Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best of 2015: Makeup, Hair, Body

Can you believe that 2015 is coming to a close?! December was such a fun blogging month because of all the holiday sets and gift giving ideas. With one last post in 2015, I'll be recapping all of my favorite products I discovered this year!

1) Bioderma Hydrabio Micellar Water*
When I get lazy, this is my go to for taking off my makeup. It does a great job of removing mascara/eyeliner/foundation and all on one cotton pad!

2) DHC Deep Cleansing Oil*- Review
This stuff takes off ALL of my makeup and I love using it when I do a full face for going out. The oil washes off very easily and I can see why it' a cult favorite!

3) Cetaphil Cleansing Cloths
I hit the jackpot with makeup removal products this year. These wipes are saturated and does the best job at removing makeup out of all the wipes I've tried. Also it comes in a 10 pack which makes it convenient to toss in a carry on bag, gym bag or even your purse.

4) Dermalogica Emergency Spot Fix*- Review
I've been getting a couple of pimples here and there and when I use this right when the pimple forms, it's been quite successful at eliminating it from getting bigger.

5) The Body Shop Virgin Mojito*- Review
When I smell this, it takes me right back to sunny days and summer freedom. It doesn't hurt that a mojito is also one of my favorite cocktails. I love that the scent is so unique and delicious!

6) Stila Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector*- Review
At first I thought this would be gimmicky but this allows me to do my face so fast in the morning! With the Wonder Brush, I can literally create a flawless canvas in 15 seconds! I have the shade medium and it's a pretty good match for my skin. It erases pores and creates a smooth surface.

7) Sonia Kashuk Tinted Lip Balm in Hint of Berry
I love Sonia Kashuk brushes and this is the first makeup item I have from the brand. I love the color and the texture of this! It is a gorgeous deep plum and has a glossy finish that smooths over lip lines. 

8) GOSH Forever Lip Shine in 003 Love Story*- Review
I'm a big fan of lip crayons and even more so when they are skinny. I find it difficult to find nude lip colors as my lips are so pigmented but this is a perfect MLBB shade for me.

9) Stila Huge Extreme Mascara*
I'll be posting a review for this in a couple of weeks but my oh my, this creates the longest biggest lashes! The formula is pretty wet so you have to be careful but I can build this on and on!

10) Anastasia Beverly Hills Self Made Palette
Last but certainly not least is this new eyeshadow palette I picked up in November. I love that the shades in here are so unique but there are still many wearable shades mixed in. I think I'll do a Pan that Palette challenge on this in 2016. Unfortunately it's limited edition but I will probably swatch it anyways in the future and we can all drool over its gorgeous shades.

I just want to take the moment to say that it doesn't matter whether the product was sent to me or I bought it myself, I will always post honest reviews. Products with a * in this post were sent to me this year which is so amazing as I had the opportunity to discover so many products that I truly love. I'm so grateful I got the opportunity to work with different brands this year and by doing so, it gave me the ability to review more products for you guys! This blog is a hobby and having integrity to post honest reviews will always be important to me. If you are curious to which items are sent to me I will always have a "Press Sample" label in my reviews that contain items sent to me.

So those are my favorites that I discovered this year! Let me know what's something new you discovered this year that you can't live without!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

PROJECT PAN- Make it By Christmas Finale

Two and a half months ago, I started another project pan project called Make it By Christmas. If you want to see which products I picked, check out my introduction post! I wanted to pick items that are older in my collection and if I don't finish it by Christmas, then I'd toss it out!

So now it's time to see, which products I've used up! I used the tickmarks again to quickly show you which ones I've finished and which ones didn't get completed! Watch the video to hear how it all went!

It's been so much fun doing Project Pans and concentrating on using up a few products! If you like these kinds of posts, please let me know so I can do more next year!

I hope everyone's enjoying their Christmas and holiday break! Get ready for Boxing day!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December Empties and Products I Finished in 2015

I hope everyone's getting ready for Christmas and a wonderful holiday season! Before we wrap up the year, it's time for one last empties and a results of what I finished in 2015!

These are some of the teas, candles, and other random bathroom items I've finished up. The Cetaphil wipes are my new favorite cleansing cloths!

November tea box from Amoda Tea :/ 
David's Tea -Eggnog :( and Lime Gelato :(
Garnier Clean Makeup Wipes :/
Cetaphil Cleansing Cloths :)
BBW Vanilla Bean Noel Handwash :)
Aritiza Jasmine Candle :)

Mini Bebe Handcream :)
L'Occitane Hand Cream :)
Migabee Beevenom & Honey Cream  :) 

Here are some items I'm tossing. Make sure to check your combs from time to time! I also have an ELF lip gloss that's gone bad. I actually really liked it but didn't get to use it too much.

At the beginning of the year, I made a list of items that I wanted to finish in 2015. Let's take a look to see how I did. A green X means I finished it, an orange X means it's out of my collection but I might have either tossed it or passed it on.

I used up the Maybelline mascara and am passed on the NYC mascara and will be getting rid of the eyeshadow (it was part of my project pan). I used the two eyeliners throughout the year but they are no where to being done. I didn't use the eyeshadow trio very much.

I sold the Hot Mama blush. I used up the Maybelline BB cream in my Finish Five by Fall project pan. I hit pan on the Benefit Hoola bronzer and the Bareminerals Ready Blush in my Make it by Christmas project pan (results coming this weekend!) so I'm calling those two successfully finished!

I'm usually pretty good with lipglosses and using them up! I finished the first 5 starting from the left. I'm dying to buy a full sized Marc Jacobs one. I lost the cap to my lip crayon so I had to toss it. And I'm just about done my burt's bees lip balm. I lost it part way through the year and recently refound it!

I wasn't as successful with the lipsticks. I finished the BareMinerals lipstick. I've been using the YSL one in my Make it by Christmas project pan but it's not quite done. The other two products did not get much love this year.

Overall I think I did pretty well! I already picked items for things I want to finish in 2016 so I can't wait to get started!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Best Beauty Stocking Stuffers- Under $20

I am so excited by the Christmas season as there are so many value sets that come out and it's a great way to try new products without breaking the bank. Today I'll be sharing a couple more beauty gift ideas and these are all UNDER $20! Perfect for any secret santas you are participating in or a surprise gift for a friend!

THEFACESHOP Beauty Crackers Trio- $15

I won't spoil the surprise but there are three types of masks (not the sheet ones) hidden in these crackers. I've tried two so far and love them both. All the gift sets are 15% off right now and if you buy 3 or more you can take 40% off.

Sephora Wonderful Dreams Palette- $13
Sold out online :( Check in your local Sephora!

This little palette caught my eye when I was in the checkout at Sephora. It comes with 8 shades in a cute cardboard box. The shades are pigmented and contain a mix of matte and shimmers!

Burt's Bees Lip Balm Trio- $9.99

You can pick between classic or assorted and comes housed in a cute tree packaging. These lipbalms are great for replenishing your dry lips. This pack of three will keep you supplied all year.

Burt's Bees On the Go- $14.99

This kit contains two lip balms (original, vanilla bean), a cuticle cream, a pack of makeup wipes, a travel sized body lotion, and a canvas makeup bag. The value of this one is fantastic and I've always wanted to try their cuticle cream. The Vanilla Bean lip balm is nice and buttery with no tingle.

Also I just found the greatest deal on Burt's Bees website, 7 full size products for only $25!

Fusion Beauty Larger than Life XXL Set- $15

This kit contains a lip plumper and a mascara. The box has a premade to and from tag so it's perfect for quick gift giving. Fusion Beauty is well known for their lash growth treatments so I'm interested to see how the mascara and lip plumper works.

Kiss Manicure Set -$12.96
Available at Walmart and London Drugs

I'm always at a loss for how to give myself a manicure and this kit has everything you need as well as instructions! I'm looking forward to clipping my cuticles and filing my nails into shape!

Did any of these items catch your eye? This will be my last holiday beauty post but if you are interested in more, make sure to read my post about the fresh Lip Party Favors set, Quo Holiday collection, LUSH limited edition releases, and my getting Holiday Party ready with Kiss Products!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fresh Sugar Lip Party Favors Set

Prewrapped in this goregous packaging is the fresh Sugar Lip Party Favors gift set! The set features four deluxe samples of tinted lip balms as well as a deluxe sample size of the lip polish. This retails for $45CAD and can be found at Sephora. 

I first tried fresh lip balm when it was offered as a birthday perk a few years ago. I fell in love with it right away but couldn't justify buying more due to the high price of the normal price ($26 for a full size!!) Thankfully these gift sets makes it much easier to try out different shades and it calculates out to be about $9 for each product. Each of the lip balms contain SPF15 which is perfect for every day protection.

The four shades in this set are:
Cherry: classic red (cream)
Berry: a deep mauvey rose (cream)
Fig: light plum with silver glitter (shimmer)
Ruby: medium toned pink (cream)

The products have medium pigmentation and shows up on the lips much more than what I remember the "rose" shade would. The best part about these lip balms is how smooth and buttery it feels on your lips. There's also the brown sugar lip polish in the set which smells good enough to eat. It's quite exfoliating and helps to rejuvenate my lips.

If you want to spoil a beauty lover in your life, this is the perfect set! I find the regular price on the full size lip balms a bit unbearable. But the cute packaging and the ability to try out different shades makes this set much more worth it. You can check out the fresh gift sets on Sephora as they have a couple of holiday gift set combinations!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Quo 2015 Holiday Collection- Drugstore Gift Ideas

With the holidays coming up, your wallets may be stretched with all the gift giving. But now you can look to Shoppers Drug Mart as a place to pick up reasonably priced gifts for the makeup lovers in your life! Quo is a house brand to Shoppers Drug Mart and they recently released 22 limited edition makeup sets for the holiday season. They range from $3-$75 which means you'll find the perfect gift for your budget! I received a couple to share my thoughts on so keep reading!

Quo Lips All Around-$25

This is my favorite set out of everything I received! This contains 8 lipglosses that range from a creamy nude to a dark shimmery berry. The lipglosses are surprisingly pigmented and are very comfortable to wear. I love how small these are so it's handy to toss into the purse. There's a great mix of shades and finishes in this set so you can either experiment or split the products with a friend.

I love the range of shades! Swatched starting from the top and going clockwise.

Quo Contouring Craze Deluxe Contour Kit- $30

Contour kits are all the rage at Sephora but usually start at around $50! This budget friendly option comes with two brushes as well as a beautiful sturdy case and a full size mirror. The first shade looks very warm in the pan but works really well on the skin. The middle shade is a matte highlight which is not my favorite. The last shade would be great for someone fair skinned or looking for a very natural contour. 

The angled brush is not as dense as I hoped it would be. But it did a pretty good job of creating a nice contour. Both brushes are soft and are small enough to toss in a makeup bag to go.

Quo Eye Focus- $25

This eyeshadow kit contains four powder shadows, 2 cream shadows, and a black eyeliner. The powder shadows are not my type of shades but it would create a nice natural smokey eye. However, I love the two cream eye shadows and there's great portability! The eyeshadows have decent pigmentation but would not create super dramatic looks. 

Quo All about Brows- $20

Doing your brows for beginners can be daunting, so this set has everything you need for perfectly groomed brows! It comes with four stencils, a tweezer, a toolie, a brush, a wax, and two powders. I like the mix and match that's available for the two powders so you can find your exact shade. The stencils are actually quite good! I actually used it to find my shape and pluck my brows. 

My pick out of all these would definitely be the lip gloss set. The quality is amazing and there are so many color options at a great price. Even my Christmas squirrel loves it!

Do you own anything by Quo? Let me know which of these gift sets caught your eye!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Amoda Tea Box- November 2015 Ft. Blend Bee

For all you tea lovers, there's a subscription box for you! I was recently discovered Amoda Tea and received their monthly box which contains four curated tea.

Cost: $18 a month includes free shipping
Inside each Box: 4 teas, steeping guide, and tea filters

The November box features teas from Blend Bee which is a brand that allows you to make your own tea! All of the ingredients are organic so you can be sure the tea you are drinking is good for you.

Spring Clean- This blend was very earthy and therapeutic smelling and tasting. From first taste it reminded me a lot of the Purgo Teatox night time tea. After reading the description I realized it's to aid in digestion and bloating which was the same objectives as the Purgo tea so the similar taste makes sense! This would not be my pick for casual tea drinking but I can see the health benefits.

Oolong Gone- It brews pink due to the hibiscus. It smells so good dry as the sweet orange extract is clearly identifiable. When brewed, the tea had an unexpected earthy smell but the taste is quite sweet and sour. It's not my favorite but an interesting combination.

Lime Green with Envy- Out of the bag, it smells like a Key Lime pie! When brewed, it was a medium strength green tea with a bit of sourness due to the lime.

Sugar & Spice- This is my favorite of the bunch! There's also orange extract in this and it smells like an orange chocolate. When brewed, it's hot and steamy and is just perfect for a cold day. The black tea flavor is there as well as orange and spice (not spicy).

After you've sampled the teas, Amoda Tea also has an online shop which allows you to buy more of which ever tea you fell in love with. The teas averages $3.50 for 10g or $11 for 50g which is slightly more expensive than other stores. For example David's Tea averages $8 for 50g but the smallest quantity you can buy online is 50g. If you are interested in sampling many different flavors, Amoda Tea is great, however you do have to pay a premium.

Unfortunately for November, the only tea I enjoyed was Sugar & Spice. But I'd be interested in trying out new flavors and discovering more tea makers!

Where do you usually buy loose leaf tea? Does a monthly subscription box of tea interest you?

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Holiday Party Ready with Kiss Products + Giveaway!

With the holidays coming up, I like to put some extra touches when I get ready for a big party. Last weekend I went to a corporate holiday party and decided to use some Kiss products to get ready for the night out. Kiss is a brand that brings the salon home and is most well known for their nail products. But they also offer gorgeous lashes and also recently launched a curling iron (I'm giving one away)! I received a few of their products a couple months ago and am super excited to share how they worked.

For my nails, I wanted a fancy but elegant design. These are the KISS Gel Fantasy Nail Kit ($10.99) and my box says KGN08 as the "shade". It's a nude base with gorgeous gold glitter that has an ombre effect. There are various other designs that all incorporate glitter and would be suitable for formal occasions.

There are 24 nails in total with 12 difference sizes. I found it quite easy to find the perfect fit. You can choose to either use their glue which is the traditional way of applying false nails. Or they also had two sets of adhesive tabs and they are two sided stickers that you put on your nails.

As you can see, it looks very natural and the nail length is short-medium.

For parties I like to play up my eyes and I love putting on a pair of false lashes. I used the KISS Looks So Natural Lashes in Shy ($4.97) which gives full length throughout the lash. I really love this line of lashes as both the band and the lashes are soft and flexible. There are 3 styles so you can pick from casual to dramatic. The lashes are tapered at the end so it blends really well with your natural lashes.

I applied the lashes with the KISS Strip Lash Adhesive with Aloe ($3.97) which is a black glue. I like black glues because it doesn't give you that weird gap between your lash line and the band. KISS also has a pack of single use Lash Adhesives (12 for $3.47) which would be so handy when you are going out clubbing. I didn't get a chance to test it out as my lashes stayed on perfect all night!

Lastly, I used the KISS InstaWave Curling Iron ($69.96) to curl my hair. At first this looked really gimmicky because the idea is that you hold the wand and just press a button and the curling iron automatically grabs the hair. I was really scared it was going to tangle and then burn off my hair but it doesn't and actually does a great job of creating curls. They held all night and even the next day. 

Before and after from my getting ready process!


I was really impressed with all the products I used in this process and I want to give away a new InstaWave curling iron as the PR firm gave me two! Unfortunately shipping is expensive so this will be limited to those who can meet up in Vancouver. Leave a comment below to enter. If you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, please state so in the comment and you'll get extra entries. Giveaway ends December 20th, 2015.

All Kiss products mentioned in this post can be found at Wal-Mart and London Drugs in Canada