I Need Your Help! Ipsy vs. Birchbox: May

Hi Beauties!

For this post I need your help!  I have decided that I want to explore more environmentally and animal friendly beauty products, and therefore I am going to sign up for a vegan beauty box.  I looked at a few, and the one I think I have decided on is Petit Vour.  BUT, I can’t really afford to have three beauty boxes every month!  Much as I would love that, it seems a bit excessive when trying to stay on a budget. SO, based on this month (and previous months), I need your help deciding which box (or boxes) to drop when a subscription to Petit Vour becomes available!  I just took quick photos of everything in each box for you to compare, but if you want to see and hear more about each item be sure to check out my video here!

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First off: Birchbox comes in its standard brown box, and Ipsy comes in a cute re-usable bag every month.

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Here are the goods!

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Birchbox – May, 2013

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Coola – Classic Sunscreen

First up is a sunscreen from Coola.  This is their classic sunscreen moisturizer with SPF 30, a cucumber scent and organic anti-aging ingredients.  The card says that it is a mineral sunblock, but the active ingredients are avobenzone (2%) and octinoxate (2.1%), which means that it is actually a chemical sunscreen.  Avobenzone is inherently unstable, and it breaks down into unknown chemicals when it absorbs UV light, this is what protects the skin.  I have a physical sunscreen from Coola that uses titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which I love, so I do really like this brand!  They are environmentally friendly and cruelty free, so big thumbs up there!  This sample is 7mL; full size is 50mL and retails for $32.

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Beauty Protector – Protect & Detangle

Next up is a detangling leave in conditioner from Beauty Protector.  I have never heard of this brand before.  It comes in a rubbery bottle, and is a perfect size for travel, it would even be fine for a carry-on!  On the back of the bottle it says that it is a: Instant detangler, thermal protector, UV protector, that it seals cuticle, smoothes hair, locks in colour, adds shine, conditions, and is weightless, non-greasy and ideal for every day use on all hair types.  That’s a lot of claims!  I do need to use a spray in conditioner most days after the shower, as my hair gets super tangled.  I don’t often use heat, but a UV protector is nice!  I don’t have coloured hair, but I might this summer…  If it does all that it promises this will be quite the little product!  I can’t find a size on this anywhere to know how big the sample is, but full size is 8oz (maybe 4x the size of this?) and retails for $21.95.

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Joie – Folle de Joie eau de parfum

And here we have yet another perfume sample from Birchbox.  Enough already!  They all smell the same to me, floral and not my taste.  This one was one of the better ones that I  have received I do have to say though.  “For its debut scent, the chic fashion brand created this carefree mix of mandarin, rose and sandalwood”.  I probably like it better because it has some fruit but is also grounded with the sandalwood.  The small sizes are handy to carry in your purse, but I often find that without a cap these just spray whenever they want to and get all over everything…  This sample is 0.06fl oz, full size is 3.4 fl oz and retails for $98.  I’d have to REALLY love this to spend that much…

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Sumita – Colour Contrast Eyeliner

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Sumita – Colour Contrast Eyeliner

Next is an eyeliner from a brand called Sumita, another that I have never heard of…  “Inspired by traditional Indian formulas, this velvety liner glides on easily and lasts for hours”.  The colour is a really beautiful midnight blue, and the pencil did glide on really smoothly.  I often have worries about the staying power of such soft pencils on my eyelids as they get oily.  I find the UD 24/7 pencil liners go on great, but fade after a few hours.  I rubbed at this swatch after letting it dry for a few minutes, and I did see a bit of colour transfer, but I would never be rubbing my eyelids that hard!  The full size of this is a set of 4 minis (the same size) and I am assuming they                                    come in 4 different colours.  That set retails for $21.

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Pilot – Acroball Pen

Last and very least, we have a pen.  Really?  A pen?  Thanks Birchbox, but I don’t pay $10 for office supply samples.  It writes in pink ink, and came with a $1 off coupon for any 3, 4, or 5 pack.

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Ipsy Glam Bag – May, 2013

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Pacifica – Island Vanilla Perfume Roll-On

This smells so amazing!!  Like sugar cookies or vanilla icing.  Very sweet and delicious.  Not usually my type of fragrance, but I am loving this one =) “Inspired by the unique magic of Tahitian vanilla, this sensual blend sets sweet and sultry vanilla absolute, with honey-jasmine notes and a touch of fruitiness, against a deep and beautiful base of tea.”  This is 0.33 fl oz (10mL), which is full size!  And it retails for $12.  The Ipsy discount for this month is 20% off any purchase from Pacifica.  A portion of all of the sales from the Island Vanilla fragrance line goes to the Ocean Futures Society, a non-profit marine conservation organization, and it is 100% vegan.  How amazing is that!?

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Pacifica – Coconut Crushed Pearl luminizing body butter

Next is another product from Pacifica, the luminizing body butter.  This smells so delicious.  I am not usually a fan of fake coconut smell, but this one is actually really good.  It gives just a slight glow to the skin, so it would be really nice on your legs or just on your décolletage for a night out.  It is cruelty free and contains coconut oil, pearls and sea minerals.  “Shimmer and glow from the inside out with luminescent crushed pearls and ultra-nourishing tropical phytonutrients”.  This is a 2oz tube, which is their mini size, and retails for $7.  The full size is 8oz and retails for $24.  Again, the Ipsy discount is 20% off.

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Juice Beauty – Reflecting Gloss in “Fig”

This product is an exclusive pre-launch through Ipsy!  It is an organic lip gloss that smells delicious.  Fruity and sweet!  It has great pigmentation, as you can tell from the swatch, and has a doe-foot applicator.  It is made with acai and goji berries for antioxidants, as well as minerals and agave nectar (that’s what the smell is!).  I haven’t used this on my lips yet, but I’m sure I will love it!  I have loved everything else I’ve gotten from Juice Beauty so far =)  This is a full size sample, and it retails for $15.

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Juice Beauty – Reflecting Gloss in “Fig”

The discount is also 20% for Juice Beauty.

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Yaby – Concealer in “Buff”

The yaby concealer is actually not too bad of a match for my skin tone, kind of crazy for a beauty box sample!  I haven’t tried it on my face yet, but it seems to be quite thick and high coverage, so for me it would be a blemish and redness concealer, not for under my eyes.  I will have to let you know!  It is a full size refill, which has a value of $5.06.  The discount code for this is actually for camerareadycosmetics.com, and it is 20% off.

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Zoya – Nail Polish in “Neely”

The final product is a full size Zoya nail polish!  It is a really pretty colour called “Neely”.  To me this is more of a true minty green than Essie’s “Mint Candy Apple”.  I actually used it in the manicure that I put on yesterday, so keep an eye out for an Instagram photo!  The first coat goes on streaky, but the second really packs on the colour.  I love my Zoya polishes, so I am really excited to get a new one!  It looks like this could have come in any 1 of 6 pastel colours.  I’m happy with mine =).  The discount code for this is buy two get one free, plus a free 1oz Remove+ (their polish remover) and $5 shipping, pretty good deal!  Zoya polishes retail for $8 on their website.

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Zoya – Nail Polish in “Neely”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to let me know in the comments below which bag is your favourite and which one you think I should drop!  I can’t wait to show you the goodies I will be getting in my new boxes =)

xoxo

Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil in CIA

Hey Beauties!

Here is a quick post about the Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencils.  I bought this on HauteLook a while ago for the purpose of having a handy concealer that I could easily just throw in my bag and have with me anywhere I went for touch-ups.

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It is a very convenient form, a nice soft pencil that goes on smoothly and blends right in.  It lasts quite well, but does crease a little bit under the eyes.  This is unfortunate because it turns out the colour that I bought is too light for the rest of my face!  It highlights any blemishes I use it on, so I really only use it under my eyes.  I don’t put it on first thing because it doesn’t last all day on my oily skin, but it is still great for touch-ups before dinner and such, and it highlights nicely.  I think I would use this a lot more if I had a shade or two darker!

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Have any of you used these pencils?  What is your favourite concealer for on-the-go?

xoxo

Open With Me: March Birchbox!

Hey Beauties!

I’m not going to technically consider myself late on this one because my April Birchbox hasn’t arrived yet! ^_^

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The theme is “March Madness”.  Getting a little sporty are we Birchbox??

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First up is Oscar Blandi Hair Lift Mousse.  “Inflate limp locks with this innovative volume reviving mousse.  Made with high-tech ingredients (ooohhh!) it amplifies each strand for voluminous hair that looks and feels full of life.”  Full size is $23

This is a nice travel size (1oz), and I can’t wait to see if it works!  I wasn’t overly thrilled with the volumizing hairspray from them that I got in a previous box, so fingers crossed!

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Next is Wish Shave Crave Shaving Cream.  “The organic shea butter in this foam-free shaving cream makes for an insanely close shave and leaves skin incredibly soft.”  Full size is $20.  This is a 0.75fl oz sample.  I think it will last me about 5 shaves maybe?  It will be perfect to take on vacation to the beach, because I really don’t have any travel sized shaving cream right now!  It is a blueberry scent according to the tube.  To me it smells like grape Flinstones vitamins.  Did anyone else take those as a kid?  The really cool shapes, but awful flavours in the chewable vitamins.  It reminds me of that…DSC07751

This is a really cool sample!  It is a “MAKE” eyeshadow.  I’ve never heard of this brand before, have any of you used it?  “This new brand’s pretty pigments have serious staying power, and we love that one third of all sales are donated to charity.”  Full size is $18.  This sample is 0.85g, it’s in a tiny little compact but the eyeshadow itself is a decent size!  I would say that it is about the size of an Urban Decay shadow that you would get in one of their palettes?  I love that a portion of the sales goes to charities, and 1/3 is a large chunk!  The colour is “Santa Fe” which is a really beautiful peachy-gold with a slight shimmer.  This will be great if I manage to not lose it!

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Next up is another MAKE product.  This is their Face Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30.  “Pump up your makeup’s endurance and protect skin with this two-in-one base and SPF.”  Full size is $30.  This is a 0.18oz (5.1g) sample.  As you can see it comes out a milky-white colour, but this totally disappears once you blend it in.  One of the active sunscreen ingredients is zinc oxide, so that would be where the colour comes from.  That’s great because it means it is a physical sunscreen, which is much more effective and better for you!  It also doesn’t contain oxybenzone (which may be carcinogenic when exposed to UV radiation) or avobenzone (which is not as bad as oxybenzone, but still not great).  I haven’t tried this on my face yet, but I will be saving it to take travelling with me!

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Finally we have the little “Beauty Extra” that is included in every box.  This month it is a Madewell for Birchbox Emery Board.  It has a cute floral pattern, and is your typical rough emery board, same texture on both sides.  This would be useful for taking off length, but I would always use a finer one afterwards to polish off the edges.  It is a $5 value.DSC07756

 

I hope you enjoyed this post!  As you can tell I tend to save a lot of the samples that I get in my boxes for when I travel because they are always the perfect size!  Sorry that means that I can’t always review them for you =S

What did you guys get in your boxes?  Let me know down below, and be sure to check out Birchbox here if you don’t already subscribe!

xoxo

Open With Me: Jan/Feb Glam Bag

 

Hey Beauties!

 

I’m finally getting this catch up post done.  And then I will just have to get my March boxes up before my April ones come and I will be caught up!  haha.

 

Anyways, here is the Ipsy Glam Bag from January and February 2013:

The January bag was a nice navy colour.  There was a long story associated with this bag, including 2 failed deliveries to my old address after we had moved…  For the whole story watch the video at the end!  Long story short is this might be a totally different bag because they had run out of some original products.

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Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play

First up is a hairspray from Big Sexy Hair.  It is called “Spray & Play”, so I am hoping it has a decent hold but it still soft to the touch!  My hair doesn’t hold curl well at all, but the last thing I want is a helmet head…

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Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter

This is a vegan and natural body lotion product.  It smells delicious!  I have so many lotions that I need to empty right now that I won’t be using this right away, but it will be perfect for summer vacations! =)

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Jose Maran 100% Argan Oil

I have never used any argan oil products before, let alone 100% pure oil, so it will be interesting to see what uses I find for this!  This is supposed to be kind of a miracle product…  Have any of you ever used it before?  What are your favourite uses?

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Nailtini polish in “Bloody Mary”

Yay!!  Another Nailtini polish ^_^   I love the one that I got before Christmas, so I can’t wait to try this one out.  Especially in this colour!  It is a really fiery red with a hint of an orange undertone to it.  I just want to stare at it all day…  Love!

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SOHO Smudge Brush

This was the little bonus item that they gave me for messing up my bag a couple of times, I didn’t get it until after my February one!  It’s a brush from a company called “SOHO”.  I haven’t used any of their products before, so I am interested to try this out.  They call it a smudge brush, but to me it looks like a smaller crease brush.  I imagine my smudge brushes as very small and dense and flatter.   Is that just me?  The bristles are nylon, so no animal products =), and it is extremely soft!

 

 

February’s bag had the popular “Red Carpet Ready” theme that seems to encompass all things beauty at that time of year because of all of the awards shows!  Do you watch any of them?   I’m a sucker for the Grammys because it’s basically just a big concert, and I LOVE looking at all of the gorgeous dresses that I wish I could wear at the Oscars.

DSC07665 The bag is a nice black “patent leather”, with a classic red interior.  Love it!

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Pixi “Flawless and Poreless” primer

This primer has a bit of colour as you’ll see in the photo below, but it really blends out translucent.  I haven’t tried this on my face yet, but I think that might just serve to help even out your skin tone before you even put on foundation.  I will love it if it helps hide my redness!

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Pixi “Flawless & Poreless” Primer

The next item is a set of lash cards from lashcard.com.  These are basically mascara or shadow shields that are designed to help you put on your mascara without getting it all over your eyelids.  I don’t really have a huge problem with that, so I’m not sure what I’ll use these for.  My problem is that I ALWAYS have to sneeze right after I put on my mascara.  And we all know it’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open, so what happens?  I sneeze and my wet mascara goes all over my cheeks where my lashes hit my face =(.  It sucks!  Maybe I should put these under my eyes for when I sneeze…

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Pop Beauty “Smoky Lash Kapow!!!” Mascara in Smoky Black

This is another mascara sample, because I definitely don’t have enough of these! </sarcasm>.  Don’t get me wrong, I love trying new mascaras, but I can only use so many at once!  I have a nice little collection of these babies now.  I do love the name though, you can’t help but be excited when you read it!

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MICA Beauty black gel eyeliner

This is an eyeliner from MICA Beauty.  I don’t think there is much else to say about this…  There was no name or colour listed on the packaging, and it looks like your standard black gel eyeliner.  I have one on the go from Urban Decay, so I hope this will last long enough without drying out!  It does seem to be a full size sample though =)

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Coastal Scents Eyeshadows in “In The Spotlight”

And the last product is another Coastal Scents eyeshadow quad.  This set is called “In The Spotlight”, and I’m not really that excited about it.  Sadly the light kept changing and my camera couldn’t capture the colours too accurately.  The are all yellowy, which does not do too well with my skin with yellow undertones in it.  I can guarantee I will never use that yellow in the top right!  The gold and the dark olive have some potential though.

I hope you enjoyed this little recap, and be sure to watch the video for a more thorough look!

xoxo

 

Open With Me: Jan, Feb Birchbox

Hey Beauties,

I know I’m behind the times with this, and I won’t make it a detailed post.  I’ll just quickly show you what I got in my January and February Bichboxes.  Scroll to the end for the video!

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Standard packaging

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Goodies!

January’s box theme was “Best Year Ever”

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100% Pure Body Lotion

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100% Pure Body Lotion

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Aerie Fragrance “Shimmer”

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Aerie Fragrance “Shimmer”

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Ojon Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy

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Ojon Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy

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Embryolisse Lait Cream Concentrate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First up is a pair of body lotions from 100% Pure, in Green Apple and Cabernet Grape.  100% vegan, which is nice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up is a fragrance from Aerie called “Shimmer”.  It is a light floral and powdery scent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we have Ojon Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy.  Not the type of product that I typically need with my fine hair, but we’ll see!  The colours are beautiful =)

 

 

 

 

Lastly, the product that I am the most excited about!  Embryolisse Lait Cream Concentrate.  I don’t know if any of you watch Pixiwoo on YouTube (If you don’t, why not?!), but they talk about this all the time!  I have wanted to try it for ages, but never knew where to buy it in person, and didn’t really want to spend the money online without knowing what I was getting.  So I was thrilled to get a sample in my Birchbox!  This little sample has lasted me more than 2 weeks with daily use, morning and night.  Very impressive!  It feels so nice when it goes on, and really leaves my skin feeling moisturized and smooth.

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“Red Carpet Ready!”

February’s Theme was “Red Carpet Ready”.  I feel like this must have been a standard theme across all beauty boxes this month, right in the thick of awards season!

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Vasanti “Brighten Up!” Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

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Vasanti “Brighten Up!” Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

The first product is an enzymatic face mask.  I have never used a product like this, but I am really excited to try!  Hopefully it will be ok with my sensitive skin.

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Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara

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Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Lancome mascara!  These have a practically cult following, and I have never used one before.  I am really excited to try this one out =)

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Jouer Matte Moisture Tint

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will have to wait until I get a bit of sunshine before I can use this product, the colour is “Hazel”, and it is too dark for me.

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Twistband Headband

 

Twistband had hair elastics in Birchbox previously.  I didn’t understand what all the hype was about…  It didn’t leave any creases in my hair, sure, but that’s because it didn’t secure my hair tightly enough to hold it up!  It would just slide out.  I’m sure this headband will do the same.  I need ones with grippies, or else they are no good…

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*Drooooollll*

 

Finally, a delicious square that needs no introduction!  Yum =)

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my quick recap.  I will have one up soon for the Ipsy Glam Bags as well.

Do you guys like these posts?  Or would you rather I just stick with the videos?

xoxo

Open With Me: December Glam Bag (And Giveaway!)

Hey Beauties!  Here is my December Glam Bag from Ipsy.

Be sure to check out the end for giveaway details!  Enjoy!

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The bag this month is a slender pencil-case shaped makeup bag in a shiny pewter/gunmetal grey colour.  It would work as a small clutch if you just wanted your basics!

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Packed with goodies!

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“The Cards” featuring a $20 discount code for JustFab.com

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I spy a full-sized product!

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Cute Insides!

The inside of the bag is really cute!  It is bright pink with “ipsy” written all over the inside.  As always the inside is an easy-to-clean material, making it ideal for carrying makeup.

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NYX: Ultra Pearl Mania Loose Eyeshadow in #20 “Mocha Pearl”

First up: NYX Ultra Pearl Mania loose eyeshadow in #20: Mocha Pearl.  I have never worked with NYX loose eyeshadows before, and in general I tend to stay away from them (Except for Bare Minerals) because they are so messy!  This was no exception.  The packaging on the sample isn’t the greatest, and upon opening it to examine the colour more closely, it went everywhere! =/

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NYX: Ultra Pearl Mania Loose Eyeshadow in #20 “Mocha Pearl”

It is a beautiful shade though.  A really nice shimmery taupe-gold kind of colour.  It would be a great way to add just a little “something” to a neutral eye look.  I am going to try this out for sure!  I think it would look great just pressed on the lid to complement an otherwise all matte look.

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MAI Couture: St. Bart’s Highlighter Paper

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MAI Couture: St. Bart’s Highlighter Paper

Next Up: MAI Couture St. Barts highlighter paper.  I have gotten blush sheets from them before in another beauty box, and these are the same idea.  This pack contains 25 sheets of highlighter paper that you can tear out and just gently rub wherever you want some shimmer.  They are ideal for traveling or having in your purse for on-the-go touch ups!  They are really pigmented, I think I would only need half a sheet to highlight my entire face.  They are also Talc free and paraben free, which is always a bonus =).

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MAI Couture: St. Bart’s Highlighter Paper

I tried to swatch it for you, but it was tough!  You can kind of see the square outline where I started.  It gives a beautiful peachy-champagne shimmery highlight.  It could easily double as blush for a day of toned-down cheeks.  This was just one gentle sweep, which shows you how much colour comes off!  They have a silky feel to them, and the staying power is pretty good on my arm.  I will try these out and let you know how they do on my face!

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Urban Decay: 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil in “Zero”

This next product is the giveaway product! =D

It is a travel-sized Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner pencil in “Zero” which is black.  The reason I am giving this away is that I already have one!  I love these pencils.  I have a travel set of 4 browns and this black, and I wear them all the time.  They glide on so smoothly, and last for ages (even on my oily eyelids!).  No swatches of this one because I didn’t want to mess it up =).

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Be A Bombshell Cosmetics: lipgloss in “Hot Mess”

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Be A Bombshell Cosmetics: lipgloss in “Hot Mess”

This is by far the most exciting product in this bag for me.  It is Be A Bombshell Cosmetics lip gloss in “Hot Mess”.  This colour, OMG!  It is a bright fire-engine red.  So amazing!!  Perfect for a statement lip, especially over the holidays when this came!  It is smooth, and not too sticky, and extremely pigmented.  And full size products are always awesome!  I have loved everything I have received from Be A Bombshell so far, a new brand that I have been introduced to through my beauty box subscriptions =).  This product doesn’t have any fragrance to it, it just kind of has “makeup-smell”, but only if you stick your nose in it =P

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Be A Bombshell Cosmetics: lipgloss in “Hot Mess”

This will show you how pigmented it is.  This is one swipe with just the product that came out on the applicator.  Love it!

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Mirabella Prime for Face and Eyes

Finally, we have Mirabella Prime For Face and Eyes.  A silicon primer that they say “slides on the skin creating the perfect base for any mirabella foundation”.  This basically exploded everywhere when I opened it.  I’m not sure if the elevation change coming up to Wyoming messed with the pressure inside the tube?  But it wouldn’t stop coming out!  I tried a bit on the back of my hand, and it felt very similar to my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, and it looks the exact same.  If I can figure out how to make it not spew everywhere when I open it it will be perfect to take travelling.

Ok: now for the giveaway details.

I will be giving away the Urban Decay pencil in Zero to one person, anywhere in the US or Canada.  This is my first ever giveaway, so the rules will be simple:

1) Follow this blog

2) Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

3) Leave a comment here with your info so that I know you follow/subscribe, and tell me your favourite makeup product!

4) If you are under 18 please have your parents’ permission, as I will need to ask for your mailing address if you win.

5) For a bonus entry, follow me on twitter!  @wstcoastbeauty

I will leave this open for 2 weeks (We are moving across the country next week, so it will take me a while to get back and check on this!).  You will have until midnight on Monday January 21st (EST) to enter.  Good Luck!!  Please leave only one comment per person, you can have a maximum of 2 entries each (including twitter bonus).

xoxo

Sigma January Discount Code!

Hey Beauties!

This is just a quick post to update you with the newest discount code from Sigma.  January 1-31, 2013 you can use the code JAN2013 at checkout to receive 10% off your entire purchase!  You also get a free gift with any purchase of $30 or more (as always) =).  These are honestly my favourite brushes and I use them every single time I do my makeup.  They make my foundation flawless!  I have a full review on the Sigmax Essentials collection here.

Click here to check out all Sigma has to offer!

xoxo