The Ultimate Sample Bag

The Sephora Gods have heard me!!! I feel like I’m screaming “FINALLY!” at the top of my lungs. What an awesome VIB Rouge perk!! And available FREE with any $35 CAD purchase! $35!!! Of course Rouge’s get free shipping so that makes this perk a no brainer. Obviously I jumped on this one the second I got the email.

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This Ultimate Sample Bag comes with three full size items. These items are all apart of the Sephora Collection, a Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color in Magenta Luster, a Rose Eye Mask, and a Colorful 5 Eyeshadow Palette in N°10 Milk To Dark Chocolate. These three items alone have a value of $57 CAD!!!!! And that’s not all, you also get a super cute black makeup bag with 8 generous deluxe samples. Use code CANROUGE at checkout. Don’t forget to pick your 3 additonal free samples!!

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Each sample bag includes:

• SEPHORA COLLECTION Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color in Magenta Luster (Full Size 0.14 oz)
• SEPHORA COLLECTION Rose Eye Mask- Ultra Moisturizing & Brightening (Full Size 0.21 oz)
• SEPHORA COLLECTION Colorful 5 Eyeshadow Palette in N°10 Milk To Dark Chocolate (Full Size 0.17 oz)
• tarte Cheek Stain in Flush (Deluxe Sample 0.17 oz)
• Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara (Deluxe Sample 0.1 oz)
• BECCA Luminous Body Perfecting Mousse (Deluxe Sample 0.27 oz)
• Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Chocolate (Deluxe Sample 0.08 oz)
• Prada Candy Kiss Discovery Kit Trilogy featuring Prada Candy Eau de Parfum (0.05 oz), Prada Candy Florale Eau de Toilette (0.05 oz), and Prada Candy L’Eau Eau de Toilette (0.05 oz)
• Fresh Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask (Deluxe Sample 0.5 oz)
• Fresh Crème Ancienne® Soft Cream (Deluxe Sample 0.2 oz)
• Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil (Deluxe Sample 0.16 oz)

So what are you waiting for?? If you are still reading this you have already wasted too much time …

*UPDATE* Look at this beauty!!! Ahhhh!! Plus my 3 extra packet samples!! LOVE!!
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The bag is HUGE! Like massive!!! It has a mesh divider sewn into the middle. It can easily hold an entire weekends worth of toiletries. All the colors of the samples are totally my shades, a hot pink liquid lip, shimmery brown and nude eyeshadows, a flushed cheek, and my holy grail favs They’re Real and Too Faced Chocolate Soleil. TBH I would have paid to get a bag with these items! ♡♡♡

Happy Birthday From Sephora!

Sephora has released their highly anticipated FREE 2016 birthday gifts. This has thrilled some Beauty Insiders, but has disappointed all many VIB Rouge members.

This year, they are offering two different two-piece sets. One gift is from Fresh Beauty and includes mini versions of their Soy Face Cleanser and Rose Face Mask. The other gift is from Marc Jacobs Beauty and includes a mini Le Marc Lip Creme in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and a mini Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer.

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But cue the disappointment for VIB Rouge’s everywhere, because there is NO special Rouge birthday gift this year. No extra product. And yes, this has been confirmed by Sephora. I understand that these birthday gifts are FREE, but it’s kind of a giant slap in the face when you spend over $1000 a year to be apart of their elite level. Especially when you consider all of the other cuts they have recently made to the program (don’t even get me started on how every “exclusive gift” is available to VIB’s).

It’s always great having a birthday at the end of the year and getting to pick up the gift first!! So what did I pick?! Duh. Marc Jacobs. I can not pass on lipstick … ever. And I looooooove MJ’s highliners. I already have this color, but a back up is always a bonus!!

Which gift are you hoping to grab on your birthday?!?!

Topbox is STILL Top Box

Topbox. The most amazing beauty subscription service. The best. My favorite. Phenomenal. Their customer service is always A+. Their products are high end. And they have wonderful little bonuses that you can take part in (like a “wishlist” for a Prive Topbox; a special brand exclusive box!!).

So who or what is Topbox? It’s a Canadian beauty subscription service that sends 4 personalized items to your mailbox. And it’s only $12 CAD!! That’s it! No shipping. No handling. No hidden fees (you just pay the GST/PST applicable in your province). You can chose to get your subscription sent in a printed tube that is adorable and totally reusable. Or an eco friendly organza bag. Every month I continue to be amazed by the high end samples I receive: Deborah Lippmann, Buxom, Estee Lauder, Lancome, Benefit, The Balm, Eyeko, Elizabeth Arden, … I could keep going, but you get my point.

For the last three months, Topbox has been pushing all of my happy buttons. It’s like my subscription keeps getting better! Here’s my summer Topbox breakdown!!

May Topbox

For May’s box, all subscribers had the option to add on a $10 Beauty Surprise. I opted in. You never know what you are going to get, it could be a product worth $15 CAD or one worth well over $100 CAD. My surprise this month came from Bobbi Brown. I found this so ironic because I had just had my first Bobbi Brown experience EVER, in April, at Nordstrom’s Beauty Trend Event. And it wasn’t a great first impression. I feel like I was gifted a do over!!

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The Bobbi Brown box came complete with my choice of makeover at Bobbi Brown in Holt Renfrew, a coupon for a free mini Instant Long Wear Makeup Remover, and five mini BB products.

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I’m very excited to have an opportunity for another makeover from Bobbi Brown. I would love the second chance to fall in love with a different, new to me, makeup brand. I also got a nice range of samples and minis. This will allow me to play my way and get a better feel for the products.

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The products I received:

• Soothing Cleansing Oil
• Smokey Eye Mascara
• Hydrating Eye Cream
• High Shimmer Lip Gloss
• Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner Sample Card (includes Black Ink and Steel Ink)

This box is currently being sold in the Topbox Shop for $27 CAD. So at $10 CAD for a beauty add on, I would say it was a great surprise!!

This was just my add on! I also got my regular monthly Topbox. I didn’t “wish” for any of the offered Prive boxes this month. I chose the regular Topbox with surprise contents.
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The products I received:

The Face Shop Herb Day Cleansing Foam Aloe – The Face Shop has recently been brought to my attention. I have seen their products popping up and then I found a retail location in passing. So I’m beyond thrilled to have some products to try. The Face Shop is a South Korean based beauty company. They have a wide range of skin care (and makeup?) products available. I plan to visit the store soon to get a closer look!! About this product, from The Face Shop, “This cleanser will leave your skin supple and soft to the touch. Its formula is enriched with aloe and its soft foaming texture soothes irritated skin and provides the epidermis with intense hydration.”
The Face Shop Seaweeds Moisturizing Pack – The perfect follow up for the Aloe Cleanser! “This sleeping pack contains seaweed extract, providing vitality and moisture to tired and dry skin.” These products compliment each other so well. I’m thrilled to have them both. You get a much better feel for a brand and their products when you can try a few things from their line. #teamwork
Medusa’s Makeup Eyeshadow – This shadow is a mineral shadow. It is highly pigmented and glittery. Perfect for an intense eye on a big night out. I’m loving the smoky grey shade. It seems ipsy always sends me the champagne shades and Topbox sends me the smoky grey shades (see April’s Topbox). I’m starting to crave a little variety though!! I’m excited to have an eyeshadow to try from Medusa’s Makeup. I was extremely surprised (I’m a great way) with the Lipgloss I received in a past Topbox.
D:fi Reshapable Spray – This is a styling spray. Much like a flexible hairspray. You can use it on dry or wet hair to reshape or maintain style. It’s very versatile. Perfect for travel or the office … or your purse. Basically, anywhere that you are on the go and could need (or want) a style change.
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All together now. So many great products to sample and try for May!! It’s hard to believe that June got even better

June Topbox

As if May’s Topbox wasn’t amazing enough, June came with a HUGE surprise bonus! I was 1 of 500 (very lucky) women who were chosen to try 3 FULL SIZE Vichy products for FREE. It appears to me that our Topbox personalized quiz answers might have been taken into consideration, as different women got different product lines. The product line I received, Idealia, fits my skin concerns exactly!! The products were sent out in collaboration with Topbox, Vichy, and Lou Lou Magazine. Click Here to read my in depth review and personal skin story on the Vichy Idealia line.
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In addition to the (ah-MAZE-ing) BONUS, I still received my monthly Topbox. Again, I opted out of any Prive Topbox options.
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The products I received:

Deborah Lippmann Luxurious Nail Color – This is the second Deborah Lippmann nail color that I have received (see April’s Topbox). The shade is different so I’m assuming that means it isn’t considered a repeat item. Not that I would complain anyways, I mean it’s a FULL size DL polish. I also received a coupon for a complimentary Smooth Operator Nail File from Holt Renfrew. Yes!!!
Paula’s Choice Clinical KP Treatment Cloths – I suffer from KP. And I hate it. Being fair, I feel the redness and bumps are always super obvious. If I get cold they can turn purple hued. This is a product that I didn’t know existed and am thrilled to have found (been sent). Unfortunately, I need to actually use these clothes long term to tell you if they work, but I can tell you that I felt a reduction in redness after only one use. Side note, if you also have KP, coconut oil works amazing at helping to clear it up. I’m starting a routine with these cloths, followed by slathering on some coconut oil.
Buxom Show Some Skin Weightless Foundation – I love Buxom. It’s one of my top five favorite brands. I’m thrilled to have this sample of foundation shades to try and find my perfect match. My only negative is that I received this sample for free from Sephora. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed in the sample size given that I pay for this subscription service.
Fruits & Passion Aloe Face Mask – How interesting that I received a Fruits & Passion Aloe Face Mask a month after I received The Face Shop products (The Face Shop locations replaced the Fruits & Passion locations). I also received a coupon for a face treatment FREE from Fruits & Passion. Except there are no longer Fruits & Passion locations in my province. I could order online, but it seems pointless to pay for shipping on such a small item. I don’t see myself using the coupon unless I surprise myself with a trip across eastern Canada. The Aloe mask is made to hydrate and refresh skin. It is a single use sheet mask. I haven’t used this mask yet as I intend to use it in Mexico, in August, on my sun drenched skin. What could be a better, travel friendly, soothing, DIY, face treatment?!!?

Another killer month. I’m starting to wonder what miracles Topbox has hidden up their tiny $12 sleeves …

July Topbox

For July, Topbox was offering (again) their $10 Beauty Surprise Add On. This time (for the first time ever) I chose not to partake. This was a budget based decision, not a preference. I have yet to see a bad beauty surprise. I’m not sure what the “surprises” were for July but I saw a few Instagram shots of a 4 pack of Marsk Mineral Eyeshadows and a Yaby Palette, I’m sooo jealous!!

I (once again) chose the Regular Topbox. I have yet to not like a single box. And I love the surprise!!

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The products I received:

OFRA Cosmetics Universal Eyebrow Pencil – Yes!! Another OFRA product. And brows are definitely having their moment in the spotlight. Being a natural blonde, I was worried about how “universal” this product would actually be. However, how heavy you apply the pencil, determines the shade. Even applied with a very light hand, the color is still a bit darker than I’m used to. Not over the top darker, just a few shades darker. I’m excited to have a shade to make my brows big and bold when the mood strikes. Also, it’s full size!!
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat – Another full size item. Another GREAT item. Another reason to continue my love affair with Topbox. I don’t own this but I always see it at my nail salon. I love that it is fast dry. Perfect for my busy lifestyle. The formula adheres, through the color, to the base coat for a flawless durable finish.
St. Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Body Medium/Dark – St. Tropez is everybody’s favorite self tanning brand. I have already owed and tried this exact product. I loved it. And I love that I now have more. A perfect item for these summer months! This is a daily (gradual) self tanner. It not only gives you a bronzed look, but it also has super nourishing skin benefits.
Bare Minerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara – This mascara is “10-in-1”. It is volumizing, lengthening, thickening, separating, and long-wearing. It has an exclusive “ProTwist180 Wand” that is spiraled 180 degree. It curves around each lash to coat from ALL angles. The formula contains nourishing minerals and quinoa protein complex. I’m very excited to try this mascara as I love many other Bare Minerals products.

July’s Topbox might be my favorite one EVER. Each item was a 10/10 on the “fuck yes”, “impress me” scale. But honestly, it’s a tough call. It’s like they know me. Every box thrills me. Every item has been awesome.

If you are interested in subscribing to Topbox, comment and I’ll send you my referral link via invitation email!! Unfortunately for some of you, they only offer their subscribtion to Canadians at this time. But if you are a Non Canadian, you can just continue drooling over my reviews! ♡♡♡

Shark Week Freebies

Last weekend my sister-in-law was referring to her up coming “shark week“, a.k.a her period. My charming boyfriend, completely unaware that she was talking about her period, blurted out, “Ohhh I love Shark Week!!!“. It was completely hilarious, but it got me thinking about just how much I hate when it’s my turn to have “shark week“. The only thing that makes it better, other than chocolate of course? FREE full sized Revlon lippies!!

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Not only were these Playtex Gentle Glide Tampons on sale for $6.97 CAD at Walmart (Retail $8.99 CAD), but they also came with a BONUS Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm!! And if that wasn’t enough, there is also a $2 off coupon to use on ANY Revlon lip product.

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The balm retails for $10.99 CAD! Getting a 40 count box and a lippie for under $7 CAD is a real steal!!! The lippies included as a bonus, come in one of two colors, Unapologetic (pink) or Standout (red).

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I have only been able to track down “Standout” but I’m on the hunt for “Unapologetic“!! Right now, London Drugs has their Revlon Colorburst lippies on for $6.99 CAD, with the $2 off coupon that brings them down to only $4.99 CAD each!!

Even if you aren’t expecting “shark week” for a little while, this deal is worth it just to save on the balm. I’m personally loving mine. They are quite pigmented (I prefer the Matte to the Lacquer), moisturizing, and fun. These are great for summer, whether that’s in your Saturday night clutch or your Sunday beach bag! ♡♡

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!!

Beauty Blender Bender

Attention fellow Canadian beauty addicts! Attention!!! Give me your fucking attention!! Want a Beauty Blender but don’t feel like paying $26 CAD for it? Well don’t I have great news for those Monday blues!!!
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Birchbox Canada (yes, Birchbox CANADA. Note: NOT Birchbox US) is including a Beauty Blender AND cleansing Solid with every March box. Birchbox recently launched to Canada and so far I have been beyond tempted to subscribe. This offer however, pushed me over the edge. The total for the box with shipping comes to $14.95 CAD. You receive 5 personalized items (mix of sample size and full size), every month, with one of those items this month being the Beauty Blender and Solid combo. At just under $15 CAD, that is a phenomenal price for the Beauty Blender and Solid alone, let alone 4 additional products/samples. And lucky you, the cut off to order is March 17th. Meaning tomorrow. Meaning hussle your ass to subscribe ASAP.

Click Here to subscribe now, using my link. I did tell you about the deal, after all. The least you could do is hook a bitch up with some points …

Bananas For Boxing Day

I went crazy! CRAZY for Boxing Day this year. I can’t wait to share all my goodies with you, but first I had to let you know about a few of the specials at Sephora.
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In the past, Sephora has offered their $12 CAD Favorites on Boxing Day, but this year they switched it up by offering a variety of products at different price points (including many sets priced between $12 CAD and $14 CAD). In addition to my online order, I stopped by in store. I was so glad I did, because they had additional sets on sale that were NOT listed online (including a Smashbox essentials trio set!). Happy Shopping my lovelies. I can’t wait to see what you purchased! Click Here to see the Sephora sale first hand!