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The 'B' List. A look at the beautiful things in life. This blog is devoted to that list. Join me on the journey, why don't you?

Monday, January 27, 2014

The end...for now

As my dissertation writing heats up and other life changes have pulled me away from blogging regularly, I've decided to stop blogging at this time.

Thanks so much for the support of my readers, commenters, and anyone who has taken time out of their busy day to visit my page...it was always much appreciated.

Who knows, maybe this CityGirl will be back someday! For now though, always take some time out for the beautiful things in life. And treat yourself - you deserve it! :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Start the New Year hair-free with Epicare

2013 has come and gone and a new year is upon us. Pop the bubbly and celebrate! In this post, I'm reviewing a product that promises to help you stay hair-free this new year and beyond. Epicare is a Canadian-made facial hair remover product and the good folks at Nail Polish Canada sent me one to try out and review.

Epicare package

Back of package

Epicare is a threading product for use on very fine and short facial hair. It is reusable and comes in eight different colours - Fuchsia Pink, Girly Pink, Ocean Blue, Forest Green, Sunshine Yellow, Fiery Red, Timeless Black and Soothing Lavender. I received Timeless Black (colour of the handles).

The Epicare
You bend it in a horseshoe shape to use

Epicare is very flexible; it is basically very tightly coiled wire with plastic grip ends. To use it you just bend it in this upside-down 'u' shape shown here, and twist it gently while moving the epicare in an upward motion over the hair. (For a video demonstration, Nail Polish Canada has a 30 second video on their website).

I've only threaded once before (it was my eyebrows and I usually get them waxed) so I'm not overly familiar with threading but I gave it a shot and put epicare to the test!

Super fine upper lip hair
Using the epicare

After epicare

As you can see, epicare did a good job of removing the hair. My skin was quite dry after removal (and a tiny bit red) so I moisturized afterwards.

After putting on cream
It took about 5 or 6 tries of moving the epicare over the hairs to remove it completely. I'm sure with more use I will get the hang of it and then it will only take a couple of tries. When the hairs get pulled out by the wire it doesn't feel totally painless; it kind of felt like plucking my eyebrows, a tiny bit of pain that subsides after a minute. No bleeding and minimal irritation.

And just a tip, when you are finished you will notice the tiny hairs are caught in the wire - just pull on both ends of the epicare to stretch it and it should release the hairs.

So overall I like this product. It is pretty quick and easy and does the job, though it is only for use on short facial hair. It is not completely painless, but much less so than waxing and I love how it is reusable. I would recommend it especially if you regularly wax as it seems to be a good alternative.

If you are interested in purchasing your own epicare, Nail Polish Canada has them available ($15 each - choose your colour). In the US you can purchase at www.epicarehome.com (also $15 each).

Have you tried epicare before? Is this something you would consider using? Do you have a different method of facial hair removal that you prefer?

This product was sent to me by Nail Polish Canada at no charge for my consideration. All opinions are my own. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Squarehue November and December Collections

Ok, so I'm behind on my Squarehue postings, so this entry looks at both the November and December 2013 colour collections. Let's start off with November...

The Coastal Collection

From L to R: Portsmouth, Chatham, Nantucket

Gorgeous shades!
From the discussions in my beauty groups, the consensus is that Squarehue did an excellent job with these November colours - muted, pastel-y shades that invoke the seaside charms of the coastal areas of New England. All the finishes are glossy cream. (And the lookbook for this month really captures the mood of these polishes). Let's see some swatches.

Indoor light

Indirect Sunlight
Direct outdoor light
Just lovely! I think my favorite colour for November would have to be Portsmouth, as that is such a pretty dusty-muted blue. But that smokey green...and that cocoa brown...it is hard to choose a favorite!

Now onto December!

With December comes the start of the Squarehue Passport Collection - each month they will take us on a colour journey based on a city - hopefully it will turn into a round-the-world tour! New York is the first stop, and here's what it looks like...

The Passport Collection: New York

From L to R: Fifth Avenue, Broadway and Times Square.


As with the October Moto Collection, Squarehue has found a way to incorporate the theme AND the season in the monthly collection. (October also had Halloween-y colours, but still reflected the Moto theme; December has these lovely Christmas elements). And the names capture landmarks of the city. Fifth Avenue is a cheery cherry glossy red cream; Broadway is a very sheer creamy pearl tone and Times Square stands out as a silver holographic.

Indoor light
Indirect sunlight
Direct outdoor light
And because Times Square really comes out to play in either direct indoor or outdoor light, here's a few shots of that...

Holo-y goodness!

Again, another fab month for Squarehue. I think they did a fantastic job with these shades and I love how it also doubles as a Christmas collection. Fifth Avenue screams holiday pedi to me, that reflective pearl of Broadway reminds me of candlelight and Times Square, well - Happy New Year of course! And I'm really excited to see them branching out to different finishes (the duochrome of Oil Slick in October started it off) and now holo.

What's coming up? So to continue the Passport Collection, January is London calling! We're going across the pond in the new year...

Hmm, based on the picture, maybe we'll be seeing reds, blues and greys? Possibly a polish called Big Ben? What do you think?

Also, Squarehue gives a portion of your subscription each month to charity (currently it is the A21 campaign that focuses on human trafficking) but for December, they have another charitable initiative - giving clean water to families in Cambodia. Check it out here - and if you feel this is something you'd like to support, the campaign runs until Dec. 31.

If you'd like to subscribe to Squarehue and join the Passport Collection journey with me, you can do so at squarehue.com ($14.99/month + shipping - $5 U.S/$9 Can).

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fortune Cookie Soap Winter Soap Box (Nightmare Before Christmas-inspired edition)

Boy, time sure flies - how in the heck is it almost Christmas? That's what I get for not looking up from piles of marking all semester! The holidays are definitely upon us, and it definitely is a favourite time of year for me, especially since the snow is still new and novel and goes well with the Christmas season (come March, I just want the winter weather to end.) I'm finished my Christmas shopping (did most of it in November to beat the crowds) so hopefully I'll have some time to get out the old Kitchen-Aid mixer and whip up some festive desserts in a week or so!

Today I've got my Fortune Cookie Soap Winter Soap box to share with you, and the theme is "This Year Christmas will be Ours!") based on the film The Nightmare before Christmas (a classic, I tell you). This theme was so popular that the soap box actually sold out, as lots of folks wanted to get their hands on Jack and Sally and Oogie Boogie themed products.

Love the card!
All the goodies!

Product card with list of items

As usual, this soap box came with a $10 off code for a FCS order - I find these codes to be extremely handy to decrease the shipping costs (as shipping can be very pricey without a code).

"Lock, Shock and Barrel" Bath Melt and "Jack" Bath Fizzy

Wow - these are too cute! They literally look like the characters - GO FCS! I got a "Shock" bath melt (you got one of the three characters in the box) and it has a sweet, almost woody scent. The "Jack" fizzy smells like lemon berries - and I think these scents would work well together in the tub.

"Sandy Claws" Exfoliating Body Butter; "Sally" Fortune Cookie Soap
For the head of Christmas town - "Sandy Claws" smells like caramel-chai-vanilla and exfoliates as well as deeply moisturizers. The "Sally" FCS is fantastic - I just love the little 'stitches' on the soap. The smell to me is like fresh cotton, with a bit of woody scent as well.

"Oogie Boogie" OCD hand sanitizer and "What's This?" Roll on perfume
So the scary "Oogie Boogie" has come in the form of a hand sanitizer that smells like cinnamon cranberry (love the greenish shade of it!) The "What's This?" perfume is a mystery scent (hence the name - and BTW that song is probably the best one in the movie). You email your fragrance guesses to FCS and there's a $50 gift card if you win and guess the scent. To me it actually smells like hot buttered rum...very sweet!

"Zero" dry shampoo and "Christmas Town" whipped cream body butter

I love using dry shampoo, and this is a handy travel size with a light fragrance. Jack's faithful pooch "Zero" is reincarnated in the scent of sweet peppermint and pumpkin - a perfect mix of holidays :) For the body butter, I received the "Christmas Town" scent (other possibilities were "Easter Town", "Halloween Town" and "Thanksgiving Town"). This body butter though smells like spiced fruit with a hint of pine!

I have to say, FCS has really outdone themselves with this winter box. Last year they did a Grinch who stole Christmas inspired theme, and while I really liked that one, I think I like this year's even better. A great mix of scents and fun products that capture the spirit of the movie. And this box is just a taste - on their website they have five pages (!) of Nightmare before Christmas- inspired bath and body goodies, in these scents and others. Definitely something to check out!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

October Julep Maven

I haven't posted about Julep in quite awhile. At the beginning of the year, I was having serious shipping issues as boxes weren't being delivered, instead they were returned to sender! Those were several frustrating months, so I ended up using an alternate address a few months later and thankfully all boxes since June have been delivered without issue to my alternate address.

I guess I haven't posted about them in so long because I was a little disillusioned with the shipping issues, and then after I just wasn't feeling this sub like before (maybe because I've been a Maven since February 2012). I was going to cancel, so I used up my Jules for boxes in July and August. But the summer boxes ended up really impressing me, both in terms of products - (hello sea salt spray!) and colours (especially July - that California collection was spot on and I ended up wearing that collection almost all summer. Adele especially is an AMAZING topcoat that I love to pair with my Julep polishes. And Fiore from the Garden party collection in August- that is one amazingly rich brown).

Also, Julep was on the back burner because of the two new nail mail subs hitting the marketplace and Canada - Bondi and Squarehue. As you can see from recent posts, I am still a huge fan of Squarehue, I like the concept and the polishes are fab, but as for Bondi, I ended up unsubscribing after the first box (August) as comments made on social media by the CEO just rubbed me the wrong way. I'm glad I cancelled now, as they haven't shipped out September or October boxes yet, and just seem very disorganized. It's too bad as their polish formula is quite nice, actually.

So because Bondi didn't work out and since Julep has been hitting a high note with their collections each month, I'm back to being excited about my Maven boxes, and for October, I upgraded and ordered the whole collection...

The Rebel Set - October Collection

My fave treat - candy corn!
This was the extra in the Maven box last October and I'm so glad it's back!

I like how the polishes are packaged now - in little "colour treat" boxes that slide out really easily...

Anisa, Winona, Valerie

Cleopatra, Dahlia, Stevie

Kendra, Missy, Ciara

 Such gorgeous shades!

Swatched - Anisa, Winona, Valerie
Swatched - Cleopatra, Dahlia, Stevie
Swatched - Kendra, Missy, Ciara
(Hint! If you've got Adele, try putting that topcoat over Ciara - crazy shimmer!)

The products in this month's box were the Mask Noir and the Kajal eyeglider (eyeliner - dual sided) and sharpener.

Kajal liner and sharpener

Swatches of the liner (brown and black)

 I've used the brown side of the liner and it is great, lasts all day and doesn't smear.

Mask Noir

Swatch of mask
Once out of the tube, the mask is thick and sticky, (reminds me of tar!) But then it dries fairly quickly and in about 10 minutes or so I could peel it off my face, with only a slight bit of residue that needed to be washed off. It actually is a very nice mask, just wish application wasn't so sticky at first.

This month you could also choose to add on Beatrix (a coal black glitter and Casper (a white-ish glow in the dark shimmer) but I've already got a glow in the dark polish from last October's box (Sofia - and that's enough glow in the dark for me) and Beatrix didn't really draw my attention so I didn't choose either of these.

So I'm really happy with this October box (I think my favorite colours are Missy, Ciara, Dahlia and Cleopatra) and the products are good too - ever since Julep has introduced their Modern Beauty profile they have really stepped up their product line. And since I'm writing this post during the November Maven selection window, I can say that I'm also really looking forward to November, I won't be upgrading to the whole Right at Home collection but I think I'll be doing some add-on's to a box. Yay Julep - you're back!