Monday, January 27, 2014

Zoya Naturel Collection Review + Swatches

The Zoya Naturel collection features six full coverage rose toned nude polishes. Each shade has a cream formula that dries to a glossy finish even without topcoat. According to Zoya, each polish in this collection is cool toned and has an opacity level of 5/5.

As soon as I saw the press release for this collection, I knew that I needed to put it on my wish list since I love cream polishes and shades of pink and purple. In fact, this is the first time that I ordered an entire collection from Zoya; usually I only want a few colours from each seasonal collection. I purchased my set from Nail Polish Canada for $50 CAD (individual colours are $9.75). I thought that this was a great price since the Zoya website is selling the set for $54 USD. 

The polishes came in a clear plastic box with the word naturel written on the front in light grey. The colours are organized in the box by shade from lightest to darkest.

The first three colours, Chantal, Taylor, and Rue, are the lightest. In the bottle, Chantal and Taylor look almost identical; yet, as you can see from the swatches below, they are easy to tell apart when on the nails. I can’t decide which one I prefer with my skin tone. If anything disappoints me about this collection it’s the fact that two nude shades were included. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a good my nails but better colour, but I would have preferred to see maybe just one light nude and another unique pink or purple shade. I prefer Rue to the nudes because it is more pink toned.

The three darker colours are Brigitte, Odette, and Normani. These three have less in common than the first three. Brigitte appears to be a darker version of Rue, Odette is a brighter shade of pinkish purple, and Normani is more of a greyed purple. These three, along with Rue, are my favourites in the collection. 

Now for the swatches.

Zoya Chantal: Chantal is a French vanilla cream in the nude/beige family. In the swatch above, this shade looks fairly even. However, the first two coats were rather thick and streaky. The third coat smoothed everything out. I would say that Chantal is more peach than Taylor.

Zoya Taylor: Taylor is a light toffee cream in the nude/beige family. Like Chantal, Taylor required three coats to look even. This polish is much thinner than Chantal though and only needed three coats because the watery formula was too sheer after just two. Compared to Chantal, Taylor has more brown tones. 

Zoya Rue: Rue is a boudoir blush cream in the nude/pink family. Unlike the first two polishes in the collection, Rue has a very smooth formula. The photo above features three coats but Rue was opaque with just two. I love this shade because it’s a cozy, more sophisticated version of the baby pink polishes that were popular in the summer.

Zoya Brigitte: Brigitte is a bombshell mauve cream in the nude/mauve colour family.  This polish has a smooth formula that is easy to apply. The photo above shows three coats of Brigitte but only two are necessary. This classy pink toned nude is very versatile and is the perfect shade to add a hint of colour to the nails without clashing with clothing or accessories. 

Zoya Odette: Odette is a sultry orchid maroon cream in the nude/mauve family. This pigmented shade looks flawless with two coats even though there are three in the photo above. The formula is smooth and creamy. Compared to the previous shades, Odette is rather unique with its brighter base and rich orchid tones. It’s the perfect colour to grab when you’re looking for a true pop of colour.

Zoya Normani: Normani is a sable mauve cream in the nude/mauve/purple colour family. I have tried so many of these grey/beige or “griege” shades but most of them are either too brown or too greenish-grey. Normani’s purple tones add a level of chicness that I have never encountered with this type of shade. The colour is soft and understated but also elegant and modern. Like most of the polishes in this collection, Normani’s formula is seamless and achieves opacity with just two coats. There are three coats in the photo above.

Overall, I am very impressed with the Zoya Naturel collection. All of the shades are very wearable and appropriate for all seasons. While I feel that Chantal and Taylor are not as unique in colour and smooth in formula as the other shades in this collection, they are pretty colours that I will use, especially for work.

Have you tried the Zoya Naturel collection? What are your thoughts on it? Which shades are your favourite?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sephora Haul: Naked3 and Lollitint

It took me a while to decide if I needed Naked3. I don’t wear eyeshadow daily and I was worried that the pink tones wouldn’t look nice with brown eyes. After reading many reviews, I thought it was worth a try since most people said that the colours were lighter than the shades in Naked and Naked2. I never purchased the original Naked palette because the shadows were way too dark for me, but I got Naked2 because it complements cool toned complexions. I like Naked2 but some of the shades are a bit intimidating. As you can see from the photos below, the shades in Naked3 are much softer.

Naked3 comes with a double ended brush and some primer potion samples.

Naked3 contains twelve rose toned shadows.

Strange, Dust, Burnout, and Limit.

Buzz, Trick, Nooner, and Liar.

Factory, Mugshot, Darkside, and Blackheart.
I have not tried Naked3 yet so I will be posting more pictures, swatches, and comparisons to Naked2 in the future.
When purchasing Naked3 from Sephora, I also ordered Lollitint from Benefit. I already have the other three tints and really wanted to try this one.

On the skin, Lollitint looks a bit brighter than it does on the brush in the photo below.

Soon, I will create a post that shows swatches and comparisons of all four of Benefit’s tints.
Have you tried Naked3 or Lollitint. What are your thoughts on these products?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Epicare Facial Hair Remover Review

Looking for an alternative to salon waxing or threading to remove unwanted facial hair? Epicare may be the perfect solution for you!
I was most excited to try this product because I have always struggled to find a quick, easy, and effective method for removing facial hair. My sensitive skin has never reacted well to waxing so I usually use a little mirror and a pair of tweezers when I want to remove facial hair. This method can be time consuming and a bit painful. It’s also not completely accurate since my hair is very fine and hard to grab with tweezers sometimes. I have thought about threading in the past but in my city it’s really only done at the mall at a little stand in the middle of an aisle. I’m a bit too shy for that.
After doing a bit of research, I found that the Epicare claims sounded very appealing. As the world’s first DIY manual threading device that uses spring action to remove unwanted hair without damaging skin, Epicare is known for being environmentally friendly and reusable, convenient, easy, fast, able to remove fine, short hair, safe for all skin types, and hypo-allergenic. Retailing for $15, the Epicare is also a lot more affordable than frequent trips to the salon for waxing, and it doesn’t need to be sharpened over time like tweezers do. It also comes in multiple colours (mine is in Fiery Red).

When I first received the Epicare in the mail, it looked a bit scary. My first thought was, this spring is going to pinch my skin and probably break off the hairs rather than remove them from the root. I also wasn’t completely sure how to use it. On my first attempt, I bent the spring and held both ends in one hand as I pushed the curved spring up and down against my skin. Nothing happened. After a few tries, I discovered that the best way to remove hairs is to bend the spring and hold one end in each hand while rolling the handles outward in the opposite direction of hair growth. 

I was pleasantly surprised that the Epicare only pulls hairs out from the root without grabbing the skin. For me, it was less painful than tweezers because it pulls out the hairs quickly yet gently. I have a very low pain tolerance and this product caused nothing more than a slight pinching feeling that disappeared within seconds. When I use tweezers, my skin is a bit red and blotchy afterward for about ten minutes, but I didn’t experience any redness after using the Epicare. To clean the product, just pull on the handles to stretch out the spring and the hairs will fall out.
I also like how I don’t really have to use a mirror with the Epicare since I use it on larger areas to remove multiple hairs at once. I just do a quick check when I’m done to make sure that all hairs are gone. Because I like to use this product while watching television or a YouTube video, I wouldn’t attempt to use it on areas where hairs need to be removed more precisely (like my eyebrows).
Overall, I am very impressed with the Epicare and I will be using it for now on instead of tweezers. 
Those in Canada can purchase the Epicare from (currently, all orders ship FREE in Canada from Nail Polish Canada!), and those in the USA can purchase the Epicare from
Have you tried the Epicare? What are your thoughts on it?
*Although I was sent this product to try out and write a review on, all opinions are honest and are my own*

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

NOTD: Julep Clara

Julep describes Clara (a polish from the ‘It Girl’ series) as an opaque peach crème. To my surprise, this colour is quite opaque despite its light shade. It is fairly close to my skintone and looks a bit like I’m wearing foundation on my nails. That said, I received compliments on this colour and many people told me that it makes my nails look very clean and professionally manicured. I also like how it didn’t clash with any of my outfits for the week.

My issue with this polish is with the formula. It is quite thick. I used three coats because it did not dry smoothly after the first two coats. If I did not encounter this problem, I would not have needed that extra coat because the colour is not sheer at all. It also took quite a long time to dry. I painted my nails around 2 PM and it was still a bit sticky by 5. I even smudged a nail by accident about an hour after applying the last coat and I needed to remove the polish and repaint the entire nail because I could not get the touch up coat to set evenly. The only other Julep polish that I have is Gabrielle and I do not have the same trouble with it.

Despite the struggles that I had with the formula, Clara went for four days without any chips and it dried to a nice shiny finish. This was very surprising since I usually experience the first signs of chipping much sooner when I use more than two coats of polish.
Since the colour is very pretty and versatile, I will keep it in my rotation of work appropriate weekday colours.

What are your favourite shades from Julep?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Beauty Box Five Review (December 2013)

For months I have been looking for a new beauty sample subscription box to try. I cancelled the ones that I was subscribed to because they started only sending skincare samples and no makeup or nail polish. Thankfully, Beauty Box Five came to my rescue in December by sending a box filled with samples from many categories (skincare, bodycare, makeup, and more).
Beauty Box Five sends its members five samples each month. The service is open to those in Canada and the USA, and subscriptions start at $12 per month. The best part is that shipping is free!
When my box arrived in the mail, the first thing that I noticed was the packaging. The little teal coloured cardboard box is so cute and compact. I imagine that it is more environmentally friendly than the larger boxes and envelopes that some subscription services use.
I was also very impressed by the large number of brands that Beauty Box Five works with (see them all HERE). Some of my favourites include Becca, Aveeno, Blinc, Makeup Geek, and NU.Me.
Now let’s talk about the December items…

1. NYX Cosmetics Love in Rio Eyeshadow Palette – This first item is a full size eyeshadow palette that retails for $6. The beautiful, jewel-toned colours are perfect for winter. The light, shimmery shade on the far right is my favourite.

2. Body Drench Daily Moisturizing Lotion – This Hemp lotion is perfect for rehydrating skin during the dry winter months. The product is very light, yet moisturizing and it has a refreshing cucumber-like scent. The sample contains 2 fl oz (full size is 16.9 fl oz for $8.99).

3. Ofra Cosmetics Sultry Lipgloss Plumper – This lipgloss is another pretty colour for the season and it will complement the NYX  eyeshadow trio that came in the box.The tube does not indicate how much product it contains, but it is a generous size. The full size features 0.34 oz of product and retails for $12.95.

4. Clean & Clear Morning Burst Hydrating Gel Moisturizer – This cleanser is the only product in the box that I will likely not use and that is only because my skin is very sensitive so I do not like trying new skincare lines. This product has a light, citrusy scent and a gel-like consistency that is said to moisturize without clogging pores. The sample contains 0.5 oz. The full size contains 3 oz and retails for $6.99.

5. Every Beauty Flexible Foot Smoother – The last product is an exfoliating scrubber for feet, elbows, and knees. This product is also perfect for the season since the harsh, cold air can leave skin flaky and rough. I often do my own pedicures at home so this product will really come in handy. This item is full size and retails for $4.99.
Overall, I am very impressed with the December box from Beauty Box Five. The two full size products pay for the box, and the assortment of unique items made this box exciting to open. I’m looking forward to trying everything.
To learn more about Beauty Box Five and to sign up, visit
*Although the products mentioned in this post were sent for review purposes, all opinions expressed are honest and are my own*

Friday, January 3, 2014

NOTD: OPI Glove You So Much

Glove You So Much came out in winter 2009 with OPI’s Holiday Wishes collection. I received this polish for Christmas a few years ago. It came in a set of four mini polishes. This shade always stands out to me because it is much richer and more elegant than the other three bright, glittery reds in the set.

In fact, I think of Glove You So Much as more of a deep purple with wine undertones, rather than a shade in the red family. The polish looks like a cranberry shade in the photo above, but it is more of a velvet plum shade in real life. It has a fine shimmer that gives the finish a lot of shine.

I wore this colour over the holidays because it looked festive enough for Christmas but also complemented a formal black, grey, and white New Year’s Eve outfit.

I was most impressed by the staying power of this polish. Some OPI polishes tend to chip very easily on my nails but I got five full days of perfectly intact polish before a few chips began to surface.

The formula is very smooth and pigmented so I only needed two coats. If I finish my mini bottle of Glove You So Much, I will consider searching for a full size bottle since I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this colour during the colder months.