Thursday, March 31, 2011

Light Pink Polish for Spring: Zoya Marilyn

Marilyn is one of my current favourite light pink polishes for spring. Zoya describes this colour as a blue based cotton candy pink with a light metallic shimmer. Although it does not have a cream finish, Marilyn can look completely opaque with three coats. Because Marilyn is a light shade of pink, it matches with any outfit and even looks appropriate in a professional or office setting. This is currently my go-to colour on days when I can’t decide what to wear. It always looks nice and lasts for a long time without chipping.
What is your current favourite spring nail polish?
*click photo to enlarge*

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nail Polish Swatch Videos

In a couple of my earlier posts I showed you swatch pictures of my Essie and OPI polishes. I have since taken the photos and put them into videos so that the swatches are easier to view in sequence.

Hope you enjoy!

Essie swatch blog post:

Essie Nail Polish swatches

OPI swatch blog post:

OPI Nail Polish Swatches

Zoya swatch blog post:

Zoya Nail Polish Swatches

China Glaze swatch blog post:

China Glaze Nail Polish Swatches

Monday, March 28, 2011

My First Beauty Book

Yesterday, while browsing through my book shelf in search of my copy of the MLA Handbook, I came across a book that I have not opened for years.

It was my very first beauty book. When I was in my early teens I bought the book Seventeen How To Be Gorgeous: the ultimate BEAUTY GUIDE  to MAKEUP, HAIR, and More while on a shopping trip with my mom, my grandma, and by best friend. Written by Elizabeth Brous (the Beauty Director of Seventeen when this book was published in 2000 by HarperCollins), this book covers all aspects of beauty including makeup, hair, skin care, and nails. It gives a lot of great tips for younger girls and approaches beauty with a “less is more” attitude.

In addition to providing product application tips, the book includes information on makeup for specific skin tones, makeup application tools, makeup essentials, hair cuts for different face shapes, hair repair tips, do-it-yourself hair styles for special occasions, skincare for various skin types, sun protection, hair removal tips and tricks, nail painting techniques, and much more. All information is contained in 154 informative pages.

I have attached a few photos that show the cover and examples of pages in the book.

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At the time when I purchased this book its price was $14.95 USD / $19.95 CAD. Now Amazon is selling it for $50 for a new copy! Used copies start at $0.79.

If you know a young girl who is just starting out with makeup, or just like to read beauty books yourself, I definitely recommend trying to get your hands on a copy of this book.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, March 27, 2011

MAC Brush Cleanser

In the past I used to use gentle shampoos to clean my brushes. They worked fairly well but I always wanted a cleanser that I could use to spot-clean my brushes daily in addition to deep cleaning them every so often.
MAC Brush Cleanser was recommended to me and, after using it for a few months, I am thankful that I purchased it.
MAC claims that its brush cleanser cleans, disinfects and conditions brush fibres so that brushes will last longer. This product is said to be convenient to use and specifically designed to extend the life of high quality brushes. It also claims to leave brushes smelling fresh and clean, and help shorten their drying time.
I have to agree with all of the above except for the part about leaving brushes smelling fresh and clean. My brushes really don’t smell like anything after I cleanse them but that is not a big deal as long as they don’t smell bad.
For  cleansing I put a drop of the cleanser on a folded tissue and then gently move my brush back and forth in the liquid to clean. This process is very quick and gets my brushes completely clean. They also feel very soft after.
At $14.50 CAD for 233ml, this cleanser seems a bit expensive. However, a little bit goes a long way and I think that my bottle will last for quite a long time.
*click photo to enlarge*

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Free Shipping at Spa Boutique on Any Order is a Canadian online store for skin, hair, makeup, and other cosmetic products. They sell brands such as Zoya, Babyliss, Cake Beauty, China Glaze, Clarisonic, Essie, Fusion Beauty, Stila, and many more!

For the next three days Spa Boutique is offering free shipping on every order with the coupon code ShipMarch11.

Spa boutique ships outside of Canada as well.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Spring Clothing

Over the last few months or so, I have picked up a few items to wear for spring. All items were purchased at discounted prices. I believe that clothing in general is overpriced so I usually only buy items that are on sale. While browsing through the clothing in this post, keep in mind that, where I live, the weather is still a bit cool in spring.
The first three items are from Dynamite ( which is one of my favourite clothing stores. Probably 90% of my wardrobe is from Dynamite. Since I only buy clothing on sale, Dynamite is the ideal store for me because they have a sale section that is constantly being added to. The clothing is of great quality for the price and it always fits me very well.
First is a tunic. I love the neckline and skinny black belt. I think this tunic would look great paired with some dark wash skinny jeans and cute black pumps. On cool nights a black blazer would add a classy touch to the look.  As you can see from the price tag, I got a great deal on this item. It was originally $36.90 and I got it for only $20.
This next tunic is a heaver sweater-like fabric. It’s hard to tell from the photo but it is a dark navy-purple colour with short sleeves and a cute button detail near the neckline. This will look great with dark skinny jeans and camel coloured pumps. It is very fitted but a light brown belt around the waist could add some extra detail to this top. I think that the tunic would work well  paired with some white capri pants as well. The combination of the white and blue would give a nautical effect that is very in for spring. This tunic was $20 as well marked down from $44.90.
The last item is a gingham dress. It has a cowl neck and a skinny black belt that adds shape. The pockets on the sides add to the shape of the dress as well. Paired with a black blazer and black pumps, this dress can be worn to business-casual events. For parties, this dress would look cute with some brightly coloured heels. I would love to try it with red, purple, or mint green pumps. The sale price is not all that clear in the photo but I only paid $20 for this dress that was originally $34.90.
The last two items are from Urban Behaviour ( They were on clearance and were final sale items so I accidentally took the tags off before taking pictures.
I’m not sure of the original price of this sweater but it only cost me $4.95 . It is a thin, yet incredibly soft, material. It is also very fitted and flattering. It’s perfect to throw over a lot of different outfits when the weather is cooler. It would also look cute with a pair of white shorts.
I also don’t know the original price of these grey lounge shorts but I paid only $4.95 for them as well. They will come in handy during late spring and early summer. I can wear them around the house or by the pool.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sigma F80 - Flat Top Kabuki

Recently I was given the opportunity to try one of Sigma’s new Sigmax High Definition Synthetic Brushes—the F80 - Flat top Kabuki.
Sigmax brushes in general are meant to provide flawless makeup application as a result of their exclusive Sigmax filament that is specially designed to apply powder and liquid products without absorption into the fibres. The careful engineering of the shape, density, and height of the filaments in Sigmax brushes allow the brushes to perfectly buff products onto the skin for a high definition effect.
The F80 itself is a buffer brush from the Sigmax line that can be used to blend powder liquid or cream products. Since the fibers are synthetic, they are formulated to  be used with liquid products and  should be easy to clean.
Beginning with the construction of the brush, the best way that I can describe its fibres, handle, ferrule, and overall appearance is with the word luxurious. At first glance, this brush looks very classy and professional with its shiny silver ferrule, matte black handle, and silver writing. You can tell that the handle is made of good quality material because it is quite heavy and solid. The ferrule is well crafted and holds the brush fibres very tightly. So far I have not experienced any shedding whatsoever from this brush. I was absolutely shocked by how soft the fibres are. For lack of a better description, when rubbed against the skin they feel like the fabric of an expensive teddy bear. In addition to being soft, the fibres are very dense and hold their shape without being stiff. Unlike Sigma’s duo fibre brushes which have black and white bristles, the Sigmax fibres are chocolate brown with cream-coloured tips.
The F80 costs $16 and can be purchased on the Sigma site 
Considering its high quality, I think that the price of this brush is reasonable. These Sigmax brushes are very unique and, at the present time, I would not consider them dupable. As a result, $16 is acceptable for a high performing good quality unique brush. Or, if you want to try all three of the Sigmax brushes including the F80, F82 - Round Top Kabuki, and F84 - Angled Top Kabuki, you can save a bit of money and purchase the entire set for $42
Most of the reviews that I have seen on this product comment on its ability to apply liquid foundation. I decided to test it with three types of blushes instead.
1. Pressed powder blush – This is the first type of blush that I used to test my F80 brush. Specifically, I used my MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty. In my opinion, the brush is perfect for blush application because it fits nicely on the apples of the cheeks. I tapped the brush into the pressed powder blush a few times and then swirled it onto my cheeks in an upward motion. The result was a flawless flush that gave a glow-from-within effect. My blush was neither blotchy nor streaky and looked very natural.
2. Cream Blush – I used this brush with my MAC Blushcreme in Ladyblush. I have always struggled a bit with applying this blush. It is the old formula and is quite sticky and, at times, difficult to blend. Since the Sigmax brush is so dense it is easy to pick up too much colour. Therefore, I added cream blush to the brush by lightly tapping the brush twice into the product. I then tapped the blush onto my cheek using a stippling technique on the apples of my cheeks, and then swirled the brush to blend out the harsh edges. The result: perfection. I am so pleased with how well this brush applies cream blush and I think that Sigma is correct to say that this brush is ideal for applying liquid and cream products. It is firm enough to blend the product thoroughly to avoid streaks and unevenness, and soft enough to give a flawless application that really buffs the product into the skin, giving a natural finish.
3. Loose Powder Blush – My L’Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Blush in Soft Rose was used for this test. Since the brush is so dense, it picked up way too much of the product. I had to do a lot of tapping to remove enough product so that it was easy to apply. In the process I ended up with blush all over my table. This also has to do with the fact that the blush is in a very small container and the surface of the brush is quite large so it did not fit as well into the container as I would have liked. That said, once I removed the majority of the powder from the brush it did give a decent application that was nice but not as perfect as the pressed powder and cream blush application. For loose powder blush I much prefer to use my Sigma F55 - Small Duo Fibre brush which you can find here:    I also have a review of it here if you are interested:
As a result of testing out this brush on various types of blushes, I conclude that the F80 is great for applying pressed powder blush and ideal for applying cream blush. I cannot, however, recommend it for loose powder blush. For those who often wear loose mineral products, I would recommend a duo fibre-style brush rather than one of these high definition brushes to ensure the most exceptional application results.
My final test involved cleaning the brush. I applied my MAC brush cleanser to a tissue and gently moved the brush back and forth in the cleanser to clean the bristles. The F80 cleaned very nicely and even after days of blush use, the cream coloured tips of the bristles were left with no traces of pink. The brush also did not need to be reshaped after cleaning. If I had needed to reshape the bristles I could have done so with the brush guard that came with the brush.
If you like the F80 and would love to have one of your own, look for updates on my blog and YouTube channel…there may just be a giveaway Smile
*click photos to enlarge*

Monday, March 21, 2011

Zoya Promotion

Soga is offering a BOGO promotion on its new summer collections. Plus, they are offering $2 standard shipping.

To see more details about this promotion as well as links to the new collections, check out the company’s blog at:

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Which colours will you get?

I’m thinking about Areej and Rica.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Buy New Clothes, Help Japan

For today only (March 18, 2011), 100% of every dollar you spend online at Forever21 will go toward the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan. So buy something you love to help a great cause. Don’t wait as this offer ends tonight at 11:59pm.

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           Click on your country’s Forever21 website to begin online shopping and help a great cause:

           United States:




Thursday, March 17, 2011

I Went Shoe Shopping!!!!

I have always had trouble finding nice pairs of heels. My feet are a bit wide and most pairs of pumps are often very narrow. Also, pumps are usually quite expensive and I can’t justify spending $70 on a pair of shoes that I won’t wear every day. For the past four years I have worn the same pair of mid-heel black pumps to work, nice dinners, business-casual events, etc. Aside from them, I have not owned another non-formal pair of heels…until now.
A few weeks ago, I passed by the Spring shoe store in my city and decided to take a look at the sale items. I came across a pair of cute brown pumps that were very affordable. The store did not have my size but ordered them for me from their store website ( When I picked them up they fit very well. I left the store eager to go home and search the Spring website for other great deals. I was surprised to find that the website’s return policy allows customers to return shoes that were purchased online to spring stores for a full refund. In the past I have avoided ordering shoes online because I did not want to have to worry about paying expensive return shipping fees if I did not like the shoes. Spring’s website also ships orders over $49 for free. If the order is less than $49 shipping starts at $5 which is not bad. If you don’t want to pay shipping costs, you can also go into a Spring store and have them order the shoes online for you for free. You pay for the shoes ahead of time at the store and the shoes arrive either at the Spring store for you to pick up or at your home address—whichever option you prefer.
In total, I purchased four pairs of pumps over the last month or so. A dark brown pair, a camel coloured pair, and a pink suede pair. I also purchased another pair of pink pumps from Wal-Mart.
*click photos to enlarge*
1. CARLA by George from Wal-Mart
Colour: Salmon/Rose
Size: 7 (normally I wear 7.5-8)
Original Price: $19
My Impressions: Normally shoes from Wal-Mart either hurt my feet or do not fit properly. These shoes are definitely an exception—they are comfortable and fit well. They are really in style for the season with their nudish-pink shade and glossy finish.
2. FOISY by Spring
Colour: Chocolate Brown
Size: 38 (normally I wear 7.5-8)
Original Price: $49.99
Sale Price: $17.98
My Impressions: I really like these shoes. They are well made and fit perfectly. I chose this colour because it is a nice change from the black shoes that I normally wear.
3. FOISY by Spring
Colour: Natural
Size: 38 (normally I wear 7.5-8)
Original Price: $49.99
Sale Price: $24.98
My Impressions: These shoes are exactly the same as the dark brown ones, aside from the colour of course, so I’m not sure why they are $5 more. That said, I really like these shoes as well and I think that they will match many different outfits.
4. JESMER by Spring
Colour: Light Pink
Size: 38 (normally I wear 7.5-8)
Original Price: $49.99
Sale Price: $24.98
My Impressions: I am not completely sure how I feel about these shoes. I actually had to order them twice because the first pair had some dirt marks and a dent in one of the heels. This next pair looks much better but, as you can see from the picture, the bottoms are very dirty. They were never worn by me so they must have collected the dirt while in the store. I think the suede fabric on the outside of the shoe as well as on the bottom collects lint and dirt. Even the pink exterior looks a bit dirty. I bought these shoes in addition to the Wal-Mart shoes because they were a different texture. These shoes are suede and may be more appropriate to wear in early spring or early fall. The pink ones from Wal-Mart will be more appropriate for summer months. The downside to suede shoes is that they get dirty very easily and need to be sprayed with protector frequently to prevent staining. At the moment I do not know if I will keep these shoes or return them. They are cute but they may not be practical. Either way, they were a good price.
*Bonus Pictures*
Since I’m showing my new shoes in this post, my cat wanted to show her paws Smile

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Britney Spears Fantasy Fragrance

Recently, my mom gave me a bottle of Britney Spears Fantasy Perfume as a gift. I have had the other three perfumes from the Fantasy line for a while but not the original…until now of course.
The bottle may look large in this photo but it is actually only 15ml. It is so tiny and looks very cute on my perfume tray next to the bigger ones.

It has the same gorgeous bottle style as the other Fantasy fragrances. The background is a medium pink colour and the jewels are a light green. The colour combination makes me think of Strawberry-Kiwi and reminds me of summer.

Unlike the larger sized bottles, this perfume does not have a spray nozzle. Once the lid is removed there is a small opening at the top of the bottle. With my finger placed securely over the opening, I tip the bottle slightly and dab a bit of perfume onto my wrist, neck, etc. Some may view this applicator as a downside but I don’t mind it. I actually like how I can control the amount of perfume that I want to apply. In the long run it will be less wasteful.

At $10 for 15ml it does seem a bit expensive since in the past I have purchased 50ml bottles of the other Fantasy fragrances on sale for less than $20. However, I think of the tiny bottle as a collectible so the price is not a huge deal. I do hope to get a full-sized version some day as well.
Now onto the scent. It’s perfect for someone like me who enjoys very sweet scents like Aquolina’s Pink Sugar (I will probably do a scent comparison post about Fantasy and Pink Sugar in the near future).  This fragrance includes notes of red lychee, golden quince, exotic kiwi, cupcake accord, jasmine petals, white chocolate orchid, creamy musk, enchanted orris root, and sensual woods.
The scent is pleasant and probably the sweetest smelling fragrance in the Fantasy line. For me it falls into the same category as Circus Fantasy—energetic, fun, girly, and youthful without being juvenile.
Be careful not to apply too much of the fragrance as it can easily turn from delicious to sickeningly sweet. One or two spritzes (or dabs in the case of this mini bottle) are more than enough.
As far as I know, Fantasy is still in production and is very easy to find. I have seen it at Sears, the Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall, Wal-Mart, and many other stores and online retailers. For more information on this fragrance and other perfumes produced by Britney Spears, check out:
My rating: 4.5/5
Read my other Britney Spears Fragrance Reviews:
Midnight Fantasy:
Hidden Fantasy:
Circus Fantasy:
*click photos to enlarge*