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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 27, 2013

February ipsy bag

Yes it's the end of February, and I received my ipsy glam bag a few weeks ago, but for some reason I haven't dived into it like I've done with previous bags. So this post will be mainly an unboxing, as I have yet to try out the items to give a full review.

Big pink envelope time!
Inside this month's ipsy bag
February's theme was "red carpet ready" - alluding to all those award shows I guess. I would have preferred a Valentines-theme, but that's just me I guess.

Red lining inside the bag
The bag itself is probably my least favourite of all the months I've received ipsy so far. It's patent black with red lining, and although they were trying to give the image of glitz and glamour, it just seems kind of boring to me. Plus, the plastic-y patent smells a bit funny. I kind of wish they put that red on the outside of the bag!

Mica Beauty gel liner
The first item we have here is a Mica Beauty pot of gel liner. The packaging itself is quite cute, with a glass bottom and all, but I have heard comments on other blogs and ipsy's facebook group that this liner smudges quite a bit. This would not be good, so when I try this out it will be on a day I'm at home for most of it.

Pop beauty mascara
I'm excited to try out this Pop Beauty Smoky Lash Kapow mascara in Smoky Black, but I probably won't open it for a few months as I rotate my mascaras already in use. I find if I open to swatch mascara, by the time I get it use it, it's already dried out :(  I have heard good things about this little tube though!

Pixi Beauty Primer
This is a good sized sample of pixi beauty's Flawless and Poreless face primer. Another item that unfortunately won't get used right away, as I'm happy right now rotating my Smashbox photo finish and M.Asam Perfect Teint. When I need a change, I'll give this a shot.

Coastal Scents eyeshadow quad
This item I was most looking forward to. I love Coastal Scents in general, but their shadows I love the best. Especially their Metal Mania palette - now that's eyeshadow heaven to me! Oh and until March 1st it's on sale - $9.95, their lowest price on that palette ever. Good deal - just sayin' :) This quad is called "In the Spotlight" (apt name for the ipsy bag) and comes with the colours Dark Goldenrod, Sunbeam, Golden Globe and Dark Golden Olive. I am much more comfortable playing around with yellows and gold tones after receiving my December Starbox palette, so I'll have fun with these shadows.

[In other Coastal Scents news: ipsy has started this new way to shop (still in beta testing) called ipsyme. See the ipsy site for more details but basically it is a way to purchase limited-quantity items via facebook. They recently had their first deal - the 252 Coastal Scents palette for $12.95 (!) I was lucky to grab one, as it sold out literally in minutes. That palette is AMAZING. For those palette-obsessed like myself, it is literally like a work of art ;)  This ipsyme is an interesting concept for sure.]

Lash Card mascara shields 
Ah, it's the dreaded Lash Cards. Having gotten this in at least two previous other beauty boxes that I can remember, I was not particularly looking forward to getting more. The only thing I noticed that's different is that ipsy gave us double the samples (4 instead of 2)  which is nice, but again, it's of lash cards. Verdict: meh.

That's the February glam bag. Overall they had good sample sizes and a variety of items so why did I not dig right in? Probably because I have a few similar products on the go, but when I eventually try these out I'll be more jazzed about it I'm sure. I still think ipsy is a great value bag and fun company. I've also noticed that I still really like samplers in general as no matter how content I am in my makeup routine, I will always want to change it up at some point. I can commit to a man, but to cosmetics I play the field :)

What did you think of this month's ipsy glam bag?


Monday, February 25, 2013

February Prive Topbox: Lippy Girl

The Topbox I got this month was one of the 3 Prive boxes on offer - Lippy Girl! (The other two were Benefit and Miracle 10). It looks like this same Lippy Girl is also an option for March, so here's my take on this box.

The Lippy Girl themed Prive box - Love the graphic!
What's inside
There were just two items in this Topbox, but both are full-sized products with a combined value of $25.

Extra Virgin Vegan Lip Gloss
Lippy Girl is a Canadian company that prides itself on using organic, natural ingredients (and they are do not test on animals). This lipgloss is organic, gluten free and vegan! (no beeswax or other animal-derived ingredients are included).

Swatch of gloss
This is a clear gloss that makes lips smooth and shiny. It smells like oranges too! Consistency-wise I found it to be a tad bit runny, but I've been wearing it all week and it does soften parched, dry and cracked lips quite well. I like this gloss and it is pricey - $15 (14g) so it was neat to get the full-size.

Sha-Zam lip shimmer
The other product is a Lippy Girl Sha-Zam lip shimmer stick. This retails for $10 (2.6 g) and according to the product card, it is a gold-flecked stick made with organic oils, waxes and natural mineral pigments.

Swatch of the shimmer stick
This stick isn't quite as moisturzing as the gloss, but it does soften lips and gives them a subtle shimmer. It also smells like delicious lemon! A bit of concealer, a swipe of mascara and this shimmer stick and you're ready to go on a casual day. Or layer it over cream lipstick for a shimmery effect!

Initially, when I only saw two products in my prive Topbox, I have to admit, I was a tad disappointed, as Topbox promises 4 samples per box. But, after trying these products out for the past week, I have to say I'm really happy with this selection, as the products are great and really wearable. Also, getting two full-sized items is nice and makes the value of the box worth it.

If you are lucky enough to get a Lippy Girl box in March, congrats! My impressions is that they are a neat little Canadian company with great products and philosophy of quality, organic ingredients. I know their products can be bought on ebeauty if you are looking for a retailer.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Glitzology Cupcake Oil and Mmm...Sprinkles.

Well, I jumped on the Glitzology bandwagon after seeing lovely swatches on other blogs of this brand and hearing great things. Stacy offers discounts quite frequently, and on one of these sales I picked up some Cupcake (cuticle) oil and a polish to try out, Mmm...Sprinkles!

Cupcake Oil
This stuff is fabulous! Not only is the cuticle oil extremely moisturizing, which is fabulous in freezin' February, but it smells exactly like vanilla birthday cake...nom, nom, nom. It does have to be applied regularly though to maintain smooth and soft cuticles. Retails for $4.50 regular price (I got mine half off).

Mmm...Sprinkles
This was the polish I chose, Mmm...Sprinkles. Kinda keeping with the baked goods theme! It is a pink glitter base with multi "sprinkles" in it - and reminds me a lot of the doughnuts that Homer eats on The Simpsons. Retails for $8.50 (also got this half-off).

Look at that sparkle!
Swatch of Mmm...Sprinkles
I did a mani with this polish as a double accent nail, and while I love how it turned out, unfortunately because it is so glitter-heavy, Mmm...Sprinkles chipped after only 12 hours (I had to remove it completely after 2 days because the chips were so large).

Natural light (with Julep Charlotte on other nails)

Artificial Light
Apologies for my rough-looking cuticles...I neglected to put on more of that cuticle oil before snapping these pics! Winter and my hands are not friends :(  Anyway, you can see the chips already starting, this is about 12 hours after first application.

This only diminishes my love of Glitzology polish a teeny bit...and really I should have expected the chipping. Glitter-packed polishes like Sally Hansen gem crush, OPI Burlesque and Muppets collections chipped as well in about a day, so it's good to remember that if you are doing a glitter-heavy mani for a special event, do it as close to the event as possible! This won't deter me from ordering again from Glitzology, but I will probably use her polishes when I only want a certain look on my nails for a day or so. Others on my wishlist for the future include Priscilla, Diamonds and Pearls, Violate and the one I'm really lusting after...Trashy Ballerina!

Do you have any Glitzology polishes? What are your favourites from her collection? Any tips to make glitter polishes last longer?


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Preview: Julep Maven March colours

And it's the 20th so here we go! (all images from julep.com)

March Maven colour/product preview
Pastels + shimmer. Very spring-y! Funny, I was thinking of those boxes of pastel chalk from elementary school when I noticed them strewn around this picture.

Your box selections:

Boho Glam -  Leila, Joy and Rock Star hand cream 
Bombshell - Minnie, Adrianna and Rock Star hand cream 

Classic with a Twist - Debra, Simone and Rock Star hand cream
IT Girl - Simone, Shenae, Teri
Modern Beauty *new style* - Glycolic Hand Scrub and Rock Star
hand cream


 Or upgrade to the whole collection this month for $30 more - 8 polishes, the scrub and hand cream:

Playful Collection

Time to see some swatches I think!

Boho Glam swatches

Bombshell swatches
Classic with a Twist swatches
IT Girl swatches 

And we can't forget about the add-on's. Like last month, there's a TON of picks to choose from. Add on any of the colours from this month's boxes for $4.99 each; the Rock Star cream or hand scrub for $9.99 each (or both for $15.99 - like getting a second Maven box); the Oxygen nail treatment or Freedom top coat from last month's boxes for $9.99 each; Acetone-free polish remover bottle for $9.99; polish remover packs, "Swatch Me" sheets or Matte top coat for $4.99 each...and a few other fun combos:

Hydrating Replenishment Trio - Hand Brightener, Cuticle Stick,
Cuticle Oil - $19.99

Hopeful Wishes Trio - Eileen, Maya, Amelia - $14.99

Springtime Pastels - Jessica, Suzie, Gloria - $14.99
Luck of the Irish - Jane, Lucky and Sienna - $14.99

You can also get that gorgeous kelly green and gold glitter Lucky as a separate add-on for $4.99 (great for St. Pat's!)

Lucky


Again this month, a dizzying array of combinations and options to choose from - you can get polish and add on tons of polish, or product and add on tons of product, or make your own perfect combo of both. I had a inkling that they would be doing pastels for spring - I just thought it would be in April, but then again Easter is in March this year and things suddenly turn pastel once that holiday arrives. Again I'm undecided as to what I'll get - I love the colours of IT girl (as usual) but the brights of the Bombshell box are also quite stunning. What do you think? Your perfect March box + add-on's?

If you are not a Julep Maven yet, consider using my referral link to sign up. If you'd rather not, no hard feelings ;) here is the regular link. Use code FREEMAVEN or JULEPVIP on your first box!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Extra! Extra! Beauty news - new Julep Maven style profile

In beauty news today, Julep Maven has announced that they will be retiring the American Beauty style profile and putting a new profile in its place - Modern Beauty. This will begin with next month's Maven box (March).

part of the email that was sent to subscribers

If your default style profile is American Beauty, you have the option of switching to a new profile if you want to keep your monthly box full of polish rather than product, and any style profile can switch to make Modern Beauty the default (if you can't get enough of beauty products!) You will also have the option to try a new style each month like usual, so you can opt-in to a Modern Beauty box if you like it best that month.

So...what do you think? My reaction is a bit mixed - I kinda like how they are going to have a product-only box in future months, as I really love Julep products, and I had a feeling they were going to do something like this since they were really getting on the product bandwagon (creams, scrubs, mascara, lipgloss, etc). In this way Julep can also branch out and target people who are not polish-obsessed and still cater to them. And some months after getting my Maven box, plus add-ons, the secret store and maybe a mystery box, I feel like I'm on polish overload and that's when I tend to skip the next month. This way, there's another option that won't contribute to the polish hoard going on ;) But...no more American Beauty? I will be sad to see it go, as it was a great classic option month after month.

According to the email, the first Modern Beauty Box will have Rock Star hand cream and Glycolic hand scrub. I'm thinking these products will also be available as add-ons, but we'll have to wait to the 20th to see!

Right now, I'm going to keep my IT girl default style profile and see what the Modern Beauty profile has to offer in months to come. What about you? Is this new style profile right up your alley? Or are you a polish fiend and will probably never opt-in to get it? Are you sad to see American Beauty go? Or is it sayonara sister! - out with the old and in with the new?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! Swap

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Sending you all a virtual chocolate heart - yummy!

For today's post I'm going to share with you a Valentine's Day themed nail mail package...I love themed swaps!

My Valentine's swap goodies!
My secret swap partner was Ashley and she sent me all this cool stuff - chocolate, lip gloss, a book, card and of course, polish!

Such a sweet card!

This book, 365 Ways to Live Happy has cool tips and strategies to find everyday joy like, "Think of one thing you need to stay strong and focused" and "Schedule thirty minutes each day to work on your dream". I actually really like books like this - it's inspirational and might actually get me started on that book I say I'm always going to write.

Cupcake lipgloss
Fun!
mmmm, chocolates
I'm eating these as I'm writing this post actually...the dark chocolate hearts are my favourite :)

Up Colors holo in Rosa Star

Glitter Gal (Australia) holo in Wisteria 
Ooh I LOVE HOLOS! Let's swatch 'em out...

Gorgeous
Closer look
These are such awesome polish choices...I don't have a lot of holos in my collection and I don't have either of these two brands - Up Colors or Glitter Gal.

Thank you SO much Ashley...this was such a fab swap package and a neat Valentine's treat!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Starlooks Starbox: January Edition

Since the December Starbox came early, I was going through a bit of Starbox withdrawal waiting ever so patiently for my January box to arrive. The spoilers on Facebook did not help! But now it's here...time to see what the first box of the new year brought!

Pretty light green box this month

Oooh! I'm liking!
Eyeliners in "fancy" (top) and "brown" (bottom)
Close up of liners
The two eyeliners that Starlooks included this month both retail for $8 - the "fancy" liner is touted as "ultra-smooth" and it really is, very creamy and makes a perfect line the first time.

Swatches of "fancy" and "brown"
So pretty! They also say you can use both as a shadow base, or combine the two liners to create an olive colour...

Swatches of "fancy" "brown" and both combined
858 dome brush

Also included is a dome brush for blending shadow/liner into a smoky eye - made from cruelty-free pony hair. I'm liking this brush as it should be excellent for blending with it's short, soft bristles. Retails for $15.

"Cuty Peach" blush

This blush (retails for $12) in the colour "cuty peach" (shouldn't it be cutie peach?) is a soft pinky, peach, that has excellent pigmentation on skin.

Swatch of blush
Just gorgeous!

And last, a fun bonus...

beaded bracelet from Abby Rose Designs
oh so lovely!
This is such a cute bracelet (retails for $15) and I think it colour-matches the theme of this box really well! These bracelets are also available for purchase on the Starlooks website for the month of February.

I honestly really love this box. A great selection of very fun, wearable and versatile full-sized items plus a sweet bonus bracelet...Starlooks continues to impress!

If this month's box has got you thinking "I've gotta get on the Starbox bandwagon"...it's $15 month plus shipping (for Canadians this means it's usually around $20/month). If you're in the U.S. you can sign up via their website, all international Starbox orders must be placed through email or phone.

What do you think of the January Starbox?