Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 2016 Beauty Box Five

December 2016 Beauty Box 5  1

The December 2016 Beauty Box Five* features products to help us ring in the New Year with its Just Add Confetti / Party Perfect theme.

If you are unfamiliar with Beauty Box Five, it is a subscription that sends its members five cosmetic samples each month. Subscriptions start at $12 per month and shipping is free!
Now let’s talk about the December items.

December 2016 Beauty Box 5   2

1. Amlactin Cerapeutic Restoring Body Lotion | Retail: $2.99 (full size) - This moisturizer relives dryness for up to 24 hours. I will definitely be using this on my legs which get very dry during the winter.

2. Professional Freezing Finish Spray | Retail: $3 (full size) - This hairspray tames flyways while resisting humidity and adding body and texture without ever feeling tacky. I think I will save this product for the summer since it’s very dry here right now and I want to really put it to test during the warm, humid weather.

3. Neutrogena Rainbath | Retail: $7.24 - This body wash leaves skin feeling soothed without any soapy residue. It also smells warm and fresh due to its scent combination of spices, fruits, and herbs. I like how this sample is the perfect size for travel and the slim bottle design will save room in my suitcase.

December 2016 Beauty Box 5    3

4. Jelly Pong Pong Liquid Gossamer | Retail: $22.95 (full size) - This liquid illuminator is a lightweight highlighting product that provides skin with radiance and hydration. It’s a shimmery copper shade that will add a soft, natural glow to many different skin tones. I will be keeping this on hand for when my skin needs a little boost during the dreary winter months.

5. Hikari Lip Gloss | Retail: $13 (full size) - This semi-matte gloss provides moisture and long-lasting colour. I received the shade Fate which is a pretty mauve colour that is universally flattering.

Overall, I think that Beauty Box Five wrapped up the year with a great selection of products. The December 2016 box includes four full size items that retail for over $40, and the fifth item is a generous size sample. The products come from a range of different beauty categories such as hair care, body care, and makeup, so there’s really something for everyone.

It’s been a great year for Beauty Box Five, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2017.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Nail Polish Canada Haul: Essie Gel Couture Nail Polishes and Top Coat

Essie Gel Couture Top Coat and Nail Polish in Take Me To Thread Spool Me Over Turn n Pose

If you have been reading my Nail of The Day (NOTD) posts lately, you will know that I have been getting gel manicures done at a salon. I have been so busy cleaning, holiday baking, and attending formal events that I've needed long-lasting, chip-free polish to keep my nails looking great at all times.

While I enjoy getting salon manicures, I miss painting my own nails and don’t enjoy paying $40-50 for each gel manicure. As a result, I decided to try out some gel polishes that can be used at home and chose the Essie Gel Couture line after reading lots of positive reviews. One aspect of this line that is especially appealing to me is that it does not require a UV or LED lamp to cure the polish like the salon gel lines do; those lamps can be quite expensive and I try to avoid unnecessary UV exposure. The Gel Couture polishes are meant to last longer than regular polish (up to 14 days) when used with the Gel Couture Topcoat.

I purchased mine from Nail Polish Canada since I was eager to try the polishes and I know that their shipping is super fast. I placed my order in the afternoon on December 26th and received it on the morning of December 29th. The polishes and top coat from this line each retail for $10.95 on Nail Polish Canada, so I basically got four bottles of product that can be used many times for the price of one salon manicure.

I bought three colours to start. From left to right in the photo above, the first shade is Take Me To Thread, a taupe creme. This polish is slightly more cool toned in real life and is part of that grey/purple/beige family that’s flattering on many different skin tones. I have quite a few similar polishes from regular polish lines, so I knew I needed a gel version. Next is Spool Me Over, a light salmon pink/nude creme. I love wearing light pink creme shades and this is the closest that I could find. It’s more peach than what I’m used to, but it’s very pretty. The last polish is Turn ’N’ Pose, a deep plum purple creme. I don’t normally wear dark colours, but lots of the reviews that I have read recommend this shade so I decided to try it. I also really love purple polishes and know that I will get use out of it.

Once I try each shade, I will have separate review/swatch posts for each.

Have you ever tried Essie Gel Couture polishes? If so, how do they work for you? Which shades are your favourite?

Tend Skin Review

Tend Skin Review

Have you ever woken up the day after suffering through a painful bikini wax to discover that your smooth, hair-free skin has been invaded by unattractive, uncomfortable ingrown hairs? This happened to me many times until I gave up on waxing and went back to shaving. Unfortunately, I soon remembered that razor burn is just as irritating as ingrown hairs.

Luckily, Nail Polish Canada now carries Tend Skin*, a product that can help keep our skin in good condition after hair removal. Tend Skin reduces razor bumps, treats ingrown hairs without the need to tweeze, and reduces the appearance of redness caused by shaving. It can also be used after waxing and electrolysis to prevent and reduce ingrown hairs, as well as to treat redness or irritated skin after waxing or facials.

This product is to be used after hair removal by applying a thin layer to dry skin with a cotton ball and repeating daily. It’s made for both men and women and is recommended for men’s faces and necks and women’s legs, underarms, and bikini lines. The formula is a clear liquid and the main ingredient is aspirin. When I was younger, my grandma used to wet an aspirin and put it on bee stings to minimize pain and swelling. This was a very effective method for treating the sting, so I can see how aspirin would be a useful ingredient for treating the irritation that results from shaving and waxing.

That said, Mr. Writing Beauty and I put this product to the test to see if it really is an effective solution for dealing with ingrown hairs and razor burn. He often has redness, irritation bumps, and a few ingrown hairs on his neck even on days when he doesn’t shave. After the first use, the redness was significantly minimized. It usually appears shortly after shaving but only about half of what he usually experiences occurred. He used it a second time that day before bed and woke up to much smoother, less inflamed skin. With continued use over the course of the week, his skin was cleared of the ingrown hairs and was free of redness and irritation bumps. Now, he gets a much closer shave because the razor can glide over smooth skin, so he can actually shave less often.

I tested out the product on my bikini area where I often experience razor burn and I have a few ingrown hairs that have been hanging around from my waxing days. Just like Mr. Writing Beauty, I noticed a progression over the course of a week when using this product. My razor burn minimized with each use and my existing ingrown hairs, which were bumps under the skin with no visible hair, began to shrink to the point where I could soon see the hairs before they eventually came to the surface. I wish I had this on hand during my waxing days when painful ingrown hairs kept me from feeling comfortable in bathing suits. Now, I’m ingrown hair and razor burn free. I’ve gone from using this product after shaving in the morning and then before bed at night to only using it after shaving. It’s also very convenient since it dries very quickly so there’s no need to wait to get dressed after using it.

Aside from using this product after shaving, I discovered that Tend Skin can be used on pimples to reduce swelling, tone down redness, and mattify the area. I will also keep it in mind in the summer when the mosquitos start biting again.

I must confess that this product does burn a bit. The first time I used it before shaving, I was surprised by the burning sensation, especially on an area where I unknowingly had a small cut from my razor. When I checked the ingredients again, I noticed that Tend Skin is alcohol-based which likely explains the cause of the burning as well as the alcohol-like scent. The burning is not unbearable, doesn’t last long, and seems to become less prominent as the skin becomes less irritated with continued use. I am more than happy to put up with a little burning in exchange for skin that is free of ingrown hairs and razor burn.

Overall, I am very impressed with Tend Skin's effectiveness and quick results. I think it’s great for anyone who shaves or waxes to have on hand. It’s also reasonably priced at $19 for 118ml since a little goes a very long way. On www.nailpolishcanada.com, this product ships out on the next business day so you won’t have to wait too long to try it out after placing an order. At the moment, Nail Polish Canada is offering free Canadian shipping on orders over $29 or $4 flat rate. Shipping to the United States is also available.

To learn more about Tend Skin, click HERE.

Have you every tried Tend Skin? If so, how well did it work for you? If not, do you plan to try it?