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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mail Haul IV


Today was the first day of snow! Not that I really care for snow, but it does look pretty magical in the morning when there is fresh snow dusting the ground and trees. I kept my blinds open last night in anticipation. I had a feeling it would snow... the forecast said rain.

Today also brought a nice little haul of goodies to my mail box. That, in my opinion trumps snow any day.

Dumb Blogger, that line was not there before I uploaded.

Last week I was notified via email that someone had singed my up to receive the Shana Logic Necklace of the Month. That someone is my best friend Kyley and she is just too awesome for words. Best Christmas present ever? I think so! My first necklace arrived today and I love it to bits! It's (at least I think...) little cherry blossoms on a branch. So pretty. Of course now I'm super excited to see what the other 11 necklaces I have coming my way will look like.

I ordered a few nail polishes last week from Nail Polish Canada, partly to take advantage of the promotion they currently have running: use code TRYSOULSTICE446 to get a free bottle of Vegan Polish by Soulstice Spa free. You even get to choose the shade. I chose "Troy". I'll have a swatch up soon. I also got:

- Essie Matte About You
- Seche Restore
- Orly "Rage"
- Essie LuxEffects "Shine Of the Times"

and the candy cane they so nicely threw in. Can you believe it shipped from Vancouver to Toronto (and a bit) without breaking?

*eeks* naked nails!

An Ebay purchase: two blingy cell phone cases. They were too inexpensive and cute not to get. They came with screen protectors as well, which I'm very thankful for. I'm always afraid I'll put a huge scratch in it. I am so loving my new phone too (Samsung Galaxy Ace). makeup!

My "Hazel Hat" from Bobbins and Beagles. I've had my eye on it for quite some time, but I have a large head (to hold my impressively large brain, of course) and usually end up with cute hats that slideoff my head four minutes after putting them on. After a fast convo, Rose was awesome and assured me she could set me up. I am so smitten with this hat, it isn't even funny.

Happy Scarves!

My scarves from Happy Scarf. I got a leopard print and a plaid "cashmere" (faux, but sooo soft) both from the clearance section and a whopping $12 each. I so didn't need them, but I love scarves. They are such a fast way to liven up your winter (and any season) wardrobe. I think these will both look great with my new black pea coat.

Last bu not least, a new home for all of my scarves ( I need to keep them happy). Such an ingenious gadget: it keeps scarves and belts tidy and together for easy closet storage. Look for this soon in Avon. I also got the purse organizer. It's a nifty hanging gizmo that has little folding shelves and elastic to safely house bags when not in use.

That's all that has arrived so far... still a few tidbits to come. Have you gotten any fun mail lately?

Review: The Balm Muppet Show "Cast Your Shadow" Face Palette

This was a very unexpected purchase. I know, "how can it be unexpected?" you're thinking. As you might know, this limited edition Muppet Palette was tricky to get. There were only 1000 made and to "fairly" distribute them the Balm used a lottery type system for ordering. I thought that the way they went about it was a bit flawed, but who am I to complain because I got one and I know there are many ladies who didn't.

When the opportunities to order came around I decided to pass on it all together. Sure I wanted one, I was a huge Muppet fan as a kid and still kind of am. After assuming that all the spots on the order list were long gone, I saw one last chance to snag one when the Balm posted the rules on Facebook. I took the chance and obviously got one! I was pretty pleased. I didn't care for their $20 shipping cost, but a few weeks later palette 993 was safely delivered to my door!

Note: All photos are large. Click any for full size.

proof of limited status

Waldorf and Statler grace the back, as cheerful as ever.

Mirror in top flap. I love that they included Sweetums!

16 eyeshadows/ liners and shadow/liner brush

all shadows
click for full size

Tres Mois, Wocka Wocka, Meep Meep, Mahna-Mahna, Sensational, Celeebrational, Muppetational

"Woman, Woman", Curtain Call, Great Gonzo, Kissy Kissy, Wild Child, Lab Coat, Hiii-Yaaa!, Sweedish Pancakes

This is my first experience with the Balm shadows, and I can now see the appeal. The shadows are all highly pigmented and smooth. The true testament to their quality are displayed with Wild Child, Lab Coat, Hii-Yaaa! and Sweedish Pancakes. They are all light shimmery shades that can often end up being the powdery, cakey, sub-par shades in palettes, but the Balm's are all just as gorgeous as all the other shades. These shadows apply beautifully and all the shades in this collection are super wearable. There is only one shade that I might not use too much (Great Gonzo) but 1 out of 16 isn't too bad.

Vintage style illustrations on lower flap

Lip and Cheek Stains & Lip Gloss

Lip and Cheek Stains: Rainbow Connection and Le Diva Lip Gloss: Electric Mayhem

I didn't expect a lot from the lip/cheek products in this palette, but the quality is amazing. They designed the palette so that they have their own cover to keep shadow dust out of them, and to keep them from drying out.

Rainbow Connection is a bright coral hued lip and cheek stain that gives an nice flush to cheeks and lips and has pretty good staying power. I found that it didn't stain my lips much, but it did last well on my cheeks.
Le Diva is a medium bright pink lip and cheek stain. It has a nice glossy finish on lips and dries to be a very pretty pink flush on cheeks. Again, I didn't find that this really "stained" my lips, as it wears more like a gloss, but still quite nice.
Electric Mayhem is the lone gloss in the palette, and is a peachy based nude. I wasn't expecting this to be as pigmented as it was, so that was a pleasant surprise. The shade of nude is perfect and would suit pretty much every skin tone. I love that they included the band. It almost (almost) makes up for their not being a Janice shadow.

All said and done this ended up being a rather pricey palette (almost $70 CAD) but the quality of the shadows makes up for it and the Muppet theme is something special to have in my stash. If you missed out on this or aren't keen on the packaging, the Balm is also releasing the same shadow shades but in a non-Muppet themed palette, The Balm and The Beautiful.

Did you snag one of the Muppet palettes? What did you think?

Monday, November 28, 2011

NOTD: Revlon Carbonite

click for full size

When I first saw bottle images of Chanel Graphite, I was sort of whatever about it. Just another metalic charcoal/gunmetal, which is saying a lot because I happen to love that type of shade. Then I saw nail swatches and was singing a different tune. I just couldn't justify the price.

In steps Revlon to save the day (and the wallet!) Just as they copied duped last fall's Chanel "It Shade" Paradoxal ( I manged to get a few bottles of the Revlon dupe for a steal of a price; you know what that means... stay tuned) they did it once again. Now, Canadian ladies know that Revlon likes hold things back from our cosmetic obsessed little hands, so I wasn't expecting to see this on our shelves.

But I did!

Carbonite is a metallic charcoal/gunmetal shade. In the bottle there is a hint of taupe as well, but it doesn't translate to the nail. Application was pretty easy, one coat did the job well, but I did notice that if you hesitated or tried to go back over the nail it made a mess and did not settle out on it's own. The above photos are base coat, one coat of Carbonite and a thick coat of Seche Vite, as it seemed that Carbonite doesn't have the shiniest of finishes and needs the extra "oomph".

As I mentioned, I do not own Chanel Graphite, but from swatches out there (a quick Google will get you what you want) the Revlon version is quite close to the original, but does lack a bit of the chromatic sparkle that Chanel's version does. In any case, I'm very happy with Revlon's Carbonite and will gladly pocket the $20 (give or take) savings.

Have you tried either polishes? Which do you prefer?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Review: Nars Eye Shadow Singles in California and Night Sun

Not so long ago, well... maybe a bit longer than I initially thought, anyway. Not that long ago Sephora started offering up select Nars products at discount prices. The catch was there was only two colour choices per item. I took a chance on the Nars Eye Shadow Singles in California and Night Sun, even though they didn't seem like obvious colour choices for me. That said the $8 USD/ $10 CAD price tag was too good to pass up (they normally go for $23USD/ $26CAD)

Nars Eye Shadow Singles- California and Night Sun

Nars Eye Shadow Singles- California and Night Sun

Nars Eye Shadow Singles- California

Nars Eye Shadow Singles- California

Nars Eye Shadow Singles- Night Sun

Nars Eye Shadow Singles- Night Sun

California is a described as a "rich copper" and it really is. I was worried that it would lean too red to be a very usable shade, but it has enough of a brown hue to be a really gorgeous choice for fall looks. It is buttery, super pigmented and easy to blend/work with. I found it didn't last that well without a primer, but honestly, who doesn't use a primer?

Night Sun is described as a "bright marigold with gold flecks". Now, yellow is not one my favourite colours, but this shadow does look pretty cute in the pan, but swatched... Different story. This is a pretty sheer shadow, and the glitter chunks gold flecks are kind of difficult to work with. It does apply better over primer, but even then it is not as buttery smooth as California. It could be okay with some smoky liner and lots of mascara, but you won't get a strong yellow punch of colour.

Nars Eye Shadow Singles- California and Night Sun

Did you pick up either of these shadows? How do you wear them?

Review: Laura Mericer Rose Rondezvous Face Illuminator

When I first saw this I was immediately smitten. I often admire products like this, but talk myself out of purchasing until it's too late, like when it's sold out and the only way to get it is to pay four times what it's worth on Ebay. I mulled this little gem over for a day and then decided I had to have it. It's just too gorgeous not to own it. It's my precious. I just took a peek on Sephora and it seems that it is out of stock.

This floral themed baby is absolutely stunning. Just look at the floral relief motif and rose gold hue. I am finding myself really into rose gold lately, I'm still on the hunt for a large pair of rose gold ball studs... Anyhow, Laura Mericier classes this as an illuminator, but it is pigmented enough that you can also use it as a sheer blush. It is buttery smooth and perfect, but not so soft that you disturb the pattern of the product.

As you can see in the above swatch, this does throw a fair amount of sheen, but nothing garish or over the top. The rose gold hue is gorgeous on skin, and I think that it could work well on pretty much any skin tone.

I really love this product, even thought the $42 USD/ $50 CAD price tag was a bit scary initially, I just can't get enough of it. I don't know which I want to do more: wear it, or frame it and hang on my wall.

Have you used this product? What do you think of it?

Friday, November 25, 2011

November Glymm Box

One more subscription box for the month. This months' Glymm box, overall was pretty good. I love that there was two full size items, and that they're items I'll actually use.

click images for full size

What I received this month (from left to right):
- Lise Watier Flash Lift Radiance Vial
- RGB Nail Polish in Deep
- Annabelle Smuge Paint in Plumed
- Orlane Paris Light Smoothing Cream
- Rahua Luxury Shampoo & Conditioner

I'm excited to try the Rahua shampoo and conditioner. I have gotten to the bottom of my stash, and I usually buy rather inexpensive brands. I might just have to try a "luxury" shampoo. Apparently the brand is a fave of Gweneth Paltrow, if it's good enough for Gweneth, it's good enough for me... maybe?

Annabelle Smuge Paint in Plumed

I almost bought this product last time I passed by it in store, but decided I didn't neeed it, so I was happy to see it here. I haven't tried it yet but it looks like it will be great. It sets pretty quickly and seems like it won't budge either, so that is a plus.

RGB Nail Polish in Deep

I have never used RGB, but I'm sure most of you reading this know I'm a nail polish fiend, so I was very excited to give this a try. The shade that I got is a deep, vampy, burgundy, plum shade. The purple tones did not translate in the photos I took... they all look brown, but in person this does not lean brown. It isn't the most unique colour, but it applied opaque in two easy coats and had a pretty smooth, shiny finish. Even better, it did not stain my nails.

Did you get the November Glymm Box? What did you think?

November Luxe Box

November's Luxe Box marks the end of my extended membership. As a founding member, I was given the chance to extend my subscription at $10 when they announced the price hike a few months ago. I was toying with the idea of this being my last box, but it was pretty good, so we'll see....

November "menu" which I just noticed is no longer customized.

Jam packed full of November's goods

Contents (from left to right):
- Benefit B. Right! Moisture Prep Toning Lotion
- Paco Robanne Black Xs for Her
Paco Robanne Black Xs for Him
- Moroccanoil Styling Cream
- Lise Watier Plumpissimo Le Gloss in Nude
- Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution Complex
- Teaopia Cactus Fig Tea Kit with paper liners

While there was no full size item in this month's box (well, my box anyhow, I have seen some people did get full size items, how that works out I'll never know...) but the Pacco Robanne mini fragrance key chains were a nice touch. I'd rather have another item for myself than the men's fragrance, but I guess I'm selfish like that :)

Paco Robanne Black Xs for her and him

Teaopia Cactus Fig Tea
The Teaopia bonus is nice as well and they included a discount card for the Teaopia website as well. I might just have to check that out.

And last but not least, a fast swatch of the Lise Watier Plumpissimo Le Gloss in Nude. The gloss is kind of thick and quite opaque. I haven't tried it on my lips yet, but it looks promising.

After receiving this month's box, I got an email from the Luxe Box team stating that the Moroccanoil Styling Cream was actually expired. Humm. Due to that they noted that the product was still good, but that they would also be including bonus items in the next box to make up for it. I guess I will have to get at least one more box.

Did you get the November Luxe Box? What did you think of the selection?