February 26, 2015

Beauty Box 5 February 2015 Unboxing & Review


Hello readers,
Today my February BB5 box finally arrived in the mail.  Let's see what was inside.


This month's theme was 'hooray!' since it marks BB5's third birthday.  An extra bonus this month is a $20 gift card to yourminerals.com.  They look to have some nice (but pricey) mineral makeup.  Shipping to Canada is a bit too much for me but you could get a good deal with this coupon code if you're in the US.


Absolute New York Absolute Love Lip Balm | Retail $5.00 0.42fl oz
"There's so many reasons to cheer for this party-ready balm! Major moisture? Check! Sweet scent? Check! A tiny amount of tint? Check! Cute in your clutch? Check!
I'm feeling neutral about this balm.  It's a nice full size product but the scent is quite artificial smelling and I'm not a fan of lip products in pots.  It will get used up eventually though.

Marsk Mineral Eye Shadow in Vanilla Frosting | Retail $22.50 0.04oz
"We couldn't ship actual birthday cake, but how about some frosting? Treat yourself to this iridescent mineral shadow! BBh Tip: With subtle sparkle, it can also double as a soft highlighter."
I love mineral shadows so this sample is right up my alley.  It's a really pretty colour - a shimmery white with pink and blue sparks.  Unfortunately mine had fingerprints (or something that looked a lot like fingerprints) on the inside of the sifter.  BB5 is sending me a replacement though so that isn't an issue in the long run.  I think this will make a great inner corner eye highlighter.

GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment | Retail $69.00 1.7oz
"After a long celebration, your skin needs some TLC! Apply this anti-aging mask for 10 minutes (it tingles while it's working!) then rinse off in circular motions - it doubles as an exfoliant!"
I absolutely love the GlamGlow products I've tried before so I was thrilled to see this in my box.  It will definitely get tried ASAP.

Avon Big Color Eye Pencil | Retail $3.49 0.056oz
"Spend less time getting ready and more time getting down with these pretties - just glide and go! BB5 Tip: For color that lasts all night, layer over a powder or primer."
I got this pencil in a soft shimmer nude colour which I can definitely use.  It will be a great addition to my makeup collection.  Another win in this month's box.

Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel | Retail: $3.99 0.4fl oz
"Stand out at any soiree and balance the confetti with a bold nail! These supersaturated hues have our hearts when it comes to one-coat coverage and longlasting wear."
This is another item I was looking forward to getting after seeing it in other unboxings.  Unfortunately, I got the one colour I didn't want - red.  At least it's a known brand so I can probably trade it for another colour that's more my style.

Conclusion
I think BB5 really made a comeback this month after a streak of lackluster low-value boxes.  This marks the end of my yearly subscription and it's ending on a high note.  I won't be resubbing right away since they now charge extra for Canadian shipping (and the Canadian dollar is so low right now) but I will be keeping an eye on this sub to see if it's worth rejoining in the future.  If you want to find out more about BB5 you can check them out at http://beautybox5.com/.

Happy polishing,

Michelle

February 25, 2015

Sally Hansen Sugar Shimmer Work Of Tart Swatches & Review


Hello readers,
I love shimmery texture polishes so when I saw that Sally Hansen came out with a shimmery version of the Sugar line I knew I had to grab some for myself. I patiently waited until they went sale and bought some.


Work Of Tart features a teal base with a strong gold sheen.  This colour mix ends up leaning more green. The formula was easy to work with though it was a little sheer. Every other texture polish I've ever tried required two coats but this one required three. The finish was slightly grittier than a Zoya Pixie Dust. Photos show three coats of Work Of Tart without a top coat in daylight spectrum lighting.

Sally Hansen Sugar Shimmer Sally Hansen Sugar Shimmer

Sally Hansen Sugar Shimmer Sally Hansen Sugar Shimmer

Sally Hansen Sugar Shimmer Sally Hansen Sugar Shimmer

Happy polishing,

Michelle

February 23, 2015

CrowsToes Milquetoast Swatches & Review


Hello readers,
Today I have a polish that's been sitting on my shelf for at least a year but for some reason it hadn't yet made it onto my nails.


Milquetoast is features a light cream crelly base filled three sizes of copper glitter.  The formula was excellent.  Depsite all of the glitter it went on very smoothly end evenly.  I did not have to do any dabbing.  After two coats it was a 90% opaque.  You can still see my nail line a tiny bit but since this is such a neutral polish it doesn't bug me.  You could easily add a third coat to make it completely opaque if you wish.  Photos show two coats of Milquetoast with one coat of Nubar Diamont top coat in daylight spectrum lighting.

CrowsToes Nail Polish CrowsToes Nail Polish

CrowsToes Nail Polish CrowsToes Nail Polish

CrowsToes Nail Polish CrowsToes Nail Polish

I absolutely love this polish.  It's so neutral which isn't what I usually go for but it's gorgeous all the same.  You can find CrowsToes Nail Color on:


Happy polishing,

Michelle

February 18, 2015

Birchbox Canada February 2015 Unboxing & Review


Hello readers,
Birchbox Canada's February box showed up in the mail yesterday and I wanted to share what I got with you.

Birchbox Canada

I knew from my box preview that I was getting a Harvey Prince shampoo and conditioner, a derma e scrub, a Cynthia Rowley lip stain and a highlighter from theBalm cosmetics.  I was most looking forward to the lip stain and the highlighter.

Birchbox Canada

Harvey Prince Hello Shampoo and Hello Conditioner | Full-size $26 each
Birchbox Canada
Oh yay, more Harvey Prince (can you sense my saracasm?).  These are the third and fourth Harvey Prince samples that I've received over three boxes.  Seriously Birchbox, no more Harvey Prince! I find their products way too strongly scented and have given them bad reviews but they keep getting sent to me.  To make things worse, both of these were underfilled.  They were at most half full.  I contacted Birchbox about this and did get 100 points for the lack of product.  Based on the price of the full-size, these samples are worth $1.10 each.

derma e Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Scrub | Full-size $12.75
Birchbox Canada
Considering that my Birchbox profile states I have acne prone combination skin, I'm not sure why I got sent a product for normal to oily aging skin.  I didn't choose aging or wrinkles as skin concerns.  Either way, I like scrubs, so at least this is a product I will use.  I actually tried it out this morning and found it ... average.  While I liked the size and texture of the grit in this scrub I found it was too sparse to do much exfoliating.  I didn't have that super smooth skin feeling I get with my other preferred scrubs.  Also, on this tube it says that this sample is not for resale, so I'm not sure why it counts as one of the five samples I'm paying for through Birchbox.  Based on the full-size price this sample contains $3.38 worth of product.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain - Heartthrob | Full-size $23
Birchbox Canada
 Based on my box preview I was looking forward to a nice deep purple lip stain... and then this washed out, warm toned red showed up.  Red is not a lip colour that I wear, especially not warm toned reds.  It seems everyone received this shade though so I can't even swap it for a different colour.  This sample is also tiny.  At 2.25g this sample is worth $10.74.

theBalm cosmetics Cindy-Lou Manizer | Full-size $26
Birchbox Canada
  This was another sample I was looking forward to trying.  The sample itself is miniscule.  I'm not sure how I'm supposed to get even coverage on a regular sized blush or powder brush.  This is also another item that says "free sample" on it.  I don't think things given for free should count towards my five samples.  Based on the full size price this sample is worth $1.73.

RentTheRunway.com Promo
Birchbox Canada
Finally, I received a promo for renttherunway.com for $30 off orders of $75+.  When I went to check out the website I found out that they don't ship to Canada.  Seriously Birchbox?  You sent me a promo through Birchbox Canada to a Canadian address that can't be used in Canada?  I've emailed them about this but haven't heard anything back yet.  Considering that they also did this with the GAP promo in the December 2014 box you'd think they would make sure they sent promos I can actually use.  Apparently not.  I haven't even bothered blurring the unique code since it is literally of no use to me.

Conclusion
The overall value of my box was $18.05.  This is including the items clearly marked as free samples.  If I take those out the box value drops to $12.94, which is less than I paid for the box itself ($14.95).  I also got a promo code I can't use and two underfilled samples.  Combined with the fact that 4/5 brands in this box are ones I've already received in my previous two boxes and that the Canadian sample options are significantly more limited than the US sample options this month (19 vs 108) I am incredibly disappointed in this box.  The value isn't there and I keep getting the same few brands over and over.  If you want to give Birchbox Canada a chance you can find more info at Birchbox Canada.

Happy polishing,

Michelle

February 17, 2015

Takko Lacquer Dark Paradise Swatches & Review


Hello readers,
Today I have a polish from Takko Lacquer that called my name the minute I saw it. The problem? This polish is a Llarowe exclusive and we all know how fast these polishes go during a restock. It took a friends help and lots of refreshing to obtain it.

Takko Lacquer Dark Paradise Takko Lacquer Dark Paradise

Dark Paradise features an indigo blue jelly based filled with small multicoloured flakies. The formula was... mediocre. An unfortunate surprise since I love the formula on the other Takko flakie containing polishes I've tried. The first coat was very sheer and very streaky. The second and third coats did build up nicely but I had to be careful to watch to sheer spots and touch them up. Even after three coats the nail line still peaks through a tiny bit. If you're in love with the final look I'd still try to get your hands on this polish, but if you're not sure... I'd pass on this one. Photos show three coats of Dark Paradise with one coat of CND Super Shiney top coat in daylight spectrum lighting.

Takko Lacquer Dark Paradise Takko Lacquer Dark Paradise

Takko Lacquer Dark Paradise Takko Lacquer Dark Paradise

Takko Lacquer Dark Paradise Takko Lacquer Dark Paradise

You can find this particular polish on Llarowe (keep an eye out for those restocks), but in general you can find Takko Lacquer on:

Happy polishing,

Michelle

February 10, 2015

Layering With Superchic Lacquer Basking In The Sand & Femme Fatale Mermaiden's Adoration


Hello readers,
Today I have a lovely polish combo that makes me think of sandy beaches and turquoise tropical waters.

Superchic Lacquer Femme Fatale Cosmetics

Superchic Lacquer Basking In the Sand features a sandy beige base packed with blue and pink microflake shimmer.  The formula was streaky one the first coat but did build up nicely.  I used two coats for this manicure but if I were wearing it alone I would have used three.  It dries to a satin matte finish.  Femme Fatale Mermaiden's Adoration is a glitter topper packed with aqua, iridescent and gold glitter in a variety of shapes and sizes along with a good dose of gold shimmer.  The formula on this one was great.  I didn't have to go fishing for glitter at all and I just brushed it on over the base colour.  I did do a tiny bit of dabbing on a couple nails to get the largest glitter where I wanted them but that's just because I'm picky about placement.  Photos show two coats of Superchic Lacquer Basking In The Sand and one coat of Femme Fatale Mermaiden's adoration with two coats of CND Super Shiny top coat in daylight spectrum lighting.

Superchic Lacquer Basking In The Sand Superchic Lacquer Basking In The Sand

Superchic Lacquer Basking In The Sand Superchic Lacquer Basking In The Sand

Superchic Lacquer Basking In The Sand Superchic Lacquer Basking In The Sand

You can find Superchic Lacquer on:


... and Femme Fatale Cosmetics on:

Happy polishing,

Michelle

February 09, 2015

Products I Finished This Month - January 2015


Hello readers,
Check out the hits and misses in the products I finished last month.

Bath & Body
Cold winter weather made warm baths very appealing this month.  The result is lots of empty packets of bath salts and bottles of bubble bath.  I was happy with all of them and still have a big selection of the "I love..." bubble baths to work through thanks to post-Christmas gift set clearance sales.  The Body Shop's satsuma shower gel continues to be one of my favorites but the Harvey Prince ageless exfoliating shower gel that I got in my December Birchbox was way too overscented for me and I won't be trying that one again.

Hair
I finished up two bottles of conditioner this month.  I continue to love the Herbal Essences Naked line and will definitely buy more.  I didn't find the TRESemme conditioner did much for my hair this time around though so I'll probably take a break from that brand.

Face
Look at that! I actually finished some makeup!  Specifically, Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Luscious Honey.  I did find this shade a bit too red for my tastes but loved the formula.  I have since purchased it in a couple different shades but sadly it seems all but Black Honey have now been discontinued.  That always seems to happen to products I fall in love with.  I also finished a sample of Performance Color's lip repair.  I liked this balm a lot but alas, Performance Colors recently closed up their etsy shop and I'm not sure if they are coming back.  The Peter Thomas Roth cucumber gel mask didn't do much for my skin so I won't be repurchasing it.  The Dana's Cosmetics Nourishing Eye Cream that I got in my last Sweet Delights Sample Bos had a really nice formula and this little tub lasted for several months.  I usually don't purchase creams specifically for the eye area so won't be repurchasing this now.  If I find that eye creams become a need for me then this is one I would definitely consider.  Finally, some Clean & Clear advantage acne spot treatment.  Despite being in my late 20's pesky pimples still make an appearance on my face.  Spot treatments are always a great thing to have in my skin care repertoire.

Hands & Nails
Last but not least I finished up a couple nail files.  One regular disposable one that I use to get through length quickly, and a glass one from WingDust Collections which I used for shaping.  Both were great but have lost their grittiness after months of use.  I would definitely use both again.  I also finished a mini tube of L'Occitane Provence Dry Skin Hand Cream.  While the formula was excellent the scent was just too strong for my liking so I won't be purchasing it in the future.

Happy polishing,

Michelle