Cosmetic Proof : March 2014 | Vancouver beauty, nail art and lifestyle blog

Topbox | Flare Beauty How-To Edition

So, yes this is a box that went on sale Black Friday of last year, but it was just such a great deal that I had to share! I haven’t pictured it here, but the original price of this Flare Topbox was $39.99, but on Black Friday this Topbox PLUS a limited edition men’s Topbox were collectively $50! Based on the contents of the Flare Topbox and how much I love Benefit’s Gimme Brow ($26.00 CDN) and the Stila Waterproof Eyeliner ($26.00 CDN), this was too good of a deal to pass up!

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BookingNest | Booking Beauty Made Easy

I’m going to admit something to you all. I’m scared of making phone calls. I’ve never liked picking up the phone and calling anyone whether it’d be friends or making appointments. In my yearbook, my friends all wrote me the same tagline – “Call me”. I’d like to to think that the advent of texting and doing things online made me into this telephobic person, but it’s just not true. The age of technology has fed right into my phobia and now I can do most things without waiting through those teaser phone rings. If I can book a pedicure, make a hair appointment or schedule a massage all through one service at the click of a mouse (or swipe of screen) I will. Enter BookingNest!

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Beauty Box 5 | Review and Critique

Beauty Box 5 is a subscription-based sample service that I have been subscribed to since of August 2012. BB5 is based in Austin, Texas and has been one of the more consistent subscription services in terms of pricing and content. The subscription prices are exactly the same as when I first blogged about my first box which is saying something since every other subscription I’ve had has gone up in price by a few dollars. In fact, if you see below, the yearly subscription price has actually DECREASED by $1!

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Lush | NEW Easter 2014 Goodies!

Nothing says it’s Easter like the latest spring releases from Lush with their whimsical themes, mouth-watering scents and of course the ultra cuteness factor or as the Japanese would say, KAWAII! Lush never ceases to amaze me with how cute their bath bombs and bubble bars are so here is a quick glimpse of what’s at Lush stores now!

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First up, there is the Bunch of Carrots Reusable Bubble Bar ($12.95 CDN) held together by a recyclable paper green top and what’s great about this, other than its lemon-bergamot scent, is that you don’t have to use the whole carrot for one bath. Just run one carrot under water until sufficient bubbles are achieved, then let the carrot dry for next time! Impressive! Apparently you can get at least 7 baths out of this bunch!

Then we’ve got some new products this year, one of which being the Golden Egg Bath Melt Ballistic ($8.95 CDN) which is a bath bomb coated with a bath melt formula which means it behaves somewhat unexpectedly in the tub…the scent of this newest addition is one of a classic favourite – Honey, I Washed the Kids!  Secondly, we have the Bunny Bubble Bar ($6.95 CDN) which smells just like the Creamy Candy Bubble Bar and is a white concoction of shea butter and coconut oil with a pink tummy containing little cornstarch flowers to make your bath pretty! How cute is that?!

Finally, there is the Immaculate Eggception Bath Bomb ($12.95 CDN) which has a special surprise inside! All you need to do is crack your egg and you will have enough for three baths. I missed out on this last year so I cannot wait to see what lies inside! 

These are limited editions so what will you be treating yourselves to?

The Lush Easter 2014 collection is available online and it Lush stores now.

PR samples sent for review.

Sally Hansen | I <3 Nail Art Neons with Nail Art!

When I first started doing nail art, Sally Hansen was and still is my go-to a lot of the time. The polishes are usually of very good quality and I can count on one hand the polishes that didn’t meet my expectations (which are now ridiculously high thanks to hundreds of manicures later!). I was so excited to see the release of I <3 Nail Art Collection because if any company should have a full nail art line, it’s Sally Hansen!

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Topbox | February 2014 “Regular Edition”

The February Topbox was a little lackluster for me as there was really only one product that I had not tried or heard of, but I can’t blame Topbox. If I wasn’t such a beauty product freak, this would have been a perfectly lovely Topbox!

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5 Heavy Duty Hydration Hand Creams That Have Kept My Hands Happy!

This past winter has been a particularly drying season for many of us and has left me reaching for some heavy duty hand hydration to alleviate the discomfort of dry, rough hands. My cuticles have also been in rougher shape than I am used to and I have had to pay extra attention to my hands to keep them soft and smooth. Here are five of my secrets! 

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Vegan Cuts Beauty Box| February 2014 “Love is in the Air”

I am on a total vegan beauty kick right now and have decided to delve further into the vegan beauty box world with Vegan Cuts which has either a Beauty or Snack Box. I opted for the beauty box as vegan snacks are plentiful where I live and beauty is just so much more exciting than food!

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Swatch It Up | Rainbow Honey - Sweet Talk

Rainbow Honey’s Sweet Talk ($11.50 CDN) was released last year as a Valentine’s polish and I am so glad that it is here to stay because it is pretty awesome. This polish is a white jelly with pastel-coloured glitter – my favourite being the pops of bright red! The formula was again wonderful as with most Rainbow Honey polishes and required three coats for a comfortable opacity.

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I finished off my manicure with another Rainbow Honey scented top coat, this time in Magic Cake which smells just like doughnuts! So good and so shiny!

Have a good week everyone and happy Monday!

Rainbow Honey polishes can be purchased at Rainbow Honey and Nail Polish Canada.

PR sample sent to me for review.

Petit Vour | January 2014 “Ready. Set. Glow!”

January’s Petit Vour theme was all about looking your best for the new year. January’s box wasn’t too exciting, but it definitely included items that I would incorporate into my daily routine. Maybe that was the reason why I didn’t find it all that exciting. It was just too darn useful!

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Lush | Emotional Brilliance Lipstick in “Perspective” with Swatches

There are some days where I wake up and I feel good. Really good. I grab the brightest lipstick I own and paint my nails a colour that is begging to be looked at even though it doesn’t really go with my outfit. This is the basis behind Lush’s Emotional Brilliance line. The makeup colours we choose are a translation of our current state of mind and even what we might be searching for – at least that day!

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Revlon | Shiny Matte Nail Art in Khaki Satin

After Revlon’s success with their double-ended nail art polish line, it seems we just cannot get enough of these polishes which led to the creation of Revlon’s Shiny Matte Nail Enamel line which I will share with you today! The duo I will be reviewing is for Khaki Satin which is a matte slate grey polish on one side and a metallic purple on the other.

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Ipsy | January 2013

For the first time EVER, I think someone stole my subscription box! My January Ipsy bag was apparently delivered at my work, but there was no trace of it. It looks like the bright pink mailer was left too close to the entrance and someone walked away with it…I hope they’re enjoying MY Ipsy bag and that they needed the pick me up. Ipsy Customer Service was kind of enough to mail me a substitute one which I received in February.

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The Prom Show | Spring-y and Sparkly Nails

I have another tutorial ready at The Prom Show explaining how to get these sparkly, pink Vs! All of these polishes are the latest additions to the Nicole by OPI family and have made me love the nudes and neons combination of colours!

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St.Paddy’s Day Swatch It Up | Rainbow Honey-Trifolium

It’s still St.Patrick’s Day for three more hours on the West Coast so I’m still allowed to post my St.Paddy’s Day mani! I placed an order for Rainbow Honey’s Trifolium ($10 USD) in the hopes of wearing this polish for the occasion and my package made it just in time. Trifolium actually looks much darker in person, but outside it looked almost bright green.

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Guest Post | Daytime Facial Creams You Won't Regret!

Hi there, my name is Jordana, or as I'm known online, MizzJ of Just J and I'm very excited today to be blogging on Cosmetic Proof. I met Jayne last year at Blog and the (Van)city, a fashion and beauty blogger conference in Vancouver and was wowed by Jayne's blogging skillz. She is a crazy beauty expert, so you can imagine my Doge-like reaction to get to post on her site!

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Today I'll be sharing with you my tried-and-true list of favourite day creams. For me, finding a great daytime face cream can be harder to find than say, for a night-time product. Night creams are generally just for anti-aging and repairing, but a day one? It's got to be moisturizing, repairing, anti-aging, light, quickly absorbing AND provide sun protection! Oh, and not smell funky. Pretty tall order for one product!

So shall we get down to business? In no particular order, here are my favourites:

Hada Labo Goku-jyun Light Lotion

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Hada Labo is a very popular Japanese drugstore brand known for their use of hyaluronic acid in all their products. The Goku-jyun light lotion is kind of in-between a toner and a lotion. It's a milky colour and is slightly watery. This lotion is perfect as a base under CC or BB creams and feels quite refreshing alone in the summer. If you have oily or combination skin, this gentle moisturizer will leave your skin soft, but not greasy. For those with drier skins, you may require an additional lotion or moisturizer, especially in winter months.

What I love about this lotion: absorbs quickly, feels light, but highly effective. A little goes a long way.

I would love it even more if: it had SPF

Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

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Protecting your skin is an absolute must. I didn't always wear sunscreen religiously and now I'm paying for it with sprinklings of hyper-pigmentation on my cheeks. The reason why I resisted against daily use of sunscreen so long was because I hated that pore-clogging greasiness that most sunscreens give off. I don't know what they're doing over at Neutrogena, but they've somehow managed to mitigate that – not entirely, but enough to make wearing a daily sunscreen based product bearable.

The Neutrogena Healthy Defence Daily Moisturizer is basically 70% sunscreen and 30% moisturizer. Its non-comedogenic, non-greasy, formula absorbs quickly so that you can apply your makeup right after application. I started wearing this cream before the advent of BB creams in the Western market, but I'd still argue buying this over a BB as I feel that dedicated products work better than multi-purpose ones. While I may not love slathering a thick layer of BB cream all over my face, I would gladly do so with this one.

What I love about this lotion: light-weight, has SPF, great for summer

I would love it even more if: it was more moisturizing. In winter, you probably would need to layer this on top of another moisturizer.

L'Oreal Dermo-Expertise Hydrafresh Moisturizer

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This is another oldie, but goodie. The L'Oreal Dermo-Expertise Hydrafresh Moisturizer with SPF 15 is one of my standbys. It comes in a sizable 70mL jar and feels like a night cream, but with a refreshing, cooling sensation and quick absorption time. It has a light, citrus smell and truly makes your any type of skin feel “just showered.”

What I love about this lotion: leave skin feeling super fresh and soft

I would love it even more if: it came with a higher SPF level

Kiehl's Skin Rescuer

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I've reviewed this product previously and I cannot rave enough about it. The Kiehl's Skin Rescuer is a thick, creamy, luxuriate your skin in it, cream. The Skin Rescuer is designed to soothe away the effects of stress in your skin with its high levels of glycerin, shea butter and chamomile. It's perfect for dry, irritated skin and for use in cold weather conditions. While the Skin Rescuer is a bit on the pricey side compared to others in this list at $42, it is great value for cost and kept my complexion calm and youthful.

What I love about this lotion: super moisturizing. A little goes a long way.

I would love it even more if: it had SPF or was cheaper

I hope you find this list helpful! I would love to know what your thoughts are on these products and which product is your favourite daytime moisturizer.

Swatch It Up | Rainbow Honey–Magic Cake

It’s Friday and that means some fun nails for the weekend! The weather is just gorgeous today in Vancouver so I wanted to wear Spring-happy nails which made me think of Rainbow Honey – Magic Cake. Magic Cake is a fun, neon bright glitter with all sorts of matte neon glitter shapes sitting a clear, slightly shimmery base. I’ve seen Magic Cake layered over black a few times so I thought I’d layer it over some brighter colours.

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The gorgeous pink is Rainbow Honey-Apple Kid, the glittery lavender is Rainbow Honey – Tessie and the bright mint green is Rainbow Honey – Mint Flavor.

Loveswept by Philosophy + Free Sample at Sephora!

I wore Philosophy Amazing Grace on my wedding day for its lightness and femininity which are two attributes I often associate with Philosophy fragrances. Beginning this month, Philosophy launches a six-part video series in celebration of their newest fragrance, Loveswept. Every Monday features real couples in love from all ages and backgrounds telling their story. Some of the stories even got to the jaded romantic in me so the videos are worth the watch!

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In addition to the awesomely-sweet videos, Sephora is offering a complimentary deluxe sized sample of Loveswept! I wore it last night and it is so wonderfully fresh and almost sweetly floral. The top notes are of bergamot and blue violet flower, followed by jasmine, lotus blossom and purple passion fruit and base notes of warm musk, creamy amber and white cedarwood. Even that sounds romantic!

Complimentary Loveswept sample can be found at Sephora stores nationwide (except Quebec) while supplies last.

Loose Button Luxe Box | Winter 2013

Now that our Spring Luxe Boxes are about to shipped, I think it’s time for you all to know what I received in my Winter Luxe Box! It arrived around the time I moved and was promptly forgotten about as I didn’t find it particularly awesome seeing as how it was a December Luxe Box. Maybe my holiday expectations were a little too high?

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Make Up For Ever | *New* HD Pressed Powder

Flawless, silky-looking skin and finishing powders often go hand in hand in achieving picture perfect skin, but the finishing powders I am most familiar with are loose powders which can get pretty messy if you are in a moving vehicle or applying on the go! One of the cult Make Up For Ever Must Haves is the HD Microfinish Powder which I enjoy, but that extra step of pouring out the powder into the lid or shaking out just enough for me to swirl my kabuki brush in is sometimes enough for me to say, “No way José”.

Well, guess what? Now, this magical, pore-minimizing powder has been created in a pressed powder format so it can actually be thrown into a purse and applied anywhere! I have been calling the new HD Pressed Powder ($41.00 CDN) the “portable beauty filter” because now my skin can look Instagram ready at any time!

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HD Pressed Powder is talc-free, incredibly silky and very lightweight. There are three premium powders in the formulation that serve to give your skin a soft, flawless finish: silica, vinyl cross-polymer and micro and spherical powders. I’d love to be a makeup scientist right about now!

Maybelline | Color Elixirs with Swatches!

Maybelline has had quite a number of collections that have completely convinced me to get every colour, every scent (helloooo Baby Lips?!) and in every finish (Color Show polishes!) and although I resisted the Color Elixirs ($10.99 CDN) when they first came out, I tried just two when Shoppers Drug Mart was offering bonus points and now I cannot stop using/thinking about these lip gloss gems!

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The colours I have to review and swatch today are (from top to bottom): Dashing Orchid, Nude Illusion, Blush Essence and Signature Scarlet.

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Favourites | February 2014

February seemed almost too short to have a good number of favourites, but it’s strange how just a two or three days seems to make a difference! I was all about the Maybelline Color Elixirs last month (I keep wanting to spell “colour” the Canadian *ahem* right way) and picked up two extra colours on top of the first two that I had purchased. I will even have a review of them this week so stay tuned!

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Annabelle Cosmetics | Spring 2014 Collection

The Annabelle Cosmetics Spring collection is now in stores and on the website, but just in case you haven’t seen the full collection yet, here it is! Also, in honour of International Women’s Day today, Annabelle and Marcelle Cosmetics will be having 40% off EVERYTHING from March 8-March 13th! If you’re ordering from Canada, shipping is FREE! I have just placed my order of MANY Twist Up Lipstick Crayons (review) so if there is anything you have been pining over, now is the time!

           Annabelle TwistUp Eyeshadow - Gold_No CapAnnabelle TwistUp Eyeshadow - Indigo_No CapAnnabelle TwistUp Eyeshadow - Pearl_No CapAnnabelle TwistUp Eyeshadow - Pink_No CapAnnabelle TwistUp Eyeshadow - Plum_No Cap

TwistUp Retractable Eyeshadow Crayon ($9.95 CDN) in Gold, Indigo, Pearl, Pink and Plum. Creamy, velvety soft eyeshadows that claim 10 hour lasting power and can be blended or softened with a brush or fingertip!

Annabelle MarieMai Big Show Gloss_Trio

Big Show Lip Shine ($9.95 CDN) in Attract, Rock and Glow. These lip glosses are high on shine and enriched with antioxidants and hydrating ingredients like grape seed oil, omega 6 and vitamin E. These new colours are also signed by singer Marie Mai! Remember her from the opening ceremonies from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics?

Crayon Lipliner BuffCrayon Lipliner CorailCrayon Lipliner Hot Pink

Lipliner ($5.95 CDN) in Buff, Corail and Hot Pink promises no tugging on the lips and a long wearing formula.

All items available now in drug stores and mass retail stores. Don’t forget to use the promo code “WOMEN” to receive 40% off your purchase online until March 13th!

Empties | February 2014

A post that’s on time for once! Here is what I managed to clear out for last month! I definitely need to get cracking on my samples again, but I’m still feeling good that I’ll end the year on a good empties note!

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1. Cake | Milk Made Smoothing White Sugar Body Scrub (625g)Thumbs up

This is very similar to the brown sugar body scrub in that the granules are quite large and quite rough so I do not use this on my arms or upper body. I only use this scrub on my feet and legs because it hurts to use anywhere else! It does do a very good job of exfoliating though so if you’re looking for a scrub to really eat through dead skin, this is your product. Like all Cake products, it also smells good enough to eat although after 625g of this stuff, I need to move on to a different scent for a bit!

2. Aveeno | Daily Moisturizing Lotion (71mL)Thinking smile

For something that is supposedly “fragrance-free”, this HAS FRAGRANCE. It’s not strong, but I did eventually tire of it and even had to take a break from using for a bit. I rated this moisturizer a “maybe” simply because it helped me through an outbreak of pityriasis rosea a few years back and because well, it IS pretty moisturizing without feeling greasy and heavy.

3 & 4. EVOLVh | UltraShine Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner (59mL)Thumbs up

I received these samples from the now departed “take my money why don’t you” Glymm and was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved both of these products! My hair was soft and silky almost immediately after I started using it and will have to get the full size of both of these products once I am done with my stash of shampoos (in 50 years)!

5. Spa Utopia | Rosemary Mint Nourishing Body Lotion(30mL)Thumbs up

This is my final bottle of this in the travel size and I will DEFINITELY have to repurchase once I get near Spa Utopia again! This is available to purchase online, but I may as well make a spa day out of it and get a massage too!

6. Benefit Cosmetics | It’s Potent! Eye Cream (3.0g)Thumbs down

This eye cream just wasn’t really for me. I like my eye cream very thick and this was just a little too light for me.

7. La Roche Posay | Physiological Ultra Fine Scrub (5mL)Thumbs up

Did not think I would be very impressed with this little sample, but this scrub has little tiny exfoliating beads that are very gentle on the skin. This is also smells very refreshing.

8. Benefit Cosmetics | Total Moisture Facial Cream (8.9g)Thumbs up

This was one of my January Favourites and is one of my last sample sizes. I won’t say too much more, but if you have really dry skin, this is fantastic moisturizer.

9. OPI | Avoplex Liquid Soap (30mL)Thumbs down

I didn’t think this was all that impressive. It just felt like regular hand soap. OPI does a lot of wonderful things, but this soap just was not doing it for me at all!

10. Lancome | Visionnaire (7mL)Thumbs down

I truly did not see a difference in my skin. This had a really runny formula and was one that I didn’t enjoy.

11. Bond No.9 | I Love New York Fragrance (1.5mL)Thinking smile

The scent was amazing when I first put it on my skin, but it became more musky as the day wore on which I didn’t quite like. My husband seemed to enjoy it, but I think it might because men’s colognes are quite musky so the scent was probably quite familiar to him!

12. Aveda | Tourmaline Charged Radiant Skin Refiner (7mL)Thumbs up

This scrub had larger granules, but when used once or twice a week left my skin feeling and looking radiant!

13. Skiin | Soothing & Smoothing Eye Cream (3mL)Thumbs down

For whatever reason, the area around my eyes would burn for a few seconds every time I used this so I just had to use the rest as a body moisturizer. I guess the skin around my eyes is much more sensitive…so this is a no for me…

14. No.7 | Beautiful Skin Quick Thinking Wipes (30 wipes) Thumbs up

I received these in my UK swap with Sian and I really enjoyed them! My face felt so clean and refreshed after using them and they were a good size for cleaning an entire face full of makeup. The only thing is that the wipes have parabens in them…so that might be a deal breaker for some of you.

15. Ohne | Naturally Gentle Body Soap (3.25oz) Thumbs up

I actually got this soap from a hotel I was staying at because I’d already used it and loved the scent! It smells like ginger and lemongrass and was fairly moisturizing.

16. Villainess | Scintillating Soap (3.5oz)Thumbs up

I picked this up in the old Glymm store what feels like eons ago and I’m glad I did because I would have missed out on a great company! This soap was so refreshing as it smells like spearmint, peppermint, black tea and vanilla! How awesome is that combo?!

17. Clinique | Universal Face Primer (1.5mL)Thumbs down

I almost thought I was applying moisturizer because the texture was so *wet*. It never seemed to dry and my face was always tacky by the time I got to my foundation. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling so I’d rather stick to Porefessional or for now Maybelline’s Baby Skin!

18. Global Goddess Beauty | Coconut Amla Revitalizing Hair Treatment (5mL)Thumbs up

You will need a REALLY good shampoo to get this out of your hair, but the effects are quite noticeable afterwards. My hair was so soft and smooth for days! I feel like I could probably just slather it in coconut oil and achieve similar effects though, but nonetheless I did enjoy the two treatments I managed to get out of this little package!

How did you do with your empties last month?