Haul: Drugstore Beauty & Happy Lunar New Year!

It’s been a while since I hit up the drugstores but I have to say there’s nothing like a good sashay down the drugstore beauty aisle especially when there’s a sale! I’m usually the type who will circle the sale items on my weekly flyer and bring them to the store but sometimes it’s nice to have an unexpected run in with some new products.
Of this latest haul, my favourite things I’ve used so far has to be the Sonia Kashuk hair brush which has been on my to-buy list for months but it really wasn’t until Target was ready to pull out that I panicked and made a run for it to the store. (Tell me I’m not the only one who does this.) To top that off, I’m pretty thrilled to also find a drugstore dry shampoo that I love enough to go out and repurchase especially since I have quite a few PR sent dry shampoos to test out but this COLAB version is just too good not to have. 
Made any new discoveries in the drugstore lately?
Let me know in the comments!
STAY IN TOUCH

Bunnie Loves: Ep. #8 | March Beauty Favourites

The beginning of 2013 brought a little something different to my beauty routine. Perhaps its because I started wearing my hair a little wavy but I’ve learned to appreciate a certain softness in makeup that’s got me wrapped up in a whole different set of products in my daily routine. Less eye shadow, more matte lips and rekindling with an old flame….see what I’ve been using for the past while.

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

  • HOLIKA HOLIKA | Luminous Aura BB Cream 
  • MAYBELLINE | Instant Age Rewind Dark Spot Eraser
  • MAYBELLINE | Color Tattoo Eyeshadow “Barely Branded” | reviewed
  • NIVEA | Lip Butter “Vanilla & Macadamia” | reviewed
  • BOOTS No. 7 | Lip Pencil “Nude”
  • REVLON | Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain “Charm”

The Holika Holika BB Cream can be found easily through eBay, it’s a popular product that is carried by various sellers. Everything else is drugstore available, with the Boots No.7 brand being most readily found in Shoppers Drug Mart across Canada.

BONUS: I’ve been in a love affair with Samsara (by Guerlain) for years now and it was only this past winter that I finally pulled together the will to get a bottle. Quite frankly I was a little afraid that once I had it in my possession I wouldn’t touch anything else again. It’s just an intoxicating blend of jasmine and sandalwood, an oriental allure that would have never look appealing to me on paper. I’ve been indulging in this scent quite a bit over the past while and loving every moment of it. In fact I might have to consider getting a body lotion version to wear for the summertime.

Skincare Routine | FW 2012 into Spring 2013

As much as I love switching up my makeup routines, you’ll find me pretty committed to my skincare regime. With the exception of replacing cleansers and masks once in a while, I only change my routine significantly about twice a year when the weather gets warmer or colder. You may have seen many of these products in my Skincare Step-by-Step Demo (video) but here’s a closer look at what I’ve been using this past winter.

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

  • SCINIC | Aqua Lip & Eye Makeup Remover | get it
  • NEUTROGENA | Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes | get it
  • NUXE | Gentle Pureness Micellar Cleansing Foam (with 3 Roses) | get it
  • JUJU | Aquamoist Hyaluronic Acid Whitening Wash Foam/Cleanser | get it
  • CLARISONIC | MIA cleansing tool | reviewed | get it
  • ST. IVES | Apricot Scrub | get it
  • B&C | Mannan Peeling Gel | get it
  • HADALABO | Shirojyun Whitening “Lotion” / toner | get it
  • HADALABO | Shirojyun Whitening “Milky Lotion” / lotion | get it
  • TONY MOLY | Appletox Honey Cream | reviewed | get it

RECENT ADDITIONS (for spring)

  • SKIN79 | White Reviving Skin Radiance “Solution” / essence | get it
  • SKIN79 | White Reviving Skin Radiance Cream | reviewed | get it

WHERE TO FIND THEM
Since there are so many products mentioned here, I put a link to each item of where you can purchase them online. Of course there are various places that carry them, the link is just one example, for any of the Asian products listed here a combination of Adam Beauty, Sasa and eBay should solve all your shopping problems.

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The lesson this winter? Listen to your skin instead of listening to products. My bold attempt at experimentation during the cold sensitive months had me crawling back to my beloved Hadalabo range. But alas, spring is near (we finally had sun today!) and that’s always a fun time to get fancy with my face. I’m hoping to finally pull out those Skin & Lab products which didn’t work for me in the cold. Let’s see what beauty adventures this summer brings!

HAUL: Natural skincare products | iherb

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

  • REAL TECHNIQUES | Flawless base core collection | see it
  • QUEEN HELENE | Original Mint Julep Mask | see it
  • DESERT ESSENCE | Organic Jojoba Oil | see it
  • NOW FOODS | Sweet Almond Oil | see it
  • AURA CACIA | Organic Macadamia Oil | see it
  • AURA CACIA | Organic Rosehip with Vit E | see it

Shipping | Three options are available with International Priority Mail being the most affordable ($6 under $40 total, or $4 for orders over $40). Then there is DHL Express ($12.02) and lastly UPS International ($24). USA orders over $20 receive free shipping.

I must say that I am thoroughly thrilled with my first experience at iHerb (.com) and I think it’s going to be a place that I will frequent in the future for more health goods. If you are ordering for the first time, there are coupon codes available, “CLZ086” is what I was given along with my order receipt**. Spend over $40 and with this discount you receive $10OFF which is exactly what I did, cutting down my order total by a significant amount. I can’t wait to browse through the food stash next time and see what yummies they have in stock.

What is your favourite natural skincare product?
Happy Shopping everyone!

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** This post contains an iHerb rewards code that I was given upon my introduction as a first time customer. When used by other first time customers, I gain rewards points which can be redeemed for my own next purchase for a limited time. This “cash back” reward come from iHerb’s own marketing budget, not from your order.

Beauty Guide | My Nail Polish Collection, Storage & Brand Reviews

A nail polish collection can become very large very quickly, they’re small, shiny and come cheaply at just a few dollars from the drugstore so no wonder a pretty bottle of varnish is almost always in any shopping trip. Do you do the same?

For all you polish lovers out there I’m about to run you through every single nail polish in my collection…you know, just in case you were looking to beef up your stash *sneaky wink*

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS ON BRANDS…

  • OPI VS. ESSIE | I find this happens to be the eternal debate, so I’d best tackle this one first. Formulation wise I find OPI to be easier to worth with and more consistent through the different shades, their brushes are great and wear time is extremely good. Essie has a better selection of colours and so I do tend to gravitate towards them for that reason though the consistency and wear varies a lot from shade to shade. So I’d go to OPI for stable colours and Essie just for the fun ones.
  • COLOUR CLUB | I’ve only had a few Colour Club polishes but thus I’ve been very impressed by the colour selection, wide array of finishes and the affordable price. An all around winner for me if only they were easier to get a hold of.
  • NAILS INC. | I was very excited about these when they first came out in Sephora about 2 years ago and couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. The formulation was smooth and they did dry quite fast. This is certainly a posh kind of polish brand.
  • MAYBELLINE | It was hard to resist the boom that came with the release of the Color Icon formulation. With the new packaging, limited edition releases, bold new colours and a very affordable price, they had a lot of things done right. However the wear time is poor, the cream shades tend apply very streaky and overall these are only good if you’re wearing them for a night out.
  • ETUDE HOUSE | Nice polishes with good consistency and quite easy to work with, the regular range does have a pretty selection of colours ranging from mattes to shimmers and I love that they come in small bottles so your not using a single shade forever.
  • SALLY HANSEN | Fun, cheap and very long wearing, the Xtreme Wear series is one of my favourites. The colour selection is bright and eye catching though lacking in the neutrals/nudes department. On the other hand, the Salon Manicure series was a let down, while the formulas were smooth and the brush easy to use, it just didn’t live up to the one bottle does all advertising. Otherwise, they are nice polishes.
  • WET ‘N WILD | I don’t have too many of these but the newer Megalast polishes are very likeable with beautiful saturation and dries smoothly without any troubles at all. A very beginner friendly polish range.
  • L’OREAL | L’Oreal seemed to have revamped their nail polish range with the Colour Riche line and I’m loving the spectrum which ranges from sophisticated nudes to beautiful couture inspired colours, everything is carefully edited. I haven’t used mine for very long but from the first few swatches, saturation is good and the polishes have just the right consistency.
  • CHINA GLAZE | I have similar feelings about this as Colour Club. Fabulous selection of basic and limited edition colours, full of exciting finishes, sparkles, glitters and everything your heart can dream of. Some shades are easier to work with than others and wear time is quite average but the vast shade selection and great price more than makes up for that.
  • NICOLE by OPI | Great concept but ended up being terrible for me, the formulation wasn’t consistent and most of ones I’ve owned have been a streaky mess. The advertised “new brush” really didn’t make the situation any better, sadly this one isn’t for me. 
  • RIMMEL | If Rimmel put out more colours or even seasonal releases this would line would be my favourite drugstore polish. Many of them are one coat wonders, the darker shades are just stunning! The formula is on the thinner side of creamy but spreads so easily, this line is really fool proof. I love the brush, the bottle design and the wear time is very good for me as well.

I think nail polish is such an easy and fun way to dress up and I always feel like a lady when I put on my nails. I’m looking forward to stream lining some duplicate colours and even jumping into some high end brands (been lusting over some Dior shades). 

Any of your favourite colours show up in my collection?
What shades do I need to try?

Overview | Dollywink & Candydoll makeup roundup

DollywinkCandydoll_01
Here’s a look at all the Tsubasa Masuwaka produced products from the ever popular Candydoll and Dollywink line that I own at the moment. The sweet girly packaging is quite addictive! I’ve already posted individual reviews on each product but here’s a tight overview if you’re looking for a group summary.

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

For the most complete range of Dollywink and Candydoll products for international shipping, Ichibankao (online) will be your best choice as they are very well stocked. If you are looking for a good price, then Sasa (online) has a small collection offered at good discounts but they aren’t always in stock. Lastly when looking to buy Asian cosmetics, there is always eBay which will offer a middle ground pricing/availability of the two previous sites but sellers are abundant.

DollywinkCandydoll_03

DollywinkCandydoll_04
Overall I do think there are some standout products from both ranges. Despite a few disappointments, which to be honest probably exists in all makeup lines, I’m quite happy with what they have to offer overall. Looking beyond the cute packaging, you may be surprised at the attention to detail to some of these such as the blush and false lashes. It seems that the range is slowly expanding with new products added every year, Tsubasa is taking her time developing each product which is something I appreciate and the range as a whole has grown quite a cult following in Asia.

Do you own any Candydoll or Dollywink products?
What do you think about model endorsed/created makeup?

DollywinkCandydoll_05

    Beauty Box 5 | Openbox & First Impressions

    Beauty Box 5_01
    Let me introduce you to a new beauty box that’s come into my possession, Beauty Box 5* is based out of Austin Texas, currently servicing Canada and the USA with a curated selection of monthly beauty products. With the wide selection of such services around the market, choosing the right subscription service is just like browsing the shelves for a new magazine, there’s a bit of something for everyone out there but you have to hunt down what contents suit your life.


    THE DETAILS

    Beauty Box 5_02
    Beauty Box 5_04
    Overall I think Beauty Box 5 has much growth potential and while they are not yet as established as the bigger shinier boxes out there, they are off to a solid start with their affordable pricing and the broad selection of partner brands. The minimal packaging also appealed to me because while I can reuse the containers of my beauty boxes there does come a time where I have no more space for the extra cardboard so using chiffon bags right inside the shipping box is a brilliant choice.
    Beauty Box 5
    Monthly: $12 /month
    Quarterly: $30
    Yearly: $100
    *Gift subscription available too*
    Beauty Box 5_03