A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Archive for December, 2012

Collage Overlay by Seche

Seche Collage Overlay

My wishful thinking led me into my third Sally Beauty Supply in hopes of finding a couple of rare colours from the China Glaze Cirque du Soleil Nail Polish Collection…and although they were sold out in the specific shades I was looking for, just like everywhere else…I saw something I didn’t even know existed.

Seche Collage Overlay Nail Polish topcoat
Seche came out with a limited edition topcoat called “Collage Overlay”.  It’s made up of medium and large sized hexagon glitters and string glitters.  Almost all of the glitter chunks are mainly rose in colour, but there is also the odd large white hexagons as well.  All of them are hugely reflective and make for a very fun and flashy manicure.

Seche Collage Overlay

It’s so unique looking, I knew I had to add this to my collection.  If you feel the same way, you can pick this up at your local Sally Beauty Supply for $8.99 CAD or $6.49 US, it is currently not available on their website.

Collage Overlay topcoat by Seche

Application was easy and you don’t have to worry about getting a good variety of glitter on each nail.  Here you can see one coat of “Collage Overlay” layered over top of “Liquid Vinyl”, a basic black nail polish by Orly.

Collage Overlay over top of black nail polish

I’ve absolutely loved this mani ever since I first did it.  It’s so reflective and flashy I can’t help but constantly check out my nails!  What do you think of this new topcoat “Collage Overlay” from Seche?  I think it is perfect for ringing in the New Year!  What will you be wearing on your nails when the ball drops?

I also wanted to let you guys all know that my husband and I are heading out today on our much belated honeymoon and will be gone until the middle of January.  So you won’t see any posts around here for the next couple of weeks, but I look forward to getting caught up with all of you soon.  🙂

So please have a Safe and Happy New Years Eve!

xox,

Shannon


Being a BzzAgent gets you FREE stuff! And in this case, that’s Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration!

Getting free stuff with BzzAgent

I think it is safe to say that everybody loves getting free stuff.  I’ve personally made it very clear that I’m a sucker for a good “gift with purchase” and constantly want to buy value packs and sampler kits because they are a better deal.  So when a fellow blogger and friend of mine, Rebecca over at The Lipstick Gal, turned me on to BzzAgent several months ago, I thought it sounded like a great idea!  At the time she was reviewing a set of Gucci perfumes she had received for free for simply signing up to be a BzzAgent.  The company BzzAgent puts a great deal of value in word of mouth advertising and they believe that people who have sampled certain products or know someone who has tried it out, are more likely to branch out and try something new.  With a whackload of clients, www.bzzagent.com is looking for more and more people all the time who are interested in trying out a variety of free products.  Their campaigns involve everything from household items, to pet food, beauty and skincare products, or even food for your family.  So no matter what your interests, hobbies or daily grind involves BzzAgent has something for you to try out.  All they ask is for feedback and for you to share coupons and samples with your friends.

To get started, all you have to do is sign up!  It doesn’t cost you anything, other than a few minutes of your time to fill out a few surveys.  The surveys help them match up future campaigns that might suit you.  If you don’t have pets, they won’t send you dog food, etc.  I had signed up several months back and had practically forgotten all about it, until I received an email inviting me to a BzzCampaign for Burt’s Bees.  They wanted to send me some brand new, full-size products from their Intense Hydration line for absolutely FREE!  Naturally, I accepted and within a week I had about $45 of free product arriving at my door.

Getting free products with BzzAgent

I received a full sized Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream with Clary Sage, a full sized Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser with Clary Sage…as well as a mountain of Night Cream samples to give away to friends, family, co-workers, etc.

Getting free stuff with BzzAgent

I’d never tried anything from Burt’s Bees skincare line before.  I’d dabbled in their lip products, like most everyone I think…but that was where my experimentation had ended until very recently.  I was excited to try out some new skin care products as I didn’t have much of a routine that I was dedicated to.

But before I talk about the individual products I got to try, I want to talk a bit about Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration products being 99% natural and the part “Clary Sage” plays in their line of Intense Hydration products.

Burt’s Bees is a product line very dedicated to making  natural products that are GOOD FOR YOU.  They pride themselves on using the best natural ingredients available and processing them in the simplest way possible.  Every package they have for sale states clearly on it, what percentage of natural ingredients are inside so you always know exactly what you are putting on your skin or lips.  Burt’s Bees doesn’t test on animals and they do their best to limit their environmental footprint by using innovative packaging and ensuring zero waste goes to landfills from their facilities.  They are certainly a company you can feel good about supporting with products you can feel good about putting onto your body.

The Intense Hydration line is made with Clary Sage and I found the story behind this crucial ingredient particularly interesting.

Deep in the windswept hills of the Mediterranean, a lone plant fights for its life against the elements.  Clary Sage survives and thrives in spite of its harsh surroundings, thanks to the plant’s fierce will and exceptional ability to adapt and retain moisture.  This remarkable botanical is the inspiration behind Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Face Care line – the brand’s natural ode to soft, supple and revitalized skin.

In clinical studies, 100% of women tested said their skin felt hydrated after using Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration products.  That is a stat that is hard to argue with.

Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser 

Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser with Clary Sage by Burt's Bees

Cream Cleanser with Clary Sage by Burt's Bees

Burt’s Bees Description states:

  • Provides intense hydration and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Leaves skin feeling soft, supple and revitalized
  • Removes dirt, oil and makeup
  • Rinses easily without leaving a residue

Intense Hydration Night Cream

Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream with Clary Sage (for dry skin)

Burt's Bees night cream for dry skin

Burt’s Bees Description states:

  • Replenishes moisture while you sleep – wake up to skin that feels soft, supple and revitalized
  • Provides intense hydration and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Absorbs quickly thanks to a rich, non-greasy formula

My thoughts after 3 weeks of testing:

I suffer from dry skin mainly throughout the Winter months.  Winter in Canada can be quite drying to all of my skin, but my face always seems to suffer the most, or at least I worry about it more than anything else.  I have combination skin that lends itself to being quite dry from November through March.  It’s especially bad this time of year because when it is really cold outside, I tend to engage in extremely hot showers, which further dry out my skin.  It is near impossible to keep my skin hydrated.

Once I received this set, I really wanted to give the products a fair shake and created a routine where I would remove my eye makeup and use this cleanser and night cream before bed each evening.  The first thing I noticed about this facial cleanser is the amazing scent.  It smells clean and refreshing…almost like what you’d expect a a fresh, mountain meadow to smell like.  This cleanser is not an exfoliant, so the formula is very soft and not too thick.  It spreads easily onto a wet face and a little goes a long way.  It feels extremely gentle and truly does rinse off easily with no hassle.  What I noticed immediately was after I finished washing, my face wasn’t tight and dry feeling.   I’ve experienced several cleansers that although they left me feeling clean, they also left me with an immediate need for face cream, this thankfully wasn’t one of them.  I proceeded to apply my overnight eye cream and then the Burt’s Bees night cream all over my face.  So every night I’ve been going to bed with soft and supple skin that feels very refreshed and clean.  Over the course of the past few weeks, there have been a couple of nights where I didn’t make time for my new routine and I went straight to bed.  Each time, I paid for it the next morning and woke up feeling dry, tight and even experienced some flaky, dry skin across my forehead.  With Burt’s Bees I’m able to wake up feeling hydrated, instead of feeling like I need to go straight into “damage control” mode and play catch up.  The night cream isn’t greasy at all and I end up feeling hydrated for about a 24 hour period after each use.  So it isn’t until the following evening when I start feeling like my skin could use some more nourishment.

So if you suffer from dry skin in winter, or any time, you should really consider giving Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration a try and see if it is right for you!

Do you suffer from dry skin?  What do you use to keep your skin feeling soft and hydrated?

Thanks for reading everyone and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

xox,

Shannon


Color Club’s “Winter Affair” set of mini nail lacquers

Winter Affair Nail Polish Swatches

If you are still in need of stocking stuffers for that beauty lover on your list then this Color Club “Winter Affair” set of mini nail lacquers may be just what you need.

Winter Affair Color Club set

The Winter Affair nail lacquer set is made up of 3 beautiful shimmery polishes and a flakie top coat….and yes as the label suggests, they are scented!  This was the first time I’d ever noticed the brand “Color Club” at Sally Beauty Supply but had heard a lot about them on-line, so I was excited to pick up this set and give them a try.

Color Club 2012 Christmas Set

This set of minis from Color Club is currently available in stores for $6.99 US or $8.99 CAD.

These mini nail polishes didn’t state the actual shades on them anywhere, so I had to look them up on-line and found the following information.

"Winter Affair" Nail polish swatches by Color Club

“Berry and Bright” is the shimmering red and smells like…well…berries!  The scent could also be compared to sugar plums.  It is a very festive berry scent.

The green you see is “Ho-Ho-Holly” and to me, smelled exactly the way a pine or mistletoe candle would.

The shimmering blue nail polish is called “Gift of Sparkle”.  For some reason, depending on where you purchase this set “Gift of Sparkle” is actually a different colour.  Sally Beauty offers the blue and at other locations you might find a glitzy purple with the same name.  I can’t speak for the scent of the purple one, but the blue one smells like vanilla…but a very strong vanilla.

The flakie polish on the end is called “Snow-flakes” and is the only one from the set that isn’t scented.  When I saw this in the bottle, I was actually hoping it was  similar to Make a Spectacle from China Glaze’s Halloween collection, but it wasn’t anything like it.  The reflective nature of this polish is very subtle on the nail and much more pronounced in the bottle.  At certain angles you can’t see it at all, but if the light hits it just right, then you will see multiple shades reflected in these flakes.  I think next time I will actually try out this top coat with more than one coat and see how that changes things.  Regardless of my high hopes and slight disappointment, it is still pretty!

Snow-Flakes swatch by Color Club

The formula of these polishes was fantastic, not too thick and not to thin.  These pictures are actually all with just one coat if you can believe it!  So these polishes are perfect for when you are in a hurry and don’t have time to wait for 2-3 coats to dry.

Please note: I don’t recommend using multiple polishes for a manicure like I did here.  The mixing aromas was a little overpowering for me and I had to change this mani over to a single color mani.  But when I had on only “Berry and Bright” it was just a nice soft scent and very manageable.  If you have a sensitive nose though, these might be too much for you.

This was my first adventure into the world of scented nail polish and I haven’t made up my mind yet as to how I feel about it.  How about you?  Do you like scented nail polish and have a brand you turn to?

Thanks for reading!  Happy shopping for those of you that still have some left!

xox,
Shannon

Mini Nail Lacquer gift set "Winter Affair" by Color Club


Tarte’s LipSurgence Collector’s Set (complete set of indoor and outdoor swatches)

Statement Lips set by tarte

I was shocked to see this set back in Sephora store’s and just had to grab it!

tarte 5 piece LipSurgence collector's set

This 5-piece LipSurgence Collector’s Set from Tarte called “Statement Lips” sold out earlier in the season and I was lucky enough that they replenished those empty shelves!  I was wandering through Sephora and when I saw it, I was just plain thrilled. 🙂  I was actually in store returning the Cinderella Moonlit Kiss Lipstick Set and was stoked to be able to replace them with a product I know isn’t drying and always feels great on my lips.

Tarte 5 piece LipSurgence set for holidays 2012

This set is made up of a variety of LipSurgence types and all of them are full size products (which retail for $31 CAD individually or $24US).  It has one matte (“exposed”), two lip lusters (“escape” and “sweet”) and two lip tints (“enchanted” and “elite”).  This Statement Lips set of 5 LipSurgence products by tarte retails for $44 CAD or $34US.

tarte 2012 christmas value lip set

Although you can’t find this on-line any more, be sure to check your local Sephora for stock, mine still had a bunch of them when I picked this one up.

And remember, no need to sharpen these babies, they are twist-up’s so there is no fuss and no mess.

tarte LipSurgence Collector's Set, swatches and review

Here is a look at this 5-piece Collector’s Set swatched on my hand:

swatches of tarte LipSurgence set 2012

I thought these swatches didn’t really fully encompass these shades, so I wanted to be sure to do full lip swatches as well, both outdoors in natural light and indoors with flash.  Hope you find these helpful when deciding if this set is right for you, or perhaps the perfect gift!

escape LipSurgence Natural Lip Luster

“escape” is a shimmering pink and reminded me of “My Moment” from the Cinderella set I recently returned.  This one just has slightly less glitter, but a far better formula.   So for those of you that were in love with that shade, this is a good alternative….and won’t require the layering of clear gloss around it to make it bearable.

"escape" lipsurgence natural lip tint review and swatch

"escape" tarte lip swatch

enchanted LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint

“enchanted” is a sheer rose shade and what is particularly awesome about the sheer tints, is because they are sheer, they really play off the colour of your natural lips, so they will look different on everyone and compliment everyone.

"enchanted" by tarte, review and swatches

"enchanted" lip swatch by tarte

exposed LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Tint

“exposed” is described as the perfect nude.  It really is a gorgeous lipstick and I’m SO glad it was in this collection.  I wasn’t sure at first if it would be too dark for me, but I actually love that it has a darker pigmentation than I am used to with my nude lipsticks.  Instead of washing me out, it defines my lips in a natural way.  Definitely one of my favourites from this tarte collector’s set.  

exposed matte lip tint by tarte, review and swatches

"exposed" lip swatch by tarte

sweet LipSurgence Lip Luster

“sweet” is a shimmering peachy pink.  It’s not as glittery as you might expect from tarte’s line of lip lusters, but it has a very pretty gloss-like finish that isn’t over the top.  I see myself getting a lot of use out of this shade, because it is subtle, yet soft and pretty.

sweet lip luster by tarte, review and swatches

"sweet" lip swatch on lips, tarte LipSurgence set

elite LipSurgence Lip Tint

“elite” is the other sheer one in the collection, described best as a sheer melon shade.  This is my other favourite from this set.  It is sheer, so will again play off of your natural lip colour, but for me, I found the amount of pigmentation just right.  I also have a lot of “rose” shades already, so to have something with a slightly more tropical feel is awesome.  I’m very happy to have added this one to my collection.  I see it getting steady use year round, but especially in Spring.

"elite" lip tint review and swatches

"elite" lip swatch on lips, tarte's statement lips set

I personally can’t wait for next year’s 5-piece set of Tarte LipSurgence products!  Every year they change the colours and these sets are such fantastic value!  I hope you are able to get one before the 2012 stock is sold out.

Statement Lips set of LipSurgence by tarte (Christmas 2012)

Let me know if you have this set already and what you think of it!

Thanks for reading!

xox,

Shannon


China Glaze’s Cirque du Soleil Collection feat. “It’s a Trap-Eze!”

Confetti nail polish by China Glaze, Cirque du Soleil collection

China Glaze’s Cirque du Soleil collection has been available in the US for a little while, but just recently hit the shelves in Canada.

Cirque du Soleil nail polish collection 2012

There are a lot of beautiful colours in this collection and they aren’t limiting this winter collection to muted or classic winter shades.  They’ve really gone out of their way to add some very fun and bright shades to help you cure the winter blues.


It’s A Trap-Eze!

Whirled Away

Escaping Reality

Surreal Appeal

Def Defying

Running In Circles

Hanging In The Balance

Water You Waiting For

Creative Fantasy

Bend Over Backwards

Igniting Love

Get Carried Away

Colour Palette courtesy of www.chinaglaze.com

I was hoping to get my hands on Creative Fantasy, Running in Circles and It’s a Trap-Eze!  But out of the two Sally Beauty Supply stores I went to, neither of them had any of the three shades out on display.  Only when I asked, was I lucky enough to find out that they had some “It’s a Trap-Eze!” tucked away in the back.  Not sure why that was the case, but I was glad I asked nonetheless.

So,  I wanted to share with you this very unique nail polish that I’ve just added to my collection.

Its a trapeze nail polish by China Glaze/confetti nail polish by China Glaze

It’s a Trap-Eze! reminds me of confetti, frosting and angel food cake all at the same time.  This nail polish truly looks delicious!

China Glaze confetti nail polish

It is made up of medium and small sized hexagon shaped glitters in a variety of fun, bright colours that are floating in a creamy, milky base.

China Glaze nail lacquer "It's a Trap-Eze!"

This is what two coats looks like:

swatch of Its a Trapeze nail polish by China Glaze

The creamy soft coloured base makes this mani perfect for winter and the holidays!

If my experience is any indication, this polish might be a hard polish to get in store and you might need to order it on-line if you want to ensure you don’t miss out.  If any one knows of any dupes to this, please be sure to comment below!

As for the formula, It’s a Trap-Eze! glides on very easily and you don’t have to fuss with the glitter at all to get an even distribution.  My only complaint with this polish is that I experienced minor chips along my tips after just a day and a half.  Within 3 days, almost every nail showed signs of wear.  So although, I love the polish, I wish it held up to the elements better.  That won’t stop me from wearing this unique polish though, it is just too fun to keep on a shelf.

Did you pick up any of these limited edition polishes from the China Glaze Cirque du Soleil collection?

xox,
Shannon


December 2012 Topbox

December Topbox Contents

The middle of the month has rolled around already and that means that my December Topbox has arrived.  After November‘s amazing Topbox, I was so excited this time, I started ripping off the paper in the elevator, I couldn’t even wait to get up to our apartment.  I was pretty surprised to see it in my mail box when I got home from work, considering the boxes shipped out Thursday and it was in my mail box on Friday.  🙂  Thank you Canada Post!

Topbox Review for December 2012

Unfortunately though, that is where my “thank you’s” end.  I was disappointed with sample after sample from this month’s Topbox…and I will tell you why I’m particularly irritated this month.

Box 32 Contents from December 2012 Topbox

Let me start by sharing a little bit of background.  Being a Topbox subscriber, you have the opportunity to fill out survey’s every month so Topbox can better personalize your box for you.  I think this is an incredible feature and is the main reason I signed up for Topbox in the first place.  So you have your standard beauty profile in your account, which is very limited and only consists of about 6 questions.  But, every month, about two weeks after your last Topbox, they email you a survey to help them personalize the next month’s box for you.  December’s survey featured a few different questions, two of which I remember the jist of quite clearly.  One asked if I was suffering from acne breakouts recently.  I answered “no”.  The other question I remember pertained to how often I blow dry my hair.  My answer would’ve been “very rarely” or “close to never”.  I think the last time I blow dried my hair has to be close to 9 months or a year ago.  I have hair almost to the small of my back that dries bone straight, so my blow dryer sits in a rarely opened drawer.

So what were two out of the four samples I received?  Acne treatment cream and styling gel for blow drying your hair.  *sigh*  The spray gel is particularly frustrating because the Topbox card says “for short or long hairstyles” but the bottle itself says for “short” hair.  I suppose if I actually ever blow dried my hair, I could use it for hair my length…but I personally have zero use for this sample.  Thank you Topbox for completely ignoring my survey this month…

If my other two samples had been incredible, I probably wouldn’t have cared so much, but I received another perfume sample…..and a small pigment sample (equivalent to the sizes you can get from MAC or Sephora for free just by asking).  So this month was a complete and utter disappointment for me.  The packaging was cute for the holiday season, but that is where my excitement ended.

Enough ranting, let’s take a closer look at the items I received in Topbox #32:

Kellett Clarifying Acne Treatment 

kellett Clarifying Acne Treatment

5% Benzoyl Peroxide Gel

Dosage: Apply a pea size amount twice daily to affected areas or as directed by physician.  Fair skinned individuals should begin with one application. 

I personally hate these types of packaging for samples, because there is too much product for just one use, but there is no way to reseal them after you’ve opened them.  So it takes some effort to ensure they don’t spill all over the place or dry out before you can even finish trying them out.  I really think it would’ve been great if the samples were instead in a mini bottle or tube.  

These two packets are 3mL each, for a total of 6mL.  The full size bottle available for retail sale is 50mL and costs $75.00.  This sample is valued at a total of $9.00.

Chloé Eau de Parfum

Chloé Eau de Parfum

This perfume sample comes in the cutest little bottle and though it is hard to see in the picture “Chloé” is etched on the top plug which is an adorable touch.  The scent itself is a strong floral, rose scent that smells very fresh and sophisticated.  It in no way smells cheap or “old ladyish”.  It seems to be quite long-lasting in my first experience with it and is quite elegant and classy.  So although I wasn’t at all wanting another perfume sample, this one is lovely.  I just hope I don’t get any more for a few months because my stock pile of perfume samples is growing too large and I can’t keep up!

The full size version of this perfume is 50ML and retails for $90.00.  That means this 5mL sample of perfume is valued at $9.00.  

Goldwell  Style Sign Jelly Boost

Goldwell Jelly Boost spray gel

Easy-to-use spray gel for creating instant body and texture.  

Directions: Spray onto towel-dried hair and finger style.

Full size bottles (150mL) retail for $18.95, making this 30mL sample valued at $3.79.

Ferro Cosmetics “Blush x 3” Mineral Pigment

Whisky Rose Ferro Cosmetics Mineral Pigment

Whiskey Rose swatch by Ferro

Ferro Cosmetics is a brand founded by Celebrity Makeup Artist Krissy Ferro.  They make 100% natural mineral makeup.  Their Blush x 3 line of mineral pigments are multi-purpose pure mineral pigments that can be used on the cheeks, eyes or lips.  Advertised as saying “every shade matches every skin tone”.

The packaging of this sample is a nightmare.  Because there is no plastic cover or anything inside the vial, the pigment gets everywhere.  So as soon as you open it, it spills all over and as soon as you close it the same thing happens – it gets all over your hands and everywhere else in close vicinity.  

To give you an idea of sample size, it is the very close to the same size you would receive at a MAC store or counter.  Except the MAC vials have a much better seal and don’t spill all over the place.  

It was hard to find a value of this sample because there is no measurement of weight or contents on either the sample or the full size products (retails for $17.00) on the Ferro Cosmetics website.  They do however have samples of other products available for sale on-line, so I can estimate that this sample’s actual value is somewhere between $3-4 dollars.  

Bottom Line

Value wise for this Topbox, it is safe to estimate this box at about $25.  But as I’ve said before, it is only worth it if you actually plan to use the products.  Otherwise the $12.00 invested could be better spent somewhere else…

That makes 2 out of 3 boxes from Topbox complete misses for me.  I was really disappointed that my December survey responses were ignored.  I only have one or two more Topboxes in me, before I cancel my subscription.  I really hope January’s box is better!

What did you receive in your beauty box(s) this month?  Does anyone have a suggestion for another Canadian Beauty Box that I might like better?  I’m curious about Loose Buttons, Glymm and Glossybox.  If you are a subscriber of any of those, I’d love to hear if you are happy with the service!  Please leave a comment below or send me an email.

Thanks for reading everyone!

xox,

Shannon

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Feeling Festive? A Christmas Makeup Look

Red and Greek Makeup Look - Festive Makeup - Christmas Makeup

Just a couple of weeks ago I posted a smokey metallic makeup look that I wore to my husband’s work Christmas party.  By the time my work party rolled around, I was ready to mix it up.  I wanted to play with some colour and ended up with a very intense, bold and festive makeup look.

Christmas Makeup - Red and Green Eye Makeup Look

Red and Green eye makeup look

What I used to get this look:

Colorful Christmas Makeup

Holiday Makeup/Christmas Makeup

How about you, are you being adventurous with your makeup this holiday season?

I really hope you all like this fun makeup look for Christmas!  After all there is really only one time of year that this makes any sort of sense at all and that is right now, during the holidays!  I’m sure some people would argue that there is no time of year that this look makes any sense haha…but I had a lot of fun with it regardless and I do believe that is the point!!  So make sure you remember to have a little fun too. 😉

Thanks for reading!

xox,

Shannon