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Monday, November 29, 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway Winner!

Are you ready? One lucky winner has been selected to receive a $20 CSN Stores gift card. Congratulations to....

Alluring Bath and Beauty!!!
the proof, you don't get my spreadsheet though... I'm lazy!

Check your email!

Sad you didn't win? Don't be, just be sure to enter my Holiday Giveaway!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Special Announcement: Holiday 2010 Giveaway! *CLOSED*

Like it needs to be said again, but Christmas is approaching and to celebrate and thank all of my lovely followers, readers and blog friends I would like to do a little giveaway.

I decided that instead of purchasing items having them sent to me and then in turn send them off the lucky winner, I will instead giveaway a digital $30 Elf gift card. Then not only does the winner get exactly what she (or he I suppose) wants, but I can put more money into the prize that would otherwise go into shipping.

To enter you must be a follower (old or new) and fill out this form.

Other info:
  • Please, if you are under 18 ask permission of your parents or guardian, I don't want to get myself (or you) in any trouble.
  • Please only enter if you have a working email address, as this is a "virtual" prize. I would hate to send it off and it never reach the winner.
  • Please only fill the form out once. Anyone who I suspect is using multiple names and or email addresses will be removed from the draw. Please keep it fun and fair.
  • Winner will be selected randomly using
  • Entries must be received by the end of Dec.20th (my time)
  • International entrants welcome!
If you have any additional questions, please leave me a comment on this post.

Sale Alert: Elf Cyber Monday

In case you didn't get in enough Black Friday shopping, Elf has just the thing for you: a sale!
Use code 55WIDE on orders of $25 or more and get 55% off.

I don't think I'll be ordering, as I have done enough damage already, but it would be a great time to order brushes and of course Christmas gifts. Will you be placing an order? What did you get? Yes, I am nosy, but do tell!

P.S Don't forget to enter here to win a CSN Stores gift card. Giveaway ends Monday night!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review: Mark The Big Fix 15 -in-one Big Benefits Balm

In the "better late than never" category, a review that has been in the works for... well, let's just say far too long. When Mark. launched their new fair trade line a month or so ago, I was very excited to give it a try and was even more excited to be able to snag the whole thing at an incredibly low price. I have to admit, I haven't gotten around to using much of it yet, but one product I am loving is the Big Fix 15- in- one Big Benefits Balm (longest product name ever?)

"Be a part of the solution- about 15 solutions with this ultimate taskmaster that softens skin and improves everything from chapped elbows and heels, to dry skin, lackluster cuticles and unruly brows. Enriched with a nourishing blend of cocoa butter, olive oil and sunflower seed oil. It's the ultimate act of kindness. Fragrance free, allergy tested." - package.

This balm is made with Fair Trade certified ingredients including: coca butter, olive oil, and vanilla, but despite delicious scented ingredients this is an unscented product- well, they say that, but I do find it has a slightly olive oily scent to it. This balm is water free so you are getting a more concentrated product that gets right to work on dry skin. I have been using this product on my elbows, knuckles, cuticles and palms and l love it! It is a tad greasy feeling when you first apply it - I usually apply it before bed- but it absorbs pretty well and faster than you would expect of a thick balm. Because it is a heavier product, I only use it on my really dry areas, but you could use it pretty much anywhere you wanted to.

looks alright, but...

A thumb's worth of product = $15?

I always like try to be positive about products, even ones I don't care for all that much, and while I do like this balm I have to say the price is a bit nuts. The product sells for $15 Canadian ($10 US) and comes in an over-sized lip balm style twist up tube. As you can see from the photo above the tube looks like a fair size, except for the fact that it only contains about an inch of product. While the product does last - I have been using mine steady for a few weeks and it has only gone down a bit- I hate when companies make deceptive packaging. If the product works people will buy it. It isn't necessary to make it look bigger. I just put two and two together (four?) You are paying $1 per usage of the product.... I don't even know if I can think of 15 ways to use it though. Can you?

All in all I am very happy with this product and am pretty pleased with the results. Have you used this product or any others out of Mark's Fair Trade line? What did you think?

P.S Don't forget to enter here to win a CSN Stores gift card. Giveaway ends Monday night!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Review: Clarisonic Mia

The boxes... exciting!

My Mia arrived! It actually arrived Tuesday, but I had posted so many hauls I thought I would wait to post anything about it until I had actually used it. I have used it and I love it!

For those who aren't quite sure what I am babbling on about Clarisonic is a little hand held device that uses the same sonic technology that is used in sonic toothbrushes, except it cleanses your skin. They have a few different versions, the Mia being the less expensive, slightly smaller version.

The Mia, charger and user guide

"The essential first step in your daily skin care ritual, Clarisonic Mia is a professional- caliber brush that uses gentle sonic micro-massage action to cleanse deeply. Mia gently clears pores without harsh abrasion or chemicals, cleansing so effectively that skin care products absorb better. Results include 6x more makeup removal than manual cleansing, reduced appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles, and improved skin tone." - from User Guide

Mia and all the goodies (savings card not shown)

I ordered my Mia (in Kelly Green) from the Shopping Channel when it was a Showstopper (meaning a one day only price) and got a few extra goodies included. Along with with the standard cleanser that always comes with the Mia, I got a replacement brush head -regular. The Mia comes with a sensitive brush head on it to start, two extra cleansers and a $20 savings card for the Shopping Channel.

I was very excited to get it all charged up and try it out. Of course, as with most electronic gadgets, you were supposed to let it charge for 24 hours before using, but it was charged enough for me to get a go the first night. They must have been expecting eager people like myself.

"This Cleansing System uses a patented sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to clean, soften and smooth your skin. In just 60 seconds a day, the Clarisonic micro-massage action cleans more than twice as effectively as manual cleansing."- from The Shopping Channel Mia Description

In hand, for size reference.

That's right, not only does this little gem get your face far cleaner than you ever could it only takes 60 seconds. I was a bit skeptical on my first use, so I did two rounds, but it really does only take 60 seconds. I have only been using mine since Tuesday and I don't know how I ever went about without it. I have already noticed a difference in the feel and look of my skin. My skin feel softer and my "problem" pores are far less visible. I have always had pores on the large side, particularly around my nose and my chin, but they have already reduced in size. As a result, my makeup applies easier and my dry areas are pretty much a thing of the past.

Although this is a smaller size and the body brush heads don't fit it, you can use the Mia on your body too. I took mine in the shower this morning - did I mention it's waterproof too? The whole thing can be submerged in water!- to use it on my neck and behind my ears as I am prone to dry skin in those areas. Even after one use I have noticed a difference on my neck. I like that you aren't limited to the Clarisonic cleansers either, you can use any cleanser of your choice as long as it does not have jagged exfoliating particles (like shell) but it can be used with soft exfoliating cleansers (like the bead varieties.)

I can't say enough about how thrilled I am about this product. While the Mia is a less expensive (av. price $160) alternative to the original Clarisonic (av. price $250) , it is still an investment - in my opinion anyway- but if it is something you can afford, definitely go for it.

Do you have a Clarisonic? Would you purchase one?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Holiday Wish List 2010

I always like seeing what other people are wishing for each year, and with today marking the "omg one month until Christmas and I haven't bought a thing" day- I know, can you believe Christmas is only a month away? Ridiculous!

Anyhow, I thought that I would share a few of the items I'm hoping Santa will send my way.

Sigma Complete Kit without Brush Roll

Urban Decay "Naked" Palette

Nina Ricci Nina L'Elixir

Urban Decay Box of Potions

Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Makeup

MAC Gift Card

Living Proof No Frizz Discovery Kit

Stars Makeup Haven "Build your own" 15 Pan Eyeshadow Palette

I probably won't actually receive any of these items, hence this being a "wish list" but hopefully I'll have a little "holiday cash" at my disposal and can snag a few of them (on sale?) after the rush.

What's on your holiday wish list? Have you gotten any shopping done yet?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NOTD: My Bloody Valentine with Revlon Valentine

I have had this nail polish for a while. How long, I can't be too sure... I remember where I bought it but not when I bought it, oddly enough. I remember being a bit apprehensive as to whether or not it was the right shade of red for me, as at the time I never wore red. I am so glad I took the leap as I love it!

Revlon Velentine #730 or as I like to call it Bloody Valentine, because it does indeed have a blood-ish hue and because it makes me think of the band. Yes, I said band not the film. Anyhow, this is a very hard colour to capture correctly, and even though I took photos in just about every setting my camera has it still isn't quite right.

no flash

The best photo colour wise, is the one with no flash (above.) I took this with no flash, then edited in some light. This is pretty close, but it isn't quite as brown in person.

with flash

low flash

With flash the colour is way too red, and low flash, well it isn't quite right either. The colour is closer, but for some reason you can see nail line, which you can't in person. This colour applies really easily with two coats. It almost applies like a jelly and has a slight jelly appearance, but you can reach full opacity with only two coats.

All in all this is a great vampy red perfect for fall-winter season. I usally don't wear it any other time, but it does make for a really sexy pedicure any time of year. Have you tried this shade? What is your favourite red polish?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review: Lush Sugar Babe Scrub

Last night right after I posted my Lush haul, I delicately chopped my Sugar Babe nugget and headed for the showers. Okay, I only have one shower... whatever.

The Sugar Babe scrub - which I keep calling a nugget, mainly because that is what it is, an over sized scrub nugget as opposed to your typical wet, in a pot type sugar scrub- is a ylang and mimosa blossom scented treat guarenteed to leave you soft and smooth.

This product is made with an array of ingredients, but more prominently:
  • coconut oil - gives a natural balance to the skin and can reduce symptoms of eczema and psoriasis.
  • Beeswax absolute- known for soothing, protective and antiseptic properties that are still used in medicine today, interestingly enough.
  • Sugar- well, not much to say on that front... sugar is sugar
Photo from Lush of Sugar Babe

My Sugar Babe nugget

As suggested on the site, I was going to cut my scrub into quarters but I realized the pieces seemed a bit big, so I made mine into six. Off the bat I noticed that my scrub did not have the gooey looking pink centre that Lush shows in their product photo... I was a bit "wtf?" I will admit that I was a bit excited to see the centre (dork? indeed) and then was totally let down to only have a wee little speck of innards. Oh well I guess.

I was very worried about getting it wet before I was ready to scrub down, so I housed mine in a bathroom cup and hid it away in the driest corner of the shower I could find, which ironically enough, was behind my Yves Rocher Vanilla Scrub (blasphemous!) Once ready for my scrub down I carefully placed my chunk-o'-scrub in my hand and well, scrubbed. I liked that the scrub was customizable, meaning that if you wanted a harder scrub you could use the product with less water or if you wanted a more gentle scrub you could add more water to dissolve some of the sugar. I scrubbed my arms, special attention to elbows, neck, legs, knees, heels and butt. Always remember to scrub the butt ladies! It tends to get forgotten, but it could use a little (gentle) scrub every now and then. You significant other will surely notice and love the new softer posterior. Promise.

All in all I am very happy with this product. My skin was smooth and moisturized when I toweled off and very happy. The scent isn't really for me, but I am not a floral type of gal. Don't let that scare you though, it has a clean fresh scent, but it isn't my first choice. I would have loved it if it was vanilla or something fruity sweet, but I have a sweet nose.

Have you tried this product? What did you think?

P.S This post should be extra "purrrrfect" since I had the boss lady breathing down my back the whole time...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lush Haul!

Lush-y Goodness!

I was just bumming around the house, getting some laundry done when I happened to go out to the living room and noticed a box in my front porch. What kind of box, you ask? The bestest (yes, bestest) kind ever! One from Lush, that is!

I have wanted to order from Lush for what seems like forever, and after reading the Lush Times that came with my order I officially have to move. I don't have a Lush anywhere near where I live and I am afraid there are just sooo many things I can't get online. Anyhow, onto what I did get!

As you can see in the photo above, I got some Vanilla Puff Powder which smells good, but not as vanilla-y as one would assume. Had I known how to read when I ordered it, I would have known it has jasmine in it too. I am very interested to see if there is a vanilla bean pod in the tub as they claim.

Dark Angel in the can

Left over Dark Angel

Next, is Dark Angel Facial Cleanser. It says for dull and oily skin, I am not oily very often, but I do get dull skin, especially in the winter. Oh, and it exfoliates, I love a good exfoliation! I bought a can to store mine in as I wasn't sure how it would be packaged. I was able to fill the can and still have a chunk that wouldn't fit. Currently I am hating the can. I stupidly closed it properly and nearly sprained my hand trying to get the lid off again. If there is some trick to get the lids off please do tell.

Sweet Lips scrub... smells like mmm

Sweet Lips lip scrub. Yes, another scrub. I have a problem. But with a product that claims to smell like a milk chocolate bar why not? I hate to admit it, but I can get seriously flaky dry lips even though I always balm up before bed. I thought that this would be the perfect (and tasty) solution.

Continuing on with the scrub theme, Sugar Babe is a sugar scrub nugget with a gooey looking pink centre. I am so very excited to use this and am planning a delightfully scrubby shower after I am done with this post.

Soap samples

And last but not least... what is any proper cosmetic order without samples? Nothing. I received a sample of Bohemian Soap and Figs and Leaves.

Have you tried any of these products? What is you favourite Lush buy?

NOTD: Starry Skies with Revlon Top Coat

As you probably already know, I picked up a bottle of "Star" top coat which I thought was from Revlon's holiday nail polish collection, but apparently is not. It was displayed with the "new" holiday shades. The holiday collection overall isn't that creative: a red, a white, a green. Your typical holiday fare. The one item that caught my eye however, was Star, a gloriously glitzy top coat. The polish is a clear base with blue and silver glitter and silver holo confetti suspended in it.

I am usually only a full on opaque glitter kind of gal, but this just looked so good in the bottle I had to give it a try. I rooted through my polish drawer for a colour that looked like it could create something similar to the look of the bottle. I was initially going to use a blue as the base, but I ended up using a Sephora based grey that I frankened some time ago.

To get the look I used two coats of the dark grey with two coats of Star on top. I found that if you brush this top coat on like regular polish, non of the glitter and fun stuff stays on your nail. You kind of have to gob it on and then brush it out. Like most glitter polishes of this sort, they larger holo confetti is totally random, so you end up with a ton on one nail and then none on the other, so it takes a bit of finesse to get a more even look.

I'm not sure what I think of this look... what do you think? Have you tried this polish yet?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"A Little Bit of Everywhere" Haul

All in a day's work!

I did a whole bunch of running around yesterday, and of course that meant getting a bit of shopping in.Of course this is where I share and do a little rant.

My main mission of the day though was to stop in at Rexall/Pharmaplus for their 50% of face products (foundation, concealer, bronzer, primer, blush and what not.) Now, I live in a small town and have never actually shopped at at Rexall so I used the handy dandy location finder thing they have on the website. I was pumped to see that I have a Rexall downtown. A 50% off sale should never be missed.

I love a lot about living in a smaller area, but downtown shopping sucks! There is never any parking, and half of the stores don't have back entrances, so you end up going down very questionable alleys to get to the right store. I was lucky enough to be with my mom (who was driving) so I could just jump out and run in.

Revlon ColorStay Blemish Concealer and Foundation

In the store I automatically found the makeup aisle ( I think I was born with a cosmetic homing device) only to see it was very small. The only brands they had were Revlon and Cover Girl. Humm. No problem, there are a few Revlon products I have had my eye on. Oddly enough though there were no signs mentioning the sale and no prices on any of the items. I though little of this, small stores in small towns aren't always up to speed, so I picked a bunch of stuff and made my way to the register.

I'll give you the short version of what went down: the cashier was rude (read: bitch) the store isn't a Rexall, they are Guardian (she says this whilst standing in front of a HUGE Rexall sign) and they don't follow the Rexall sales. I mentioned that when you look up Rexall's in the area their location came up, and she didn't seem to care. Needless to say I left behind almost all of my selected items and only left with two. They were overpriced too. I am thinking I will contact Rexall's head office and share my experience.

Quo Brush Cleanser $3

Enough of that though, I stopped into Shopper's for the one day sale on Quality Street, Christmas just isn't Christmas without a can, only to find they were sold out. Boo! They were having a 40% sale on Quo brushes, and I do need a few brushes, but the quality didn't look that great and I am hoping Santa brings me the Sigma set I've got my eye on. I did grab a small bottle of brush cleaner, which ended up being 40% too (I thought it was only the brushes on sale.) Had I know that I would have grabbed the bigger bottle. We'll see how well it works.

Cool Crisp $2 for pkg of two

Then it was into the dollar store for some Christmas things. I have some gifts already and figured I might as well wrap them and get them out of the way, so I stopped in to get more ribbon and neat Christmas-y things to adorn my packages. I found the greatest coupon organizers there so I had to pick up a few more because everyone that sees mine wants one. Everyone I know will most likely get a coupon organizer with their Christmas gift. I also found Cool Crisp, little packets you put in your crisper to keep your fruit and veggies fresh and deodorize your fridge. I got mine for $2. They are $4.99 for the same package at Canadian Tire.

Revlon "Star" top coat $6 beside a Sephora franken I plan on layering with

One last stop of the day found me in Pharmasave, where I picked up a Revelon top coat "Star" from the holiday collection, my weekly gossip (In Touch) and a box of Kernels popcorn. I didn't even know you could get microwave popcorn by them.

Avon earrings $15

And in the "shopping that comes right to you" category, Avon came in on Friday and I was super good. I only got myself two things: a deep treatment mask and a pair of super cute brass earrings. They're so cute I'm going to have to get the matching ring too.

Not the best day of shopping, but it wasn't terrible. Did anyone else have a shopping weekend? What did you get?