Sunday, August 20, 2017

Finding the Best Sales (Abercrombie, Club Monaco, Hollister, Urban Outfitters)

In the past few months, I have been going on a bit of a shopping spree. But in my defence, they were all during crazy deals (think 70%+ off regular price!) While these deals might not be available right now, I wanted to share the types of promos I found so you can wait for the next big sale! My current rule of thumb is to wait until there's an additional mark down on sale items for any pieces that are not must haves. Keep reading to see what deals I found!

Courtesy of Pinterest

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Covergirl Oh Sugar in Candy Bonbon and Punch Cocktail

When did drugstore packaging get so cute?! Today I'm reviewing the Oh Sugar! lip balms from Covergirl and from first glance, I was in love! The packaging was so sleek and modern, nothing like when drugstore lip products were all just in clear plastic round caps!

There are 10 colors to this line and I'm trying out 2 Candy Bonbon and 6 Punch Cocktail. These lip balms are inflused with grapeseed oil, avocado butter and Vitamins C&E. Not only does it leave a light wash of color, it aims to soften and nourish your lips too! The color selection is quite diverse from a pale nude called Taffy to a dark berry shade called Gumdrop. All of the shades stay quite safe and wearable however in the nude, pink, and berry families.

I really love that the lid of each shade is color coordinated to what is inside. I can just imagine how cute this would be if I had all 10 shades lined up in my vanity! Candy Bonbon is a dusty rose that ends up being a very light wash of color and adds shine to my lips. Punch Cocktail surprisingly has a lot of pigmentation and gives a very nice juicy red look!

There is a light scent to both of these lip balms. It starts off smelling like lemons which I enjoy but then you get a bit of the old school lipstick taste that I don't enjoy. It feels moisturizing on the lips and definitely leans towards the function of a lip balm although it looks like a lipstick. I love that I can get the shine with no stickiness. You have to reapply pretty frequently but that's expected from a product of this formula.

Wearing Candy Bonbon

Wearing Punch Cocktail

The formula, packaging, and shade selection are all on point for the new Covergirl Oh Sugar lip balms! The only thing I didn't quite like was the smell but I'll get past that to keep these cute little things in my purse! If you are a fan of lightly tinted lip products, make sure to give these a try!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Guide to Taking the Prague to Budapest Night Train- EN477

If you are traveling to Eastern Europe, you're likely to visit both Prague and Budapest! Going between the cities is easy by train and there's even an option of an overnight train! There's a daily train leaving the Prague station around midnight and arriving at Budapest around 7am. This is a great way to save time and money! I'll be sharing essential information for taking the overnight train EN477 including where to leave your luggage, where to eat, how to find the cheapest tickets, and how to book a compartment.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Le Petit Marseillais Body Wash- Inspired by South of France

I don't think I've ever really blogged about a body wash before, but there's a first time for everything! New to Canada, Le Petit Marseillais brings a collection of body washes in scents inspired by the south of France. Apparently they are the #1 selling bodywash brand in France!

The company was started in 1981 with a cleansing bar. After being successful in France, Belgium and Switzerland, Johnson & Johnson purchased them in 2006 and now it's expanding in Canada! There's a set of five scents (1 not pictured) that's inspired by France.

The color packaging really drew me in and caught my attention right away. The logo is also adorable! It's of a small sailor boy, looking away while sitting on a window sill.

Shower Creme
Although these four are all shower cremes, the consistency between them is not all the same. Some of the scents are definitely more runny than others. However, all lather nicely and rinse off easily. I still need to moisturize after I get out of the shower, but my skin does not feel stripped. The official notes of each scent is listed next to the name but I'll try my best to describe what I smell.

Orange Blossom: orange blossoms, jasmine, vanilla, and musk
This one was a much lighter fragrance than expected with not a lot of orange. It was more lightly floral, fragrant, and with a bit of yogurt (maybe the vanilla?)

Lavender Honey: fresh and sweet lavender
This was a lot less lavender than I expected. It's a nice fragrant floral scent but the lavender does not come across as strongly as you might imagine. The honey scent however comes across and you can smell the sweetness.

Cotton Milk & Poppy: soft and powdery like cotton, balanced with fruity floral notes
You can envision the cotton from this soft and powdery scent. However, the fruity notes actually does balance it and it's quite the bright pop of scent in the shower! This one's probably my favorite as it's such an interesting contrast between the soft cotton and the juicy fruits.

Vanilla Milk: vanilla, ylang ylang, pistachio
I thought this one smelled a bit like Yakult (the Asian yogurt drink). It has a bit of milkiness but also a bit of sourness. It's a very interesting scent that I don't think is similar to any other body products I have.

Shower Gel
There is one other scent which is in the Shower Gel formula. While the rest of the products came out in a milky consistency, this formula is in a transparent gel formula. The effectiveness is the same but it is a lot more runny so it'd be better to use in a sponge as I waste a lot of product using it with my hands.

White Peach & Nectarine: juicy scents of stone fruits
There is a very fruit forward scent but without knowing it was suppose to be peach & nectarine, I think I would be scratching my head trying to figure out what fruits they are. The smell isn't artificial but just didn't come across clearly what it is. This is the most summer appropriate scent so if you want to prolong summer happiness, get your hands on this one!

These work well and actually retail for an affordable price of $7.99! I love the colorful packaging and it's the perfect addition to my shower!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Empties #3

I saved up my trash so I can give you a mini review! Surprisingly most items this time around are all things I really enjoyed! I can't believe the year is more than half done. I need to use up more makeup items for the rest of year, especially a powder product.

Tocca Florence :) The scent was quite unique with a lot of earthy notes, definitely made me feel like a sophisticated Parisian

Pixi Brow Gel Pen :) Very pigmented if you press hard, but easy to use once you get the hang of it

Ciate Wonderwand Mascara :) - Review: I really liked this mascara as it made my lashes feel plushy

Fusion Beauty Lashfusion XXL Mascara :) - Review: I was able to really build up my lashes with this mascara!

GOSH Forever Lip Shine in Flirty Dreams :/ - Review I loved this so much when I first got it but recently it sank into my lip lines but not sure if it's because it's old.

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in High Stakes :) Huge fan of this color! I used it during the fall season so much!

I clearly chose to never wash my face! I didn't realize I used up so many cleansing wipes.

Equate Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths :) I only used these to wipe off swatches on my arms

Sephora Rose Cleansing Wipes :/ These were okay but I would have to scrub a bit and also the scent was a bit strong.

Sephora Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes :) These were so effective at taking off makeup!

Clean & Clear Facial Cleansing Wipes :) I received this as a sample on the streets and loved these. The product in here helps to take off makeup so easily!

Life Facial Cleansing Wipes :/

Bliss Grapefruit + Aloe Body Butter :) - Such an amazing summer scent and the formula is quite light

7th Heaven Soften Glove Masks :) - Review I liked this more than I thought I would but not sure if I would buy again.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost :) I gave this to my mom to finish but it was a good basic gel moisturizer

Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm :) This smells like you are rubbing exotic oranges on your body <3

Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Lotion :( The formula is uncomfortable on my hands, good smell though

Lastly, here are some items that I threw out.

Essence Longlasting Lipliner: This broke

Charlotte Tilbury Color Chameleon: The pencil kept on breaking! It was already crumbled on the inside and I'm not sure why!

Revlon Photoready BB Cream: It expired May 2017, I'm so sad I didn't even really get to use it!

My empties bin was totally full but it didn't end up being too many products! It's such a hard balance between reviewing new releases and trying to finish up what's in my collection. Hoping for more progress next check in!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Pixi Beauty GelTint & SilkGloss Review and Swatches

Today, I will be sharing one of my favorite products that I've tried so far this summer! The Gel Tint & Silk Gloss lip products are the perfect way to achieve a sheer and natural look! Each of these products retails for $12 and can be found at Shoppers.

Each duo has a tint which is a pretty watery consistency that ends up leaving a natural stain on the lips and then a gloss which adds shine. The glossy side is not sticky at all and just helps the lips feel moisturized. There's no scent to any of these products. To see swatches and in depth review of each shade, keep reading!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Paul & Joe Nail Polish in 34 Swatch & Review

During the summer time, I usually lean towards pastel nail colors. But I recently have been wearing this bold deep red and surprisingly really like it. In the ACI Beauty Summer preview, I received the Paul & Joe Nail Polish in 34. When I first got it, I stashed it away immediately waiting for the cooler weather before busting out such a deep shade. But I decided to give it a whirl to change up my pastel nails that's been on rotation and was very happy with how elegant it looked.

Packaging: The outer box is in the classic pink and white Paul & Joe packaging with a floral print. It's very feminine, elegant, but also playful! The nail polish itself has a floral design on the glass bottle and a long step with "PJ" engraved on the cap.

The brush is rather flat and average sized. It's not as small as original essie polish brushes but it's also not big like Sally Hansen brushes. I found it gave a nice coverage when I pressed down.

Shade: The shades are just in numbers and the one I'm reviewing today is 34. It is a bold deep red that is classic and sophisticated. There is a bit of a brown undertone to it. I really like that the finish is so glossy and shiny, even without top coat!

Formula: I used two coats for my swatch but you could maybe get away with one thicker layer. The color dispersed evenly and I didn't experience any streaking. Although it's usually to have a nicer formula with deeper colors so I'm intrigued to see how their lighter colors would perform. The wear time was average as it started chipping on the 3rd day although I didn't put a top coat on.

Smell: The last thing I want to point out was that this nail polish seemed to smell a lot less than other polishes. It doesn't have that chemically smell when you open it and once painted, it actually has a bit of a floral scent when it is drying. This was a really big plus as I didn't feel like I was filling up my house with toxins.

Overall, I was really happy with nail polish and how it looked on my hands. I can see why they would include it in a summer collection because it would be perfect for a nice dinner out. I will definitely be adding this to my rotation of other pastel shades when I want to shake things up.

What type of colors do you usually wear for summer?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hardy Candy Spring/Summer 2017 New Products Review

I always get very excited when I get to try out a brand for the first time! I can't believe after all these years of blogging, this is my first review of Hard Candy. Today, I'll be sharing my thoughts and swatches of all the new releases for Spring and Summer 2017.  You can find Hard Candy products at Walmart in Canada.

My first impression was that the packaging was very fun and geared towards a younger generation. There's lots of color in the packaging the products are very on trend. I really enjoyed a few of the products but there were also a few flops. I'm sharing an overall rating out of 5 for each product and also swatches if applicable.

Lip Artiste Lip Contouring Wand
Pink to Mauve (5 shades available)

For the lips, Hard Candy came up out with this duo ended lip product which is meant to contour and highlight the lips. The colors are designed to modify the appearance of lip shape and size. I have pretty small lips but I don't necessarily like the look of over lining so I used this within my natural lip lines.

The matte lip contour pencil had a really nice formula and I actually loved using this on its own by filling my entire lips with the lip pencil side. The highlighter shade is very reflective so be careful on only using a small amount. I just do a tiny dab in the middle of my upper and lower lips and blend with my fingers. It actually gives a very nice enlargement effect! This is probably my favorite product from the whole collection! 5/5

Wet Ever Bold Hold Lip Lacquer
7 shades available

The next lip product is a hybrid of lipgloss and lipstick by combining the shine and color. I love that this product came in a metal tin, it's such unique packaging! Both the tin and the actual lip gloss had a  3D dripping paint decoration. But unfortunately, the shade is just not for me. The shade Selfish is a classic pink. These types of colors just don't look good against my skin tone and makes me look washed out.

The applicator is a sponge tip doe foot with a curve in so it hugs the contours of your lips. I found it pretty easy to use except trying to get to the exact corners of my lips.

The formula is pretty opaque and you get decent color pay off similar to a liquid lipstick. It also feels pretty creamy on the lips and I didn't experience any dry out. The not so good part is that it is pretty sticky! It starts off feeling pretty slick as advertised, but as you wear it for a while, the formula becomes more sticky. I think this could have be decent though if I had a different color, but it's not the best formula I've tried for the lips. 3/5

Stroke of Gorgeous Kajal Supreme Eyeliner Duo

Here is another duo ended product from Hard Candy and one that I could see how two ends is better than one. I love using liquid eyeliners for my top lash line but I prefer pencil liners for my bottom lash line. This is perfect as one end is a soft kajal eyeliner and the other side is a liquid eyeliner!

The tip of the liquid eyeliner is quite firm and it feels more like a sharpie pen. The formula stays all day but sometimes has trouble with streaking if you are going over the same areas. I really like the kajal side, it is very pigmented and super smooth. Overall this is a great idea as now I have one product which can line both the upper and lower lash lines. 4/5

Look Pro! Metal Eyes

To achieve a metallic eye look, Hard Candy has an eyeshadow set which contains 4 eyeshadows, 1 eyeliner, 1 duo sided brush, a liquid, and a mixing well. The brush had a flat tip side and an eyeliner style side. The quality was okay but nothing too exciting. When swatched, the four eyeshadows were a bit dry and lacked the pigmentation I was expecting. However, when applied on the eyes, these were actually really nice!

I had quite a bit of trouble mixing it with the liquid as I find the color ends up streaking when the brush is wet. There was still decent color pay off using it dry but I think it's not what you expect if the product is called "Metal Eyes". In the picture above, I'm wearing the top left shade and the bottom right shade dry. 4/5

Sheer Envy Prismatic Highlighter Rainbow Pearl Powder

I'm a bit confused with the purpose of this powder. I was hoping it would be a very reflective highlighter but unfortunately I found the formula to be more glittery than illuminating. The powder is also a bit dry so the glitter ends of scattering on the skin. The packaging is very pretty though and gives a prismatic feel. 2/5

Prismatic Highlighter, Loose Powder

Sheer Envy Bake, Brighten & Set Loose Finishing Powder

Baking has been pretty popular in the last few years and it's a trend makeup artists use to set concealers. I don't think the bright under eye look is that flattering for an every day look especially if it's off-camera. I gave it a try with baking but I'm not sure if I noticed any difference.

With that said though, the formula is really great and comparable to high end brands. The shade has a yellow undertone so it's very similar to banana powder. It was very smooth and finely milled, so if you are into baking, this would be a fantastic drugstore alternative. 4/5

Sheer Envy Color Correct Cushion Wonder
3 Shades (Yellow, Green, Peach)

Lastly, there is a set of color correcting serums for various skin discolorations. The idea is that you can blend the color correction into the skin using the cushion tip. However, it's pretty easy to squeeze out more product than you need, and you would just keep smearing more product on if you used the cushion tip to blend out. I found using my fingers to be a better option.

I got mine in yellow and the shade was unfortunately too light for me. I gave it a try on the undereye. The cushion tip is very nice and the product flows through nicely. The coverage is pretty light though and a concealer would work better for undereyes. I think the idea is very trendy (ex. Urban Decay's color correcting concealers), but the practicalities of it are limited.  2/5

Overall, I really liked that the brand is on top of the beauty trends and offers products at an affordable price. However a couple of the items are a bit gimmicky and didn't perform as well as the claims. I do think the packaging is very fun and is well suited for the younger crowd! I'm looking forward to trying out more from the brands and finding a couple more hits!

What are your favorite items from Hard Candy?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Top Reasons Why YVR Observation Deck is the Best + Celebration of Lights Ticket Giveaway

It's summer time in Vancouver and that means it's almost time for the fireworks thanks to Celebration of Lights! This year the schedule will be July 29th (Japan), August 2nd (United Kingdom), and August 5th (Canada). I've gone to the fireworks almost every year but it's usually gets pretty tiring as you need to go early to save a spot and then try to rush out to beat the crowds!

This year, I'm so excited to experience the fireworks from the YVR Observation Deck thanks to the PR team and I'll also be giving away 2 tickets for you to experience it too!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Travel Diary: Top 10 Things to Do in Paris (Eat, Shop, Landmarks)

I recently spent 3 weeks in Europe in May and I'm still in the process of going through my pictures and getting all my travel posts up! If you are headed to London or Berlin, you should definitely give my other travel posts a read. Paris was the last city I visited and since my parents have already been to Paris twice, we only budgeted to spend 2.5 days here.

I put together my top 10 check list items to do in Paris! Most of these things are centered around 1st and 2nd arrondissement. These include eating, shopping, and of course visiting the famous landmarks! In no particular order, let's get started!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Laneige Two Tone Lipsticks Review + Demo

I first discovered Laneige when I went to Hong Kong on exchange in 2013! I bought some nose strips and also their famous sleeping mask. However, I didn't know where to find them in Canada but now Sephora stocks the brand!

A little while ago, I did an ombre lips tutorial which is one of the beauty trends in Korea right now. Laneige came out with these Two Tone Lipsticks which are suppose to create an ombre effect with it's pre made color combinations! I received 4 shades to test out and will be sharing my review and swatches!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Summer Fragrances: Clean Lovegrass + Ultimate Beach Day

I featured Clean fragrances a few times on the blog before and I really love both their Cashmere and Sueded Oud scents. For summer 2017, they came out two brand new scents to capture the spirit of the season. If you've never smelled a Clean fragrance before, you might be pretty thrown off as it is very different from the designer fragrances full of floral and musk. Most of their scents essentially smell "clean" and you can layer scents to your preference.