Double Take For Double Exposure

It seems all of my favorite beauty brands are clearing out some of their products (I see you, Urban Decay). I haven’t seen makeup turn over and new launches happen this quickly before. Gone are the days of permanent collections lasting decades. It seems like all of the cult favorite brands are constantly releasing new products and retiring old ones. The latest brand to MAYBE be retiring some favorites? Smashbox! It seems the Double Exposure Palette is being cleared out for $29 on smashbox.com! And $26 at Macy’s!! And yes that’s probably USD but that still works out to under $34 CAD. It’s still an amazing deal! Is it a sale or a clear out? I’m not sure, but is it really worth debating when you could be practically stealing it purchasing it instead?

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I did a haul/first impressions post back in March of 2015, ya foreeeeever ago. Well it’s safe to say that I have had plenty of opportunities since to play with this beauty. But let’s refresh your memory regarding my first post, because I love rereading my own ramblings …

I decided to take the Smashbox Double Exposure Palette home with me. The concept intrigued me, 14 eyeshadows that transform into 28?! How could that not wet my panties grab my curiosity? The palette itself is gorgeous. I don’t own anything like this. I tend to gravitate towards neutrals with occasional pops of color. This palette has a beautiful selection of colors and neutrals making it very versatile for creating a variety of looks. The palette also came with a mini Full Exposure Mascara and a double sided brush making it easy for travel. The palette itself is made from cardboard with a magnetic closure. You would definitely want it in a cosmetic bag during any intense travel as the top doesn’t click into place (being cardboard) but rather lays flat to close.

I love how the palette is divided into cool and warm shades by the white and black shadows in the middle. On the left, we have cool, purple toned shades, and on the right, we have warm pink/brown shades. There is a nice range of shimmer, satin, and matte shades. These 14 shades are supposed to “transform” when applied wet. To be completely honest, they don’t transform, they intensify. This is NOT unique to this palette. All good quality eyeshadow should get deeper/darker when applied with a wet brush. I actually feel like this palette works best when applied wet; the shadows become highly pigmented. When applied dry, the shadows are a bit more sheer and alot more product is needed to build them up. I also found that when applied dry, that blending made some shades appear muddy (I did not use a primer). I haven’t had time to fully play with this palette, that was just my first impression. I think using a primer and applying with a wet brush, will make a world of difference. I’m definitely not “wowed” by this palette, but I won’t make any further judgments until I have fully played around with it.

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The good. The bad. And the not so ugly. I still agree with all of my above points EXCEPT I have grown to really love this palette. The key to getting good color is to pack it on. Use a dense brush to apply and a fluffier brush to blend. If you don’t apply enough shadow the colors do still tend to blend muddy. However, when you apply with a heavy hand the results are stunning!!! These shadows definitely do their best work wet. I recommend applying with a wet brush and then “setting” them with a dry brush. Once I got this technique down, the shadows easily lasted hours. If you are someone who only likes a subtle eye look or a light dusting of shadow, this palette is not for you. This is a full effect, full effort type deal. To have the shadows blend well, you can’t be shy about taking it all off putting more on. Side note, always use a primer! I hadn’t used a primer in my first impression (because it was just that, a FIRST impression). When I did actually start using the palette and used a primer, I noticed a world of difference.

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Moral of the Story … this palette is only $26!! And for $26 it is worth every penny. It doesn’t seem that Ulta or Sephora is offering it for the sale price. And it doesn’t look like us Canadians have any access to an in-store sale (Shopper’s Drug Mart Beauty Boutique no longer has the product listed). But don’t bawl your pretty little Canadian eyes out just yet. We can get shipping from both Macy’s and Smashbox. Yay!!

Will you be picking one up?! 💄💄

3 am Battle: UD vs. UD

So ya. It’s 3am. But, I just had to tell you all about this crazy Urban Decay sale. You might have already heard, you might have already bought, but in case you haven’t, prepare for late night shopping (or early morning panic depending on when you read this). Both Sephora and Urban Decay are offering these deals!!!

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Both the Vice 4 and the Urban Spectrum palettes are on sale for only $45 CAD each!!! And ALL Revolution lipsticks are half price at $13 CAD each (these are also on sale at Shopper’s Drug Mart UD locations)!!!

I was soooooo tempted to pick up the Urban Spectrum palette around Christmas, but I held off. As soon as it went on sale though, I called my local Sephora and raced over to pick it up. And I’m soooo glad I did. The color variety is so wonderful. It has an amazing mix of crazy brights, as well as a few neutrals and browns to allow for a full range of day time and night time looks. The pigmentation is superb, exactly what I expect from Urban Decay. The wear time seems endless, I wash my makeup off long before it fades or creases. The pans are organized in trios. Each trio is perfectly cordinated to do a complete eye look. This takes all of the “guess work” out if you are new to colorful shadows. And as expected, they blend like a dream! Did I mention that each of the pans in this palette are equivalent to a full size single pan? That’s right. 15 FULL SIZE eyeshadows for $45!!! That’s a $330 CAD value!! Keep in mind all of these shadows are metallic/shimmer/glitter shadows. Personally, I love shimmery shadows (I secretly have a love/hate with mattes), but if you don’t, this palette might not be for you. The other thing I love about this palette, the box it comes in turns into a jewellery or trinket box. How smart!!!! The laser cut, jeweled box is so adorable, I love the idea of continuing to use it long after I’m done with the shadows. The lid does have a mirror in it and will stand on it’s own if needed. Note though, there is no brush with this palette. If you plan to travel with it, don’t forget to pack one!

The shades:
• Protest (golden forest green shimmer)
• Junkie (teal green shimmer)
• Deep End (bright teal shimmer)
• Madness (bright metallic blue shimmer w/blue micro-glitter)
• Evidence (deep navy blue shimmer)
• Prank (deep navy matte w/turquoise floating pearl)
• Omen (bright metallic purple w/blue shift)
• Flashback (bright deep purple w/pink sparkle)
• Voodoo (metallic purple shimmer w/iridescent purple micro-glitter)
• Flatline (metallic pale pink)
• Bordello (pale mauve shimmer w/gold micro-glitter)
• Backlash (bright pink w/orange floating pearl)
• Daybreak (soft bronze w/silver glitter)
• Burn (medium golden brown shimmer)
• West (deep metallic brown shimmer)

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Currently the Urban Spectrum palette is SOLD OUT online at Sephora (Canada, not sure about the US site). However, my local Sephora had quite a few in stock. They also have this palette on sale and in stock on Urban Decay’s website. They offer free shipping over $50 CAD and you get three (generous) samples with you order. You can look below to see what I got with my lipstick order. Be aware however, shipping took forever with UD. I ordered on April 23rd and didn’t get my order until May 13th!!

The other awesome palette on sale is the UD Vice 4. Unfortunately for me, I picked this palette up when it was full price. Fortunately for me, I redeemed some Shopper’s Drug Mart points and got it (and some other goodies) for free. This is my first Vice palette and it actually appealed to me because alot of the shades are different from anything I own. The palette contains 20 shadows with a total weight of 0.6 oz. That said, I feel like the colors are all over the place. You need to have a some what experienced hand to know how to coordinate these colors. UD said the palette was inspired by an “oil slick ([further] inspired by [their] vintage shade name Oil Slick) into a palette filled with rich, deep jewel tones”. When I keep this in mind and think of oil puddles in a parking lot, I can see where they are going with it!!!! Some shades were more pigmented than others, however, I found the quality of all the shadows to be high and easy to blend. The shades range from mattes to metallics to glitter. The Vice 4 comes with a brush and carry bag, and there is a huge mirror located on the lid; perfect for travelling or doing your makeup on the go. UD knocked it out of the park AGAIN with this packaging. The holographic-esque webbing definitely reminds me of the shine in an “oil slick”. It’s so beautiful to look at!!

The shades:
• Bones (oyster satin w/pearl)
• Grip (taupe matte w/iridescent micro-glitter)
• Deadbeat (black satin w/iridescent micro-glitter)
• Beat Down (deep metallic violet w/blue micro-glitter)
• Pandemonium (metallic plum w/iridescent micro-glitter)
• Framed (light neutral matte-satin)
• Fast-Ball (metallic peachy pink w/pink micro-glitter)
• 1985 (metallic fuchsia w/fuchsia micro-glitter)
• Underhand (burgundy-brown satin)
• Harlot (metallic lavender)
• Discreet (soft dusty mauve matte)
• Grasshopper (metallic emerald w/green micro-glitter)
• C-Note (frosted green w/micro-glitter)
• Arctic (bright teal w/tonal sparkle)
• Robbery (deep metallic brown-gunmetal)
• Bitter (reddish brown matte)
• Flame (bright orange w/gold micro-glitter)
• Low (brown matte w/iridescent micro-glitter)
• Crowbar (black w/golden metallic pearl and micro-glitter)
• Delete (deep chestnut brown matte-satin)

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Last I checked this was still available on Sephora’s sale page. But again, if it’s gone, call your local store. Urban Decay’s website is also clearing it out!!

And last but not least, the Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks!! All three formulas, sheer, original, and matte, are HALF PRICE!! That’s $13 CAD. You can get your hands on them at Sephora, online at Urban Decay, or in store at Shopper’s Drug Mart. I picked up 2, 4, 6 shades. I ordered 4 through UD for free shipping and then swatched at Sephora and picked up a few more. Ooppppps. Although UD shipping took forever, the samples were awesome. All of the formulas preform differently so I would suggest swatching in store to find what you like best, even if you plan on ordering online!! I picked up Native, Streak, Matte After Dark, Obsessed, Cat Fight (not shown), and Turn On (not shown).

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There you have it dolls!! Happy shopping!! I’m off to bed. ♡♡

Rouge Randomness

Being Rouge at Sephora has it’s pretend perks. And free shipping is one of them. So I ordered one thing. Yep. One thing. And it wasn’t an expensive thing, it was a sale lip stain. An $11 thing. Ha. Ha ha. No remorse.

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I redeemed 200 points for a BeautyBlender BlenderCleanser Solid and a Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N45 Red. Because it was a online order I also got three samples, Kat Von D Lock It Foundation, Tarte Maracuja Oil, and Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More® Pore Refiner Primer.

What I purchased was the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Forever Fuchsia. It retails for $16 CAD but was on sale for only $11 CAD!

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I actually fell in love with this formula. It’s matte and creamy and pigmented and just a wonderful dream. I love this bright fushcia shade. It dries slightly darker than the color in the tube, showing a bit of a berry hue in the fushcia. They are not drying and don’t bleed at all. They last a fair amount if time,  but I always reapply after meals, regardless of product. When they do start to fade, they leave a nice hint of color (stain) behind. I totally fell for this formula and ordered another sale shade. I also almost bought the shade Watermelon during the VIB Rouge event, but last minute switched to the versatile Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo in Tangerine/Lingonberry. I definitely will be adding more of these to my collection. They are seriously awesome.

That’s it. My $11 CAD Sephora order. The free shipping is definitely awesome. If you are looking for a fun, inexpensive, yet great quality summer lip product, I totally recommend these!! And it you’re a VIB ROUGE, go ahead and order ONE, No Shame!

Flare Beauty Box

My Flare Beauty Box has arrived!! I chose the “Fearless” box, because I’m a fearless bitch. For only $9 CAD and FREE shipping, this box was a steal. I debated purchasing both boxes but decided I really didn’t need two boxes in addition to all of the other makeup related items that I get through subscription boxes.

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The Flare Beauty Box was offered through Topbox and in addition to all the beauty related goodies, also included a 60 day trial for Next Issue. I’m trying to save my 60 days for July and August. Perfect reading material for all of my tanning adventures.

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Included in the FLARE Fearless Beauty Box:
• Covergirl Colorlicious Lipstick in Succulent Cherry (full size)
• Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash (travel size)
• Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara by LashBlast in Very Black (full size)
• Herbal Essences Rejuvenating Shampoo & Conditioner (travel size)
• Olay Fresh Effects Clear Skin Swirled Mattifier Sachets (2)
• Vidal Sassoon Hair Colour Coupon (max $16.99)

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I’m amped for the full size Covergirl Lash Bloom Mascara as well as the full size Covergirl Colorlicious Lipstick. The mascara retails for $10.99 CAD, alone it pays for the price of the box. The lipstick is a beautiful bright red, it is a little more sheer than I expected but will still make for a gorgeous day lip. I won’t use the hair dye but will definitely pass the coupon along. The Herbal Essences as well as the Olay, have already found a special place in my gym bag.

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If you want one of these Flare Beauty Boxes, it isn’t too late. Visit the Topbox Shop to order!! Did anyone order both?!?!?

Brushegg Brilliance

Omg. Best invention EVER! Seriously. It’s hands down amazing. The Brushegg!! Every makeup lover needs one of these.

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What is it? A tiny egg shaped brush cleaner! Gone are the days of spending hours cleaning your brushes. Gone are the days of spending a small fortune on fancy brush cleaners like Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove or the Brush Cleaning Mat. This tiny Brushegg is small enough that it only requires two fingers. That’s what she said. You slip it on and use it to clean your brushes. It’s so compact you can take it anywhere!!

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It has tiny knobs for lathering and long grooves for agitating brush bristles. This helps to get out deep set oil and dirt. I love how gentle the Brushegg is on my brushes; your brushes will last forever with the right tools! I don’t just use this with my brushes, I also use it to clean my Beauty Blender and other random sponges. From Brushegg:

Meet your makeup brushes new best friend! The brushegg® is a quick, simple and fun way to effectively clean your makeup brush collection. This high-grade silicone scrublet and compact design is made up of small groves that help to lift dirt and leftover makeup in minutes. Now you can finally enjoy the process of cleaning your brushes and additionally prolong the longevity of your brushes. The brushegg® is available in pink, mint, purple and black.

The best part?! It’s only $10 CAD! International shipping (including US) is only $5 CAD! That’s a steal!! If you are Canadian you can get shipping for as low as $3 CAD!! Click Here for more info on Brushegg’s shipping costs.

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I’m seriously in love with my Brushegg! I want it in all four colors!! Check them out!! You can’t call yourself a makeup whore and not have this in your life. Seriously. Follow them on Instagram @brusheggcanada too!! ♡♡

P.S – Here are some tips for cleaning your brushes. Because you know, I’m awesome like that.

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Not So Glossy

I finally took the plunge and decided to subscribe to Glossybox. Janet (Jan&Jot) told me about this great promo they had going on for April where you got a FREE full size Model Co mascara with your first box. In addition they were having a “pop art” theme that included a stunning box and a pop art Thursday Friday makeup bag.

Glossybox is a monthly subscription service that sends 5 beauty products, typically high end and often full size. It is quite a bit more than my other subscription services, the cost is $21 USD + $5 USD for shipping (per month). Given the current exchange, that brought my total to about $34 CAD. A sneak peek for the April box showed that a full size OCC Lip Tar would be included in every box. OCC and Model Co made the price more than worth it for me!! And there would still be 4 more products!! When you sign up you complete a beauty profile, but so far, it looks like everyone pretty much receives the same items.

I quickly learned that with Glossybox, shipping takes FOREVER!! And I never received a single update or notice or anything. I definitely didn’t like that. If I paid for something, I want to know when it is shipped and when I will be receiving my item. Glossybox was the last of my subscription boxes to arrive. I had to cancel my subscription before I even got my box because I didn’t want to be charged for the following month without first having decided if I liked the service. Smart move.

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The box. I absolutely love it! It is definitely one of the coolest boxes I have ever received. And I love the color!! I mean obviously I loved the pink box too but this one is just as nice!! I turned this picture into a wallpaper for my phone, that’s how much I loved it!!

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The products I received were pretty great. But wait?! No mascara?! I had entered the promo code and it had been accepted. So where was my mascara?!

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Two full size products, a makeup bag (how cute, right?), and three mini products. A great selection but I’m not sure I would spend $34 CAD on it. Especially when you don’t have any input in what you receive.

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My Products:

Estee Lauder Enlighten Dark Spot Correcting Night Serum – I’m loving Estee Lauder lately (love their eye cream). I’m excited to try this product under my night cream. I don’t have any dark spots but I’m all for improving tone and evening out my complexion.

Marrakesh Endz Split End Mender & Preventer – Love creams like this. I have super fine hair and they can be prone to breakage of not cared for properly. I love that this product keeps my hair sleek and protected.

Julep Gel Eye Glider in Olive – I have never tried Julep products but I know alot about them and their subscription service. I think this is a great way to get people on board with your product and possibly sign up as well. This eyeliner is creamy and pigmented. I love the shade and love that it is full size. I’m actually super excited to use it for eye looks with my Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Color Field.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Stained Gloss in Rythm Box – I already own and love the OCC Stained Glosses. I don’t own this shade, however! I love the bright cherry red color is adds. Much lighter and brighter than it appears in the tube. Love to wear this alone or layer it over lipstick or stain.

Aerin Waterlily Sun Perfume – I have said it before. Not a fan of fragrances in subscription boxes. I like 1/100 scents I would guess! This is a great size. The scent is light and airy. I’m still not sure if it is something I would wear, but I’m open to it.

Back to the fact that I never received the mascara. I emailed Glossybox and heard back within a few days. They told me that they had run out of the mascaras and that I could pick another item on their list of products. I was happy to see that they were offering a replacement product, but it still didn’t explain why I wasn’t informed of this earlier. Instead of shipping me an item separately, I could have picked a replacement to have shipped along with the April box. Not a huge deal, but noteable none the less. I picked a full size Doucce Cosmetics Lipstick as my replacement. I was told it would ship right out.

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Nearly three weeks later I hadn’t received the lipstick and hadn’t received a shipping confirmation (not that I was expecting one since I didn’t even get one with the actual box). I emailed Glossybox again. They told me that they were waiting for a shipment and that my item would be sent right out. I was confused as to why I hadn’t been informed of this when I chose the item. I didn’t get told the Model Co was out of stock until I emailed them. And now I wasn’t getting the lipstick shipped until I emailed. It almost seems like they were hoping I wouldn’t notice that I was missing my free add on. And then hoping I would forget about my replacement if enough time passed. My experience has been that you need to contact the company, because they won’t contact you. That’s a terrible way to do business. If I purchase something, send me a confirmation. If I pay for shipping, send me my shipping info. If you run out of a product, let me know ahead of time. Having problems with a delayed shipment, let me know so I’m not sitting around checking the mailbox for weeks on end.

My lipstick finally arrived, hello end of May! Talk about problems with April subscription boxes! All my reviews are so late this month!! Birchbox forgot the box. Ipsy was anticipated with feelings of doom. And now Glossybox and their run around.

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The lipstick arrived in the shade 907. It is basically the color of my lips. A light mauve. The formula itself doesn’t seem overly moisturizing and tugged on my lips during application. The packaging is a cool reflective gun metal. But it’s plastic. It reminds me of the Wet n’ Wild packaging. It’s fine for a $3 lipstick, but not what I expected for a lipstick in the $20 range. I’m curious if all the lipsticks are like this or if it was just the one I received. I’ll give it a few more tries before I decide on a final verdict! My first impressions were not great considering the price point.

Glossybox. You weren’t so Glossy. Some of the products wowed me, and others were lack luster. Your customer service and lack of communication really sealed the deal. I’ll be spending my $34 CAD elsewhere!! Glossy, your loss(y)!!!

April Flowers, Tears, And Showers.

April was a doozy for subscription boxes. I was worried for my ipsy bag after hearing how tons of items were arriving in less than perfect condition. Glossybox forgot an item. And Birchbox forgot my box – the actual box.

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Included with my monthly subscription was a designer box by Rifle Paper Co. There was even a little description card included in the box that outlined the monthly inspirations. Unfortunately, my subscription arrived with the card, but not the box. I got a boring brown box. It really made the Rifle Paper Co. look soo desirable. We always want what we can’t have, right ladies?!?

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I mean, how tantalizing? Reading a descriptor card detailing how amazing the monthly design is, all while staring at a brown box … disappointing. I emailed Birchbox, what gives?!?! They immediately owned up to a warehouse error and said they would ship a box out asap. It took awhile (hence another late review), but I finally received it!

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The box really is so adorable. It was worth the wait. I love the bright orange and the floral pattern for spring!! Beautiful. I already have it repurposed. I’m loving this idea of different themed monthly boxes, they are so versatile.

Now for my contents! This month was alright for me. Nothing got me super excited, but I wasn’t overly disappointed either. Given the choice, I’d rather makeup over all else. Only getting one makeup item this month (another highlighter!), was a let down. The majority of my items were just a glorified shower in a box. But I do prefer showers, I’m strictly an occasional bath person.

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My Products:

Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Moisturizing Shampoo – Another duo that I will set aside for travel. I am glad that Birchbox sent both a shampoo and conditioner. Having both allows for a better trial of the line and brand. This is a “new to me” brand, and I am excited to try it on my next trip!

Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Repairing Conditioner – See Above.

Not Soap, Radio Body Wash – I love the wit behind this brand. I also loved the way this left my skin feeling after the shower. I did not like the scent (Bathing With Sharks). I’m so picky with scent, floral or earthy is not my thing. I think I would have preferred “Joy Inducing“.

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream – Pomegranate! Yay! A fruity scent! I really like this shaving creamy. It’s smooth and rich. Leaves my legs feeling soft even before I apply my moisturizer!!

Jelly Pong Pong GLOW GETTER Highlighter – My only makeup item of the month. A brush on, gel highlighter. I like that it has an application brush built in, kind of like nail polish. It allows for easy on the go makeup. Swipe and blend with your fingers. I like that the brush is more precise than some of my other products (i.e. Tarte’s stick like highlighter). Also enjoy the color of this highlight. Very iridescent but also very intense. This is more of a glam highlight vs. a subtle dewy glow.

A so so month for Birchbox. I applaud them for fixing their mistake (especially since the box was so cute and I wanted it). But my products were simply – meh. Looking forward to May … hopefully it arrives soon!! Want your own Birchbox Canada? Click Here!! ♡♡

My First VIB Rouge Event

I had the privilege of attending the Beauty Before Brunch event at my local Sephora last month. This was the first event I have attended as a Rouge member. Although I have a few Sephora locations close to me, I decided to go to South Calgary. I have had terrible experiences there in the past, but the (NEW!!) Store Director, Sam, was beyond amazing and put forth a real effort in getting to know me as a valuable customer. Because of this, and because of my faith in her as a team leader, I decided to visit the Sephora I had previously loathed soo much. I’m so glad I did, because Sam and her team did a great job executing the event.

The event was a closed door event, meaning that you had to be on the list to get in, oooohhhh exclusive! When I first arrived, I was greeted by a Cast Member (associate) who took my name and gave us a run down on the event, including the mini classes they were offering and when. I loved that Sephora had someone at the door to walk you through the day’s event. In case you forgot anything, you could check the program they handed you during check in. No confusion. No missed tutorials. No problems. (Nordstrom, take note!!)

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Sam (the Store Director) went above and beyond my expectations. She had my “must get” purchases already put aside for me. I wish I could hug her to thank her, because it turns out the KVD Shade and Light Contour Palette was sold out. I only got mine because Sam was such a doll for holding my items until the event.

There was also a table with snacks and refreshments. And good refreshments too! Starbucks Coffee and Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade!! Great choices. And of course water bottles. They were regular water bottles; I can’t pretend that I wasn’t a tiny bit disappointed that they weren’t VIB Rouge label water bottles. I guess my hunt for one, will continue. They also had gluten free quinoa cookies.

During the event, they were having mini classes for skincare, brows, and contouring. I attended the brow and contour demos. Both were very well done. They were quick, to the point, and provided everyone with some great tips and techniques. After the brow tutorial (the last of the three), the Cast Member offered to do my brows for me. I loved having the opportunity to see how she did my brows compared to how I do my brows. I came to the event with minimal makeup, a much better canvas for a play day full of new products and techniques!

There were a few brand representatives on site, I talked with the Clarisonic and Clarins Reps. Both were very knowledgeable about their product lines. The Clarisonic Rep did a demo on my friend who was curious about the product and it’s benefits. The Clarins Rep was delightful to talk to and she recommended some products. We chatted about the Clarins makeup line (not available at Sephora) and about some of the new skincare products coming out. I would have liked to see more makeup brand (vs. skincare) Reps at the event, but I don’t think that this was organized by each individual location. In other words you get what you get.

I enjoyed having the store all to myself. And by “to myself” I meant with all of the other VIB Rouge’s. I have never spent so long at a store before. We were there for over 2 hours. We even stayed past the 11am event end. Browsing, chatting, testing. It was like Wonderland. The best part was that I never felt rushed or pressured to make a purchase (although I had tons of stuff that I planned to buy, I didn’t feel pressure to buy anything at all). Even once the event ended, we weren’t rushed. We were told the store was now opening up for everyone and that we would have to mention we were at the event, when we went to the till, to get the discount.

Overall, I feel like the event was well organized and had a great atmosphere. For such a big event, everyone was calm and aware of what they were supposed to do. I very much enjoyed my experience and look forward to the next event. I have to send a major shoutout to the Store Director, Sam. She is on top of her game. She knows what her customers want and she knows how to get it for them. She single handedly made me happy to shop at South Calgary again. I feel that location will strive with her guidance. It was such a complete turn around from the store I had visited previously. She not only welcomed me to the event personally, but she also said goodbye and gave us a few of her favorite Ole Henrikson samples to try at home. Thank you Sam!!

Now for the fun part, my VIB Sale haul!!! With EVERY purchase (no matter the amount) you got a free fold over clutch filled with samples (deluxe and packet) and a full size Formula X Nail Polish (I got the shade Extreme, a coppery red).

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Admittedly, this was only the first of three VIB Sale purchases I made. Oops. But they got smaller each time, I swear! This pic is strictly the items I got at the event. One of the best parts of a exclusive event is the samples!! I got quite a few at the event. I went back to a different Sephora later that same day to make a second purchase (items below), and got another bag in the process. (I was working on the other end of the city so I was unable to return to South Calgary). They were out of samples for the bag, so the Cast Member made me a bag. I actually liked it more than the first bag I received (even though it didn’t contain a full sized product like the bag I got from the event, she did throw in more deluxe samples to make up for it). I also redeemed 200 points for two deluxe samples of my FAVORITE lash primer, Dior Show Maximizer.

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KAT VON D SHADE + LIGHT CONTOUR PALETTE
Retail: $55 CAD
Steal: $49.50 CAD

KAT VON D SHADE + LIGHT CONTOUR BRUSH
Retail: $43 CAD
Steal: $38.70 CAD

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I am so happy that I purchased BOTH of these. They are a beautiful sight. I haven’t used either yet. I still need to stare at them and admire their beauty for a but longer before I mess them both up. Dirrrrrty. Filthy. Once I have tried them, I fully intend on writing a full review on the products.

HOURGLASS MODERNIST EYESHADOW PALETTE (Color Field)
Retail: $67 CAD
Steal: $60.30 CAD

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I love, love, LOVE these palettes. I already own Obscura (earth tones) and fell so head over heels, I knew I had to get another one. Not only do I love the shadows themselves, the palette is a literal work of art. I purchased Color Field (olive tones) during the sale for the pop of color it could add to my eye looks.

URBAN DECAY 24/7 GLIDE-ON EYE PENCIL (Smog & Electric)
Retail: $24 CAD
Steal: $21.60 CAD

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I love Urban Decay. And I love these pencils. They are creamy, pigmented, bold, and they don’t budge. I probably own a dozen or more. Color, brown, black, shimmer, matte, satin … I own it all, they have it all. These are hands down my ultimate FAVORITE eyeliner (Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayons takes a close second).

URBAN DECAY 24/7 GLIDE-ON EYE PENCIL TRIPLE THREAT TRAVEL PENCIL SET SMOKY MATTE EDITION (Smoke, Sabbath, & Perversion)
Retail: $22 CAD
Steal: $19.80 CAD

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I just told you how much I love these pencils. Obviously a threesome, a trio set was a no brainer! I love that they are all matte. And I also love that I didn’t own a smokey gray (Smoke) or navy shade (Sabbath) like this. I already own and love the matte black (Perversion), but who doesn’t need a back up of their fav black eyeliner?

BITE BEAUTY LUMINOUS CREME LIPSTICK DUO (Tangerine/Lingonberry & Fig/Date)
Retail: $15 CAD
Steal: $13.50 CAD

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I love the brights of the Tangerine/Lingonberry duo. I wanted a coral orange/pink for summer and was going to purchase the Sephora Collection Creamy Lip Stain in Watermelon. Then I noticed this duo. The Tangerine shade looks sooo orange, but once swatched, it has the most gorgeous hint of pink. The Fig/Date duo has the most flattering nudes, with some hints of mauve. Bite Beauty makes amazing lip products. My favorite thing is that they are all food grade and natural. Yes, you can eat it. My German Shepherd can vouch for that, he ate my Rouge Bite Beauty Welcome gift. The lipsticks are super pigmented, moisturizing, and creamy. I love the formula, it even has Resveratrol. Resveratrol “fights free radicals with potent long-term age-repair benefits. Each lipstick contains the Resveratrol equivalent of two glasses of red wine, reducing fine lines and wrinkles on and around the lip area over time“. And how practical are these dual ended sticks? Two colors, one tiny tube. Very clutch and travel friendly! Not to mention the value ($28 CAD) compared to the $15 CAD retail. A great purchase, I had to own both. I hope they release more duos, I would buy them all!!

Overall, I very much enjoyed this event. I did enjoy having access to the discount early and also a private event to make my purchases while there was still lots of stock available. I’m still a little mad about the Extrodinary Rewards b.s, but that is with the company directly, and in no way reflects my experiences at the South Calgary location. I love all of my purchases and couldn’t have better things to say about the Rouge event! I look forward to the next one. Did you attend the Beauty Before Brunch event?

Treat A Dog

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I’m addicted to beauty subscriptions. It was only natural that I wanted my fur children to share in my subscription love, by getting one of their own! I decided to try “Treat A Dog” because they were offering 50% off  the first box. Typically, I find pet subscription boxes to be quite pricey. I can find the same items for cheaper than the subscription service. I’m diligent in checking all labels and ingredients in treats and food. Having a subscription box that does all those checks for me, does save time and energy, but I don’t think that it makes up for the cost of a monthly box. However, with the promo, the box was definitely worth it.

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With Treat A Dog, very month, you will receive a unique box delivered to your doorstep. Each box contains five or more carefully selected products and toys for your pup. The boxes contain a wide range of products including all natural treats and biscuits, bones, chews, hygiene products, toys and new gadgets.

Treat A Dog is $32 CAD a month ($16 CAD for your first box), with prices going down by as much as 34% if you sign up for 6 months at a time ($21 CAD a month). You can also choose a box based on your dog’s size and needs (small, medium, large). I have complete opposites, a Chihuahua and German Shepherd. I picked the large dog box and broke the treats into smaller pieces for my little tiny. I found this worked best to get items that BOTH of my dogs could use!

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This specific review is of the MARCH 2015 box. I liked that they included a intro card and theme paper (green!). The box itself was pretty great! I received 5 items, all full size and all natural!

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My GSD is obsessed with toys. And food. And treats. And basically anything. He’s a very happy go lucky doggie. My Chi isn’t big on toys but is a treat fiend (another reason I went with the large breed box, a bigger toy for the bigger dog who loves them).

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The box contained: a Dougie Dog Plush Dog Toy, Red Barn Naturals Bully Stick, Merrick Big Brush Bones (10 count), Merrick Real Cuts Jerky Strips, and The Real Meat Company Duck and Sweet Potato Brew Leprechaun Duck O’ The Irish Dog Treats.

I love that all of the products are natural. They are not imported from China. The are not full of fillers and chemicals. They are completely safe for my fur babies.

This box was 100% worth the $16 CAD (half price off my first box). I even think it’s worth the $32 CAD if you find deal hunting bothersome. Personally, I can find all of these products for less than $32 CAD. For this reason I cancelled my subscription, even though the box and products were awesome.

Although the box and products were awesome, the ease of canceling was not. It took me 3 emails over ten days, to finally have someone reply to me and confirm my cancellation. I was a little frustrated at that point as I was trying to get my cancellation in before the following month’s box was billed. I much prefer being able to click online to unsubscribe (such as ipsy or Glossybox), instead of having to email the company to unsubscribe. When April finally rolled around, I noticed that I had been billed despite my cancellation. I emailed Treat A Dog again (email #4) to ask why. They quickly admitted to an oversight and said that they would refund me and I should see the refund within a few days … I did. Unfortunately, the confusion and effort it took to cancel, may deter me from resubscribing in the future. The products were awesome and the quality was great. For me customer service is just as important (if not more so in some cases) than the products themselves. Having to jump through hoops and over hurdles just to cancel a service, makes it unappealing to me.

My dog(s) however, loved every bit of Treat A Dog. Here’s a picture to prove it with my big pup, Zeus. ♡♡

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Nordstrom Beauty Trend Event

I had the privilege of attending the Nordstrom Beauty Trend Event last weekend with my mom (April 24th & 25th). We attended the afternoon/evening of the 24th. It was quite busy with alot of people, customers and employees. My first impression was that there was no one to explain the event or what was taking place or where. I’m sure there was alot going on that I wasn’t able to take place in, simply due to lack of knowledge.

Services were booked ahead of time, I went in store to make coordinating appointments for us both, keep it easy. Everyone was allowed to book up to five services. We only ended up booking three: mini facials, makeup, and nails.

The first place we stopped was Biotherm for mini facials. Biotherm had a medical esthetican on site and I was lucky enough to have her do my mini facial. She used a nice mix of products I was familiar with and products I hadn’t tried before. She also was very concise about explaining what she was using, how best to use it, and the benefits associated and expected. My skin really did feel great afterwards, it inspired me to take more time cleaning my face and using more products at home to do my own mini facials. Skin care can be a great art!!!

After we were done, we each received samples of some of the products used. My mom got some deluxe sized jars, but I got multiple packet samples as they only came in that size. She gave me five of each product so I thought that was pretty generous. That’s enough to let me get a good first impression of the products.

We didn’t buy anything immediately, since we didn’t want to be late for our next appointment at Bobbi Brown for makeup. They called me sooo many times for appointment confirmations and reminders, it was a little excessive. This was in addition to one call from Biotherm to confirm, and one from Armani. In the future I think it would be beneficial to get one confirmation call from Nordstrom, instead of 5 calls across 3 different booths.

This was going to be my first impression of Bobbi Brown. The makeup. The philosophy. The products. It was chaos. Pure chaos. The girls that worked the counter were running around looking for other employees. Other staff members were trying to find someone to change empty tissue boxes and full garbage cans. The area they had designated for the makeovers was along the main aisle way leading to the very busy mall entrance. My mom and I were separated even though the lady told us she would be moving us to sit side by side. No big deal. The lady doing my makeup seemed completely out of sorts. She kept leaving randomly to deal with various other staff members. She openly and loudly complained about employees to the makeup artist beside her (very unprofessional). She was completely out of loop about my needs as well. We talked at the beginning, when I arrived, about how I wanted a more intense eye makeup with bold brows. After one of the many missing moments, she said to me “okay so you wanted a minimal makeup look, like a day smoke, right?”. By this point I was so fed up with her inattentiveness, I nodded. I won’t go through the next grueling minutes, as they were much of the same. By the end of my “makeover” I was horrified. I can honestly say I have never seen makeup applied so tragically before. My eyeshadow was in blobs (had we not heard of blending?), my brows were filled in only as far as the arch and appeared to be crumbling, and she hadn’t even touched my lips. My mom looked radiant and had no part of her face over looked. Lucky for her, her artist was flown in for the event from Toronto. Basically, she hit MA gold. I hit Bobbi Brown remorse. I was honestly embarrassed to know I had to spend the rest of the evening with that face on. I quickly left Bobbi Brown. No samples. No browsing. No questions. I won’t be back.

Last stop was Giorgio Armani for nails! The “mani” they were offering was really just a quick file and lacquer. I had recently done an at home mani so the MA went straight to paint. I picked a beautiful Runway inspired brown shimmer shade. They had alot of pinks and reds, but nothing too summery or bright. The lady who did my nails was so nice and cheery. But her application was terrible. She tried to clean my cuticles up with a q-tip after they dried, but that didn’t help very much. Needless to say, I took the polish off the next day. She threw in a few perfume samples at the end of the appointment.

By this point I was still pretty embarrassed about my makeup. The young lady from earlier in the day, Alex from Biotherm, came over to see us getting out nails done. She oh so nicely asked me who did my makeup. I could read the terror on her face instantly. It really was as bad as I thought. She was so wonderful and offered to redo my makeup for me. And thank god. She was very close in age to me and her makeup was on point. I knew she could do a good job for me. And she did!! Everything was so much nicer. The time she took contouring, applying a smokey eye, and filling out my pouty lip, made me feel much more confident. It was such a night and day difference from my Bobbi Brown nightmare.

That concluded the appointments. I was now set to shop!! The best part! I picked up the Biotherm Skin Best CC Cream from Alex. Because of the event, I got extra Nordstrom points as well as a bonus Biotherm gift with purchase.

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I have tried the Biotherm Aquasource BB Cream and had to return it. I hated the smell. This Skin Best CC Cream however, smells AMAZING. It has a hint of color, unlike the Aquasource CC Cream (which I haven’t tried) that is clear. I love the Skin Best line, especially for its ability to fight signs of aging from the beginning. I’m falling for this line, it’s slowly sneaking in to a first place race with my Aquasource favorites.

Skin Best is a youth preserving line. Perfect for my 27 year old skin. “For early signs of aging – fine lines and skin texture changes – caused by fatigue and the environment (oxidation). Skin Best offers triple action 1) instantly energizes complexion 2) diminishes fine lines 3) perfects skin texture“.

I’m loving this CC Cream. It blends to be a perfect match and leaves my skin so hydrated and moisturized. I love wearing this as my only makeup or under my makeup. In love! New staple for me!!

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My free gift with purchase included 5 minis and two bags! The products included were mini Aquasource Deep Hydration Replenishing Gel, mini Aquasource Eye Perfection, mini Biocils Eye Makeup Remover, mini Lait Corporel Body Milk, and mini Biosource Tonifying Exfoliating Cleansing Gel.

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I love that this set comes with two bags. One is clear with a plastic zipper at the top (perfect for water resistance). The other is fabric and quite spacious. It has a metal ring around a breathable hole. This allows any wet toiletries to dry easily (swimming, the gym, the beach, etc. very versatile). This is one of the most practical “free” bags that I have ever received.

Overall, I feel very underwhelmed regarding the event. I found out towards the end that they had “Master Classes“. I would have loved to have been informed upon arrival. There was supposed to be “customized samples and gifts”. We were not given any samples except for the ones we got from Alex (she was such a doll).

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As we were leaving, we were told that if you spent a collective total of $125 CAD on beauty items you got to fill a clutch with samples from the “sample bar“. The “sample bar” was basically all perfume samples. No makeup and minimal skin care samples. Not much incentive for me. I have friends who have attended Nordstrom events and they get bags with samples when they arrive, personalized samples from each booth, and information sheets with all offered programs and events, in addition to the free gifts with purchase. This was the first ever Nordstrom event for my store and city. So maybe it was and is a bit of a learning curve for everyone involved. I think this event was a fun opportunity to spend time with my mom, but I would not be in dire need to make sure I attended every future event. I have to give an honest shout out to Alex from Biotherm in Chinook Centre YYC. All the good parts of the event were due to her!! Did you hit up the Nordstrom Trend Event?! What were your impressions?