About Me

My photo
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?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bourjois Paris Rose Exclusif self-adjusting gloss

**I was a bit nervous about Hurricane Sandy last night; thankfully Toronto didn't get a lot of damage...just mainly high winds and some downed power lines. My thoughts are with those in New York/Jersey/Connecticut/other places hit much worse by the storm.**

Last month I attended an amazing event by Random House and Chatelaine at the Ritz-Carlton, which showcased the latest books for Fall. It was really fun, and there was even a bit of beauty involved! Bourjois Paris was on hand sampling their Rose Exclusif gloss - and everyone who tried it out got a complementary tube to take home! Here are my thoughts on this gloss.

Rose Exclusif gloss
This is a clear gloss that self-adjusts to each woman, transforming into a pretty pink! The gloss can turn from very light pink to dark magenta, depending on the pH of your lips.

Swatch on hand (goes on clear)
Transformed to a pretty shade of pink!

This is a pretty fun gloss, as you can see it has tinted my lips a lovely light shade of pink. But, oddly enough, on some days when I wear it, it goes even darker - to a magenta almost. A bit tempermental, perhaps? ;) Or maybe it's just my wacko body chemistry!

It is also very moisturizing; my lips feel soft and conditioned for hours after applying it. One downside though is this is quite the sticky gloss.

After the glossy shine has faded, I find that some of the pink colour actually stays on my lips!

Pink left behind after shine has worn away
Overall, I give this gloss a thumbs-up for its staying power, colour it transforms to and how it leaves lips soft. Thumbs down though for the sticky feel it has, especially immediately upon application.

Bourjois Paris can be found at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations. The Rose Exclusif gloss retails for around $20.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October Wickedly Good Out of the Box Sampler

I actually received my October Out of the Box sampler weeks ago, but was unable to blog/try out any of the items until now. That's because one of the samples in this month's box was scented SO strongly that it overpowered the entire box and left me with massive headaches anytime I went near it. I isolated the item and got rid of it, and then I had to air out the rest of the box in the laundry room for about two and a half weeks! Thankfully, that scent is out of the rest of the items, so I am able to enjoy my box.

Unfortunately during this process (I had to unwrap all the little packages and put them in a separate bag) I'm not sure what items belong to what businesses, so I am posting pictures but won't go into a more thorough description of them. Though, some of the pictures have the company identified on the label and there is also a list on their website of all the companies that participated in this month's box,

October Out of the Box sampler
Opening it up
Soaps, sugar scrub and wax melt
Candles, fragrance. 
The little brown cone-shaped items in the back is what overpowered this box. I don't even know what it is - I couldn't look, it was just so incredibly potent. It smelled like clean linen/clean cotton, and quite honestly, I don't think I can ever buy that scent again - this has just turned me off of it so much.

Wax melt, bath tea and lotion
Decals, bottlecap fridge magnet, "Boo" earrings (these are cute, I wore them out to a Haunted Walk around
the city), eyeshadow (light purple and sparkly - very nice), pin.
I LOVE this! It's a cute little witch decoration :)
Picture cards and car air freshener 
The edibles bag: tea and candy ;)
So, there were actually many cute things in this month's box! I pretty much liked everything, except those potently scented cones. Good variety and gets me in the Halloween spirit!

Because of this experience, I have an important suggestion for handmade businesses. If you scent your products, PLEASE do not go overboard with the scent. It's just overwhelming for the consumer and also not really fair to the other businesses participating in a sampler box like this, as it will overpower their products as well. Also, if you compile sampler boxes and notice that a business has sent in samples that are way too smelly, PLEASE don't include them with the sample boxes. It just ends up making the entire box smell like that one product, and again, is not good for all the other businesses in that box. It also makes many of the edibles virtually inedible!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fortune Cookie Soap Mini-Haul!

Since the Fall Fortune Cookie Soap box came with a $10 coupon, I thought I'd pick up a few items in my favourite autumn scents. My coupon basically covered almost all the shipping ($11.20).

My mini-haul!
Kryptonite Bar Soap; Pumpkin Coconut Crunch Fortune Cookie Soap; Snickerdoodle Body Butter;
Cram your Face in my Sweet Pumpkin Pie Hydrate Me. 
Ooooh, fun items! I absolutely LOVED the sample of Snickerdoodle body butter that was sent in the fall soap box; I must have used it all up in a matter of days, so I got the full-size version ($10.99). Smells like cinnamon cookie!

I also loved the scent of Pumpkin Coconut Crunch (in the soap box that scent was in a lip scrub) so I got it in their famous fortune cookie-style soaps ($3.29).

Cram you Face in my Sweet Pumpkin Pie (funny name, eh?) also smelled delish (came in a mask version in the box); I wanted to try out their Hydrate Me! bars for awhile so I got that in this scent ($9.99). It works really well - you just rub it in after a shower and let the lotion do its thing - no need to rinse and my skin feel so soft and smooth, no additional lotion necessary!

And I just had to try their Kryptonite soap ($6.95) - it smells like juicy green apples. This was not sampled in the fall box, but it does fit the fall/Halloween theme as...

Kryptonite bar soap - in the dark!
...it GLOWS in the DARK! Spooky cool!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Julep + Breast Cancer Awareness

Today I received an email from Julep that detailed how in the month of October, they are donating to The Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation, for National Breast Cancer Awareness month. I looked up the foundation, and they have a very interesting initiative - to store genetic information from women of all backgrounds in order to assess and assist individual women on their risk, prevention and treatment options.

When I first signed up to be a Maven back in February, I did take note that they were a company involved in charity work. Throughout the year, some of the proceeds from nail polish sales are donated to organizations that engage and empower women (through their Powered by Girlfriends campaign). I thought this was a great initiative, as ideally, companies should be responsive to their community, and supporting charities and organizations is certainly one way to do it.

Julep also collaborated with the Edith Sanford foundation on a graphic that encourages breast cancer awareness. They have asked Mavens to share this information, and in the spirit of preventing and eradicating breast cancer, I'm posting it here.

What really hit home for me on this infosheet is the sheer enormity of the statistics - one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. But, there's also a lot of hope - there are around 2.6 million survivors (U.S stats).

I'm glad Julep is involved in supporting causes and initiatives that especially help women. It's nice to know that, by virtue of being a Maven, I am giving my support too!

What is the most interesting fact to you on this infosheet? Did you know that Julep was involved in charitable support? Do you think this is one of the benefits of being a Maven?

Monday, October 22, 2012

My favourites: Lip Balm

In the second instalment of My Favourites, I'd like to share with you my favourite lip balms. I am a lip product junkie and I find balms to be an essential base for lips! Especially when the weather is getting colder,  my lips need to always be moisturized so they don't chap and crack. The following lip balms I love because they are ultra-creamy, long-lasting and smell great!

Smith's Rosebud Salve, Lip Labz, Hurraw!, Gettin' Lippy
Let's start from the top down. I first found out about Smith's Rosebud Salve though my BB5 box. It has a fantastic rosy scent, and is ultra-glossy and moisturizing. This salve is also good for chapped hands and rough cuticles. It is a little miracle worker in a jar! I like this product so much, I bought another one for backup. You can get it at American Apparel or Sephora - it retails for around $7.

Then we have Lip Labz lip balm. I made this all-natural balm at the CNE this year, and flavoured it with peppermint patty scent! I've been reaching for this lip balm quite frequently - it's goes on really smooth and makes my lips so soft. I also love how you can create your own flavours! This balm retails for $3.99 - you can find out more about Lip Labz from my previous post.

Next is Hurraw! lip balm. I got the vanilla bean flavour (mmmmm, vanilla). Hurraw! is all-natural, vegan and tastes/smells amazing. It makes my lips feel buttery smooth. I've been using Hurraw! balms for years and it's a great product conscientious company. These balms retail for $3.79 - $4.29 and can be bought on their website.

Last is Gettin' Lippy, a company I found out about from one of my Sweet Delight Divalicious sample boxes. I got the balm flavoured in yellow bubble gum, purple wild berry, green asian pear (three sections). I have finished the bubble gum and am onto the wild berry scent. This is a great lipbalm for extreme moisturization. It goes on thick and is really great for those that great dry, chapped lips easily (like me) or in the wintertime when indoor heating make skin so dry and tight. I use this mainly at night and wake up with soft lips. This lipbalm can be bought direct from the company; it is priced at $3.50.

Those are my picks for favourite lip balms! Have you tried any of these? What brand of lip balm do you usually reach for?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

November Julep Maven box preview

November's Selection

Julep Maven has recently overhauled their website, and your choices for this month are under "My Maven Subscription" under your Profile. They have also implemented a new credit system - "Jules", which you can earn not just for referrals but for things like purchasing a monthly box (or upgrading to the whole set), and even on your birthday and Maven anniversary (mine's coming up in February!) For this month only, Julep is upgrading 900 Jules (instead of 300) to those who purchase the box. Jules can be redeemed for add-ons, boxes and even upgrades! Jules expire 2 years after earning them. All of this info and more can be found on the "Reward Program" link at the bottom of their website.

Here are you box selections for November! (Because of the way the new site displays the pictures, this is the largest I could make it without looking distorted).

November American Beauty 
American Beauty has Amber (gold-bronze suede) and Brit (graphite-silver suede) and a tub of Pink Grapefruit Body Frosting Body Butter with Shea.

November Boho Glam
Boho Glam has Nora (silver-aubergine suede) and Amber (golden-bronze suede same as American Beauty) and the Pink Grapefruit Body Butter.

November Bombshell
The Bombshell box has got Donna (peacock blue cream); Trina (dark aubergine shimmer) and the Pink Grapefruit Body Butter tub.

November Classic with a Twist
Classic with a Twist has got Brit (graphite silver suede - same as in American Beauty); Minka (copper-red suede) and the Pink Grapefruit Body Butter.

November IT Girl
IT Girl has Nora (silver aubergine suede - same as in Boho Glam); Hailee (Khaki green suede) and the Matte topcoat.

*Update* Maven's Choice Box: has Matte Top Coat, Trina (same as in Bombshell box) and the Pink Grapefruit body scrub, mitt and towel set.

Maven's Choice

November Maven Fall Wardrobe
Can't get enough of suedes? Upgrade to the whole collection ($30 extra) and get all the polish selections from all the boxes this month, plus the Pink Grapefruit Body Butter AND the Pink Sugar scrub that includes towel and mitt.

Picked a box but want to add-on? You can still add up to 3 extras - polish selections are $4.99 each, the Pink Grapefruit Body Butter is $7.99 and the Pink Sugar Scrub with towel and mitt is $12.99. Besides the suedes from November's selection, they have a few additional polishes you can add-on that is currently not in any box - Diane (dark green cream); Fast Dry Topcoat; Demi (a raspberry cream) and Meryl (grey cream). The links are just to show you the colour - to select any of these for the add-on price it has to be done from your Maven profile page. I guess they wanted to give people choices of cream finishes if they weren't totally feeling the suedes.

I have been wondering when they were going to roll out this suede collection ever since the sneak peek back in the summer months. Now that it's here, I haven't yet made up my mind, but I'm initially gravitating to either the IT Girl or Bombshell - I do like purple (aubergine was actually the colour I had my bridesmaids wear - it was super-close to Trina in the Bombshell box). Yet the Bombshell box doesn't actually have suedes in it. Figures! If I get that I may do some add-ons.

Have any of these polishes caught your eye? What do you think of the suede collection overall? The Pink Grapefruit Body Butter/Scrub?

If you'd like to sign up to be a Maven, consider using my referral link. Or if you'd rather not use the referral, click here instead.

*Update* I found swatches (thanks MakeupTalk!) Top swatches look like they have topcoat on.

American Beauty

Boho Glam


Classic with a Twist

IT Girl

Friday, October 19, 2012

*Spoiler* Exclusive: Lise Watier Topbox!

Topbox sent this email to Toronto-based members a day or so ago to redeem a FREE Lise Watier sample box at a participating Shoppers Drug Mart. They said on their facebook page that this is a test program they are doing with Lise Watier, and Topbox hopes to release it across Canada next year. I phoned the Yonge St. location yesterday; they didn't have the boxes in but took my name and number and called me back today saying it was in. I picked it up after work...here's what I got!

Lise Watier sample box
In a Topbox-like tube, Lise Watier included three (well, technically four) deluxe samples!

From L to R: HydraSmart 3D Hydration Gel-Creme; Frisson Neiges Twist and Spray set; Plumpissimo Le Gloss.
First is a huge, 30 ml sample of HydraSmart gel creme (full size is $40 for 50 ml). I actually opened this up at Shoppers with the sales associate because I couldn't wait to get home and she was curious about what was in the tube as well. When she saw the cream, she gasped. She said this was an amazing cream and couldn't believe they gave us such a large sample! (Then I had to tell her all about Topbox; I'm pretty sure she'll be signing up :)

Next is what technically counts as two samples - a giant, 20 ml Frisson Neiges purse spray (full size is $40 for 30 ml or $59 for 50 ml). One is in the tube and the other in the glass bottle is the refill!! How awesome is that. I tested this out; it's a really sweet scent and quite pretty.

Last is a 1.5 ml sample of Plumpissimo Le Gloss in Nude(full size is $21 for 6.2 ml). It is a plumping and smoothing gloss; tingles a bit when you apply it and is non-sticky. The colour is pale pink - really nice!

This is a really great promotion - especially with two of the products close to full size. Topbox, I'm so impressed! Roll this out to the rest of Canada as soon as possible!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Confession post: Sephora.

I have a confession to make. Even though I have a Sephora literally 10 minutes from me, I rarely go in. (gasp!) There's  a couple reasons why. I've been getting a lot of products from my beauty boxes and I have been preoccupied with that and also because I don't like shopping malls all that much. The shopping part, yes, love, love, love. The mall part, not so much. I love to browse, take my time, look at everything, test stuff out, and most of the time the mall is just SO. DARN. BUSY. that it's just exhausting trying to wade through all the hoards of people to find stuff I like.

I love Sephora, but before I started my beauty box subs, I would always get overwhelmed when I went in. There was just so many products and brands, I would not know where to start. I also always ended up getting stuff that I wasn't thrilled about later.

But I've found that getting to know brands and products through the beauty boxes and having the opportunity to test many things out, has now made me a pretty savvy shopper when I do go to the mall. And Sephora is no longer overwhelming - as I know almost all of the brands, what they offer, what I like, etc.

So yesterday, my friend and I ventured into the mall, and stopped by Sephora (since we went at lunchtime during the week, it wasn't as busy as the dreaded weekend rush). Let me show you my mini-haul!

Benefit "How to Look the Best at Everything"; Sephora nail polish corrector pen; Benefit "Tan
About Town"; Beauty Insider birthday fresh Sugar Kisses Lip Duo

First, the Benefit!

Oooh, fun!
Benefit's How to Look the Best at Everything makeup kit ($36.00) looks like a little book and contains The PORE-fessional (7.5 ml); Hello Flawless brightening makeup (7 ml); Boi-ing concelear (01 and 02) and "Me, Vain?" Champagne powder (comes with a little brush). This kit comes in 3 shades (light, medium, dark) and is exclusive to Sephora. I have wanted this kit ever since I saw it reviewed in Chatelaine magazine -  it is going to be fun trying this out 'cause it's got everything a girl needs to create a nice base.

Tan about Town
with Hoola (open) and Some Kind-a Gorgeous (open)
Benefit's Tan about Town ($15.00) is such a sweet little kit! It includes a 4 g sample of BadGal lash; a 3 g sample of Hoola bronzer and a 1.8 g sample of Some kind-a gorgeous base. I've been curious about BadGal since I love They're Real mascara so much, and I have the Hoola gloss, so here's my chance to try out the matching powder.

Sephora nail polish corrector pen; fresh sugar kisses mini lip duo.
I threw in this Sephora nail corrector pen (0.13 fl.oz) because I do my nails enough to warrant it and it was on sale for the bargain price of one dollar.

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday...wait...it's not my birthday. My birthday is in June...this is kinda overdue, no? Well, because I haven't ventured out to Sephora in who knows how long, I wasn't a beauty insider, either (another gasp!) So I signed up for the program, and even though I told the lady it was nowhere near my birthday, she included the fresh mini duo anyway! How nice of her :) One is a sugar lip treatment and the other is a rose tinted lip treatment. They smell so sweet too!

And that's my Sephora story. Now that I've finally signed up for the insider program, I'm also finally making my wishlist. I don't think I will wait nearly as long to go back this time...especially since I'm more familiar with  their product lines (thanks to the beauty boxes). I'll just try to go during the week, when the mall's not so busy. Who knows, maybe I'll even make V.I.B. ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Benefit's They're Real! Mascara Review

I was so excited to receive Benefit's They're Real! mascara in last month's Topbox, since I've wanted to try it out for ages. Now I've used it for just over a month - so here's what I think!

They're Real! mascara from September's Topbox
Naked eyelashes
They're Real! lashes
Verdict: I LOVE this mascara. It gives great length and drama to lashes overall - no flaking/clumping and lasts all day. I can even go without eyeshadow if I'm in a hurry - just a few swipes of They're Real! along with some concealer and lipgloss. This is now up there with my  two favourite mascaras - Luscious Volumes from Inspire Cosmetics and Hello Lashes! from IT Cosmetics.

Psst, Topbox. Loving the Benefit. Now I'm just waiting for a sample of The Pore-fessional (I may just crack and buy it, we'll see!)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

*SPOILER* October Topbox

The October Topbox is here. Read on if you want a peek!

The Topbox

The loot this month
Hmmm. Didn't wow me right out of the box; let's take a closer look.

Masker Aide Facial Sheet Mask
This is a one-use but apparently full-size ($4.99 value) face mask; it's a sheet infused with peppermint oil, aloe, argan oil, honey... (etc, etc) and it says it will "refresh and replenish" skin after "all night studying or all night partying". It does look neat, but $4.99 is slightly expensive for one mask. The product card said it will be available on their website for purchase starting Oct. 22. Canadian Beauty Reviews has a post on all this company and their various masks.

Aveda Invati Shampoo and Conditioner
This is a solution mini-set for thinning hair. It claims to make hair thicker and full and reduce hair loss by 33%. I do have fine hair, but I don't notice it thinning. It also has a strange, off-lemony smell that slightly annoys my nose. For 10 ml each tube, I don't know if there is enough product here to tell if it works. Has anyone tried this before? Interesting concept though. The full size retails for $27 (200ml) which is WAY more than I like to spend on shampoo.

Hair treatment offer
The back of the product card is a complimentary botanical therapy hair treatment with purchase of a hair cut of shampoo style at participating Aveda salons. It expires at the end of the year. I *might* check this out, not sure yet.

Stila in the garden eyeshadow palette
Close-up of colours

This is a one-time use stila shadow palette that gives instructions on how to create two eye looks. The full size retails for $50 (14 g). I know it's stila, but I'm not a huge fan of this sample; I will get to create two eye looks and then be expected to buy the full-size. No matter how good it is, I am probably not going to spend $50 on a palette that I will have tried twice, when I have palettes from Coastal Scents and Red Ginger that I use regularly and love. It'll be fun trying it out though.

stila prime pot
This is a stila eyeshadow primer, and a pretty good size too (2 ml - close to the full size of 3.3 ml which retails for $26). I am LOVING my Starlooks eye primer from the September box - it is so fantastic, all day wear without any creasing whatsoever, so I'll compare this stila primer to it and see how it stacks up!

And that's my October Topbox. Overall, I'm not as thrilled as other months, but that's just how the cookie crumbles I guess!

What did you get in your Topbox? Thoughts?