Dec 30, 2016

December 2016 Wrap Up - What I Bought This Month

Wrap Up

Wrap Up by redlipgloss featuring Stila

 I can't believe December is coming to an end, along with 2016 - the year, and the Holidays, have flown by!  I think its definitely time to recap what I bought this month.

In November, with the help of Allan and my bestie, I decided to cancel the majority of my monthly beauty subscription boxes.  I was so tired of receiving the same items, all the time, and also hardly ever receiving full-sized products.  I ended my long time relationship with a few of them and signed up for only two monthly boxes - knowing that they ONLY send full-sized items.  Here's the lowdown on what I purchased this month:

BoxyCharm (New Subscription)

You have all seen the post about this box already but I can't stop raving to all my friends about it.  The products are only ever full-sized and they are really great items too.  My box had a total value $178.50 USD and only costs me $35 CAD per month.  I received:

Pure Cosmetics Eyeshadow Palette in Buff - $50 USD
Model Co Shimmer Bronzing Powder - $24 USD
OFRA Metallic Liquid Lipstick in Napa Valley - $19.98 USD
Purlisse Pur-Eye Adore Serum - $65 USD
Starlooks Ultra Longwear Mechanical Lip Pencil - $19.50 USD

Verdict: AMAZEBALLS.  If you can only have one monthly subscription box, this is the one to get.  

Ipsy (Cancelled)

This month was my last Ipsy bag as I have cancelled my subscription.  I paid about $19 CAD a month for this and HATE that everything is little.  Plus, there are only so many cosmetic bags a gal can have.  This month, I received:
Tarte Maracuja Oil
Briogeo Curl Charisma
Ciate London Liquid Velvet Lipstick in Pin Up
NYX Prismatic Shadow in Punk Heart
Cake Heavy Cream Intensive Hand Repair Balm

Verdict - FAIL.  Yes, the eyeshadow is really cute but for $19 CAD a month, this is not a good value at all.  Everything is way too small.

Beauty Box 5 (Cancelled)

This was my introductory beauty box as I am still waiting for December's.  Shipping was delayed and I don't actually know when my first box will be in.  Either way, I've cancelled it.  Items are small and for $20 CAD a month, it's just not worth the price.  This box contains:

HappyFace Makeup Cleansing Cloth
Scratch Nail Wraps 
Knotty Think Pink Elastics 
Austrailian Gold Hemp Nation Body Wash
Tints & Sass Lip and Cheek Stain

Verdict: Just, no.  Items are way too small and as much as I love the robin's egg blue box, it's not worth the money.

Benevolent Beauty Box (New Subscription)

This box made me very happy.  First, this box commits to sending only cruelty-free, mainly vegan, beauty products and the boxes will always be over $100 USD.  (At least that's what they say).  This company only emerged in May 2016 and have made a lot of women so happy with the variety of products they send out.  Oh, did I mention that everything is always full-sized?  Here's what I received:

Beautiful Birdie Full Lash Mascara - $22 USD
Dirty Lamb Coffee Scrub - $8 USD
Shea Terra Organics Rose Hips Black Soap Face Wash - $4.50 USD
Girlactik Sparkle Eyeliner and Base set - $27 USD
Tat2u Matte Lipstick in New Generation - FREE upon signup
Bunny Bath and Body Morning Jolt Caffeine Serum - $7 USD
Manna Kadar Blush in Paradise - $19 USD

Verdict: Undecided at the moment.  I love my free lipstick and the mascara is actually fantastic but the total value was only $87.50 USD.  This monthly subscription is $29.95 USD per month plus another $8 shipping - with exchange, I just haven't decided if this is a good deal or not.  I will stay for another month and decide.

I also purchased a couple items from Sephora this month to ensure I took advantage of the $25 off coupon for being VIB Rouge.

I am loving this new little blush palette and have already been using it most days.  Such a good deal as this was only $12 CAD.

I ran out of my favorite facial oil/serum and had to order more.  LOVE this brand.  Also a steal as I used a separate $25 coupon for this and only paid about $70.

Now on to the fun stuff (ha) - the gifts! I have the best friends and family, truly.  Here are some of the great goodies I received this year.

I have never tried Bliss products before but my bestie, Carmen, said they are the best. Thanks to her I get to try them out!

 My other bestie saw these shot glasses and instantly thought of me - I wonder why.  Thanks Bronwen, they are fabulous.

Also thanks to B, I get the Stila "Spirit" Eyes Are the Window Shadow Palette to play with!

And then Carmen found this adorable little NudeStix Lip and Cheek Pencil set.  The set contains 3 chubby stix, a sharpener and a really cute tin.

We did a secret santa gift exchange with all the friends and I got the vanilla chai scented lotions, scrubs and body wash from the Body Shop.  The scent reminds me of Bali!

As usual, I was spoiled.  Allan and Ben bought me a beautiful birthstone necklace as Ben's birthstone is emerald and my mom sent me a lovely perfume set.  Plus, I got oddles of Sephora gift cards...yay!

Hope you all had a great Holiday.  What was your favorite item you received?


Dec 27, 2016

DIY Facial Oil - Only 3 Ingredients Needed!

So you all know that I typically post DIY beauty tips on Fridays and I also ALWAYS try them before I post.  However, this one was way too good not to post today and I am in the process of making it.

I adore facial oils.  Truly, I don't think there is a better way to keep your skin moisturized and make your skin more supple.  I recommend oils to everyone I know because they actually work and do exactly what they say they are going to.

What I don't like about the oils on the market is the pricetag.  An ounce of facial oil can set you back about $100 and, though  there are some fantastic oils on the market, the investment is just not worth it.  Especially when you can make your own for less than $20.

I found this site today and had to share - check out the post and let me know if you end up making this as well.  I can't wait to hear your results after using your DIY facial oil!


Dec 15, 2016

My Very First BOXYCHARM Beauty Box - December 2016

I adore beauty subscription boxes and subscribe to a number of different ones.  This past month, though, I made a change and began subscribing to BOXYCHARM and cancelled Ipsy, Beauty Box 5 and Lip Monthly.  I realized after receiving so many sample sizes that I only want to receive full-size items.

Ladies - I am SO HAPPY I made the swap, seriously.  BOXYCHARM is, without a doubt, the best box I have ever seen.

The theme this month was "Makeup on Pointe" and for all you glossers out there who know me, the theme is very dear to me as I was a ballet dancer for most of my life.  All items received had a glampy ballerina-esque vibe to them.

Did I mention that everything I received was FULL-SIZED????  My box was filled with a Pure Cosmetics Eyeshadow Palette in Buff, Model Co. Shimmer Bronzer, Starlooks Ultra Longwear Mechanical Lip Pencil in Charmed, OFRA Metallic Liquid Lipstick in Napa Valley and Pur-Lisse Pur-Eye Adore Serum.

Drum roll please - onto the prcing.  Including shipping and exchange, I paid $35 CAD for this box.  The total value on my BOXYCHARM was $178.50 USD which is absolutely OUTRAGEOUS.  I can't believe how amazing this was!!

See how shocked I am!!  I am loving this box so much and can't wait to try the palette and the eye serum.  They are, by far, my favorite additions.  What did you get in your BOXYCHARM?

For those interested in signing up for BOXYCHARM, here is my referral link.  No pressure, of course, but truly, this box is so worth it.


Oct 18, 2016

Too Faced Dupes: Makeup Revolution Chocolate Palettes

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my Too Faced Chocolate and Bon-Bons palettes.  Their smell alone is worth the investment but they are so popular with me because the colors are fantastic, the wear so well, last all day and the palettes are filled with the greatest colors.

However, I have found the most amazing dupes for those that just can't bite the Too Faced price tag.

Makeup Revolution, ladies!  This UK brand (also sold at Ulta) has fantastic pricing and also ships to Canada.  Plus, their chocolate palettes retail for under $13 CAD.  Seriously, you can not beat this price.

Up first is the Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar palette compared to Makeup Revolution I Heart Chocolate Salted Caramel.

You can even see from the packaging that Makeup Revolution has embraced the chocolate bar look.  However, one thing to mention is the smell - Too Faced definitely got the chocolate smell down whereas the Makeup Revolution palette, though scented, smells slightly more processed.

But, check out how close the colors are.  Though the layout of the colors on the Makeup Revolution palette (right) is not in the exact same place as the Too Faced palette, the colors are virtually identical.

Color test!  The blue shadow is one of my favorites in my Semi-Sweet palette (Blueberry Swirl) so it's fitting to use this one as a comparison (left is Too Faced) to Crunch in the Makeup Revolution palette.  The colors both seem to be almost identical.

Up next is the Too Faced Chocolate Bar (Original) compared to Makeup Revolution I Heart Chocolate palette.

I really do love the Makeup Revolution packaging.  Truly, it's a work of art in itself.

Look at these colors though.  These palettes are virtually the same.

In sticking with my favorite color in my Chocolate Bar, I chose to compare the dark burgandy shade.  The left one is the color from my Too Faced palette (Cherry Cordial) and it's compared to What A Way to Go.  I must say, I greatly prefer the color in the Makeup Revolution palette - it's brighter, more burgandy in color and even has a better shimmer.

I am blown away by how similar these palettes are.  Truly, similar in smell, texture, durability and color.  This is, by far, one of the best dupes I have ever found.

What are your thoughts ladies?


Oct 14, 2016

My First FabFitFun Unboxing: Fall 2016

Despite my girlfriends being subscribers, I've been holding off on getting FabFitFun.  My reasoning for this was because I currently subscribe to LipMonthly, Ipsy and Starlooks (since cancelled).  However, after receiving my FabFitFun box, I will be a subscriber for LIFE.

Seriously, this box is fantastic.

First off, this box is JAM PACKED with so many great things.  I am still in awe that I got all th colors I was hoping for and even the saying on the cup was what I wanted.  This box is valued at $240 USD and I paid about $60 CAD for it.  SUCH A GREAT DEAL.

My box contained a gorgeous ModCloth Loch and Key Scarf (red/green/blue plaid)at  $35, Cottenelle Fresh Care Cleansing Cloths (sponsored), ToeSox Toeless Fitness Socks at $18, Secret Outlast Xtend Clear Gel (sponsored), Skin Laundry Restoring Night Serum at $50, FabFitFun Nature Coloring Book and Pencil Crayons at $14, Pur Cosmetics Nude Collection Eyeshadow at $50, the BrowGal Clear Eyebrow Gel at $20, Mullein & Sparrow French Lavender Body Oil at $18, Spongelle Bulgarian Rose Body Wash Infused Buffer at $16 and the Created Co. To-Go Coffee Mug at $19.

Eeeck, I am IN LOVE with everything but have to pull out this palette to show you how gorgeous the colors are.  Check this out.

It looks very similar to a W7 palette I own but this is much better quality.  Anyway, I can't wait to try this out.  I will absolutely be posting a FOTD with this palette.

If you are like me and contemplating FabFitFun, here's a link to $10 off your first box.  Go and get one!


Sep 19, 2016

Palmer's: 2 Steps to Beautiful Skin AND Giveaway

I am approached, often, from different companies asking me to try this product or that in exchange for review. The majority of the time I actually say no.  Yes, I do turn down a lot of free products.  I turn them down because my skin can be quite tempermental and does not deal well with change.

However, whenever Palmer's approaches me, I ALWAYS say yes because their products actually work....well, for that matter.

I was sent the Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil and the Skin Therapy Facial Oil, both of which have a delightful rosehip scent.  Honestly, there is something so luxurious about smelling like a rose.  Sigh, I love this scent.

I immediately gave the Cleansing Oil to my hubby, as he is NOT brand specific and was needing a new cleanser.  He has been using this for about a week, solid, and says that his skin texture has drastically improved (he is prone to dryness and this is working wonders) and his beard (yes, he uses this on his beard too) is much softer and less frizzy.  He said a downside for him is that the skin has to be dry before applying and since he does this in the shower he seems to use more product BUT aside from that, he is LOVING it.

The Facial Oil is my favorite item.  I will say that I typically use a Laneige Brightening Serum but do tend to alternate one at night and one in the morning.  The oil is fantastic because it smells super and applies very well plus you dont have to use very much to cover your face, making a bottle last a long time.  Best part of this though?  The serum works well to fade scarring and redness, leaving behind a revitilized you.  Truly, if you are on the hunt for an inexpensive serum, this one must be tried.

Now, for the fun stuff - GIVEAWAY TIME!

Palmer's is giving away 3 facial gift packs that include both a full-sized Cleansing Oil and Facil Oil.  If you are wanting to try this amazing brand, now is your time to jump on this giveaway.

Rules:  You must be a Canadian Resident and must follow my Facebook page.  If you aren't a follower yet, please click HERE and then hit "like".  After you have done that, find this blog post on the page and comment with your CURRENT FAVORITE CLEANSER.  The first 3 people to do this will win a fantastic gift pack!

Good luck and happy Monday!


May 12, 2016

EOTD: Sugar Smoke with Too Faced's Chocolate Bon Bons

As I'm writing this post I realize two things: First, I am very lucky to have such an awesome husband and two, I need to learn to take better close-up pictures of my makeup.  Let me explain...

This past Sunday was Mother's Day, my very first one.  See, I was still pregnant with Ben this time last year so this was my first REAL Mother's Day.  I was so excited to find out my hubby had not only made me breakfast, wrote in TWO cards (one from him and one from "Ben") but he had also planned a date night for just him and I.  I was so full of love that whole day and out of nowhere, he surprised me with the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bon Palette I'd been eyeing for months.  I'm a lucky girl!

I got all ready that day, full makeup and hair done, in anticipation of our date.  I decided to use my new palette and create a look from one of the "how-to's" that accompany the palette.  My choice?  Sugar Smoke.

I'm always drawn to dark tones and love the way a smoky eye can look if done right.  The greatest things about the "Chocolate" palettes are how easy the colors apply, how great they blend AND the smell.  Seriously, I smelled like candy and chocolate the whole night.  Loved it.

And here's the result WHICH you can hardly see because I am terrible with a camera.  I will say that the end result was almost identical to the card and I loved feeling glamorous for the first time in a long time.

I highly recommend this palette if you don't already have it.


May 10, 2016

My First Ever Starlooks StarBox - April 2016

I become quite fascinated with the Starlooks brand through Ipsy.  I'd actually never heard of Starlooks before joining Ipsy and can still not believe I had.

Truly, their products are pretty great.  And, better yet, they are not overpriced.

They offer two different beauty subscription boxed to both the US and Canada and I recently signed up for the cheaper of the two options.  The options are the PerfectSize Starbox Subscription (for a total of $17 USD) or the Full-Size Starbox Subscription (for $23 USD).  These prices include shipping.  I chose the PerfectSize box as I wanted to ensure I loved all the products before I upgrade my membership.

I received my first box in 2 days after placing the order which was amazing and it came with 3 PerfectSize items and a full-sized item.  Total surprise on the full-size item, to be honest.

I received a Starlooks Lip Gloss in Mad Crush, Starlooks Gimme More Volumizing Mascara, Starlooks Lip Liner in Dragon Fruit and a Starlooks Tender Gloss Lipstick in Pooh Bear.

Also, you can see a little card poking out underneath and it's a lifetime discount on all PerfectSize Cosmetics - This little care warrants me $4 off EVERY PerfectSize item I order from their site.  Not too shabby, if you ask me.

And, here are the swatches of the products. from left to right we have the lip gloss, liner and the lipstick.  I am beyond obsessed with the lipstick as I adore this color for summer.  Can't wait to have a tan and sport it.

What do you think of the goodies?  Worth the price?


May 5, 2016

Create A Spa at Home with BV Spa

I've been sent a number of products in my time as a beauty blogger.  Some things I've liked and others, well they weren't anything to write home about.  That's why these products I received from BV Spa by Bon Vital have completely thrown me for a loop.  They are so great, seriously, amazing.

I received 4 items ahead of the Canadian launch and the were all in the Lavender & Rosemary scent.  The items were body lotion, sugar scrub, salt scrub and a body butter.  I LOVE the scent so much as it truly makes me feel like I'm in a spa when I use them.  (Lavender has always been my go-to fragrance of choice when visiting a spa).

The body is BY FAR my favorite of the moisturizers.  Body lotion, I find, is too thin for my skin and my skin never feels quite hydrated.  The body butter, though, is thick, luxurious and slightly greasy, making it the perfect cream to use after a shower or a tub.  It's my favorite night-time moisturizer.

What surprised me the most were the scrubs.  I've used sugar scrubs for years and am so familiar with the grittiness and moisturizing effects BUT the salt scrub is something that's new for me.

The left is the sugar scrub and right is the salt scrub.  From the picture, you can see that they are almost identical in appearance.  However, the similarities end here.  First, the salt scrub actually smells quite salty (yes, I know, obvious) but the way it makes your skin tingle is a very new effect for me.  Plus, as we all know, salt on your skin removes impurities and buffs your skin to create a different type of glow.  I have truly been converted.  My skin has never been as smooth and, after using the scrub with the body butter, I feel like a whole new person.

Best part about this line is it's to be sold at Shoppers Drug Mart which means no ordering online!!  Woohoo.  You all have to run out and grab this salt scrub, at the very least.


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