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. ♡♡

The Ultimate Sample Bag

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

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

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Each sample bag includes:

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

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

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

Happy Birthday From Sephora!

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

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

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

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

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

Epic Rewards

Sephora and their ability to get inside my pockets!!! They are once again offering some AH-MAZE-ING rewards!! And perfectly timed to be released right after their Beauty Insider Appreciation Week. Some more temptation. At 4x the points for Rouge members, a mere $250 CAD spent, can mean a free 1000 point Epic Reward!!

That being said, these are online only. Meaning you need to make a purchase to redeem them. And may have to pay for shipping if you aren’t a Rouge or don’t spend over the amount to qualify for free shipping.

Hopefully, the release will not be nearly as insane as their Extrodinary Rewards that were released a few months ago. The release date has been announced (August 10th), so it isn’t a guessing game like last time. The “sneak peek” states that these are in extremely limited quantities, however, there are more options than last time. They have also specifically stated which rewards are available to US Residents, Canadian Residents, or both.* Some of these are available to US Residents as well, the only one that is exclusive to Canadians is the 10 000 point reward from Too Faced. Also note that some rewards are available for VIB Rouge’s only!!

I feel like things might be a bit more organized this time around. Anybody interested in redeeming will be up for many hours, furiously refreshing their screens every few seconds. But they won’t have their hearts set on trying to get a reward that ends up not even being available to them based on shipping or import requirements. It is disappointing to see all of the amazing additional rewards that are available to American customers (like a trip to Paris with Lancome!!! A Tory Birch bag, wallet, and perfume!! Etc.), but I would prefer to know right away, what isn’t available to me.

Here are some simplified pictures with the rewards and details:

1000 POINT REWARDS

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2000 POINT REWARDS

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5000 POINT REWARDS

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10 000 POINT REWARD

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I better get my hands on one of these!! I’ll seriously be devastated if I miss out by mere seconds. I have my eye on the Smashbox and Becca. Although the Anastasia Beverly Hills reward looks so great, the colors are not for me!! Maybe if I do some serious damage this month for the sale, a 2000 reward might be within reach …
What do you have your eye on? Will you wait it out to get your hands on something?! ♡

*This posting is for all of the available CANADIAN rewards. Click Here to see the Canadian Sneak Peek.

Beauty After Hours

Who is going to the Sephora Beauty After Hours VIB Rouge Event?!?! I am!! And I’m so excited. I had a great time at the Beauty Before Brunch event in the spring, and I’m definitely looking forward to this event. The cosmetic bag filled with samples looks amazing! I’m loving that they are (once again) being offered for VIB Rouge‘s guests as well, regardless of their membership/loyalty level. And obviously I’m also loving that they are free with ANY purchase. On a budget or saving for all of the holiday collections? No problem. Because that’s my problem … too much want, not enough cash. I’m curious what the “Learn & Play” workshops will be! Maybe some trend looks like “Strobing”?
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The event takes place on Wednesday August 5th at 7pm. A much better time in my opinion. That 9am start was brutal!! And of course … 4x the points for Beauty Insider Appreciation Week! Hopefully there are some awesome rewards to redeem for!! ♡

Spa Sunday

I love to get naked and have a “Spa Bath” on Sunday nights. Prep my skin for the busy week ahead. Wash away all the stress from the week before. Sometimes I grab my tried and true favorites. Other times I go through my samples and minis and pick out a few goodies to make the ultimate DIY spa.

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Today’s Picks!! It was a glorious rub a dub dub

1) GlamGlow THIRSTYCLEANSE Daily Hydrating Cleanser ($43 CAD) – The first step is to wash your face. This cleanser starts out as a mud and turns in to a foam. You apply the mud to a dry face and spread it around evenly. Then apply water to your hands and massage your hands into the mud. The water will cause the mud to lather into a cleansing foam. I very much enjoyed this product. The mud was calming and soothing, my skin was left clean and refreshed. I would totally consider buying this product in the future. I really enjoyed it!!

2) Dr. Brandt Skincare Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant ($90 CAD) – I followed up the cleanse with this scrub. The scrub brightens skin, reduces the appearance of discoloration, and helps increase the absorption of other skincare products. It felt very fine and although you could feel lots of gritty pieces, it wasn’t at all damaging or abrasive. It felt like a very fine scrub. It didn’t leave my skin dry or irritated. I have sensitive skin, and still found this scrub to be gentle enough for a weekly treatment. This scrub is NOT suitable for daily use. It is intended to be used with a minimum of three days between treatments.

3) GlamGlow BRIGHTMUD Eye Treatment ($76 CAD) – Next, an eye treatment. This GlamGlow treatment is made to minimize puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines. It also claims to brighten and hydrate the eyes. I prefer to do one eye at a time, applying was a bit tricky. You open the pod and “tap” the product on to your eye. This did not work for me. I had to scoop the product out and light tap my fingers to my eye (and undereye) to apply. Left the treatment on for three minutes and then wipe off with a soft dry tissue. I did feel a slight burning sensation for a few seconds, but it went away quickly. My eyes did appear fresh and hydrated. My puffiness had subsided.

4) Indigena Blueberry Bliss Sugar Scrub ($60 CAD) – This scrub is AMAZING! All natural, food grade (yes, it’s edible!), and never tested on the fur babies!! The best thing? You can use this scrub on your face, lips, and body. It has a coconut base, citrus essential oils, and wild Newfoundland blueberry seeds. This is hands down, the best scrub I have ever used. It smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling revived. I can’t wait for my next trip to St. John’s to stock up on more Indignea products!!! For Spa Sunday, I used this on my entire body for a much needed polish.

5) L’OCCITANE Ultra Rich Body Cream Rich in Shea Butter ($48 CAD) – After a relaxing Spa-esque soak, I need to immediately hydrate with a thick cream. To help seal in moisture, I like to apply the cream immediately after toweling off, when my skin is still plump and hydrated from the water. This cream was rich and luxurious. It made my skin feel like a dream. The sample size was very generous and I was easily able to use it for my entire body (face excluded).

6) AmorePacific Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence ($105 CAD) –  A serum specifically for the eyes. This one works on three levels: de-puffing, lifting, and brightening. It has a very light, watery consistency. It’s so runny I had to be careful with the packet to not make a mess. However, this consistency made it very light and fresh, and easily absorbed.

7) ESTÉE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex II ($65 CAD) – I love this eye cream. It reduces all of the key signs of aging around the eyes. I can feel it working with a slight tingling or tightening sensation. You only need a tiny amount, and it’s best to pat it into the skin (as in don’t rub it in). Although it says “night” in the name, this eye gel can be used morning and night. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite eye products.

8) Dr. Brandt Skincare Laser FX Lift Serum ($89.50 CAD) – This serum is used for the face, and is great for signs of aging (it will tighten and firm). Serums are designed to penetrate the deeper levels of the skin. Used with an exfoliant, your skin will be primed to make the most of this product. I love the way my skin feels and looks. I also enjoyed the combo of the the two Dr. Brandt products in the sample. They really compliment each other.

9) Biotherm Skin Best Night ($71 CAD) – I follow up the serum with the Skin Best Night cream. This is a favorite of mine. A staple. A routine. This is a thicker, heavy cream best for overnight, or in this case after a heavy string of products. When I have a Spa Sunday, I don’t put make up on for the rest of the day and I use a night cream (even if it’s only the afternoon) to really boost hydration and repair. I get so many compliments on my skin, and it’s all thanks to my daily regimen of Biotherm.

10) RELAX. And drink lots of water. And get a good night’s sleep.

This is my favorite way to use samples. Just make sure you compliment your products and don’t use too many “treatments” at once, for example, I chose to do a facial scrub so I didn’t do a mask. If you use bath bombs, bubbles, or oils in your bath water, be sure to use fresh tap water for all DIY facials. To make it the most amazing spa day ever, pair your face and body treatments with a mani, pedi, and hair mask. Don’t have a hair mask? Coconut oil is all you need. Apply it to wet hair and let it soak for ten minutes BEFORE you shampoo and condition for a quick boost. Or apply it after you shampoo and condition and leave it in overnight as a mask.

You’ll have Monday all like “Meowwww, Bitch!“. But seriously, you will be fierce and ready to Carpe Diem seize the day!! How do you use your samples? And how do you prepare for the busy week ahead?!