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!! ♡♡