Wednesday, June 5, 2013

HUGE Canada-US Swap :)

I have a huge swap to share with you today!! In mid-March, one of my YouTube viewers mentioned that she'd be interested in doing a swap. I hadn't done a swap since the holidays and I had never done a cross border swap before so I was definitely game. We discussed the parameters for the swap and decided on a shipping date in mid-May to give us some time to shop and wrap everything up. I was absolutely blown away when I received a huge swap box filled with tons of goodies! Lisa and her daughter, Mitsuko, did such a wonderful job picking stuff out for me... I was beyond impressed! I have really been enjoying all my presents and I hope Lisa is having fun with hers too!

Lisa and Mitsuko sent me so many items that it took me an hour to unbox the package on camera. I cut the footage to a mere 32 minutes. :) If you don't have half an hour to watch the video, I've also included photos of all the goodies below!

I was so happy to received some Arizona Wildcats paraphernalia! I wasn't familiar with the team prior to the swap (I may have heard the name in passing but I didn't know anything about it) but I was still excited because I love location-specific items. I received a t-shirt for my hubby, a t-shirt for myself, and two washcloths. My hubby and I buy a lot of t-shirts when we travel (mostly for him) and it makes me happy to see him wear them after the fact because it reminds me of our trip. Now when my hubby wears the Arizona Wildcats t-shirt, it reminds me of Lisa, her lovely family, and this fun swap! These items were such a nice addition to the swap package. Hubs thought so too. I wish I had included some Toronto t-shirts (Blue Jays perhaps?) in her package.

I love bath and beauty products and there were definitely lots included in the swap package... get ready!!!

- Two COW beauty soaps // The packaging for these soaps is right up my alley. I love quirky animal themed items and even better if it looks retro. I will be keeping the boxes even after I use the soaps. These soaps are made in Japan. I love Japanese products... hubs and I are actually hoping to go to Japan again next year. :)

- Pacifica Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes // Believe it or not, I have never tried the Pacifica products. I sniff them all the time in Indigo but I've never purchased anything for myself. I can't wait to try these wipes as they smell amazing!

- Coronado Soap Co. Apricot Freesia Hand & Body Cream // I've tried this cream on my hands and it is amazing! The texture is smooth and silky but not greasy and the scent is out of this world. If I ever make it to Coronado, California, I will definitely be in search of this cream.

- Coronado Soap Co. Orange Avenue Hand & Body Cream // I can't wait to try this cream - I like that it's a sample size so I'll be able to show it in my empties soon. :)

- Coronado Soap Co. Cucumber Castaway Soap // I love cucumber beauty products and this little soap is very cute.

- Shiseido Facial Cotton // These are a staple in my beauty regimen so I was very happy to receive a package of these. I can never have enough of this workhorse product!

Nails, nails, nails!! Look at all this stuff for my nails!

- Revlon Mini Tweezer Set To Go // I suspect Lisa knows I like to travel a lot because there were a number of travel themed goodies in my swap package! I love these little tweezers and plan to bring them with me when I go to France in the fall.

- Revlon File 'N Peel 6-in-1 File // This looks like a neat product - it's a two-sided nail file but you can peel off a layer once you are done with it so in theory this nail file should last 3 times as long. I can't wait to try it! This may be coming with me on vacation too as I always need a nail file but never remember to pack one.

- L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Lingerie in In With The New // These are really pretty nail appliques. I've only tried this type of product once but I had such a good experience that I've been meaning to try it again. I want to save these for the new year because of the name but I'm not sure I'll be able to wait that long...

- Eternal Sticker Collection Nail Stickers // I've never worn nail stickers before and these ones are so pretty! This product is made in Japan and I think the stickers would look really cute on my nails.

- Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Lacey Lilac // Such a pretty colour for spring! I think I am going to put this on tonight after I finish my blog post.

- Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Blue Me Away! // I was very drawn to this shade... so much so that I actually noticed I already had it in my collection after filming the video! I will be giving this to one of my sisters. :)

- Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Green With Envy // This is a gorgeous green that is also perfect for the spring. I might put try this one on the weekend. :)

- Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Sun Kissed // I had this on my nails today and got a compliment on it at work. This is a beautiful mid-tone orange that leans a little coral in certain lighting.

- Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Bubblegum Pink // This was the first shade I tried as pink and red are my favourite nail polish colours to wear. This pink is cool toned but still very flattering. It has a little shimmer in it that is barely detectable but so pretty.

- Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Mellow Yellow // I love yellow nail polish but I'm still searching for my holy grail so I can't wait to try this!

Lisa must know I'm a huge fanatic when it comes to lip products... thank you for indulging me! :)

- Too Faced La Creme Lipstick in Naughty Nude // This was the item I requested in our swap. I've been meaning to try one of these lippies and I regularly swatch them when I go to Sephora. I'm happy to report that I am loving this lipstick! It has a great formulation and also a very nice scent that is akin to lemon pie. I also love this nude shade! I think I will be wearing this a lot as I love me some nude lips.

- Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya // Lisa got me all the new lip butter shades! I think I may have whooped for joy in the video. :) I had been wanting to try these shades but I couldn't seem to find them. I saw a couple in Shoppers Drug Mart but they had both been swatched. Juicy Papaya is my favourite shade out of the four.

- Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Wild Watermelon // This is a very pigmented shade and it is a beautiful red! I love this one too as a little goes a long way.

- Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Sorbet // This shade is also very pigmented but it is more of a pink rather than a red. Another winner for me.

- Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Pink Lemonade // This shade is a little light for me but I still like wearing it on its own topped with lip gloss. What I love about this shade though is that I can use it to tone down brighter colours - I've used it with both Wild Watermelon and Sorbet and the combination is so pretty. These new shades are definitely among my favourite of all the lip butters!

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Cherish // I love these balm stains for their ease of use and staying power. They also feel comfortable on the lips! Cherish is right up my alley - I'm surprised I don't own it already. I'm going to wear this to work tomorrow as I'm always looking for long lasting lip products for work as I can never remember to re-apply.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Darling // I am really curious about this shade because there's a tinge of purple to it. I will be giving this one a try soon!

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous // I already have this shade but I love it! I will either keep this one as a dupe or give it to a friend or family member. :)

Dior Addict Lipstick in 783 Londres // Oh yes, you saw right - Lisa included a Dior Addict Mini in my swap package!!! I feel so spoiled as this is a very luxurious product that I've been meaning to try. I have a couple of the Dior Addict Extreme sheer lipsticks and I love them so I was over the moon when I saw this cute mini. I cannot wait to play around with this.

Twist & Pout Lip Balm in French Twist // This potted lip balm is super cute and smells wonderful! There is a little bit of a sweet flavour, which I normally don't like, but I love the packaging so much that I'm willing to overlook it. :)

Twist & Pout Lip Balm and Bag Charm // This product is adorable! I've been using it as a bag charm but I haven't dug into the actual lip balm yet. This one looks slightly tinted - a really pretty baby pink.

I have the Wet n Wild eyeshadow palette in Comfort Zone and I love it so I was really happy to receive a couple of different 8-shadow palettes to try. One of my YouTube viewers let me know that these are limited edition palettes that are extremely difficult to find... so a huge thank you to Lisa for sending me both! I feel very thankful as I always miss out on limited edition products.

- Wet n Wild Spring 2013 Limited Edition Spring Forward Color Icon Palette in Nude Awakening // I've used this palette once and the shades I used were very flattering. I can see this becoming one of my go-to neutral or smokey eye palettes.

- Wet n Wild Spring 2013 Limited Edition Spring Forward Color Icon Palette in Going in the Wild // I've used this palette twice and I was surprised by how much I liked it! I've been wearing a lot of neutral eyeshadow lately and I haven't been playing with colour as much as I used to so I forgot how much I like having a pop of colour in my eye makeup. I used the green on my lower lash line one day and the purple the next day. I thought both looked really nice.

Yay, sets!!! I love sets and kits...

- Benefit How to Look the Best at Everything in Medium // I was SO excited to see this set in my package! Mitsuko loves this kit and I'm sure I will too. I already know I love the POREfessional and the Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow. I can't wait to try the Boing concealer and the setting powder. I've been big on complexion lately so this kit came at the perfect time.

- Skinnygirl Face Solutions // This set contains 3 of my favourite things - a face mask, a facial scrub, and a lip product! I have never heard of this brand so I'm excited to learn more about it. Lisa mentioned that it was well reviewed on YouTube. :)

- Jack Black Balm Squad Lip Quad // I had heard great things about this product and being the lip balm junkie that I am, I wanted a set so bad. I ended up buying a set for my husband so I could try them too and they definitely live up to the hype. I was going to steal one of my hubby's lip balms but he refused to give me one so I was super happy to receive a set all to myself. I love the scent of these lip balms and I also love that there is no flavour.

This is the Tarte Awaken Your Complexion Kit... it is WONDERFUL! I tried the Maracuja oil last night and it made my skin so moisturized and radiant in the morning - it was really incredible. The concealer is lovely - it brightens up my under eye area while also concealing my dark circles... a little goes a long way so the tube will probably last me forever. The finishing powder works well too and I can't wait to wake up tomorrow morning so I can use it again. I've been enjoying the eye cream sample as well but it's too soon to tell if it's making a difference.

Look at this Estee Lauder set! I love love love the oversize clutch. It is perfect for going out and I will be using it often this summer. The makeup itself comes in a heavy duty "book" and it contains 9 pretty eyeshadows, a bronzer, a mascara, and 2 eyeliners. There are also 3 beautiful lip glosses included - my eyes were immediately drawn to these.

As if all the beauty products were not enough, Lisa and Mitsuko also included some charming accessories! I've already worn the lace & sequin bandeau - it is perfect and goes with so many different outfits. I also love all the costume jewellery - the oversize stud earrings fit my taste perfectly and I wore the bow studs all weekend. The necklace is simply gorgeous - I love the vintage aesthetic. All of these items are from Charlotte Russe and that was fun for me too as I've never been to that store.

A few other little goodies that were included:

- Coronado Brewing Co. Reusable Bag // My husband has taken this bag over. He was previously using a plain red reusable bag but this one is much more his style.

- Behind Every Successful Woman is a Substantial Amount of Chocolate // This is a notepad! I love stationary and I make a lot of notes for my YouTube videos so I will definitely be putting this item to good use.

- Bows for Bags Luggage Tag // This luggage tag is so cute and whimsical. I can't wait to attach it to my luggage. :)

Tea and chocolate... my nightly indulgences!

- Teavana Capital of Heaven Keemun // This is a lovely black tea! I've only tried this tea once and there is a flavour I can't quite place but I really like it and so does my hubby. He's actually requested this tea a few times when I've asked him what he wants steeped in the evening.

- Lupicia Decaf Muscat // This is my new favourite black tea and even better that it is decaf. I drink it every night. I have a mugful beside me as I type this. I love this tea so much that I've already placed an order at Lupicia. The company doesn't ship to Canada so I actually asked our hotel in Chicago (where we'll be at the end of June) if they would accept a parcel for me. They said yes and I placed the order. So excited to try a few more teas from Lupicia. Am I driven? Yes. Solution-oriented? Yes. Crazy? Just a little.

- Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai with Blueberry // I have heard so many wonderful things about these chocolates from my viewers on YouTube! I can't wait to try them! I'm saving them because my hubby is working in the evening this week and I want us to share them.

- Chuao Chocolatier Orange a Go Go Bar // Yummy!! I love orange scented chocolate. I can't wait to dig into this one. I will probably be bringing this to the office as I like to munch while I work and hubs isn't a huge fan of orange and chocolate together. Even though I like it, I don't buy orange scented chocolate very often because my hubby doesn't like it, so this will be a special treat, just for me. :) This chocolatier is based in San Diego.

Lisa also included little presents for my hubby, Lulu, and Truffle!

- Anthony Logistics for Men Three for the Road // My hubby has tried some of the Anthony products and he really liked them so he was very happy to receive this set! This set would also be perfect for travel. :)

- Sahuaro Cactus Dog Toy // Lulu loves this toy... she plays with it every night! Lisa wrote me to tell me that the toy is designed based on the Sahuaro cactus. This cactus is only found in the Sahuaro desert and they don't bloom until they are around 75 years old. Lisa has two of these majestic cacti in her yard and this year is the first time they have bloomed. I love that!

- Rabbit Toy for Truffle // Truffle is the most stubborn bunny you will ever meet and he refuses to play with this toy. He's not a huge fan of toys but I have a feeling he'll bite this one in due course. I hung it on his door and I might secure the bottom with a ribbon as he tends to like to bite things that have some resistance.

Lisa and Mitsuko wrote me little messages on these adorable Shiba Inu notes. I am keeping them all. :)

A huge THANK YOU to Lisa and Mitsuko for putting together such an amazing swap package! I'm overwhelmed by all the goodies and I'm having so much fun trying all the products. I hope you will enjoy the products I sent you as much as I have been enjoying mine. I really appreciate your generosity and kindness. My hubby, Lulu, and Truffle say thank you too! :)

Lisa doesn't normally do videos but she was so sweet to unbox her swap package on video so I could see her reaction and so you could all see what I got her... if you like, you can check out her unboxing here!

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