Second Chances

Remember when you read a few weeks ago, that EVERYONE subscribed to Birchbox Canada got a Beauty Blender in their box?! Remember how that meant that you got the little pink BB for only $15 CAD? And remember when you were super sad that you missed the March 17th deadline??

Well pout no more!!! If you missed out, Birchbox Canada is offering the same thing this month. No, that does not mean that we all get a Beauty Blender again. But it does mean that all NEW subscribers will get one in their first box!!

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For all new subscribers, Birchbox Canada (yes, Birchbox CANADA. Note: NOT Birchbox US) is including a Beauty Blender AND cleansing Solid, in addition to 4 other beauty samples. The total for the box with shipping comes to $14.95 CAD.

Click Here to subscribe now, using my link. I did tell you about the deal (again). And I’m still thinking that you should hook a bitch up with some points. You have until April 17th to take advantage of this steal!

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The ART Of Makeup

Spotted!!!! Sonia Kashuk’s NEW Spring 2015 line at the Target liquidation in Canada. I was able to find a bunch of these new graphic printed bags for 40% off!!! I had bought some of the bags from the last collection during the clearance, but I had to have these as well, the prints are just so cute. They also had the Fern and Floral line available, but I only grabbed the Face and Lip prints!

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Is it just me, or does the Face print have a certain Picasso-esque vibe? I’m loving the bold prints and bright colors!

I had to go to a few different locations to round up all of these purchases, but every location I went to had the new prints, in stock, in some form. I’m still saddened by the looming loss over my freshly discovered love for Sonia Kashuk. It was short, but very sweet, affair. ♡♡

Getting Naked With Quo

If you follow my blog, you have heard me mention Canadian beauty brand, Quo, many times. I have loved them for years and that love continues to grow. Where “Quo” actually comes from remains a mystery to many. I have products from them made in Canada, the US, and even Italy. The brand itself is Shopper’s Drug Mart’s beauty brand, but the products are made by other companies specifically for SDM and Quo. In other words, SDM is not directly responsible for production of the products. I have heard many rumors over the years about Quo being produced by Mac, Urban Decay, and numerous other big beauty names.

A few Christmases ago, I was given the Quo Back To Basics Eyeshadow Palette as a gift. I was elated to learn that this palette was an exact dupe for the original Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palette. And I don’t mean a few of the shades, the entire palette is a dupe – pan for pan. Unfortunately, this palette is not part of any Quo permanent collection, but every holiday the palette is re-released with slightly different external packaging.

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Here is the Quo and Urban Decay side by side. You tell me … which one is the Back To Basics and which one is the Naked? Nearly identical, right?! But just because they look alike, doesn’t make the Quo worth it. The blendability and rich pigment of these shadows make them worth it. The shadows themselves are so smooth and soft. To be completely honest, I love them a little bit more than the Urban Decay formula (OMG I know, I can’t believe I just said that either, UD is my main bitch). I find that the Naked shadows can be a bit more powdery, which sometimes means that you need to pack on more of the shade to get the depth of color that you are looking for. The Quo powder is a bit more “heavy” in consistency; I find this makes smokey eyes a breeze. I find that the UD shadows work best with a primer, but my Quo palette comes out just as strong, even without a primer. In fact, I wore Quo for YEARS before I even purchased my first eyeshadow primer. The Quo shadows also have impeccable staying power. They last through even the most crazy of party nights. Just ask 18 year old me … she has many specific examples.

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The packaging on this palette is a simple sturdy cardboard with magnetic closure. Inside you will find a mirror and eyeshadow brush, perfect for on-the-go application. I do prefer the tin case of the Naked, and appreciate a case that “snaps” closed.

The Quo Back To Basics retails for $25 CAD, while the Urban Decay Naked retails for $60 CAD. The Quo has such phenomenal quality and value that I have no intentions of EVER purchasing the original Naked palette (hence why I purchased the Naked 2 during my last SDM haul). I even have a back up of the Quo palette for when I run out (if I ever run out!!).

New for 2014, Quo released an additional holiday palette, Back To Basics Matte. I couldn’t resist getting my hands on this matte palette given my Quo love!!

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You have to look closely, because the only thing different about the palettes from the packaging, is the word “Matte“. It would be very easy to overlook that these two palettes are NOT the same (assuming that you didn’t stop to open them).

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The Matte palette is just as amazing, in terms of quality, as the original Back To Basics. The palette consists of alot of light shades, with minimal dark shades. Luckily, the dark shades that are included, are beautiful and highly pigmented!! I prefer the original palette in terms of color selection, but the matte palette is gorgeous in it’s own way too. I am not a huge fan of pink neutrals (which is why I avoided the Naked 3) but this palette allows me to have a few pink tones without spending a fortune on a palette that I would only use occasionally.

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When comparing both Quo Back To Basics palettes side by side, it is very easy to see why I insisted on owning both!! The matte has alot of beautiful shades that will easily compliment the original shades. The brushes included with the palettes are different, which is great! The matte palette has a fluffy, dense brush, while the original palette had a stiffer, flatter brush.

My love for Quo is real. ♡ If you (are Canadian, but) haven’t checked out their stuff, you can’t (seriously) call yourself a beauty addict!!

Walmart Wonder

Did you know that Walmart has a clearance section? If you live in the States then yes, you probably did. You guys have a whole section designated to clearance items!! We Canadians, don’t. But clearance deals can still be found. Each department will have a designated mini area with any clearance items. Typically, these are shelves on the back end of a rack or in a dark corner. Inviting, eh?! Nothing like making your way into the deepest darkest corner and emerging with some wonderful treasures.

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Pantene Pro-V Advanced+ Keratin Repair Collection Starter Kit
Retail: $10.99 CAD
Steal: $2 CAD

Everyone knows I’m a brand whore. An expensive brand whore. And Pantene does not fit into this category. I don’t think I have used drugstore shampoo and conditioner since I was a preteen, even as a teen I used Redken. But when I saw this SET on clearance for $2 CAD, I knew I had to give the drugstore brand a chance. This line, the Pantene Expert Collection, is specifically designed for damaged or aging hair. This formula, Advanced+ Keratin Repair, is supposed to “reverse 2 years worth of damage in just 2 minutes“. That’s quite a big promise for a drugstore brand haircare line.

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The kit contained:
• Advanced+ Keratin Repair Shampoo
• Advanced+ Keratin Repair Conditioner
• Advanced+ Keratin Repair Split End Fuser

So the verdict, did it repair my split ends and strengthen my fine, thin, natural blonde mane? Yes! I did see a difference in the ends of my hair, they did look fused!! But to be fair, any of my smoothing treatments (i.e. Moroccanoil Treatment) make my ends look the same way. This didn’t do anything amazing to my hair. Did this take off two years of damage? No. Did my hair feel smooth and soft afterwards? Yes. Maybe if your hair was truly exhausted, this would make a world of difference. But I take care of my hair. I use coconut oil overnight, I comb it when it’s wet (not brush), I try to use hair products without sulfates. Maybe my hair isn’t damaged enough to show any true, shocking results. Go on bitch, go and brush your shoulders off.

This kit was worth every penny of my $2 CAD. But will I buy again? No, especially not with the $13.99 CAD price per product. I would rather spend a few more dollars and get a higher quality product. This kit however, will be great for travel!! I don’t travel with my good hair products, as luggage often goes missing, and far too often for me to risk it. Besides using the Pantene as my travel bitch, I will stick to my ride-or-die salon products for my daily needs. And a final word to my babes: Bumble and Bumble, Living Proof, Redken … don’t worrying I’m still your little (brand) whore

In Love With Ipsy Love

My first late review! Very late. Naughty girl. Oh so naughty. Better late than never, right?! A late review is never a bad thing, because, now, I have fully tried out these products, multiple times. February’s ipsy Glam Bag theme was #ipsyLove and I sure did feel the love!! My bag took nearly two weeks longer than expected. I had redeemed my points for three additional products, so I’m guessing my bag went out with a different batch compared to the regular batch for my city. I redeemed for another two products to be included with my March Glam Bag, and once again my bag is barely getting to me before the end of the month (expected delivery is sitting on March 25th). Even if the wait is longer when you redeem your points, I love the additional products!!

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So what exactly is ipsy? Ipsy is the $10 USD beauty subscription service that sends 4-5 personalized beauty samples right to your door (plus $5 USD for shipping to Canada). They send full sized products, deluxe samples, and beauty tools, all tucked into a themed makeup bag that changes every month.

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I’m loving ipsy just as much today as I did when I signed up back in July 2014. I love the concept of receiving new products, I love the brands that they send, and I love the cute little makeup bags that are so useful for so many different things. I have one that has my pepper spray and flashlight in it (you know in case I’m walking alone, late at night, through a creepy neighborhood and Scooby-Doo isn’t there to distract the villains). I have another one that is designated for lipbalms in my purse. I use the pencil case style ones as … pencil cases. And one that I use for all my mani minis so I can quickly grab it and do manis on-the-go. How do you reuse your Glam Bags?

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This month’s bag was a canvas feeling, hot pink bag with a grey, pink, and white diamond print. I love the signature ipsy pull that they put on all of their bags. It adds such a cute little detail. It is nice that ipsy sends so many different styles of makeup bags. This one has a unique zipper placement, on the side.

My bag looked bulging when I received it. Combined with the bonus points items, I had alot of products to test and try. Although I received some packet samples (GlamGlow) I like that they sent me two so that I can have a good chance to fully try out the product.

The products I received this month:

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1. City Color Cosmetics Creamy Lip Stain in Flirtini – This item was full size and that is always an exciting thing to receive! I was pretty excited to try out this product and I really liked the pink shade. It color itself would be perfect for daily wear, it was pigmented and a true to the tube shade. However, I hated the formula. This gloss is supposed to be “a hybrid between a lipstick and gloss, City Color Creamy Lip Stain gives your lips true, bold color that won’t quit! Applies thick and creamy with a glossy shine and sets with a lightweight, matte stain that doesn’t dry out”. This was not at all my experience. The formula felt oily and never seemed to fully dry. It would transfer instantly onto any surface. I would not recommend this product and I will not be buying it. The price for these is around $4.99 USD, but I would much rather spend that on a similarly prices item, with higher quality, such as NYX.

2. GLAMGLOW BRIGHTMUD® Eye Treatment – I am in love with the GlamGlow ThirstyMud. I love to apply it and leave it on overnight. I have not tried this sample yet, but I am very excited to try this, I’m just waiting for the perfect at home spa night … this weekend?!

3. Luxie Beauty Large Angled Face Brush 504 – I loved this brush as much as I thought I would. The rose gold color is beautiful and the brush is so soft. It is perfect for blending contour or applying blush. The angle fits flawlessly along the cheek bone. I would have indulged into the entire collection if shipping to Canada was easier!! I seriously love Luxie Beauty!!

4. ModelCo Blush Cheek Powder – I got this blush in the shade Peach Bellini! Yay ipsy for sending me that one! I own so many pink blushes it was wonderful to switch it up and add this beautiful peachy color to my collection. This brush is very pigmented and blends effortlessly. I don’t know much about Model Co (this is my first product from them) but they are definitely on my radar now. I’m hoping ipsy will include more of their products in future bags!!

5. ‘Tini Beauty Rob Scheppy for ‘Tini Beauty Eyeshadow in Pearl Fizz – Another FULL SIZE product. I really love the shade of this product. It really is the perfect highlight shade! It is also nice to use on the lid with some intricate wings to minimize the shadow and highlight the liner. The formula is soft and velvety. It applies easily and blends with little effort. I have now received a few light eye shades from ipsy (J Cat in September, Cailyn in December, Pacifica in January) so I wouldn’t mind some darker shades and to stay away from the highlight for a while!!

The bonus products I received this month:

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6. (MALIN + GOETZ) Mojito Lip Balm – I received this in my December Glam Bag and loved it. The formula is so hydrating and smells light and fresh, a sweet mint. It definitely wears more as a gloss than a “treatment” or balm. It is on the thicker side, but not at all sticky. I’m so excited to be getting a second one of these!

7. Figs and Rouge Mango Mandarin Hand Cream – I love the smell of this creamy it is light and fruity. The cream itself is very hydrating but it absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy feeling behind. Sometimes you want a cream to continue feeling “creamy” after applied, but for a hand cream, the quick absorption is ideal for on-the-go, you can feel moisturized without struggling to hold your pen.

8. Be a Bombshell Eye Crayon in Hangover – This eye crayon is FULL SIZE. I chose the shade Hangover, which is a shimmery chocolate brown. I love the color but feel like the formula of the pencil, causes it to tug at my eye. It also has that sticky creamy consistency (if that makes sense) that makes it hard to blend into other shades. It reminds me slightly of the Makeup Forever Aqua Waterproof Eye Shadow Pencils. The BAB crayon is manageable, but try using 3 or 4 colors for your eye look and I could see it getting difficult and not turning out the way you had hoped. My best success with this pencil has been to use it with one basic, light shade (like the Rob Scheppy) and use the crayon to smoke out the crease. I found it works best when it is kept simple.

This was a GREAT bag this month. I might not have loved the City Color Cosmetics Creamy Lip Stain, but my other products (including my bonuses) made up for it. Overall, I ipsylove ipsy! This marks only the 3rd product (out of 40) that I haven’t liked. That is sooooo worth the $15 USD a month! Click Here to get your own Glam Bag!! Still not convinced? Click Here to see January’s review.

This Is What Dreams Are Made Of

Last month I wrote about Shopper’s Drug Mart’s Super Spend Your Points Event. I redeemed nearly all of my points – 120,000 of them. I took advantage of both point redemption offers, earning me a FREE haul worth $290 CAD!!! All I had to do was pay the tax. I wanted to get some high end makeup with my points so I went to a Beauty Boutique location that carried one of my absolute FAVORITE brands, Urban Decay. Here is my haul!!

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Isn’t it beautiful!? All those lovely FREE products. It was like winning the cosmetic lottery, you just walk in, fuck shit up, and pick out what you want – anything that you want.

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What I got:
• Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
• Smashbox Double Exposure Palette
• Smashbox Try It Kit
• Biotherm Aquasource Skin Perfection Kit
• Biotherm Beurre De Levres Lip Butter
• Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation
• Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
• Benefit High Brow

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