Sunday, May 29, 2011

Haul: Macadamia Natural Oil Gift Set

I just got back from the gym, got a slight headache and super tired.  But, I thought I should still post this up as I just bought it today at Trade Secrets.  They have them in full-sized individually packaged, as well as gift sets.  The gift sets has a higher value than the price it's sold at.  They had a variety of gift sets with different products and/or different sizes.  But I chose this one over the others because I've read many good reviews about the Deep Repair Masque and this gift set happens to be the only one with a tub of it.

What products are in this gift set?
1.  Rejuvenating Shampoo (10 fl. oz. / 300 mL)
2.  Healing Oil Treatment (1 fl. oz. / 30 mL)
3.  Deep Repair Masque (8.5 fl. oz. 250 mL)

Cost of gift set?
$ 47.95 CAD + 13% tax

I've def failed to check the individual prices of these products.  But I'll def update them when I get the chance! Though I did check the Deep Repair Masque one, it was $28 CAD for the 250 mL one and $46 CAD for the 500 mL. 

Anyways, I bought this gift set before going to the gym and thought I might as well try the masque while I shower.  I shampooed and conditioned my hair prior to applying the masque and hopped into the sauna (heat is not necessary for this masque, but giving it a shot won't hurt).  I don't expect it to work miracles after the first use but I definitely felt a difference while rinsing it off my hair and after my hair air-dried.  It definitely tamed down the frizzes.  However, there are still some frizzes, so I'm not saying it has an immediate miracle effect but it feels and looks like it works!

I've seen Winners sell the Rejuvenating Shampoo in 300 mL for $19.99 CAD.  I haven't seen them anywhere else.  If you have, comment below and if you know the price of it, mention it as well! =)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Review: Body Shop Body Butters

I love The Body Shop body butters! I'd choose body butters over hand lotion any day.  They may be 3-4x the price of regular drugstore hand/body lotions but they work so much better.  IMO, definitely worth the price.  Plus, they smell great.
I've finished the Burity Baby and Cocoa body butters.  They smell great and not irritating to me.

The consistency:
Depending on the type of skin you have, they range from normal skin to very dry skin.  Correspondingly, body butters for very dry skin tend to be thicker in consistency; and body butters for normal skin tend to have a less thick but not runny consistency.

The after-feel:
Definitely doesn't leave a sticky feeling behind.  I can feel my hands/body are moisturized and I wouldn't use the term "greasy" or "oily" feeling either - just moisturized.

The scents:
Out of the ones I bought, my favorite is the Strawberry body butter but the sad part is that it's not for very dry skin.  I find these scents are not irritating.  I bought the Jolly Orange one during Christmas so they don't have it in stores right now, but IMO, it's skip-able.  I'm def not loving the scent, just trying to hurry and finish it.

I tend to apply them throughout the day whenever I feel my hands need moisturizing.  But I find that it's really important to apply any lotion/body butters/cream after washing hands - otherwise it's not as effective.  Therefore, after showering, it's best to apply it all over the body.
I tend to use the body butters for very dry skin on my body and the normal skin ones for my hand.

Overall, I find The Body Shop body butters are great.  I haven't found a better brand of body butters or hand cream.  I've tried L'Occitane hand cream before - yes, a lot of people rated this as a great product, but for its price and results, I find Body Shop body butters cost less and work better.  I've tried the Strawberry body butter from Wal-Mart; uh, not great at all.  I managed to finish it, but trust me, def not an alternative to the Body Shop one.  The after-smell that the Wal-mart one leaves is not that pleasant.  Plus, the quality isn't that great either.  I've also tried the Crabtree & Evelyn hand therapy and seriously, I still think The Body Shop body butters are better.  So until I can find something to top this off, it'll be The Body Shop body butters at the top of the list.

$ 6 CAD for 50 mL tubs
$ 18 CAD for 200 mL tubs
$ 25 CAD for 400 mL tubs

Product: The Body Shop body butters
Rating: 5 / 5

- super moisturizing
- makes my hands soft to the touch
- no cuticle problems
- decent price

- nothing I can think of

Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: Covergirl Lashblast Volume Blasting Mascara

I've been using my CoverGirl Lashblast mascara for almost 2 months.  Unfortunately, it's definitely not one of my favourites.

I almost always curl my lashes before applying mascara - unless I feel lazy or in a rush.

What it claims to do:
"Get a blast of lush, volumized lashes! LashBlast’s patented volume-boosting formula and patent-pending brush are designed to max-out each and every lash, leaving you with the ultimate big lash look."

First, I think the brush is too thick and bulky to get around to the shorter lashes at the inner corners of my eye.  Next, I find the mascara formula doesn't help hold up my curled lashes.  I noticed around 3 hours after application, my lashes have lost its curl and poking straight out.  To me, I want my mascara to be able to hold up the curls and last all day.  My ideal mascara is to be able to curl my lashes without needing a eyelash curler.  Therefore, since this mascara can't hold up the curls, it really is no use to me. 
Now I don't have a problem with smudging and it doesn't clump my lashes.  Also, it doesn't get flaky.

In terms of the package, I like how the brush doesn't create a mess at the opening - unlike some of the other mascara brands I've tried.   

Product: CoverGirl Lashblast Volume Blasting Mascara in Black
Rating: 2 / 5

- Non-clumping
- Smudgeproof
- Doesn't flake
- Separates the lashes pretty well
- Great packaging design

- Brush is too big to get around to shorter lashes
- Mascara formula doesn't hold up curled lashes

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Haul: Shiseido / NARS warehouse sale - May 2011

I have yet another haul from the Shiseido / Nars warehouse sale.  I thought I wouldn't be able to make it.  But fortunately, my friend's bridal shower started later during the day.  My mom and I went this time and we got there pretty late =( and ended up waiting 2.5 hours in line.  Anyways, my haul is way smaller this time.
First is the Shiseido stuff.  They had limited stuff from the Pureness line at this sale, which was a little disappointing.  I was looking forward to get the Moisturizing Gel-Cream but they only had the lotion version.  So I had to resort to this instead.  This cost me $22 CAD before tax, compared to $40 CAD MSRP.

Next, I got the Balancing Softener, which cost me $16 CAD compared to $29 CAD MSRP.

I also got another Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow in H8 Bare Pink.  It cost me $8 CAD compared to $28 CAD MSRP which is such a deal!

Finally, I got a white / floral makeup bag for $2.  I'll be leaving for Las Vegas in a few months so I thought this makeup bag was a great size to go traveling with.  The best part of it is the bag is reversible, so I can flip the bag inside-out.

Next I got 3 NARS different gift sets.  Each cost me $25.  I just thought they'd be great gifts.  I think they were selling these for $25 and $35 at the last warehouse sale - so def a great deal to pick up! They normally retail in the $50 USD range.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Coming up: Shiseido warehouse sale

Are you going to Shiseido Warehouse Sale next weekend on May 14th and/or May 15th? I believe the VIP day for the sale is May 13th but I don't have tickets so it'll be May 14th for me - maybe.  My friend from university is having a wedding shower on that day.  So I don't know if I'll be going to the SWS.  Anyways, here's the info in case you're looking forward to go!

May 14th & 15th, 2011
Sat 9AM-5PM
Sun 9AM-3PM
Shiseido Warehouse Sale
303 Allstate Parkway
Markham, Ontario
Preparation tips?
Food! Go to a drive-in fast food restaurant on your way there and get breakfast!
Trust me, you'll be starving!
Be there early - I'd say at least 1 hour.  The earlier, the less time you'll have to wait to get in once it hits 9AM.

Haul: Lisa's Cosmetics warehouse sale

Today, I've finally got time to stop by Lisa's Cosmetics and do a little bit of shopping.  I didn't get as much this time around.  There's really nothing I'm dying to get my hands on.  I usually pick up a few tubes of Smashbox Photofinish Light Primer but I've recently stopped using it.  I've still got one last tube to finish off but I've been holding it off and using my Fusion Beauty one.  My goal was to keep my subtotal below $100 CAD, at $98.94 CAD before tax.

1380 Rodick Rd
Days left of the sale?
May 7-9, 13-16
Saturday: 9AM - 6PM
Sunday: 10AM - 6PM
Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 10AM - 8PM
 I didn't spend any money on perfume this time around.  I was tempted to get Vera Wang's Princess perfume set but I smelt it again today and I'm not loving it.

For myself, I picked up these three things.  I mainly wanted the two eyebrow razors in the La Cross Perfect Eye Kit.  They had it sold separately but it made more sense - financially - to pick up this kit because the two razors cost $1.99 while $3.99 for the kit with 5 different things in it.  I believe this kit retailed for $8 CAD in drug stores.  Plus, I can use the eyelash curler pads as replacement pads for my Shu Uemura lash curler.  ;)
Next is the Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss - True Color in Hype.  This cost me $5.99 CAD, compared to $22 CAD MSRP.  I don't recall seeing this colour there before but it's my alternative Smashbox lip gloss to my Pixel one.
The final makeup product I bought was the Smashbox blush in Aperature.  I chose it because I like the peachy mauve colour.  This cost me $7.99 CAD, compared to $25 CAD MSRP.

Now these are skincare products I bought for my mom.  It's an Elizabeth Arden skincare set with no specific name to the set.  It's contents: 60 capsules of Ceramide Gold Ultra Restorative Capsules Intensive Treatment for Face and Throat, 7.5 mL of Ceramide Plump Perfect Ultra Lift and Firm Moisture Cream SPF 30, 7 mL of Ceramide Plump Perfect Ultra All Night Repair and Moisture Cream for Face and Throat, and 7 mL of Ceramide Plump Perfect Ultra Lift and Firm Eye Cream.  This cost me $46 CAD compared to $88 CAD MRSP.
Next is the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Purifying Toner that cost me $17 CAD compared to $33 CAD MRSP.  Sadly, they jacked up the price for this.  The last time I got this for my mom, it was $15 CAD like I listed from my previous haul from Lisa's Cosmetics Warehouse sale.  =(

 Finally, the yummy goodies. =D  My favourite out of all Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates is the Fruit & Nut.  ;)  Too bad, I'm on a little-to-no-chocolate diet right now so these chocolates will def be devoured by my family.  =\
The Nestle Swiss Milk Chocolate cost me $5.99 CAD, whereas the Cadbury ones cost me $4.99 CAD each.  IMO, not a bad price for its quality and superpack size.  ;)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review: EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balms

A little more than a month ago, I picked up three EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balms - Summer Fruit, Honeysuckle Honeydew and Sweet Mint.  I haven't opened the Sweet Mint one, but I can only assume the results are just as great as the other two I've already opened and have been using.  I've stopped using Vaseline as a lip moisturizer/conditioner since then.

My first impression of EOS lip balms after first applications was not that great.  My first thought was the waxy feeling on my lips and it didn't feel moisturizing like the feeling you'd get from Vaseline.  Vaseline gives me that slippery feeling on my lips but these lip balms don't.  After using it for around two to three weeks, I definitely noticed the improvement.  My lips weren't peeling.  They were smooth and I didn't feel the urge to constantly reapply it to moisturize my lips. However, the scent of these lip balms do make you want to reapply.

The smell:
Summer Fruit smells fruity.  It's not a strong scent so it's not irritating.
Honeysuckle Honeydew smells like sweet melon.  Again, not a strong irritating scent.

Now the one downside for this product is there's no mechanism or a way to twist up the lip balm when I'm nearly done it.

Product: EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balms - Summer Fruit & Honeysuckle Honeydew
Rating: 4.5 / 5

- Moisturizing/conditioning
- No slippery feeling
- Paraben-free
- Petrolatum-free

- Doesn't twist up

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review: B. Kamins Bamboo and Rice Facial Polisher

This is definitely one of those GWP that I've never expected to be love using.  Usually, I don't expect much out of samples and GWP because I think they're usually products that are either new and need to draw people's attention or they're products rated as not-so-good and companies need to get rid of them.  But for this product I have to say "O-M-G".  Ok fine, maybe I've exaggerated a bit there.  But honestly, I did feel a difference the first time I tried this exfoliating product.  Again, keep in mind these are thoughts of my own. So what may work on me, may or may not work well on you.  My skin leans more towards to not-so-sensitive side but I do have Rosacea cheeks.

The consistency:
It looks creamy but not thick.  Feels light.  There are little crushed up pieces of rice that does exfoliating job.

The smell:
It's got this minty sort of smell.  It's not irritating, but not the most pleasant smell either.  It's tolerable.

I squirted about a dime-size out on my 3rd and 4th finger and in circular motion, I rubbed it first around my nose and worked my way out.  After a good 2-3 minute rub, I cleansed my face with warm water.  Then carried on with my usual skincare routine - toner, hydrating serum, and moisturizer.

What it claims to do:
"A gentle, polishing, textured cleanser which helps to clarify and refine sallow, thickened, sun-damaged, mottled or acneic complexions.  Combines, natural fine-milled bamboo, tiny rice beads, our super-moisturizing Bio-Maple(TM) compound and gentle tensio-active sudsuing agents for a luxurious at-home spa experience.  Helps to exfoliate dead skin cells, refine pores and improve skin texture for a more even and brillant complexion."
"For all skin types.  A clarifying treatment"

End results:
My skin felt softer, seemed brighter.  I don't have prominent hyperpigmentation from sunspots or blotches of darker spots but I do have a few sunspots / brown spots and it doesn't seem to have helped diminish its appearance.  Maybe with longer use of it, but for now, I don't see a difference.  I do use it on and off.  The lady at Murale who included this product in my purchase told me to use it every other day, but I haven't which would probably explain why I don't see a difference in diminish/reducing appearance of sunspots.
Since my skin felt softer, clearly the product does what it claims in terms of "exfoliate dead skin cells."  I also did notice my pores near my nose have been less prominent, so it did do it's job in the "refine pores" department.  And finally, I do see the brightening complexion result.

Product:  B. Kamins Bamboo and Rice Facial Polisher
Rating: 4.5 / 5

- Skin brightening
- Skin feels soft
- Refines pores

- Haven't seen the effect of clarifying and refining sun-damaged areas

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