubbing glorified alcohol on my face. Instead, this toner has an almost gel-like consistency that still leaves my skin feeling clean and fresh. This toner also contains babassu oil, mallow for suppleness and aloe vera to leave skin moisturized. This also has a very refreshing scent and is a product that I will have to purchase in the full size when I run out!

Foaming Facial Wash

I have been using this to wash off my makeup and it definitely does the job, but it’s not quite amazing enough for me to make the switch from my current makeup remover. It has the same refreshing scent and comes in a pump bottle which I always prefer.

Final Verdict: Out of all four of these products, you can probably guess that the moisturizers were my favourite! As a starter kit, I think that for the price and for the amount of product you receive, this is a wonderful introduction to the Nutriganics skin care line. I have already started using the smoothing serum in conjunction with the moisturizer and I am loving the hydration without having to wait for the moisturizer to absorb. We’ll see if I need something more for winter, but for warmer months this has been my go-to for moisturizing!

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PR samples sent to me for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are of course my own!

Nail Polish Storage–Toolbox Style!

I have had a few questions regarding my nail polish storage solutions as I have around 550 bottles! I have been using the IKEA Helmer just like all you other nail polish-loving gals, but I really hate the drawers. They don’t slide smoothly and it just gets harder to pull out as more weight gets added to the drawers, SO I knew it was time for a bit of a change!  Introducing a “real” toolbox, one with a ball bearings that allow the drawers to bear quite a bit of weight and glide like “buttah”!

I picked up a 5 drawer Husky from Home Depot for $120 which is considerably more than the IKEA Helmer, but the quality of the drawers is just so much better! Now, the only thing is that the drawers are still too short for OPI and China Glaze bottles, so I’m looking into some other methods of storage for my little babies. For now, they’re still in my old Helmer.

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Julep polishes in the very top shelf. Organized in order of the rainbow of course!

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Swatch It Up | Pretty & Polished-Summer Sorbet

OH MY GOSH. Have I got some swatch spam for you! I absolutely love this temperature changing polish from Pretty & Polished! This has got to be one of my favourite temperature changing polishes and it goes by the name of Summer Sorbet. When cool, this polish is a beautiful coral and a bright yellow when warm and is filled with purple, teal and blue hex glitter. I am wearing three easy to apply coats with glitter application being a breeze!

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Review | W2Beauty & Skinfood Egg White Pore Mask

Hang on to your horses, but I have just recently discovered another Korean cosmetic site with free worldwide shipping, amazing selection and top notch customer service! If you haven’t “met” Alice from W2Beauty, she is the best! You’ll see her name all over the website and social media accounts and she’s always got some kind of promotion going on! I can never keep up!

Being the mask fiend that I am, I was delighted to be a guinea pig for Skinfood’s Egg White Pore Mask which is a pore-refining cleanser with egg white extract that penetrates deeply into pores to remove pore-clogging oil. It sounds kind of gross, but it is actually quite pleasant to use. It is not vegan friendly because of the albumin in it, but I’m sure there are MANY other mask options that are!

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Ipsy | July Edition “Beach Beauty”

I very much enjoyed the July edition of Ipsy as it was quite a bit better than June’s in my opinion. The products were much more to my liking and came in a fun pink cosmetics case that definitely appealed to the teenage girl in me! 

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Creates beachy undone texture that looks and feels like you’ve spent a day at the beach. Contains argan oil which helps nourish, protect and heal hair damage.

Thoughts: I have received an almost overwhelming number of textured/beach sprays from sample services this summer season so  I can’t say I was thrilled to see another bottle of it, but with argan oil, I’m curious to see if this as moisturizing as it claims to be as other beach sprays I have used have felt somewhat drying on my hair.

Full size: 170mL/$18.50

I received: 50mL/$5.44

Rainbow Leopard Print

I don’t know why I love leopard print, but I cannot get enough of it in all colours and combinations! For today, I wanted something bright so I started with three coats of OPI-My Boyfriend Scales Walls and then China Glaze-Beauty Within (thumb), Zoya-Arizona (index), Barielle-Lemondrops (middle), China Glaze-Too Yacht to Handle (ring) and Sally Hansen-Blue Me Away(pinky).

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Have a great day everyone!

Pretty & Polished Sweet Sixteen Collection

I so rarely have an entire collection swatched since I love to savour wearing a polish for at least a couple of days before I remove it, but for those of you who would like to see the Pretty & Polished Sweet Sixteen Collection in its entirety, this post is for you!

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Enjoy!

Swatch It Up | Pretty & Polished To Be a Lady

It’s the weekend and although I’m pretty busy, I’m still grateful that it’s here! What better way to kick off the weekend than by wearing an untried polish! I have a very feminine cream glitter polish today from Pretty & Polished called To Be a Lady that is part of the Sweet Sixteen Collection. It was a limited edition polish that is sadly no longer available on the website. What I’m wearing is three coats with VERY minimal glitter fishing. The only pieces I really went hunting for were the large pink circle glitter pieces that you can faintly make out in my photos. To Be a Lady totally reminds me of strawberry cream candy, but with bonus glitter everywhere!

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Cosmetic Love | Sinnage Edition #2

I cannot believe that it has been more than a year ago since I ordered from Cosmetic Love, but I have been on a Korean cosmetics kick since the beginning of the summer and there are still more posts to come on the things I have been ordering! I’ve been such a bad bad girl, but I kid you not I have had a shopping cart going since my LAST Cosmetic Love order and I’m actually surprised at how “reasonable” the results of my haul were! I love Asian packaging and it definitely gives me a reason to buy other than actual product quality! I mean, just look at it!

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Nail Art Giveaway!!

Who doesn’t love a nail art giveaway?! KKcenterHk has generously sponsored this giveaway with products chosen by yours truly! When these nail art goodies arrived I wanted them all for myself which is always a sign of a good gift! There are water decals which I LOVE, stamping plates, a roll of multi-coloured nail foil and more! This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY so have fun everyone!

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And if you’d like to purchase any of these items KKcenterHK has offered a 15% discount to all Cosmetic Proof readers with code: cosmeticproofevent15off

Happy Shopping!

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Seasonsbox | June Summer Edition

My last Seasonsbox was an April Box. Followed by a second April Box and then in May…ANOTHER April Box. I never received May’s Box because there was simply no stock left! I was a little disappointed because I had been looking forward to May’s Box, but with the shipping and ownership changes happening with Seasonsbox in the last couple of months, I can understand the mix-up. Thankfully, I did get June’s Box at the end of July, but it honestly looked like it was thrown together in a hurry! There was no product card and no outlined theme like there normally is, but it’s very clearly tropical and summery so let’s go with that!

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Review | Incoco Nail Polish Appliques

I have an exciting post for you today because it involves nail wraps that WORK for me! Don’t let my childlike application fool you! These are among the best nail polish appliques I have used and I have been around the block when it comes to nail strips! I have seen so many positive reviews for Incoco Nail Polish Appliques, but because of my bad luck with nail strips I am always hesitant to pay for something that might not work at all for me.

Incoco is based out of Clifton, New Jersey with development, production and packaging happening all in one place. You will see from their website that there are a TON of different designs for your nails AND toes! Incoco nail strips are made of real nail polish and are 3 in 1, meaning base, colour and top coat all in one strip. They are also 3-free and can withstand up to 14 days of wear!

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July Favourites

We are already halfway through the summer, isn’t it crazy? We’re seeing clothes and beauty collections for the Fall season and summer is on its way out according to the retail world! I was on vacation for half of July so my makeup routine was fairly minimal by sticking with items that got me out the door in no time flat!

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1. Biotherm Lait Corporel Anti-Drying Body Milk

I have reviewed the body butter version of this before which I love for winter, so the body milk version is much lighter in consistency therefore making it much more comfortable to use in warmer months. It absorbs quickly into the skin and still has that glorious orange scent that I love. It seriously smells like real oranges!

2. Juice Beauty Lip Gloss in Pink

I received this in May’s Ipsy Bag and it is lovely! It smells like my favourite thing…oranges! I have been layering this purple gloss over my pink-toned lipsticks and have been loving the results! It doesn’t stay glossy for very long on me because it’s not one of those super sticky glosses, but it’s such a pretty purple that I don’t mind having to reapply.

3. Julep Mighty Nail and Cuticle Serum

This sleek-looking tool arrived in my April Julep Maven Box and what I love about this serum is that for nail pictures, it takes away the visual dryness of my cuticles without leaving an oily finish that might show up in pictures. It dries so quickly that my nails are photo ready in a matter of seconds. I wouldn’t use this if I needed an intense blast of hydration though. For that, I would stick to good ol’ greasy cuticle oil!

4. Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara

I talked about this mascara in my review of MUFE’s new Smoky Extravagant mascara and what I love about this mascara is that in addition to volume, it looks like I have many more lashes than I do when I wear it! The formula is very smooth and does not clump at all unlike that of Smoky Extravagant.

5. Fresh Brown Sugar Eau de Parfum

You can probably see from the picture that I barely have any left because I have been using this rollerball to death! I love how different the scent is and for those of you who love Fresh products, you can guess that Brown Sugar smells just as amazing as every other Fresh product! It’s light, sweet and refreshing. I promise, you will love it!

6. & 7. Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes in Ample Amber and Fuller Fudge

This was my first foray into the Clinique Chubby Stick world and even though I wasn’t wowed by the application of all the colours, these two browns were my favourite. These are much smoother than the Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Shadow Pencils and with primer, can last a whole work day. I use Ample Amber on the inner corners and first 2/3 of my eyes and then finish the outer corners with Fuller Fudge while blending the two. Together these have made the perfect natural eye duo for me!

8. Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat

Other than my LED story from my tuxedo nail art post, this top coat is actually quite amazing. It dries in minutes and leaves a crazy shine behind!

9. Lise Watier Sun Smart Tinted Universal UV Shield SPF 30

I have been LIVING in this for most of the July and whenever I’m out and about now. This gives me the protection I need while giving my skin a beautiful bronzed colour. It also evens out my skin tone and gives me skin the most flawless appearance!

See you next month!

Wavy Wedding Glitter Tuxedos (ala Beetlejuice?)

I’m off to a wedding this evening and I will be wearing a black and white peplum dress so I thought tuxedo nails would be a fun way to spice things up! I call them wavy because you can see they look kind of warped…all the lines are wavy, but the thing is they were wavy right up until I decided to “cure” my Julep top coat with an LED light. All I can say is, DON’T DO IT! Within a minute, all of my straight lines curved, my little buttons moved and I was not too happy. It was too late to redo them, so I thought you all might enjoy the results of using an LED light on Julep’s Freedom Polymer Top Coat!

I started off with two coats of a white base in China Glaze-Snow and then drew the tuxedo Vs and bows with a black striper polish from Art Deco and then dotted on the buttons. Since I’m going to a wedding, I decided to spice up the tuxedos by applying a purple, blue and silver glitter by The Hungry Asian called Celebrate! Appropriate right?

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Beauty Box 5 | June 2013 Edition

Omigoodness, I am so behind! Granted, I still have yet to receive the July BB5 so maybe I’m not THAT tardy. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with product lately which is of course nothing to complain about, but it does mean that things get lost in that giant mound of cosmetics we beauty lovers have!

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Thoughts: We’ve been seeing a lot of Coolway in recent BB5s and granted none of the products I’ve received have been shampoo and conditioner so at least this will be something new to try.

Full size: Shampoo/Conditioner-8.6oz/$25.00

I received: Shampoo/Conditioner-1oz/$2.91

EXPERIENCE | skoah Review - What is a Facialiscious?

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For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, you will know that I have a bit of a love affair with getting skoah facials and using all products skoah. skoah is based in Vancouver, but also has locations in Calgary and Boston. I started getting regularly scheduled facials every 6 weeks in 2011 both as a way to relax and more importantly to give my skin some personalized pampering! Skoah offers 8 different facial treatments ranging from a quick 20 to 75 uninterrupted minutes of personal “skin training”. Since I go to skoah once every two months, I opt for the longer sessions, specifically the facial known as the “Facialiscious” which leads to the inevitable question, “What the heck IS a Facialiscious?” To help with this answer I turned to my skin fit trainer, Yavanna, from the skoah lolo location!
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Your first visit to skoah entails meeting with your own personal skin care trainer who will make note of any skin-related concerns you may have, your skin care goals and what your current skin care routine is.  Skoah has so many different products for every type of skin out there and each is chock full of high performance plant extracts and peptides, vitamins, minerals and natural organic compounds to ensure the products generate the results they are supposed to. There is also a “why they work” section on the skoah website that openly lists the ingredients in their products and why they work which I found to be quite informative. And if I still have questions, I know that I can always ask my skin care trainer for more info!
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Julep | July Bombshell Maven Box

I have been trying desperately to cut down on my Julep boxes and only get the ones with products that I “just can’t live without” and seeing the polish colours in July’s Bombshell Edition were must haves for me!

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The Minions are Here!

I’m sure many of you have seen minions popping up as nail art all over the blogosphere so at the request of a friend of mine, I decided to do some as well! I have yet to see Despicable Me 2, but I have seen the first one and could not get enough of these little guys and their minion gibberish!

For my yellow base, I used Barielle-Lemondrops and then acrylic paint and a small nail art brush for the detail. I love these little guys and cannot stop staring at them!

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Have a great weekend everyone!

Review | Born Pretty Half Pearl Studs

Today I have another Born Pretty nail art review for you all involving something I have been very curious about – half pearl studs! I thought that they would be quite delicate and difficult to work with, but they were surprisingly cooperative! For my nail art design, I chose to do a simple flower design which I was not entirely pleased with, but hey what’s nail art without a few mistakes? I was quite impatient with top coat and didn’t wait long enough for my petals to dry :(

For my base, I used the most gorgeous bright mint green, Bourjois Paris – Turquoise, followed by China Glaze-Snow to make the flower petals. Then with my new favourite tool, a wax pencil, I picked up the pearls and just placed them in the flower centers. Simple! 

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