Fall 2013 Luxebox: LouLou Edition

Thursday 24 October 2013

Yay!  It arrived!  I have been especially looking forward to receiving this box.  It only ships 4 times per year, but given the quality that I received I am really not complaining!  Upon opening the standard brown shipping box I was created by this lovely little surprise.  Feeling the "Luxe" already.  So let us begin!

This box ships for $26, and the LouLou upgrade was $7, so $33.

Pretty!  I didn't want to open it it looked so perfect.

This fancy little list tells me everything in the box.  When I opened it I was hit with a beautiful mix of sweet smells.  Mmmm...

All of the products came in this little bag inside the box.

Ah!  Its like Christmas!

Look at all of it!

Products: CoverGirl Outlast (Full Size Nail Polish), Barefoot Venus Bath Bliss (Full Size), Eyeshadow Brush (Full Size), Michael Kors Fragrances (1.5 mL x 3), Be a Bombshell Eyeliner (Full Size), Klorane Dry Shampoo (50 mL), L'Occitane IMM Precious Night Cream (15 mL), L'Occitane Supple Skin Oil (15 mL).

Michael Kors Fragrances (1.5 mL x 3)

These fragrances are standard perfume sample sized.   However they came in a pretty little gold and cream match box styles box.  No detail to small!  I'm not huge on the Sporty scent, but Sexy and Glam small rich and deep.  I like it, but I don't know if I will end up buying them.  I have handfuls of mini perfume samples, a dozen deluxe samples, and a few full sized ones.  But if I ran out of perfumes, I would consider Sexy or Glam.  Just not Sporty. 

This is the Be a Bombshell eyeliner.  The eyeliner its self is a bit chubby (like a marker).  Currently I use the black Stila pen in Jet Black, which is skinnier.I have used thicker pens before, and will get a good use out of this one (I hardy leave the house with out a cat's eye, mascara, and lipstick).  The line is thicker than I am use to, but I'm not worried.

Not too sure how I feel about this colour.  Not quite my favourite.  It has a nice shimmer in the bottle- a gold hue with a pink-purple base.  I'm not going to test it out, incase I want to give it to a friend.  

Vintage package!
This.  Smells.  Delicious.  Coconut... Mango...Almond...so so sweet.  Inside is a plastic bag filled with powder to be put in a bath.  Tomorrow night?  Yeap.  I also adore the vintage package.  The back says "Being naked never felt so good."  The only thing that makes me feel better about this is that it was made in Canada in Kelowna B.C.

Next up: L'Occitane products

The "Supple Skin Oil" smells divine.  I'll have to apply some after my next bath.  As for the "Precious Night Cream", I think I will set that aside for my mom for Christmas.  

The brush is tiny, but soft.  I'm looking forward to giving this a try this weekend.

There was also a dry shampoo in the box that has a clean smell to it.  That will be joining me in Calgary where its sole purpose will be to extend the life of my blow out.

This box also comes with 4 issues of LouLou magazine which I will receive over the next few months.  I actually got my first copy before my box arrived!

It claims to be worth $105.  I really don't have the time right now to do a full tally.  But I know I am impressed with what I received, and that I can't wait for my Winter 2013 box!  So many full sized items...this box just smells so good.

Bonus: The white box it arrived in is perfect to organize makeup, or to wrap up a Christmas gift in.

5 stars!

Costco Run #win

Monday 21 October 2013

Last week I went to Costco with my dad to pick up a few things.  I know Costco sells massive shampoo bottles, but I didn't think they sold my massive shampoo bottles.

Well, look at this!

Please forgive my in store iPhone photo.  But look!

1L of Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Shampoo
400 mL of Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Conditioner
and a full sized bottle of Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil

For $17.99

Based on the retail price of $12.99 for 500 mL of this shampoo and this set is valued at...about $50?.

So I bought two.

I just love this shampoo because it makes my hair soft and shiny.  I use to be a Herbal Essences Totally Twister girl, until Marc Anthony came in to my life via a sale plus bonus points at Shoppers Drug Mart.  It has a gentle scent that I just love.

Heres to not running out of shampoo and conditioner until Christmas!

Make Up Forever: Smoky Extravagant Mascara

A few weeks ago at Sephora, I tried to pick up my usual mascara, Smashbox's Full Exposure Mascara ($22 at Sephora), but it was gone.  None left.  At all.  Not wanting to leave in bitter disappointment, and not wanting to have naked eyelashes (well, that's a lie- I have so, so, so many sample sized mascaras.  But that's not the point.) I took a gamble, and tried a new mascara with a massive brush Make Up Forever: Smoky Extravagant Mascara ($28 at Sephora) based on the Sephora lady's recommendation.   

In terms of price they are in a similar range for mid level luxury mascara (in other words, not Dior pricing, not Maybelline pricing).  With tax, its the difference between $25 and about $30.  

It has an interesting aerodynamic styled tube and a massive brush that tapers at the end.  I was pretty excited to try it.

I think I used it wrong the first time as it did not look all too different from my usual.  At first I wiped the excess product that wells up at the end back into the tube.  And then... a light bulb went off!

The aerodynamic tube!

The massive brush! 
I applied the first coat like normal.  But for the second coat I turned the brush vertical and coaxed the welled up product to the base of my lashes.  Then, I applied my second coat... and wow.

Look how long those are!  I have very blonde, average eyelashes.  Note: No eyelash curler used for this picture.

No need for fake eyelashes with this around!

My lashes felt massive.  I love it!  These lashes with a black cat eye and a bold lip stick?  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

Could this end up replacing the special place Smashbox mascara has in my heart?  I don't know.  Probably.  Yes.  Full Exposure seems a little lacklustre now.  I plan on buying this mascara again, now that I know how to use it, once I have gotten through a few tubes I have in my mascara jar.  I really need to declutter my make up counter.  

Boho Glam or Classic With a Twist? Selecting my November Julep Box!

Sunday 20 October 2013

Ever since becoming a Julep Maven I have a new found excitement for the 20th of every month.  That's right!  Time to select my box!

This month's theme is "Right at Home" which immediately conjured up images of Glade scented air freshener, Bath and BodyWorks candles, and Christmas.

With the spoiler, I knew I wanted my lip gloss to be "Charming" (the nice mauve one).  Alas, with each lip gloss assigned to a box (5 lip glosses, 5 boxes, well played) that meant carefully factoring in the two nail polish colours, and the lip gloss.

Decision time!

Charming comes with the "Boho Glam" box.  I tend to sit right on the "Classic With a Twist" and the "Boho Glam" line, leaning a bit more towards "Classic With a Twist".  In other words, if I don't like the offerings for "Classic With a Twist" I almost always go for "Boho Glam" (except for last month when I just disliked all of the colours and opted for "Modern Beauty").  I love that Julep lets you PICK your box every month rather than just assigning you the profile.  Really, I just one Julep.

But...I just didn't love either of the "Boho Glam" colours enough to make up for the lip gloss.

So back to my usual "Classic With a Twist"


I love, love, love the "Desert Sand" (re: Gold!) Micro-glitter.  And although red doesn't top my favourite colours, this orange-red "Cherry pie" colour should go nicely with my favourite lipstick, MAC's "Lady Danger".  It looks like a classic colour that will be perfect for Christmas parties and little black dresses.

As for the lip gloss in "Glowing" it seems nice?  Nothing too special.  Natural?  Part of my wants to use it so I can review it.  Part of me wants to potentially add it to my "give-to-friends" box.  Maybe I will review it with a disposable tester so if I am not in love with it I can pass it on sans guilt?

And then I saw the add-ons.

I really, really thought about adding on "Charming".  But $13.99,  really?  So I can have two lip glosses I don't need?  Gah I wish I could just trade it out. After debating on and off I decided that I have enough mauve lip products, and can manage with out this one.  I'll just keep my fingers crossed that it ends up in the Secret Store in a month or two.  Or hey, maybe even this month!

I did end up adding on "Lola" a "Moonlit Night Blue Satin" polish.  I'm interested to see what this one turns out like, because any of the coloured polishes I have from Julep are "crème" polishes, which are quite nice.  This should be fun!

I love the add on polishes because at $4.99 they are so cheap.  Its hard not to get one.  Some  of the other products?  Eh, not so much.  The lip primer looks interesting.  But I just can't bring myself to.  Maybe I'll get one at Sephora.

I also considered using my Jules, apparently you get a free polish every three months in a row of getting your box?  That means a free polish in December!  Yay!  But I want to hold off and get a new, full priced polish.  Why to get the most bang for your Jules?

I'm looking forward to reviewing these when they arrive.  Also?  Can't wait for the Secret Store.  12 more days!

And finally some self promotion.  If you want to sign up to be a Julep Maven, use the code "FREECOLOR" (Note the American spelling) and get your first box for free!  The intro boxes are pretty cool right now- especially the Modern Beauty box.  And if you do sign up, please use My link! If you do, I get some Jules, and you get my gratitude!

Until next time!

PS.  How legit would it be to be able to order this?  So much lip gloss... so much nail polish... so much money!  I can dream!  Maybe one day.  But actually, $75...  I would have to be in love with an entire collection.  And by in love, I mean head over heels in love.



Saturday 19 October 2013


I already own three Babylips lip balms, but hey, they're versatile, forever useful, and on sale!

Although I am not nearly as obsessed with them as I was with Lip Smackers when I was 13 (my introduction to make up if you will), they really do fill my modern day need for a lip product that leaves my lips soft and protects them from sun damage and cold weather.

Hiding somewhere in my purse, or at home on my counter are "Quenched" 005 (The baby blue tube), "Pink Punch" 025 (The hot pink tube), and "Melon Mania" (Limited edition in a blue-green tube).  Quenched and Melon Mania get a reasonable amount of use.  Though I know "Pink Punch" is at the back of my lip gloss drawer and will probably remain there until the summer.  I like having a nice lip balm because I love to wear matte lip stick (Especially MAC's Lady Danger), and unfortunately with out lip scrubs and lip balms tmy quest for the perfect statement lip can lead me to dry and flakey lips.

Products: Babylips "Cherry Me" 015 and Babylips Electro in "Pink Shock" 070.
Cost: $4.79 On sale at Shoppers Drug Mart

Note: Shoppers Drug Mart had a special on - purchase any 2 Maybelline New York products and receive 3000 bonus Optimum Points.  Score. 

Both products promise 8 hours of moisturizer 

"Cherry Me" also boasts SPF 20.  I will have to keep that in mind next time I am somewhere warm and sunny!

All that aside, the "neon" pink and the sheer red look similar on my lips.  While they add a nice tint, they don't compete with lip sticks in terms of colour coverage- and that's ok, they make my lips feel soft and will be great at preventing chapped lips this winter.

"Cherry Me" has a nice scent, similar to a Cherry Lifesaver.  "Pink Shock" on the other hand is odourless.  I suppose each has a purpose.  

The website says that these can be worn under lipstick.  I think they would be great for a day when you want to wear minimal makeup while still looking put together.

I think that I prefer "Pink Shock" because the formula has shea butter.  From my unscientific analysis it keeps my lips moisturized longer.  Though, I am curious where they got the 8 hour figure...  Another note, I find "Cherry Me" to have a waxier finish.

All in all, well worth the sale price of $4.79 each.  The bonus points help too.  Because they are so cheap I won't get too worried if one gets misplaced.  Between migrating from my purse, to make up bag, to luggage, to lip gloss drawer some articles get lost in transition.  Never actually lost, just impossible to find when needed. 

When these run out I will have to try some different colours.  Maybe "Peach Kiss"?  I don't like any other Electro colours.  

Ipsy October 2013

My Ipsy bag finally arrived.  When I got home on Friday my tracking told me it had arrived.  Sadly, there was no hot pink bubble package waiting on the counter for me.  After dinner the door bell rung, and our new neighbour was standing there with my package.  Some how, after correctly arriving at my house for months it ended up next door.  Odd, and annoying, but very kind of the new neighbour to bring it over.

Just being honest, I wasn't all too excited about the arrival of this bag.  After seeing what I was getting I was...indifferent?  After seeing what I could have got, I was disappointed.

What I received:

Photo Credit: www.ipsy.com
All I can say is... eh?  I have heard good things about the Zoya nail polish, and another dark purple will be nice.  I have handfuls of Ole Henriksen foil samples from Sephora in a drawer in my room, and more than enough hand cream and lip gloss to last a life time.  As for the "Spray Clay", I spend a lot of time and effort trying to achieve shiny hair (Mmmm Moroccan Oil).  I can't quite fathom why I would want to make it any less shiny...Or really why anybody would.

What I COULD have received:
Note: Purple circle = things I wanted.  Red X = Things I did not want.
Photo Credit: www.ipsy.com
Buxom lip gloss... eyeshadow brush...blow dry gel (I don't know what this is, but it sounds better than a hair clay to make your hair matte).  But hey, I didn't get another Starlooks item, a crappy NYC eyeshadow palette, another mineral MICA shadow (I think I have 3 now?) or any more acidic LA Fresh wipes.  Still, pretty disappointed that the 3 items I did want evaded me.  

Now, onto the un-boxing.

The bag!
Although I wasn't terribly excited over the bag its self, after a few days it has started to grow on me.  It probably won't replace any of my top 5 make up bags (after months of being subscribed to these bags I have more than enough to last a life time), but its cute.  I like it a little bit too much to give away, and a little bit not enough to use regularly.  

Inside!  Note: I removed the nail polish from the bag.  It blocked the rest of the view.

Here are all of the items received.

Sexy Hair Spray Clay (50 mL)
Value:  $7.46

According to their website:  

"A non-traditional clay in a spray form. With this new innovative aerosol application it allows for a fine and even product distribution to achieve an allover textured look with a matte finish. This product is great for all hair types needing added texture and movement with a dry, non-waxy hold."

I really don't have much interest in trying this.  But in the interest of science?  Make-up?  Make-up Science?  I will.  It smells less chemical that other hair sprays.  A slight scent of minerals?  Let's go with that.  It definitely achieved the matte result, and creates rougher texture.  But neither of these things appeal to me.  I'll have to see which of my friends has a need, or at least, interest in this. 

Ofra Lipglos Plumper in "Sultry"(10 mL)
Value: $12.95

Although a bit darker than I usually go for this lipgloss actually ended up complementing my skin tone nicely.  It has a nice berry tone, and enough sparkles that while noticeable, don't remind me of my lip gloss wardrobe circa 2007.  Personally, I do not notice the plumping factor.  But hey, its a nice colour.  Its full sized.  And will come in handy keeping my lips from drying out this winter. 

Verdict:  I like it more than I thought I would.

Nourish Organic "Coconut and Argan"Body Lotion (30 mL)
Value: $1.52

Nothing really interesting to say.  This product is a thick hand cream with a pleasant scent.  the tube is smaller than I expected, but a great size to toss in my purse for cold days this winter.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster (7 mL)
Value: $11.20

This product is aimed at the "fighting anti-aging" crowd, which thankfully, as a 20 year old I am not quite in yet.  Described as a "daily vitamin for your face" it can't hurt to try it.  After all, those ladies at the Clinique counter at The Bay always say to start using anti-aging products before you show sings of aging to prevent aging (I see what they did there.  Use it even if you don't think you need it so that way when you're older and you do need it you...still need it?  Need it less?).  All that is to say, I put the goopy, critics scented serum on my face...and nothing really happened.  I'll have to give it a few more days.

Zoya Nail Polish (full sized)
Value: $9.75

My GlamRoom showed that I was going to receive the purple jewel tone polish (there was also a green and a pink).  But when I opened my bag it was... pink!  I can't say that I really cared either way.  Regardless this was going to go in a little bag in my closet where I collect things for my mom's Christmas present.  

Total Value: $42.88
What I Paid: $14.95

However I am going to knock off the value of the Spray Clay because I can't think of any use for it.


Well done Ipsy.  I was able to get over my initial disappointment with the success of the lip gloss and the hand cream.  I still wish I had received a few different items.  But 

In full disclosure I was going to cancel my subscription this month.  But since this bag was reasonably good, I am going to hang on until at least after Christmas.  Here's hoping they put in a little extra something to celebrate the holidays!

On the even brighter side?  Tomorrow I get to pick my Julep box for November! 

Luxe Box Upgrade?

Thursday 17 October 2013

Luxe box just released their first optional upgrade for Winter 2013.  For an extra $12 (on top of the $26 you already pay) you can upgrade to the Zoomer Box.  But  I think I will take a pass.

Photo Credit: www.loosebutton.com

Products Included:

  • CND VINYLUX | Weekly Polish System - Top Coat (Full Size)
  • CND VINYLUX | Weekly Polish System - Holiday Hue (Full Size)
  • Clinique | High Impact Mascara (3.5 mL)
  • Oscar De La Renta |Esprit D'Oscar (3 mL Rollerball)
  • Kérastase | Elixir Ultime (3 mL)
  • Elizabeth Grant | Biocollasis™ Complex Cell Vitality Victory Eye Serum (Full Size - 7 mL)
  • Duo Stem | Anti-Accelerated Aging Serum (Full Size - 30 mL)
  • Loose Button | Gel Eye Pads (Full Size - 2)
  • Honibe | Honey Lozenges (4 pack)
  • Bonus one-year subscription to Zoomer Magazine

Although it contains 9 items rather than the usual 7-8, and 5 of them are full sized (wow!) I think I am going to have to take a pass on this one.  I don't really find anything all too appealing, and the only item I would get any use out of would probably be the mascara.  However I have so many mascara samples that I probably will never run out.  This box appears to be a bit on the "mature" end for me, and I don't see too many things my mom would actually use.  I have a small drawer full of anti-aging samples in foil packets that I never seem to be able to get rid of, suffice to say full sized products would get even less use.

Last season they had a few different upgrades, including the LouLou Box (which I selected).  Coupled that this was described as their "very first Winter 2013 Edition" I would assume that there will be other upgrades to come.  And if not, there's always the standard box which I hear is just lovely.

Body Shop Discount!

A few days ago I renewed my Love Your Body card from The Body Shop because they had a free $10 gift with renewal (which costs $10) making it revenue neutral.  I got a mini Honey Body Butter (which has the same rich texture as all of their other boy butters but a lovely, light floral scent) and a mini body wash.

I just received an email with a free $10 off any $25 purcahse offer for renewing my card.  With this in mind... I think I will be getting their Honey Body Scrub ($20)  in my near future.  And perhaps a mini of something to add in to a friend's Christmas gift.

Photo Credit: www.thebodyshop.ca

Topbox November 2013, Wishlist

Wednesday 16 October 2013

This will be my first top box, and I am pretty excited!

I got an email today from Topbox asking my to fill out my wish list.

The way this works is that you can select how ever many boxes you would like.  Topbox randomly selects who receives the special boxes, and if you receive a special box it will be in place of the standard box.

I would not be opposed to receiving the regular box given that they tend to be pretty good.  But I figured, what the heck, and made a wish list anyways.

Here are the boxes you can opt into.  Please note that for some you have to pay an upgrade charge.


This is a bit "mature" for my needs.  And Julep sent me a similar eyeliner last month.

How cool is this?

Getting one full sized product, while a great value, defeats the purpose for me.

Not really my thing.  Good value though.
All photos are from www.topbox.ca

I was not terribly excited about most of the upgrades.  Although I am starting to warm up to Estee Lauder, I found their selection to be a bit more mature.  Maybe if I was looking for a gift for my mom?

However I did opt into the Givenchy box, because why not!  The mascara and lip stick look good.  Plus, its a free upgrade for a very high end brand.  I don't own any Givenchy makeup, so it would be a nice way to test out the brand.

If I don't get the Givenchy box, I will get the normal box, which I am sure will be lovely as well.  I'll find out when I open the box in November!  Fingers crossed!

An additional little surprise, they included a code ("TOPBOX") that can be used for 10,000 Shoppers Optimum Points if you spend $75 at www.mural.ca (Shopper's higher end cosmetics focused store.  Side note:  I have only ever seen one retail location which I believe was in Edmonton?)  I think the code expires at the end of this month.

Additional note x2: Murale.ca has free shipping on orders of $75 or more until October 23.  Perhaps they can be used together?  I don't really like buying things online and having to pay for shipping when I could get them for the same price in store.

Honey by Marc Jacobs


Sephora 500 Point Gift

Photo Credit: Maple Lead Beauty
As I am sure you know, every dollar spent at Sephora equals one point. Often the 500 point gifts seem unattainable, but are more than worth it to save up for.

Disclaimer: I actually got this 500 point gift for free because I was not notified of a Sephora VIB Rouge  event.  When I asked the nice lady at the cash to add me to the list, she gave me this, and a few other pieces of swag to make up for it.  #win
Photo Credit: Maple Leaf Beauty
The gift comes with a mini roller ball, deluxe sized body lotion sample, and a small pouch.

Honey is a nice, soft, sweet scent that is great for daily wear.  I think the best way I can describe it is that it is a happy scent.

Side note: Have you noticed how trendy honey is right now?  Go check out the Body Shop.


0.1 ounce roller ball: $12.50 (Based on $30 for the full sized 0.24 roller ball 
1 ounce lotion: $5.20 (Based on $26 for  the full sized 5 ounce lotion)
An arbitrary $5 for the pouch?


Sounds good to me!


Hello and welcome to my (new!) blog.  I have never tried something like this before, however after following a few different ones, and hearing from my friends how well I know makeup, I have decided to start my own.

Photo Credit: Maple Lead Beauty, Taken on a trip to the Rockies.

I am a 20 year old student living in Toronto with a passion for public policy, photography, and make-up.  Now I know what you're thinking, what does public policy and make-up have in common?  Honestly, I couldn't tell you.  But I know that going to a conference is much more fun when you have a new lipstick to go with your suit, and a fresh, glowing face when you grab a photo with your favourite people.

Photo Credit: Maple Lead Beauty, This is my 4 year old Miniature German Schnauzer 

I decided to create a beauty blog that focuses on the opportunities present for Canadians.  I am tired of seeing blogs reviewing products that are only available in the States, or only ship to the States (here's looking at you BirchBox and Zoya!)  So in response, this is for all my fellow Canadian women who are frustrated with our higher prices, and the lack of free shipping- or shipping at all.

You can expect reviews of beauty boxes, gifts with purchase, and new products with the odd DIY, hair style, or fashion thrown in.  And photos of my dog.

Thanks for taking the time to check this out!