Friday, December 20, 2013
I was very surprised to receive a Topbox this month since I cancelled my subscription in November after receiving only skincare samples for two months in a row. I’m guessing that Topbox bills a month in advance so this should be my final box.
Despite the fact that I no longer want to receive Topboxes, I was fairly impressed with the December box, especially the nail polish and lip butter.
Here are the items that I received this month:
1. Cuccio Colour Nail Lacquer in Remix (full size) – There is a lot of colour going on in this glitter polish (even though it isn’t visible in the photo above), so I’m going to try my best to describe it. The polish includes many hexagonal silver glitters. The rest of the polish is made up of very tiny glitters in shades of green, purple, blue, and silver. Everything is held together with a clear base. Cuccio polishes are free of Toluene, DBP, and Formaldehyde, and they retail for $10. While I love nail polish, I don’t wear glitters often and probably won’t get much use out of this one. For this reason, I will save Remix for a giveaway.
2. Belvada Cosmetics Coconut Lip Butter (full size) – This lip butter is very smooth and has a light coconut scent. Since this product retails for $10, I expected better quality packaging. The little brown pot is made of a very cheap plastic. I probably wouldn’t purchase this product on my own because I don’t like using lip products in pots since they are not very sanitary.
3. Estee Lauder Modern Muse Eau de Parfum (sample is 2.9 ml) – I normally avoid the Estee Lauder brand because it is not very youthful. I thought the packaging of this sample was so cute though so I decided to try the fragrance. Unfortunately it was very strong and mature. I had to wash it off because it made me feel like sneezing even though I only applied a tiny bit of it to my wrist. I like fragrances that are a bit lighter and sweeter so I will not be using this.
4. Skiin Instant Tightener and Line Filler (sample is 3 ml) – Although I fill out the Topbox surveys every month and try to communicate that I really do not like skincare samples, I still continue to receive them. This sample is meant to tighten sagging skin and lift and smooth creases and wrinkles. While it does sound like an interesting product, I have very sensitive skin and tend to avoid anti-aging products which are often quite irritating.
Overall, this Topbox was more impressive than the boxes I have received over the past few months; however, I am still happy with my decision to cancel my subscription.
At the current time, I am not subscribed to any beauty boxes, but I would love to try something new. Any suggestions?
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Has flat hair got you down? From the cold, dry air to the knit hats and earmuffs, there are many winter elements that can suck the volume out of your hair.
My favourite way to give hair a bit of lift is by adding curls to it. I like using curling wands but I tend to burn my fingers on them and I can never seem to get perfect curls on the right side of my head for some reason. I know I’m not the only one. I always notice when other women have one side of perfect, shiny curls and a nest of mediocre waves on the other.
Luckily, Nail Polish Canada has announced their plans to take a stand and solve this important issue by giving away three Babyliss Miracurls. In just seconds the Miracurl literally sucks your hair right in, curls it, then beeps to let you know that it’s done. Check out this video to see how easy it is to use this automatic hair curler: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knCcKILG97w&t=4m33s
To enter the giveaway, simply describe why you or a loved one is in need of a Christmas Miracurl at: http://www.nailpolishcanada.com/products/miracurl-by-babyliss.html (bottom of the page).
The contest is open to residents of the USA and Canada, and the prize will go to whomever can show that they are the most “in need” of this curling tool.
Notes about nominations: Feel free to stretch the truth a bit and most importantly have fun.
In the spirit of a true Christmas Miracurl, the winners will be announced Christmas Day!
Good luck in the contest, and I wish all of you many great hair days in 2014 :)
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Newly released from CND, the Vinylux system is a weekly nail polish. It claims to last a full week on the nails without a base coat and dry very quickly. It comes with a top coat that must be used over each shade to ensure its staying power, and the polishes are said to strengthen their resistance to chips through exposure to natural light.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to try out the Vinylux Weekly Polish Forbidden Mini Collection courtesy of my favourite online nail polish retailer, Nail Polish Canada (NPC). Like all of the orders that I have received from NPC over the years, this one came well packaged and included a surprise treat.
The set includes six Vinylux Weekly Polishes and one Vinylux Weekly Top Coat. These mini bottles contain 3.7 ml. I tried out the shades and was surprised to find that each polish has a different formula and finish. Also, the package directions recommend using just two coats of polish which was enough for some shades but not all. That said, it’s true that the polishes dry very quickly. I found that if I accidentally got a bit of polish on my cuticles, by the time I reached for my orange stick, the polish on my skin was dry and I had to get some remover to clean my skin. This is a bit frustrating for those who like to clean smudges while painting; however, I did not have to account for any drying time between coats and I was able to paint my nails rather quickly. Another benefit of these polishes is their scent. They do not smell nearly as harsh as most polishes that I have tried and the faint smell quickly dissipated as soon as the polish dried rather than lingering in the air for hours. Also, from what I have observed, all of the shades in this set (with the help of the top coat) do last for at least a week (usually longer).
Here are my thoughts on each shade:
Burnt Romance: For me, this shade was the most difficult to work with. The first coat looked very smooth upon application but the next coat was rather streaky. I added a third coat to attempt to smooth out the streaks. It helped a bit but I was not completely satisfied with the finished product. This polish had the thickest formula of all the cream finish shades in this set. As for the colour, I would describe it as a reddish-orangey brown with a cream finish. Normally shades like this don’t complement my cool toned skin but I like how the colour of this one looks on my nails.
Tinted Love: This creamy berry shade applied smoothly and dried to a glossy finish. Only two coats of this one were needed since it is very opaque and dries evenly. The formula was thinner than that of Burnt Romance and it glided on the nails effortlessly. My only complaint is that this one left my nails and cuticles with a light berry stain that took a few days to fade once I had removed the polish. I was expecting this though since colours with red or dark pink undertones are often difficult for me to remove and I did not use a base coat with this one so it had more direct contact with my nails.
Dark Dahlia: This polish is my favourite in the set but it did surprise me a bit. First of all, it looks very dark in the bottle and in the photos above, but it was the thinnest, sheerest formula in the whole set and it required three coats to reach opacity. These three coats were very even and smooth and dried very quickly. Like Tinted Love, Dark Dahlia was not streaky, very easy to apply, and it dried to a shiny finish. The colour looks black upon first glance but it is a beautiful deep creamy blackberry that flashes its purple undertones when it catches the light.
Blue Rapture: In my opinion, this medium blue cream is the most unique shade in the collection. I do not own anything like it and it was the first polish to catch my eye when I opened the package. It’s a brighter shade compared to the others but it is very winter appropriate and would look nice during the warmer months as well. The formula of this one is very interesting. It required only two coats to become opaque and even but it dried to a sheen-like finish rather than a gloss. It almost looked like damp wall paint when it was dry and I could see some subtle brush strokes even after it was set. The brush strokes melted away once I applied the top coat.
Night Glimmer: Out of all the polishes in the set, this one had the thickest formula. The polish is so thick that it is almost impossible for a drop of polish to fall from the brush. However, the polish is in no way sticky and it had the fastest drying time. Night Glimmer is also incredibly opaque which is quite surprising considering its glittery finish. It was opaque after just one coat but I applied two. The colour is a bit difficult to describe. The base is a dark grey with pewter shimmers. Sometimes when the light catches it, I see hints of tan coloured glimmers. Whereas most of the polishes dried to a naturally glossy finish, this one was rather flat and reminded me of the suede polishes from OPI. The topcoat helped add a bit of shine.
Steel Gaze: This glitter polish is much thinner and sheerer than Night Glimmer. It applies very smoothly and does need three coats. It can be worn on its own though and does not need to be applied over another polish to show up. This shade has a silvery green base with gold and silver glitters. It dries to a glossier finish than Night Glimmer and the shimmer is much brighter and more eye catching.
The last polish in the set is the Weekly Top Coat. While this product does help extend the life of the polishes and prevent chipping, it does not provide the glossy finish that I’m used to. It gives a bit of shine but doesn’t leave a glassy, reflective finish like Seche Vite or Poshe. It’s also not as thick as those top coats but it is very fast drying. This top coat needs to be applied quickly to avoid streaks.
Overall, I really like the concept of these long wearing polishes and and they are a great option for someone looking for polishes that don’t need to be touched up or reapplied often. The colours are perfect for a range of skin tones and they are very appropriate for the current season. I would love to see if CND comes out with a Vinylux collection for spring and summer.
The CND Vinylux Weekly Polish Forbidden Mini Collection and other CND Vinylux products can be purchased from NPC: http://www.nailpolishcanada.com/categories/cnd-vinylux.html
For a limited time, NPC is offering FREE SHIPING on ALL Canadian orders (no minimum). USA orders over $50 ship free too!*Although I was sent this product to try out and write a review on, all opinions are honest and are my own*
Friday, December 6, 2013
I really like this eye shadow guide created by Sigma Beauty. I never know which colours will suit me and it’s especially difficult to choose a colour when shopping online. The guide shows day and night recommendations but I’m the type of person who would wear the day recommendations at night too since I like to keep my shadows very light and natural. I think my day recommendations are very accurate based on what I like to wear, and I especially appreciate that the liner recommendation is not black since black liners look very harsh on me.
How do you feel about this guide’s recommendations for your eye colour?
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Since then, I have had the opportunity to try another pair of earrings. The Coffee Circular Pearl earrings below are a very affordable yet classy pair of earrings that are perfect for work but will also look great with a fancier outfit.
The photos below make the pearls look a bit more warm toned than they are in real life. They are actually more of a mocha colour.
I like that these earrings are very light on the ears and the yellow gold coloured accents are minimal. I normally prefer shades of silver over gold but I find that the gold complements the shade of the pearls in this particular set. The little rhinestones look very elegant and add subtle hints of glamour to the earrings.
Overall, I think these earrings are pretty for the price.