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?

image

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.

image

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.

image

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!!!

image

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)

image
image
image
image

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)

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

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).

image

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

NYX @ SDM = OMG

A few of my favorite acronyms in the same sentence. OMG. Have you heard?!? NYX Cosmetics is coming to Shopper’s Drug Mart! Finally. I cried over Target’s tragic goodbye. I hunted down Ulta locations when I was on vacation. And I stalked London Drugs NYX displays hunting for LE items. But no more! Because my favorite store and favorite drugstore brand are making love becoming one.

image

Rumor has it that Shopper’s did not renew their contract with Almay and instead will be carrying NYX Cosmetics in it’s place. I’m not complaining. Looks like SDM will also be carrying Joe Fresh cosmetic products in 2016.

With a rewards program like Optimum, I have a feeling I will soon be the proud owner of the entire NYX line. Are you as excited as I am?!?! I apologize in advance if you can’t get your hands on any because I’m pretty sure it will all be in my makeup bag.

Fab AND Free

Ommmgggggg. Get ready to spend your pennies! Murale (Shopper’s Drug Mart’s upscale Beauty Boutique) is offering a FABULOUS free gift with all $125 CAD purchases. The offer is valid in stores and online until September 20th!

image

You get a cute bag filled with 24 samples. And they are 24 amazing samples. I would use every single one! Will you be making a purchase?! Don’t forget to bring your Shopper’s card to get your Optimum points!! ♡

Revel In Revlon

It’s funny how one deal can snowball into more deals. I like it that way though. Bring on the masses!!

I recently found a great deal on “Shark Week” essentials, coupled with amazing Revlon bonuses! I stopped into Shopper’s Drug Mart to use one of my $2 off coupons ($2 CAD off any Revlon lip product coupon included in my Playtex bonus). To my surprise, SDM was having a massive sale on Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters, Super Lustrous Lip Glosses, and Lipsticks. They each retail for $10.99 CAD and were on sale for $3.99 CAD!! With my coupon that meant I would get the product of my choice for only $1.99 CAD!!! I had been wanting to try the Colorburst Lip Butters for so long; I have heard many amazing things!! This was the perfect opportunity for me to try them, guilt free.

image

But that wasn’t all! Shopper’s had a Revlon display set up that had additional coupons on it. They were good for $2 CAD off when you purchased any 2 Revlon lip products (Expires September 2015). Of course I couldn’t get just one lippie, I had to take a few of these coupons and get the whole line, get some more.

image

So let me break this down:

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter/Super Lustrous Lipgloss/Lipstick (assorted)
Retail: $10.99 CAD
Steal: $2.99 CAD

Lippies are on sale for $3.99 CAD each. Buy 2 = $7.98 CAD each. Use $2 CAD off coupon. You pay $5.98 CAD ($2.99 CAD each).

Not all SDM‘s had this display with the coupons, but all locations have them on sale (until Friday, May 22nd). I would suggest checking a few different locations to track down the coupons, it’s definitely worth it! If you took advantage of the Playtex promo, you could get these products for even cheaper, at only $1.99 CAD each!!

I know. You love me because I find the best deals. It’s obviously my calling. Shopping that is!!

Beauty Bonus

About a month ago, I told you about (another) fabulous Shopper’s Drug Mart sale and beauty bonus. In addition to 20× the points, you also got a free clutch filled with samples with every $125 CAD purchase!! I knew this was the time to indulge in some beauty goodies and blow my bank, pick up some new items for spring.

What I Purchased:
image

What I Got For Free (not including 3 bags!):
image

Isn’t spending money so much more satisfying when you get to tote home massive amounts of freebies?!?!?! It’s a beautiful art. The art of bargin shopping!!! And a terrible addiction. Let me break it down for you:

BIOTHERM

image

By now, we should all be very much aware of my love for Biotherm. Basically ALL things Biotherm, but specifically, the Aquasource line. I’m loving my Aquasource Deep Serum, as well as my Aquasource Skin Perfection Moisturizer. Together they made the perfect combo for dry wintery skin. I wanted to find the perfect night cream so I can save my Skin Perfection for day use. I had received a sample of (and, surprise, loved) the Aquasource Nuit. It is more of a gel than a cream, much like the Aquasource Deep Hydration Replenishing Gel (my typical go-to daily moisturizer, but I switched it up by purchasing the Skin Perfection last time around). Aquasource Nuit is described as a “jelly” and certainly presents itself as such. The scent is very light, fresh, and clean. No floral or fruity scents here. The Aquasource Nuit was available in a bonus pack for the SAME PRICE as buying the product by itself ($50 CAD). No doubt which one I picked, insert eye roll.

The bonus pack included a Lait Corporel Body Milk, a mini Biomains Hand Cream, and a mini Beurre De Levres Lip Butter, in addition to the full size Aquasource Nuit. If you recall, I’m absolutely loving the Beurre De Levres Lip Butter. It is more of a cream than a balm, but it is perfect for healing dry, cracked lips in a snap. It is a very versatile product, I wear it overnight to really soften my lips by morning, I apply a thing layer under my lipstick, and I wear it alone during the day on low key makeup days. The formula is not glossy and leaves a semi matte (very buttery) finish.

image

Biotherm was offering a free gift with all purchases over $35 CAD. I love that Shopper’s let’s you combine all offers together, it makes that dollar stretch soooo far. The bonus bag (how cute are those spring pastel colors?) Included a mini Biosource Fresh Foam Cleanser, mini Biocils Eye Makeup Remover, mini Biomains Hand Cream, mini Aquasource Deep Serum, and mini Blue Therapy Serum. I have not tried any of the products from the Blue Therapy line, so I’m excited to try this serum. The Blue Therapy line focuses on anti aging and repairing visible signs of aging. Although I’m only 27, wrinkles scare the shit out of me, scare me, so I’ll take all the preventative measures that I can!! I have used (and own) all of the other minis that I received, so I’m obviously thrilled to have some new travel friendly bottles!!!

ELIZABETH ARDEN

I have been dying to get my hands on a EA Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick in the shade Pink Punch. During the last few SDM events, they had been sold out. The shade is a beautiful bright pink with blue undertones (the best for fair skinned blondes). The formula on these lipsticks is BEYOND hydrating. My lips feel so soft after taking the color off at the end of the day. The pigment is rich and vibrant, true color payoff in one swipe. Your lips will stay gorgeous all day or night, the lipstick doesn’t budge. I find myself doing top ups out of habit versus necessity. With all of these amazing things I have to say about this lipstick, it should come as no surprise why I was so bummed that I wasn’t one of the lucky ipsters to receive the shade Red Door Red in April’s Glam Bag. Serious boo!! The lipstick retails for $34 CAD, a pretty penny, but so worth every last cent. I was elated to find that they had my shade in stock this trip!!

image

This picture does not do this shade justice. It is appearing red here, but it is a true hot pink. The packaging is beautiful. It features the signature “red” door on the tube itself. The tube is made of some sort of metal so it is very durable and heavy in the hand (it better be for $34 CAD). I’m officially hooked on these lipsticks and can’t wait to add more to my collection!!

image

Elizabeth Arden was also offering a free gift with $35 CAD purchase. I was fortunate enough that the lady let me have one even though the lipstick was only $34 CAD. However, I was prepared to purchase another shade to get the deal if need be. The bag itself is a fun coral shade with a shiny metallic accent on the top. Unlike the Biotherm bag that was cloth, this one has a more vinyl texture, making it great for a swim bag or beach bag. Although not waterproof, the material makes it some what water resistant. The gift included a mini Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick in Pretty Pink, mini Beautiful Color Luminous Lip Gloss in Passionfruit, mini Eight Hour Cream, mini Prevage Anti Aging Overnight Cream, mini Prevage Anti Aging Daily Serum, and (not so mini) Prevage Anti Aging Treatment Boosting Cleanser. I have not tried ANY of these products so I am beyond excited to play. The Prevage line focuses on anti aging and reversing environmental damage (again yay!!). I love that the bonus included a cleanser, serum, and cream. That really allows you to fully experience the product line.

CLARINS

image

The Clarins Rep was on site when I went in to make my purchases. She introduced me to this AMAZING Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in the shade Candy Shimmer (05)!! I couldn’t say no after swatching it. The gloss is the perfect hint of pink with micro shimmer. The shimmer is so fine, it almost disappears once it is applied to leave the most flattering dewy lip. The gloss itself is not sticky or goopey. It is thick but leaves lips feeling like heaven. The tube comes with a built in foam applicator (like the Too Faced Melted Lipsticks) which makes it so easy to apply and touch up. They range doesn’t have many shades to pick from but I’ll be happy to purchase this one over and over again!! Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector retails for $20 CAD.

URBAN DECAY

image

I’m such a UD junkie. We all know it. So I won’t deny it. The last item I purchased (to reach my $125 CAD total) was the Naked 2 Basics palette. I couldn’t decide between the original Basics or this one, but fate decided for me as this was the only one that they had in stock. In hindsight that was best, the Naked Basics contained a few shades I already own from other UD palettes. As with all Urban Decay shadows, the shades are pigmented and highly blendable. All the shades in this palette are matte. I own lots of shimmery, metallic shades so it’s nice to have an all matte addition. These shadows do not need to be applied with a heavy hand, in fact, if you do use too much aggression, force when applying and blending, the mattes can tend to look muddy. A light hand and light blending is all that is needed to make the shadows look stellar! The shadows are highly buildable allowing you to amp up your eye look if necessary. I like using an angled liner brush to apply the darkest shades to my lash line for a perfectly smoked out liner.

image
image
image

This palette is beyond travel friendly. It’s small but still has 6 shades to combine for many different looks. If you are on a budget and aren’t willing to drop $64 CAD on the Naked, Naked 2, or Naked 3 palettes (even though you should … they are amazing), then this $34 CAD beauty, might be the perfect purchase for you. The compact is made of durable plastic and clicks into place to close. There is also a little mirror inside which makes it perfect for quick touch ups, and it’s big enough that you could use it to apply all of your makeup if you were in a pinch.

BEAUTY BONUS

After such a huge haul, I couldn’t believe that there was more coming my way!!! I also couldn’t believe that I never knew about Shopper’s Beauty Bonuses before now!! I’m a sucker for these things!!

image

The clutch that the samples came in was surprisingly adorable. It is a metallic gold color and is huge. Like wallet, phone, camera, makeup bag, and a vodka mickey, kind of huge. It also has metal rods (???) along the top by the zipper, to give the bag structure and support; the bag will stay propped open if you want it to. The amount of samples I got in the bag blew my mind, there were 20! 20!!!! No foil or packets here!!! All deluxe size samples! Also in the picture are two samples I got from the Clarins Rep 🙂

Don’t forget that I also got 20× my points on my purchases!!! I also picked up a trio set of Quo beauty blender sponge knock offs (pictured at the very beginning of this post). Did you splurge to get the sample bag?!?! What were your thoughts on all the freebies? Worth buying a few goodies?!?!? ♡♡

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.

image

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.

image

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!!

image

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).

image

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.

image

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!!