Dec 21, 2015

Dear Santa - My Beauty Holiday Wishlist 2015

December Beauty Holiday Wishlist


I have quite the extensive list for "Santa" this year.  I know I am not going to be getting everything, of course, but it's still fun to put together a wishlist on Polyvore.

Like every year, my wishlist is very beauty product related.  Ha.  Honestly, what else would I want right?  This year, I would love to find the following items under my tree...

1. Stila "A Whole Lot of Love" Palette - First off, Stila is such a fantastic brand and I hardly have any Stila items in my collection.  PLUS, it's a palette so I obviously need it.  Plus, look at those gorgeous blush colors...sigh.

2. Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Night Cream - I am in love with this cream.  I bought myself a sample a few weeks ago and seriously am in love.  You have to try this stuff out.

3. Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Coral Blossom - Ummm, I just love this color.  That's it.  Nothing else to say except it's beautiful and perfect for my upcoming holiday to Mexico!

4. Tarte Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette - First off it's a limited edition AD it reminds me of my travels through Indonesia.  I don't know why but there is someting about the wooden palette.

5. Herbivore Phoenix Cell Regenerating Facial Oil - I have been on the hunt for a new serum that doesn't cost over $100 and I have read so many great things about this one that I need to try it.  Plus, it will also replace my current day cream, which makes me happy.

6. Nars Dual Intensity Blush in Adoration - Sigh, I have been eyeing this for about 4 months now and just can't seem to justify spending $55 on MORE blush.  But man, I want it.

7. Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Pefector in Champagne Pop - For those that know this highlighter can comepletely understand why it's on the wishlist.  I have tried Opal and love it but seriously, this one would complete my highlighter collection.

There you have it ladies.  The list.  THE LIST.  What's on your wishlist this year?

    

Dec 17, 2015

Birchbox Canada December 2015


Happy Holidays from Birchbox!  I have to say, when I opened the box today I was beyond thrilled with the gorgeous Christmasy box that contained my goodies.

I received some great products this month and have to say that Birchbox will NOT be cancelled because of it.  However, one of my beauty subscription boxes was not so lucky.  More on this in another post.


Inside, I received (from left to right) an N4 Reconstructing Hair Masque, Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm, Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Leave-In Conditioner, N4 Blow Dry Lotion, Naobay Oxygenating Moisturizing Cream and a Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Duo.


Honestly, though, check out the gorgeous color of this duo.  I remember seeing this color and HOPING that I would get this one and I did.  YAY for me.


I am going to leave this post with a picture of my little munchkin with Santa because you haven't seen a picture of him in a long time.  He's now 6.5 months and growing/eating up a storm.

Do any of you receive Birchbox?  What did you get this month?

    

Dec 16, 2015

ELF Haul - Palettes Galore


I am the first person to admit that ELF products can sometimes be hit or miss.

Like every product line imaginable, not every single ELF item is worth the money nor the time.  Why, you ask, do I bother then???  Because when you find something good, you must continue ordering it AND you can do so without spending a lot of money.

A few weeks ago, I received an email telling me that the 50 Piece Makeup Artist Palette was back in stock (the black box in the top corner).  I hadn't tried it before BUT have read so many fantastic reviews on it that I knew I had to order it.  My recent haul included (from left to right) the ELF Must Have Eyeliners ($5), ELF Spotlight Ready 50 Piece Eyes and Face Palette ($15), ELF 50 Piece Makeup Artist Palette ($15), ELF Glitz & Sparkle Eyes ($5) and the 22 Piece On-The-Go Palette (FREE).


So this is the holiday palette and I am so happy to have my hands on it.  It's called the ELF Spotlight Ready 50 Piece Eye and Face Palette.  Check out these colors!



It's a double layer palettes filled with shimmer and matte shadows and blushes and bronzers.  The shadows, though, are just stunning. Plus the majority of them are shimmer which makes me a happy camper.


Next up is the ELF Must Have Eyeliners.  I am already a fan of their black liquid eyeliner so was excited to see a set that contained both the black liquid as well as the navy blue.  It also has a Brightening Eye Pencil.


This next palette is super similar to the Spotlight Ready in style only as the colors are vastly different.  This one seems to always be out of stock so I am tickled to have one to myself.



Again it's a double layer palette filled with matte and shimmer shadows and blushes and bronzers.  There are more matte in this palette but I am completely taken with the blushes and bronzers.  There is such a wide range of colors.


This next holiday set is the Glitz & Sparkle.  It has an eyelid primer and an eyeshadow duo in a silver sparkle and brown sparkle.


Last but not least, is one of my favorites.  Not only did I get this for free (well, actually, I got two for free so one of my friends is getting one for Christmas!!) but this is my first repurchased item.  I am in love with this palette and have one currently that is almost all used.  I love it because it's PERFECT for travel.  Everything is super convenient and the color selection isn't bad at all.  Now, this is not going to be super pigmented BUT if you are on holidays and wanting to wear a bit of color without bringing one of your best palettes, this is the item you NEED to have.




It's a 3 layer palette and fits in your purse  The first layer has 8 shadows, then a mascara and 5 lip glosses and lastly 3 blushes.  It's too cute.

For those interested in making an ELF purchase, I have a great promotion for you so check out the link below.

Our favorites, for FREE! Get our 4 favorite new products of the year (a $14 value) for FREE. Use code GIFTTOYOU on purchases of $25 or more. Offer valid 12/14-12/18.

    

Dec 15, 2015

The Best Palettes Under $30 - Your Wallet Will Thank You

Best Palettes Under $30



As you all know, I am a palette-aholic.  Yes, it's a problem but one I can't resist because palettes are just WAY too cute.  You get all these great products in one handy-dandy little kit that you can pack into your carry-on for travel OR sneak into your purse for going out.

Of course, most of the palettes I own are not small enough to fit into my bag, let alone a carry-on suitcase, but they are still a great collection of items at a usually great price.

The ones on this list, though, go beyond any good deal you could even imagine.  I own almost all these palettes myself and can say, without a doubt, that they are a great deal for the money and are so budget friendly, that you MUST go out and get them all.

1. ELF Spotlight Ready 50 Piece Palette (15 USD): This palette is amazing.  It's two full layers filled with shimmer and mattes shades to complete your holiday look.

2. BH Cosmetics 39 Color Special Occasion Palette - Eyes and Face (7.50 USD):  I love this palette as it has every color needed to create the perfect smoky eye in whichever tone you are wanting.

3. Maybelline Gilded in Gold Palette (15 USD): This palette not only has a highlighter, shadows and a blush, but it also comes with a lipgloss and an eyeliner.  So handy.

4. Beauty Gems Shimmer Shadow Kit (5.99 USD): Beauty Gems is a hidden gem of a brand.  Super cheap, quite pigmented for the price and minimal fall out.  Seriously, you have to get this palette.

5. NYX Wicked Dreams Palette (15 USD): I bought this palette for the beautiful gem tones and I am so happy I did.  Love the purples and blues.

6. ELF Artistry Eyeshadow Palette (20 USD): SO this is one of the palettes I don't have but want so badly.  You must get it as ELF sells out of this all time.

7. Clinique A Case of the Pretties Palette (30 USD): First off, anytime you can get a Clinique palette for under $30 you have to buy it.  Clinique has great pigmentation and is very long lasting (as long as you have a primer on).

8. NYX Butt Naked Eyes Makeup Palette (25 USD): Of the three "Butt Naked" styles, this one remains the best.  The colors are beautiful but the blushes are amazing.

There you have it ladies.  The 8 best palettes under $30.  What's your favorite?

    

Dec 9, 2015

Ipsy, Birchbox, Topbox, Oh My - November 2015

Sigh, I am posting these altogether as I only JUST received my Ipsy package a few days ago.  I don't quite understand why it's so late but it ALWAYS seems to come the following month.  Aside from that, I am really excited to show you all my goodies.


First up is Birchbox and TopBox.  Birchbox (left side) from left to right, I received Skyn Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels, the Balm Frat Boy Shadow/Blush single, LOC One and Done Shadow Stick, Embryolisse Nourishing Moisturizer and Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo.  From TopBox, left to right, I received The Face Shop Character Mask (yes, another one), Nova Scotia Fisherman Extreme Lip Care in Sea Salt and Caramel, Benefit Air Patrol Primer and 2 SeaRx Micro-Dermabrasion Face & Body Scrub.

I am really liking the Birchbox BUT have decided to cancel TopBox for January.  I really feel like they don't quite understand my desire for beauty products (ahem, makeup) and I always seem to get masks from them.  Boring.


My Ipsy bag was fairly good, for the first time in a few months.  I received, from left to right, Jersey Shore Spa Pumpkin Spice Lip Balm (redeemed points), Pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner (redeemed points), Beaute Basics Navy Gel Eyeliner, Crown Brush Pointed Crease Brush, Avance Mattifying Emulsion Primer, Demeter Orchid Collection Twilight Roll On Perfume Oil and a Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara.

I am in LOVE with the navy gel eyeliner!!

What did you guys receive?  Anything exciting?

    

Dec 7, 2015

My First LuxeBox - Winter 2015


Eeck, I am so happy to post that I finally received my first LuxeBox.


LuxeBox is a Canadian beauty subscription box that comes once every season (so 4 times a year).  It costs $26 per box and contains 7 deluxe sized and full sized beauty items,

I am so happy I signed up for this box and just LOVE what I got this season.  It turns out, that 6 of my 7 samples were full-sized which makes the box worth about $85 (not including the Elizabeth Arden sample.)  Such a great deal!


I received, from left to right, Hask Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment, Mirabella Velvet Lip Pencil, Bioderma Hydrabio Tonique, The Face Character Mask, Trind Caring Color Nail Polish, Starlooks Luxe Longwear Eye Liner Pen and Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster.

Not too shabby hey?  I am LOVING that lip pencil and will be putting it to good use on Friday as I have Allan's Christmas Party to go to.  (Wait till you see the makeup pics I have planned!!)

Have you every tried LuxeBox before?  What are your thoughts?

    

Oct 27, 2015

Eating to Age Gracefully


I am such a foodie.

I adore food and especially eating.  I am most content when I'm in an apron and in front of the stove.  I love cooking for people and especially adore cooking ethnic food from the many different places I've traveled.


Something I am learning more about is how food, mainly specific foods, can be an anti-aging strategy.  This idea, called FoodTrients, was created by a Southeast Asian woman named Grace O and her cookbook, The Age Gracefully Cookbook, talks all about it.

I am not someone who would usually review a cookbook BUT couldn't say no as the recipes directly impact something I am most keen to discuss, anti-aging and keeping ourselves as young as possible,


After skimming the book, I decided to make the Apple Barley Salad (an age defying recipe) and paired it with the Honey-Lime Dressing (a simply healing recipe).

What I loved most about these recipes was how easy they were to follow AND how few ingredients you truly needed to make them.


The salad turned out fantastic.  I did add more than the called for amount of barley, because I love it, and it still turned out fantastically well.  The taste of the dressing was great, albeit a bit sweet, but mixed with the chili powder it was a great combo.  The salad was perfect.

There are a few recipes in the book I probably won't make BUT there are 66 in total and all have a specific FoodTrient that promotes healthy living: Soy Custard Cups (for Skin Hydration), Carrot Quiche (Youth Serum), Summertime Grilled Chicken (Cellular Sensation), and Spiced Rack of Lamb (Tissue Repairing) are just a few great recipes you can find in the book.

I can't wait to make some more!

    

Oct 23, 2015

Birchbox Canada October 2015 Review



The Birchbox this month was focused on "Positive Force".  Birchbox explained that they know "firsthand the power of beauty to change your mood, to inspire confidence and to plain ol' make you happy." So the products this month were designed to make us look and feel good.

And, I am rather happy with them!


Inside, I received a Rusk Elixir Mist, Harvey Prince Hello Body Butter, Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Exfoliant, Jelly Pong Pong Glow Getter Luminizer Gel and W3LL PEOPLE Expressionist Mascara.

Birchbox Canada
Total price per month: $14.95 CAD
To sign up for your Birchbox - https://www.birchbox.ca/invite/ltwd2

How many of you are Birchbox subscribers?  What are your thoughts?

    

Oct 21, 2015

Topbox Canada October 2015 Review


I'm completely thrilled with my Topbox this month!!

After the products I received last month, though still amazing, were more geared towards skincare, I was slightly concerned what this box would contain.  However, I received 2 makeup items!!  YAY


Inside, I received a MaskerAide Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask (love these!), a Make Up For Ever deluxe sample of Smoky Extravagant Mascara (my favorite), Starlooks Gem Pencil in Ultra Violet and a deluxe sample of Elizabeth Arden's Superstart Skin Renewal Booster.

Topbox Canada
Total price per month: $13.44 CAD
To sign up for your Topbox - www.topbox.ca

Do any of you ladies receive Topbox?  What are your thoughts?

    

Oct 20, 2015

Review: Marie Ernst Luxury Soaps


I want to begin this post by saying that I've always despised bar soaps.  Truly,  My hubby uses them everyday but I find them drying AND they smell a little clinical.  Plus, they leave this little film on your skin even after you've rinsed and dried off.  Not pleasant.

I was approached by the reps for the Marie Ernst Luxury Soap line and asked if I was interested in reviewing this fancy new soap "system".  Yes, I do call it a system as this bar soap is actually two separate pieces, creating a ying yang effect, that do drastically different things.


First off, the instructions.  There was a whole page on how to use this special soap.  It was even displayed on the back of the package.  One side of the pumice and the other is the moisturizer, when combined they are the perfect pair to cleanse your skin.

 
The beige side is the pumice and the green side is the moisturizer.  Both sides smell absolutely amazing.  The beige side reminds me of my travels through Asia, coconut/sandlewood, while the green side has a lavender/patchouli smell.  Love them both.


Directions say to wet both pieces, place together and then cleanse your skin.  I used them in the shower and though the process made for an extra long shower, my skin felt so clean, moisturized and film free afterwards.

One gripe with this system.  I don't quite know how to store it once it's been used.  I think you'd need to have two separate soap dishes to store them BUT maybe you want to store them together, I don't know.  I will say that the smell alone makes me so happy and seriously takes me back to my backpacking days...

Have any of you tried this soap system before?  Thoughts?

    

Oct 15, 2015

Red Lip Gloss on Vacation....With Benjamin!


So, Benjamin and I are leaving on a quick trip to Phoenix super early this morning.  In fact, when you read this we'll already be in the air.  Poor Allan is staying behind to work as this was supposed to be a girl's trip, but we are more than happy to have Benjamin come along.

It's Benjamin's very first flight (and mine with a baby) so needless to say I am very nervous. Hopefully everything will go well and he'll enjoy traveling as much as his dad and I do.

I will resume posting next week!  Happy Thursday, friends.

    
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