Thursday, December 29, 2011

super massive talize thrift haul

and i thought my walmart haul was bad. i purchased sooooo many items from talize during the 50% off sale. thank goodness i have the week off because otherwise i would have needed a full week just to catalog and wash everything. in this video, i show everything i purchased for myself (it excludes my hubby's stuff). i know it feels a bit rushed but i wanted to keep the final edit under 15 minutes.

talize is my new favourite thrift store. it is super clean and organized, even on 50% off sale days, which is a little bit of a miracle. i was at the store from 7:15 a.m. (i was so close to making it for store opening) to 11:30 a.m. and while it did get busy towards noon, i was very impressed with how the staff kept the racks and aisles tidy. also, the selection of merchandise was incredible. i can usually shop a goodwill 5 times over in 4 hours. talize is huge and there are many aisles and racks that i had to skip because i was getting very very hungry. finally, when it came time to check out, there was a very short line that moved quickly. highly pleasant thrift shopping experience! :)

did you go to the talize sale too? if so, let me know your thoughts!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

massive walmart haul

merry christmas! hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. :)

just wanted to do a quick blog post to share a massive walmart haul. my hubby and i were at walmart on the evening of december 23 so if any of these items interest you, they should still be available at your local store.

here are all the items i purchased for myself (in order of appearance in the video):

- cosmetic pads // $2
- goody 19 piece styling gift set // $9
- 4 pairs of tights // $3 per pair
- purple & white striped collared shirt with ruffle detailing // $9
- black lace racerback tank top // $9
- essie all in one base total nail treatment // $10.96
- sally hansen mega shine top coat // $6.88
- hard candy fox in a box in skinny dipping // $5.98
- hard candy so baked bronzer in tiki & heat wave // $8.98 each
- black & gold chain necklace // $14
- black & gold bracelet // $10
- 2 pairs of earrings // $7 & $5
- taupe pumps // $19

i wore the taupe pumps to my hubby's large family gathering last night and they were super comfortable. love love love these shoes! i also wore the $7 earrings. :)

hope you are all having a great day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

glymm box // december 2011

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

waaaahooo! i received my very first glymm box yesterday. i wasn't sure what to expect as i've been trying to stay away from reveals from fellow bloggers and youtubers... i wanted to be surprised. so if you are reading this and have not yet received your glymm box and don't want to know what's in it... spoileralert - spoileralert - spoileralert...

warning - spoiler ahead!!!

here is my video unboxing. sorry for the ghetto "glymm box" overlay that pops around like an embarrassing dance move from the 80s (i'm thinking, the robot). i was so excited to open my box that i totally neglected to remove my address label from the box before flashing it at the camera. i've learned my lesson for next time.

my worst fear about these monthly subscription boxes was that the products would go unused like our (literally) hundreds of samples tucked under our bathroom sink or in our bathroom cabinet. i am very happy to report that i have actually started using all the products! this is huuuuge, especially considering i rarely use free samples. i don't even take them anymore but unfortunately my dear husband is a sample hoarder.

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

1. strawberry jam and vanilla jelly belly candies

these now rest happily in the tummies of my husband and me. this sweet bonus was actually one of the reasons i was initially so drawn to glymm. i also love the little jar and i'm trying to decide what to do with it... perhaps i will use it to store all my little baubles from jewellery making and sewing. or maybe i'll use it for spices. :)

2. yves saint laurent parisienne eau de parfum

i am wearing this fragrance right now! yay!!! when i first sniffed it, the fruitiness jumped out at me but now i can smell the rose and it is really a very lovely, feminine scent. i love it. i'm not a huge fan of fragrance (plus i always forget to put it on) so i probably would have never tried this scent if it hadn't been in my glymm box.

here is the official description of the fragrance from the ysl website:

head notes... vinyl accord - cranberry - blackberry
heart notes... damask rose - violet
base notes... patchouli - vetiver - sandalwood - musk

verdict: i love this fragrance and the little bottle - i popped it into my makeup bag and now i can access it if i forget to put it on in the morning. i don't think i would buy a full size since i don't use fragrance regularly... unless i could easily "depot" it into the smaller bottle. i am loving the idea of carrying fragrance around with me. i used to do this but stopped for some reason... instead, i've been envious of people who smell good all the time.

full size // 50 mL // $75
sample size // 7.5 mL // approximate value of $11.25

3. lise watier flash lift radiance vial

this product was not listed on the card but based on my limited research, it looks like this sample was included for subscribers who received a non-face mask caudalie product. i do not have a lot of experience with these types of mysterious "magic potions" (this is how it is described on the product!) so i was very very skeptical.

i tried some of my sample this morning (a third of the vial was enough for my face... i saved the rest by inverting the cap as shown on the picture on the back of the box) and i'm not sure i can see a difference but it was kind of fun to use. at first, i thought it was leaving a sticky, greasy residue but it absorbed quickly into my skin. the scent is relatively strong but i find it surprisingly pleasant. i like that there is no alcohol or parabens in this product.

verdict: i am really glad i received this sample as i would've never ever bought this product on my own. i think it works by hydrating, adding radiance (the slightly creamy liquid has a sheen to it), and providing a little aromatherapy to wake you up. i'm not sure i would purchase this regularly but i'll finish my sample vial before i decide.

full size // 7 x 1 mL vials // $27
sample size // 1 x 1 mL vial // approximate value of $3.86

4. caudalie hand & nail cream

i have a thing for hand cream. i don't buy or try a whole bunch but i have an odd affinity towards it. in the winter, i typically stick to gysomed and herbacin. these are super heavy and super greasy but they soften my chapped and cracking hands like no other. the caudalie cream feels nice and light on my hands and smells a little like vicks orange vitamin c drops. it is non-greasy but i thought it left a bit of a sticky film on my hands after an hour or so of wearing it... to be fair, there are no complaints of this online so perhaps it was something else?

verdict: so far, so good but i'll have to use it a little more to see if it's enough for my dry hands. i'll also confirm re. the sticky film.

update: no more sticky film and i am really enjoying this hand cream. the scent is very pleasing and my hands feel silky and soft.

full size // 75 mL // $19
sample size // 15 mL // approximate value of $3.80

5. ahava mineral hand cream

i am wearing this today and i am really impressed. if you watched my video, you probably noticed that i did not fancy the smell whatsoever. it is a bit strong for me but it does wear off a bit during the day. the formulation is non-greasy and absorbed quickly... leaving my hands smooth and silky.

verdict: i like this hand cream a lot! i've washed my hands a few times and haven't had to reapply the product. :) i just wish there was a scent free version... i tend to suffer from sneezing and headaches from prolonged exposure to certain strong scents. dramatic but true.

full size // 3.4 fl oz // $20
sample size // 0.68 fl oz // approximate value of $4

6. sula natural lip gloss in beautiful stranger

i put on my sula lip gloss this morning (i layered it over my revlon colorburst lip butter in peach parfait as i wanted some more colour) and 4 hours later i have not reapplied anything on my lips. if you know me in real life, you'll know that i am constantly reaching for lip balm or vaseline because my lips are always always always dry. i actually hide various lip balms all over my home, in my handbags, and at work because i never want to be without. so it's amazing to me that this lip gloss has lasted this long. did i mention i had a windy 1 hour walk to work this morning?

verdict: i am still not crazy about the cherry blaster scent but i haven't noticed it since applying it this morning. i'm amazed by the moisturizing power of the product and i love some of the names (beautiful stranger, come find me, i know it's true, i'm so lucky). i am pretty sure i got the lightest colour in the line (which is fine because i love a nude lip... let's see how many times i say this in 2012) but i'd like to try some of the other nude colours.

full & sample size // 0.5 fl oz // $8

7. $10 gift card to glymm's beauty boutique

this is a nice little extra that i really appreciate because i shop online so much. i want to try another sula lip gloss but they don't seem to be available in the glymm online shop. :(

// approximate value of the products in the december 2011 glymm box: $30.91 not including the $10 gift card //

overall, i am very pleased with the quality of the samples included in my first glymm box! i'm really loving the excitment of having a little box of surprises delivered to my door each month and i'm also enjoying trying a whole bunch of different products that i would probably have never tried on my own. i am so so so happy!

if you wish to join glymm through my invitation, i will earn 50 points and send heaps of good karma your way. hope this review was helpful... next time, i will include individual product photos (i didn't realize my review would be so long and i feel some images are needed to break up all the blahblahblah).

happy holidays! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

{vlog} ugly sweater day & annual holiday extravaganza

a couple of days ago, my friend celebrated ugly sweater day at her workplace. since we were meeting for dinner that same night, she suggested that i wear an ugly sweater too. unfortunately, my closet was seriously lacking in ugly sweaters so i picked my pink and purple sweater from the 80s that i wore in my coloured tights video. which she declared to be wholly un-ugly... so i promptly told her that her sweater was not ugly either.

ugly sweaters, particularly holiday sweaters, are back in style again and i've been eyeing them for a little while now. i never purchased one because i thought i would never wear it... but i felt wholly inadequate when i couldn't participate in ugly sweater day so i bought one the very next day.

there is a huge selection of ugly sweaters at urban outfitters and this one appealed to me because of (a) the colours, (b) the shape, (c) the texture, and (d) the price. i love the mustard yellow detailing, the boxy grandpa sweater shape, the chunky coziness, plus it was on clearance! i think it's ugly in the nicest possible way. so i proudly wore it to my annual holiday extravaganza with my bestie. i was a day late with my ugly sweater but what the hey.

in this vlog, i show the ugly sweater i purchased and briefly describe how my bestie and i celebrate the holidays every year.

our annual holiday extravaganza tradition started a few years ago. i highly recommend this type of celebration because it takes a lot of guesswork out of the holidays and it's also a lot of fun. and since we are both into photography, there's also a photo challenge component to our celebration. here's how it works:

the theme: we basically take turns deciding on a theme - which applies to the gift giving for the current holiday season and to a photo project for the following year as well. this year, it was titi's turn to choose the theme, which she revealed to me when we met for the extravaganza. titi chose a fun superhero theme.

the budget: the person in charge of choosing the theme also sets the budget, which is usually around $40 to $50 (excluding tax).

the time limitation: how long we have to complete the photo challenge and shop depends on what time we meet and when we set our dinner reservations. usually it works out to around an hour or two.

the dinner and gift exchange: we meet up again at our designated meeting time and head to dinner. after dinner, we exchange gifts and swap stories.

we always choose the busiest time of the holiday season because weaving in and out of crowds with a time limitation is so much fun... albeit in a slightly stressful way. i love our holiday tradition and look forward to continuing it even when we are old and grey. :)

i would love to know how you guys celebrate the holidays with your loved ones! do you have any interesting or unique traditions that you want to share?

Friday, December 16, 2011

revlon colorburst lip butter & review

i've been wearing my revlon colorburst lip butters every single day for over a week now and i'm even more enamored of them than when i wrote my initial preview blog post. for a sporadic-at-best lipstick wearer, this is saying a lot. i usually default to my vaseline and eos lip balm but i'm appreciating the pop of colour on these dreary nearly-winter days.

here is my video review of the lip butters, which includes mini swatches on my hand and maxi swatches on my lips. there are a lot of reviews out there already so thank you in advance if you end up watching my video... i know i am adding to the hype!

as mentioned in the video, if you want to place an order with, you can use the code "ellesy" to get $10 off orders of $40+! this offer is for new customers only. note that i will receive the same coupon if you use my referral link to join. i was really happy with my experience with - free shipping and the lip butters arrived super fast and in perfect condition.

screen shots below of the lip butters. because i'm lazy like that. plus my expressions are borderline ridiculous.

overall, i am loving almost all the colours i purchased... except that i likely won't get much wear out of raspberry pie as it is too bold and too pigmented for my liking. when i want to wear a bold colour on my lips, i usually choose red. also, the more i look at tutti frutti, the less i like it. the colour on my skin tone reminds me of a bad photoshop action.

i also recently picked up a couple more lip butters during the pharma plus bogo sale: sugar frosting and sugar plum. both are terrific. my favourites are definitely the lighter tones (sugar frosting, sugar plum, creme brulee, peach parfait, and brown sugar) - i wear these so often!

now i want pink truffle and berry smoothie and i will be complete. erg, i mean, my collection will be complete.

happy friday - yay, it's the weekend! :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

american apparel nail lacquer review & 5 for $15 teambuy deal

yesterday, i redeemed my teambuy voucher for 5 american apparel nail lacquers so i just wanted to share my thoughts. there are 4 different lines of nail polish and all lines are eligible for the teambuy deal:

1. regular nail lacquer line - my favourite formulation! the polish goes on very smoothly and opaquely so i am quite impressed. there is a very nice shine to the lacquer.

2. glitter line - i had a little trouble applying the glitter polish so i think i need to watch a youtube tutorial. :) now that i'm wearing the polish, i'm finding the 3d texture to be uber distracting - i feel like picking off all the glitter.

3. metallic line - my second favourite formulation! i'm not a huge fan of metallic polishes but the tones in the american apparel line are very neutral so me likey.

4. neon line - my least favourite forumlation. this was the only polish that left me feeling a little disappointed. the polish went on very sheer and had a matte finish. i put on 4 coats plus a top coat... the colour was not as neon as i expected but the colour was alright so i'll give it another go.

the teambuy deal included 5 nail lacquers for $15, which i thought was a great deal! i picked up the following colours yesterday and there was still a lot of selection in the store:

1. 7th and alameda (regular line)
2. meteor shower (glitter)
3. the valley (regular line)
4. smoke dazzle (metallic)
5. neon yellow

see all the available colours here!

below is my review video including nail swatches:

and a few photos of the swatches... sorry for the poor quality iphone photos... it's all i could manage on an impromptu weeknight blog post. :(

beyond the rack review & what to wear with statement heels

christmas is around the corner and i'm a wee bit worried. i've been regularly purchasing from beyond the rack (btr) for almost 2 years now but i usually do not order gifts... especially with only 4 weeks until the date i need said gifts. i made an exception this time because i found the perfect present for my dad (or rather, i think it's the perfect gift... he's a little picky and unpredictable on that front). i took the chance because btr's website indicated guaranteed delivery by christmas.

but still i worry. there are only 10 days left until christmas.

you see, btr is known for very slow delivery times. some of my purchases have arrived within 2 weeks but most took 3 to 4 weeks and some took over 5 weeks. despite this, i shop there frequently because the convenience, price, and selection are right. plus usually i don't need my stuff right away so it's like a surprise when it eventually shows up. :)

in this video, i provide a review of btr. this review is for canadian viewers as i do not have any experience with btr outside of canada. i've included my thoughts on the vintage chanel and lv pieces that are increasingly offered for sale on the site... note that this is just my opinion! i know some people have been very happy with their vintage purchases from btr.

(music credit: sound jay)

along with the review, i also wanted to share with you a recent purchase from btr... super sky high, super hot statement heels! ohmygoshilovetheseshoes!

i wanted to try a range of different looks so i ended up doing essentially 5 pairings, which you will find below, along with a few variations. the only pairing i dislike is the last one... my pear shape is way too prevalent so i will need to adjust the look before wearing it out... but i wanted to show it anyway. yikes!

happy hump day!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

{what i wore} tori amos concert


h&m white tank top
cream lace top (winners)
h&m artist jacket
romeo & juliet light blue jeggings (beyond the rack)
camel platform boots (urban outfitters)
anthropologie coat
vintage clutch (courage my love)

{what's on my face}

nyx nude on nude palette
revlon colorburst lip butter in brown sugar

see my concert photos here!

Friday, December 9, 2011

eyelash extensions

confession. when i was young and silly (correction: sillier), i actually tried cutting my eyelashes because i thought they would grow longer. i'm not sure if they actually grew back longer or if they grew back to the same length... i'm just incredibly thankful they grew back!

sommer at flirt custom lash studio has been the answer to all my eyelash woes. no more eyelash curler! no more hard-to-remove mascara! no more crooked strip lashes! no more gunky glue! i am so so so so so so happy to share with you my way-too-long before and after video on the day of my lash appointment. long story short, i highly recommend sommer if you are interested in getting lovely lash extensions of your own.

warning - this video is way too long! sorry for all the blabbering. i'll make up for it by making the video thumbnail a horribly embarrassing screen capture of myself. if you want to skip to the relevant sections, i show my before lashes at 2:54 and my after lashes at 7:15.

(music credit: sound jay)

what i love most about my lash extensions is that it affords so much more flexibility in my range of looks. before, i used to always default to my standard smokey eye and nude lip look. after getting my long luscious lashes, i was amazed when i actually felt comfortable going to work with no eye make-up for three days straight. it was incredible. now i feel like i can also wear a less dramatic eye and play up my lips. i'm so excited by the make-up possibilities!

if you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment or you can go straight to the expert herself (i.e. sommer!). and if you're interested in going ahead with the lash extensions, just tell sommer that lesley sent you and we will both get 15% off our extensions... part of her spread the love campaign. :)

see the before and after photo here.

follow my blog with bloglovin!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

at long last... lip butters!

the buzz about revlon colorburst lip butters has been palpable. for months now, beauty bloggers and youtubers have provided review upon glowing review about this new product. but the lip butters have only started popping up in toronto this week... needless to say, i've been looking for them like an obsessed lunatic. i even contemplated renting a car so we could scour various wal-marts and superstores but even my insanity has a limit.

a couple days ago, i discovered and purchased 10 of the 20 colours (note that only 14 are available on this site). then, over the next day or so, i proceeded to visit no fewer than 5 shoppers drug marts (i went to 7 if you count the two i went to twice) to see if i could find some of the remaining colours that i wanted. yes, i'm a crazy person. especially since these are going to be everywhere in january... as they are part of revlon's permanent line. yes, i'm completely and utterly insane.

in particular, i was looking for the colours not available on, which also happen to be what i think may be some of the best colours in the line:

- pink truffle (our bunny's name is truffle so i'm particularly akin to the word)
- sweet tart
- brown sugar
- berry smoothie
- sugar plum
- sugar frosting

to my surprise, i actually found two of them (sweet tart & brown sugar) on my walk home tonight! i hesitated for a nano-second (they were full price, which is always quite a bit higher at sdm)... but i still snatched them up. they're my stocking stuffers to myself. and if i had a christmas stocking, i would totally tuck them in there.

anyway, i just wanted to share the initial 2 lip swatches... i will swatch the 10 others when they arrive. :)

here i am with my natural lip colour:

this is brown sugar... i really like this colour! it reminds me of the lip colour i used to wear all the time in high school. i was literally addicted to this colour and the lip butter is a less opaque, shinier version.

the next one is sweet tart. based on the swatches i saw online, this was one of my favourite shades and i was disappointed that it was not available on so i felt like i really lucked out when i found it at sdm tonight. i'm really happy with this colour.

when i initially placed my order for 10 lip butters without even seeing them in real life first, i chided myself for getting all drawn up in the hype. my sensible side kept saying: this is part of the permanent line, you dummy! just be patient.

but i couldn't be patient. because i'm not patient. and for once, i'm glad, because i'm going to get so much wear out of these over the holidays. :)

the lip butters are not as buttery as i expected - the texture is more like a very creamy but sheer lipstick, if that makes any sense. i'm happy about that because i was worried they would be too greasy and heavy on the lip. the colour is very buildable - i only used 1-2 layers of lip butter because i've been sporting a nude lip for so many years that i wanted to slowly ease back into wearing colour on my lips again. the colour on the camera is showing up a lot more sheer than in real life. in person, the lip butters are much more pigmented, even with only 1-2 layers.

the verdict? believe the hype. lovethem.

p.s. if you are a new customer and want to place an order with, you can use the code "ellesy" to get $10 off orders of $40+! note that i will receive the same coupon if you use my referral link to join.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

nyx cosmetics haul

in this video, i share a recent nyx cosmetics haul. some items were from a local drug store (pharma plus) but since there was a very small selection, i also visited the nyx canada website. in particular, i was looking for the nude on nude palette because it received great reviews and is supposed to be a dupe for the urban decay naked palette but with more matte shades... and at half the price. while i was on the nyx canada website, i decided to add a few additional items to my cart in order to receive free shipping (for orders over $75).

(music credit: sound jay)

here is the list of the items i purchased:

nyx jumbo eye pencils in dark brown, slate, and milk
nyx slim eye pencils in silver, velvet, and white
nyx hd eye shadow base
nyx matte nail polish in yellow
nyx nude on nude palette
nyx box of eye shadows

so far, i am enjoying all the products except for the matte nail polish. it was too sheer and the matte finish did not flatter my nails. just a personal preference but i didn't really like the look of the matte polish so this product was a dud for me.

be warned that the palettes below have been marred by my nasty finger marks. i guess i should have photographed the products before i started using them... oopsie!

{what's on my face} matte eye look and lip gloss // nude on nude palette

(photo credit: the boy)

next up will be my post about my new eyelash extensions so stay tuned! :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

lash extensions... a preview

recall my {sunday roundup} blog post about my lash extension appointment? well, today was fiiiiinally the day! full blog post coming soon but i just wanted to share a quick before and after pic... i ended up purchasing a full set and i lovelovelove my new lashy look. :)

(photo credit: sommer at flirt custom lash studio)

i'm so happy right now, i could cry. but i won't because my lashes have to cure.

hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

edited to add: if you're interested in getting lash extensions with sommer at flirt custom lash studio, just tell her lesley sent you and we will both get 15% off our extensions... part of her spread the love campaign. :)

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