January 29, 2015

Femme Fatale Falling Glacier Swatches & Review


Hello readers,
Today I have another great Femme Fatale holo to show you.  This was part of my frantic scramble to get all of my wishlist Femme Fatale polishes when they announced that current colours were being discontinued at the end of 2014.  You can still find a bunch of them at various international stockists though if you need to complete your collection.
 

Falling Glacier is a very light green (almost silver) linear holo with a strong green flash.  I did my best to capture this colour shift but it is even brighter in real life. The result is an opalescent holo.  The formula was great.  I used three thin coats to reach opacity. Photos show three coats of Falling Glacier with one coat of Nubar Diamont top coat in daylight spectrum lighting.




You can find Femme Fatale at:

Pinterest

If you are looking for discontinued colours like this one check out:


Happy polishing,

Michelle

January 23, 2015

Beauty Box 5 January 2015 Review


Hello readers,
This marks my second last BB5 unboxing post.  Why? Because I canceled my subscription and January's box confirms that I made the right decision.  This month's theme was "hello!".  Let's see what kind of products I got.


Garnier Fructis Daily Care Fortifying Shampoo | Retail $3.99 13oz
"Make 2015 the year of healthy hair! Strengthen your tresses with grapefruit antioxidants and proteins that'll leave your locks fortified, oh-so-soft, and super shiny. Did we mention that the invigorating scent will have you hooked in no time?"
 Oh yay! A sample I could easily get at the dollar store or better yet, as part of a free sample pack.  Garnier isn't one of my favorite hair care brands either.  I find their products leave a lot of residue in my hair.  Will I use it? Yes.  Is it a beauty sample I'm excited about? No.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects | Retail $9.99 16 Nail Polish Strips
"A perfect mani for up to 10 days? Bring it on! Peel and apply strips to your mails, smooth over and then shape for easy nail art.  Bonus: when you're done, they come off with regular polish remover!"
 I don't really use nail polish strips and this colour combo isn't my taste at all.  I checked the Sally Hansen Canada and Sally Hansen US sites and neither show this pattern as an option.  So, even if I did loves these I wouldn't be able to purchase them again.

Ultraflesh The Gold Standard Mascara In Blackout | Retail $21.00 0.27oz
"Dramatic, thicker lashes are as good as gold with this amped-up mascara! The expert wand gets every lash coated for major results.  Feeling bold? Layer two or three coats for the most va-va-voom.
 This is a brand I've never heard of before.  Want to know why?  Ultraflesh went out of business in 2011.  Assuming that this tube was made around that time, that means it's still over 3 years old.  Gross!! There's no way it's going near my eyes.  Don't worry though, BB5 made that easy for my by sending a completely dried out unusable tube.  How they came up with a retail prices of $21 when you can't buy it at regular retailers anymore I'll never know.

Softsoap Nutri Serums Vitamin C Body Wash | Retail $8.00 15fl oz
"Treat your body to rich moisture and a super fresh scent while showering! The softening serum pearls burst with Vitamin E to hydrate and Omega 3 and 6 to help your skin retain moisture all day long to banish winter dryness."
 Another dollar store sample.  I'll use it but I'm not excited about it. Moving on.

Coastal Scents Eye Shadow | Retail: $1.95-$24.95
"We're crushing hard on these super-pigmented shadows! Whether you pair all four shades together for an all-over eye look or pick a few favorites to accent with, they'll make your eyes stand out gorgeously."
This is the only decent sample in the box.  Mine came slightly broken but are still very usable.  The colours are a good mix of neutral and slightly bolder.

Conclusion
Despite that last minute decent eye shadow sample, overall this box is a loser in my eyes.  Years old dried up mascara just isn't ok.  Two boring dollar store samples and discontinued nail strip patterns round things out.  I'm glad I canceled my subscription.  Let's see what my last box next month brings.  If after reading this post you still want to learn more about BB5 you can find out more at http://beautybox5.com/.
Happy polishing,

Michelle

January 22, 2015

Picture Polish Enchanting Swatches & Review


Hello readers,
The most recent blogger collaboration shades from Picture Polish featured three gorgeous teals and greens that I knew I needed to have.  Today I have one of them, Enchanting, to show you.

Picture Polish Enchanting Swatch Picture Polish Enchanting

Enchanting is a bright jelly polish on the border between green and teal featuring a flecked subtle scatter holo finish.  The formula was excellent and it only took two coats to become opaque.  It also dried completely smooth so top coat is only needed to make it last longer.  Photos show two coats of Enchanting with one coat of Nubar Diamond top coat in daylight spectrum lighting.  Please note that this polish does lean slightly greener in real life.

Picture Polish Enchanting Swatch Picture Polish Enchanting Swatch

Picture Polish Enchanting Swatch Picture Polish Enchanting Swatch

Picture Polish Enchanting Swatch Picture Polish Enchanting Swatch

I can't get enough of these flecked holo finishes and Picture Polish continues to impress.  I also have Dragonfly and Escapades on their way to me now and I can't wait to try them out.  What do you think of this shade? Is the flecked holo finish a favorite or do you prefer a stronger linear holo?

Happy polishing,

Michelle

January 19, 2015

Buyer Beware: HealthSnap.ca Experience & Review


Hello readers,
I was recently invited to review a new Canadian website, HealthSnap.ca.  Along with a variety of other health related products they offer beauty and skin care items at good prices.  I was given the chance to try out $25 worth of beauty products for free to test out their site and customer experience.


My initial experience with the site was a little frustrating.  I did find that some of the lipstick colours I tried to add to my cart were immediately out of stock.  Also, the colour representations were not always accurate.  I definitely had to look up pictures and swatches for everything.  I decided to go with three lipsticks, two Revlon Super Lustrous Lipsticks and a Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick.  The checkout process was easy and my order shipped one business day later.  I received my items no problem and all of the lipsticks were sealed.


Here's where things started to get strange.  Right now HealthSnap.ca is offering a free gift with every order.  I ended up getting a bottle of vitamin D pills.  This seemed a little random since I was reviewing the beauty product offerings of their site.  However, what stood out to me instantly was that they expire in June 2015, all of 5 months from now.  I checked the vitamin D pills I already had at home that I purchased several months ago to compare expiry dates.  My vitamins have an expiry date of September 2016 and I've already had them for a while.  I feel like this free gift is the equivalent of getting rid of soon to expire stock.


This prompted to me to look up the batch codes of the three lipsticks I received.  On the Rimmel this is the imprinted number on the bottom label.  For the Revlons it is etched on the side of the tube. I used www.checkfresh.com to get the following production dates.
  • Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Berry Haute - batch 12073 - production date 2012-03-13
  • Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Violet Frenzy - batch 12034 - production date 2012-02-03
  • Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in In Vogue - batch 0309 -  production date 2010-11-05


This isn't acceptableThe newest of the three lipsticks, Revlon Berry Haute, is just under three years old and the oldest, Rimmel In Vogue, is over four years old.  Berry Haute also has a strong smell... you know the one... the kind of sweet and musty at the same time 'this lipstick isn't good anymore' smell.  There's no way I'm putting it on my lips.  The Rimmel lipstick has a strong artificial sweet smell.  I'm not sure if this is how it is intended to smell or if it too has gone bad but I'm not taking the risk

I also wanted to make sure these dates weren't typical so I looked up the batch codes for some Revlon and Rimmel products that I had purchased myself in store over the last year.  The oldest, a Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter, had a production date of 2013-08-27.  This is a year and a half later than the newest of the three HealthSnap lipsticks and I've already owned it for several months.

I contacted the rep at HealthSnap.ca who I was working with to let them know about the production dates of the products I had received and the comparison to similar products I had purchased myself in store.  After they investigated the matter I received the following response:

Thanks for being the manufacturing date concern to my attention.  I’ve only been here just over a week so still getting to know the processes, inventory etc.

I went investigating into this issue with the team here. What seems to have happened is since beauty/cosmetics is very new category for Kohl & Frisch (the parent company for HealthSnap), some new staff in the warehouse were unfamiliar with inventory control in this category. The company as a whole is used to dealing with OTC with a clear expiry date on the packaging vs a lot/batch # in beauty/cosmetics which requires more understanding as you know.

With that said, with beauty/cosmetic products of this nature, there are no regulations by the government in both USA/Canada. A focus when dealing with ‘expiry’ is Period After Opening. Many brands have a stamp on their products with an expiry – after the packaging is opened. Some are 6 months, some are 24 months etc.

Hope that helps!

Actually, that doesn't help at all.  I'm still left with lipsticks that are very old, some of which have clearly gone bad.  They did note that had I been a paying customer rather than someone receiving a press sample then my customer service experience would have been different and my items would have been refunded and/or replaced.  However, I can only comment on the customer service that I received, not a hypothetical resolution for someone else.  I received old cosmetics - some have expired, brought it to their attention and was basically told to deal with it.  I didn't receive replacements for my unusable lipsticks.

For a company with 'Health' in the name they don't seem concerned about selling healthy beauty products.  I will not be making any purchases from them in the future and based on my experience I wouldn't recommend HealthSnap.ca to others. In general, when buying cosmetics online be sure to check the batch numbers of the items you receive to ensure they are still good to use.  Another good option to do this along with www.checkfresh.com is http://checkcosmetic.net.

Happy polishing,

- Michelle

January 18, 2015

Birchbox Canada January 2015 Unboxing & Review

Hello readers,
I just got my Birchbox Canada January box in the mail and wanted to share it with you.  This time it took a lot less time to reach me after shipping though it was sent via UPS this time instead of Canada Post.  I'm not sure if the carrier change was what sped things up or whether it not being Christmas time was the main reason.  Either way, let's check out what was in this month's box!



derma e Hydrating Night Creme with Hyaluronic Acid | Full-size $29.50
What: All-natural, antioxidant-packed hydrator that helps skin recover when you snooze.
How: At bedtime, smooth a thin layer over clean face and neck.

Though I don't think I've ever actually purchased a night cream it's still definitely something I'll use up.  Not a super exciting sample but not a useless one either.

Whish Shave Crave - Acai Grapefruit | Full-size $20
What: An ultra hydrating, shea butter-packed shaving cream in a pick-me-up grapefruit scent.
How: Apply to legs, armpits, or bikini line before you shave.

I really like this sample.  It smells delicious and will be great for traveling since it's not in a pressurized can like most shaving creams/gels.  I will be bringing this along on my next trip.

amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo | Full-size $26.50
What: Weightless spray in the brand's signature obliphica scent that refreshes hair sans residue.
How: Shake can and hold 8-10 inches from head.  Spritz roots, then massage through strands.

I'll be honest.  I was disappointed to see this sample in my box preview.  I don't use dry shampoo and this was also a repeat of the sample options from last month.  I've already swapped this for another product that suits me better.

ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick - Dusk Until Dawn | Set of 3 $20
What: Hydrating, semimatte formula in a deep nude shade that lasts as long as the party does.
How: Swipe onto lips for a nourishing, stay-put color.

This lipstick was the sample I was most excited about... until I saw the colour.  Dark nudes just look terrible on me.  I would have much preferred something with more colour.  It also seems that everyone got the exact same shade so I can't even swap it for one that suits my colouring better.

Harvey Prince Hello Body Creme | Full-size $22
What: Infused with the best-selling citrus-floral scent, this hydrator leaves skin silky smooth.
How: Massage generously into skin.

Another repeat sample option from last month.  I found the scent of my Harvey Prince body wash from last month's box way to strong and overwhelming.  Hopefully this one will be a little more toned down.  I'll definitely give it a try.

Conclusion
While I'll get good use out of some of the products from this month's box, I'm a little disappointed in the overall options for the Canadian boxes.  We were told that the Canadian boxes would be very similar to the American ones however the Canadian January boxes only had 12 sample options (4 of which were repeats from December) and the American boxes had 82 samples options.  This doesn't seem very similar at all.  I really hope the product options for Canadians grows in the following months so I can try a wider range brands.  Birchbox starts at $14.95CAD per month including shipping.  You also can get $5 towards the birchbox shop each month my reviewing all of the samples you receive.  If you want to find out more check out the Birchbox Canada website.

Happy polishing,

Michelle

January 14, 2015

Products I Finished This Month - December 2014

Hello readers,
I completely forgot about my empties post for December until I noticed that my finished products pile as getting extra giant.  Oops! Let's see what I finished up last month.

Face
The Body Shop Tea Tree toner is a regular guest in this category.  I did notice recently that it does contain alcohol so after I finish my current bottle I might switch back to Clinique.  I haven't decided 100% on that one yet.  I also tried Olay fresh effects wipes which I got as a sample from Nail Polish Canada.  I loved these.  They're great for getting a faceful of makeup off but didn't irritate my skin at all.  I've since purchased a full sized pack as part of an Olay Christmas gift set.  I also finished a mini tube of Glam Glow Thirsty Mud.  I love this mask.  It worked so well with my skin.  Hydrating and soothing without causing breakouts.  I bought it in full size (my poor wallet) after trying it out.  I also finished a sample of Olay Regenerist face cream.  It wasn't bad but wasn't a stand out for me so I won't likely be purchasing it.  Lastly I finished a tube of Marcelle Xtension Plus mascara.  While I did like the formula and brush I did find by the end of the day my eyes would be a bit irritated when I wore it so I won't be purchasing this one again.

Hair
Only a couple of hair products this month and both of them conditioners.  Herbal Essences Naked has become my favorite line of everyday hair products and I will definitely be purchasing more.  Pantene is always a good choice too and I buy them when they're on sale.  Both get thumbs up from me.

Bath & Body
Lots of bath and body products this month.  First I finished yet another bag of Bath Retreat energizing epsom salts.  It's cold and miserable outside which make baths even more enjoyable.  I will buy these again and again.  I also finished two bar soaps, Rugged Goat Soap from Soaps By Sarahand Goat's Milk Soap in Fresh from Lather Life...Naturally.  Both of these came from my last Sweet Delights Sample Box.  Both were nice and did lather well.  I'm not a huge fan of bar soap in general though so I won't be repurchasing.  They're definitely worth considering if bar soap is your thing though.  Also from Soaps By Sara was a Lime and Cilantro Handmade Lotion Stick.  I really liked this.  The scent was very nice but not overpowering.  I ended up using it on my heels and feet.  I find the thick formula really worked well for the thicker skin on the bottoms of my feet while still being moisturizing.  I'm definitely going to investigate the cost and availability of this product further.  While we're mentioning feet I 'finished' my julep foot file. By finished I mean the gritty part was starting to peel off the handle.  I was really happy with this file.  It worked great and lasted many months despite being soaked with water over and over.  I already purchased the same one as a replacement.  The Tree Hut Nourishing Hand Cream I got in my very fist BB5 box got used up as well.  I found the formula too thin for my liking so I won't be repurchasing it.  It did smell quite nice though.  Last up is a sample of Watermelon Body Polish from The Pampered Pear.  While I loved the smell of the scrub and found it effective I probably wouldn't repurchase due to the grit being 100% sugar.  I find with sugar based scrubs the grit dissolves really quickly and I just end up using more product to get my desired result.  If you like sugar scrubs then definitely check it out.

Happy Polishing,

Michelle

January 12, 2015

Microflake Jelly Sandwich With Zoya Frida & Model City Polish Chelsea

Hello readers,
Today I have a jelly sandwich mani to show you.  However, this one is a little different from a traditional jelly sandwich since is uses a microflake polish instead of regular glitter.  The result is a flecked finish that reminds of a crystallized stone.


I used three alternating coats each of Model City Polish Chelsea and Zoya Frida to get this look.  I topped everything off with a coat of Nubar Diamond top coat.  Despite using six coats of polish in the end, this surprisingly didn't take much longer than normal to dry and isn't too thick on the nail.  Photos show this mani under daylight spectrum lighting.

Jelly sandwich nail art Jelly sandwich nail art

Jelly sandwich nail art Jelly sandwich nail art

Jelly sandwich nail art Jelly sandwich nail art

Jelly sandwich nail art Jelly sandwich nail art

Happy polishing,

Michelle

January 09, 2015

Different Dimension Stronger Swatches & Review

Hello readers,
Today I have an icy blue holo  to show you that matches the minus double digit weather outside.

Different Dimension Different Dimension

Different Dimension Stronger features a light blue shimmery base with a strong holo and a violet flash.  The flash was super difficult to capture and is even more prominent in person.  The formula was great and I used three thin coats to reach opacity.  Photos show three coats of Stronger with one coat of Nubar Diamond top coat in daylight spectrum lighting.

Different Dimension Different Dimension

Different Dimension Different Dimension

Different Dimension Different Dimension

Different Dimension Different Dimension

I really like this polish.  The violet flash adds a little unique touch to this pretty polish.  You can find Different Dimension at:


Happy polishing,

- Michelle