BEAUTY BOX | Revisiting TOMBox aka The Time of Month Box

At the beginning of the this year, I reviewed an interesting beauty box subscription service called the TOMBox (past review here) which elicited both laughs and comments of disbelief in the comments section. To recap, TOMBox is a monthly subscription service that as of now, only ships within the US, and caters to what a girl/woman might need or want during her menstrual cycle. It’s funny how they only REAL difference between TOMBox and all other beauty box subscriptions is the addition of pads or tampons. I guess we ladies want what we want.

Tombox Beauty Box Review

MAKEUP | Make Up For Ever Artist Plexi-Gloss Lip Lacquer 303P, 403, 104 and 202 Review & Swatches

“Oh, yes please” is the only answer to the question “Will I be purchasing MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Plexi-Gloss Lip Lacquers ($23.00 CDN)?” Where have these been all of my lip gloss life?! Recently released last month, these plexi-glosses come in a whopping 35 shades and have unbelievable staying power, colour and shine! I initially read the press release and thought, alright another lip gloss so what else is new? I know that MAKE UP FOR EVER usually never ceases to impress me, but how many more ways can the beauty industry do a lip gloss? Apparently, there is always ONE more way.

Make Up For Ever Artist Plexigloss Review Swatch

BATH & BODY | Lush #GayIsOK Love Soap Review

Something pretty momentous happened on June 26th, 2015. The United States became the 21st and largest country to legalize gay marriage. In this day and age, you would think that this decision would have been a no-brainer, but can you believe that there are still 76 countries where being gay is illegal? Coming from both a Christian AND Asian family, this train of thought isn’t exactly foreign. Growing up Christian meant that everyone who was gay “chose that lifestyle” and it went against God’s plan. I had one fairly close friend in high school who was afraid to tell me he was gay and even though I loved him anyway, it made me realize how much I had hurt him with my closed-minded “Christian” beliefs throughout elementary school. After doing some growing up and realizing that loving relationships aren’t just the hetero kind, I can truly say that #GayIsOK. It’s more than OK, it’s something that shouldn’t even BE something. Shouldn’t we just be happy that two complete strangers managed to find their way to each other on this crazy, f’ed up planet and want to be together?

This is when Lush asks everyone “What if your love was illegal?” From now until July 4th, Lush stores will be running the #GayIsOk Campaign with profits from all purchases of Love Soap* (120g/$5.95 CDN) going to support grassroots LGBT equality groups all over the world. Love Soap is made with spicy smelling cinnamon, ylang ylang and coconut oils and dazzles like CRAZY! 

Lush GayIsOk Love Soap
The glitter is all on the surface though so as you make your way through this deliciously scented soap (like apple pie!), you will be left with a swirly yellow gold goodness. The glitter is actually slightly exfoliating so for the first couple of uses, I was using it for tougher areas like my legs and feet.

Lush GayIsOk Love Soap (3)

Show your support by using the hashtag #GayIsOk and grabbing a bar or two of this new soap!

FRAGRANCE | mark. Buenos Aires Vibe EDT Spray

I know people have their signature fragrances, but there are definitely a few fragrances that I find far too heavy to wear in the summer. With the heat wave in Vancouver right now (35°C this weekend!), every scent becomes more intense so I prefer to wear a lighter scent that doesn’t evolve into something overwhelming and uncomfortable. I have been around others who probably SHOULD have made a seasonal fragrance change and did not. This is especially evident for those of us who take public transit all year…

The summer season always makes me want to go light and fruity, but now that I’m in my mid-30s, I have to be careful about finding the right balance and not smelling too young. The Buenos Aires Vibe EDT Spray* ($24.00 CDN) by mark is a blend of wild passion fruit, mauve violet and musk and is actually incredibly light considering the description of notes.

mark by Avon Buenos Aires Vibe Fragrance Review

mark by Avon Buenos Aires Vibe Fragrance Review (2)
Since mark is targeted towards a younger audience (Lucy Hale of PLL fame is their ambassador), the bottle is fun-coloured and immediately stands out in my sea of seemingly meh-looking fragrance bottles. All I can smell is passion fruit from the get-go with a hint of floral, but the scent didn’t last very long on me though as it was barely noticeable on my skin after 2-3 hours. While this can be a good quality to have in a summer fragrance, those that prefer a longer wear-time may find “having to top up” a little annoying.

What is your go-to summer scent?

NAILS | Taping Manicure with Nicole by OPI Coca Cola Collection – In Grape Demand and The Look is Orange

What do you do when you have a bunch of brightly coloured polishes? Why, you find a way to combine them of course! I am a huge Coca Cola fan even though I know I shouldn’t be drinking it as much as I do, but there are certain meals that just taste better with Coke! My favourite Persian meal of Kubideh Kabob doesn’t taste good with anything else! When OPI first released a Coca Cola collaboration last year, I was over the moon and was not expecting a Nicole by OPI release of the same theme anytime soon. Yet, here we are with a similar slew of colours, but if you missed out on last year these ones might still be lurking around in certain locations (I hope!). Today’s nail art is a criss-cross manicure created with striping tape and the nail polish shades: In Grape Demand* and The Look is Orange*. Both polishes applied beautifully like most NOPI polishes and once nails are completely dry, add your shiny top coat!

Orange and Purple Tape Manicure Nail Art

Orange and Purple Tape Manicure Nail Art (2)

I love wearing manicures like this with business attire. I feel professional, but with a bit of an edge!

MAKEUP LOOK | Charlotte Tilbury Transforms Me Into “The Rebel” #CBBLovesTilbury

She’s here. In Canada. And beauty lovers everywhere are lining up as of today in Holt’s on Bloor Street, Toronto. Charlotte Tilbury has long been one of those coveted UK brands that you watched YTubers like Zoella rave about and hoped that one day you yourself would have just a taste. Well, not only is the brand launching in Toronto today, but will also be coming to Holt’s in Vancouver the week of July 6th! To celebrate, myself and 9 other Canadian Beauty Bloggers are answering Charlotte’s questions of “Who Do I Want to be Today?” by recreating one of her 10 signature looks. I’m actually very tame day to day, but this virtual space is my playground and I almost always wanted to be a bit of a rebel with colour, but still look fairly feminine.

Today, I am “The Rebel”.

Charlotte Tilbury The Rebel Makeup Look Review

Charlotte Tilbury The Rebel Makeup Look Review (4)

MAKEUP LOOK | Lise Watier Summer 2015 Rivages Collection Eyeshadow Palette and Bronzing Powder Review & Swatches

Last month we all squealed at the release of a STUNNING summer collection from Lise Watier and my only regret is waiting so long to share it with you all! The Rivages Collection features nine new products, a few of which I will be using in my makeup look today. My main focus though? That limited edition droolworthy eyeshadow palette and beautiful bronzer all inspired by summer days at the beach, hot sand and a refreshing ocean breeze!

Lise Watier Rivages Collection Summer 2015

Lise Watier Rivages Eyeshadow Palette Swatches Review (4)

SKINCARE REVIEW | The Perfect Tan Without the Damage with Paula’s Choice Skincare!

Please note that the following is a sponsored post for Pretty in my Pocket. All opinions are my own.

I was a skincare junkie before, but now that I have worked in the industry for over a year (I use past tense as this will no longer be the case in a few weeks) the addiction has intensified and I have learned so much about the skincare industry, ingredients and obviously what’s great and what’s not. I have been following the infamous “Cosmetics Cop”, Paula Begoun, for a few years and have been wanting to try Paula’s Choice products for awhile considering her stance on effective ingredients in skincare products. The Beautypedia is a reference of sorts for me and I am always curious to see what she and her crew think. Sometimes I agree and sometimes not, but either way I am grateful to have someone like Paula around who can reference medical journals for her reasoning and basically take the BS out of skincare marketing jargon for the average consumer.

Since it’s the first day of summer today, I have been wanting to be tan ready since February, but I am opposed to tanning beds and long-term sun exposure as I think most of us are nowadays with the higher incidence of skin cancer. In addition to skincare for every possible skin type and concern, Paula’s Choice also offers a self-tanning regime without the damage and is one that can be easily integrated into your existing skincare routine. After a consultation with a Paula’s Choice skincare expert, I received a regime of products best-suited to my skin type (normal, dehydrated, no sensitivities) as well as a new found love for glycolic acid peels!

Paula's Choice Skincare Review Sun 365 Tanning Concentrate

FATHER’S DAY | Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Care Aftershave and Bar Soap

Still searching for what to get dad for Father’s Day? No doubt you have already decided on what to do with dad or your partner, but there is always a great time to show appreciation for the men in our lives. Women get “just because” gifts all the time so why not the men? I never knew that Burt’s Bees had a line of products specific to men, but at the same time, why wouldn’t they?! They have pretty much everything else and it’s all done with nature’s best interests at heart from the ingredients and packaging to more importantly the planet. The men’s line isn’t huge at just five products, but is enough for a good shave, shower and splash of cologne. 

Burts Bees Men's Aftershave Cream and Soap Review

FATHER’S DAY | AB Crew Tools for Fitness – Amazonian Shampoo & Body Wash

Father’s Day is just around the corner and while I find it difficult to shop for men in general, I know that my husband enjoys a good shampoo and body wash when given the option. I secretly think that once men partner up with a woman, they let their “inner high maintenance princess” personas out. I have been given plenty of “feedback” on what my guy prefers for moisturizers, shampoos and soaps and have had to switch stuff out for HIS sake! Men definitely don’t get to have even half the fun we woman have with bath and body products and one thing I was told by a male hair care line was that men apparently respond very well to colour and even as a woman, when I saw the bright yellow packaging for the AB Crew bath and body products I was interested. AB Crew marries the idea of fitness and grooming carrying an array of products from protein powder to moisturizer to shaving products. In collaboration with ambassador, fitness trainer, nutrition coach, you name it, Lazar Angelov, AB Crew promises to be the most effective range of products for achieving and maintain ideal fitness.

AB Crew Body Wash and Amazonian Shampoo Review

NAILS | London Drugs Beauty Night “Straw” Nail Art

If anyone was following the “#LDBeauty hashtag on Twitter and/or IG you will know that in Western Canada there is one HUGE beauty event that is the talk of the town for months before and certainly long after the event is done! The London Drugs Beauty event is a showcase of LD’s top beauty vendors showing media what’s new and cool and what’s upcoming in the Fall. It also happens to be an event where there is much blogger swag given out so that we can let you guys know what you need to have in your life as well provide reviews on products you might need help deciding on. I’ve been trying to get back into nail art a bit more, so in an attempt to get into the LD spirit last night, I decided to do a straw manicure with a little accent nail of LD love!

London Drugs Beauty Event Straw Nail Art (2)

London Drugs Beauty Event Straw Nail Art (Polishes used: Base colour: Rainbow Honey – Charaxes, Models Own – Pastel Pink, Rainbow Honey – Tayabak, Sally Hansen InstaDri – OMGhost)

Straw manicures are kind of cool to create because all you need to do is dip the end of a straw into some polish and “stamp” away! The circles are never quite complete for me because my nails are quite curved, but I think it almost makes the manicure look more abstract. I attempted to write “London Drugs” across my nails, but letter are brutally difficult for me to draw and space out so “LD” and a hear it was! 

Reviews of products from the LD event will be slowly coming through! I’m such a snail…

SKINCARE | Aveeno #FreshEssentials Review

My first experience with Aveeno was due to a case of pityriasis rosea that struck my skin back in 2011. It was the most random thing as I have never been one to have sensitive or finicky skin, but my immune system freaked out and gave me rashes on my torso and legs that took about 2 months to disappear. It was Aveeno Colloidal Oatmeal moisturizer that was the only thing I could use to pacify my angry skin. The Aveeno Fresh Essentials line focuses on ingredients known as “Active Naturals”, specially selected to provide skin with potent plant benefits. Artemisia abrotanum or Southernwood Extract is the featured active natural ingredient in the Fresh Essentials line and has historically been used in herbal medicine. However, in the case of the Fresh Essentials line, it acts as an anti-oxidant that helps to reveal fresher, smoother looking skin - a concept I’m sure is not foreign to most of us!

Aveeno Fresh Essentials Review

NAILS | Bright Summer Gradient with Essie Nail Polishes

This is actually my entry into the Shoppers Drug Mart “Nail the Look” contest, but it gave me a great excuse to do a sponge gradient that I have not done in FOREVER. Nail art was what started me blogging and the blog has definitely diversified since then! For my colours, I used all Essie polishes starting with Mojito Madness, Where’s My Chaffeur?, Sunday Funday and then topped off with As Gold As It Gets to smooth out the colours.

Bright Summer Gradient Essie

Bright Summer Gradient Essie (2)
I am super irritated that my pointer fingernail is not growing as fast as I would like it to…bear with my swatches as it grows out. I finished off the whole manicure with Essie’s Good to Go top coat and a little flower gem from Born Pretty.

Check out #SDMBeauty on Twitter for a look at all of the other entries!

BEAUTY BOX | Glossybox May 2015 Edition

Does everyone still get excited when they see that characteristic cotton candy pink of a Glossybox? I love that the boxes are so sturdy and can be repurposed for other things as well! I house all of my nail art supplies in them and even some of my makeup. May’s Glossybox edition* came as a surprise in my mailbox and it’s a shame I wasn’t able to pick it up sooner to share with you all!

May Glossybox 2015

BATH & BODY | The Body Shop - Fuji Green Tea Collection

I know I’m not the only one that gets incredibly excited when The Body Shop releases brand new bath and body collections. Right away, I immediately want to know what everything smells like because there hasn’t been a Body Shop scent I have not liked. Most of The Body Shop’s scents are relatively sweet with a few being slightly more adventurous like the Smoky Poppy Collection from earlier this year. This season, inspired by Japanese women and their ritual of applying green tea to the skin or even bathing in it, The Fuji Green Tea Collection is a more mature scent, pulling away from the sweetness of scents such as Satsuma and Strawberry and using REAL green tea leaves from Mount Fuji to harness the anti-oxidative power of green tea.

The Body Shop - Fuji Green Tea Collection
Press samples

Green tea is such a traditional part of Japanese culture and is the tea used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony. I went to Japan when I was a teenager and was able to take part in a traditional tea ceremony! The green tea was so bitter that my host family caught me making a face on camera, but thankfully the Fuji Green Tea Collection is much more pleasing to the senses!

NAILS | Getting Stencilled with the OPI Brights Collection in “Life Gave Me Lemons” and “Down to the Core-al”

Summer is my all-time favourite season for nail polish because it’s brights, brights and MORE brights! Yes, we start to see repeats of the same colours, but they make us all so happy! Today I chose a colour combination that is, I admit, kind of weird, but I was convinced it would work. Yellow never works with my skin tone, but I was determined to make “Life Gave Me Lemons”*, an absinthe yellow-green, work so I figured it might if I paired it off with a colour that was safe in the form of re-released “Down to the Core-al”*, a shimmery bright coral, from last year’s neons collection.

OPI Brights Life Game Me Lemons and Down to the Core-al Review (3)

OPI Brights Life Game Me Lemons and Down to the Core-al Review (2)

OPI Brights Life Game Me Lemons and Down to the Core-al Review (4) 
Using the Almaz stencils from TwinkledT, I applied one coat of “Down to the Core-al” on top of 2 coats of “Life Gave Me Lemons” and I have to say I wasn’t entirely pleased with my results. I found the stencil VERY sticky and even though I had waited 24 hours for the base colour to dry, the stencil pulled up polish in certain areas. My nails are quite short for this stencil pattern so I feel like I didn’t get their full effect as there were blank areas on my nail. I really should practice on the right hand first…both polishes were great though. “Life Gave Me Lemons” was streaky on first coat, but corrected itself on the second which is typical of light coloured creme polishes.

What’s your summer go-to nail colour?

HAIR REVIEW | John Frieda Frizz Ease & Colour Refreshing Gloss to the Rescue!

I feel like John and I should be on first name basis now since he’s been in my life so often the last couple of months! I had mentioned awhile back in a Beauty Panel post (here) that John Frieda’s Frizz Ease* was a must-have for any bad hair day and even though much of my frizz has been tamed with the Conair Ultimate Brush (review) I have recently been suffering from a bad case of “baby hairs’'”. All over my head that seem to worsen with the heat. I HATE IT. I am also in desperate need of a cut and colour and have been holding myself over with the John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss* until I can get my act together and get my derriere over to a salon!

John Frieda Frizz Ease Colour Refreshing Gloss

MAKEUP LOOK “Blue Goddess” | Dior Tie Dye Collection 5 Couleur Eyeshadow Palette in Contraste Horizon Review & Swatches

I know it’s very 80s, but I adore blue eyeshadow because I think you really CAN wear it in a pretty way! Reminiscent of the ocean and sandy beaches, the Dior 5 Couleur Eyeshadow Palette in #556 Contraste Horizon* ($62.00 CDN) is one of the prettiest summer palettes to wear thanks to that pop of magical blue. It might not make a lot of sense when you first see the colours in the palette, but when I decided to feature the blue on my lids, the other colours logically fell into place. I feel like all of us would be happier with more blue eyeshadow in the world.
 Dior Tie Dye Contraste Horizon 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette Review

Dior Tie Dye Contraste Horizon 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette Review (2)

FRAGRANCE | Azzaro Pour Elle EDP Review

I have always been notoriously bad at reviewing fragrances because I have never been one for romancing a scent, but based on my dresser of EIGHTY different bottles of fragrance, I obviously enjoy it! Azzaro Pour Elle* (50mL/$70.00 or 75mL/$88.00) is described as seductive, sensual and sophisticated with its floral woody amber signature scent.

A fragrance must always enhance your seductive power. When you wear it, it is important that your partner wants to inhale your scent, touch you, be close to you…”  - Loris Azzaro  

Azzaro Pour Elle EDP

MAKEUP | Dior Addict Tie Dye Lipstick in Red Bliss, Coral Trip, Fuchsia Utopia and Nude Fever Review with Swatches!

The very first Dior Addict Lipstick I got was a bright red modeled so beautifully by Kate Moss. I still don’t have the heart to use it all that often since it was my first Dior purchase, but that red really spoiled me when it came to Dior Addict Lipsticks in general because no other colour seemed to measure up to THAT one. Then out came the Dior Addict Tie Dye Lipsticks* ($34.00 CDN) with a second shade running through the middle in the form of the iconic “CD” for a truly “tie dye” twist while lighting up lips with bold and vibrant colour.  There are four “sunset” combinations all in shades wearable for any time of the summer season.

Dior Addict Tie Dye Lipstick Review Swatches

MAKEUP | MAKE UP FOR EVER Smoky Stretch Mascara Review with Before & After Shots!

Ah, mascaras. There are so many of you and yet I can never find the right one. My last MAKE UP FOR EVER mascara review was for the Smoky Extravagant (here) which had a rather large conical brush and gave rather dramatic results. Today is all about its descendant Smoky Stretch* ($28.00 CDN) which is all about length, intense black colour and a formula that is just smooooth. Formulated with Locust Tree Alginate Jelly(algin) and silk protein (sericin), this newest mascara formulation promises to define and elongate even the finest of lashes.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Smoky Stretch Mascara Review (3) MAKE UP FOR EVER Smoky Stretch Mascara Review (5)

HANDS | Crabtree & Evelyn Ultra-Moisturizing Floral Hand Therapy Sampler and Gardeners Hand Cream Review + GIVEAWAY!

No one does hand cream like Crabtree & Evelyn. La Source was one of the first hand creams I ever started using when I got into nail art and although most of the scents are floral, they are far from overwhelming and do a wonderful job of keeping my hands hydrated and far from greasy. This was originally supposed to be a post for Mother’s Day, but with US customs it has now become a “Welcome to June!” post!

Crabtree & Evelyn  Hand Therapy Review

BEAUTY BOX | May Birchbox – Curated by Emily Shuman from Cupcakes and Cashmere!

The blog Cupcakes and Cashmere was one of the first blogs I started reading because let's face it, Emily Shuman is a veteran when it comes to this blogging world and her book is the ONLY coffee table book that I have ever thought worthy of purchasing. Her 5 Favourite Things segment is one of my favourites and have always loved how easy she seems to make any task from baking a pie to putting together an outfit for a night out. Imagine how excited I was when I heard that the May Birchbox* was to be curated by the one and only Emily Shuman!