Saturday, March 31, 2012

march glossybox canada 2012

here is my third and final beauty box for the month of march. glossybox shipped late this month due to a snafu in bringing a product through canadian customs. to make up for this delay, all subscribers received 250 glossydots, which i thought was a great customer service intiative. i was very excited to receive this box because i heard it contained excellent samples - one of the products (based on a preview hint that was posted on the glossybox facebook page) was a full size pandora's makeup box blush in the colour st. tropez.

without further ado, here is my video unboxing! please scroll down for a list of the products.

here is what i received (in order of appearance in the video) - note that this section will be updated as i use the products:

1. pandora's makeup box blush in st. tropez

pandora's makeup box is a canadian company, started by professional makeup artist, susan kirsch. we received a full size blush in a very nice pink colour, which doesn't seem to show up very well on my skin tone, but i am still excited to try it. the packaging is cute but not really my style.

impressions: i had to put on a lot of the blush to achieve decent pigmentation on my cheeks. that being said, it is a very pretty colour and it lasted a long time one me.

full size and sample size // 4g // $18

2. bailey cosmetics kabuki brush

based on my quick web search, bailey cosmetics is also a canadian brand, started by brian bailey (you might recognize him from project runway canada). i found the products on the home shopping channel and but everything appears to be sold out. i received the kabuki brush (black handle version), which has a very nice weight to it and is a very attractive brush. it is made of sheared goat hair and is super soft. it does not shed.

glossybox indicated that there were variations in this month's box and, so far, i have only noticed that the bailey cosmetics product was a variable... i received the kabuki brush but i have seen full size foundation powders and lip glosses out and about. based on photos of the other products, the packaging looks very sleek.

impressions: i used this brush today to apply my new pandora blush and it was very nice to use. it was soft and applied the product nicely. it does have a very, ummm, earthy and natural scent - even after i washed it - due to the goat hair bristles.

full size and sample size // $40

3. aveeno daily moisturizing lotion

i'm pretty sure i've used this product before but i am still happy to receive this generous sized sample. i'll probably keep this at work or in my travel makeup bag. i do not consider this a luxury brand but i find that all of the beauty boxes have been lacking in this regard.

impressions: with further use, i noticed that this product is actually unscented, which makes me very happy as i prefer unscented products. it is very moisturizing and i would likely repurchase this product.

full size // 354mL // $11.99
sample size // 71mL // approximate value of $2.40

4. algemarin foam bath

this was our little bonus sample for the month of march so we actually received 6 samples in this glossybox. i don't take as many baths as i did when i was younger, which is a shame because i have so many bath products i need to use up! i am going to take this foam bath as a sign that i should go back to my high school days... draw up a nice hot bath so i can relax for half an hour with a good book.

impressions: i really like this foam bath! it turns the water a lovely blue colour but does not stain your tub. the bubbles are very foamy and soft. the scent is light and spa-like. i would definitely re-purchase this... but after i finish all my other bath products. i loved my bath so much (sooo relaxing) that i'm going to try to make this a weekly event. :)

full size // 5 x 15mL // $3.99 (note: other sizes available)
sample size // 1 x 15mL // approximate value of $0.80

5. evian brumisateur facial spray

i tried this product when i was very young and i didn't notice any effect on my skin. admittedly, i probably only used the product a handful of times so i will give it another try and see if there is any impact. this is a water spray so i'm not sure about paying such a premium. i also don't like that it claims to "hydrate" your skin as i am pretty sure the only way to do that is to drink more water!*

*after i wrote this blog post, i did notice an asterisk on the canister that indicated only the outer layers of skin are hydrated.

impressions: using this spray has reminded me that i don't like it when my face is wet. i have only used it 3 times but i am not noticing a difference. also, it might just be me, but i feel like the water has a funny smell. i would not repurchase this.

full size and sample size // 50mL // $7 (note: other sizes available)

6. sebastian re-shaper hairspray

i needed a mini hairspray so i was very happy to receive this! i'm also glad it is an aerosol can... i know it's not the best for the environment but i find the other (plastic) mini bottles of hairspray don't work for me - the nozzle gets clogged or the product comes out too concentrated. i'll probably pop this little hairspray into my purse so i can smooth out my very persistent flyaways and baby hairs.

impressions: i am really enjoying this hairspray. it tames my flyaways and baby hairs very well. i used it this morning to do a little pouf with my freshly cut bangs and it held well for hours and hours.

full size // 300 g (card reads 43 g as full size product but that must be a typo) // $19.95
sample size // 43 g // approximate value of $2.86

again, i am in love with the glossybox packaging - my favourite packaging of the 3 boxes to which i am currently subscribed. the pink grosgrain ribbon is lovely and can be easily reused. there was no personalization this month - i am not sure if that was due to the tardiness of the box or if the practice has simply been discontinued. i guess we'll find out in april! i also noticed that the handy-dandy labels were missing this month but maybe we will get them every few months since we received three labels in february.

overall, while i am pleased with the box, i wouldn't really say there was any wow factor for me. my favourite product was probably the kabuki brush.

// approximate value of the products in the march 2012 glossybox: $71.06 //

did you receive the march glossybox and, if so, what were your thoughts?

glossybox canada subscriptions are available for $15 per month including shipping and tax, so just a few dollars more than glymm and topbox. it promises a minimum of 5 luxury samples and will throw in a 6th sample from time to time.

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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

how to measure & cut the perfect off-the-shoulder t-shirt

another easy tutorial! i took a screen printing class recently and printed a whole bunch of t-shirts for myself. the t-shirts were kind of dowdy so i decided to turn them into off-the-shoulder t-shirts... after ruining one by cutting the hole waaay too big (luckily, it was my least favourite), i decided to come up with a system to measure and cut the perfect off-the-shoulder t-shirt every single time.

please practice this method with a t-shirt you do not care about... just in case. :)

Click here to skip the intro and go directly to the tutorial.

if you decide to go ahead and try this method, please leave me a comment to let me know how it worked for you! :)

p.s. this video was recorded in my condo media room for more space and better lighting. i love recording videos in the media room... in fact, if i could just camp out there on a daily basis, i totally would.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ten on tuesday

i was over at linny's vault and spent quite a bit of time reading a few posts from her ten on tuesday series. what fun! i always have random thoughts that i either forget to blog about or don't know where to put (many are quite inconsequential and do not deserve a blog post of their own) so i thought this was a great idea. here are my ten on tuesday:

1) i kept thinking it was thursday today. not a good thing when you're bored at work and wishing the week were already over.

2) while i was at work today, i saw the below photo shared on twitter and subsequently discovered this site. what a great resource for someone who is trying to figure out her hair! then i spent 30 minutes trying to find where to buy these or these or these. (p.s. this is not the first time i've looked for super strong bobby pins... why can't i find them in toronto?)

(source: hair romance)

3) i am counting down the days until easter... so i can go buy up all the 50% off mini eggs the day after. i heard on the news today that chocolate speeds up your metabolism so this is theoretically going to help me lose weight.... right?

4) girl on the subway today, where did you buy your knee-high pull-on black suede wedge boots? dang, they kinda looked like this - hope there's a less expensive and more readily available alternative...


5) hubby and i finally downloaded the free version of draw something and we're on turn 55. drawsome! i'm also playing with a random stranger, which makes me nervous because he or she draws really well and i do not.

6) i think i might be the only person i know who was disappointed by the hunger games movie. to get my fix, i am re-reading the books instead.

7) it's already day 87 of my 100 day thrift challenge and it feels really really good. so good that i'm actually thinking about extending the challenge another 100 days - or maybe even for the year. i seriously thought i would have a harder time with this so i am pleasantly surprised.

8) hubby and i have been trying to teach lulu to bring us her kong so we can put treats in it. this is not going well. instead of bringing me the kong, she sits, lies down, gives me a paw, rolls over, or rolls the kong away from me. once, she nosed the kong a tiny bit towards me so i freaked out (in a good way) but i think i scared her.

9) i think we've decided where we're going for our november trip... aaaaarrrrrruuuuubbbbbbaaaaa! we were originally planning to go to kauai or the big island but the night i was going to book the flight, the prices went up by $300 per person (and stayed there) so that kind of put the kaibosh on that idea.

10) the below image is so true. fortunately, i don't mind editing photos but for some reason there is some serious procrastination going on with the photos from my recent vacation. i'm going to get on that soon.

(source: swiss miss via chase jarvis)

Monday, March 26, 2012

sewing studio event + discount codes!

last week, i joined 3 other lifestyle bloggers at the sewing studio at yonge and summerhill for a special event. it was my very first blogger event and i was very excited to be a part of it. leesh, anne, lisa from the hip and urban girl's guide, and i were treated to an amazing evening of learning and laughs... plus we got to show our crafty sides and sew our own little project – a super cute business card holder!

i took introductory sewing at the sewing studio in the fall of 2010. sadly, even though i *loooved* the class and redeemed a bunch of air miles for my very own sewing machine, i turned into a very lazy girl. off the high of learning how to sew, i told my hubby that i was going to make drawstring bags so i could use them to wrap everyone’s christmas gifts. i didn’t understand why he didn’t get overly excited about my idea... until the bags never materialized.

fast forward almost 2 years later and i found myself in the lovely sewing studio again. it felt like seeing an old friend – oddly familiar yet you’re not quite sure what to expect. the studio is still as charming as i remember – with brightly painted walls, a quirky chandelier motif, and rows of janome sewing machines.

we each had a station set up for us, complete with personalized cards!

after a short round of introductions, (the very patient) christina started teaching us – step-by-step – how to use the sewing machines.

as we watched on (and snapped photos and tweeted), christina explained the different parts of the sewing machine, showed us how to thread the machine, how to sew a straight line, etc... oh how i've missed sewing!

here is the sample of the business card holder! the fabric was totally cute. now if only i could get mine to look like the sample...

then we got to choose our fabrics. no one wanted the bird on the fabric and i was secretly glad as i have an almost unhealthy fascination with birds – especially on clothing and accessories. the bird on my fabric was missing his beak but it was close enough.

i was engrossed with the rest of the tutorial so i didn’t take many more photos... however, i did take a photo of my finished project when i got home!

the outside is super cute – denim with lace trim. i messed up the trim on one side so i super-glued it. super-glue has become my new best friend.

i absolutely loved meeting fellow bloggers and getting my craft on... the card holder is really versatile too – i’ve already thought of using it to hold memory cards, little instax mini photos, blotting papers, bobby pins, referral cards, mints... the list goes on. i may use the same technique to make a passport holder as well. :)

a big thank you to the sewing studio for a wonderful event (and to stephanie for inviting me)! i am looking forward to visiting again very soon as i have already signed up for another class!

// discount codes //

be sure to check out the sewing studio schedule - there is a wide range of classes to suit all experience levels. if you are interested in taking a class, the sewing studio has very kindly provided me with the following promotions redeemable at the summerhill location:

1) 50% off any class in 2012. this promo comes with a cute tote bag, water bottle, and a complete sewing kit. this promo code has been given away!

2) 50% off any class starting in march or may 2012. this promo comes with a cute tote bag and a water bottle.
this promo code has been given away!

3) $25 off a class of your choice.

if you would like to take advantage of any of the above promotions, please message me and i will send over the coupon code right away. quantities are limited and will be first come, first served.

disclaimer: i do not receive any credits and i am not in any way compensated for providing the above review or discount codes.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

favorite things swap

i am so super excited to be taking part in my first ever swap! found through leesh and hosted by lin, this will be a favorite things themed swap with a spending limit of $15. i can't wait to find out who my swap buddy is and to start shopping for my favorite things!

please visit lin's blog for more details. if you want to join in on the fun, you can sign up any time until march 31, 2012. :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

how to apply powder dry shampoo

Just a little video on how I apply my dry shampoo using a powder puff. :) I got this idea after watching Daven Mayeda (your hair BFF, hollllla!) apply dry shampoo with a big powder brush. I didn't want to dedicate one of my make up brushes exclusively for my hair so I decided to use the powder puff that came with my cover girl loose powder.

I love that I don't waste any product, get a more even application, and can throw my powder puff in with my laundry every week to keep it sanitary.

I hope you find this video helpful!

P.S. If you noticed I was a little more subdued in this video, it's because it was 7am and my brain was still half asleep. I'll be back to my regular self in my next video... promise!

FTC: I paid for all the products in the video and nothing was sent to me for free.

china glaze hunger games nail polish haul

Here is my China Glaze Hunger Games Haul! :) I had my eye set on two polishes but, after looking at swatches online, I decided I wanted 8 of the 12. I'm really happy with the shades I purchased.

Here are the shades I purchased (from left to right and in order of appearance in the video):

1. Fast Track - District 6 - Transportation
2. Fois Gras - District 10 - Livestock
3. Harvest Moon - District 9 - Grain
4. Electrify - District 5 - Power
5. Riveting - District 3 - Technology
6. Agro - District 11 - Agriculture
7. Smoke and Ashes - District 12 - Mining
8. Stone Cold - District 2 - Masonry

I read the district associations on a blog but it does not appear to be "official" information. I still thought it was clever so decided to include it.

For those of you who know about my 2012 goals, this was my March beauty product purchase. I bought all the nail polish from TBBS for $6.49 each plus tax.

FTC: I paid for all the products in the video and nothing was sent to me for free.

{what i wore} conservative lunch

there is something fantastically wonderful about having a day off in the middle of the week. it's like a walk on the wild side. last tuesday, i had a bunch of appointments so i took the day off work. my hubby happened to have been scheduled for an evening shift at his workplace so we had a rare morning and afternoon off together. we decided to finally visit toca by tom brodi for a nice lunch.

before i get into the food, i have to recommend the non-alcoholic cucumber ginseng "temperance cocktail" - containing cucumber, basil, ginseng, and ginger beer! it was so delicious and refreshing that i had to hold back from chugging it. instead i sipped it like a lady. a really really thirsty lady. we also ordered a pink shampagne - sparkling cranberry, apple cider, elderflower - it was just alright.

the food was incredible but the portions were gi-normous. yes, the prices are high but i think i still would have preferred slightly smaller portions. i would have enjoyed my meal more and i wouldn't have felt mentally defeated by not being able to finish my food. it's not often that food beats me.

to start, we shared a huge order of fancy fish and chips - mill street beer battered yarmouth lobster with frites & espelette tartar. the beer batter is so light that it is extra deadly because the fullness doesn't hit you until you are nearly bursting. the lobster nearly melted in your mouth - wow!

the dish is served with kennebec frites sprinkled with a little thunder oak gouda. i didn't know this before but kennebec potatoes are favoured by some restaurants. these might well be some of the best fries i've ever had - the texture and flavour were divine.

my hubby ordered the braised lamb shank - prairie grains, almonds, and drunken raisins. i'm not a huge fan of lamb so i didn't try it but my hubby said it was yummy. plus i was distracted by my meal...

when my main dish came, my eyes widened like saucers. i ordered the pie - nova scotia lobster & turkey - holy crapola, the pot pie was the size of my head! there's a photo embedded in the video below if you wish to see proof. there was so much pastry and i tried to eat it all but it beat me. i also left the mushrooms (dislike) and a few peas (didn't have the energy to pick them out among the mushrooms). all i wanted to do after i finished eating was roll over and go to bed.

the photo of me with my pot pie is in the screen capture below. do you see how i already look beat? it's like i'm scared of the darn thing!

i'm not hugely crazy about how this outfit turned out but here is what i wore:

- black express t-shirt top (ross)
- thrifted black & burgundy check shirt (talize)
- black tights (old)
- black patent leather heels (guess)
- lv bag (old)
- "crystal" stud earrings (h&m)
- necklace with heart charm (gift from hubby)
- starfish bracelet (galapagos)

in the first photo (below), i'm thinking, "is that a chair behind me? i want to go to sleep."

{what's on my face}

- nyx nude on nude palette
- nyc blushable creme stick in big apple blush
- urban decay afterglow glide-on cheek tint in indecent
- annabelle blush in pronto
- revlon lip butter in fig jam
- mark. glossy lip stain in bella


Sunday, March 18, 2012

{diy} how to make your nume feather hair extensions reusable

This is a very easy DIY / How To video. :) I received a set of 3 purple NuMe feather hair extensions in my March Glymm box. I wanted to find a way to make them reusable because (a) I have no idea how to put in hair extensions and (b) I can't wear these to work (conservative office environment) so it seemed like a waste just to have them in for a weekend.

So I found an (easy) way to attach the extensions to bobby pins... I hope you find this tutorial helpful!

Click here to skip my too-long intro and go straight to the tutorial.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

{what i wore} modern plaid shirt

i am absolutely loving outfits inspired by masculine details. this outfit includes a thrifted shirt that reminds me of a modernized plaid pattern, black cowboy boots, and a black motorcycle bag. i counter balanced these masculine elements with delicate silver jewellery and bright fuchsia nails. hope you enjoy the outfit!

here's the list of what i wore:

- black tank top (winners or ross)
- guess modernized plaid shirt (vintage depot)
- black tights (lululemon)
- black cowboy boots (thrifted)
- black balenciaga city bag (ebay)
- oversized "crystal" stud earrings (h&m)
- nameplate necklace (london)
- silver necklace with horse charm (bungalow)
- starfish bracelet (galapagos)
- revlon topspeed in vintage

{what's on my face}

- nyx nude on nude palette
- nyc blushable creme stick in big apple blush
- annabelle blush in pronto
- revlon lip butter in creamsicle
- sula lip gloss in beautiful stranger

Thursday, March 15, 2012

march glymm box 2012 - unboxing

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

the march glymm box was filled with a wide variety of items. some were, ahem, very interesting. i wasn't sure what to make of it at first but, overall, i was very happy with what i received! this month's glymm box was definitely full of surprises.

here are the contents of my march glymm box (in order of appearance in the video):

1. nume feather hair extensions

this item caught my attention right away. i definitely was not expecting to receive purple hair extensions! at first, i was like, whoa... and not in a good way. but then i took them out and held them up to my hair. and i thought they actually looked really interesting. i can tell you right now that i won't be attaching these to my hair with pliers. instead, i am going to find a way to attach them onto bobby pins so i can re-use them and switch up my look from time to time.

impressions: i've found a way to attach my feather extensions onto bobby pins but i'm going to buy some stronger pins first (my current ones are crap). i would never purchase purple extensions for myself so i am happy they were included in my glymm box.

full size and sample size // 3 feather extensions // $25

2. lise watier flash lift radiance vial

this product was not listed on the card so i am assuming it was thrown in as a bonus sample. i had actually received the same sample in my december glymm box and i really liked it so i am happy to try it again.

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

3. ocean nail polish in bridal veil

i had never heard of this brand of nail polish but, after doing a quick swatch, i am impressed with the ease of application and evenness (no streaks)... especially with such a light colour. it is also super fast drying. i bumped my nail on something almost immediately after swatching the nail polish (story of my life) and it was already dry enough so there was no impact. according to the card that comes with the glymm box, this brand is sold in upscale salons in the US and europe but a quick google search did not reveal any information about the brand. it would have been nice if glymm had included some details about where to purchase this product.

impressions: i am happy with the shade i received as i have started wearing neutral nail polish to work during the week - this fits the bill perfectly. i would consider re-purchasing this brand but i'd like to see the full line up of colours first.

full size and sample size // 15 mL // $12

4. anastasia beverly hills hydrafull lip gloss in sorbet

we received an offer for a free full size hydrafull lip gloss if we purchase 2 anastasia products from the glymm beauty boutique. i was really happy to receive a little sample of the lip gloss to try so i could see if i liked the formulation. i swatched the lip gloss and was intriqued by the paddle applicator. i had never used this type of applicator before - it's a rubber type texture and flexible to pressure. i found it okay to use - not better or worse than "regular" applicators. when i swatched the lip gloss, i was impressed by the colour payoff. this translated well to my lips.

the deciding factors for me when it comes to lip glosses are (1) whether the formulation is sticky, (2) whether the formulation is long lasting, and (3) whether the formulation dries out my lips (a big no-no). after recording the unboxing video, i dabbed onto my lips the gloss that i had swatched on my hand... and it was really really sticky. i was disappointed and i was about to write off the lip gloss altogether. but then i read a few reviews that proclaimed that the gloss was not sticky at all so i decided to try it again.

impressions: i wore the lip gloss this morning in place of my regular sula lip gloss. i layered it on top of my revlon lip butter in peach parfait and i am super happy to report that it was not sticky! similar to my sula lip gloss, the hydrafull lip gloss also lasted all morning and was very moisturizing. no peeling lips at the end of the day, thank goodness. i likely would not re-purchase this product standalone due to the price (plus i have about 25 lip glosses i still need to use up) but i am considering taking advantage of the promo.

note that the full size product seems really small - considering our tiny sample represents nearly half of the full size.

full size // 2.2 mL // $27
sample size // 1 mL // approximately $12.27

5. m. asam magic fini

when i first picked up this product, i had no idea what the heck it was. then i opened it up and was even more confused when i saw the colour. now that i've had some time to research it, i still don't know what it is. i've seen other subscribers describe it as a concealer, foundation, bb cream, etc. i would not classify this product as a concealer and i don't have enough experience with foundation or bb cream to comment... so. i. don't. know.

impressions: i tried the magic fini the morning after i received it despite not finding too many details about it online. it blended very very nicely with my skin tone! i read that it actually suits all skin tones, which i find very interesting. there is something about the scent that i really like - it reminds me of the scent of the glam glow mud mask. it did mattify my face but i noticed the tip of my nose got a little shiny in the middle of the day. i am going to continue using it and i'll provide a further update soon.

full size // 30 mL // $38
sample size // 5 mL // approximately $6.33

the more i play around with the products included in this month's glymm box, the happier i am with what i received. i thought the samples were really different and interesting - items that i would have never purchased for myself and brands that i had never heard of. plus they covered the full gamut of beauty products... face, hair, nails, lips. i thought we received excellent value in this month's glymm box.

// approximate value of the products in the march 2012 glymm box: $59.46 not including the promo for the anastasia hydrafull lip gloss //

if you received a glymm box this month, i would love to know what you thought of it!

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

march topbox 2012

i am in love with this month's topbox!

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

1. Mark. Nailed It Trend Mini Nail Lacquers in Violet Daze and Tickled Pink

i thought this was a brand under avon but it turns out that it's a brand sold through avon. i think. in any event, these mini nail lacquers are among the cutest products i have ever seen. based on the card included in the topbox, it seems as though everyone received the same colours - the violet femme shades: violet daze and tickled pink.

the tickled pink shade reminded me of the essie nail lacquer in neo whimsical, which i received in my february glossybox. upon swatching the two shades, tickled pink is much brighter. however, similar to neo whimsical, tickled pink required 3 coats for opacity so i am not crazy about the formula.

the violet daze shade was opaque in two coats and is an absolutely beautiful shade of purple with a hint of shimmer in the polish. the colour is quite complex and i really really like it.

verdict: mark is not a luxury brand but, regardless, i am really enjoying these mini nail lacquers. i love that you can get two shades at a low price and the size is perfect - especially since i don't think i have ever finished a full size nail polish. i would repurchase this product... except i don't think there are many other shades (if any).

full size and sample size // 5.4mL combined // $8

2. Make Up For Ever Sens'Eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser

yay, make up for ever!!! i have never tried mufe but i hear about the products all the time on youtube so i was excited to receive this... even though it is a relatively unexciting eye make up remover. the product is described as a gel but i found the texture to be more like a cream.

verdict: i used this the same night i received it and i really love it. it was very gentle and i think it works a little better than the one i am using now so i will consider purchasing this when i finish up my current product. it is more expensive but i don't wear eye make up all the time anymore so i think the bottle will last quite a while.

full size // 3.38 oz // $28
sample size // 0.84 oz // approximately $6.96

3. Redken Color Extend Shampoo & Conditioner

i was a little worried when i saw that the shampoo & conditioner duo was for colour treated hair... owing to my recent experience with the shu uemura shampoo. despite this, i still tried the redken duo and ohmygosh my hair feels absolutely wonderful! i like the smell of the shampoo and the smell of the conditioner is alright too. i used an entire shampoo packet and half a conditioner packet. oh, but i was a hot mess trying to open these packets in the shower.

verdict: i have not decided if i'll repurchase this. i think the price is fairly reasonable so it will depend on how i feel (more like if i will remember) after we finish our many bottles of shampoo under our bathroom sink... and also whether i can find a salon close by that sells redken.

full size // shampoo 300mL & conditioner 250mL // shampoo $15 & conditioner $17
sample size // 10mL x 4 // approximately $2.36

4. Mark. Gloss Gorgeous Stay On Lip Stain in Bella

i have a love-hate relationship with lip stains. i absolutely love the look but i find them so drying - they really do a number on my lips. nevertheless, i was excited to receive this product. it swatched beautifully and i liked the pen clicker dispenser. i called this a plum colour in the video but it's more like a cross between plum and berry - i don't wear these shades a whole lot so i find them difficult to describe.

verdict: i wore this lip stain / gloss over my revlon lip butter in fig jam and i think i will need to purchase more of these! they are super moisturizing, not sticky, and fade to a very nice stain, just as advertised. i didn't have to reapply the product often (maybe twice today) and after i washed off my make-up, my lips were not all dried out like they get with other lip stains. one thing i do not like about this product is the smell - there's this weird medicinal / menthol scent that is not appealing. it goes away after a little while.

full size and sample size // 1.5 g // $12

5. Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes

this was a bonus health & beauty product that was included this month in honour of topbox's 6th month... and a generous sample at that! i was happy to receive this even though it is not a high end sample. facial wipes come in so handy plus simple is a very well reviewed brand from the uk. i did a quick google search and the cloths are available at walmart at a very reasonable price (around $7 for 25 wipes). i believe these are also available at some shoppers drug mart and loblaw locations.

verdict: these did a great job removing my make up but i found them a little rough compared to the kaia naturals cleansing cloths. nevertheless, i would consider repurchasing these when i'm finished using my other cleansing cloths.

full size // 25 cloths // $10.99
sample size // 7 cloths // $3.08

i am very very happy with this month's topbox! while a few of the brands are not what i would consider luxury samples, i still feel like we got good value in this box plus i get to try a few brands that i have never tried before. love it!!!

// approximate value of the products in the march 2012 topbox: $32.40 //

i am excited for next month as topbox has hinted that it will be changing up the design on the tube! i'm hoping the print will be water resistant as i dripped some water on my february topbox tube and the pretty pattern got all smudged. :(

anyway, if you received the march topbox, i would love to know what you got!

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

Monday, March 12, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

{what i wore} accordion skirt

weekend brunch is fun as it is. a fancy monthly dress-up brunch is even better!

here is what i wore:

- white t-shirt (walmart)
- mid-length accordion skirt (american apparel)
- black braided belt (winners)
- black tights (walmart)
- black flats (walmart)
- vintage clutch (courage my love)
- oversized "crystal" stud earrings (h&m)
- gold ring with crystal detailing (the bay)
- delicate rose gold chain (found object)
- 3 tier gold chain (thrifted)
- stacked bangle bracelets (thrifted)
- wraparound bracelet (purchased in kenya)
- opi nail lacquer in wooden shoe like to know
- julep nail vernis in oscar
- essie luxeffects in a cut above

yes, this is considered to be dressed-up for me. normally i'm in tights and slouchy boots or jeans and runners. :)

{what's on my face}

- eye shadows by nyx and pari beauty
- annabelle blush in pronto
- revlon lip butter in candy apple

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