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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?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chick lit book update

So this is ridiculous, but I am sick for the second time in a three-week period! This time it is the flu and it has knocked me out for days; I've just been at home sleeping, watching tv and reading mostly. My husband caught whatever was going around and I must have gotten it from him. Next year I am getting the flu shot for sure!

The only okay thing about being home is catching up on my reading, and I'm happy to say that I've finished the February Reader's Retreat book - Build a Man by Talli Roland.

For those of you who like chick lit, it is definitely a 5 star book. I won't give away all the details, but what I really like about this book is that it definitely has plot twists that keeps you on your toes and racing to find out what happens. I also like how the main characters must deal with significant and life-changing issues that makes them question their true goals and aspirations. In my opinion, those are the best kind of books. (For a plot summary, see my previous posting here).

Well, that's about all I'm up for writing today. I will hopefully be better in a few more days, so lots of rest and chicken soup for me!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Reviews and New Shoes!


Here's what I've been up to this weekend...

In book news, I have two new reviews up on Coffee Time Romance and More, you can check them out here!

Also, I am super-lucky and very excited to be a bridesmaid in my friend's upcoming wedding (not to mention that she got together with her now-fiance at my wedding!) It will be my first time being a bridesmaid so it will definitely give me a different perspective on being part of a wedding. The bridal party went dress shopping with her this weekend and not only did she end up finding her dress (gorgeous!) but we also ended up getting our bridesmaid dresses! We found the bridesmaid dresses at David's Bridal in Scarborough which has a really good selection of gowns that fit all body types. Now, I won't spoil the surprise as to what all the dresses look like, but nevertheless I got my fashion fix just by being around such pretty gowns all day.

AND, this particular David's Bridal just happens to have a Town Shoes clearance outlet right beside it, AND I just happened to pop in to be around another great love of mine, shoes. I got a cute pair I want to share with you.



Ahhh- I love it! They are gladiator-esq wedges that are dressy enough to wear out with a dress or leggings or skinny jeans. I usually don't like wedges as my foot always slides forward in them and find I can't walk very well. But these fit perfectly and don't slip!




They are also from my favorite Town Shoes line - Barbie!

But here's the best part...



The blowout price!!! $19.99 down from $135! I love me a good sale!

I might just have to take a trip to this clearance outlet a bit more often...

Friday, February 24, 2012

February Glymm unboxing

My February Glymm box finally arrived and I couldn't wait to open it. Then, I looked at other blogger's unboxings to compare. So let's have a peek...

The shipping box
The Glymm box inside
How it's boxed up inside

The product card (sorry it's blurry)

What it looks like upon removing the product card
The goods
First we have Sula eyeshadow.

The shadow
The card reads: "Keep your eyes looking flirty fresh with this trendy, easy-to-use Sula Beauty shadow. Enjoy playfully pretty eye shadow in gorgeous colours. They're long lasting, easy to blend and made with natural ingredients".

The colour I received is He Loves Me, a very light and sheer cream shimmer shadow.



The swatch
As you can see on my hand, it is a barely-there light pink sheen, which is not bad, since many days I only wear light shadow and then do liner and mascara. The shimmer is not too bad either since it is light. I haven't owned a cream shadow in awhile, so it is a nice change, but if I want it to last I will have to use a concealer or primer base on my eyes first. It retails for $8, we got the full size in our boxes this month.

Next is Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm.

The package (cardboard)
The colour (Tiger Lily)
The card: "This tinted lip balm by Burt's Bees gives your lips a hint of colour with a soft sweet flavour. It was also voted Best New Lip Product by Consumers. It's made with natual ingredients that moisturize and condition your lips. This stuff really is the 'balm'".

Again with the 'natural ingredients'. Apparenly, that doesn't really mean anything significant in the beauty world- as what consitutes 'natural'? In any case, this is a pretty nice lip balm. I seemed to be one of the only bloggers I found who like the burt's bees lotion samples from last month, and I like this balm, as it's very moisturizing, but I'm not sure about the colour - it's a bit too red-orange for me. But it's light so it's not a bit deal. Also, what's up with the cardboard tube it came in? Why is the tube needed? In terms of size we received a full size sample in this box ($7.99).

Next is the highlight of the box (according to Glymm) - the Glamglow sample.

The mask
From the card: "Lights, Camera, Action! Designed for Hollywood's entertainment industry, it tingles, tightens & lightens in 15 minutes, so you're always camera-ready. Volcanic rock, French sea clay and real pieces of Green tea leaf will give you super sexy, super radiant skin".

So here's the deal. Glymm gave us a 7 ml sample in our boxes, the retail price for this is $78 for 50 ml. Other bloggers have commented that there is enough in this sample for about two masks if you apply a thinner layer. Glymm also gave us a code to get the full size for only $50 instead of $78 - not a bad savings. In general though, this product is way overpriced. I don't know if Volcanic rock has the same qualities as the mud, but Volcanic mud is actually really good for you - detoxifies your skin and makes it baby-smooth. Glamglow is probably a good product, no doubt. But when my husband and I were in St. Lucia, we went to the volcano and took a mudbath - same kind of stuff there, and came out with amazing skin. And it was free (ok maybe there was a nominal fee to use the baths, I can't remember) and they were shoveling the mud into giant buckets. You could even choose between black or white mud.

At the volcano
That would have been quite an expensive bath if we were using the jars of Glamglow on ourselves! (And if you just happen to be in St. Lucia, make sure to detor to the volcano for a bit and get a whole body mud detox!)

The last product in this month's box is Mai Couture's 2-1 Oil Blotting Bronzing Papier.

The card
The papers attached to the card
The card reads: "Beauty on-the-go? Mai Couture has the solution. This lightly powdered bronzing paper eliminates oil and gives your complexion a shimmery glow. No need to worry about carrying your makeup bag and brushes around with you all day. Grab a 'papier' and keep your face flawless".
I am not so sure about this product. The full size cost is $24 for 100 sheets, and like others were mentioning on blogs and facebook, we only received 2 sheets. Glymm said that can be used four times, but I feel like we should have received about 5 or 6 to properly test it. Having said that, I'm not a huge fan of shimmy face powders. They make you have a shiny forehead, nose and chin and it settles into fine lines. So I will try it but it will take a lot to make me convert from regular blotting papers that I occasionally use.

Overall the February box was ok. What I've noticed in the three months that I've received Glymm is that I generally like the products, but we tend to get full sizes of the cheaper, less 'luxe' brands. The more expensive brands we mainly get much smaller sizes with the incentive to buy the full size. That's fine as many people sign up for the boxes to try new things and find favorites, but I want to make a more luxe brand a favorite before I'd buy the full size - thus pack larger sample sizes.

So this month I think out of my box subscriptions Luxe Box was my personal favorite, followed by Glossybox and then Glymm - for the main reason that the other boxes gave us larger, more deluxe samples of a variety of products. I am not counting my Julep box in the running as it was my intro box and going forward I get to see what will be in it and change it if I don't like it - which is different than how the others operate.

Did you get a Glymm box this month? What did you think?

If you want to join me on me beauty box journey, you can sign up for Glymm here. 10/month + taxes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February Loose Button Luxe Box Review

The postman surprised me today with my first Luxe Box by Loose Button. To tell you the truth, I don't know what I was expecting. I've heard reviews ranging from very positive to very negative. But, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and not peek at any other February reviews until I got my box.

Now for the unboxing! *Spoiler Alert*

The box it's shipped in
Ooh, it's red!
Ah, it's partnered with Flare magazine
How it looks as soon as it's opened
The cards inside the box
One card is about the products, then there is a card explaining the partnership with Flare magazine this month; there are also two cards with promotions - one is for $25 off a $75 plus purchase at Dealuxe (they also have free shipping) and the other is for a Flare subsciption with bonus Nicole by OPI polish.



The welcome card

The products (sorry for the bad lighting) - the tissue paper says "FLARE"!
Let's look at each in turn with the info on the product card.


Dermalogical Microfoliant
 From the card: "Considered as one of InStyle's Best Beauty Buys, this unique rice-based enzyme powder helps to exfoliate your skin by removing debris, leaving your skin smoother and brighter. Contains no artificial fragrance or colour; good for all skin types". (Full size - 75 g for $72).

I am very, very excited to get this product. First, on my beauty box wishlist blog post, I asked for Dermalogica anything :) Second, whenever I get a facial from my esthetician, she only uses Dermalogica and gave me samples to take home. I couldn't live without the skin smoothing cream, so I got that from her, but as this line is quite pricey, I couldn't get anything else at the time. I still had tiny samples of this, but now I have a giant 13 gram sample so I'm quite stoked. You just have to put a dime-sized amount onto wet hands, make a paste and massage on your face, then rinse. It is the most gentle exfoliant ever!


China Glaze Polish in Mediterranean Charm
 The card says: " China Glaze is a revolutionary nail colour system for professional application. Using special methods, China Glaze offers incredible durability, fast drying, easy application and exclusive colours". (Full size - 14 ml for $8).

I am also quite happy to receive this - a full-sized polish and in a nice deep red. Here is another view:


I do not have many reds, so this is a welcome addition to my polish collection. I have not had the best of luck though with this brand; their neons always majorly chip fast. But bright colours tend to do that; this is a darker shade so I'll give it a go.

CHI Silk Infusion

The card: "This leave-in reconstructing treatment, enriched with pure natural silk, wheat, and soy proteins protects your hair against thermal styling and environmental damages while giving your hair incredible lustre. Alcohol free, enriched with pure silk and wheat and soy proteins". (Full size - 50 ml- $15; 150 ml - $25; 300ml - $42).

Also am quite excited for this, as my wishlist post also listed serum to combate the frizzies. I have never tried CHI but have only heard good things. You can use this product on wet or dry hair and this sample size is 15 ml, which is not bad considering you only need a pea-sized amount. A little goes a long way!




L'Air by Nina Ricci
  The card reads: "Inspired by the legendary L'Air du Temps, this iconic fragrance takes on a new twist, more luxurious and modern. The blend of magnolia, freesia and Bulgarian rose pays homage to the original scent." (Full size 50 ml - $80; 100 ml - $110).

Ahh, this scent is amazing. I already have and love L'Air du Temps - I asked for and got the full size for Christmas, but I think I like this one even more. It's just like the card says, a bit fresher and a bit more modern - and smells very soft and feminine. Even the sample bottle is gorg!

So pretty!
The sample size I got is 4 ml, so that's going to have to last until another holiday or perhaps my birthday, when I can ask for it as a present! (Perfume is always so pricey!)

So that was my February Luxe Box. Overall, I loved it; I got four products that I really like and will definitely use up. I thought that because they collaborated with Flare this month that all they boxes would be the same, but I looked up some other unboxings and it looks like there were several different ones that went out. If you got a February box, what did you think and what did you get?

If you want to join me on my beauty box journey, you can sign up for Luxe Box here. They currently have a wait list so they will let you know when spots open up.

Monday, February 20, 2012

March Julep Maven sneek peek

So this is a major plus of the Julep Maven nail polish monthly club - you get to 'see' what will be in store for you in next month's box, and if you don't like it you can switch it up, send it to a friend or skip the month. Today, I got a sneek peek of what will be in my March box - 'It Girl'.

Julep Maven March Selection

 

 I love the colours and now can't wait to get my March box! Especially when each box is $19.99, now I know I will like what will be coming. It's not a surprise, but I'm still anticipating it's arrival. Plus, you have an opportunity to win a 'golden box' - which is a bunch of extra polishes and products - over $170 in value, so there's an element of surprise there if your box is the 'golden box'.

If I didn't like my It Girl selection, I could have chosen from the others:








I liked the American Beauty softer shades and I think that tropical blue Portia in the Boho Glam box is just amazing, but am still happy with my choice. If I really wanted to try any of the other polishes, I could just order it individually from Julep - you get 20% off as a Maven and free shipping as well.

Which box would you choose for March?

If you want to become a Julep Maven member, click here and use discount code COLOR2012 for your intro box that costs just a penny! If that promo code isn't working, use code SHAREONFEB - the intro box will be a dollar (still a great deal!)



Thursday, February 16, 2012

February Event - La Tease

How was your Valentine's Day? I went out to sushi with my husband to our regular place (he literally cannot get enough of the golden dragon rolls) and it was a nice evening. Except for my cold. I have caught whatever has been going around recently and it just sucks. It is one of those headcolds that makes me want to sleep all the time and has my face actually hurting! So I am off school/work for several days but I thought in between naps I would post a quick update on the pre-Valentine's event I went to -Diva Girl's - La Tease.




It took place downtown at Atelier Lounge on King. For ladies only, they had cosmetic, photography, jewelery and salon vendors and a few sexy surprises as well - flirting tips, a mini-burlesque show and a dance workshop.

Here's a couple pics from the night:

Some of the vendors
a few more vendors
my friends having a drink
Dance workshop
me - happy that my cold isn't very bad - yet!

All in all it was a pretty fun evening to look around, have a few drinks and chat with friends.

Now I'm going to go crawl back into my snuggie and fall asleep again. I've got to kick this cold! Happy belated Valentines, everyone!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wish list for future beauty boxes....

Okay, so I thought I would post a mini wish-list of what I want to see in future beauty boxes - if any of these actually happen then the beauty gods were listening!

I would love to see:

- lipscrub (was Sara Happ's in a previous Glymm box? If so I missed that and definitely want to try it!)
- lipbalm (I can never get enough lippy and I need a good one that's creamy and stays put).
- cheek tint (I have a couple others but I find it is too sheer or shimmery and would like to try others)
- nail strengthener (I cannot stress this one enough - my nails are weak and brittle and I have not found one that I like so far!)
- tweezers (hey, I know this is a long shot, but even a $5 or $10 off coupon for Tweezerman would be fantastic!)
- curling mascara (yes I love my Great Lash; can anything else top it? Would love to see.)
- foot cream (I saw how some Topboxers got Cake foot cream and that made me covet it. Have not found a cream that makes my feet soft and is non-greasy)
- Nail Rock nail or lip sheets. (Ok, more specifically the lip sheets. I totally want to try this out!)
- Dermalogica anything. (Nuff said.)
- BB cream. (Have heard about it; want to try it. Doesn't matter what brand).
- XXL thickening mousse or serum that conditions and cuts frizz.

Now let's hear from you. What are you wishing for/lusting over/curious about that you want to see in future boxes?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Alert! Alert! Glossybox is here!!!

The first-ever Glossybox in Canada has arrived! Yay! I did not look at other unboxings until I got my own, because I wanted the first to be a super-surprise, and only after I scoured through mine did I look at others. There definitely were some different items so if you got a glossybox this month, you may not have the same items I do. Spoiler Alert! Let's unbox and talk, shall we?

The box it's shipped in.
The glossybox.
The box is a creamy light pink, and feels really sturdy and decadent (I didn't think a paper box could be so nice!) Definitely can reuse this to put jewelery, trinkets in, etc.

Pretty black envelope that is personalized!
All wrapped up in a bow!
What's inside the envelope.
Inside the personalized envelope is the welcome/product card, two product information booklets and labels for my glossybox. I'm actually not too sure what to do with the labels though; maybe I'm missing something?

The haul.
In this month's box there was five main products and a sixth bonus product (well, technically two bonuses). Let's take a closer look at each.

AHAVA body lotion
From the product card: "AHAVA is created with the many benefits of the Dead Sea. The Mineral Body Lotion contains aloe vera, natural moisturizers, and minerals that glide over your skin and wrap your body in moisture all day long".

I had already received an AHAVA hand cream from a previous Glymm box, so I was semi-familiar with the line (I also know from other blogs that some people got the hand cream in this month's glossybox). It is made in Israel and a regular size retails for $28.00 (250 ml). The sample size was 40 ml. Not bad. I am a body lotion fanatic, and since I have very dry skin, I need to use it everyday. I found the scent of this to be nice and light, but the cream was a bit too runny for me, and I had to put on A LOT to get my skin moisturized. So, I'm not sure this is great for my dry skin, but those with normal skin types may find it is the right consistency.

Moisture Stick by Elizabeth Grant
From the card: "This Moisturizing Stick is a highly moisturizing balm that leaves your lips feeling soft and hydrated and is a great compliment to the At Last Lipstains."

My sample looks full size, but it says 3.5 grams on the stick and on the product card 5 grams is considered full-size ($12.00 retail value). No matter - it is still a really good size. I have heard of Elizabeth Grant before; she is constantly on the Shopping Channel and makes a lot of anti-aging products that many people seem to swear by. I do like this moisture stick, if for nothing else it is a soft, light, colourless balm that looks elegant (and not like the natty lip smacker I hide in my purse).

Wella Shampoo
The card says: "Wella Professionals Brilliance Shampoo helps to enhance the radiance of coloured hair. This light shampoo leaves even fine hair full of vitality and shine with diamond dust!"

I say: now this is where Glossybox got it right. So many times we fill out the beauty profiles, all get the same boxes and basically wonder if they read the profiles. In this case, they obviously did, as I have very fine hair and this is a shampoo tailor-made for it. I tried it out and it has a great scent and does leave my hair full of body. This sample is 50 ml and a regular size (300ml) retails for $13.99, so I might consider getting this again.


Oscar de la Renta's Live in Love
The bottle
From the card: "Live in Love is the newest Oscar de la Renta fragrance. This green floral embodies the love that today's woman has for everything in her life, created for women by a man that adores them...Oscar."

This is again where some boxes differ - others I saw have the body lotion of this scent. The perfume doesn't lie when it says it is a 'green floral' - literally, it is like rolling around in the grass. I don't know just yet if it is the kind of romantic, tumbling down a grassy hill in the summer sunshine, or falling facedown in a clump of wet grass after you trip. But, it is kind of growing on me, so ask me what I think next week. This sample is 4 ml and the full size is 30 ml for $62.

Prevage Day Cream by Elizabeth Arden
The cream (such a lovely picture - all whipped and fresh)
The card: "Elizabeth Arden Prevage Day Anti-Aging Restorative Cream helps to fight the visible effects of environmental damage and enhances skin's natural moisture."

Again, this is where I feel like my preferences were taken into consideration (but I also saw that many other boxes got this, so who knows?) My face is extremely dry, and I need a thick, creamy cream to get me through the day and night. This one does that, and it has spf 30, which is great. I don't even mind the anti-aging, as I do see sun damage and fine lines around my eyes and cheekbones. So bring it on, creamy cream. HOWEVER, this cream is definitely not for everyone. Those with oily skin will hate it, as it will only make their skin more oily. Also, if you have sensitive skin, it might cause a rash. But for the size that came in this box, I am extremely happy; it will last for awhile, and that's good, 'cause I can't afford the price tag of the regular size (50ml for $160; in the box was a 7 ml sample). Still, that's a sample worth over $20!

Beauty so Clean Sanitizing Mist
Beauty so Clean Sanitizing Wipes
Bonus Time! From the card: "The convenient and effective Beauty So Clean Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipes sanitize makeup, removing bacteria in 10 seconds! The Cosmetic Sanitizer Mist removes bacteria and germs on powder-based and cream-based products".

These are the only items in the box I haven't tried, and when I do, I don't know if I will be able to tell a difference. Sure, I will know that bacteria has been killed, but will it make my product perform better? Possibly - I can see the wipes helping a lot for mascara wands and lipsticks, but I'm not sure about the spray - I've never really had a problem with germy powder before. They also have a third product - the Conditioning Brush Cleaner, which is not included, but I would have liked to try, as I find the liquid soap I use to clean my brushes a bit too harsh. With the information booklet that comes in the box, there is also a discount code for 20% off Beauty So Clean which is nice if you wish to purchase. I received four wipe samples (retails for $12.50/48 pack) and an 8 ml sample of the mist (full size is 125 ml for $15.99).

Overall, I am quite happy with my first Glossybox. The amount of product exceeded the purchase price (technically 7 products!) and the brands were good. My favorites were probably the shampoo, Moisture Stick and face cream, and at this time I would probably only purchase the shampoo (if the face cream just wasn't so expensive!) I saw that some other boxes contained Essie polish, which is awesome because Essie is just fab but I wasn't too bummed about because I just got my Julep box at the beginning of the week.

If you got a Glossybox, what was in yours? Thoughts on the products?

(If you'd like to join me on my beauty box journey, click here to sign up for Glossybox. $15/month, all taxes and shipping included).