Saturday, September 29, 2012

September 2012 Glossybox Canada

I was absolutely blown away by this month's Glossybox!!



Here is what i received (in order of appearance in the video):

1. Dove ClearTone Skin Renew Anti-Perspirant

This was the first product I noticed when I opened my Glossybox and I was very disappointed… I even had thoughts of cancelling again. It’s not that I don’t like Dove products… it’s just that I am not a big fan of stick deodorant because I’ve read that the aluminum ingredient might be risky. Also, I don’t like how stick deodorant feels on my skin. The product smells ok but I’m still not sure if I’m going to try it. The one intriguing aspect of this anti-perspirant is it contains ingredients that are supposed to reduce underarm discolouration. I have ugly armpits so I’m a little curious as to whether this product would make a difference.

full size // 45 g // $4.99
sample size // 17 g // approximate value of $1.89




2. B. Kamins Lip Balm

Although the name looks oddly familiar, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this brand. B. Kamins is a Canadian company, founded by Ben Kaminsky, a dermatological chemist. The samples we received were both labeled with “Bio-Maple” but I couldn’t find much information about this on the B. Kamins website. I did some further research and found B. Kamins rated on the EWG website... although the lip balm did not appear on the list of products. From the B. Kamins products available online, it looks like the lip balm has SPF 20 but this is not indicated anywhere on my sample tube.

Impressions: I love lip balms so I was pretty excited to try the product. This lip balm smells minty at first but then I detected a slightly sweet scent and also a medicinal/herbal scent. I like that there is no flavour. The lip balm applies a little thick and heavy, which I didn’t like, and I didn’t find it to be any more moisturizing than any of my other lip balms. It actually felt a little drier on the lips due to the texture. I find it to be an okay product but nothing too exciting. I would not pay $21 for a full size of this product.

full size // 15 mL // $21
sample size // 4 mL // approximate value of $5.60




3. B. Kamins Maple Body Lotion

While I was initially excited to receive this product, later I saw the rating on the EWG website and was taken aback. I know this website is not the be-all-and-end-all to product safety but it still gives me pause when I see a product rated as being hazardous. My thinking is, why risk it? That being said, I will still be trying this sample and providing my thoughts.

Impressions: I’ve only tried this lotion on the back of my hand but I really liked the texture. It was smooth, silky, and very light. The scent is just like baby powder but with a hint of sweetness. I will use up this sample but I doubt I will be purchasing a full size.

full size // 180 mL // $41
sample size // 12 mL // approximate value of $2.73




4. Wella Professionals Shimmer Delight Shine Spray

Another full size Wella product! I’m not sure if this is a discontinued product because I couldn’t find it on the Wella Professionals website. Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed all the Wella products I’ve sampled thus far (my favourite was definitely the Ocean Spritz) so I was pretty happy to receive this product in my Glossybox. This is a shimmer shine spray, which I interpreted to be a hairspray intended to make your hair look glossy. I was a little confused by the product name because I couldn’t see any shimmer in the bottle – it just looks like a clear liquid. I sprayed some on the back of my hand but didn’t notice any shimmer either. It smells similar to the other Wella products I’ve tried… it’s a nice, light scent. It comes in a heavy duty, glass bottle with a regular hairspray type nozzle.

Impressions: I tried this product on my hair today and did not notice a difference in my hair. It didn’t look any shinier and it certainly did not have any shimmer in it… which is good I guess since I was going to work. This hairspray has a hold level of 1 (lightest hold) so my hair stayed soft and moveable. I’m going to keep using this product and I’ll provide an update if I eventually notice a difference.

full size and sample size // 40 mL // $12.99



5. NYX Cosmetics The Crimson Amulet Dark Shadows Palette

I had no idea what this box was when I took it out because there was a sticky note covering the brand name. I saw the word “movie” and the box looked around the same size as a VHS tape so I had a crazy thought that we got a movie in our Glossybox. I thought it better be a DVD because I no longer have a VCR. Seriously, these inane thoughts went through my head as I read the sticky note, which incidentally had nothing to do with this product. Peeling off the sticky note, I finally saw the NYX brand and then I was in a state of disbelief. Did Glossybox seriously include a full size make-up palette?! YESSIR, that’s exactly it!



We all received the Crimson Amulet Collection Limited Edition Palette inspired by the Dark Shadows movie. This is a generous palette containing 24 eye shadows, 5 blushes, 4 lip glosses, an illuminator/highlighter, an eye shadow base, and an eyeliner. Crazy, right? Generally, I don’t like palettes that include lip glosses because I find they get really messy but I love NYX products so I was still absolutely ecstatic. Maybe I’ll try to find a way to depot everything... a little weekend project perhaps. I could not find this palette on the NYX Canada website but it is available for sale on the US site for $25.

Impressions: I’ve tried NYX eye shadows before (I have the Box of Eye Shadows and the Nude on Nude Palette) and I find them to be well pigmented and blendable. The shades included in the Crimson Amulet Collection are fairly neutral, although some shades have a nice punch of colour. I probably have most or all of these colours already but oh well! The lip glosses included in this palette also look to be really flattering shades. I’ve tried some of the NYX lip glosses (in the Nude on Nude Palette) and was very happy with the pigmentation and texture. I’ve been wanting to try NYX blushes because I’ve read good things… and I was most excited about the matte red blush. It’s super pigmented and I think it gives me a nice, healthy flush like I just came in from a cold, snowy day. I think this blush will be perfect in the winter. I’ve used the HD eye shadow base in the past and wasn’t too impressed but I’ll give it another try. I have yet to try the eyeliner and illuminator.

full size and sample size // 1 palette // $25




In summary, I was pretty much over the moon with this month’s Glossybox. I’d go so far to say that this was my favourite box out of all the months I’ve received from any of the subscription services. I am very satisfied with the value, range of products, size of the samples, and featured brands. I still can’t believe we got a full size make-up palette in the box! It looks like most, if not all, subscribers were happy with the September Glossybox… so nice to see that.

// Approximate value of the products in the September 2012 Glossybox: $48.21 //



Last comment before I sign off… it looks like all subscribers received the same box with the exception of the Wella Professionals product. I read that the shine spray was included for profiles with fine hair and the shine serum was included for profiles with coarse hair. The Glossybox card included both items, which caused a lot of confusion. Glossybox indicated that both samples were listed on the card so we would all know what everyone received but it sounds like an error to me. I received the V1 box. Did you receive a Glossybox this month and, if so, what did you think of the products? Since I really liked both the August and September boxes, I think I’m going to stick with this subscription for the time being.

If you wish to join Glossybox through my invitation, I will earn Glossydots and send heaps of good karma your way!

FTC: I paid for this box and nothing was sent to me for free.

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 2012 Glymm Bag

UPDATE (April 2013): Please read my most recent post on Glymm before ordering from this company.

This month's Glymm bag was the lowest value I've ever experienced with a beauty box. I was initially very disappointed when I took out the samples. The saving grace was the more generous sized shampoo and conditioner - thank goodness I ended up loving those products! Buuuut I'm getting ahead of myself... please see below for more details about the contents of the September Glymm bag along with my thoughts.



Here is what I received (in order of appearance in the video):

1. EVOLVh Shampoo & Conditioner

These samples were the first I pulled out of the Glymm bag due to their generous size. Glymm previewed these products on its Facebook page but, other than that, I had never heard of EVOLVh. This company is based in San Francisco and offers a line of luxury organic hair care products. The "h" stands for healthy ingredients and high performance. I'm probably in the minority but I actually like receiving shampoo and conditioner samples - perhaps because (1) I have a goal this year to learn how to do my own hair and (2) I finish shampoo and conditioner very quickly so I find them to be very useful samples.

impressions: I've only used these products once but I absolutely love everything about them. The scent is nice yet light and my hair was super soft the next day. I found I had to use more shampoo than normal to work up a good lather but that might have been because I had so much product in my hair. The conditioner was interesting because my hair seemed to completely soak it up - leaving my hair feeling oddly dry in texture. Later, I found out that the conditioner is meant to be absorbed into your hair (thanks jenwar1980). I also love that the line is paraben free, sulfate free, not tested on animals, etc. and the EVOLVh duo is my favourite out of all the shampoo and conditioner samples I have tried.

The Glymm product page shows up to 14 uses for this shampoo and conditioner duo. That must be a typo because there's just no way! 4 uses, maybe.

ultrashine moisture shampoo
full size // 250 mL // $24
sample size // 59 mL // approximate value of $5.66

ultrashine moisture conditioner
full size // 250 mL // $25
sample size // 59 mL // approximate value of $5.90




2. La Fresh Waterproof Makeup Remover Wipes

We had previously received the La Fresh Nail Polish Remover wipes and I really liked those so I was excited to receive this sample. These wipes are intended to be used on your eyes and lips. We received 2 wipes in the September Glymm bag.

impressions: These makeup wipes are a decent size and I found the cloth itself to be gentle. However, I didn't find the wipes to be moist enough - they seemed a little dry and as a result I had a hard time getting my makeup off... especially my mascara. I used these wipes all over my face and they left an oily residue I wasn't crazy about. These wipes have an extremely strong lavender scent, which I personally like, but I can see that it would bother others.

full size // 18 individually wrapped wipes // $9.99
sample size // 2 individually wrapped wipes // approximate value of $1.11




3. Benta Berry Super Moisturizing Face Cream for Girls

When I first took out this product, I was super disappointed. Then I realized it was not the G-1 cream and I felt a little bit better but I still wasn't sure I would like the sample. The cream looks exactly like the G-1 and I think the scent was very similar. The Glymm product page notes that the scent was designed by a famous perfumers for girls so I am thinking the scent would be different from the G-1 cream, which is intended for boys and girls.

impressions: Thankfully, I actually enjoyed this sample. The cream is very nice on the skin and it does not rub off in a flaky mess! I still wouldn't purchase the full size product though because I think it is expensive for what you get. Although I did like that this cream made my skin fairly soft, it wasn't a standout for me.

full size // 30 mL // $19
sample size // 3 mL // approximately $1.90




4. Villainess Dulces En Fuego Whipped Body Creme

This is a tiny sample for a body cream but it smelled so good that I took a second look at the product. To me, the scent smelled just like chocolate cupcakes but with a hint of cinnamon. This brand is based out of Tennessee. I thought the definition of Villainess was cheeky and clever.


(Source: Villainess)

impressions: The texture is very creamy but it is lighter than your average body butter because the product is whipped. I applied the cream to my lower legs (knees to ankles) and I liked the consistency. It did not feel greasy on my skin. I normally don't like such sweet, cake-like scents on me but this one did not smell as sweet on my skin as it did in the container. I liked this cream a lot but I don't think I would purchase the full size simply because there are so many options out there and this one doesn't shine enough in my eyes.

full size // 170 g // $15.75
sample size // 5 g // approximately $0.46




Overall, I was not overly impressed with the September Glymm bag. The low value makes me a little worried that I've subscribed for a year but what's done is done. The things I liked about this bag were (1) the generous shampoo and conditioner samples, which I ended up loving and (2) that Glymm has stuck to its formula of sourcing interesting niche brands I've never seen before. We received an off-white quilted faux patent leather cosmetic bag this month and, while I like the texture, I much prefer the black bag we received last month. The off-white bag contrasted with the stark white zipper made the bag look a little cheap in my eyes... but I used it this weekend anyway as my travel hair product bag and it held up well. I'm hoping we get a red bag next month.



// Approximate value of the products in the September 2012 Glymm bag: $15.03 //




Did you receive a Glymm bag this month? If so, what did you think of the samples?

If you wish to join Glymm through my invitation, I will earn 50 points and send heaps of good karma your way! http://www.glymm.com/share/ellesy

ftc: i paid for this box and nothing was sent to me for free.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Balenciaga Bonus // September 2012 Topbox

Yay! I picked up the Balenciaga bonus courtesy of Topbox and Holt Renfrew today. The bag is made in China out of a thick off-white canvas with *real* leather trim. It is packaged very nicely in tissue, then a box, then a plastic sleeve. I have to say that this little gift vastly exceeded my expectations.

A big thank you to Topbox, Balenciaga, and Holt Renfrew for making this happen.



I think the actual name of the bag is "Pocket" as per the back of the box... sorry I know this image is blurry.



I picked this up at the Holt Renfrew on Bloor. Note that the Yorkdale store has a different pouch as seen here and here. I think both are really nice so you can't go wrong. I *believe* Bloor is giving out a smaller pouch with a zipper while Yorkdale is giving out a bigger pouch with a drawstring... note I'm just making an assumption about the size though! My bag measures approximately 4.5 inches x 5.5 inches.



Did you receive a September Topbox and will you be taking advantage of this bonus offer?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beauty Box Challenge!

In this video, I create a complete look using only products I received in my beauty boxes, i.e., makeup (including makeup brushes), hair, and nails. The idea was to see if someone who only subscribes to beauty boxes would have enough products to achieve a comprehensive look. Thanks to Carly Jean for tagging me! Note: I modified the original sample tag a little because I wanted to see if I could use all beauty box products.



Here is a list of the products I used along with where/when I received them:

1. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen with SPF 55 - June 2012 Glossybox
2. M. Asam Vino Gold Perfect Teint Primer - September 2012 Topbox
3. Boxx Cream Corrector in Amber - May 2012 Glossybox
4. Pandora's Face Blush in St. Tropez - March 2012 Glossybox
5. Expression Bronzing Brush - May 2012 Topbox
6. Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara - April 2012 Glossybox
7. Expression Lash & Brow Brush - August 2012 Topbox
8. Cargo Eye Shadow Duo in Vienna - May 2012 Glymm Bag
9. Starlooks Pointed Slant Eye Liner Brush #844 - August 2012 Starbox
10. Starlooks Infinity Liner in Sculpture - August 2012 Starbox
11. Pari Beauty Eye Shadow #35 - February 2012 Topbox (replacement for broken shadow)
12. Pari Beauty Precious Glow - June 2012 Topbox
13. Benefit They're Real Beyond Mascara - September 2012 Topbox
14. Elizabeth Grant Moisturizing Stick - February 2012 Glossybox
15. Glossybox by Kryolan Lipstick in Glossy Pink - August 2012 Glossybox
16. Sebastian Professional Potion 9 Lite - August 2012 Glossybox
17. Wella Professionals Ocean Spritz - June 2012 Glossybox
18. Layla Cosmetics Mascara in Glitter #2 - August 2012 Glossybox
19. Essie Neo Whimsical - February 2012 Glossybox
20. Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Whatever Lola Wants - May 2012 Topbox
21. Balenciaga Paris L'Essence Eau de Parfum - September 2012 Topbox

Not Used: Starlooks Lip Gloss in Pink Petal Rose - August Starbox... I e-mailed Starlooks about the defective packaging and they said they will be sending a replacement. :)

I ran into a number of issues with this challenge:

a) No setting powder. My face gets so shiny that I was really nervous about not using a powder. I was really glad I still had some of the Neutrogena sunscreen because it is matte and non-greasy. I also picked a matte primer - since I've finished the POREfessional, I chose to use the M. Asam Perfect Teint from my most recent Topbox. I was really impressed with this product! With these two items alone, my face stayed matte most of the day.

b) My brows. I had some anxiety about how I was going to fill in my brows in this video, haha. At first, I thought I could use some mascara on a lash and brow brush to fill them in. Yeah... nope! When that failed, I reverted back to my original plan of using the dark shade in my Cargo eye shadow duo. I was reluctant to use this because of the shimmer in the shadows but this was a much better alternative than my hare-brained mascara idea.

c) No eyelash curler. Since my lashes point straight down, I find I have to curl my lashes every day. I was uncertain about how my lashes would turn out without having been curled. I thought the Benefit They're Real mascara did a great job at curling, lengthening, and volumizing my lashes. When I was done applying the mascara, I actually couldn't tell that I hadn't curled my lashes.

d) Makeup brushes. By far the most challenging thing for me was not having my regular complement of makeup brushes... in particular my eye brushes. It was very hard for me to blend my eye shadow and I wasn't all that happy with the completed eye look. If I had my regular brushes, I would have put on more eye shadow and blended it out to create a more smokey eye.

Here is a summary of the number of products I used from each box:

Glossybox Canada: 10
Topbox: 8
Starbox: 2
Glymm: 1
Julep: 0

I didn't map out beforehand the number of products to use from each box so I was surprised by how few samples I ended up using from Glymm. I really like the products I receive from Glymm (they are some of my favourites) so I think it's because the samples are so small that I use them up really quickly. In hindsight, I should have used the Julep lip gloss when the Starlooks one didn't work out! I looked through my Julep polishes when trying to choose a colour but Neo Whimsical won out because I've had lilac on the brain lately (I've been planning to wear Do You Lilac It? for weeks now but it just hasn't worked out).

Overall, I think I did ok with this challenge. Even though I've been subscribed to beauty boxes for over 6 months, I was still surprised by how they have provided me with such a wide range of products. While I wasn't 100% happy with the look, it was good enough for me to wear out all day so I can't complain. If you have enough samples or beauty box products to do a full makeup look, I would love to see a video or even a photo! :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

September Topbox - 2012

This month's Topbox was a lot lighter than last month and it definitely wasn't jam-packed with samples but it still kept its promise of providing 4 deluxe size luxury samples. I really liked this month's Topbox.



Here is what i received (in order of appearance in the video):

1. Benefit They're Real! Mascara

I'm always happy when I receive a Benefit product and this was no exception... even though I have tons of mascara in my collection that I still need to try. I've read good reviews about this product so I was glad to be able to try it without shelling out money for the full size. This is a black mascara with a large synthetic brush.

Impressions: I really like this mascara! It does not clump or transfer or smudge. The first coat lengthened my lashes. The second coat volumized and further lengthened my lashes. Sometimes I have trouble with the second coat getting clumpy but I had no issues with this mascara. My curl lasted all day with this mascara and I imagine I could have built it up for an even more dramatic look (which I will try tomorrow). Overall, I am very pleased with this product.

full size // 8.5 g // $29
sample size // 3 g // approximate value of $10.24




2. Balenciaga Paris L'Essence Eau de Parfum

I'm not crazy about receiving fragrance samples but I love Balenciaga handbags so much that I totally got googly-eyed when I pulled this product out of my Topbox. To me, this fragrance has a fresh and floral scent. The official notes are below.

Notes... Violet leaves - Vetiver - Woody Notes

Impressions: I wore this fragrance on my wrists and behind my ears and the scent lasted all day. I got a whiff of the fragrance every time I ran my fingers through my hair and it caught my attention each time because it's so different from anything I've used or tried. I really like this scent and find it mild yet long lasting. I find this to be a very feminine and high quality scent.

full size // 50 mL // $110
sample size // 4 mL // approximate value of $8.80




3. Philosophy Purity Made Simple

I've read so many things about this cleanser but I've never actually tried it so I was excited to receive this in my Topbox.

Impressions: When I first smelled this cleanser, I really liked the scent... but after applying it to my face, I detected an underlying medicinal scent. The cleanser was gentle yet worked well - even on my eye makeup when I tried it this evening - but it felt a little more drying on my skin than my other cleansers.

full size // 90 mL // $13
sample size // 30 mL // approximately $4.33




4. M. Asam Vino Gold Perfect Teint

This is the third M. Asam product I've received from my beauty boxes but I don't mind in the slightest because I've really enjoyed trying these samples. I love the scent and, while I haven't used this primer on my face yet, it seems to smooth out the lines on the back of my hand. I will provide an update once I've used this product a few times.

full size // 50 mL // $42
sample size // 5 mL // approximately $4.20




5. Exclusive Topbox Member Offer

This month's Topbox included an offer to receive a complementary Balenciaga Paris cosmetic pouch. I was very excited about this promotion so I headed to my local Holt Renfrew this very morning. Unfortunately, the sales associate and manager had not received "any direction yet" on what to do with this offer so I had to leave the store empty handed. They said they would set one aside for me so I provided them with my name (and the card) and I'm hoping they will call me soon. This isn't the first time I've had an issue with Holt Renfrew promos so I can't say I was surprised.

Edited to add: I was very pleased with the customer service at Holt Renfrew! I got a prompt call on the weekend about the pouches being en route and I was able to pick up my bonus today! Click here for a review.

The offer card had the product information on the other side so I'm glad I took a photo of it before I turned the card over to the Holt Renfrew sales associate.



Overall, I was very happy with this month's Topbox. Although there were no full size products, the sample sizes were all pretty generous. I really liked all the brands that were featured this month. There were a couple of items I've been meaning to try (the Benefit mascara and the Purity cleanser) and I was excited about all the items I received.

Topbox promised subscribers at least one make-up sample every month starting in the fall but I hope we will have some more variety - mascara seems to be included very often in these subscription boxes. I'd love to have something with a little colour!



// Approximate value of the products in the September 2012 Topbox: $27.57 //

I've read some mixed reactions about this month's Topbox. I believe new subscribers may have received some samples that were included in previous boxes (such as the Redken shampoo & conditioner duo). This happened to me as well when I first started receiving Topbox but I was still okay with it because I liked the products. Did you receive a September Topbox? If so, what were your thoughts?

FTC: I paid for this box and nothing was sent to me for free.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Get Ready With Me

Here are a couple of Get Ready With Me videos. I like doing these types of videos since I'm getting ready anyway so they're quick & easy to film... but I find mine are a little repetitive so I'll probably only stick to maybe 1 or 2 per season. Here is the "summer series." The first video is a pretty typical makeup look for me. I wore this look to summerlicious lunch/brunch at Archeo with one of my girlfriends.


(July 2012)

Products used:

- LaRoche Posay Anthelios Melt-In Cream SPF 45
- Benefit The POREfessional
- Essence Forget It! 3-in-1 Concealer
- Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Face Powder in Buff Beige + EcoTools Kabuki Brush
- Hard Candy Fox in a Box in Skinny Dipping + EcoTools Blush Brush
- Too Faced Blush in Mocha Mi Amore + Expression Bronzing Powder Brush
- Coastal Scents Mirage Palette + Tiny Quo Brush (old) + EcoTools Smudge Brush
- Brows - MAC Eye Shadow in Carbon & MAC 219 Brush
- EcoTools Eyebrow Brush
- Essence Lash & Brow Gel Mascara
- Revlon Eyelash Curler
- Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara
- Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Tiki + EcoTools Buffing Brush + EcoTools Shade Brush + EcoTools Highlight Brush (used to blend eye shadow)
- Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Peach Parfait
- MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Ravishing
- Sula Lipgloss in I'm So Lucky

This next video shows the makeup look I wore during my weekend getaway to Montreal. The only thing I really changed up was the lipstick and this was probably my most worn makeup look during the summer outside of work... lots of products but the look ends up being pretty simple. Please ignore my hair in this video... next time, I'll be sure to fix my hair before hitting record.


(August 2012)

Products used:

- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55
- Clearprep FX Matte Foundation Primer and Anti-Acne Treatment
- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles in Medium
- Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Face Powder in Buff Beige + EcoTools Kabuki Brush
- Milani Baked Blush in Bellissimo Bronze + EcoTools Buffing Brush
- Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Tiki
- NYX Nude on Nude Palette
- Brows - MAC Eye Shadow in Carbon & MAC 219 Brush
- EcoTools Eyebrow Brush
- Revlon Eyelash Curler
- Essence Lash & Brow Gel Mascara
- Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara
- Blistex Complete Moisture with SPF 15
- Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Strawberry
- MAC Amplified Creme Lipstick in Vegas Volt

I really can't believe summer is coming to a close!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Most Worn Summer Items - 2012

Just a little tag video of the items I wore the most in summer 2012. The categories are below if you feel like sharing some (or all) or your most worn items!



1. Most worn nail polish
2. Most worn hair product
3. Most worn bag
4. Most worn shoes
5. Most worn accessories
6. Most worn clothing item
7. Most worn foundation
8. Most worn blush and/or bronzer
9. Most worn lip product
10. Most worn mascara
11. Most worn eyeshadow

Thanks for watching. :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Polish Me Up - Glymm Promotion

UPDATE (April 2013): Please read my most recent post on Glymm before ordering from this company.

I hope I don't regret this.

Last Friday, while being caught in the stupor of a never-ending workday, I noticed this Glymm promotion on Facebook.



The terms & conditions on Glymm's Facebook page read as follows:

Promotion code must be entered in promo code box at checkout. Your monthly box will contain a full size nail polish, this full size nail polish will be in addition to your regular assortment of products which will include 4-5 deluxe size samples for one full year. Promotion will run for a limited time only. Order before September 30th and you will receive your first box in October. Glymm reserves the right to end this promotion at any time without notification. Questions? info@glymmgroup.com

I noticed a few monthly subscribers had commented on the post, wanting to take advantage of the promotion, and Glymm replied that we could e-mail customer service to transfer our service over to an annual basis to take advantage of the offer. I immediately sent an e-mail to inquire.

This morning, I received a prompt reply from Glymm indicating they had cancelled my monthly subscription so I could sign up again to take advantage of the offer. I'm not gonna lie, I thought about just going about my day and not signing up again at all... but then my beauty box obsession took over so I bit the bullet and forked over the dough.

The sensible part of me hates being locked into a company so it's quite uncharacteristic of me to do something like this... the good thing is that the total price would have worked out to be the same as my grandfathered monthly price of $10 (if I had continued my subscription for another year) and I received 120 Glymm points for signing up again. Overall, I have been happy with my subscription so I'm hoping Glymm won't let us down.

A few subscribers also asked what brand of nail polish would be included but there was no response from Glymm. I'll be reasonably content as long as it's a decent brand (even drug store is fine by me) in a colour I have not already received from Glymm.

If you wish to join Glymm through my invitation, I will earn 50 points and send heaps of good karma your way!

FTC: I am not affiliated with Glymm and paid for the annual subscription.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

August Glossybox Canada - 2012

Finally. Finally! Glossybox Canada has come out with a box that is full of surprises. And I love it. I love that there are multiple brands that I have never heard of. I love that there is a variety of different products including skin care, hair care, and makeup. I love that there is a bit of an international flair to this box. I’ve been wishing for Glossybox to leverage its international presence to secure some more interesting samples for us Canadian gals and I finally see it with this box. While the products aren’t “perfect” for me, I think Glossybox has come out with a great box this month.



here is what i received (in order of appearance in the video):

1. Be Fine Fine Food Skin Care Packettes

We received a box with 5 generous sized sample packettes from Be Fine, a natural food-based skin care line that I have never heard of. I don't think there is any way I’d be able to finish one packet in a single use – even with my hubby’s help. I normally don’t like sample packets (or packettes as Be Fine likes to call them) because they can get messy with multiple uses but I have to admit that this might be my favourite product in this month's Glossybox.

I have not used any of the samples yet but I am very very excited to try them. Updates will be posted with the individual packet photos. We received the following samples:

- night cream packette (10 mL)
- pore refining treatment packette (10 mL)
- exfoliating cleanser packette (10 mL)
- gentle cleanser packette (10 mL)
- warm clay mask packette (14 g)

Sample packets are available for sale on the Be Fine web site for $2 each, which is how I have calculated the sample value.

full size // 1 sample packette // $2
sample size // 5 sample packettes // $10








2. Ahava Mineral Body Lotion

This is the 3rd time I’ve received an Ahava product in a beauty box and the 2nd time I’ve received the Mineral Body Lotion. I had to laugh. But when I read the card a little later, I saw that this was actually a bonus sample from Glossybox as a thank you for being a subscriber since the very beginning (i.e., for 6 months). This was a very nice touch and Glossybox mentioned that there will be other bonuses to come.

impressions: I like this lotion because it is very effective but it is not one of my favourites due to the scent. That being said, I did finish my other two Ahava products and I will put this one to good use as well. I like to bring these smaller tubes of moisturizers to work to leave on my desk.

full size // 250 mL // $28
sample size // 40 mL // approximate value of $4.48




3. Biore Make-Up Removing Towelettes

Another Biore product?! I like this one Biore product a little better though because I find make-up removing wipes very handy. This is a packet of 10 wipes, which would be perfect for travelling.

The package notes that the wipes do not leave an oily residue so you don’t have to rinse your face after using the wipes… I just want to add that I *always* rinse after using face wipes because I’ve read that the leftover residue can irritate your skin. I find that my face sometimes tingles a little after using face wipes so I prefer to rinse regardless of what the package says.

impressions: I like the texture of these wipes – they are soft but they have perforations/indentations in them. They smell like the Biore combination skin cleanser I received in my June Glossybox. I used a wipe this evening to remove my eye make-up and it was only moderately effective - it did not take off my eyeliner so I had to use my L'Oreal eye make-up remover and then the Make Up Forever Sens'Eyes from my March Topbox to finish the job. I found the wipe mildly irritating today (my skin stung a bit) so I quickly rinsed off the residue.

full size and sample size // 10 wipes // $3.99



4. Layla Cosmetics Mascara in Glitter #2

When I picked this product up, I could only think, “this is one huge tube of glitter mascara!” As in, how am I ever going to finish this? Layla Cosmetics is a company based in Italy and its makeup line has made an appearance in the Italian Glossybox. I love the concept of having the opportunity to try a product from another country but wish that I had received a nail polish instead… simply because glitter mascara is such a novelty product and I doubt I’ll get much use out of it.

impressions: I wore the mascara top coat in my review video (above) and felt a little silly. It doesn't look that glittery on camera but I assure you it is very glittery in real life. I don't think I will be using this product on my eyelashes but I might use it again in the inner corners of my eyes... or maybe as an eyeshadow.

full size and sample size // 8 mL // $15.99



5. Sebastian Professional Potion 9 Lite

I had to read the Glossybox card and the product instructions several times and I still don’t think I know what this product does. My best guess is that it’s a leave-in conditioner / treatment – perhaps to prevent frizz?

impressions: I tried this product last night by spraying it in my damp hair and I didn’t notice a difference in my hair today. The scent is light and very similar to another Sebastian product I received. I don’t think I would purchase this spray simply because I don’t see the value. My hubby was oddly interested in this product so maybe I’ll give it to him.

full size // 150 mL // $20.95
sample size // 50 mL // approximately value of $6.98




6. Glossybox by Kryolan Lipstick in Glossy Pink

Kryolan is a make-up line “serving theater, film, and television” with headquarters in Germany. I’ve heard of this cosmetic company but only because I’ve seen it featured in other Glossyboxes. In fact, I’ve seen this exact lipstick in Glossyboxes from other countries so I was pleased that we got to try it too. I believe the Dutch Glossybox (and perhaps another one) sampled this product in July. It looks like all subscribers received Glossy Pink, which is a subtle nude pink shade - the colour in the below photo is a bit off so take a look at the video if you want to see a better representation of the colour.

impressions: I wore this lipstick to work today and found the colour very flattering. The shade on me is very much like a my-lips-but-better colour. The formulation was reasonably moisturizing and long-lasting. I only re-applied colourless lip balm at work but my lips still retained some pigmentation for a good part of the day. I suspect this lipstick acts somewhat like a stain because I wore this again when I recorded my video and my lips stayed slightly pink even after I removed all my make-up and rinsed off my face.

full size and sample size // 4 g // $12 (estimated since the value is not listed)



7. Elastoplast SOS Blister – Large

I appreciate receiving these little samples as bonus products. I haven’t used this sample yet but I will as soon as I get a blister. I believe we received the large size bandage but I'm not 100% sure.

full size // 5 bandages // $5.99
sample size // 1 bandage // approximate value of $1.20




8. Trend Trunk Gift Card

Hmmm, I’m not sure what to think about this. I am not crazy about receiving gift cards or promo codes because using them generally leads to spending more money but I do take advantage of the offers from time to time. I don’t think I will be using this gift card though. Trend Trunk is basically a buy-sell marketplace for people like you and me to list items in our closets and also buy items from other people’s closets. The site features both new and used merchandise.

I love thrifting so I was excited to see if I could find some deals. I only browsed the site briefly but I did not like what I saw. Namely, a few ridiculously overpriced items ($110 for a Roots t-shirt, marked down to $47?!)… granted, it may have just been one particular seller with inflated prices but it put me off.

As a buyer, Trend Trunk will charge you an $8 shipping fee - the shipping fee is included in the price so maybe that's why the items look a little high. As a seller, Trend Trunk will mail you a shipping label for free but take a 20% commission from your sale.



Overall, I was very pleased with the August Glossybox. This month’s box certainly makes it harder for me to cancel… so now I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I can’t keep all my beauty boxes so I’ll have to say goodbye to one or more… but which one? I’m torn. I still wish we could sample a Burberry Lip Mist or an Illamasqua Nail Polish like the U.S. Glossybox but maybe one day…



// approximate value of the products in the August 2012 Glossybox: $54.64 not including the Trend Trunk gift card //

There were a number of variations of the Glossybox this month (at least 8, I think!)… I received V5. Which version did you receive and what did you think of the products?

FTC: I paid for this box and nothing was sent to me for free.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Yesterday

Yesterday was a bit of a weird day for me. Hubs and I cleaned out our locker and filled up the trunk of our rental car with numerous items to donate. One of those items was my wedding dress. Part of me wanted to donate my dress to an organization like The Brides' Project but I was afraid I would change my mind if I waited too long... stuff has a way of working its way back into my closet over time... so we went ahead and dropped off my dress at Goodwill with the rest of our stuff.



I was a little wistful at first but now that I've had a day to think about it, I'm glad I was able to part with my dress. Some of you may know that I purchased my dress second hand from a slightly-smaller-than-me girl who also happened to live in the same neighbourhood as me (it was kismet, I tell ya) so I didn't pay full price... and I didn't require any alterations! Knowing my dress was loved twice made it a little easier to part with it.



I kept my veil and my Chinese dresses... they don't take up as much room and I definitely wasn't ready to part with everything. :)




To my married readers, do you still have your wedding dress? What did you do with it after your big day and would you ever consider parting with it?

Photography: Irina & Mihkel // Irina Fortey Photography
Makeup & Hair: Stephanie // BlushPretty

Monday, September 3, 2012

August 2012 Empties & Products That Are Going Bye-Bye

A month or so ago, as I was toying with the idea of a beauty ban, I came across Cosmetic Proof's July Empties post. In the past, I had tried photographing each of my empties but I got bogged down with taking photos and never ended up sharing any of them. I thought Jayne's format was brilliant so I diligently gathered my empties for August... and here they are!

In this video, I share my August empties and also 3 products that are going bye-bye. These may not yet be empty but they are products that I did not like and will not be using up.



// The Empties //



Here are the products I finished in the month of August - in order of appearance in the video:

1. Balea Chocolate Nourishing Mud Mask

My hubby and I purchased a whole bunch of the Balea masks and we've been making our way through them slowly. Each packet has enough product for both of us to try the mask so it is perfect. While I loved the scent of the chocolate mud mask (mmmmm, chocolate sauce), the mask tingled to the point of pain so I probably will not be repurchasing this.

2. Clean & Clear Oil-Absorbing Sheets

I love this product and I totally forgot I had actually already repurchased this over a month ago when there was a sale on well.ca. I'm going to set these aside for a little while though because i want to try the Boscia vanilla blotting linens from my eBeauty Here Comes the Sun Cosmetic Bag.

3. Pink Wipes

This was the bonus sample from my August Topbox. The wipe had a clean fresh scent. The actual cloth itself was a good size and had a nice weight to it. I liked this product but I don't think I would purchase due to the price. I currently use baby wipes when I want to freshen up, which are much more inexpensive.

4. Benefit the POREfessional

I received a sample of this in my April Topbox and I slowly fell in love with it. At first, I was hung up on the fact that it didn't seem to minimize my pores but the product grew on me when started noticing a difference in my skin whenever I used it. It goes on smooth & silky and I found that it mattifies my skin and evens out my complexion. I also love the scent! The full size product is a bit pricey but a little goes a long way so I think the tube will last me a long time. I purchased this as soon as I realized I was close to running out of my sample.

5. Cyberderm PM Anti-Age

This was one of the syringe samples in my July Glymm Bag... I actually used up the H2O Hydration in July so that's why it's not included in this month's empties. I didn't like the PM Anti-Age as much, which is why it took me longer to use it. The scent did not appeal to me so I would not be purchasing this.

6. Aleva Naturals Daily Soothing Moisturizer

I received this sample with one of my well.ca orders and really enjoyed using it. I actually received 2 samples and I've used both but only finished one in August. The lotion is light and smells wonderful (like citrus/orange). I couldn't seem to find this exact product for sale on well.ca when I checked the website a few weeks ago... it's there now but it's sold out. One of my Youtube viewers mentioned that it is available at Babies-R-Us.

7. Nume Hydro Punch Hydrating Shampoo

This product was in my July Topbox and I thought it was a decent shampoo but I didn't like the scent so I will not be purchasing it. I also tried the Hydrating Conditioner from my May Glymm Bag but the scent was similar and not to my liking.

8. Sebastian Professionals Volupt Shampoo

Hooray, I actually finished a full-size shampoo! This was a product I received in my May Glossybox. I like this shampoo because the foam/suds are sooooo silky soft; however, the shampoo does not volumize my hair (as it claims it will). There are other shampoos that I prefer to this one (Redken) so I don't think I would purchase this.

9. Tresemme Tres Two Freeze Hold Hairspray

I've tried a few different hairsprays and I find myself going back to the Tresemme line. I experiment with different formulations but I always buy the one with the strongest hold. I love that this hairspray is inexpensive yet effective. I would definitely repurchase this but I'm going to try to use up my other hairspray first.

// Going Bye-Bye //



1. Benta Berry G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream for Boys and Girls

I received a sample of this product in the August Glymm Bag and I was a little hesitant because of all the unfavourable reviews from Birchbox subscribers who tried the same sample. How bad could it be, right? This product absolutely did not work for me. It would not absorb into my skin and rubbed off in little white pieces. To the point that my hubby thought my skin was peeling off. No, just no.

2. Sula Natural Creme Eye Shadow in He Loves Me

This was a full size product that was included in my February Glymm Box. I really wanted to like this product because I usually enjoy Sula products. This creme eye shadow is a little hard to the touch and applies with very little pigmentation. It is practically all glitter/shimmer and I'm not a huge fan of glittery/shimmery eye shadows. I tried to make this work by using it as an eye shadow base and as a highlighter but eventually I realized that we are just not a match.

3. Stila Forever Your Curl Mascara

I was pretty excited to try this sample when I received it in my June Topbox. I quickly discovered that this mascara did not work for me. It didn't seem to provide any volume or length to my lashes yet the colour transfer was insane. By the end of the day, I had raccoon eyes and bits of the mascara would flake off. I tried this product around 3 or 4 times before setting it aside for the bye-bye pile.

Do you keep track of your empties? I find it so satisfying to finish my products and I love reading about what other beauty bloggers use up!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

2012 Goals // August Update

August has been a pretty good month for my goals. Back-to-school season is always a great time for me to reset my mind and refocus on my resolutions. I am excited for the rest of the year and I'm actually already thinking about my goals for 2013. :)



1. Photo-a-day project of hubby and me.
- I thought I had a perfect month but when I went through my photos to add them to the video, I noticed I missed one on August 3. Dang!
- 97%.

2. 100 day 1 year thrifting challenge.
- I did pretty well in August and didn't buy any clothing (new or used) except for a couple of things that I picked up in Montreal. I did cheat a little bit though because I picked up two bracelets and two scarves.
- 75%.

3. Savings goal + rewards!
- I'm at 53% and I'm so proud of myself for saving money this year. :)
- I hit the 50% mark too late in the year so I'm thinking I will only hit 80% of my goal by the end of the year... that means no 2nd reward.

4. One new beauty product per month. 2 month beauty ban.
- I've finally come up with a new goal to replace my failed one new beauty product per month goal. I will be instituting a self-imposed beauty ban in the months of September and October.
- 0%.

5. Drink one litre of water per day.
- I'm doing pretty well with this goal so I'm going to ramp it up a little bit. I'm going to try to drink one litre of water before 5pm every day, i.e., I want to try to drink one liter of water while I'm at work.
- I haven't been eating very healthy but I feel there's been a slight improvement because I am no longer eating potato chips! :)
- 75%.

6. Figure out the mess that is my hair.
- August was a good month for my hair! I used my $100 gift card from Topbox to purchase the Nume 4Play, which is a curling wand that comes with 4 different barrel attachments. It was very awkward at first but I got the hang of it after the first use. I've used the 32mm attachment and the mini reverse 9mm to 18mm attachment so far... I love the curls!
- I also figured out how to make my digital perm look decent. I apply Frizz-Ease Sheer Solution Lightweight Frizz Control and Aussie Catch the Wave Mousse + Leave-In Conditioner after my shower when my hair is still damp and put my hair up in a loose bun with a clip. Then in the morning, I scrunch my hair all over with the Alberto European Extreme Style Texturizing Gum.
- 100%.

7. Decorate, de-clutter & re-organize.
- August was a slow month but I did manage to shred years and years of tax files (only keeping the 7 most recent years). I also found a use for my Topboxes (I store them on their sides with the cap off so they become a mini storage system but I haven't decided what to put in there yet).
- 75%.

8. Keep a better record of events.
- 100%.

I can't believe there are only 4 months left in the year! How are you doing with your 2012 goals? Have you started thinking about your 2013 goals yet?

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