Jan 22, 2018

How-To: Packing a Carry-On Makeup Bag for 3 Weeks in Cambodia and Thailand

Angkor Thom.  Taken by me 4 years ago
Everytime I pack my backpack for a trip, I become a bit of a hippie.

All of  sudden I start looking for my longest necklaces (that jingle), my many layered bracelets and all my fringe outfits.  Honestly, there is something so freeing to replacing my coporate suit jackets with aztec-print rompers and long, flowy maxi dresses.  I love it!

As I mentioned in my last How-To Packing a Carry-On Bag post, I needed a separate post to discuss my jewellry and makeup because these are always the hardest little bags for me to pack.  As you all know, I adore makeup so much that limiting myself to one cosmetic bag used to be TORTURE.  Most of the time, I can barely close my cosmetic bags but this time, I vowed to only use ONE bag for makeup/hair products and another little one for jewellry.

This is it, my friends.  The "Beach Please" bag is my makeup and hair items.  The little black Sephora is my jewellry.

My jewellry bag consists of 3 long necklaces, 6 pairs of earrings, 5 bracelets and 2 headbands.  I should also mention that Cambodia and Thailand are a great place to buy gemstones so I have lot a ton of room to shop!

On to the fun stuff - my makeup!  As you saw in my December Wrap-Up post, the Bon Voyage palette is full of shadows, blush, bronzer and highlighter making this the only palette I am bringing with me.  I also have my benefit powder, my MAC powder, MAC concealer, and all my brishes.

Also included in this bag are 4 lipsticks (two different nude shades, one berry and one red), my Dr. Pepper lipsmackers that I NEVER leave home without, two different mascaras, two different brow pencils (one is a pommade), two eyeliners (one black and one grey), my silicone sponge, my powder sponge, a Tarte highlighter (because I love the gold color), a pixi bronzer, an eyebrow brush and a coral blush.

Lastly, I have my toothbrush, bobbie pins, elastic bands, two small toothpastes, razor and two hair clips.  Pefect when styling my hair or for the beach.

NOTE:  I'm bringing a curling iron.  I made the decision to leave my hair wavy for the trip thus only needing one hot tool.  I also never use a blowdrier so this was easy to leave at home.

Things I Did Not Show

There are certain items you can't find overseas making them necessary to pack.  Here is my ever-growing list:
  • Tampons and a Diva Cup: Always be prepared - These items are virtually impossible to find in Cambodia and Thailand
  • Wet Wipes: Always have a pack with you - I carry them in my purse at all times.  They are also perfect for a quick wipe down during your layover
  • Your Favorite Deodrant:  This is a must - it's hot there and their products can be quite harsh for sensitive skin (mainly due to the perfume additives)
  • Small Monetary Bills:  People forget this, especially when the bank is handing you a wad of cash.  Order some local currency (from your bank) in advance and ask for small bills.  Tuk-Tuk drivers and street food merchants will not have change for you!

Coming up in another post - my carry-on liquid bag and my plane outfit.  Stay tuned!

Jan 17, 2018

How-To: MakeupDrop Silicone Beauty Applicator

I am probably the only person in the entire world that dislikes the Beauty Blender.

There, I said it. Whew, I feel like a huge load has been lifted from my shoulders!  I just never jumped on the band wagon, at all.  Don't get me wrong, I tried them many times but felt that my makeup looked too thick, or the coverage was too heavy in some parts and light in others.  Plus, I hated the feeling of applying my foundation using a wet sponge.  Nope, just not for me.

However, I'm in love with the beauty blender's silicone sister.

I received two of these silicone blenders from different subscription boxes and have been using one ever since.  The brand is MakeupDrop and it has created a fantastic silicone makeup sponge that - here's the kicker - eliminates wasted makeup.  It's not porous thus does not soak up any product and is a dream to clean.

I will say that it took me a little while to figure out the best way to apply my makeup.  Once the routine was figured out, though, my skin looks so much more flawless after I use it.  To save you all the headache, check out this video MakeupDrop made to show how to use these new applicators.

What do you think Glossers?  Anyone else tossed their old Beauty Blender in favor of the Silicone Sister?

Jan 15, 2018

SPOILER ALERT: January Subscription Box Spoilers

One of my favorite things to do after the first of the month, is search instagram and facebook to spoilers for my favorite beauty boxes.  I adore seeing the items I'll be getting in my boxes - especially if they contain palettes!! 

Here are the known spoilers for the Beauty Subscription Boxes I subscribe to:


Variation #1

  • IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil - Value $24 USD (in all boxes)
  • Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Luminizer Primer - Value $38 USD (in all boxes)
  • Crown Glam Metals Palette - Value $25 USD (in all boxes)
  • PUR Bronze and Brighten Face Palette (possible item though all boxes will contain a face palette)
  • Girlactik Lippie (possible item)

Variation #2

  • IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil - Value $24 USD (in all boxes)
  • Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Luminizer Primer - Value $38 USD (in all boxes)
  • Crown Glam Metals Palette - Value $25 USD (in all boxes)
  • PUR Bronze and Brighten Face Palette (possible item though all boxes will contain a face palette)
  • Grande Lip Hydrating Lip Plumper - Value $27 USD (possible item)


And the other two items have been revealed...

  • Lumene Lahde Purity Dew Drops (in all boxes)
  • Dr. Botanicals Moroccan Rose Superfood Facial Oil (in all boxes)
  • Buxom Big Tease Plumping Mascara (in all boxes)
  • Theorie Marula Oil (in all boxes)
  • Steve Laurent Beauty Lip Tint in Dusty Rose (in all boxes)


  • ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud - Travel size
  • ModelCo 3D Lash Primer - Full size
  • Monuspa Warming Ginger Body Oil - Travel size
  • Erno Laszlo White Marble Essence Lotion - Travel size
  • Balance Me Congested Skin Serum - Travel size
  • Korres White Tea Facial Fluid Gel Cleanser - Travel size

Lola Beauty Box 

  • Kokie Cosmetics Powder Contour Palette - Value $15 USD
  • Feel Beauty Brilliant Bamboo Charcoal Facial Sheet Mask (4) - Value $38 USD
  • LASplash Cosmetics Karina Mascara Cat Walk - Value $18 USD
  • RMS Beauty Nail Polish - Value $15 USD
  • Doucce Click Click Lipstick - Value $24 USD
Well, I am rather underwhelmed this month.  There are a ton of skincare items and some very small sizes.

What are your thoughts of the spoilers for this month?
**Thank you to mysubscriptionaddicition for some of the photos**

Jan 12, 2018

DIY Beauty Fridays: 8 Beauty Tips for Exterminating Zits

It seems that the older I get, the more I breakout. 

I don't get it - I thought that the older you get, the nicer your skin would be.  It appears to have gone in the opposite direction for me. 

I stumbled on this COOL pop-up art on Pinterest for exterminating zits and knew I had to share it with you all.  ENJOY.

Picture found on Pinterest.  Website link is https://thesecretyumiverse.wonderhowto.com/
What are your favorite DIY pimple remedies?  Anything I should be trying?

Happy Friday Glossers.

Jan 11, 2018

How-To: Packing a Carry-On Backpack for 3 Weeks in Cambodia and Thailand

It's official - I have finally become an amazing packer.  It's taken me years, and a TON of overweight baggage charges, to perfect but I feel as though I'm a professional.

Every trip I take, I've been trying to pair down my items/necessities.  My most frequent trip, Mexico in October for one week, I packed only one little carry-on which included a ton of dresses, rompers and even a pair of heels.  The challenge this time was the amount of time I'm gone for - 3 WEEKS.

I should begin by saying that I prefer dresses and rompers to shorts.  I prefer short dresses and short rompers to long dresses.  Given this, I also wanted to ensure I had enough mix and match items to make outfits for the daytime and enough "going out" outfits for the evenings.  I find that I change my clothes rather often, as I get warm, so the outfits I wear during the day are not typically what I wear in the evenings.

Here's an itemized list of what I'm bringing to Cambodia and Thailand:

Packing Cube #1 - Rompers, Bathing Suits and Bathing Suit Covers
4 x bathing suits and one extra black bathing suit top
2 x bathing suit covers
5 x rompers

Packing Cube #2 - Dresses and Underwear
3 x bandeau bras
Undies not shown!!
6 x dresses (two are maxi dresses)
1 x belt

Packing Cube #3 - Shorts, Tanks, Skirts and Leggings
2 x shorts
1 x pull-on skirt
5 x tank tops
1 x black leggings

Extras - Not In a Packing Cube
1 x day purse
1 x beach bag
2 x sandals (one pair of flip flops)
1 x wireless speaker (no beach day is complete without music)
1 x makeup bag (Beach Please!)
1 x jewellry bag

Yes, I used packing cubes and actually found these on Amazon.ca for next to nothing.  I like the organization when using cubes - everything has a specific space and you can pull out one cube at a time instead of disrupting the entire bag when pulling out an item.

Now, on to the backpack.  After doing extensive research I found this carry-on backpack from eBags.com.  I selected this one specifically for its numerous compartments, space and the various secret pouches.  After backpacking for a few months in Southeast Asia before, you realize what comes in handy and what doesn't.  Plus, the price - the price is phenomenal for this bag.  The one I selected is called eBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible.  You can check it out here

NOTE:  As you can tell, I have not discussed my Makeup/Hair Products bag, carry-on liquid bag, carry-on purse or my jewellry bag.  I will be doing this in a later post.  I will also do a later post on my travel outfit!!

Happy Thursday Glossers!

Jan 9, 2018

Beauty Subscription Box Breakdown - What I Receive and How Much It Costs

My Beauty Subscription Boxes title

I'm obsessed with Beauty Subscription Boxes...

It's moved from being a "love" into a full-out obsession.  I adore watching people opening their boxes on YouTube.  I adore checking the mail for new boxes per month.  Everything about these little boxes makes me so blissful.

However, they come with a cost.  And if you're not careful, they can add up quite quickly, depending on which boxes you receive per month or quarter.

Here are the boxes I subscribe to monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly:

Monthly Subscription Boxes

Image result for boxycharm

BoxyCharm is one of the best monthly beauty subscription boxes on the market.  The box value is always much greater than the cost and you receive a multitude of top brands and lines.  There is currently a wait-list for BoxyCharm because it is so high in demand, people will wait months to receive it.  This is one box I will never, ever cancel.

The Cost: $21 USD/month (equates to about $30 CAD/month with shipping)
The Box: 4 - 5 full-sized products per month 
The Verdict: 5/5

Image result for glossybox

GlossyBox is quite similar to BoxyCharm though I find I receive more skincare and hair care items than beauty products.  I love the packaging of GlossyBox and their product card is much more detailed than BoxyCharm.  However, it does not contain the same amount of full-sized products as BoxyCharm does.  All in all, I enjoy this box and will continue with it for another few months before I think about cancelling.

The Cost: $21 USD/month (equates to about $30 CAD/month with shipping)
The Box: 5 products (with a selection of full-size and deluxe sample sizes)
The Verdict: 3.5/5

Related imageLookFantastic

I used to subscribe to Ipsy back in the day and hated that everything was so small.  I since realized how handy it is to have a smaller sized subscription box after running out of these sizes when packing for a trip.  So my love affair with LookFantastic started.  First off, it's directly from the UK and you get  mini-magazine with it every month.  They even occasionally through in a full-size product or two.  I adore this little box and love that I get to try brands that I wouldn't normally have access to.

The Cost: $20 CAD/month (Sign up for a year; this gives a discount on the monthly price)
The Box: 5 - 6 products (deluxe sample size with some full-size items)
The Verdict: 4/5

Image result for lola beauty box
Lola Beauty Box

This is a newer beauty box for me and I am very, very impressed already.  I received December as my first box and it is very similar to BoxyCharm in the sense of all the full-sized goodies.  I also love that it is mainly beauty product related.  I would actually go as far to say that this is at the same level as BoxyCharm for me.

The Cost: $21 USD/month (equates to about $30 CAD/month with shipping)
The Box: 4 - 5 full-sized products per month 
The Verdict: 5/5

Related image

This is an all-lip product monthly subscription box though I find that you will typically receive 3 lip products and one wild card product that can be anything from an eyeshadow to a highlighter.  I have subscribed to this one for a very long time and can't seem to cancel it even though I have SO MANY lip products.  I like this one though find that it can sometimes be a bit inconsistent - however, I have received a lot of great products from this one.

The Cost: $12.95 USD/month (equates to about $17 CAD/month with shipping)
The Box: 4 full-sized lip products per month 
The Verdict: 4/5

Bi-Monthly Subscription Boxes

Image result for deck of scarlet
Deck of Scarlet

Never have I ever seen a palette subscription box before.  Especially one that is bi-monthly AND you have the option of skipping if you don't like the palette colors.  I adore this subscription but haven't liked the last 3 palettes so I skipped them.  The price point is absolutely astonishing and the packaging is gorgeous.  I recommend this subscription service to everyone I find!

The Cost: $29.95 USD bi-monthly (equates to about $40 CAD/bi-monthly with shipping)
The Box: One full palette including 3 shadows, two blushes/bronzer/highlighter and 2 lip glosses (it will usually come with a lip liner or eye liner too)
The Verdict: 6/5
To Subscribe: www.deckofscarlet.com

Quarterly Subscription Boxes

Image result for fabfitfun

FabFitFun is a great full-sized subscription box.  It combines products ranging from beauty, skincare, fitness and home items in one great seasonal box.  The company always says that there is a minimum of $200 USD per box though my winter box was priced at $427 USD which is astronomical.  I find that the skincare products are the best and I think I continue with this box because of the price point o those items but I dislike the fitness products altogether.

The Cost: $49.99 USD per season (equates to about $60 CAD/quarter with shipping)
The Box: All items are full-sized and the box usually contains about 12 items at least
The Verdict: 4.5/5
To Subscribe: http://xo.fff.me/eyTX0

What boxes do you subscribe to Glossers? Anything I should be receiving but don't?

Jan 8, 2018

December 2017 Wrap Up - My New Beauty Products

2017 Wrap Up

I'm still blown away that 2017 is over and we are on to another year.  However, I am actually happy that the holidays are done.

I know, I know, weird for me, right?  I usually love the holidays and the chaos and I did, but to a point.  Good things - Benjamin finally understood what Christmas was this past year (and loves Santa), time with family, good food, good friends and Christmas parties.  Despite the good things, it was SO BITTERLY COLD.  I am definitely not used to these temperatures and Alberta was getting to minus 35 and 40.  With the cold, it meant a lot of time was spent indoors and my little guy really likes to be outside so it was pretty hectic most of the time.

Morning Glossers!
However I did manage to get some very, very nice things this month, especially in the beauty department.  Check these out:

Ofra Cosmetics Holiday Glow Palette

Oh ladies, it's gorgeous.  I have a very fantastic best friend who knows exactly what I like.  If you haven't tried an Ofra highlighter, you need to run out and get one ASAP.  It lasts all day, the pigment is perfect and a little goes a long way.  This is the perfect palette to bring on a fancy trip as it contains everything you will need to create multiple looks.

Too Faced Boss Lady Beauty Agenda

I bought this on a whim with my Sephora Rouge coupon, mainly because I wanted the agenda.  The agenda is adorable and I've started using it but am finding it a bit too large for carrying around all the time.  (CORRECTION - I am LOVING my new planner and adore all the makeup stickers it came with).  Also, the shadows - gorgeous colors and names (Plum Pudding, etc) but it's so big and bulky.  I can honestly say that this may not have been the best buy but at least it's pretty to look at.

The Balm Cosmetics Voyage vol. 2

Quite possibly my best buy yet.  This is the only palette I'm bringing to Cambodia and Thailand which, for anyone who knows me knows, is a very big deal.  This palette has 9 shadows, one highlighter, one bronzer, 2 blushes and 2 lip glosses.  A very cute addition is the last flap which features "how-to" looks using the palette.  I am so eager to assess this on the trip and tell you all about it.

Aside from my multiple Beauty Subscription boxes, this was all the makeup I bought/received in December.  What did you glossers get?

Jan 5, 2018

DIY Beauty Fridays: Coconut Oil and Your Dry Winter Skin

Image result for calgary cold
Calgary in the wintertime - SO COLD!!
Since moving from BC to Alberta, my skin has taken a beating.  It's dry, flaky (sometimes) and I even get these little dry patches if I forget to moisturize one day.  It's a huge change to the dampness of the Lower Mainland - I can't get over how dry it is here!

I know that it will take some time to adjust to my new climate here but in the meantime, I am so thankful that coconut oil is readily available.  For those that aren't aware, coconut oil is a miracle in a jar.  Truly - it will save your life!!  (Maybe that's a slight exaggeration but still...)

Here are some of my top, favorite, uses for coconut oil:

Image result for coconut oil
1.  Shiny Hair - run a pea-size amount through your wet hair, after shampooing, and your hair will be so shiny and moisturized.

2.  Moisturizer - Dab some coconut oil on your dry spots (or all over to fully moisturize) and your skin will be dewy, full of life and those dry patches will be gone.

3.  Makeup Remover - Put some coconut oil on a cloth or cotton pad and swipe over your face and eyes to remove all your makeup.  Truly, this works wonders.

4.  Toothpaste - Mix some coconut oil with baking soda and brush away.  I've used this a couple times and it does your teeth clean but I miss the minty flavor of my usual toothpaste.

5. Lip Balm - use a bit, similar to a Vaseline, on your lips if they are super dry.  Leave overnight and your lips will feel completely transformed.

What are your favorite uses for coconut oil?  Anything I may have missed from the list?

Happy Friday Glossers.

Jan 4, 2018

Say Bon Voyage to Bad Skin: Skincare Tips for Winter Travelers

Image result for koh Phi Phi

It has been a VERY long time since I last posted but I have some exciting news, and new posts, to share.  First off, we are going back to Cambodia and Thailand and leave in less than a month!!

I received this article and thought how fitting it was as airplane travel wrecks havoc on your skin.  Anyway, check out these tips and stay tuned for some amazing new posts.

Another winter is upon us and with it comes the escape to warmer climates. However, traveling puts additional stress on you and your skin. Regardless of whether you are traveling by car or plane, for business or pleasure, board certified dermatologist Dr. Margarita Lolis', must-know skin tips for winter travelers will help make your time away more relaxing and leave your skin rosy on arrival.
Why is it so dry in the sky? 
The re-circulated air on planes combined with the lack of humidity is incredibly drying to skin. The air inside the cabin of a plane usually has a humidity level of 10 to 20 percent, much lower than a comfortable typical indoor humidity of 30 to 65 percent. This leaves skin in desperate need of moisture.
“Most people notice their skin may dry out or even breakout when they travel by air but they may not know why,” says Dr. Lolis. “Whenever the environment is moisture-free such as with recirculated air in a plane cabin, the air actually draws moisture from wherever it can, including the skin. Dry skin will tend to get drier and oily skin will get even oilier to compensate for dehydration. This is why it’s so important to use moisturizer with hyaluronic acid that does a great job of pulling moisture and keeping it on the skin.”
Pass on the booze and drink water instead. 
“Alcohol is very dehydrating. While it may help to relax you if you're nervous about flying, the effect of alcohol will be dry skin,” says Dr. Lolis. “Drink water, infused with fruit and read a magazine or book, enjoy an in-flight movie or podcast. Having something to distract you will serve your skin better than a glass of wine.”
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Dr. Margarita Lolis, MD 
Prep for in-flight moisture maintenance. A hydrating mist is perfect for in flight application. Dr. Lolis recommends spraying a couple of pumps onto your face for instant hydration. It also feels great and helps cool you down if you're on a warm airplane.
Skip the salty snacks. Airport food is not very skin-friendly. “While peanuts and pretzels may look delicious, salt can cause swelling,” warns Dr. Lolis. “Instead, snack on dried fruits and prepack chopped veggies in baggies such as peppers, cherry tomatoes and celery, which are filled with water.”
It’s time to take off your makeup! If you regularly wear makeup, keep it to a minimum on the flight. “Dry airplane air combined with foundation and powders is a recipe for disaster to your pores. To avoid clogged pores and subsequent breakouts, opt for tinted moisturizer with concealer. Also use a tinted lip balm in lieu of lipstick. Dry cabin air only makes lips dryer,” recommends Lolis.
Puffy Eyes. Jet lag always shows through your skin but mostly in the eyes. Lack of sleep due to possible time changes can have you looking sleepy and puffy. Bring an eye cream in your carry-on that contains caffeine. Another option? “Bring two green tea bags with you on the plane,” says Dr. Lolis. “A half hour before landing, ask the flight attendant for hot water and soak a few minutes. Then add ice to cool down the bags, and apply them to your eyelids before landing. The green tea has antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to decrease puffiness so you'll look your best when you land.”
Weather-Proof Your Skincare Products. Pick and pack skin products based on the climate of your destination. “For snowbirds, when going to a warm, humid destination, pay extra attention to exfoliation in order to reduce the dead skin cells trapped by excess moisture, and pack a cleanser with salicylic acid,” suggests Dr. Lolis. If traveling to a colder climate extra moisture and skin protection from the elements is key. “To function properly, the epidermis needs to maintain a certain moisture level; in the winter, low temperatures, low humidity, and strong wind deplete skin of its natural protective barrier, allowing that level to drop,” says Dr. Lolis. “Sunscreen is always a must regardless of climate you may be traveling to,” she adds.
Don’t rely on Hotel Beauty Products: People often breakout when they're on vacation, because hotel products are typically made for people with normal to dry skin. In lieu of using hotel toiletries while traveling, consider packing a few key essentials in your travel beauty bag. “Hotel soaps can be very drying and overly scented,” warns Dr. Lolis. “Beware if you have sensitive skin and remember to bring your own toiletries.”

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