Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nail Me, It's Hump Day: Warm & Fozzy

     If you would have said to me two years ago that I would one day wear brown polishes, I probably would have laughed at you. But then it all started with chocolate brown with gold, then chocolate creams, then chocolate milks, and THEN Warm & Fozzy.

     Warm & Fozzy is from the (realitively) new OPI Muppets collection. After stalking many a blog swatch of this colour I decided it would be nice to have, but wasn't a must. Shimmery mid-toned brown? Been there, done that. I slowly but surely made it to my local mall and promptly found the Muppets collection - sans Warm & Fozzy. I was able to see a swatch of W&F at that display and realized why it was sold out. Apparently I didn't get the memo that this colour is AMAZING.

     So, I spent the afternoon driving all over the city and desperately digging through OPI Muppets displays to no avail. After a world of disappointment, I had an epiphany in the grocery store - Nail Polish Canada. I'd never ordered from them before, but this was a life or death situation. Off side topic - Order from Nail Polish Canada! They have the most AMAZING customer service I've ever experienced and the shipping was INCREDIBLY fast. Even after adding something on to my order, it took 36 hours from order placed to arriving at the door. YAY Nail Polish Canada!!

     So, back to W&F. No swatch or description can do this shade justice. It's a rich chocolate brown with bronze and gold and green and pink/red shimmers. Depending on the light it looks completely different. It's nothing like OPI's Pros & Bronze (which I thought it would be similar too). It's a much richer colour. I tried to get a couple of different angles for the lighting. If you can get your hands on this colour RUN out and grab it, especially from Nail Polish Canada!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lazy Day Link Lovings

I only managed to drag myself out of bed at 215 this afternoon (due to Nyquil, not booze) so I thought I would do a quick lazy day post of the blogs/ articles I've been reading and re-reading this week.

Leanne at The Lacquer Lounge continues to feed my nail polish addiction/obsession. I am blaming her if I find myself in nail polish debt. Awesome swatches and comparisons.

Following that, Nail Polish Canada is pretty much my new addiction. They have the BEST customer service ever, the fastest shipping around and FREE shipping over $29 (that was two OPIs and a Zoya). My first order arrived in just 36 hours and they were kind enough to add on to my order when I realized I NEEDED China Glaze Material Girl or I would just die.

Jen at Prairie Girl in the City has made me want out and hit up EVERY SINGLE EVENT in Vancouver... I've been missing out!!!

And finally, Christine, the girl who needs no introduction, uber blogger extraordinaire, from Temptalia, made me run to my local Bay, talons at the ready to pick up Dior Exquis polish with this post. Seriously, I know everyone reads her blog, but if you didn't check out that post in particular do. The swatches make me want to eat that polish for breakfast.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Faves: Cream Shadows!

     Because of the length of my morning commute, the hours the work and the job I have I prefer not to wear a lot of make up to work. I like a really quick routine that I can do without paying much attention to and that doesn't require a lot of product to haul to the gym with me (and to remember to take OUT of my gym bag if I'm not going the next morning!!!!)

     Then I found cream shadows. I have to admit I was pretty much a cream shadow virgin until September when I went a little crazy with a Sephora birthday haul... I had tried (I think) one of the Maybelline cream shadows many moons ago and found it creased, rubbed off, melted etc. Since then I had just never bothered to look into creams.

     Then comes my birthday shopping trip with my bestie. She was kind enough to give me a gift card (and I was smart enough to bring my credit card that's NOT shared with hubby) and I believe I put my first cream shadows into my cart while saying, "F%*k it, it's my birthday." I grabbed the Eye Gotta Annie Collection from Benefit, which has three powder shadows and two creams. I also grabbed two Paint Pots from MAC and some Buxom creams that are waiting for Christmas to go in my stocking!!!

     My new AM make up routine takes me all of two minutes to put together, looks professionally minimalistic and, best of all, is EASY! I conceal, fill in my eyebrows, throw on some eyeshadow primer, one of my cream shadows and then mascara and I'm DONE! I find this look really makes me look rested too.

MAC Paint Pot on the left and Benefit on the right
MAC Morning Frost on the left, Benefit Flash top right, Benefit Foiled bottom right.

     Now, in the pot MAC's Morning Frost and Benefit's foiled look IDENTICAL. But on the eye they are nothing alike. Morning Frost is a really nice mauve/silver wash of shine and colour and Foiled is a darker pewter kind of colour. There is a swatch at the bottom, but sadly it's a terrible iPhone swatch (I swear I asked Santa for a camera).
MAC Let's Skate!
     And then there is MAC's Let's Skate! I was most excited about this one... It swatched beautifully in the store - a nice icy pink with a slight gold sheen to warm it up. But on the eye? YIKES! Hello glitter-ball fairy princess freak show. It's too creamy and WAY glittery. I think mine is a lot more glittery than it was in the store. Maybe I have to get a little further in to the pot or maybe mine is just a freak. I have heard a few people say the same thing about this shade though. Maybe it's just one you want to love so much you convince yourself it's beautiful.
Bad iPhone swatches L-R: Let's Skate! Morning Frost, Foiled, Flash

Thursday, November 24, 2011

TopBox Update etc

I just wanted to give you guys a quick update - after I tweeted about the atrocious customer service experience I had with TopBox someone got in contact with me and offered to subscribe me to the January TopBox. Because the month of the box was the LEAST of my problems I graciously declined. I might sign up for TopBox one day, but it was such a horrible experience signing up, I just can't bring myself to do it right now.

Besides that, I've decided to do a Make Up Out 2011. I'm sure you all have heard about Gloss Outs, where you basically use up what you have and only allow yourself a certain number for the entire year. I'm going to do a Bath Product Out 2011, Lip Product Out 2011 and a Nail Polish Out 2011. I'm only going to allow myself one shower gel and one (scented) lotion. I have to go scent free during the week, so I count those as necessities. Lip products I will allow myself three (and these will probably all be Revlon Lip Butters) and finally five nail polishes (although there is a polish or two in my Christmas stocking that I won't count).

I'll update with photos of my hoard later ;)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nail Me, It's Hump Day: Nail Fail

Do you ever buy a colour of nail polish that is everything you've ever looked for and then get it home and it just WILL NOT work for you?

That's OPI's Princesses Rock! for me. I desperately wanted a pale, shimmery barely there pink for occasions that warranted subtle nails. This is just a hot mess. I've tried it alone, over light pinks, over whites and over nudes. I have a VNL (visible nail line) every time and the shimmers don't show up very often. I love this polish in the bottle but on me it just doesn't work :(

PS- this is one coat of pink base and THREE coats of Princesses Rock!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Battle of the Brands: TopBox vs LuxeBox

This is a review that is coming much earlier than expected. I had originally planned to get a monthly subscription to both TopBox and LuxeBox for a couple of months, decide on my favorite and then cancel one subscription and keep the other.

To those who have been living under a rock and never heard of these subscription boxes, you basically purchase a subscription and get a package in the mail every month with samples in it. I love me some samples, so this sounded like a really attractive idea. These two are the Canadian equivalent of a BirchBox or Julep Maven subscription (YouTube these babies if you want a better idea of what they are).

I believe the LuxeBox has been available in the US for quite some time and has recently realized that we Canadians like to get prezzies in the mail too (YAYYYY). On it's Twitter account ( @Loose_Button ) it promises "3-5 Deluxe Samples" where as on the website it promises "4-5 Deluxe Samples." It costs $12 per month for the subscription and can be cancelled any time. They also offer 3 months at a time or a yearly subscription that gives you two boxes free. I will likely opt for this option soon, but with Christmas coming and having never experienced one of these boxes I wanted to test it out first. Payments cannot be refunded for these options (but they can be cancelled at the end of the term, so long as the next payment hasn't been processed). I managed to create an account and finalize my subscription in about two minutes, and it could have been less if I didn't use my credit card so much the numbers are almost illegible. I also managed to get the December box!!

TopBox on the other hand is a relatively new Canadian company, also offering fabulous mail prezzies to Canadians. Their website promises 4 samples with every box and runs at $10 per month. I believe that they currently only offer monthly subscriptions and can be cancelled at any time. Up until I signed up attempted to sign up for one of these boxes I thought the TopBox would likely be the clear winner for $2 less and guaranteed 4 samples. I was sorely mistaken. When I went to the website the December box was sold out, but the January box was still available. This didn't bother me in the least, so I began creating my account. I entered my personals with no problem and chose to pay with PayPal, as my credit card wasn't with me at the time. It gave me a strange error, so I checked my e-mail to see if I had been invoiced and tried again, this time with my credit card in hand. After entering my details again and this time choosing to pay with credit card it gave me the same error. When I went to my account home page it showed THREE subscriptions, none of which had an invoice attached to it.

I proceeded to contact customer service and told them what my dilemma was. They promised to look into it and told me people had been having trouble with that page on FireFox. I told them I was using IE and asked them to please cancel two of the pending subscriptions. They e-mailed back again quickly saying they would be back in touch soon. Nine days went by and I still heard nothing from the company. So, I e-mailed again asking for an update and stating that I was anxious to make sure I didn't miss out on the January box. The only reply I got was, "There are no problems with the website. The January and February boxes are sold out, so you will have to wait for March." Ummm... excuse me?

I promise I am no diva... But if I successfully signed up for January and was unable to complete my transaction due to an error in the website I feel like I should be given the January box and an invoice. So, long story short, I e-mailed customer service back, told them I was no longer interested in trying their product and requesting that all pending subscriptions be cancelled. I haven't heard back again yet, but I certainly don't recommend TopBox. If it's a nightmare trying to GET an account, imagine how terrible it will be trying to CANCEL an account? It'll be like those book a month boxes my mom used to get in the 90's!!

I'll update you when I get my first LuxeBox (in December might I add...)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Animal Testing and Your Cosmetics

UGH! What a topic for me to chose to blog about today. It is a topic that I feel is important. But, it's also a subject that has a very fine line between educational and preachy. I promise to make my very best attempt to stay on the educational side of the line.

I believe this is a topic you need to educate yourself in and make your own decision about. No one can make this decision for you as it requires you to sacrifice some favorite products (the upside being that you get to find some new faves)!! When I first made the decision to go cruelty free I found it difficult to find information without horrendous pictures. I understand people are trying to make a point, but when I already don't believe in animal testing I don't want to see photos of maimed bunnies whilst doing my research.

I've turned this into a two part research. The first part, which is what this post is all about, is the elimination of products from companies that directly test on animals. I plan to start researching which raw ingredients are tested on animals and then doing another product elimination after (hopefully there will be any products left!!!), but I thought that would be a far too large project to do all at once. I also am NOT going into the testing of animals for pharmacological purposes. There are laws requiring the testing of animals for these products and I am currently not trying to change that, just attempting to make my beauty station a little bit more friendly.

So, a little background on me and my beliefs: I think it's one thing to use animals to find a cure for cancer (I don't like it, but I don't think it's as bad as using an animal to see if my moisturizer will give me a rash). I think that some pharmacological animal testing has helped us to make leaps and bounds in medicine, but it still makes me sad. The only non-cruelty free product I am still using is Sensodyne toothpaste as I have horrifically sensitive teeth, and I haven't found another toothpaste that helps yet. I am a flexitarian, which means I eat meat if my body tells me it wants it, but I make a good attempt at eating non-animal proteins often. I choose knock-off UGGs that are made from synthetics and, while they aren't as cozy, I feel good that I'm not wearing Mary's little lamb. I also believe that it's entirely your choice whether you feel comfortable consuming or wearing animals.

Image courtesy of

Once I discovered which products were animal friendly (most of my cosmetics, YAY!) and which were not (most of my skin care products, BOO!) I didn't immediately toss all the cruel products out and run out to buy cruelty free ones. I feel like the companies only care if you BUY their products. So long as you buy them it doesn't matter if you toss the product or use it. So, I returned any back ups I had and am in the process of using up any already used products.

It is not required by law to test non-medicinal ingredients on animals. However, some companies make this choice based on the ease of testing (you don't need to recruit people that don't mind a rash!) and sometimes based on the cost-effectiveness. There are other tests that can be performed - human study groups can be put together (with a lot of wavers!) and there are many tests they can run on human tissue created in the lab or donated. I won't go any further into this portion, but if you're interested - Google is your best friend!

It's much harder to find out that a company tests on animals than to find those that don't. I would say easily 95% of companies that don't test on animals advertise it either on the actual packaging of the product or the box that the product comes in. That was my first indicator when I was sorting my products. There is no particular symbol that is used, in fact many just say "Not Tested on Animals." Here are a few examples of the symbols:


Courtesy of

These (and other similar) logos can usually be found by the expiration date located on the back of the packaging. If you can't find one of these logos I recommend going to the product's website and checking out the FAQ before banning it from your stash.

If all else fails PETA has a fairly comprehensive list of cruelty free products. Beware of sad photos on that website though!!! PETA also has an iPhone app called BNB or Be Nice to Bunnies for $2.99 which divides all the products into cruelty free and non-cruelty free as well as by category. I LOVE this app for when I am in the pharmacy buying shampoo and can't remember who is cruelty free. I was surprised by some of the non-cruelty free products (Playtex tampons - really?). I also found it was much easier to find "kind" products in higher end lines (ie - things I could buy at Sephora) than drugstore lines (bye bye beauty budget!!)

I won't make an enormous list here, but I thought I would just list a few products from each category.

Non-Cruelty Free (BOO!)
  • Clairol
  • Clean & Clear
  • Crest
  • L'Oreal
  • Maybelline
  • Neutrogena
  • Vichy
Cruelty Free (YAY!)
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Clinique
  • Essie
  • MAC
  • Ole Henrikson
  • OPI
  • Revlon
  • St Ives (cruelty free and vegan)
  • Too Faced
  • Urban Decay
There are a ton of others on both lists so do your research! Once I've got my skincare regime working for me again I will do a "Bunny Friendly Skincare" post. As I mentioned before it is pretty easy to find out who does not test on animals. I have never seen "WE TEST ON ANIMALS" written on the back of any product.

I hope you guys enjoyed this and it wasn't a preachy information over load!! Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see more on this topic in the future. Happy Sunday!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

First iPhone Blog Post

Just a really quick post to see how iPhone blogging works. The only things I love more than make up.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pale Girl Forgotten

They always forget about me :(

I'm not going to deny it - I am one of those horrifically pasty people who has a lot of trouble finding a foundation. I'm not pasty in that charming way that looks beautiful on some people. I am just plain old pale.

Now let me give you an idea of what shade I mean... I am Nars Sheer Glow in Gobi. That is their third from lightest (I believe) or Revlon Colourstay in Ivory (and if my memory serves me that IS their lightest). MAC NC15 is not light enough for me. A lot of brands don't even make foundation that pale. If they do I am often the lightest shade.

I am so sick of companies forgetting that we pale girls like foundation too!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Confessions of a Shopaholic

I admit it. Every now and again I get a nasty bite from the shopping bug. Especially when there are 20% off codes (thanks Sephora) and Christmas shopping happening!!!! I find that whenever I go out to get Christmas gifts I seem to come home with one for me, one for a loved one... That can't be normal.

Recently I've gone on a monstrous hauling phase. THERE HAVE JUST BEEN TOO MANY GOOD SALES!!!!!!!!! Ok, Ok. That's just an excuse. Unfortunately I don't have photos because a) my lighting is almost as bad as my camera and b) I just haven't found a good set up for photos. I know this makes for a rather dull beauty blog, but I'm working on it. I think I might actually attempt to blog from my iPhone and see what happens.

Anyways some recent good purchases:

Brown boots from Payless! They're so cute and will look amazing with some skinnies.

Bath and Body Works: I went to the grand opening at Metrotown a few weekends ago with a 10% off coupon in hand. Also, the first 50 people got a gift card AND buy three get three was on. So, I got a bunch of signature products for Christmas gifts and I got myself a set of Dark Kiss and a set of Sensual Amber. I also picked up the cute Christmas Scent Portables for stocking stuffers and a few Wallflower refills - Peppermint Bark!

Body Shop also had some crazy buy two get two sale going on so I grabbed four body butters. Two of the cranberry, a satsuma and a pink grapefruit.

Finally, I went to MAC and picked up two of their holiday release Paint Pots. I grabbed Let's Skate! and Morning Frost. I LOOOOVE Morning Frost. I thought I loved Let's Skate too, but on my eyes it's a bit of a hot mess. Maybe I just need to work with it some more....

I've also grabbed a crapload of stuff from Sephora, but that will all be in my Christmas Haul, when I hopefully have pictures!!!

What have you hauled lately?!


Nail of the day: OPI's French Quarter for your Thoughts
Candle of the day: Candles By Victoria - Peppermint Bark

Saturday, November 5, 2011

October Loves

A quick diet update before I get to my loves.

I've managed to gain (wa wa) 2.1lbs, but I'm really hoping it's due to my gym visits. I hit up the gym 3 times last week and kept my diet fairly reasonable (with the exception of one night of take out after trafficaggeddon).

I also grabbed an AMAZING app for my iPhone called My Net Diary Pro. I think it was about $2.00 and it calculates the amount of calories you're burning and the amount you should be consuming. It also has a barcode scanner on it so you can scan a grocery item and the nutrition fact automatically enter into your calories. It also gives you thumbs up and down at the end of the day. For example yesterday it congratulated me for having 0g of trans fat, reducing risk of heart disease and my thumbs down was not having 5g of fibre for breakfast.

So, hopefully this time will be a success.

Now onto my October Loves!!!

Nars Sheer Matte foundation - This is the first high end foundation I've sucked it up and paid for, and I absolutely love it!! I don't know if the coverage is a whole lot better than say, Revlon Colourstay, but it's the longevity that really impresses me. I put my foundation on just over twelve hours ago and it still looks almost as fresh as it did this morning (with no touch ups). I'm someone who normally oils up around my t-zone within a couple of hours typically, but with this Sheer Matte I just get a hint of dewiness.

OPI's French Quarter for your Thoughts - REAL GRAY!!! I thought it would be a dead hand kind of colour on my, but it actually compliments my skin tone quite a bit. I love this colour so much!!! It is also a really easy to wear colour and goes with just about everything. OPI's Ginger Bells is another favorite of mine, but it clashes with a lot of clothes. Run and grab it while it's still out!!!

Revlon's Copper Penny - Another nail polish, but this one is effing beautiful!!!! It looks exactly like a brand new penny. It's kind of a half matte colour without a top coat, and with it is beautiful and glossy. The Revlon metallic polishes this season have been really fabulous.

MAC Sheen Supreme lipsticks - Bare Again is my favorite right now. It's very different from my typical blue based pink that I typically choose. They have a ton of colour and are so moisturizing and shiny. The only downside is that they aren't particularly long wearing.

BBW Leaves & Cozy Autumn Vanilla - OK so my house has smelled like Leaves since it was re-released this fall LOL. I have candles in that scent everywhere and I also have a Wallflower going near my front entrance. So amazing! Cozy Autumn Vanilla is that slutty vanilla scent, but it's so amazing. I've grabbed so many of the lotions when they went 75% off I will smell like a whore forever!!!

Getting to wear boots again! - Let's put it this way... as much as I looooove summer, it's often most important to stay cool and fashionable comes second. In the fall time it's so much easier to look cute! And really.. skinnies, a chunky sweater and some UGGs are way more comfy.