Posts Tagged Beauty Blog

Final Empties from 2014

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I’ve been thinking about my empties posts lately. I know some people are less than enamoured with these kinds of posts, while others absolutely adore them. Personally, I don’t have much interest in empties posts except to see just how much stuff people are using up – I use the evidence as motivation to continue diligently using my beauty products, rather than buying them just for hoarding’s sake. I’m most impressed by makeup empties, and as such, I feel pretty badass when I myself have used up a handful of makeup products, so of course I still need a medium for which to show it off at times.

Therefore, moving forward my empties posts will be wordless wonders – express posts mainly to show what I’ve used up / tossed every few months. If there are questions about a particular product, please – ask away! I’ll answer in the comments. Otherwise, consider these posts a reprieve from my usual chattiness :)

The first half of the photos are empties that were tossed back in the summer…yea, I’m MAJORLY delinquent in posting these, but as I said, empties posts aren’t really all that exciting, so I never got around to it. There wasn’t that much to showcase anyway – see for yourself (also, pre-emptive apologies for the dusty-looking photos and wonky lighting!):

IMG_3120Body and hair care

IMG_3122Facial skincare

IMG_3124Handful of samples

IMG_3125Makeup empties. KABLOW!! Almost all full-size products :)

Since that time, I’ve been storing up products and my empties bag was getting close to overflowing. Not only do I find empties posts kind of boring to read/write, but good grief taking PHOTOS of used-up products is AWFUL. However, these shots I took today of the next batch of empties was considerably more enjoyable, because last week I bought new camera :D :D :D I wanted a DSLR that could take fabulous photos once the baby arrives (and it doesn’t hurt that it’ll improve my shots on the blog, too :)), and Best Buy had a great Boxing Week deal on so I purchased the newest Canon Rebel, the T5. Now I just need to get my lighting set up down and I’ll be cookin’ with gas, as my family would say ;)  I took most of these shots outside in the snow, because it just seemed like the perfect backdrop, and I’m having fun figuring out how it works and what it can do!

IMG_0153Yüli empties…I am definitely purchasing a large size of the Cocoon Elixir (a facial mist)! So lovely.

IMG_0161Other skincare empties. On my second jar of the F.A.B. Facial Radiance Pads :)

IMG_0159Hair and body care empties. 

IMG_0169Deluxe samples…I really liked the Indie Lee ones (a cleanser and facial oil), and the amala serum (though it’s like, $300 for the full size…uh, NO), but I HATED the GlamGlow mask. Full of weird seaweed-y bits or something and thus was a major pain to apply. PASS, PASS, PASS. 

IMG_0171Random samples of hair & skin care, and foundations/concealers. Nothing to write home about except the Eminence Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum – that was quite nice and I’m thinking of buying the full-size when I’m in the market for an eye treatment (I have like, a billion samples to get through first). 

IMG_0167…and BOOM! More makeup empties!! There’s a ton of mascara empties – as I mentioned in my 2014 makeup purchases post, I went through a slew of different kinds this year, mostly all disappointing – but there are two full-size foundations and two full-size blush. Oh YEA, baby! The MAC blush is one I’d dropped a couple years ago and was really left with only scraps left, to be fair – the other is a Milani blush/bronzer duo I’ve had for 5 years which I figured should be tossed now. Also, see how I finished the Burberry illuminator?? Not too shabby, methinks!

And so, my final roundup of empties from 2014. I can now start fresh, woohoo! I feel lighter already. My goals for 2015 are to see more lippie empties (so I can achieve part of my resolutions) and maybe even a blush or an eyeshadow. The latter is a TALL order, but I’ll see what I can do!

Did you make any significant headway in finishing products this year? Do makeup empties make you as happy as they do for me? What are your thoughts on empties posts overall?

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I’m Resolute: My goals for 2015

So.  Resolutions.  I got ‘em.  Somehow I missed sharing them with you the past couple years (or at least I’m just stunned and can’t find the posts – it’s possible), but this year I’m on the ball and excited to share them with you!

There seems to be two camps when it comes to resolutions – those who do them religiously, and those who never do.  I totally get the school of thought that one just strives to improve themselves throughout the year and hence has no need to set goals specifically after the New Year.  However, when you are someone who loves lists as much as I do, any excuse to make a new one is always welcome! :)  I am always working toward the best version of myself, but I also love the idea of starting fresh, so these factors are why every year I look forward to laying down my goals as a way to start the year off on the best foot.  This year, as an extra incentive to stay on track, I plan on writing an update post each month to share with you my progress (or any setbacks).

IMG_0179My fab new notebook in my fave shade :)

And so.  Witness my top resolutions for 2015!!


1. Streamline and reduce makeup collection.

But of course this is a goal. As per my cosmetics tally noted on ‘My Beauty Stash’ page, I am above my comfort level in several areas of my makeup and nail polish collections.  The ‘max’ quota numbers are somewhat arbitrary, but I wanted to choose within each category an ideal number of products to which I can aim toward and feel at ease with what I own, instead of stressed out that I’ll never use it all (which will still undoubtably happen, but I can dream!).  In some cases, I just felt like a larger number of products in a category seemed just plain silly (how many foundations do you really NEED?); in other areas, I felt like I would never make good use out of the shades I DO love if I have more than I can reasonably wear regularly (i.e. lipsticks/lipgloss/nail polish).  In truth, I just really want to feel excited and guilt-free about buying a new pretty now and again!

IMG_0181Just a small portion of my current collection – my current rotation :)

You’ll notice below I didn’t give a goal number for eyeshadow……..dudes, I have like a billion, and I’m never gonna use ‘em all up ever in life, so there’s no point setting an impossible standard! Mainly I just want to ensure that the shades I’m keeping are getting used, so that’s my true goal there. Blush is a similar conundrum – if I ever finished one I think I would call myself the ULTIMATE BLUSH CHAMPION – but I think 30 is a reasonable number (in makeup fiend terms, anyway) and I still have a couple spots left!!  Also, I hope to continuously weed them out as I determine shades or formulas not well-suited to my skin tone / type.  To make way for new ones.  OF COURSE.

And so, here are my goals in the makeup reduction effort:

– Primers: 3 + 1 sample, 1 eye primer / Goal: 2 + 1 eye primer
– Concealers: 5 / Goal: 2
– Foundation: 4 + 1 travel size / Goal: 2
– Highlighters: 3 + 1 deluxe sample / Goal: 2
– Bronzers: 3 + 1 deluxe sample / Goal: 2
– Mascara: 4 / Goal: 2
– Eyeliner: 24 / Goal: 15
– Lip Color: 51 / Goal: 30
– Nail Polish: 103 / Goal: 75

I’ve actually made considerable headway with most of these categories since last year…the tough ones are going to be eyeliners, lippies and nail polish. Erm…wish me luck??

2. Spend more time enjoying things I own and less time seeking out newer, ‘better’ things.

I think we all come up against this challenge one time or another, especially as beauty bloggers. I’ve been improving with this over the past year, but sometimes I still get caught up in the trap of needing something new just because it’s NEW, and not because I need to have it. It’s like our attention spans keep getting shorter and shorter…and it can get quite ridiculous, really. My biggest saving grace is that I hate clutter and I get anxious with too much STUFF kicking around, so I purge relatively often. But I still own items that I felt like I just HAD to have, but yet I haven’t even used all that much, and that’s a damn shame. This year, I vow to give things I acquire a fair shake before rushing off to buy something else that catches my eye.

3. On that note…spend less time thinking and more time doing.

Oh man, I’m really bad for this. And not in the way you might think – I don’t get too wrapped up in thinking about doing something but never getting around to doing it; moreso, I just spend a lot of time thinking, period. That’s all well and good, but sometimes I need to get out of my own head (it can betray me sometimes), and just enjoy a moment, or let things go and stop analyzing every damn thing. This is the reason I did my degree in Psychology – I love to understand how people’s brain’s work, and why we do what we do…I want to understand so that I can continuously open my mind, refrain from judgement and be as accepting of people as possible. Probably I do this too because I want that behaviour and thought process to be reciprocated to me; everyone wants to be understood, I think on some level. But DANG if I don’t do it a bit too much, is what I’m sayin’ lol. So, this year, I’m going to try and be accepting without overthinking it too much…it’s like thought OCD, I keep thinking the same things over and over and it’s just kind of silly at times {now maybe ya’ll can see why I ramble so damn much all the time lol}.

4. Take at least 30 minutes a day to do something good for my body.

Since I’ve still got around 3 months left of the pregnancy, and I don’t know what things will be like once the baby comes, I don’t want to give myself a seriously structured fitness and health regime (I don’t really do that, anyway – I’m too into moderation for that) – but I do always like striving to be my healthiest self. I wanted to get out for a walk every single day since becoming pregnant, but that hasn’t happened and I don’t want to set myself up for failure – sometimes I’m honestly just too busy/tired/whatever to get it done. But I DO have 30 minutes every day to do SOMETHING good for myself – be it a walk, taking the time to make a healthy meal, or sitting down and writing in my journal for 30 minutes. So I’m committing to that and I know I will stick to it. There’s just no room for excuses!

IMG_0176Two books I received at Christmas….my family knows me well.

5. Relax with uncertainty. 

This is something else I struggle with a lot. It’s funny, because in many ways I’m very cavalier and unconcerned with the future – I haven’t been reading countless books on how to raise a child (in fact, I haven’t read any), and my general outlook on life is that things usually work out for the best, so why worry? My issues with uncertainty aren’t situational, but rather interpersonal – I’m always wondering if I’m doing the ‘best’ thing in my relationships (romantic, friendly and familial) and worrying that if they aren’t perfect, they’ll fail. I’m always thinking about how we can improve, how we can relate better and be better to one another. This all sounds well and good, but it tends to leave little room for error – any perceived failures on my part or the person involved and I start to question our relationship and it’s tenacity. You start to see the problem now…it’s like I want to control every interaction so that it only involves positivity – differences in opinion, disagreements, and conflicting behaviours leave me feeling unsure about the relationship as a whole. An unrealistic view, yes, but a hard habit to break. This year, I am determined to relax in my relationships and see any difficulties (within reason) as an opportunity for growth. I’ve only recently come to this realization, so it’s definitely going to be a challenge, but one that I think will benefit me significantly.


And that, my friends, is my resolution list for 2015! I feel quite good about it, and like these goals are both challenging yet achievable. I always love a fresh start, so I’m keen to get cracking!

Have you made any goals/resolutions for the New Year? Can you relate to any of mine?

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Beauty Envy Bag Giveaway Spring 2014: Radiant Orchid Edition!

Beauty-Envy-Bag-Spring-Edition

Hey dolls! The ladies behind the Beauty Envy Bag Giveaway have come together to share some our favorite Radiant Orchid products with one lucky person. I’m sure you all didn’t think we just wanted to show them off last week in our first themed post! In case you are a new reader, here is a quick look at the bloggers behind the giveaway.

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Lola is a Midwest blogger with a passion for polish, science, and music. She is the blogger behind Burb Beauty.

refined-and-polished

Lakeisha is a nail polish blogger living in Georgia. She is obsessed with polish, fashion, and merging the two together. She is the blogger behind Refined and Polished.

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Leticia is a beauty blogger from the Pacific Northwest. She is a dog lover, sci fi nerd, handbag collector, and makeup junkie. She is the blogger behind Cosmetics Aficionado.

beauty-obsessed

Latoya is a beauty blogger from the East Coast of Canada. While she loves all things girly, she also has a serious geeky side. She is the blogger behind Beauty Obsessed.

So what is going into that gorgeous makeup bag? Read on! (Links to each blogger’s reviews included)

So how do you enter? Here’s the lowdown:

  • You must leave a blog comment (just on one blog, doesn’t have to be all four) letting us know whether you’ve tried any Radiant Orchid products this year. If so, tell us about them.
  • Score additionally entries by following each blog on social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
  • Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only (sorry, this is due to issues with overseas mail and nail polish).
  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Giveaway closes Saturday, April 5th at 12:00a EST.
  • Winner has 48 hours to respond to our email or a new winner will be chosen.
  • Giveaway is not sponsored by anyone.
  • Note: We are not responsible for items lost, damaged, or stolen in transit. If the prize is lost, we will not be sending a replacement, nor will we provide money for the value of the prize. We are not responsible for any customs fees you may incur.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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RapidLash Eyelash & Eyebrow Enhancing Serum

Continuing my adventures in ULTIMATE LASH PLUMPING, I’ve been given an opportunity to try out the cult-product RapidLash® Eyelash & Eyebrow Enhancing Serum, a lash treatment clinically proven to help you achieve fuller-looking lashes in as little as 30 days!

Following the success of XLash, I was sad to see the end of the product earlier last month.  Over the past month, my lashes have almost returned to their former state, though they are still a bit longer than they were previously.  I was excited to get the chance to try and compare RapidLash’s formula, which I have heard about from several different sources.  I’m eager to see how it compares to the XLash formula!

RapidLash

The RapidLash serum is a paraben-free, over-the-counter formula that features a breakthrough formula of six highly effective ingredients, including polypeptides, biotin, and panthenol.  It is dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested.

As with the XLash product, application and use is easy-peasy.  Brush the formula along the baseline of lashes (you can also apply it to the lower lash line) every night at bedtime, and away you go.  Additionally, this formula can be used on the brows by applying directly to the brow line.

RapidLash RapidLash

The RapidLash product is comparable in price to XLash, at $59.95CAD.  Unlike XLash however,  you can get this from Shopper Drug Mart, so it’s more accessible (though it’s also available at RapidLash.com for those without access to Shoppers!).

I will report back in a month on my progress and results – I have high hopes! Having thick, long, fluttering lashes is really becoming addictive, I gotta say!

*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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Final Empties Post of 2013!

Woohoo!  My last empties post of the year.  As these are always lengthy (because I am too damn chatty) (and even though I just did one last month…how do I use up products so quickly?), I’m going to get right to it.

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Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner – I do like the Organix conditioners, and this worked quite well to hydrate and detangle, but I preferred the heaviness of the Macadamia Oil version to this.  Smelled DELICIOUS in the summer though!

Earth Science Deep Conditioning Masque – 2nd tube of this, and I still feel the same as I did when I first tried it.  It’s really good shit, dudes.  For $13CAD, it’s one of the best deep conditioners I’ve ever used, and to top it off – all natural!  If I were so fickle I’d buy another tube, and I still may…I’m just too curious to settle *just  yet* ;)

Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil – I really liked this oil a lot, much better than the Ojon Restorative oil that preceded it.  It just had a great consistency and smell, and it never irritated my scalp or caused any breakouts around my forehead, which can happen with products like this.  Good stuff, and lasted AGES.

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Haus of Gloi Komodo Pumpkin Butter – don’t mistake mangosteen for mango, my friends – NOT THE SAME.  I found the scent of this quite intrusive and it has this slightly rotten fruit smell…so ya, just not diggin’ it.  So, I used it as a foot cream!  Problem solved.

Nutiva Coconut Oil – great stuff.  I used this as my primary body moisturizer throughout last spring/summer and it was awesome – it really kept my skin in great condition, prevented eczema flare-ups and helped heal old scars that I sometimes get from past eczema patches, which tend to result in the absence of pigmentation.  However, once the weather cooled it wasn’t quite enough, so I would either layer it with a moisturizer, or use it in my hair periodically as a deep treatment.  I’ll definitely be picking up another tub of this – so many uses! However, keep in mind that coconut oil is highly comedogenic – except when it’s in the form below:

Fractionated Coconut Oil – fractionated oil is non-comedogenic, perhaps due to having had all it’s triglycerides removed.  It has a super-long shelf life and increased stability, and it’s antioxidant potential is more jacked up than regular coconut oil.  It’s also in a TON of things and usually listed as ‘caprylic/capric triglyceride.’  My roommate had left this behind when she moved so I used it up – it was a lot easier to use than the solid coconut oil (though a bit messier at times) but I found it slightly less moisturizing on my body.

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Getting through my non-organic products!  I’ve only got a few last products and a couple straggler samples to get through and I’ll be essentially fully ‘green’, woot!

eos Lip Sphere - this balm works really well and was exceptional under lipstick, offering just enough hydration without much slip, but honestly the size of it sometimes felt very cumbersome.  It’s a cute novelty, but not the most practical – though I do maintain that they’re terribly easy to find in your purse!

Indeed Labs Hydraluron – I’m sure this does have a purpose, but I don’t think I have dry or dehydrated enough skin to see a difference.  I don’t miss it.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector – this stuff does work well, for those of you not concerned about using non-organic products.  I really do like serums because you can pile them on and they generally don’t have heavy moisture to the skin which can make you greasy as the day wears on.

RoC Soft Smoothing Scrub – too gentle for my liking, though this is a good choice for a morning cleanser just to wash the night’s oils off, or as a second cleanse.  But as a ‘scrub’?  No thanks.  One more non-organic product down!

Avene Thermal Spring Water – I love misting my face before applying any serums or oils, as it just feels good to seal the moisture in…but paying for water in a can kinda irks me.  I far prefer the facial mists with a little bit extra in them, like hydrosols etc. that add something more.  Right now I’m using Kahina Giving Beauty’s Facial Mist and I quite like it (though its just so darn SMALL at 1.6oz for $46CAD…ouch!).

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Samples!  Lots of good organic stuff here.  The Marie Veronique Organics Treatment Oil is excellent for keeping oily, pore-clogged, acne-prone skin in check.  I don’t have the latter, but I do get clogged pores on my nose and cheek area, and I found the sample really refined my skin nicely.  I actually just purchased the full-size last week!  I tried the new Kahina Giving Beauty Fez Body Serum this past weekend, and while it worked nicely on my skin, the scent it NOT for me – far too spicy and heady for me.  I’ll stick with my Lina Hanson Global Body Serum, thanks.  The Soapwalla Deodorant sample lasted ages, and I enjoyed it so much I purchased it last week as well – it smells awesome and actually works a treat, even on wetness!  It’s not entirely as effective as traditional antiperspirants, but for every day wear its perfect and I really like it a lot.  I thought the Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream was gonna be my JAM for the dry patches I get sometimes from my eczema, but it sometimes made my skin itch a bit rather than soothe it, so I’ll have to keep looking for a nice nighttime hydrating cream.  M.J.’s Calendula Cream on the other hand, was a freakin’ miracle product – this honestly cleared up my eczema overnight on my hands, which tends to be a persistent problem for me.  I ended up buying a similar product from the local market, but I’m not sure it’s *quite* as effective, though I do like to support local.    The Eminence Blueberry Soy Exfoliating Cleanser was a strange product.  I used it as either a morning or second cleanse and I didn’t notice any exfoliating, and it left a slight film on my skin so I’d recommend using a washcloth to remove it.  Not something I’d spend my money on, overall.  The Rahua Shampoo was fine, but I didn’t enjoy the smell at all, and to spend $$ on a shampoo that I don’t love is just not gonna happen.  One of our local high-end department stores here, Mills, will soon be stocking the organic brand Babor, and the SA’s gave me a few samples of this Calm & Relax Cream to try.  It was pretty great, truth be told!  I used it after doing an intense masque treatment, and it was soothing and hydrating without being heavy at all.  I just may purchase a full-size when the line becomes fully available.  Finally, another Eminence sample I snagged was this Red Currant Rapid Infusion Masque…suffice to say it was a total dud.  I have no idea what it was supposed to do, but I wasn’t wowed.  PASS.

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Le makeup.

Sephora She Sparkles Gloss – decent gloss formula, decent shade.  Despite the fact that I didn’t love it, I actually used this up fairly quickly in the grand gloss scheme of things.  Huh.

NARS Gold Digger Gloss sample – HATE the brush on these Larger Than Life glosses, uh.  So. Tiny!  I liked the shade well enough, but the formula isn’t my favourite – similar to MAC lipglasses, which means they wear fairly well, but I’m not a fan of the stickiness.  It still looks quite full here but I wasn’t getting any more product, so out it goes.

Marc Jacobs Blacquer Mascara – this was such a weird product, like webbing for the eyes!  I loved that it had this kind of patent-leather shine, but it applied horribly and made a total mess of my lashes every time.  Yuk.

MUFE Eyeshadow #17 Espresso – I thought I’d use this a ton and then hardly did.  Then I dropped it and it crumbled, and then honestly, I just was OVER IT.  Plus, I now have a similar shade in my Laura Mercier palette, so I don’t NEED YOU ANYMORE.  *I really hate broken makeup!*

NARS Pro Prime Pore-Refining Primer – this was just meh.  I used it regularly for a couple weeks to use it up, and I wasn’t wowed – I still got shine after a few hours, and though my makeup wore a bit longer, it wasn’t anything to write home about.  Plus, non-organic…I’m not totally converted to organic makeup (or at all, really) but primer is like skincare, so I don’t think I’d buy this even if it did work well.

Marie Veronique Organics Everyday Coverage – the darkest shade offered is still too light for me, so this was a no-go.  Bummer, as I’ve ready a lot of great things about it!  Can’t beat coverage plus SPF in one.

I’m now finished my empties for the year!  I was going to do a tally in each category, but honestly that’s just too much damn work LOL.  Suffice to say, I feel really good about how many non-organic products I’ve used up, and I’m pretty stoked that I used up a whole gloss (and a half!) – I’ve been trying really hard to use up any lip products that are at least half-gone, because they’re much more feasible to finish (as opposed to blush…let’s not go there).  I’m going to make a real effort next year to cull my stash to only products I really love – I know I’ve said this before, and I continue to make progress, but I think next year will be THE year.  I’m loosening my grip on keeping things because they ‘should’ work or because they were expensive and therefore I have to use them.  I just want to pull out any shade of any product and be like ‘Yep, looks great’ with minimal effort.  I learn more and more what looks good on me and what doesn’t.  And also, it’s a lot easier to reduce the stash when you focus all your effort / money on skincare!!  I certainly haven’t saved a dime not buying makeup, because organic skincare costs a pretty penny in many cases, but the whole ritual of applying oils etc. is really up my alley, so I don’t mind.  And less makeup means less anxiety in that area – I never overbuy skincare so I never have to worry about having too much of that!

So, out with the old (thinking) and in with the new (skincare, not makeup).  Now I need to put my 2014 resolutions to paper!

How did your empties go this year?  Do you think your reducing or expanding?  

 

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Holiday Wish List: NYC Edition!

So my most excellent boyfriend has been planning a secret trip for the two of us for the past two months, to which I was aware but not privy to our destination.  Earlier this week I was finally told where we were headed so that I’d have a little time to plan what I’d like to do…..in NEW YORK CITY!!!!!!!!! ~jumps up and down excitedly~  We leave this Tuesday!!  I am SO EXCITED, GUYS.  I’ve never been, and I cannot WAIT to go!

Having a few days to figure out our plan of attack (because I AM going to take on the city in a BIG way), I have a number of things on my list. It should come as no surprise that aside from the usual touristy-type excursions, plus taking in a few awesome cultural events such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular, and the Moscow ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, my sights are largely set on SHOPPING MY FACE OFF.  Oh yea.  It’s goin’ DOWN.

And so, I bring to you my next wish list instalment – the NYC edition :)

The ‘Way Overpriced in Canada’ Wish List

Cheaper

1. Giorgio Armani – prices for Armani products in Canada are hiked way up on almost every single item, which is absolutely ridiculous – especially considering that almost all other brands sold here are near on par with US prices now.  I used to order all my stuff from Neiman Marcus, but since they stopped shipping makeup to Canada (WTF!?!?) I haven’t bought a single item from the brand in over a year.  I’ve been interested in trying out one of the new(isn) Flash Lacquers ($29US/$38CAD), as well as finally picking up a Rouge d’Armani ($32US/$38CAD) lippie, but I’ve needed a chance to try out shades, so you can be sure I’ll be taking the opportunity this week!  Additionally, I’ve been lusting after all iterations of cream/liquid/stain blushes, so I’m gonna eyeball the Blushing Fabrics ($39US/$45CAD) and see if they pique my interest.  And…if I’m feeling especially spendy, I might pick up another ETK Intense shadow for good measure – $33US to our $42CAD???  Uh, YEA.  C’mon, I gotta take advantage of ‘normal’ prices while I can! ;)

2. Burberry – The markup on Burberry here in Canada is as extreme as Giorgio Armani, if not more so – and as another brand that I enjoy but rarely have an opportunity to shade swatch, I’ve definitely got a few items to seriously investigate.  High on my to-buy list is either their Lip Covers ($30US/$40CAD) or Lip Velvets ($30US/$60CAD???????????), and I’ll likely pick up one of their new nail polishes ($21US/$25CAD) as I just can’t resist their packaging.   I also wouldn’t mind taking a good hard look at their Light Glow blushes ($42US/$50CAD), the shade Russet which I own having been bought unseen a couple years ago.  I’m going to take the opportunity to swatch their eyeshadow singles and palettes ($59US/$70CAD) as well, as I’ve never had the chance, but I’m sort of on mega-shadow overload, so we’ll see if any win me over enough to come home with me.

3. YSL – We have YSL here at our Sephora in Halifax, but I’ve been eyeing their Faux Cils Eyeliners in Sea Black and Cherry Black, and being $6 less in the States ($28US vs $34CAD) I might finally give in.  Or I might wait till the next VIB sale – I haven’t yet decided ;)

4. Hourglass - Another overpriced product here in Canada, the Aura Cheek Stains ($38US/$54CAD) have been on my wish list for a while.  Again, with my desire to bolster my non-powder cheek products, its likely I’ll pick up one of the two shades at this MUCH better price.

5. Becca - Seems I’m on a blush kick, yea (or I guess it’s just another regular day :P)?  Though I’m opting for less powder blushes for the most part, I’ve been dying to try these Mineral Blushes, and again, the price is right ($32US/$38CAD).  If nothing else, I want to at least swatch the shades so I know what to order during the next VIB sale.

The ‘Can’t Access in Canada’ Wish List

Untried Brands

1. Dolce & Gabbana – This is a brand I’ve been casually interested in over the past few years, but I haven’t felt strongly enough about it to order anything sight-unseen from Sephora.  I plan on giving it a good look while away and see if it’s worth a purchase or two (or if anything should be added to a future wish list).

2. Ilia Beauty – I have yet to foray into organic makeup, mainly because everything is only online and I don’t have the option to swatch any shades first, something I try to avoid with makeup.  I don’t think I’ll purchase anything while in NYC, but I plan on swatching as much as I can so that I have an idea of what I might like to pick up in the future when the time is right.

3. RMS Beauty – Prices for the above two lines are relatively comparable in Canada as they are in the US; however, RMS does have a somewhat noticeable price increase – therefore I just may have to cave and pick up a few things if they suit my fancy.  I’m mainly looking at the “Un” Cover-Up, the Living Luminizer, and the Lip2Cheek colour balms.

4. Tom Ford Beauty - Oh, HECK yea.  Without a doubt, some Tom Ford makeup will be coming home with me this week! I have been lemming this brand for what feels like a lifetime, and as they don’t ship the brand to Canada I have been sorely out of luck.  I’m getting my chance, bitches!!!!  Unless I am totally unimpressed with it all, I plan on buying a blush, lipstick, and nail polish, as who knows when I’ll get my chance again?

5. Givenchy – It may come as a surprise to many of you that I haven’t tried this brand, as it seems like everyone and their dog raves about their lipsticks and polishes.  Unfortunately, we don’t carry it anywhere near me and again, I wasn’t comfortable with ordering anything sight-unseen.  It is ENTIRELY possible that I’ll be purchasing both a ‘Le Rouge’ lipstick as well as a nail polish, and it is going to be GREAT.

Last but certainly not least is…

The “I Haven’t Bought a Full-Sized Fragrance in Years and It’s About Damn Time / Go Big or Go Home” Wish List

Fragrant things

1. Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur – I’ve read so many things about this eponymous fragrance house without ever experiencing why it’s so popular, so it’s about time I change that.  The first scent I ever heard about was ‘Carnal Flower,’ so of course it’ll get a sniff or two, but I’m more interested in this warm, spicy, vanilla-heavy scent that sounds right up my alley.  I’m hoping to be wowed.

2. Love by Kilian - I know very little about this brand though I’ve heard it’s name often enough.  My impression is that it’s hit or miss, but I still plan on giving this gourmand oriental – again heavy on the vanilla – a look to see what it’s all about.  If nothing else, I like the bottle!

3. Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille – While my local Sephora carries a few Tom Ford scents, we do not unfortunately have this one, which is THE one I’ve been dying to smell!  It sounds SO my kind of jam – clearly I love me anything with vanilla, but am trying to graduate from sickeningly sweet smells into something a bit more…mature, shall we say.  I’ve heard differing opinions on this one, so I’ll just have to see for myself.

4. Diptyque Eau Duelle – Initially certain I was only interested in purchasing a candle from the brand (I tried last year to order one from BeautyHabit only to be told the shipping cost would be something like $36…uh, NO), once I started researching scents I came along this one which boasts – surprise – vanilla, but this time with a hit of boozy bourbon along with spicy cardamom and pink pepper.  It also contains ambergris, which if you recall from my review of the fragrance from Sephora’s Ariel collection is derived from whale sperm.  YES!  How very…sexy.  LOL

5. Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille – The last contender in my search for a grown-up vanilla-based scent, this fragrance contains sandalwood, an inclusion which I favour in my scents, as well as musk and tonka bean.  It may be a touch too summery with the addition of coconut milk, but I’ll give it a whiff nonetheless – I’m rarely discriminatory when it comes to gourmand fragrances :)

And there you have it!  A rather comprehensive look at what I plan on drooling over while away.  What’s scary is that this just encompasses my potential beauty purchases – I haven’t even TOUCHED on what I hope to buy for fashion (and jewelry…Tiffany’s, here I come!)!! O_o  As Christmas is looming, I’ll also be picking up a few treats here and there for friends and family….so, essentially, I’m coming home very, very broke.

…But also very, very happy!!!  New York City, here we come!!!  See ya’ll in a week! :D

Have you been to NYC?  Do you have any recommendations on where to go, what to see (and where to shop!?)?

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Beauty Envy Bag – Winter Edition

beauty-envy-bag-winter-edition

It’s that time of year again, and the bloggers behind the Beauty Envy Bag are bringing you our winter favorites in our winter edition of the Beauty Envy Bag Giveaway! In case you are a new reader, here is a quick look at who is behind the giveaway.

Suburb BeautyLola is a Midwest blogger with a passion for polish, science, and music. She is the blogger behind Burb Beauty.

 

 

 

refined-and-polishedLakeisha is a nail polish blogger living in Georgia. She is obsessed with polish, fashion, and merging the two together. She is the blogger behind Refined and Polished.

 

 

LeticiaLeticia is a beauty blogger from the Pacific Northwest. She is a dog lover, sci fi nerd, handbag collector, and makeup junkie. She is the blogger behind Cosmetics Aficionado.

 

 

beauty-obsessedLatoya is a beauty blogger from the East Coast of Canada. While she loves all things girly, she also has a serious geeky side. She is the blogger behind Beauty Obsessed.

 

 

So what is going into that gorgeous teal bag? Read on! (Links to each bloggers’ reviews included)

So how do you enter? Here’s the lowdown:

  • You must leave a blog comment (just on one blog, doesn’t have to be all four) letting us know what is on your holiday wish list.
    Note:
    We are not responsible for items lost, damaged, or stolen in transit. If the prize is lost we will not be sending a replacement, nor will we provide money for the value of the prize.
    We are not responsible for any customs fees you may incur.
  • Score additionally entries by following each blog on social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
  • Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only (sorry, this is due to issues with overseas mail and nail polish).
  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Giveaway closes Friday December 6th at 12:00 midnight PST.
  • Winner has 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
  • Giveaway is not sponsored by anyone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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