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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?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fortune Cookie Soap - Capitol Diamond and Magic is Coming

There was a bit of a glitch in getting my Summer Fortune Cookie Soap box this season, so when I emailed customer service about it, they gave me the credit for the box ($30). In lieu of that, I picked some items that I've wanted to try for awhile, and some from their new Magic line. Let's take a look at what I chose!


Capitol Diamond Whipped Cream and Body Wash, Magic is Coming Belle Whipped Cream and Mad
Hatter Soap, I Scream, You Scream soap sample.


Capitol Diamond Body Wash ($10.99 for 6 oz)

Capitol Diamond Whipped Cream ($10.99 for 5 oz)
The Capitol Diamond collection have been around since FCS did a Hunger Games line of products, and they kept a few of them in their core line (also see Tiny Tribute products). I've been wanting to try something from the Capitol Diamond section for awhile now, as I was intrigued by the scent description (mix of vanilla, citrus, cloves, coconut, berry) and oh yeah, am a huge Hunger Games fan. And I have to say, it's a pretty darn accurate scent description - as both the body wash and butter smell like a vanilla-berry coconut dream! I could definitely see Effie Trinket using something like this. Whipped cream body butters are one of my favorite FCS products; it moisturizes so well and the scent lasts and lasts.

Mad Hatter Fortune Cookie Soap ($3.79)

Belle Whipped Cream body butter ($10.99 for 5 oz)
FCS has very recently put out products based on the hit tv show Once Upon a Time. The line is called Magic is Coming.  I've actually never watched the show (have heard good things about it though), but a couple of the products caught my eye so I thought I'd add it to my own summer soap box mash-up. The Mad Hatter soap is a "mad" mix of scents - greens, celery, raisins, vanilla, peanut butter. It reminds me of the 'ants on a log' snack (take a stick of celery, smother in peanut butter, add raisins on top) and this soap actually smells really good (definitely notes of creamy peanut butter and vanilla in there).

The Belle body butter is described as a 'tropical paradise' - mandarin, lime, tangerine, kumquat, watermelon, green apples, coconut, pikaki. It does smell fruity, and I think I detect some rose notes in there as well. A very nice, sweet feminine scent overall.

This collection has a really unique selection of products (check out the Enchanted Apple bath bomb and Pinocchio bar soaps on the site) so they just might have what you're looking for if you want to add a dash of magic to your bath!

I Scream, You Scream bar soap sample (full size is $6.95)
A sample of soap from their summer line was also included in my order - and yes, this smells just like Neapolitan ice cream. Yum!

I did go over my $30 credit a bit picking up these four products, but they are all full-sized so should last a long time. I'm glad I got to try some items outside of their seasonal box offerings as well. Fortune Cookie Soap is still one of my favorite bath/body shops as they always have great products, really nice scents (and fun product names!).

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New (to Canada) nail mail - August Squarehue box

Have you heard? Squarehue is now shipping to Canada! I've been interested in this nail polish sub since it started in Dec. 2012, but it was U.S-only, till now. Starting with the August box they have opened up subs to Canada. Since this year has been the year of nail polish obsession for me (and also getting more and more into indie polishes) I thought I would give this box a try (and the new Bondi sub which I will review in a later post). Really, the only nail polish sub available to Canada all this time has been Julep, and now there's competition!

Welcome to Canada!
The subscription price for Squarehue is $14.99 per month + shipping ($9 for Canada, $5 for U.S subscribers). So for us Canadians it is $23.99/month total. To compare, Julep is $19.99/month total, but ever since Julep started offering subscribers add-ons, box upgrades and secret store options, many people end up spending more than the base price of the box per month.

For $23.99, you received 3 full size (.50 oz) bottles monthly. As far as I know there aren't any extras in the box, just the three colours. Everyone subscribed receives the same 3 colours and it's a mystery (no preview options). However, they do give you a hint as to the shades and colour theme. You can pause your account if you want to skip a month or two and can cancel at any time. The formula is also 4-free (no DBP, Formaldehyde, Toluene or Camphor), not tested on animals and a portion of sub proceeds go to charity (currently focusing on human trafficking issues).

From what I can tell, this sub is kind of like an IT girl box from Julep (which was my style profile for a long time until I switched it up to Modern Beauty) - 3 on trend, in season colours each month. But this is my favorite reason for wanting to try this sub:

  • Avoid the product display death stare. Picking from 80 billion colors at the store could damage your sense of style

This from their "how it works" page. Too funny!

Ok, so the first month for Canadians is the August box and the theme is Endless Summer.

And here's what this month's box looks like!


Opening it up

Close up of colours in box - neat packaging for transit!
From L to R: Bikini Beach, Scorched Summer, Surf Gypsy


I like how the month of the box is printed on the label as well.

Back of the bottles (to see the colours better)
So this month is a lemony, banana-yellow creme, a burned orange creme and a purple-mauve shimmer. Let's swatch 'em out!

Artificial lighting
Natural light

Natural light
I placed the swatches on a few different backgrounds and in different types of lighting. The swatches have two coats of polish, no topcoat and the formula was great - easy to apply, basically opaque in one coat. There is a definite summer vibe to this collection - makes me think of lazy days basking in the sun. Quick though - not a lot of summertime left :( 

I do like how there's two creme finish polishes and one shimmer, though I wish the flecks in Surf Gypsy were just a touch more shimmery. 

When I do a mani with these shades, I think I will take my inspiration from Squarehue's Facebook page and do a gradient mani with all three (and maybe add a touch of glitter). It looks just like the setting sun (maybe glinting off of the water?) Sqaurehue also has a lookbook on their website showing inspiration for each month's colours. 

So overall, I think the concept is neat with the colours rotating according to trend and season, how you get three bottles per month (that are bigger than Julep's) and the price is a few dollars more but still competitive. The only thing I would like to see is the option to preview each month's colours beforehand so you can decide to pause if you're not feeling that month's box. If you love nail polish and like surprises each month, Squarehue is definitely worth checking out. If you need to pick your colours or know what you're getting beforehand then this might not be the box for you.

I am looking forward to next month's theme as well - the Serengeti collection!



What do you think of Squarehue? Do you like the concept? Is is something you'd subscribe to?


Monday, August 5, 2013

Review: the Balm Instain Blush

How's your summer going? This CityGirl is still plugging away at data collection, most of my time is spent at a computer these days. Wah, wah, wah. But I do get to go to the cottage on occasion, and am catching up on some novels in my free time (have you read 'The Rosie Project' yet? If not - definitely  pick that one up!) 

Today I'm taking a beauty break to review the Balm's new blush - Instain. It's part of their summer 2013 collection and the cool thing is that it is a long wearing "stain" in a powder formulation! The awesome peeps at Nail Polish Canada reached out to me to review this blush and of course I said yes (as NPC is 'the balm' - get it? :) and they recently started selling the Balm's line of products in their online shop.

There are six colours in the Instain collection - Argyle, Swiss Dot, Toile, Lace, Houndstooth and Pinstripe and they retail for $22 each (following pics from nailpolishcanada.com)


Argyle




Swiss Dot


Toile


Lace


Houndstooth

Pinstripe


Which one is your favorite? It was hard to choose just one shade, but I settled on Houndstooth. So what did I think?



Out of the package!
I LOVE this packaging - it reminds me of a 60's magazine cover and is just so cute! ("SPRING for this blush"? - adorable).




Cover comes off!


Opens like a little book - magnetic closure

Houndstooth close up
The colour is a little more pinky-mauve than in the online photo - I really like this shade!

Swatch on hand
It didn't take too many swipes to build up the colour on my hand - it's a gorgeous flush! The pigment is matte which I tend to prefer these days over shimmer (especially in summer as shimmer will pick up and magnify shine on those sweaty, humid days).


What am I grinning about? My rosy cheeks!

The only makeup I have on in this shot is a bit of foundation (MUFE Face and Body Liquid Makeup) and the Balm's Instain blush in Houndstooth. I think I picked the right shade - it gives my face a natural glow. So far so good. But how does it hold up?

Well I was pleasantly surprised - after all-day wear (resting my hand on my cheek while reading at the computer, and even a power bike ride through the trails) the blush pretty much stayed put (I only noticed a bit of fading after my workout session). Instain has great buildable colour, and doesn't look powdery or chalky (with my dry skin that can sometimes happen). I tend to favour cream blush for this reason but like cream, this powder has great application.

Overall, I give a big two thumbs up to Instain. Awesome staying power and great colour - but, really, it's the Balm! (Another bad joke). Seriously though, this just could be your holy grail for blush. Pick it up at NPC (and throw in some polish while you're at it. Glitter Gal holos? Hello!)

Psst! A birdie told me that NPC is also running a contest to win $75 worth of the Balm. You could literally win these Instain blushes if you choose! Enter on NPC's page here.

Disclaimer: I received the Balm Instain blush for consideration for a review on CityGirl. I did not purchase this product but all opinions of this product are my own.