Monday, November 29, 2010

Florida Haul

In the spirit of shopping, I'm back with some details on what I bought in Florida, which by the way has some crazy gorgeous beaches and yachts that are bigger than anything I've seen in my life.  But I digress. 

Sephora Glitz & Glam kit  
This one had some items I couldn't resist!  There will be
a few posts on this kit and a rave of at least one item in here coming soon

Laura Mercier mineral powder foundation

Per-fekt Skin Perfection Gel primer/foundation
A total spur of the moment purchase, review coming

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse foundation 
You can not get this yet where I live in Canada (that I've seen) & I've been curious to try it.  

OPI Nail Envy
This is one of my holy grail items and I got this for a steal! This is all I pretty much ever use on my fingernails.  In Canada this costs about $21-$22 a bottle, which is insane.  In the States it was $16.50 and I found a salon that was selling these as kits with lotion & cuticle gel for %50 $8.25 each, crazy!  So I of course got 3.  So exciting. 

Wet N Wild Holiday palettes
These eyeshadows are raved about on youtube & are apparently hard to find.  Imagine my excitement when I found them, review pending.

Revlon lip gloss in Peach Petal
I really was excited to find this as I've never been able to find it in Canada.  This is one of those colors that has been much talked about & is a light creamy color that goes well on top of just about anything.  So far, I'm loving it and wish I had bought two.  

Essence of beauty crease brushes
I bought these because of a recommendation by Emilynoel83.  They were under $5 for two of them.  I can take some more pictures & post them if anyone is interested but basically these are smaller crease brushes, which are great for applying crease or outer 'v' colors.  I really like them - and not just because Emily does too :)

Covergirl Trublend Mineral Blush in Shimmering Sands
I must have a thing for glowing, shimmering, etc. right now because I seem to be drawn to these types of things.  This is a huge container of product that was marked down to $4.99, likely being discontinued.  It's a very light peachy pink color that I haven't used enough to form an opinion about yet.  I will say I wish I could send you all a sample because I will never get through this by myself.  

Milani Powder Blush in Luminous
This is the lightest color they sell and appears goldish pink in the container.  I put it on & can only see gold, not at all pink or blush in color, it's very odd.  I don't think I'll grab for this that often, because it really isn't a blush.  
Milani Liquif'eye Eye liner

I've only used one of these, I bought both black & brown, review pending.

EOS lip balm in lemon
I thought you couldn't get these in Canada but apparently Shoppers is now carrying them, although I'm sure they were much cheaper in the States.  They are really nothing special, the hype is pretty much un-deserved in my opinion.  They do smell delicious though & are fun to try so if you can find them at a price you like, I say go for it. 

Vaseline Cocoa butter vitalizing gel body oil 
I had heard this was great for dry skin so I decided I had to have some for the winter, and better yet it has that wonderful coconut, beach scent.  You don't need much of this or you'll be feeling like a bit of a greaseball.

ELF items
I found a few things I don't want to detail too much here because they are stocking
stuffers for certain people who may be reading this.  I also picked up another $1 ELF total face brush as mine was showing some wear & tear.  I wish I could find the brushes in stores in Canada, would make life so much easier.  

Well that's enough rambling for now.  I also got some cute Vera Wang sunglasses, a purse, a ring and some clothes but enough already right? Let me know if you want reviews on anything here.  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm baaaaccck

Hello all!

So I'm back from my holiday down south.  Had perfect weather, indulged a little in some great food & did a bit of shopping.  Oh, and came home the day the weather turned to freezing blizzard like conditions...le sigh.  I've taken some pictures of my purchases & have some mini reviews but I've had serious motivation problems in posting them here.  I'm not sure why, but I'm hoping to find my motivation soon.  

Anyway, enough about that, here is a little tease of my purchases.  

I told myself that I wouldn't buy anything that I could get here in Canada, but that went out the window pretty quick.  The prices in the States for make-up are just so much cheaper than here, it's just not fair.  I did get some things though that I've been wanting & couldn't find here (hello Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse foundation).   Once I've used these products enough to form an opinion I'll post some reviews.  

Hope you all are well and will be patient with me as I slowly get back in to the blogging groove!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Going on a holiday!

Hi everyone, 

Just so you don't think I've disappeared, I'm just letting you know that I won't be posting for the next 10 days or so while I'm gone on holidays.  

I am heading to that magical land where you can get beauty products that you can't purchase here in Canada, and for much less money I might add!  (aka the States)  I hope not to spend too much money on products before Christmas, but we'll see how successful I am at that.

Talk to you all soon!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Beauty bargain alert - Holiday gift kits

Sorry this one is only for the Canadians out there.  Thought I'd pass along a possible gift idea for you.  From November 6th-12th you can get a fragrance sampler set for him or her, with 10 sample fragrances to try. Now these are the vial size samples but included in this set is a gift certificate for a full size bottle of the scent of their choice.  So they can try..decide, and then buy what they want.  Love it!  

Also if you purchase between these dates you get 20x the Optimum points. You might want to check it out for any fragrance lovers on your list, or if you don't know which perfume someone may like, as it takes the guess work out of it.  Pretty sweet!

Also check out Sephora's new 2010 holiday gift catalogue here

They have some awesome gift sets and great ideas for presents & stocking stuffers! You can't go wrong getting any of these for the product lover on your list.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Beauty bargains - My top ten E.L.F. cosmetics part 2

Continuing on with my previous post (see part one here), here are the final five products in my top 10 E.L.F. list.  All product photos are once again taken from their website but are all products that I own. 

6)    Studio Blush $3.00
I have Tickled Pink and Candid Coral, both have great pigmentation so you don’t need much product to get a great result. Tickled pink is a nice flattering pink and close to what you’d imagine a color with this name to be.  Candid Coral is less coral than I thought & has quite a bit of pink in it but still lovely. Both have a slight shimmer but nothing overwhelming. The packaging of these blushes is so great, little window on top to see the color inside as well as a helpful little mirror inside.  Great little blushes

7)    Essentials Shimmering Facial Whip $1.00
I have Toasted – a brownish taupe color, Pink lemonade – a glossy pearly pink and Spotlight – a pearly white hue.  Comes in small easy to use tubes.  I use my fingers to blend these on the tops of my cheekbones or wherever you want a nice highlight. A little goes a long way so go easy.  I like to use the spotlight under my foundation for a nice glow.  Pink lemonade won a 2008 Allure best of beauty award but for my $1, Toasted is my favorite

8)    Essential Eye Shadow Brush $1.00
I can’t say enough great things about this eye shadow brush and how much I love to use it.  It is soft and just dense enough, packs on powder really well and I find myself reaching for it every day.  I need to get at least two more ‘just in case’ brushes.  You will love it, don’t hesitate to get it.

9)    Bath & Body body lotion in Vanilla Coconut $4.00
This lotion smells beyond amazing.  If you are into vanilla or coconut, or both, you must try this.  The lotion itself is quite thick but not so much that it doesn’t absorb well.  I love how my skin feels after I put it on and I love how I smell even more.  The smell doesn’t last forever but that just gives me a good excuse to re-apply.  I usually get tired of a lotion half way thru the bottle but not this one.  I’m almost done my first tube & have already bought a second.  If you want soft skin that smells great, try this.

10)    Studio Bronzers $3.00
What can I say, I love this bronzer.  I have the Golden, which is a shimmery blend of champagne, golden & bronze shades.  The shimmer is there but it’s not over the top, and happily it does not appear glittery on your face.  It is perfect to use as a highlight when swirled together or you can experiment with using each color on their own.  Fun to play with & gorgeous results. I plan on getting the other two color combinations & am really interested to try the cool bronzer, which is matte.  You can’t go wrong with this. 

  Given the prices it might be something you want to check out for Christmas gifts (yes it’s getting to be that time).  These would make great stocking stuffers or even a present for yourself.  For those new to their site, they always have some sort of sale or promotion ongoing, or you can google ELF coupon codes to find a deal. 

There are many other products I plan to try so you may not see your favorite E.L.F. product on this list.  The one downside with this company is their shipping.  They tend to be slow (at least 2 weeks to receive an order) and their shipping costs are high.  Just something to keep in mind when ordering, as you may want to combine an order with a friend to keep it more affordable. 

I’d be curious to hear what your top E.L.F. choices are, so please feel free to share.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Beauty bargains - My top ten E.L.F. cosmetics part 1

For those of you who don't know about E.L.F. cosmetics, they offer some great inexpensive beauty products. Inexpensive but not cheap, important difference. I hadn’t even heard of this cosmetics company until this past spring (shock, gasp), but now I kind of feel like I’ve discovered something great.  
Most of their products range in price from $1 to $3, but don't be fooIed by that. I think a lot of people would discard the idea of buying such inexpensive make-up, assuming it couldn't be any good or it must be full of toxic cheap materials.  

All E.L.F. products are hypoallergenic and non-comodegenic; as well they do NOT test on animals or use any animal derived ingredients. Unlike some higher end brands, E.L.F. actually lists their product ingredients right on their website. They have also had several mentions in magazines including 'O', People, Seventeen, Redbook, Marie Claire & Allure, where some of their products have won Allure beauty awards.  

Their philosophy:

We at e.l.f. believe that innovative technology, quality ingredients and superb delivery systems should not be limited to prestige retailers. Every woman should have the opportunity to participate in innovation, without sacrificing her budget. We hope you agree and invite you to experience e.l.f.’s revolutionary, value-priced cosmetics and the proven results they offer.

This company is primarily sold online at  In Canada you can also find some of their products at Zellers & occasionally Homesense, but it is a very limited selection.  In the States I understand that Target carries some E.L.F. products, as well as the occasional dollar store.  

Since finding E.L.F., I’ve recommended it to many others and have already placed a few orders.  In fact I may be developing a problem. Anyway, I've seen a few of these best of blogs and videos & really enjoy them.  I've decided to share my top 10 E.L.F. picks, based on what I've tried so far. It was hard to narrow down my favorites to only 10, really hard, but I think I've finally decided on my list.  Given the amount of information, I’m going to break this up into two blog posts. 

So in no particular order, here are my first five favorite E.L.F. products (all pictures are taken from their website but are products I own):

1)    Studio Powder Brush $3.00

The hype on this brush is well deserved and all true.  It is a must have E.L.F. brush.  I use it primarily to buff and blend my liquid and powder foundations, but it is certainly not limited to that.  This brush is soft with a great density and I have had no issues with shedding.  Often sells out on their site, must must have.

2)    Essentials Brightening Eye Color $1.00
     I don’t hear as much hype about these eye quads as I think they deserve.  I have the quads in ethereal and brownstone.  The colors on the website are not particularly true to the actual product.  Website says they give your eyes an awakened brightness, which is very true.  Multi-functional, I use them on their own as well as under/over other shadows.   Packaging is a bit flimsy & the shadow size is fairly small...but hey it's $1.
 Try them!

3)    Essentials Super Glossy Lip Shine SPF 15 $1.00
     Beautiful little lip glosses. Excellent color payoff, these are surprisingly quite opaque.  My favorite colors so far are Candlelight & Pink Kiss.  Website pictures give a pretty accurate depiction of the true colors.  Not too sticky, smell like candy & the SPF is a bonus.  Beautiful on their own or over lipstick.  Gotta get at least one! 

4)    Mineral Booster powder $5 small .18 oz or $8 large .63 oz
 This is another under rated product in my opinion.  I have both the sheer & tinted powders.  The tinted is a little dark on it’s own so I usually mix the two together for a natural healthy glow.  I use it as a finishing powder, sets my make-up beautifully and makes my face appear flawless…or less flawed anyway.  They suggest using a Kabuki brush to apply this but you can also use the Studio Powder Brush with great results.  Try the small first to see if it works as well for you.

5)    Essential Shine Eraser $1.00
These are amazing little…well, shine erasers.  Oil absorbing & mattifying, these work great.  They are a little larger than similar products I’ve tried and I feel like they not only blot any excess oil but that they do something great for my skin.  One of the bests.

Stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The case against eye cream - Paula Begoun

Do you think you need an eye cream?  Do you believe that eye creams are specially formulated to work miracles around your eyes?  Do you think that you can get rid of those dark circles?

Yes?  You may want to read the following article about eye creams from Paula Begoun & the beauty bunch blog

Almost every cosmetics company you can think of sells at least one eye cream and many sell more than a dozen, yet no one needs a product specifically labeled as an eye cream! What that means is the cosmetics industry has done an outstanding job convincing women eye creams are essential to eliminate everything from wrinkles to sagging skin, dark circles, and puffiness around the eye.  I’m here to tell you (and Paula has been saying this for years) to call off the search, it is wasting your time and money!
Even the cosmetic companies don’t believe their own claims about what the eye creams they sell can do. If even one eliminated or reduced sagging skin, dark circles, wrinkles, or puffiness why would they need to launch new ones every year making the same promises? In the nearly 11 years that I have been part of The Cosmetics Cop Team, I have received thousands of emails and have yet to receive one from anyone who says the eye cream they are using has solved their concerns.
Here are the facts:
  • There is no research proving that the skin around the eye area needs something different from skin elsewhere on the face.
  • I hate telling you this, but there are no cosmetic ingredients that change dark circles under the eye or get rid of sagging, puffy eyes, or crow’s feet (these lines show up on the face and the eye area, which makes all the theories about eye creams even more foolish).
  • What you get when you buy an eye cream is a small amount of product (often half the size of a face product) that is twice as expensive.
  • Eye creams are often sold as being gentle and fragrance-free, so they’re “safe for the delicate eye area.” So, in essence, you are being told the eye area gets the good ingredients and the face gets the bad ones. The entire face needs to be treated gently and not exposed to irritating ingredients. More to the point, most eye creams DO contain fragrance AND coloring agents!
  • You have probably heard that the eye cream needs to be lighter-weight because the skin there is thinner, but most eye creams are anything but lighter; they are usually thick creams, where the face product is almost always lighter in texture. Regardless, thick or thin, when skin is dry it needs emollients and skin-repairing ingredients to prevent moisture loss and restore a smooth, supple feel.
  • Most eye creams are packaged in jars and that is a problem because as soon as you open the jar, the beneficial ingredients (assuming there are some in the formula) begin to deteriorate due to light and air exposure. It’s also unsanitary to dip your fingers into a jar every day!
  • No one in the cosmetics industry (ingredient manufacturers, salespeople, or cosmetic chemists) has ever explained exactly what ingredients the eye area needs that the face doesn’t when it comes to dry skin, wrinkles, puffy eyes, or sagging skin—and we’ve asked hundreds of people over the years!
  • If a “face” product is well formulated for dry skin and fighting wrinkles, you can use it anywhere on the face and beyond.
There are many myths about why you need eye creams, but that is just what they are, myths. Day after day, week after week, year after year we are constantly told “I’ve tried everything to get rid of [insert eye-area concern here],” and yet the problem persists. Of course it persists; these products cannot work as claimed, and you’re being mislead and wasting your money, time and time again. I’m not saying you don’t need a brilliantly formulated moisturizer for around the eye area; it just doesn’t need to be labeled an eye cream with a higher price tag than the accompanying face product.
We suspect many of you won’t believe us and will continue using an eye cream just in case, but before you do, stop and compare the ingredient list for the eye cream you’re considering (or are currently using) with its counterpart facial moisturizer. You will be shocked at how similar they really are, which further stresses our point that eye creams are not necessary. They’re a whim of the cosmetics industry designed to play on consumer’s fears of the one area where signs of aging are the most pronounced.

So what are your thoughts?  Do you use an eye cream...and will you keep using one?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Top five favorite things – Shower edition

The following are five of my 'must have' things to use in the shower.  Hope you like choices & it gives you some ideas for your next trip to the drugstore.

                  Schick Intuition Plus Shaver

This is one of those shavers with the built in shave cream bar, and requires no extra shave gel.  Love that!  No fuss, no muss and this works great.  Clean, close shave with ease.

Kind of a given right?  I use both liquid & bar soap in the shower.  I prefer liquid soap that doesn't dry out my skin & smells great.  Not too much to ask. Right now I'm loving St. Ives liquid soaps and my current favorite scent is the Oatmeal & Shea Butter.  So creamy & smells amazing!
I love the Body Shop bar soaps. My favorite scent is Satsuma! I buy these soaps in multiples and take the wrapper off when I get them home.  I then leave them in my lingerie drawer until I’m ready to use them.  This not only makes the soap last longer, but will leave your clothes with a beautiful scent.
 Foot file
This is a must have in your shower.  Make sure to use when your feet are soft & damp.  I use this near the end of my shower.  It gets rid of any rough skin and keeps your heels soft.

Body Scrub
Body scrubs are essential for sloughing off dead skin & leaving your skin softer & smoother.  There are a lot of great ones out there & you can even make your own if you're feeling ambitious.  I am currently using St. Ives Apricot Scrub, which I originally bought to use on my face.  I found it a little too harsh for a face scrub but perfect for a body scrub.  Gorgeous, soft scent as well!

Body Pouf
As I like to use liquid soap, these are a must have.  Not only do they lather up nicely, which extends the life of your soap, but they also help exfoliate the skin.  The synthetic mesh fabric helps keep bacteria from growing on your pouf but make sure to change them out about every two months. 

Other than the Body Shop soaps, you can get any of these products at your local drugstore.  If you don’t have a Body Shop nearby you can use any glycerin type soap in the same way. 

Happy showers!

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