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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?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Favourites: Summer Skincare with Garnier

Now that summer's just around the corner, I wanted to share with you a few of my favourite skincare picks I use frequently in the warmer months. Oddly, these products are all Garnier (and this is not a sponsored post, these items are all from my own stash). I've used this brand over the years and it's a drug store staple for me - both for hair and skin. I tend to change up my skincare regime, makeup and nail colours seasonally, depending on the weather and my mood :) But as the temperatures climb, my skin needs especially change, and here's where these three products come in.

Garnier Moisture Rescue Gel Cream; Garnier Moisture Rescue Fresh Cleaning Foam; Garnier Body Hydrating Gel Cream
Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream
Swatch of gel cream for face (before it absorbs into skin)
This is a face "cream" that is actually in gel form, when applied to skin it takes about 30 seconds to fully absorb and then your face is literally hydrated all day. This gel can be used as a day cream/night cream, and why I love it so much in the warmer months is because it hydrates my dry skin (that is slightly less dry in spring/summer) but is not too thick or heavy. Usually, lighter-type creams do not sufficiently work on my dry skin, but this cuts dryness and doesn't make my skin look shiny (like some heavier creams tend to do). It also absorbs very fast and make my skin and makeup look fresh. It was hard to photograph a swatch of this gel, as when I applied it to my hand it absorbed quickly and just made me skin look slightly dewy, so I piled a bit more then I would normally use for the picture. If you're looking for a warm weather face cream I say give this one a go! (retails around $10-12).

Garnier Moisture Rescue Fresh Cleansing Foam
Swatch of Fresh Cleaning Foam
Garnier's Fresh Cleansing Foam goes with the Moisture Rescue line and comes in a huge, 200 ml bottle, which will last you a long time. It is lightly scented, and smells very fresh, when applied to your face it has the consistency of a cream, soft and rich. Massage a bit into wet skin and rinse. My face instantly feels really fresh and hydrated. I like this for warmer months because it feels so fresh and cooling on my skin and it also cleans very well, but gently and washes away the shine from my t-zone. It goes nicely with the gel cream (apply after washing with the foam) and this bottle retails for around $8-10.

Garnier Intensive 7 days Hydrating Gel-Cream
Swatch of Body Gel Cream

Another gel cream, this time for body. Another light, fresh and fruity fragrance, this gel cream absorbs very quickly into skin and hydrates very well. I use body lotion daily as my skin is always dry, but in the spring/summer I swap my thick body butters with a lighter cream, and this gel cream has the perfect light texture while still delivering lots of moisturization. Garnier claims that if you use this cream for 4 weeks and then stop, you would still feel hydration for 7 days afterwards. I can't confirm that claim, but it is a great daily body cream and has a fabulous price tag as well - $5-7 (250 ml) and sometimes you can find this on sale for even less ($2-4). I like the Grape Oil, but this gel cream also comes in other varieties like peach oil or aloe vera.

So if you're looking to change up your skincare routine for the spring/summer, give these products a try - tested and recommended by CityGirl!

Do you switch up your skin/hair/body/makeup products seasonally? What's some of your skincare picks for summer?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May Julep Maven box

Well I haven't posted about Julep in quite awhile due to my shipping fiasco with them. It took a few months to sort out but it's all been worked out, thankfully, and I can get back to receiving and posting about Maven boxes.

The month of May for Julep was 1920's era - themed (coincides with the blockbuster movie, The Great Gatsby, that's just come out). Have you seen it yet? I haven't and if I don't make it to the theatres, I'm sure I'll watch it when it comes out on DVD. I have read the book ages ago and loved it. Though I'm a bit more excited for 1920's Downton Abbey - I've just finished season 2 which finishes as they are ringing in 1920, so I CANNOT WAIT to start season 3. (Don't tell me what happens!)

Anywho, back to this month's Maven box:

May Modern Beauty Maven box
I chose the Modern Beauty box for May as I loved the polish colours in the other boxes, but they were too similar to shades I already own. I liked the idea of the lipsticks and the sugar scrub looked so delightful, so I settled on this box.

Sugar Smooch lip scrub (Retails for $14; Maven price $11.20)
Speaking of that sugar scrub...

The packaging
The packaging on this scrub is so very unique - it wouldn't be out of place on a glamorous dressing-table.

The scrub
It smells so amazing - like warm, buttery sugar. YUM! I exfoliate my lips with a sugar scrub a few times a week and it is essential when wearing bright lip colours. I think when I'm finished this scrub I'll just clean out the container and whip up some homemade sugar scrub to take it's place (as I don't want to throw out the pretty packaging).

American Beauty Volumizing mascara (Retails for $24; Maven price $19.20)

Colour: Jet Black
Julep has had this mascara (and the Boho Glam version in Brown) out for awhile now (I want to say September?) but I haven't tried it yet. It was probably included in this box to achieve the lovely, doe-eyed, lashed look of the decade (well it's a huge step up from mixing Vaseline and soot to darken eyelashes!)

New York Jazz trio lipsticks (Retails for $28; Maven price $22.40)
I have to say I just love this lipstick box...

...And how the little lipsticks nestled inside slide out like in a cigar/cigarette case (well it's certainly healthier than smoking!)

Top left: Tea for Two, Bottom: Satin Doll, Top Right: Lady in Red
The lipsticks are a bit smaller than I expected (2.1 grams) but I rarely use up a full lipstick this day so I guess smaller is a good thing. I do like the colours (a sheer and two bolder shades) and I think I like this set better than the colours in the Paris Jazz set but that's just personal preference. The last time I got a lipstick trio set was actually on a flight (yay for duty-free!). It was a Clinique set and I used those lipsticks constantly. I will probably use Tea for Two the most often in this collection, with Satin Doll a close second.

Flower hair pins
The bonus item in this month's Maven box was a pretty set of flower hair pins. There was a bit of a kerfuffle about this item, as Maven's who upgraded and got the full collection did not receive the pins in their box. If this was you, contact Julep and they will ship you out a set. I think these pins are just darling and nicely fit the theme of the box. It is a fun little extra!

And if you like the look of these pins but are not a Maven or skipped this month's box, check out Stephanie's creations - she makes earrings, rings, headbands and hair pins with flowers similar to these!

So I really liked this month's Maven box (especially that dreamy sugar scrub!) and I'm glad Julep's back in my good books, as I've missed them these past few months.

What Julep Maven box did you get for May? Favourite products/shades?

Friday, May 10, 2013

April Starlooks Starbox

Yay! I'm always excited to see my monthly Starbox in the mail...now that I've cut back on beauty box subs, I seem to appreciate the few that I get even more. Starbox is awesome as there's always a new look you can try each month!

April's box (love the light blue/dark brown colour combo!)

This reminds me a bit of the fashions at Coachella...the product card does talk about music festivals so perhaps some inspiration from there? It's also a neutral month in terms of products and colours.

Products in the April box
I actually like how Starlooks boxes most of their items; it makes the whole box seem more pulled together, in a way. Also when you get many products from cosmetic counters, they come in little boxes so it feels a little more luxe as well.

Out of the boxes

Translucent Mineral Powder (retails for $19)

The cost of this month's box is basically in this full-sized loose powder...this will come in VERY handy in the spring/summer as it's great to set makeup and eliminate the shiny forehead look that plagues me in the warmer months. I also like to set mineral powders with a bit of hydrating spray - the Juice Beauty spray from a past ipsy bag would work very well for this purpose.

Powder swatch (not blended)

Tendergloss lipstick in Trinity (Retails $11)
Yay tendergloss! Probably my favourite product Starlooks makes, it's a little more than a gloss, but not quite a lipstick. This one stars bronze-gold shimmer.

This is the same pic as from my BB5 post - where I used this tendergloss with the Model Co. lip liner. This is without the liner, and though the edges of my lips aren't as defined it is still a lovely neutral colour.

Lash Boost Mascara base (retails $15)
Here's a mascara primer that boosts and thickens lashes. I have only used one primer before, from It Cosmetics (Eyes of Seduction Lash Primer) and that one was quite good, it lengthened my lashes but the consistency was slightly lotion-y.

Close up of brush
The brush definitely looks like it has tiny little fibers in the formula...

Lash Boost on lashes 
Oh yeah, those little fibers definitely come off onto lashes (hmmm, my eye is a bit red - too long staring at a computer screen, methinks!)

With Cover Girl Clump Crusher mascara on top
What do you think? Thankfully the little fibers in the Lash Boost go away once the mascara is placed on top; I think it gives a tad bit more length to lashes as well.

Starlooks Mint Spf Lip Balm (Retails for $5)
Last, as a little bonus was this SPF 15 lip balm. The product card says to combine it with the Vanilla lip scrub from last month's box (scrub then moisturise  for a sweet mint flavour). I like that it is SPF so will put this in my purse for the summer.

Overall, I like this box; the translucent powder will come in handy over the next few months (as well as the lipbalm) and I'm such a fan of tendergloss lipsticks, they could include one in every Starbox and I'd be a happy camper. The mascara base is ok; I was a little freaked out by those threads but it does look nice under mascara.

To subscribe to Starlooks, order online (U.S. only) or contact them if you're outside the States. $15/month plus shipping.

Monday, May 6, 2013

April Beauty Box 5

Ready? Let's go!

April BB5 
 First impressions - looks like a good selection of items.

La Fresh instant body smoother wipes (x2)
The first thing I noticed was the La Fresh wipes. These particular wipes I actually haven't tried before; it is kind of a a fun concept - basically you massage it onto any place you feel tension or fatigue (temples, shoulders, neck, legs, etc) and breathe deeply. A calm demeanour and cool skin will be your reward. It looks interesting and I think I will try this out after a day of school stress (which really, is everyday :S ).  Two wipes are included in the box, these retail for $9.99 (pack of 24).

Jean Pierre oil absorbing tissues (retails for $1.99)
Last June, BB5 sent a similar item - Blum oil absorbing tissues in a similar plastic package. I guess since summer is around the corner they wanted to make sure we were prepared (putting my t-zone on notice!) I definitely find that I only really use oil blotting papers in the summertime - during the rest of the year my skin doesn't get very oily, but in the hot summer sun, well, it's good to toss these in your purse (especially before taking a photo - you don't want to have a shiny forehead reflecting off the flash!)

Minxxette Brush Hanger
What a neat concept - I will definitely try it out with my eyeshadow brush. I like that it has a suction as well in case there's no place to hang it. This small brush hanger retails for $4.69.

Brazen eyeshadow in Birthday Suit

 Last month we received a Brazen eyeshadow and I knew we were going to get one this month from a Facebook spoiler. Again, a sifter would be lovely but at least this mainly stayed in the jar when I opened it.

Swatch of Birthday Suit
I think I like this shadow better than last month's - it's really nice, warm, matte and sheer, a great base! (Retails for $7.49 - 0.18 oz).

Model Co Illusion Lip Pencil (retails for $20)
I love how Model co has built in sharpeners 

Close up

And last is the product I found most intriguing  - Model Co brings us an Illusion lip pencil...here's the claim:

"Enhance your lip shape naturallyl with Illusion! This unique skin coloured, soft wax pencil allows you to create the perfect pout and lip line by giving the illusion of natural, fuller lips".

Ok, so let's give it a go.

Lined my lips with the Model Co pencil
Of course, just wearing the lip liner would look odd. So I paired it with a tendergloss lipstick from Starlooks that I'll be reviewing in an upcoming post.

Very nice and defined!
It's hard to compare, so I also swatched just the tendergloss lipstick on it's own (no liner).

Just lipstick
What do you think? I think the liner is nice, it definitely gives a more defined pout, but I'm not sure it does anything special that a regular nude lip liner can't do. Also, Model Co says this is skin coloured, but would it work on all skin tones? It's something to think about. If you received this pencil in your BB5 box this month - how did you find it?

The April box definitely has a good range of products and especially items to use for the coming warmer months. Still pretty happy with the selection BB5 brings each month (and am really diggin' that shadow - I see it being a summer staple for me!)

If you'd like to sign up for Beauty Box 5, consider using my referral link (or click here for the regular link). Cost is $12/monthly or $30/quarterly or $100 yearly. There are also gift sub options.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Starlooks Lauren Clark Tipsy Lip Set Swatches

Back in March, Starlooks had a bonus purchase offer - a set of three products to compliment the Tipsy lip liner from the February Lauren Clark Starbox. I ended up getting the set, as I really liked the products in the February box, and I was using the lip liner quite a bit (especially paired with the Pink Oasis gloss - see the Feb box and swatches here). I know it's now May (this being a March purchase), but these colours screamed "Spring!" and "Warm Weather!" to me so I'm wearing this set now.

Lauren Clark Signature Tipsy Lip Set ($32)
HD Fluid Blush in Cheeky Luscious; Lip Gloss in Tipsy, Lipstick in Tipsy
If you didn't get the February Starbox, the Tipsy lip liner was available as well ($39 for that box configuration).

So let's swatch 'em out!

Tipsy Fluid Blush
Swatched on hand
Blended even more!
These fluid blushes are VERY pigmented, so you only need a bit and you can acheive the look you want through blending (I use my fingers, though you can use a sponge). This blush isn't as bright as the "Barbie" fluid blush from the February Starbox - it is a deeper pink with a lot of dimension.

Tipsy Lip Gloss

Swatch on lips
I find this gloss to be smooth and glassy and not at all sticky. It is a creamy-sheer milky pink and good alone (but it certainly amps up the volume when paired with the rest of the Tipsy products...scroll down to see).

Tipsy Lipstick
Swatch on lips
The Tipsy lipstick packs a great punch of coral-pinky colour, but I also find it slightly drying (if I pair it with a gloss though then it's ok). That's why I'm a huge fan of their Tendergloss lipsticks - literally lipstick and gloss combined and it hydrates so well.

Swatch of Tipsy lipstick (top) and Tipsy liner (bottom)
I also wanted to swatch the lipstick and liner together - looks like a perfect match!

But lipstick, liner and gloss in the same (Tipsy) colour? Of course I have to wear it together...

Swatch of Tipsy liner, lipstick and gloss

Wow that's bright! These lips are screaming "summertime!" I think that creamy gloss really amplifies the look. So overall, I find this to be a very fun add-on box. Starlooks looks like it is doing more of these types of types of configurations in future (may or may not tie into monthly Starboxes). Currently on offer is the Rosemarie Signature Eye Set ($39.50), Minette Signature Eye Set ($32.75) and Mother's Day lip sets ($25.00).