Monday, March 28, 2011

NOTD: Joe Fresh Butter Polish

I'm using the one hour between my classes today (when I really should be having lunch) to instead bring you Joe Fresh's Butter Nail Polish. This is an awesome pastel yellow with the smallest tinge of cream in it. It's brighter on the nail than it is in the bottle but it's not by any means bright yellow. I really love it exactly as the name suggests a butter yellow. Perfect for spring and uplifting my mood. 
This polish applied well, especially for a yellow cream which are notorious for applying streaky. It needed a minimum of three coats though. The real thing I enjoyed about the polish was how long it lasted, better than I expected especially for a drugstore polish. It had some tip wear issues but other than that lasted an easy four days. 

Overall a great pastel polish for any collection. I especially like that it was only $4 (3 for $10 or $4 by itself), and in a mini bottle. I think the smaller bottles are a great idea as I can never even finish half a bottle of regular sized polish. If you're in Canada or know someone from there that can get you a bottle of Joe Fresh I'd recommend going for it!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Varnish Vixen Giveaway!

Varnish Vixen is having a fantastic Giveaway for Spring! If you don't follow her blog, you should! She only showcases nail polish (so far) but her photos always rock, and she always has the neatest polishes featured!
Check out her AWESOME multi-part giveaway Here!!!!

Illamasqua Deal and Nail Polish Contest

Illamasqua having recently released their Spring collection Toxic Nature is having an easy to enter contest where you can possibly win all 5 of the new shades (and all of them are very unique!) You can enter here! Be quick though the contest closes March 30th!

In addition to this they're offering a free shipping code within the United Kingdom so if you're interested in ordering from them and live in the U.K. the code is UKFREE02

Monday, March 21, 2011

Zoya Summer Buy One Get One Free Deal!

Zoya has just released their new Summer collections- all three of them for a total of 15 colours! If you live in the continental USA you can order from these three collections and get one free bottle for any bottle of polish you buy! You can get the full details here!
The code is BOGO make sure you enter it or you won't get the deal!

As a side note I'm super sorry for my crappy updating schedule lately, I've got major projects and the lighting is just so awful in my townhouse I end up disliking all the pictures I take. I've only got a month left until exams are over so things should pick back up again then, but in the mean time please try to be patient with me! All my love!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Butter London Gift with Purchase

There is an awesome gift with purchase (GWP) available from Butter London on right now! I got the information from Body and Soul's Blog (An Awesome blog, go take a look at her swatches!)

The colour that comes with a $25 USD purchase or more is Racing Green a colour that looks so lovely and rich! I've not tried the Butter London range myself, but I've heard good things about it. Plus the bottles are so cute! If you're interested in trying the range and like green polishes (like me!) now would be a great time to try some out! No More Waity Kaity is also available from them at the moment, the one based off the English Royalty Wedding that's such a hot gossip topic at the moment! 

The code is StPaddyDay11

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

20% off Codes!

Hey everyone! I just wanted to tell you about some 20% off codes I heard about from Polish Galore's blog!
(She has lovely polish swatches if you're interested, totally worth a look!)
These three sites all have the same code, Apothica, Skin Care Rx, and Skin Botanica

And the Coupon Code: MARCH20

Apothica is my favourite of these, as it has a ton of great Cruelty-free brands and most of the new Spring collections in. Here's some of my favourite brands that they have, and some I am really looking forward to trying! (All non-animal testing of course!) Plus they have candles, fragrance and skin care too!

  • Stila
  • Too Faced
  • Spa Ritual
  • Cargo
  • Estee Lauder
  • Becca
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Lippmann polishes
  • Nars (Note- Nars is non-animal testing but is owned by Shisedo who do test)
  • TheBalm
Hope this is useful for some of you! (Now I'm back to writing papers, finals are coming up so I'm trying to finish all my major projects and papers which are coming due as well!)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Giveaway Update

I've been getting people that have entered the giveaway saying the facebook entry isn't working properly. In light of this I've decided to just give everyone that fills out the survey the extra entry.  In addition to this you can also get an extra two entries by posting the giveaway on your blog/sidebar. Include a link to the main post in this and leave a comment on any of the three giveaway posts with the link to the page that has the giveaway details and I'll add the entries to your total. I'm really sorry for all the fuss. I honestly have no idea why it's not working. Night night!

Joe Fresh Polish Haul & Twilight NOTD

Joe Fresh Nail Polishes- Butter, Twilight, Mallard, and Gunmetal
Hey all! I popped into my local Zehrs and they had released the new spring Joe Fresh polishes with the exciting flakie polish in Twilight. So, since they have the great 3 for $10 CND deal I bought all three of my store's Twilight bottles (one for me, one for my giveaway and one for a friend in the USA) and 3 other colours to try from the range. If you don't know Joe Fresh is a cruelty-free grocery store cosmetics line currently only available here in Canada. The bottles are the same size as the small Wet n' Wild Craze bottles are. 
Butter is a light pale yellow cream shade. I've been lemming American Apparel's Butter for awhile so I decided to take the plunge and get this one!
Mallard is also a cream, this is a blue-toned medium to dark green shade. (I'm such a sucker for greens)
Gunmetal is a metallic brown with plenty of silver shimmer in it. 
Twilight is a black jelly with green-gold flakies in it. 

Twilight needed three coats and as it is a jelly the black never does go to a true black. This could easily be solved with a black coat underneath. I also think it would look nice over other dark colours, very vampy with a twist. The flakies in this are gorgeous, mainly they reflect green and gold but sometimes you see a warm orange or even a spark of red. I really don't see it as a Spring shade at all, but it's definitely extremely different from anything else I have or have seen this season from other brands. Like another blogger said (and I can't remember who you are so I'm sorry!) I really see this as a fall shade, to me it's very reminiscent of halloween, october harvests and moons and dried leaves on the ground at night. Like the end of one of those really vibrant breathtaking sunsets in autumn, the second before it goes dark. Considering that Autumn is my favourite season, you can tell that this polish is going to be a favourite of mine :D.

I needed 3 coats and still have some spots that probably should have another coat but it applied well. The flakies were easier than I thought they were going to be to work with. With my normal one coat of China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat it feels smooth to the touch, no bumps or edges from the flakies. The flakies were fairly thick in the bottle too so you get a good coverage of flakie per nail when applying.
If you look at the top two nails you can see the differences in flakie colour fairly well- Green and Golden-Orange
I had issues photographing this one but I hope you get the idea. I really like the polish and if you get the chance try to get a bottle if you're into vampy colours! Not sure on the wear yet, but we shall see.
:D Till next time!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Giveaway Prizes! (with Pictures)

I noticed some of you had issues finding Hebridean Sprite Beauty on Facebook! So Sorry! It's through Networked Blogs, you can click here to find it on Facebook! If you want the entry but have already filled out the survey, leave me a comment on this post after you've liked it and I'll give you the entry!

Now onto the prizes!

One Wet n' Wild Color Icon Shadow Single in my favourite shade Brulee. My personal one has a huge dent in it, I use it all the time as it's the perfect highlight and the perfect shade to even out discolouration on my lids. I even use it as an undereye powder over my concealer sometimes. Even those with darker skintones can use this shade in my humble opinion as it would make a great intermediate blending colour between two darker shades and for brightening the inner eye. A wonderful matte creamy shade with great pigmentation, that doesn't break the bank either. This is from awhile ago, but you can see my first impression of this eyeshadow and swatches on this post here! I'll probably do a full review on this soon.
Joe Fresh is a Canadian Brand that can only be bought at certain drugstores here, and these mini bottles have grabbed the attention of many nail polish fiends in Canada and beyond. This is the newest sensation is this little beauty released for spring. My first flakie polish and named Twilight I love the contrast between the dark base and the gold-green flakes. This bottle is brand new (I bought more than one) so you can enjoy this Canadian exclusive too! My nail of the day and review of this polish is coming next week!

Makeup by Revlon at ShopStyle
The next prize I haven't bought yet so I've had to use a stock photo. (For some reason I can't find my gloss either! Sheesh!) But if you haven't heard of this gloss yet, it's about you do! This is my favourite of the drugstore glosses I've tried, medium to full pigmentation, SPF 15, smells wonderful and non-sticky! Plus the packaging looks like something from one of the higher end brands such as Estee Lauder. The shade I'll be purchasing for the contest is Life's A Peach really lovely peachy-pink shade with a slight shimmer. In the tube it doesn't look that nice but on the lips it really shows it's potential! An excellent everyday coloured gloss I think would suit many people. A review will most likely pop up about this gloss sometime this month. I have to find my mysteriously missing glosses first lol.
Last but not least is a New York Color Blushable Creme Stick in Big Apple Blush. I adore this cream to powder formula and the pigmentation is fabulous! Pictured above is my blush stick, the winner will of course get a brand new one. You can check out my review of this blush here!

New York Color Blushable Creme Stick in Big Apple ~ Review

Today's review is on my New york Color Blushable Creme Stick in the shade Big Apple Blush. It's a berry pink cream blush in stick form that comes with a ton of product for hardly anything at most drugstores (in Canada- Rexall, Walmart and some others; in the USA- Target, Walmart, and others I'm sure I'm missing). These blushes are full of pigmentation and come in 6 shades in the permanent range.
Look how much you get!
Although the packaging is cheap plastic, I find it quite sturdy and easy to work with. There is a nice twist-up/down mechanism and a clear top so you can see the shade that matches the outer plastic in colour. I think the packaging is great if you're on the go alot or travelling as the cylinder shape makes it easy to stick in a purse.
Two layers (heavy swatch so you could really see the colour)

Heavy swatch blended out
You only need the smallest dabs on your cheek to get all the colour you'd need. I dab about two half dabs on my cheeks each straight from the stick then blend with my fingers. This blush is really easy to blend and looks like a natural flush on my cheeks. I also adore that these are cream to powder so it never feels sticky or tacky or wet at all. In fact when I wear this, just like my Nars Penny Lane cream blush I can't feel anything on my cheeks throughout the day. This doesn't last as long on as my Nars Penny Lane blush but considering the price and feel it's certainly up to par! This colour does have some shimmer to it but nothing outrageous- I can't see it when I apply it to my cheeks, but I have heard about some of the others shades having a little too much shimmer so something to keep in mind.

Overall I think these Creme Blushsticks are little hidden drugstore gems, and I may have to pick up some more shades. The most popular of the shades is a more yellow-based pink called Plaza Pink but there is also Urban Spice (a bronzer), South Street Seashell (a browned coral shade), Mauvin Uptown (a dirty mauve) and Berry New Yorker (a browned red). I think this colour range is great because it definitely has a couple shades that would work for all skin tones and some that would look best on specific ones too.

Sprite Rating: 8/10- Lost one point for cheapy looking packaging and one for not being long wearing enough to last all day.

Would I buy this again? Yes!!!! I'm already debating another shade! :D

Please Note: New york Color is a Cruelty Free brand, but the company that owns it as far as I can tell is not Cruelty-Free. There are a ton of companies like this out there though, so I take what I can get, especially with large brands such as these.

Friday, March 11, 2011

NOTD: Wet n' Wild Morbid

This is Wet n' Wild's Craze Polish in Morbid a lovely dark shimmery green colour. I found this wore well and applied nicely but for some reason I'm just not digging it. It might be because I'm leaning towards pastels in the approach of spring though as there is nothing wrong with the polish. What do you think?
(Sorry for the awful cuticle condition, I have since fixed this!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Opinion needed! They don't test, but the owners do... (Small Giveaway)

Lately it has come to my attention that there are quite a few companies out there that don't test on animals but the company that owns them do. Do you feel this companies should be included here or that they should be excluded due to the fact some of the money may go back to a company that does animal test. Most of these companies are fairly large on their own, so I would assume that most profits stay within their own brand and only the highest people of the mother company would receive money but I wanted to ask everyone here what they thought.

For example these brands don't test on animals but are owned by a company that does.

  • The Body Shop- Owned by L'Oreal
  • Neutrogena- Owned by Johnson & Johnson
  • Sally Hansen- Owned by Coty
  • Essie- Owned by L'Oreal
  • OPI- Owned by Coty
  • N.Y.C. Owned by Coty
  • Got2B Owned by Schwartzkopf
  • PureOlogy Owned by L'Oreal
  • TIGI Owned by Unilever
If all of you could PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!! Fill out the small form below I would really appreciate it. This will help determine the direction of this blog so it's super important! And there is a small give-away involved. Someone who fills out the form and is a follower will be randomly selected to receive a couple of make-up items that are favourites of mine. They won't be worth a lot (I'm a University Student!) but they will be of good quality (at least in my opinion!). More details on the actual prize in a few days (when it stops raining long enough for me to actually get to the store). However it will most likely include a Wet n' Wild eyeshadow, A Revlon lipgloss and a Nail polish of some sort. Open internationally, I'll e-mail the winner. The giveaway portion of this closes April 1st at Midnight in MY time zone- that is here in Ontario Canada. If you win and don't reply to the e-mail within 3 days I'll remove your entries and redraw a winner. Thanks so much everyone!


Giveaway Prizes (with Pictures!) Here!

UPDATE! I've been getting people that have entered the giveaway saying the facebook entry isn't working properly. In light of this I've decided to just give everyone that fills out the survey the extra entry.  In addition to this you can also get an extra two entries by posting the giveaway on your blog/sidebar. Include a link to the main post in this and leave a comment on any of the three giveaway posts with the link to the page that has the giveaway details and I'll add the entries to your total. I'm really sorry for all the fuss. I honestly have no idea why it's not working. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Estee Lauder Double Wear SPF 10 Liquid Foundation~ Review

Face Cleansers by Estee Lauder at ShopStyle

A little over a year ago now I was recommended to try Estee Lauder's Double Wear Stay In Place Liquid Foundation with SPF 10. I was looking for a medium to full coverage foundation that wouldn't cause me to breakout, would last all day, wouldn't transfer and would help to combat some of the oiliness of my skin. That's certainly a high standard as most foundations aren't transfer resistant let alone alright for acne-prone skin. However, Estee Lauder Double Wear meets all of these criteria amazingly enough.

With Mac's foundation pump (an extra purchase unfortunately), the use of this is perfectly hygienic and allows you to control the amount on your brush, which is good because you don't need a lot to get full coverage with this foundation. I find I need a primer with this though as a primer helps it spread better as the formula is kind of thick. A primer also helps minimizes brush strokes on my face during application. When applied it dries down after a bit to a semi-matte finish. Usually however, I speed up the dry-down process and apply a finishing powder over top so I don't have an intermediate sticky feeling. Some people have complained this feels like a mask on but I don't feel that way with this foundation, I don't really feel it on my face at all. Plus I love how well it covers all my acne scars and redness. Or if you want even more coverage you can layer it easily with an additional coat of foundation, which I always like the option of. It comes in a sturdy and sophisticated frosted glass bottle with a gold twist cap that really closes well which is a nice touch.

My shade is Shell or 1C1 the coolest (pinkest) lightest shade they carry in the range. Estee Lauder has divided their shade selections into three categories, C- for cool or pinker based shades, N- for neutral or not yellow but not pink shades and W- for yellow undertones. From there, each darker skin shade can choose which of the three options provide the best match. If possible I recommend getting matched in person because the online swatches give you no idea of what you're actually dealing with. There are twenty shades in total and I was quite lucky to find a match. Though it is the smallest touch too pink for me the shade Shell does match, a huge worry of mine after I fell in love with Ecru (the neutral lightest shade) and it was too yellow for my skin.

As a side note though you could apply this with your fingers I really feel that it needs a brush as the formula is quite thick and you'll want as even a layer as possible.

The formula of it is great too, it's oil-free, low silicone (Silicone normally bothers my skin but this foundation doesn't cause acne flair ups! Yay!), fragrance-free, non-comedogenic and Dermatologist tested. That said, with it being fragrance free when wet it has the tendency to smell like paint. You'll get a whiff of this every so often but it doesn't stick around, thank goodness. It's not as strong as paint smell either but the smell is definitely there. It doesn't linger so for me it's not too much of an issue. For me, a girl that is highly allergic to the smell of paint (migraines!) to say that I think you can tell it's not too bad. And of course the small bonus of 10 SPF is nice too, though as you really need a stronger sun protection everyday I tend to add one underneath. I've had no issues layering it over top of other products.

Warning: Removal is going to be a pain in the ass. This comes with the territory really as it is such a long wearing foundation (Estee Lauder states 15- hours and that is pretty darn close I'd say). I love my Clarisonic for removal but I recommend a make-up remover all over your face before cleansing to ensure that it all comes off!

This foundation has won a bunch of awards and I have to completely agree, it's the best of all of the foundations I've tried. It does pack a punch though price-wise at $34 USD for 1.0 oz or (when you include tax) here in Canada $50 CND.

Sprite Rating: 8/10- lost one point for slight paint smell and one point for sheer expensiveness.

Would I buy this again? Yes! This is my second bottle, though first in my correct shade and I'll repurchase when I eventually run out, though that will likely take over a year. :D

Zoya Spring Deal

CODE: ZOYAWD to use!
Unfortunately this offer is only good for people in the Continental US. (Boo Zoya- people live other places too you know!) Great deal though!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care SPF 30~ Review

Eyes Fine Lines & Wrinkles by Clarins at ShopStyle

About a month ago I secured (despite the fact the counter lady fought me on it at first) a sample of the Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care SPF 30. In spite of it being a huge mouthful to say this little product is an absolute gem! But first let me tell you a bit more about it and the reason why I wanted it in the first place.

A little while ago I noticed that the lines under my eyes that I was blessed with due to allergies and my high-stress lifestyle, were getting worse. "I'm 21, I refuse to have lines!" Was the exclamation that came from this and as I know that the sun is the worst aging factor on skin I decided that I really needed a sunscreen that was suitable for my eye area. You would think this would be an easy feat to accomplish, a quick nip to the drugstore and I should have this solved right? Wrong! I put anything near my eyeballs and I get major stinging (of both the super sensitive skin around my eye as well as when my eyes run from wind and the sunscreen gets in them!). Not to mention the redness the pawing in pain and then subsequently the fact that I've removed what I put on in the first place due to irritation and my eyes watering. (My eyes water alot, just as a note. Allergies and Canadian winter winds just don't like me very much I'm afraid.) Then someone recommended this product by Clarins.

Clarins claims that this product is "More than just sun protection, this technologically advanced sun product is designed for the eye contour area. Formulated with a revolutionary plant-based complex that helps prevent lines and wrinkles and stops photoaging in its tracks. This light, oil-free, non-irritating formula won't sting or irritate sensitive eyes."
Certainly sounds good so far yes? But on top of this they go on to say "Phyto-Sunactyl 2 Complex (extracts of senna, olive, pea, plane tree, and baobab) helps protect the formation of premature lines and wrinkles as it fights photoaging's worst enemy, the AP1 factor, as 100 percent mineral filters provide triple, protection against hazardous UVA/UVB and infrared rays."

I don't know many people out there that would say based on the description alone they wouldn't want the benefits of this. And the best thing is as far as I can tell this lives up to it's claims!
Eye Contour is super light-weight (you don't feel like you have anything on once it has soaked in). It doesn't break me out, it's non-greasy, sinks in quickly, and doesn't have any scent that I can detect. As a bonus it also seems to prime my undereye area really well for concealer, making it go on smoother and without emphasizing my flaws as much. (A great property all on it's own, don't you think?)
In addition to this you only need the tiniest amount. Like half a pinky finger nail sized amount for both eyes. I dab it beneath both undereyes then spread it around and up onto the eyelids too. No stinging, no watering, no irritation at all. I've even got this stuff in my eye and there wasn't an issue. Yay!

I'm not sure about the anti-aging properties to be honest. However, I'm not counting them out of the running, I'm just saying my lines haven't really gotten better either (which is unlikely to happen anyways). I figure they may help a bit to prevent things from getting worse so I'm all for that.

The Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care SPF 30 is available at your local Clarins counter or at Sephora, Nordstroms, The Bay or Sears Online. I'm sure it's available other places too. It costs $28 USD for 0.7 oz of product, and comes in a white and orange squeeze tube.

Overall, despite the price and small size of the tube this product is worth your time and money if you have sensitive eyes like me.

Sprite Rating: 9/10- Lost a point for high price.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Morgana Cryptoria Haul, First Impressions and Swatches

A couple weeks ago I ordered from the online mineral makeup company called Morgana Cryptoria, a rather cute gothic themed site that has alternative as well as trendy shades. From the site I ordered two of their cult favourite Vegan Lipsticks, two eyeshadow samples (come loose in pots, but I've pressed mine here) and a sample of their Ethereal Veil Finishing Powder.
First up is the two Vegan Lipsticks I ordered Absinthe (a dark rich blue toned green) and Rose Plum (a rose with a plum tinge). And like many before me I love them! Richly pigmented, and super super long lasting this are sure to make an impact! I love the hue of Absinthe- honestly my favourite shade of my favourite colour! Yes, I know green lips are weird but I dig this so much I don't even care. It's a funky take on a gothic lip! Rose Plum on the other hand is just as great but for a more everyday occasion! Really really lovely lip colour that is quite unique, I don't have anything else quite like it. You really get a plum feel to it on the lips too, yet it doesn't look at all purple really. Both are a bit drying I found but I don't find it emphasizes my lip imperfections at all. Plus because these last for hours and through eating for the most part I'm in love! Plus, they were only $12 USD each, or for those of you who like to apply your lippies with a brush you can buy them in pots for only $5 USD. 
T-B: Absinthe, Rose Plum (Bright Light)
T-B: Absinthe, Rose Plum (Dull natural light- Cloudy)
Ethereal Veil
The sample size of the finishing powder I bought was called the Ethereal Veil, a white-blue slightly shimmery powder for use over foundation. If you pat it on quite heavily you can also use it as an eyeshadow. I'm not too sure how I feel about this one yet, the one time I used it so far I didn't really notice too much of a difference on my skin. No real slight shimmer nor a blue tinge. I found the sample jar (same size as the eyeshadow sample jars) to be a bit difficult to use out of so that may be part of the issue. Honestly I bought this because I always wanted that Ethereal look that elves and goddess etc. have in the movies. The almost soft-focus mystical beauty quality that seems so impossible to capture. (Perhaps I should invest in a lighting crew to fallow me around everywhere, I'm sure this would fix the problem!)

Mordred Eyeshadow
Harbinger's Eyeshadow
The two shadow samples I got were Mordred from the Medieval collection and Harbinger from the 2010 Haunted Eyes collection. Mordred is described as a deep mettalic bronze, and Harbinger is described as a deep metallic wine with flecks of aqua. I find Mordred an antique dark brass/gold and Harbinger a blackened red with the smallest amount of aqua shimmer. I found Mordred really lovely, richly pigmented and great metallic shine with subtleties that made it seem like real metal. I didn't like Harbinger as much as I found it chalkier and less pigmented, as well as blacker than I liked. All three were swatched on top of Pixie Epoxy. 
T-B: Ethereal Veil layered, Mordred, Harbinger (Bright Light)
T-B: Layered Ethereal Veil, Mordred, Harbinger
Close up of Mordred and Harbinger
Overall, I'm loving Morgana Cryptorium! The lipsticks are fab and I'll be going back for more (especially as a couple days after I ordered the new shades of lipstick shades were released). I'm eyeing up Roses and Violets, Nightshade, Sunset Peach, and Coraline's Kiss. I want to try a few of her other eyeshadows as well such as Chivalry, Axe to Grind and Lady Godiva from the Medieval collection and Brew HaHa from the 2010 Halloween collection. Plus shipping was quick too! As a side note I adore the type face she chose for her labels, really cute! What do you think of Morgana Cryptoria?
Quick look with Absinthe lipstick and Mordred on the lid

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Until the Weekend....

Posting will be delayed this week, sorry everyone! It's not that I don't want to blog, or that I don't have anything to blog about, instead I'm so swamped with work I can barely think straight. I'd love to just curl up into a ball like my gerbies above and just sleep through this week! 4 major projects, two of them HUGE and a midterm not to mention normal classes and labs I must attend. Needless to say I hope I survive, if I make it to the weekend expect to see a post Saturday or Sunday! Hope you weeks going better than mine!