Birchbox Best Health July 2015 Unboxing

Birchbox Best Health July 2015 Unboxing & Review

You saw my ipsy glambag for July, now on to my Birchbox for July 2015.  This month was curated with the help of Best Health magazine and included a special offer for their magazine.  Their theme was Go for the Gold; have your happiest, healthiest summer yet.

Birchbox Best Health July 2015 Unboxing & Review

This Best Health Birchbox is bright and cute, very summery and one I will reuse.  The box has pinks and yellows and comes with yellow tissue paper and a smaller bright pink box for the cosmetic items inside.

Birchbox Best Health July 2015 Unboxing & Review

As always, Birchbox included a card with details and pricing for the products included in my Best Health Birchbox.  Why does ipsy not do this?

The Balm – Balm Desert

Birchbox Best Health July 2015 Unboxing & Review The Balm Desert

This bronzer/blush two in one from The Balm was the one I most wanted to try when I saw the products on my account page.  Sadly, the sample is so small, it is barely useable (more about that when I post swatches).

Lounging poolside in Palm Springs with the cast of Mad Men may be a fantasy, but we can still snag some of that warm desert glow with this silky shimmer powder from theBalm® cosmetics. The fade-resistant formula works as a blush and bronzer in one to give skin that fresh, sun-kissed look—even when our late-night antics leave us feeling otherwise.

Coastal Scents Revealed Palette Sampler – Latte

Birchbox Best Health July 2015 Unboxing & Review Coastal Scents Latte

You can never have enough brown eyeshadow!  My Best Health Birchbox included a sample of four shades from the Coastal Scents Revealed 3 palette.

They say good things come in threes—and now that we tried the latest palette from Coastal Scents, a follow-up to the brand’s popular Revealed and Revealed 2, we’re inclined to agree. It has 20 shadows in a variety of new shades—from palest pink to rich goldenrod, vivid plum to deep brown—with a mix of matte, satin, and shimmery finishes. The smooth, powdered shadows glide on and blend easily.

They are small, but a decent size.  Swatches coming soon!

Vasanti BrightenUp!

Birchbox Best Health July 2015 Unboxing & Review Vasanti BrightenUp!

I know lots of people complained about this one as they have received it before in other boxes, but I had never tried it.  Lately, I have been using a Lactic Acid Peel to help with my skin texture, so it was great to get something to help remove that dead skin.  Vasanti BrightenUp! actually works quite well for my skin, I may even buy a full size.

To fully appreciate this professional-grade scrub, a brief skincare lesson is in order. Let’s start with enzymes: These potent molecules actually dissolve the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. Next up are microderm crystals: ultrafine minerals that buff away tired skin. Vasanti’s multi-action exfoliator features both these skincare wonders, plus healing natural ingredients to get the jump on irritation. The result? Renewed, refreshed skin without any redness.

Rusk HeatShift

Birchbox Best Health July 2015 Unboxing & Review RUSK Heatshift

Another RUSK product from Birchbox.  This time, RUSK Heatshift a re-styling cream with medium hold.  The humidity means my hair needs to be rewashed too often to try this, but the consistency seems good.

Tousled waves? Romantic braids? Chic updo? With this unique formula from RUSK®, there’s no need to pick just one ‘do: This cream allows you to restyle any look without having to rewash your hair or even reapply product. That means you can switch your style at the drop of a hat (and not worry about hat hair, either). Not only that, this cream reduces your styling and blow dry time by 50 percent—leaving you more time to spend enjoying your style (whatever it may be).

No4 Clarifying Shampoo

Birchbox Best Health July 2015 Unboxing & Review No4 Clarifying Shampoo

I really don’t get companies that send a shampoo sample with a matching conditioner.  Without knowing how the duo performs, I am unlikely to switch.  I received No4 Clarifying Shampoo.  A decent size sample that you could use when travelling.

At the end of a long day we could all use a fresh start—the same goes for our hair. When product buildup and styling stress leave your locks feeling dull, use Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo, subtly scented with white freesia, golden amber, and warm musk, to gently cleanse without stripping moisture or color.

It does wash well without drying my hair out, but at the price point and without trying the conditioner, I can’s see switching.

In all, I like the products included in the Best Health Birchbox but it just feels like something is lacking in it.  Still more useful than my ipsy glambag for July.  Swatches and comparisons of the two brown eyeshadow samples coming soon!

If you want to subscribe to Birchbox, you can do so here.

Ipsy July 2015 Summer Lovin’ Glambag Unboxing

Ipsy July 2015 Summer Lovin Unboxing Review

Can you unbox a bag that doesn’t actually come in a box?   Anyway… on to my ipsy glambag preview for July 2015.  The theme of this month is Summer Lovin’ although, most of my products are not really that summer themed.

Nika K HQ Quad Eye Shadow in Sierra

Ipsy July 2015 Summer Lovin Unboxing Review Nika K Eyeshadow Quad in Sierra

I was a bit surprised to see a full size makeup product in my July glambag.  It turns out that Nika K eyeshadow quads cost around $5 and do not ship to Canada, so not surprising that I was not familiar with the brand.

Experience radiant color and exceptional wear with the new HQ Quad Eyeshadows. Available in expertly curated, complementary color combinations, each quad features shades optimal for highlighting, contouring, and defining the eyes. They boast an incredible formula with buttery smooth pigmentation, that seamlessly applies and blends.

I received Sierra, a mix of very wearable neutral brown tones.  I will swatch and review later with a similar toned palette from my birchbox.

Teeez Read My Lips in Killing Me Softly

Ipsy July 2015 Summer Lovin Unboxing Review Teeez Read My Lips in Killing Me Softly

This long-lasting lipstick combines the power of highly-pigmented coverage and a unique satin, matte finish. The lipstick’s smooth, ultra creamy texture and added coconut oil extract nourishes and hydrates the lips, with color that lasts for up to 8 hours.

A brighter lipstick for summer in the Summer Lovin glambag and probably the more summer themed item in the bag.  Teeez Read My Lips in Killing Me Softly is a matte coral colour.  It feels like it has a great consistency going on and does not have that drying feeling of many matte lipsticks, but the colour just does not last on me.

Ipsy July 2015 Summer Lovin Unboxing Review Teeez Read My Lips in Killing Me Softly Swatches

Here it is with one layer and then two (blotted) on the second swatch.  As you can see, not completely matte looking and a really nice shade.  I wanted to love it, and loved the swatched but on the lips, it sinks into creases and is just gone after a short time leaving your lips kinda stained but patchy looking.  A coworker borrowed it to use as blush, however, and it looked great and lasted hours!

 Pur-lisse Pur-delicate Soy Milk Cleanser

Ipsy July 2015 Summer Lovin Unboxing Review pur-lisse pur-delicate soy milk cleanser

Next up is pūr~delicate gentle soymilk cleanser & makeup remover which was decent, just not enough to get me to pay more or switch brands.

Appreciate your skin, don’t irritate it. Cleanse the day away in one simple step with this sulfate-free blend of Soy Milk, Whole Oat and White Tea. This gentle cleanser leaves your face silky soft, without a trace of impurity. The 4-in-1 sulfate free & non-drying formula gently washes away dirt and makeup (even mascara!), while soothing and toning skin.

It had a hard time with mascara, since it is summer, I am all about the waterproof mascara because a sweaty face is bad enough without raccoon eyes.  It may take off regular mascara without issues.  It did a good job of the rest of my makeup without rubbing the skin to scrub it off.

Coolway Beachy Salt Spray for Hair

Ipsy July 2015 Summer Lovin Unboxing Review Coolway Beachy Sea Salt Spray

I received a salt spray from Birchbox last month and was not wow-ed by it, and Coolway’s Beachy Salt Spray was even less impressive.  In fairness, I don’t need much texture, I am more about making my hair less textured and more sleek/straight.

Perfect for creating beachy waves and natural styles with a non-sticky, matte finished look. Formulated with Dead Sea salts for additional mineral nourishment.   This spray texturizes and separates hair for a natural, fresh-from-the-beach look.  It has a weightless formula for bouncy, flexible, wavy hair and a mineral-rich formula consisting of Dead Sea Salt for soothing and strengthening of the scalp and hair.

I could do with the soothing and strengthening, but it is just not for me.  I imagine people with different hair types may love it.

Finally, I also received pink tweezers from Crown Brush in my July glambag. I imagine that most people who subscribe to ipsy will have a decent pair of tweezers in their makeup bag, I know I have several.  They were decent tweezers, I just can’t see the point in including them for beauty lovers, many will have better ones and several sets like it.

Overall, not the most impressive July glambag.  I do like the actual bag, it is bright, fits in my purse and has a decent lining.  With ipsy, you can see the products that were included in other people’s glambags which makes me a little jealous.  I wish you could just pick 5 from their list.  I would have picked Essie nail polish, Nudestix Magnetic eye colour, Tarte Amazonian Clay bronzer, Crown duo eyeshadow/eyeliner brush and Eva NYC dry shampoo or Olehenrisken cleansing cloths.

Marcelle Mascara Waterproofing Topcoat Review

Marcelle Mascara Waterproofing Topcoat Review

Mascara and I have a love hate relationship.  My lashes are not long and dark enough to go au naturel but I am yet to find the perfect mascara.  This is mostly because my eyes water a lot.  Non waterproof mascaras always seem to look better, but who wants to look like a panda after an hour of wearing them?  So I have always “made do” with waterproof versions that I like, but do not love.  Everything from $3 to $30 mascaras, and I can’t find that perfect waterproof one?

Marcelle Mascara Waterproofing Topcoat Review

Well, Marcelle has to my rescue!  Now I can use the non-waterproof mascaras I love, but not look like a raccoon due to sweat, rain or watering eyes.  They have a mascara waterproofing top coat.  It comes with a basic mascara brush, but unlike clear mascaras or topcoats I have tried before, is more liquid and gently coats the eyes without a clumpy mess.

You do need to wait until your mascara is totally dry.  The waterproofing topcoat liquid is runny, as you can see from it almost dripping out in the picture above.  It is not great if you use a mascara with fibres as it either brushes them away or sticks them too close to get the full effect.  But on top of my fave Diorshow, no issues at all.  Once dry, it has a slightly glossier look than your regular mascara.  Personally, I like that, but it is not for everyone and it does change the way your mascara looks.  You are brushing through using a different style of mascara wand.

Marcelle Mascara Waterproofing Topcoat Review

I have really put this to the test, in 40 degree humidity days, while crying (long story) and even slept in it once (yeah I know, don’t sleep in your makeup) and not one case of panda eyes!

Marcelle’s waterproofing topcoat mascara has been around for a while, two years or so, judging by other reviews.  I have no idea how I didn’t know about it sooner, but I am glad I have found it now.  My only issue with it is that the top coat is so liquid it tends to move down the mascara wand to the centre, so it can be hard to coat your lashes fully.  I hold it for a few seconds letting it run back down the bristles and make sure I use that side to sweep my lashes.

Marcelle’s mascara waterproofing topcoat is available at most drug stores and is regularly priced at $16.95.  I picked mine up at Shoppers Drug Mart when I had a coupon for bonus points on cosmetics.

[re]fresh Skin Therapy Lactic Acid Peel & Eye Recovery Serum

[re]fresh refresh skin therapy lactic acid peel review

My skin has been terrible lately.  With the changing weather, I have a sudden outbreak of pimples and orange peel like skin.  Your makeup can’t cover everything, and with the recent heatwave, will not last the day, so I have been making a real effort to “fix” my skin.  I have used [re]fresh peels before, trying their fruit acid peel.

This time, I opted for their 10% Lactic Acid Peel.  It is their gentlest exfoliator and is supposed to remove dead and damaged skin cells without irritation – because I do not need added redness! Lactic acid speeds skin cell renewal and improves skin’s ability to retain moisture.  Compared to their fruit acid peel, this one smells more like acid (think white vinegar smell) but is just as gentle.

One of the things I love about [re]fresh peels is that they do not need a neutralizing agent and are neutralized with just cool water.  If it starts to burn (which the Lactic Acid Peel did not), you can easily rinse your face without measuring other ingredients.  You have to be careful with any peel in summer,that fresh skin is more easily burned, so use peels at night and lots of sunscreen!

While gentle, I find the Lactic Acid peel is helping.  I have been using it 3x a week and a gentle scrub the next day to help scrub away the dead skin cells that it removes as you don’t notice the skin sloughing off when using it.

[re]fresh refresh skin therapy peptide + intense eye recovery serum

As an added bonus, [re]fresh sent me a full size sample of their Peptide + Intense eye recovery serum.

Unlike most products that are open to bacteria, they use an airless pump precision applicator to maximizes eye serum effectiveness.  The product stays sealed, extending product lifetime, eliminating waste or spills.  Considering it is $50, not wasting any is a good thing.

Refresh Skin Therapy’s Peptide+ Intense Eye Recovery Serum is a dynamic and effective dark circle elimination treatment. Using an active ingredient mix of peptides derived from purified soy, rice, and yeast, the formula positively stimulates blood circulation away from the eyes to dramatically reduce dark circles and puffiness.

I use a eye serum regularly as I get dark circles.  I haven’t been using it long enough to see any huge change (and would not expect it to work so quickly when I have been using a similar treatment) but the skin around my eyes already seems firmer so it definitely helps with the puffiness within just 2 weeks.

Buy [re]fresh products

Refresh Skin Therapy can be bought directly through their website or on Amazon.ca.  Personally, I find that Amazon is better for us Canadians as it ships from Amazon, so free shipping and no worrying about duty/taxes at the border.  However, prices vary on both, so check before buying for the best deal.

*Prices current July 20th 2015.

Disclaimer: I received these products free of charge for review purposes but was not compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Zakia’s Moroccan Black Soap Review

Zakias Moroccan Black Soap & Argan Oil

I have tried Zakia’s products before and am in love with their Ghassoul Clay Mask so when they sent me samples of their Moroccan Black Soap with Argan Oil plus a bottle of pure Argan Oil and a Kessa glove, I couldn’t wait to try it.

What is Moroccan Black Soap?

Black soap (Beldi) is a thick paste made with olives and Argan Oil.  It is a great source of natural vitamin E for your skin and cleanses, softens and removes toxins.  Like other Zakia’s products, it is free of Polyethylene glycol (PEG), mineral oil, silicon, and parabens!

Zakias Moroccan Black Soap & Argan Oil

Surprisingly, (or not, since olives) it is not actually black but a green paste.  It is really thick and to use, you scoop a little out and put it on a bath pouf/mesh sponge (whatever you want to call them).  It foams well, which surprised me.  I thought it would be more like washing myself with a paste.  Moroccan Black Soap treatments are meant as a pre-cleanse before exfoliating, so they are best used in a hot shower steaming your skin first to open your pores.  Leave the foamed soap on your body for a while to let it release toxins then rinse.

Once you have cleansed with the Black Soap, you use the Kessa glove to get rid of all of your dead skin.  The glove does not feel that rough when dry, but I could not believe the amount of dead skin it removed.  It was actually kind of gross.  You want your skin to be damp but not too wet when using the Kessa glove.  Dampen the glove then rub gently.  If using the Kessa glove on your face, be very gentle.  Rinse again to get rid of all of that dead skin then use Argan Oil or your favourite body moisturizer to sooth and moisturize your skin.

The whole routine takes more time than I usually have to shower but it felt amazing afterwards.  The foamed black soap also makes for a good shave cream for when I am too lazy to reach for another product (I use conditioner and all sorts to shave my legs because of my laziness).

Buy Zakia’s Moroccan Black Soap

The Black Soap + Argan Oil bundle I received is available for $24.99 USD directly from Zakia’s.  I am not a huge fan of the plain scent, I love a steamy bathroom that smells pretty. Despite the added argan oil in my Black Soap sample, personally I would buy one of the other bundles such as the Orange Blossom Black Soap and buy the Argan Oil separately.

Now though August 15th, you can save an extra 20% off their already reduced prices for these items with promo code ZMBLOG-111.

Disclaimer: I was sent these items to review free of charge but was not compensated for my post and all opinions are my own.

Birchbox Say Yes June 2015

Birchbox June 2015 Say Yes Unboxing

I know it is July!  My ipsy subscription just arrived for this month which reminded me that I have not shared my June Birchbox unboxing yet.

Birchbox June 2015 Say Yes Unboxing

Birchbox June 2015 Say Yes Unboxing

Starting with the box itself.  June was Say Yes (to Adventure) inspired by Meghan Markle with her Tig Picks.  I love Suits so I was excited for this Birchbox, but honestly I am not amazed by any of the products  (I still have two to try).

Cynthia Rowley Glow Getter Highlighter

Cynthia Rowley GlowGetter: Birchbox June 2015 Say Yes Unboxing

You just can’t beat the convenience of painting on highlighter with a brush. And now we’ve found the perfect formula to go with the perfect applicator: one that goes on smooth, dries to a pearlescent finish, and has just the right amount of shimmer (hint: not too much). This velvety highlighter works for all skin tones, delivering a subtle sheen that lights up your features. It’s an ace at strobing, or just adding a little extra brightness to cheekbones, brows, and the inner corners of your eyes.

If you received this sample of Cynthia Rowley Glow Getter and have not tried it yet, shake it really well before opening the seal.  I pulled off the little tab and lost a fair amount of watery shimmery liquid.  I actually like the colour of this highlighter, I have a lot of pink in my cheeks so the colour suits me.  I will do a swatch and review at some point but it is not very long lasting.  I can’t be sure losing some of it did not impact the way it works though.  Maybe with the brush that the full size comes with, I would like it, but who knows, at $32 it wasn’t outstanding enough to buy the full size.

Naobay Oxygenating Cream

Naobay Oxygenating Moisturizer Birchbox June 2015 Say Yes Unboxing

We’ll use avocado wherever we can—smashed onto toast, sliced on tacos, baked into extradecadent brownies—so it was only a matter of time until we were smearing it straight on our face. This eco-conscious moisturizer is loaded with avocado and olive oils. The healthy fats nourish skin, leaving our complexion hydrated—and (almost) as smooth as our favorite snack.

Probably my favourite product of this Birchbox.  Naobay’s moisturizer is light, absorbs well and works for my skin.  It is $45 for a full size and I don’t think it is that much more impressive than my regular moisturizer to pay that much plus order online since it is not sold nearby.  It is made with avocado and olive oil so good for your skin and one of the Tig Picks included in my box.

Beauty Protector Beauty Wash

Beauty Protector Cleansing Wash Birchbox June 2015 Say Yes Unboxing

We adore the refreshing clean and out-of-this-world floral scent of our Beauty Protector Protect & Shampoo so much, we’ve been seriously tempted to use it all over (don’t judge). So we couldn’t wait to lather up with the brand’s new body wash: The rich, foamy gel leaves our skin fresh and clean—and smells just as amazing as the rest of the line.

Like most of the others, Beauty Protector is good, just not amazing enough for me to switch or pay more.  It happened to be on hand when one of the cats knocked over a bowl of pasta sauce and was covered in it, so I now have a lovely sweet smelling cat.  It did not dry his fur out (running out for a pet shampoo was not an option when he was covering the place in sauce) so that is a plus.  At $19 for a full size and not readily available, I will stick to my Bath & Body Works stuff.

Jeff Chastain Parlor Seal Salt Spray

Parlor Sea Salt Spray Birchbox June 2015 Say Yes Unboxing

Beach hair is no longer reserved for long weekends. Bottling the effects of that salty air, this spray from NYC stylist Jeff Chastain offers instant volume and a tousled texture. Sweet almond extract infuses strands with softness, fullness, and brilliance, while vitamin-rich algae extract nourishes and protects the scalp. Adding to this spray’s addictive nature is the scent of ripe peach, fresh-cut grass, and white woods.

I tend to straighten my hair, if I have it curly, I need a lot more than some Parlor sea salt spray to keep it there.  I imagine that this will work well for some people but my hair needs to be beaten into submission and this isn’t enough for me.  If your hair is more easily styled, you will probably like it.  For the hour or so my hair stayed wavy, it did have a beachy look to it and wasn’t sticky.

Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels

skyn-eye-gels

As a glacier-dotted island just this side of the Arctic Circle, Iceland has plenty of experience with cool. So it’s no surprise that this homegrown brand’s cooling eye gels—loaded with Icelandic glacial water and Arctic botanical extracts—are unbeatably refreshing. They reduce the appearance of puffiness and fine lines while working to brighten, firm, and soothe delicate undereye skin.

Another Tig Pick, but I have not tried them yet.  Strange since when I opened my June Birchbox, this was the product I was most looking forward to trying.  I will review it with pictures once I have tried them!

Emi-Jay Hair Tie

emi-jay hair elastic Birchbox June 2015 Say Yes Unboxing

I also got a bonus product this month.

Whether twirling, braiding, tying, curling or combing your hair, the best styles require the very best tools. The printed hair ties are handmade, hand-dyed, and won’t snag your strands. And with a rainbow’s worth of hues and a range of patterns, these versatile ties are practical enough for everyday wear, but dressy enough for a special occasion.

My hair is thick and these don’t go around it enough times, it is either too loose or about to break but they seem like they are decent quality.  I also prefer simple elastics without the extra piece of fabric sticking out.

Birchbox June 2015 Say Yes Unboxing

With the exception of the hair tie, I will happily use my samples, but I don’t love them enough to rebuy.  Maybe because my ipsy bag was pretty good last month, this just pales in comparison and I would like it more otherwise, but just not outstanding.  I had hoped to find some products I love from my subscription boxes.

If you want to subscribe to Birchbox, you can do so here.

Zoya Mystery Mini Swatches: Violet, Temperance & Marion

Zoya Mystery Mini Set Violet Marion Temperance Swatches

Every so often, Zoya releases special sets for a limited time.  Usually, these offers have only been open to US residents, but they recently started shipping to Canada too.  While you still get free shipping with some of these special offers, you do have to pay an international surcharge, so not quite as cheap but still some amazing deals.  So when they mentioned the newest Zoya Mystery Mini set, I just had to have it.  It includes three never seen before shades of nail polish plus a special gift.   I had a friend buy it in the US to save on the cost of shipping so mine was a little later in arriving and I held off looking for swatches so it would still be a surprise.

What’s Included In The Summer 2015 Mystery Mini Set?

  • Zoya Violet
  • Zoya Temperance
  • Zoya Marion
  • Remove+ trial size
  • Zoya Hot Lips Sweet Tart

Zoya Mystery Mini – Zoya Violet

Zoya Mystery Mini Set Violet Swatches

Zoya Violet may be my favourite purple creme nail polish EVER.  It is a little dusty and reminds me of Zoya Lotus without the  shimmer.  The formula is amazing (Zoya rarely fails on formula for me).  It was almost opaque in one coat with little patchy-ness.  I am generally not a fan of plain old cremes, I like a little shimmer in my life so I am thrilled to love this one, especially a purple!

Zoya Mystery Mini – Zoya Temperance

Zoya Mystery Mini Set Temperance Swatches

Oh Zoya Temperance.  If Violet was not pretty enough, next out of the box was Zoya Temperance.  A cool medium grey (that for once does not lean too green on me) with a beautiful pink shimmer.  This is similar to one of my fave Essence polishes, Grey-t to Meet You but a but darker and likely to suit all skintones. I can see this becoming my go-to grey polish and really hope Zoya bring it out as a full size at some point.

Zoya Mystery Mini – Zoya Marion

Zoya Mystery Mini Set Marion Swatches

Finally, Zoya Marion.  I wish I could take a photo that shows this polish as I see it but it is not happening.  Not one of my photos did Marion justice.  It leans from a golden nude to pink and purple.    It has loads of shimmer but a great formula with no glitter lumps.  The first coat is a little patchy but it evens out with the second coat and the opacity surprised me.  The first coat seemed so opaque but the second was enough for the opacity shown above.

I am really impressed with this Zoya mystery mini set.  All three are shades I would have bought if they were released in collections/as stand alone colours and the added bonus of a small bottle of Zoya Remove+ for my weekend bag plus Hot Lips is great!

How Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Ruined My No Buy July

Drug Store Beauty Haul Using Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Bonus Points

On June 25th I decided to join the No Buy July challenge and started right then.  With No Buy July, you still buy groceries etc.  Although, it is a great time to use up all the stuff in your cupboards too, lots of new foods come out in July.  You just don’t buy all the extra stuff we spend on.  Take inventory of what you have and what you need and get your spending priorities in order.

I was doing so well.   I avoided the BECCA Champagne Pop release, I looked but did not touch when someone shared a store with Essence products abroad, the only thing I had bought other than groceries is a Starbucks tea latte, and the gift card I used was free so it doesn’t count!  That is, until Shoppers Drug Mart sent me my personalized Optimum coupons for the week.

Drug Store Beauty Haul Using Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Bonus Points

At bonus redemption, you need 475 Optimum points for $1 spent at the highest level, I usually go with 500 in my head to make deals easier to work out.  So I get around $5 back on any Rimmel face colour, $7 on Rimmel lipstick and $6 on Essie.  That would make them so cheap.  Thankfully, my regular Optimum offer for the week needed me to spend $75.  So I resisted once again.  But they got me, they reeled me in with an offer for 8000 Optimum points when you spend $40.  Coupled with the items above and Rimmel on sale at 25% off, who can say no?

  • Rimmel Stay Blushed in Peach Flush $4.29 (and $5 in Optimum points!)
  • Rimmel Moisture Renew in Notting Hill Nude $4.49 (and $7 in Optimum points)
  • Essie Coat Couture $8.99 (and $6 in Optimum points)
  • Essence double ended sharpener $2.49
  • Avene travel kit $13.50 – $5 coupon sent to their mailing list
  • Rimmel Wonderlash with Argan Oil in Waterproof Black $7.49

On top of the item bonus points, I got my 8000 Optimum  points for spending $40 too, a total of 17,310 points worth $36.44 at the upcoming bonus Optimum redemption.  I paid $5 for all of this after points – who can say no to that?

They did have some clearance Essie I could have picked up for “free” with my points coupon, but I wanted that colour.  I could have bought groceries for the other three items, but by then, I was done.  I wanted to try Rimmel’s Wonderlash and it was on sale.  I had a coupon for the Avene kit.  If you were not aware, you can use coupons (not ones for free items or any Shoppers Drug Mart coupons) and still get your Optimum points.

Now, I have lots of points, the cosmetics woman told me what will go on clearance and I know there is a redemption this weekend.  If that was not enough, I got home to find these sitting in my mailbox.

Drug Store Beauty Haul Using Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Bonus Points

Not content with reeling me in by email, they want to reinforce it with some old school mailed coupons too?  It is like a big flashing neon sign saying buy all of the makeup.  I am doomed, and No Buy July is officially over for me just a week into the month!  Expect swatches of these at some point!

Shark Week Nailart #NOTD

shark week nailart - tea & nail polish #NOTD

I was painting my nails with Hard Candy Sky when one of the Canadian Beauty Bloggers mentioned that it was Shark Week and we would have a linky for our shark week themed makeup and nailart looks.

While almost everyone has heard of Shark Week, if you are not familiar with what it actually is, Shark Week is an annual, week-long programming block on the Discovery Channel which features shark-based programming, real and fictional.  Shark Week has been around since 1988 and has a huge following now.  Personally, I only watch the many viewings of Jaws but that doesn’t mean I won’t get in on some Shark Week nailart.

Shark Week Nailart – Polishes Used

  • Base: Hard Candy Sky
  • Sea Foam: Essie Trophy Wife
  • Fin: Essence Nail Art Tattoo Pen in Black
  • Fin/Sea Foam Accent: Sally Hansen I Love Nailart Silver
  • Shark: Quo by Orly Runway Ready
  • Mouth: Rimmel Salon Pro Hot Gossip & Sally Hansen I Love Nailart Silver (for texture)
  • Teeth: Sally Hansen I Love Nailart White

How To Get My Shark Week Nailart Look:

Since I had already painted my nails blue, it worked.  So I used Hard Candy Sky as the base and used a fan brush to add Essie Trophy Wife as water/sea foam.  I then drew the shark head using Quo Runway Ready.  It is a little textured as I tried Sally Hansen I Love Nailart Silver first but it was not dark enough to show well (although silver sharks rock).

Once dry, I added the mouth using Rimmel Salon Pro Hot Gossip.  The Sally Hansen I Love Nailart Silver that I originally used as the shark base really helped give the mouth a more real look rather than plain red as it has some texture to it.  Realizing that I have lost several of my smaller nailart brushes (damn cats are always stealing brushes) I added the teeth with a small dotter.

Once dry, I added a little more Essie Trophy Wife by the mouth as you always see them with a mouthful of water and then two coats of top coat.

For the fin, I used Essence’s Nail Art Tattoo Pen to draw the fin.  I then added accents to the fin and sea foam around it using the Sally Hansen I Love Nailart Silver.

More Shark Week Beauty Looks

Check out more nail art and makeup looks from the Canadian Beauty Bloggers here.

Ipsy Swatches: Formula X Nail Polish, Tre’StiQue & OFRA Eyeliners

ipsy june 2015 swatches

I figured it was about time that I share the swatches of the items in my June 2015 Ipsy bag.  You can see the products here for more details.

Ipsy Formula X Nail Polish in Power Source Swatch

Starting with  Formula X nail colour in Power Source.  As I mentioned in the unboxing, I was surprised this was chosen for me as I have all of my options set for pale skin and Power Source is the feature colour in the Formula X set for medium-deep skintones.  That being said, the colour, while bright does seem to work on me and makes a great summer colour.

I have never bought any Formula X polishes before, without trying them all I had to go on was a bad review from a coworker (who admittedly only buys drug store brands so may have been expecting miracles from the higher price tag of a decent polish).  The formula was amazing on this one, almost perfect in one coat but needs the second for full coverage.  It went on even and did not run near the cuticle plus it dries quickly!

Ipsy tre’StiQue Mini Shadow Crayon in Kona Coffee

Next up is the tre’StiQue Mini Shadow Crayon in Kona Coffee. This eye crayon is rounded so it doesn’t get close to the lash line well but blends like a dream.  This is a good thing as it goes on the skin almost chalky as you can see near the top of the swatch above.

ipsy June 2015 tre'StiQue Mini Shadow Crayon in Kona Coffee

I would have preferred that it be a bit more pointy as the cap seems to indicate.  I love the colour they chose for me though, it builds so you can blend it lightly over the lid and use more for the crease and get a great look with just one colour so will definitely be a great addition to my purse makeup bag.

OFRA Eyeliner Turquoise Swatch Ipsy June 2015

It seems that most people received  OFRA Cosmetics Turquoise Eyeliner, a strange choice of colour for an eyeliner if you are sending to a large number of ipsy members.  As you can see from the swatch, it is very pigmented and has a bit of shimmer to it.  A nice colour and great coverage if you are into wearing blue but not for me.