Rosegirls Spa Sampler

I’m not one to beat around the bush – except in long-winded blog post introductions, that is – so let’s get to it. I’ve been the worst blogger, talking about how I was going to blog on a regular basis before dropping off the face of the earth. I had a good excuse this time – I’ve been sicker than I’ve been in years, I had major computer issues and I’m still dealing with this extreme fatigue. In December, I decided to make my first foray into the vendor wax world and I pre-ordered a sampler from Rosegirls in the Spa scented variety. I had heard amazing things about their wax blends and knowing that they shipped to Canada and didn’t charge excessively for the shipments, I couldn’t resist ordering. The base cost for each of the samplers offered in December was $41 US with a shipping cost (this includes the US only) of 9 dollars per order. I was impressed to learn that Rosegirls ships internationally, charging the customer only for the shipping costs incurred in the shipping process. It doesn’t seem like a lot but each sampler promised 2 pounds of wax – which was a really nice amount – and I was astounded by how much when it arrived in person.

To be honest, the shipping to Canada was not cheap, especially when you put our pathetic dollar into comparison. I paid the standard 9 dollars US for shipping along with a 25 US dollar surcharge for the cost of shipping to Canada. At first, I felt that this shipping was rather expensive but once I got the wax and saw its quantity and bounty, I got over it quickly. The shipping was not super fast for me. After the 5-6 week turn around time, I did wait almost two weeks but this was mainly because of the time the package spent waiting in customs on the border.

Despite my beyond picky nose, I had decided that it was worthwhile to try a sampler in Spa-themed scents. I was hoping to try some mint and lavender scents that the vendor is famous for along with some cologne or fresh blends and I got what I hoped for. There’s only one blend that I don’t particularly like in the entire lot and I’m becoming yet another adoring fan of the vendor’s wax. Here’s my lowdown on the particular scents blow and the *s indicate my absolute favourites:

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  1. Clean Linen and Snuggle Baby – While this scent was not one of my absolute favourites of the bunch, it only missed the mark slightly short of being included among them. It’s a clean and fresh kind of laundry scent with a hint of vanilla sweetness underneath.
  2.  29 Olive Street – At first I struggled to grasp what the name of this slightly zesty and refreshing scent was in reference to – I’m usually pretty good at figuring these kinds of things out, after all – but the genius of google informed me that it’s one of the original elusive Lush fragrances – or at least that’s what I’m most tempted to believe. I don’t adore it but I’m sure that I will enjoy melting this zesty lemon-lime but maybe ylang-ylang infused offering. I’m also convinced that it has that brightness that Lush’s The Olive Branch has that many wax brands try to duplicate. If anyone knows anything definite about this scent, I would be thrilled to know…
  3. Lavender Peppermint*– At first glance, this is a simplistic scent, largely dominated by that cool peppermint note but with herbal lavender lurking underneath. However, there’s something about it that is a mixture of calming and revitalizing. It’s so good that I couldn’t even resist waiting for it to cure and the throw is all kinds of amazing.
  4. Peppermint Ocean* – This peppermint and fresh water cologne scent wasn’t on my radar when I looked at the possibilities for spa scents to get in my sampler, but I cant wait to melt this springy scent. It has that touch of that watery cologne scent that I know and love and it blends nicely with the cool mint.
  5. Raspberry Zen – While this berry-infused spa scent might be my least favourite in my sampler, I’d have to say that most people will probably be head over heels for it. I do quite like the calming Zen note but I’m too particular about my berry scents to enjoy this one. I can see the mix of fruity and spa scents appealing to the masses though.IMG_9336.JPG

6. Singing In The Rain – From my research in the Rosegirls Facebook group, I have deduced that this scent is a secret blend. It’s a quintessential fresh scent that only leans a bit on the cleaner side of the spectrum and has that beach air sort of quality to it.
7. Lavender Perfect Day – Being a lavender-loving freak, I couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed that the scent is so subdued in this scent. The floral notes are subdued by the zen and herbal lavender and what remains is a fresh feminine floral scent.
8. Zen Goddess – I would describe this scent as a quintessential spa kind of scent that isn’t overwhelming but invokes feelings of relaxation. It’s definitely fresh but it’s softened with maybe a hint of sandalwood or ylang-ylang and a hint of sweetness.
9. Lavender Tangerine Satsuma* – This was another scent that was on the simpler side – classic satsuma with some herbal lavender in the background – but I was so enamoured with it that I had to warm it first. It’s not super intense, but I gave it hardly any cure time and there’s something about it that’s calming but revitalizing. These kinds of scents are my jam, if you haven’t guessed yet.
10. Clean Linen and Pink Sugar – After hearing wax lovers sing the praises of vendor Pink Sugar scents, I was some pleased to be able to try it in the sampler without having commit to a bag, muffin or pie. The sweet perfume scent is comforting but I’m not sure it’s perfect for my likes but I do like how it blends with the classic laundry scent. I’ll be curious to see how my liking for this develops as it melts.

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11.Sandalwood and 29 High Street (Type)* – I might not be brilliant as describing scents (in the slightest, in my opinion) but I can usually place the specific category that a scent belongs to with ease, however, this one threw me for a loop. My research clearly indicates that it is a duplication of an elusive perfume that is now difficult to come across that was sold at Lush’s 29 High Street store, blended with sandalwood. My best attempt at explaining it is a warm and musky offering that leans unisex rather than overtly masculine, with lots of sandalwood, patchouli, a blend of essential oils, a hint of jasmine and some citrus lurking underneath. I don’t love all Lush scents but I can assure you that this is one of those intoxicating ones that strikes the balance between tranquil and inspiring.
12. Biolage, Pink Sugar & Cotton Candy Frosting – If it weren’t for the Biolage and Jenny’s blending ability, I’m sure that this scent would be far too sugary sweet for this fresh and cologne-scented lover’s nose. I love the fresh spa scent of Biolage and because I used it for years growing up, I find something completely nostalgic about smelling it, so at first I was disappointed that the note wasn’t more dominant in the blend. However, I do think that it adds a freshness to the perfume-y and bakery blend. I’ll be curious to see if it comes out more when melted.
13. Spring Renewal & Shampure (Aveda Type)* – When I ordered a Spa Sampler, this is the exact kind of scent I expected and hoped to be getting. It smells exactly like an Aveda spa – which is completely unsurprising because it’s a duplication of one of their old-school shampoos – with that subtle and intoxicating herbal and essential oil based blend.
14. Winter Snuggles – This complex scent came incredibly close to being included in my top favourites of the lot. It strikes me as a seamless blend and with a name that gives nothing away about the particular notes, giving a scent description frustrates me to no end. My best attempt is to describe it as a blend of baby powder, sandalwood, patchouli and slightly woodsy warmth. The baby powder and cologne hybrid scent is unique to say the least.
15. Lemon Basil Sage Mint – Thankfully for my sanity, the final blend is a straightforward one with a straightforward name to boot. In a nutshell, it’s a zesty lemon blend that also includes some herbal notes. I can smell the basil, sage and mint in the background but none of these notes stand out in particular – I do note that the mint is a fresh mint rather than a peppermint or spearmint. This would be a great spring or kitchen kind of scent.

I may have placed another order set to ship at the end of this month… Does anyone have any experience or interest in/with vendor wax?
Maggie, x.

The Payday Acquisitions

There’s something life-affirming about waking up naturally and feeling sort of rested, on a nice summer day and not being woken by an alarm signifying that you are due at work in a rather short amount of time. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like my new job and I’m not knocking that whole responsibility thing in general but I was enjoying the little vacation from its less appealing calls. Alas, I’m going to try to stop with that unrelated rambling thing and get to the point. In honour of receiving a couple of paychecks from my new job, I made a few celebratory purchases – yes, aside from the Paula’s Choice order – and I’ll begin with the three items that I picked up at a going-bankrupt sale from my only local Chanel Beauty counter. I’m more than heartbroken, by the way.

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Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder in N0 10 and N0 50 ($65): Since their release a fair while back, I’ve desperately wanted to try out Chanel’s luxurious glowing non-powdery powders and took this 30% discount as an opportunity to pick up 10 as a sheerer setting powder, to add instant glow, a little bit of coverage and some SPF protection with a light dusting. I was going to stop there but I saw 50 as well and it (rightly so) struck me as the ideal medium toned contour or cooler toned bronzing powder. The foundations that I wanted were out of stock so I somehow justified the purchase of the extravagant powder in two shades and haven’t looked back. In terms of first impressions, the powders are smooth and give that seamless glowing look to the skin that I’m all about.

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Bumble & Bumble Curl Conscious Defining Creme ($34.75): With my rebellious and petulant mass of dry and tangly fine wavy curls, I’m always on the lookout for a cream that will offer the hold and definition that I’m requiring while offering hydration and manageability to my hair. I might already have a few newer curl creams on the go but I couldn’t resist picking this one up with its discounted price, mainly because I adore Bumble & Bumble and was intrigued about its performance, being marketed towards finer curl types. My thoughts thus far are that it smells amazing in an understated way and offers some solid hold along with definition.

Prevens Paris Makeup Remover Wipes ($6-7): While I’m not exactly the greatest supporter of using makeup wipes, since trying some gentler options from Costco, Neutrogena and L’Oreal, I have succumbed to their allure for when I need to wash my face and remove makeup and I can’t be bothered to do anything else. Upon first glance, I was impressed with these ones because they are affordable yet don’t contain the harsh drying ingredients that many contain – namely irritating alcohols – and do contain nice hydrating ingredients like glycerin, oils and shea butter along with a couple of antioxidants. They do work nicely to cleanse the skin instantly without irritation or dryness but they unfortunately don’t leave my skin as soft as the L’Oreal Sublime Soft Soothing Cleansing Wipes do.

Studio Makeup Smooth Endurance Creme Eyeshadow in Souffle ($26): Well, the store where I work has recently acquired a few cosmetic brands and Studio Makeup has been one of them and I’ve found myself constantly showing this champagne cream eyeshadow to many customers and ah-ing over it. I figured that was a sign for me to try it out for myself and I’m not displeased in the slightest. The formula is creamy and comparable to Paint Pots and it’s essentially MAC All That Glitters in cream form.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone ($23): I’ve discussed my desire to sample Becca’s highlighters at great lengths in a variety of wishlist posts, so I had to snap up this more affordable smaller size of their standard famous liquid highlighter when I spotted it at my local Sephora (that doesn’t really carry Becca). I adore how well it meshes with my skin and agrees with my skin despite its finickiness, but most of all I adore the non-shimmery white gold luminous sheen that it leaves wherever its applied. Somehow it seems to add an intense sheen without any sort of visible shimmer; it’s sorcery, obviously.

Have you done any notable beauty shopping recently?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

The Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale Purchases

It was a foregone conclusion that I would end up succumbing to the allure of the Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale, given my obsession with their candles and interest in their other products – and limited funds. I’m actually rather impressed that I held out this long, but yesterday I stopped in the store and left with six items that impressively cost me less than forty five dollars – and I do not regret a single one of them.

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The $3/12 promotion on ‘select body care’ prompted my first foray into the realm of the store’s body care line. As soon as I saw the Bath & Body Works Mahogany Teakwood Fine Fragrance Mist ($3/12 from $15), I knew that I could not resist picking up the relaxing subtly-masculine scent in body spray form. I’m not really a body spray kind of girl but I was willing to make an exception for this warm woody scent. It does smell exactly like the candle in the best way possible. Having severely dry skin, I can always use a nice cream or five so I picked up two products that fit into that category. The first was the uniquely textured Bath & Body Works Sheer Cotton & Lemonade Body Souffle ($3/12 from $15.50) and was the easiest choice because the ingredients were more up my alley, focusing on butters and oils and I love a good thick cream. The scent is really nice too, not sweet in the least and fresh and water-y with a hint of citrus. And I love the soothing cream in the few times that I’ve applied it. I wasn’t sure what to go for to complete the offer but I kind of liked the floral-tinged citrusy scent offering so I picked up the Bath & Body Works Magnolia & Clementine Ultra Shea Body Cream ($3/12 from $14.50) to try. However, I am tempted to perhaps exchange the scent for Sheer Cotton & Lemonade, given that I seem to like it so much…

Obviously, I let myself purchase a few candles given how low my stash is getting and the persuasive discounted prices but surprisingly, two were repurchases – and I’m not exactly one that is decisive and willing to commit in this way. I couldn’t resist picking up another one of the Bath & Body Works Sparkling Limeade Mason-Jar Candle ($5 from $13.50) after enjoying the fresh herbal lime scent so much a little while back and seeing it on for such a good price. I’m about half-way done burning the one that I currently have in my collection and I’m in all kinds of love with the scent so I found myself instantly grabbing the Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Bow Ties & Bourbon ($11 from $22.50) – after all, the cologne-y and musky scent has that vanilla sweetness that is all kinds of appealing and different. The only new candle that I picked up was the recently released Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Nantucket Sail ($11 from $22.50) that unsurprisingly fit into the subtly masculine cologne-y candle category – my favourite. Unlike other beloved candle offerings, this one leans much fresher and has that aquatic note along with a faint citrus scent and it does seem different and consequently summer appropriate.

All in all I was pleasantly surprised by the sale. In Canada, their sale prices seemed equal to those in the US, which was exciting and a little surprising and I quite enjoyed how they gave out plenty of coupons for the future along with the deals. My only disappointment was that the coloured glass candle collection was not included in the sale…

Have you picked up anything from the sale?
Maggie, x.

 

The Birthday Beauty Acquisitions

Short story even shorter: I just had my twenty first birthday and because my friends and family know me so well, there were a fair number of beauty gifts and I thought I would share them…

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Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX04 ($58)

I’ve always wanted to try the famous Kevyn Aucoin SSE so as soon as it was available at Sephora, I knew that I was serious about this uber concentrated and oil-infused concealer pot. I’ve been pleased with this concealer despite the praise that the product consistently gets. I do have to say that this shade runs a bit darker and more orangey than I would expect a fair shades with golden undertones to run – but it does work with my bit of a tan on my fair skin. And it might just be even more concentrated than everyone boasts in the best way possible.

Living Proof Extending Curl Memory Travel Kit ($36)

I’ve always wanted to try the sulfate and silicone free products from the brand,Living Proof, so this trial set of their curl range was right up my street so obviously it was added to my list. I must say that all three are rather nice but the Curl Defining Rinse is fantastic – it detangles my hair like nothing else with it’s unique gel texture while adding lightweight moisture.

Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave In Defining Cream ($23)

Briogeo is one of those other brands that has made sulfate and silicone free products for curly hair that has always intrigued me, so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to try out their curl cream. It’s even more interesting that it has some hold to it and is designed for looser curls as well that works to define them with a lightweight texture.

Clinique Deep Comfort Body Butter ($35)

Moisturizer (particularly for the body) is not something that one normally gets excited over, although with my eczema and general sensitive skin issues, I’m more disposed to considering investing more money and time into. Regardless, I loved receiving this fragrance-free nourishing body butter. It’s not exactly miraculous but the concentrated balmy cream is all kinds of lovely and soothing.

OPI x Coca Cola Take 10 Set

Lauren, my nail polish loving bestie, continued her tradition of giving me these exciting 10 piece mini polish kits from OPI and I couldn’t be more happy about it – and I admit it, no matter how materialistic that it sounds. I love the OPI formula and these colours are right up my alley and different from all my other shades, consisting of reds, a corally hue and some nice darker offerings. I’m thrilled to have another tube of Nail Envy and to try the Top Coat, too!

Revlon Nail Enamel in Revlon Red ($7)

Along with a gorgeous scarf and maxidress, my friend, Laura (generously) gifted to me this traditional red polish and while I have not applied it yet, I’m excited about it for three reasons; one being that I’m a red kind of girl, two being that I’ve always wanted to try the classic Revlon formula and three being that I don’t have many colours in this shade family. Will report back.

Sephora Lotus Mask ($8)

I’m a face mask kind of girl so sheet masks have caught my attention once or twice, especially those with beneficial ingredients such as this one but I tend to be put off by the price and the fact that they are a single-use product. I’m really excited to try out this “moisturizing and soothing” one, though. It contains only a tiny bit of fragrance as potential irritations and is full of emollients and soothing ingredients.

Any new purchases to share?
Maggie, x.

My First Paula’s Choice Order

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Since the very beginning of my blog, I’ve been aware of and relying on the information put out by the Paula’s Choice team in order to select worthy products and much of the information learned there contributed to dealing with my dry uber-sensitive skin that was in a crisis of sorts, so I’m in awe of them for that. Ever since, I’ve been intrigued by their product lines as well as their unbiased information and no bullshit approach but it wasn’t until about two weeks ago that I took the plunge and actually ordered from them after deliberating for so long. I believe it was over the holiday break that I discovered Paula’s Choice’s youtube channel and their amazing Live Chats and I’ve been obsessed with these chats ever since – they somehow manage to be entertaining, absurdly informative and relaxing at once. It was my enjoyment of the show for months that finally pushed me over the edge to make an order – along with the fact that I actually was running out of stuff and their prices are affordable with all things considered. And I also picked up a gift that I’m not going to show for my mother!

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  1. Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA ($30 $25.50/50 mL):

“Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% Alpha Hydroxy Acid is a must-have exfoliant for those who want their skin to look and act younger. It features 5% glycolic acid with a 0.50% boost of pore-penetrating salicylic acid. This anti-aging exfoliant reveals youthfully radiant skin and counteracts sun damage—without redness or irritation! The innovative daily-use formula continually renews your skin’s texture, evens skin tone, smooths fine lines, and stimulates healthy collagen production via exfoliation and by delivering a potent blend of antioxidants that help fight free-radical damage. Fragrance- and colorant-free, this silky treatment doubles as a lightweight moisturizer and is recommended as an integral part of the Paula’s Choice Resist line This AHA exfoliant has a pH range of 3.5-3.9”.

Preliminary thoughts: The very reason that I bit the bullet and placed this order was this product – I had actually run out of my current AHA exfoliant (the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads) and Brian of the PC team had convinced me of the merits of this moisturizing and more gentle daily option, formulated with a slightly lower percent of glycolic acid and 0.5% salicylic acid. I’ve used this product four or five times and I’m more than impressed and I have to say that it’s been one of the most initially impressive products that I’ve ever tried. I’m ridiculously excited about this one and it may or may not be included in a post at the end of the month – or maybe early next month, judging by how things have been as of late.

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     2. Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster ($20 $9/0.12 ounces trial size)  [$48/ 0.67 ounces]:

“Resist C15 Super Booster is a concentrated, light-as-water liquid treatment product designed to supercharge your Paula’s Choice serum, or it may be used alone. A blend of 15% stabilized vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) at a pH of 3.0, antioxidant vitamin E, ferulic acid, and peptides repairs visible signs of aging and stimulates collagen production for smoother, brighter, and firmer skin. Vitamin C also helps protect skin from environmental damage as it evens your skin tone. You’ll see dramatically younger, healthier, and more radiant skin in weeks!”

Preliminary thoughts: I’m afraid that I haven’t used this concentrated Vitamin C treatment much but the time that I did use it, I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t seem sensitizing despite the potency and that because its unscented, it doesn’t actually smell like sausages as I’ve heard. It has a nice serum-y texture and its supposed to do wonders with dealing the red marks left behind by blemishes that are a major concern of mine.

The Samples

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(i) Paula’s Choice Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster ($7/ trial size – FREE w/Promo) [$35/0.67 ounces]: “This unique blend of nine gentle, non-fragrant, antioxidant-packed plant oils brings soothing, moisture-rich relief to dull, dry skin. See a youthful glow return as essential fatty acids repair skin’s barrier to restore softness and elasticity while calming irritated skin. The non-greasy and elegantly-light texture absorbs quickly for all-day comfort and lasting smoothness” – IT’S BEAUTIFUL.

(ii) Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment ($10/trial size – FREE w/Promo) [$55/1 ounce]: “Combined with potent antioxidants, Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment is specially formulated to smooth and firm skin by helping to boost cell regeneration and stimulate collagen production. Its light, silky texture absorbs quickly and goes to work immediately to refine pore size, reduce deep wrinkles, fine lines, brown spots—it can even help breakouts, too! Licorice, oat extract and other anti-irritants help to minimize the irritation some people may get from products containing high amounts of retinol. You’ll be amazed at how much younger and radiant your skin will look and feel”

(iii) Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel (free sample or $0.80) [$26/3.3 ounces]: “Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant has a sheer, weightless texture that works to exfoliate the skin’s surface and fade signs of sun damage. The ultra-light formula corrects uneven skin tone for a brighter, smoother, more radiant complexion. Substantiated research shows that AHAs improve collagen production for firmer skin and increase skin’s moisture-binding ability. 8% AHA Gel works to sustain the results of professional peels and wears beautifully under a moisturizer or serum”

(iv) Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion (free sample or $0.80) [$26/ 3.3 ounces]: “Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant moisturizes as it exfoliates both the skin’s surface and inside the pore, reshaping the pore lining, unclogging pores and improving skin cell turnover rate. This creates a dramatic improvement in the skin’s appearance, feel, and function, leading to healthier skin. There is a great deal of research indicating that BHA (beta hydroxy acid) increases collagen production and drastically smooths the surface of skin. Additionally, BHA has antibacterial properties that attack blemish-causing bacteria. The lush texture of the 2% BHA Lotion makes skin feel satiny soft, while potent anti-irritants help calm a reddened, blotchy complexion”.

(v) Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer ($ 1/ sample) [$29/1.7 ounces]: “Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer contains a unique complex of ingredients proven to remodel your skin by building and preserving collagen, firming skin and protecting against moisture loss. The feather-light, silky texture provides substantial hydration. The active ingredients in the Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer are proven to make a visible difference in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, skin tone, and skin firmness”.

(vi) Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 ($0.80 / sample) [$26/ 2 ounces]: “Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 goes above and beyond most moisturizers with sunscreen. It replenishes dry, sensitive skin and ensures a healthy barrier function while protecting from daily sun damage (the cause of wrinkles and brown spots) with gentle mineral sunscreens. Loaded with potent antioxidants, skin-identical ceramides and cell-communicating peptides to restore and help maintain healthy, radiant skin that looks and acts younger. Ideal for those with rosacea and specially designed to be worn under makeup”.IT’S AT LEAST AS BEAUTIFUL ON ACCOUNT OF ITS GENTLENESS AND LACK OF A COLOUR CAST.

(vii) Paula’s Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Soothing Body Butter (free sample or $0.80) [$19/113 g]: “Paula’s Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Soothing Body Butter is the solution for problem dry skin anywhere on the body. This Clinically proven treatment cream immediately softens dry, rough skin and keeps it moisturized for 12 hours. A superior blend of antioxidant-rich plant oils, restorative emollients, soothing anti-irritants, and pure shea butter work together to restore and strengthen skin’s protective barrier. Its rich texture is non-greasy and spreads easily helping dry, cracked skin become healthy again, look younger, and feel velvety-smooth”.

(viii) Paula’s Choice Resist Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA ($1/ sample) [$25/ 7 ounces]: “Resist Weightless Body Treatment is truly a one-of-a-kind product! This anti-aging body lotion contains an effective amount of salicylic acid (BHA) formulated at a pH range (3.5-3.9) that allows the BHA to have superior exfoliating properties. As a result, it works to soften rough, bumpy areas, ease dryness, help clear breakouts from the neck down, stimulate collagen production and banish dullness for improved skin tone. This silky, lightweight moisturizer sets to a soft matte finish and is packed with proven antioxidants and potent anti-irritants to keep skin youthful and healthy. This specialized body product will reveal younger-looking skin with a renewed firmness, refined texture and fewer discolorations from sun damage”.

Overall, I definitely had a good experience ordering from Paula’s Choice, even as a Canadian customer. Whilst the order had an added charge (even though I qualified for ‘free shipping’), I can understand that for crossing the border and I was pleased that the order came here in about a week and a half, even including weather-related delivery problems – they even gave me the discounted price, even though I ordered a few hours before the sale begun because it did not process until the following day! I will warn you that on the site, the prices are in US dollars, so be warned of the prices being notably higher considering how awful the Canadian dollar is doing at the moment! It’s also nice that the products are made in the US so we do not have to pay duty!

Have you tried anything from Paula’s Choice?
Maggie, x.

 

 

Recent Drugstore Acquisitions (Minus the Lip Product Buying Binge)

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Do I really need to say anything more? Although I’m pleased to report that I have been fairly in control with my purchases as of late, I have acquired a nice number of new things from the drugstore in the last month or so. I’ve been pretty reasonable when you take the semi-crazy heavy load of purchasing at Target with its liquidation sale — it’s unfortunately leaving Canada — out of the equation at least, particularly when I bought over five lip products without batting an eye. I’m leaving the majority of the lip products out for a later overview post but there were a good few other Target buys worth noting and I picked up a few things today.

Curls Unleashed Lavish in Lather Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($14.99):

I’m typically very interested in these smaller brands created for use on curlier hair but more often than not, they tend to be rather difficult (or impossible) to get a hold of in Canada and are remarkably expensive. Naturally, with Target — the only place that stocks Curls unleashed — closing down and a small discount offered on all products of the hair variety, I couldn’t resist purchasing the promising sulphate-free shampoo. It does not disappoint in the slightest. It’s gentle, being free of sulfates but it also doesn’t have silicones to provide that nourished feeling and therefore is gentle enough on the hair but provides thorough buildup removal and leaves no sort of weight in the hair. The herbal lemon and rosemary scent is all kinds of amazing, too!

Maybelline Face Studio Master Prime Primer in Blur + Redness Control ($11.99):

Eager to experience the skin smoothing and perfecting magic that primers have been touted as providing, I grabbed Maybelline’s new green-tinged redness correcting and imperfection correcting offering. I’ve been enjoying the silicone-based primer but unfortunately, I have not found the colour correction abilities to be overly potent, however, I have to say that I quite like the smoothing hydrating texture.

L’Oreal Infallible Advanced Never Fail Makeup in 603 Classic Ivory ($15.99):

I fully acknowledge that I have a monstrous foundation buying problem but the sale left me unable to resist. I’m a fan of L’Oreal in general and have wanted to try one of their foundations for ages – despite how pricey they are for drugstore – so I went for the natural-finish longwearing formula that has been regarded highly by Lisa freaking Eldridge. I find it to be more semi-matte than natural finish but I’m pleased to say that its a long-wearing base that actually works on my dry skin.

NYX Powder Blush in Cinnamon ($8.99):

Being interested in that natural rosy-cheeked effect, I’ve had my eye on a few of those matte red blushes over time so naturally, I was thrilled when I spotted the orange-red NYX beauty for the first time at my Target and it wasn’t tampered with, I couldn’t resist. It’s a nice blush to add that authentic rosy effect, but I have to admit that I haven’t fallen in love yet as it doesn’t quite provide that instant glow that I tend to find myself grabbing for.

Sonia Kashuk Dewy Luxe Lip & Cheek Balm in 02 Charmed ($9.99):

I couldn’t very well leave Target and its lovely sale without picking up something from their exclusive Sonia Kashuk line, could I? Being dry skinned and generally into that glowing life, I was intrigued by the multipurpose balm formula, especially when I spotted the true coral colour offering. It’s definitely a unique product but in a nice way. It doesn’t have the most pigmentation but it’s effortless to use and has that build ability that makes life easier; the texture feels gel-like, which is a nice departure from the potentially waxy consistency of a dewy balm product, but it also offers a bit of natural looking luminosity. The nail polish kind of applicator is actually fairly simple to use on both the cheeks and lips and I’ve found the formula to be compatible with both areas.

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Essie Cashmere Matte Nail Lacquer in Comfy in Cashmere ($8.99-11.99):

All February long, my close friend, Lauren and I, have been obsessed with the Cashmere Matte Collection from Essie so naturally I was more than pleased today when I spotted the collection after nearly a month of stalking the stores. This shade is part of the grege-y family that I adore and has that matte textured finish with kind of the most amazing blue iridescence. I’ve only just applied it so I can’t comment on longevity or anything but the formula is almost opaque in a single coat and dries like a champ, as far as I can tell. I’m very excited – can you tell?

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($7-8):

With the current weather lately and generally dry and lacklustre skin I’ve been going back to the damp sponge method of foundation application and my old one was falling apart, so upon spotting the beauty blender “dupe” at Lawton’s today (on sale for five dollars this week), I was not going to resist. As it’s still inside packaging, I will report back.

Have you done any drugstore shopping recently?
Maggie, x.

My Sephora VIB Sale Goodies

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Believe it or not, I was somewhat restrained in my purchases during the sale, despite the alarming total cost of my order – a good bit more than half of my order was made up of Christmas gifts and things that I picked up for friends. It has to be mentioned that this year’s sale was a disaster, especially for us Canadians; first there was the overwhelming traffic that lead to the site crashing for everyone and then there was that issue where a good number of Asian accounts were disabled along with international checkout being cut down for the first couple of days. However, I ended up with everything that I intended to get and I’ve tried these four products, enjoying each one a good deal. It should be noted that although I may have gone slightly blush-heavy with this, I was surprisingly strong avoiding the palette trap completely.

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NUDE Skincare Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($45)

It had been a good long while since I indulged in anything resembling a higher end cleanser and since falling in love with gentle forms of cleansing in the last year and a half, I had made up my mind that I wanted to try something higher end. This raved-about gentle cleansing oil seemed to fit the bill, with an impressive ingredient list, filled with gentle concentrated oils and very few extraneous potentially irritating ingredient lists. I’ve tried it and have really enjoyed it, finding it gentle particularly on my uber-sensitive eyes and more than that I’ve been liking the different but still hydrating dry-oil texture along with the fact that the packaging isn’t messy in the least.

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat ($41)

Diffused Heat in action
Diffused Heat in action

If you’ve been around these parts with me for any length of time, you might very well be aware of the intense love that I developed for the Ethereal Glow shade after picking it up April along with the fact that I’ve been wanting to try another shade (or three) since. I was tempted to go for the palette in the spirit of excess being more economical, but I decided to just go for the original shade that I’ve been longing for. Let me tell you, it has meant all of my high expectations since wearing it. It has a good deal of pigmentation and has more of a sheen than the Ethereal Glow shade and in its likeness, this blush offers the most gorgeous finish and somewhat unique colour. The shade is described as a vibrant poppy and while it appears to be in the family of those warmer-toned corals that I love, it has this strong rosiness of tinge of brighter pink to it that really flatters.

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Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé in Raspberry/Opal ($33)

I’m rather fortunate as a whole as my local Sephora holds a great deal of the brands that I’m interested in but I’ve always been more than slightly annoyed that it doesn’t carry Becca because I’ve heard so many great things about the brand. I knew that I wanted to try either one of the blushes or highlighters and it was easy to pick this one because it’s supposed to be like the Hourglass blush but with added glow – it’s formulated with their beach tints mixed with their highlighters for less than the price of the famous highlighters so I had to go for this one. Man, have I fallen in love. It leaves the most gorgeous intense highlight on the skin along with the muted rosy berry hue on the cheeks and applies easily, blending like a dream. I might have casually been dying over this during Tuesday’s post…

Raspberry/Opal in action + Dolce Vita on the lips
Raspberry/Opal in action + Dolce Vita on the lips

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NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita ($31)

This true warm rose hued lip offering in the gorgeous lip pencil format has been on my mind for a while now, as you may be aware from wishlists past and I used the sale as opportunity to give in despite the fact that it wasn’t exactly inexpensive and the shade wasn’t miles different from my beloved Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-Ist. Again, I wore it on Tuesday and I’m in love not only because of the flattering hue but because it’s not drying and it lasted on my lips after eating an entire bowl of soup.

Did you partake in the Sephora VIB Sale?
Maggie, x.