December 22, 2014

Birchbox Canada December 2014 Unboxing & Review

Hello readers,
Today I received my December Birchbox.  This was the first month that they offered shipping to Canada so I decided to try it out as a replacement for my disappointing Beauty Box 5 subscription.  December's theme was "Decked Out" and  here's what I got in mine.




Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvinator | Full size $34
What: This customer fave mimics the effects of microdermabrasion for glowing, smooth skin.
How: 3-5 times a week, massage a pea-sized amount into damp skin and rinse.  For all skin types.
I like a good face scrub so I'm looking forward to trying this product. 

Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah | Full size $26
What: Infused with grapefruit-vanilla fragrance, this wash hydrates and softens skin.
How: Work into a lather and massage over skin.  Breathe in the youthful scent, then rinse clean.
I like citrus scents and I like vanilla so this one works for me.  It says it's exfoliating but it doesn't mention any sort of grit so I'll have to see how that aspect works out.  I just hope it doesn't have that plastic little beads.  Those are not good for the environment at all.  I will definitely use this product.

Benefit Cosmetics High Beam | Full size $32
What: This award-winning illuminator highlights and enhances features with soft pink shimmer.
How: Use fingertips to dab onto cheekbones, brow bones, or anywhere else, and quickly blend.
This is probably the product that I am most excited to try.  I love a good highlighter so this will definitely get used.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner | Full-size $18
What: A luxe, creamy liner from the NYC-based designer for smudge-proof, all-day wear.
How: Glide along lash line for a defined look of blend within 30 seconds for a smokey eye.
I have SO many black liners already that this will go up for swap.  I was kind of hoping they would be sending out an assortment of the colours available but it looks like everyone got black.  Not a bad product but one that just isn't for me.

amika Nourishing Mask | Full size $31
What: Paraben-free treatment that conditions and reparis with superfruit sea buckthron berrym
How: Once a week, smooth onto lengths and ends of damp hair.  Leave for 5-10 minutes before rinsing.
At first I thought this was a face mask and got excited but then realized after reading the description it was a hair mask.  I don't really use hair masks since the ones I've tried didn't really do anything for me in the past.  I'll probably see if I can swap this one.

Conclusion
Overall I'm pleased with the products.  I will use 3 of them and then other two will make good swaps or gifts.  The one thing that confused me is that on the description card it said we get $10 to spend at the GAP - no strings attached.  However, there's no coupon code, gift card, etc. in the box so I have no idea how to actually redeem this perk.  It looks like they've been asked about this a lot on their facebook page but haven't provided any answers which is a little disappointing.  I've sent them a message and hopefully I'll find out what's going on.  For a first box I'm quite happy and am looking forward to seeing what's coming next month.  I paid $13.29CAD for this box (by buying a yearly subscription) and I definitely got my money's worth.  If you want to learn more about Birchbox you can check them out here.

Happy polishing,

Michelle

December 19, 2014

Femme Fatale Underlight Swatches & Review

Hello readers,
Today I have one of the two Color4Nails exclusive polishes from Femme Fatale to show you. This polish packs a bunch of my favorite features into one shiny bottle. Teal? Check. Flakies? Check. Shimmer? Double check.

Femme Fatale Cosmetics Femme Fatale Cosmetics

Underlight features a medium teal jelly base pack with a shimmer that shifts from blue to purple, teal iridescent flakes and a assortment of teal, blue and purple microglitter.  The formula was easy to apply.  I used three coats to reach opacity.  Most of the flake glitters lay flat on their own but I did have a couple rebellious ones whose edges poked up a little.  I just used an extra coat of top coat on those nails to smooth everything out.  Photos show three coats of Underlight with one coat of Nubar Diamond top coat (except my ring finger, which has two) in daylight spectrum lighting.

Femme Fatale Cosmetics Femme Fatale Cosmetics

Femme Fatale Cosmetics Femme Fatale Cosmetics

Femme Fatale Cosmetics Femme Fatale Cosmetics

Femme Fatale Cosmetics Femme Fatale Cosmetics

I am in love with this polish.  You should all go and buy it right now. This specific shade is exclusive to Color4Nails (who just lowered their international shipping rates!) but in general you can find Femme Fatale at:


Happy polishing,

Michelle

December 17, 2014

Snowflake Stamping Nail Art

Hello readers,
Today I have some nail art to show you that matches the weather outside. Snow outside... not my favorite, but snowflakes on my nails? I'm totally OK with that.  I started out with a base of Alchemy Lacquers Blizzard.  I then used Bundle Monster plate BM-H02 to stamp Revlon Super-Powered on top.  Finally I sealed everything up with a coat of Nubar Diamond top coat.  The blue stamping ended up a lot lighter on the nail than in the bottle but I still love the design.  Photos show this mani in daylight spectrum lighting.

Snowflake nail art Snowflake nail art

Snowflake nail art Snowflake nail art

Happy polishing,

Michelle

December 15, 2014

Guest Post From A Lovely Allure: My Favourite Brow Product Of 2014

Hi, I'm Michelle! Not the regular Michelle you are used to hearing from, but the one from A Lovely Allure. I'll be talking about my favorite brow product of 2014, that I think is essential for every brow perfectionist to try.

Over the course of the year I've become increasingly obsessed with my brows. So obsessed that I've managed to over-pluck them, oddly shape them, over-trim them…the list goes on. I realized that brows really are everything to a look, and there are quite a few different ways to shape the same brows, sometimes completely altering your appearance.

In the past, I'd resort to being miserable until they grew back a little, then I wouldn't like it, and would crazily pluck them again. I had no idea how to use a brow pencil and the thought of putting anything creamy on my brows just scared the crap out of me. I liked my brows to look thin and sparse.


Only recently had I took the plunge (ok, it's not that expensive… but still) to pick up the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade, a waterproof pomade that is designed to stand up in humid climates, even on oily skin. It comes in a little jar with 4g / 0.14oz of product. What is a pomade? I was asking Google the same thing.. it is defined as a 'scented ointment applied to the hair or scalp; can be greasy or waxy'. I think of it more as a gel liner, but for your brows.


The Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade is definitely my favorite brow product of the year, and I'll likely continue to use this for years to come. I can achieve a very well-defined and dramatic brow, or a soft subtle natural brow with the same product.

I have it here in the shade, Chocolate, which seems like one of the darker shades but is actually more of a medium shade. I bought this colour back when I had a more vibrant shade of red hair. It looks suitable with both red and light/dark brown hair. It really stays put throughout the day, even after being rubbed, or I've accidentally slept with it on. I've pretty much never had to touch my eyebrows up throughout the day, unless I've been taking a helmet on and off (that's a different story!) but for typical days, it really holds up.


Below is a photo, actually taken at the end of the day. I had went to the mall, then fallen asleep for a few hours and it is still looking good. All I have on is the Dipbrow in Chocolate. I did slightly use a spoolie to soften the edges to achieve a more natural brow.


For $23, I'd definitely repurchase this again and again. I'm already pretty much halfway through it. Thank you to Michelle for letting this Michelle guest post! If you'd like to check out my blog, it is www.alovelyallure.com :)

December 12, 2014

Alchemy Lacquers Blizzard Swatches & Review

Hello readers,
Today I have my first ever Alchemy Lacquer to show you.  I finally caved during their Black Friday sale and grabbed a bunch of polishes that I'd been eying for a long time.  Blizzard seemed an appropriate polish to match the weather outside.

Alchemy Lacquers Alchemy Lacquers

Blizzard is described as a light blue crelly base with turquiose and silver flecks.  Personally, I think mine looks like more a white base but this could be due to slight variations between batches.  The formula was very easy to work with and went opaque in two coats.  This is particularly nice since most quite crellies tend to take at least three.  Unfortunately the silver shimmer that you can see in the bottle didn't really translate to the nail.  Photos show two coats of Blizzard with one coat of Nubar Diamond top coat in daylight spectrum lighting.

Alchemy Lacquers Alchemy Lacquers

Alchemy Lacquers Alchemy Lacquers

Alchemy Lacquers Alchemy Lacquers

This is a very pretty polish... but not quite what I was expecting.  The swatch photos in the listing were showed a base that was a lot more shimmery while mine ended up looking a lot more like a creme.  The formula was impeccable however and I do like the speckled appearance.  You can find Alchemy Lacquers on


Happy polishing,

Michelle

December 08, 2014

Products I Finished This Month - November 2014


Hello readers,
It's time to take a look at November's empties!

Face

I went through several deluxe samples this month.  First are the LA Fresh travel lite Oil-Free Makeup Remover Wipes that I got in a BB5 box.  These wipes were.... just ok.  They did the job for light makeup but had trouble with waterproof items.  I also found the seal wasn't the greatest so the last few wipes in the pack were somewhat dried out.  I won't be purchasing this item again.  I also finished two clinique samples, repairwear laswer focus serum and turnaround overnight radiance moisturizer.  Though I liked both of the products I don't think they did anything above what my normal moisturizer accomplishes so I don't think I will be purchasing them in full size in the near future.

Bath & Body

Yet another bag of  Bath Retreat energizing epsom salts.  It's winter and it's cold outside which means I'm more tempted to take baths and soak in these yummy salts.  I've already purchased more of them.  The Raw Love Body Beach Vacation scrub that I got in a Sweet Delights sample box was really nice.  It smelled delicious and was very gritty (which I like).  The only thing I didn't like about this product was the packaging.  Because this is a sugar based scrub you don't want to get any water/moisture in the package but this is difficult to do when you're trying to get some out to use in the shower.  I ended up transferring it to an empty tub which made it much easier to use.  I haven't decided yet whether to repurchase this one... I'll have to look into how much it costs.  Finally I finished upBurt's Bees' naturally nourishing Milk & Honey body lotion.  I wasn't a huge fan of this one.  The scent was ok but I found it took a long time for the lotion to fully absorb.  I do have one more of these to work through but I probably won't purchase any more after that.

Hair
The usual suspects are all here.  I was pleasantly surprised by the dove nourishing oil care formula.  I though it might leave some build up in my hair or make it feel greasy but that wasn't the case at all.  I liked all of these and would purchase them all again.
Happy polishing,

Michelle

December 03, 2014

WingDust Collections Muskoka Sunset Swatches & Review

Hello readers,
It's time for another WingDust Wednesday! Today I have one of the polishes I got during WingDust's most recent sale to show you.

WingDust Collections WingDust Collections

Muskoka Sunset features a bright purple jelly base packed with orange, purple, lavender and pink glitters is a variety of shapes and sizes. As you can guess, this polish was inspired the the hues of a beautiful Muskoka sunset. The polish was quite easy to work with despite how much glitter is in it. The only time I had to do any dabbing was when I couple glitters would sit on top of each other in the same coat. This was just to keep the polish as smooth at possible. If you have curved nail beds like me then you will likely need more than one coat of top coat to smooth out the largest glitters. If you have flat nail beds a single coat of a thicker top coat should do the trick. Photos show two coats of Muskoka Sunset with one coat of HK Girl top coat and then one coat of CND Super Shiney top coat in daylight spectrum lighting.

WingDust Collections WingDust Collections

WingDust Collections WingDust Collections

WingDust Collections WingDust Collections

WingDust Collections WingDust Collections


You can find WingDust Collections on:


Happy polishing,

Michelle

December 02, 2014

Girly Bits Cu Blue Swatches & Review

Hello readers,
Today I have another great Girly Bits polish to show you.  This one has been on my wishlist for a while and when I saw it for a great price in a stash sale I snatched it up.
 

Cu Blue features a navy jelly based filled with copper microflakes.  The result is a very squishy finish with a strong copper shimmer.  The initial coat is quite sheer but it doesn't layer up nicely.  It took me three coats to become opaque and dried completely smoothly.  In very bright lighting the white of mile nail tips shows through a tiny bit, but in most lighting it is completely opaque.  Photos show three coats of Cu Blue with one coat of Nubar Diamond top coat in daylight spectrum lighting.






Did you make it through all the pictures??  It photographed so well that I had a hard time choosing which ones to cut.  You can find Girly Bits at:

Instagram

Happy polishing,

- Michelle