maybelline-volum-express-colossal-chaotic-lash-waterproof-mascara-blackest-black-01w

Maybelline — Volum’Express The Colossal Chaotic Lash! Waterproof Mascara (Blackest Black)

I’m going to totally pan a product today, so I’ll start off by raving about Stranger Things, the new Netflix series that I started and finished last week. I am not much of a marathoner when it comes to television series (well, to be honest, not much when it comes to actual marathons, either!); the last thing I marathoned was Luther Series 4 last month, which is a cheat since it was only two episodes. Ha! (I cannot recommend the whole series enough if you like dark and disturbing shows. And Idris Elba. So you get two raves in one post.)

Stranger Things is a hybrid sci-fi/horror period piece that’s a total throwback to a slew of 1980s movies (I counted references and homages to E.T., Stand by Me, Aliens, Carrie, Poltergeist, and The Empire Strikes Back, just off the top of my head). Even its poster looks the part, i.e. like it was illustrated by Drew Struzan (it was actually done by Kyle Lambert) and the title treatment wouldn’t look out of place on a Stephen King book cover. The series also includes 80s stars Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine, to amplify the retro feel.

Netflix's Stranger Things poster art by Kyle Lambert
Netflix’s Stranger Things poster art by Kyle Lambert.
Image: kylelambert.com

Even if you’re not much of a sci-fi or horror buff, Stranger Things is still worth watching since it’s well written and has incredibly impressive young talent. All of the series’ young stars are phenomenally good, and even the teens are pretty solid. Grown-ups Winona Ryder and David Harbour are fantastic. (Matthew Modine, sadly, has a smaller and fairly one-dimensional role.) This is absolutely my favorite Netflix series, so far, and I’m looking forward to the second season!

And now, onto the rant. It’s a Maybelline product, and let’s be honest, there’s something quintessentially 80s about Maybelline, isn’t there? Maybe it’s just me. Heh. Firstly, the product name is ludicrously long: Volum’Express The Colossal Chaotic Lash! Seriously. Just stop.

I bought it solely because it received good reviews on MUA, even from people who have the same kind of lashes I have: short and super-straight lashes that uncurl with regular, water-based mascaras. Well, that unfortunately didn’t work out so well for me. MUA, you have failed me!

Read More »

ipsy-fivezero-2016-07-01w

Ipsy — July 2016 Glam Bag “Hot Summer Nights”

My July Ipsy (referral link) bag arrived on Tuesday, so it’s a bit late this month. I suspect it has to do with the Canada Post negotiations that have been prompting every online shop to which I’m subscribed to send a constant stream of emails about how they plan on dealing with a possible postal service shutdown.

This month’s bag contained some decent items that I can definitely use—lots of makeup! yay!—but it was also a little bit disappointing due to none of the brands being new to me (and come on, still no new nail polish?!), and many of them being brands I’ve still only ever heard of via Ipsy.

Ipsy Glam Bag, June 2016, Rebel Rebel
Image: ipsy.com

What I Received

  • theBalm Meet Matt(e) Eyeshadow (from Trimony Palette) in Matt Kumar (0.5 g; full size US$42 for 21.6 g palette of 9 (2.4 g) shades)
  • Cake Beauty Delectable Ultra Nourishing Hand Cream in Lemon & Cream (2 oz travel size; full size 4 oz for US/CA$12)
  • Luxie Beauty Small Angle Eye Brush in Rose Gold (full size for US$10 / CA$13.05)
  • OFRA Lip Liner in Maya (full size 0.04 oz for US$13)
  • trèStiQue Mini Highlight Stick in Maldives Luminescent (0.04 oz deluxe size / full size 0.21 oz USD$19)
  • Ipsy makeup bag

Ipsy Coupon Codes

  • theBalm: 20% off any purchase with code IPSY20 (through 7/31, US only)
  • Cake Beauty: 25% off any $50 purchase with code IPSYLEMON (through 8/31, US & Canada only)
  • Luxie Beauty: 30% off any purchase with code IPSYANGLE (through 8/31)
  • OFRA: 30% off any purchase with code IPSY30 (through 8/31)

Here are some more detailed product shots:

Read More »

The Body Shop Chocomania Sugar Body Scrub

The Body Shop — Chocomania Sugar Body Scrub

After being less than enamored of the last body scrub I tried from The Body Shop—Vineyard Peach Cream Body Scrub—I went out and bought two more since they were on sale. Typical me! I also picked up the Love Your Body Rewards Card, which gives a 10% discount, so obviously I needed to spend more, hahaha…

This time, I picked scrubs in two different formulas, though. The Vineyard Peach scrub was not-very-scrubtacular; the two new ones I got seem to have scrubbier formulas, or so I hoped. I spent CA$11 on each scrub, with an additional Love Your Body 10% discount and 15% cashback at eBates Canada. That should work out to a little under CA$8.50 per scrub.

The first scrub, which I have actually used up (I know!), is the Chocomania Sugar Body Scrub.

From The Body Shop (Canada):

This exfoliating body scrub has a decadently chocolatey scent and leaves skin feeling softer and smoother. It contains real cocoa butter and organic cane sugar.

Firstly, the Chocomania scrub smells really nice and chocolate-y! Well, it’s probably a little more cocoa than chocolate, but either way I do like it. It’s like a dark cocoa, without any overpowering sugariness. It also doesn’t have that weird afterscent that the Vineyard Peach scent had.

Read More »

Hask Charcoal with Citrus Oil Purifying Shampoo

Hask — Charcoal with Citrus Oil Purifying Shampoo

I was recently in the market for a new clarifying shampoo and decided to go with Hask since I was already enjoying their Monoï Coconut Oil Deep Nourishing Conditioner (samples of which I’ve received twice in subscription boxes).

From Hask:

Check your (hair) baggage at the door with HASK Charcoal with Citrus Oil collection!

Hair weighing you down? It’s time for a detox! Introducing HASK Purifying Charcoal Collection – a complete line that features a Shampoo, Conditioner, and Deep Conditioner that are formulated to give you a deep clean and bring hair back to life.

Whether you rely on dry shampoo to maintain your weekly blowouts or reach for sprays and gels regularly, overdoing it with product can create build-up that weighs your hair down and can seriously cramp your style. Charcoal, a hero ingredient derived from coconut shells in the Philippines, acts as a magnet and attracts and removes impurities – like product build-up – so you are left with hair that is full of body and shine. For an extra boost of radiance, HASK purifying charcoal combined with vitamin C-rich lemon and grapefruit oils, invigorates and clarifies hair without stripping away any moisture.

At the moment, there isn’t a great selection of sulfate-free shampoos at the drugstore, so it’s wonderful to find one that is easy-to-find and inexpensive. (I also like the L’Oréal Ever* line). A bonus with Hask is that the packaging is pretty swell, too:

Hask Charcoal with Citrus Oil Purifying Shampoo

The ingredient list (lifted from Ulta.com):

Water/Eau (Aqua), Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl betadine, Cocamide MEA, Glycerin, Glycol stearate, Charcoal powder*, Citrus paradise (grapefruit) peel oil, Citrus medical limnonym (lemon) peel oil, Hydrolyzed soy protein, Panthenol (vitamin B5), Dimethiconol, Sodium hydroxide, Sodium chloride, Polyquaternium-7, Dicaprylyl ether, Decyl glycoside, Glyceryl oblate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenoxyethanol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance/Perfume (Fragancia) (*Activated charcoal/Charbon active).

Hask Charcoal with Citrus Oil Purifying Shampoo, ingredients

Read More »

Andalou Naturals Avo Cocoa Skin Food Mask vs Ferrero Nutella

Andalou Naturals — Avo Cocoa Skin Food Mask

I purchased Andalou Naturals Avo Cocoa Skin Food Mask sometime last year after reading some good reviews of the same brand’s Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask. I chose to go with the Avo Cocoa mask instead, since it’s meant for dry skin, unlike the Pumpkin mask for normal/combination skin.

While I liked one of Andalou Naturals’ shampoos, I hadn’t tried any of their skincare before. After using this Avo Cocoa mask intermittently for about six months, I must say that I am really pleased with this product.

Like the shampoo I had success with, this product is also from Andalou’s line of “Fruit Stem Cell Science” products. I don’t believe a bit of the frankly strange claim that plant stem cells will make human skin look younger when applied to the skin, but this product does contain some nice ingredients, anyway.

Andalou Naturals Avo Cocoa Skin Food Mask

From Andalou Naturals:

For Dry & Very Dry Skin

Fruit Stem Cell Complex, organic avocado, Vitamin E, and pure dark cocoa, abundant in antioxidants and amino acids, effectively slow cellular damage and stimulate healthy cell renewal, replenishing moisture balance and dermal structure for soft, smooth skin.

OUR DIFFERENCE: Fruit Stem Cell Science® and 3 Levels of Synergistic Age Defying Innovation in Every Product:

‘Clinically proven advanced plant power harnessed and delivered to where you need it most.’

Fruit Stem Cell Science® renews skin at the cellular level. Award-winning Malus Domestica (Apple) and Solar Vitis (Grape) Stem Cells provide ‘universal’ cells to energize skin cell function for enhanced immunity, longevity and vitality. Fruit Stem Cell Science® accelerates the skin’s own ability to repair and replenish health cells effectively replacing older, weak and damaged cells. These universal cells become activated skin cells and elasticity and resilience are restored.

The ingredient list:

KEY INGREDIENTS:
Resveratrol Q10: Resveratrol combined with Coenzyme Q10; super antioxidant complex that helps to defy wrinkle formation, inhibit cellular damage, stimulate skin-firming collagen and elastin to decrease fine lines and smooth skin.

Cocoa Powder: Antioxidants and amino acids sustain healthy cells and protect against elemental damage.

Green Coffee Extract (caffeine): Perks up the complexion by stimulating blood circulation.

INGREDIENTS:
Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Powder*^, Vegetable Glycerin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter*, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*^, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) and Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oils*, Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus (Guar) Gum*, Sclerotium Gum, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Juice*, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Extract*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Resveratrol, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) and Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oils*, Lecithin, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract*^

Non-GMO verified *Organic ^Fair Trade

First of all, it really does smell like cocoa! And, thankfully, it doesn’t smell like avocado, as well. It’s like a dark chocolate, slightly more liquid-y version of Nutella. Who hasn’t wanted to smear Nutella on their face, right? (No, I didn’t try that!)

Andalou Naturals Avo Cocoa Skin Food Mask vs Ferrero Nutella

Read More »

ColourPop haulage June 2016, Super Shock Shadows in Cricket, Lace, Partridge, So Quiche, Birthday Boy; Lippie Stix in Chateau (Matte X), Lady (Matte)

Haulage! ColourPop (June 2016)

I’ve been wanting to try ColourPop for a while, now (thanks to bloggers like A Brash Attitude with all her gorgeous eyeshadow swatches!), and when I recently had the opportunity to have US parcels brought up to me in Canada, I finally placed a little order for the first time.

ColourPop, sadly, don’t do nail polish, but I snagged a few eyeshadows and a couple of lipsticks.

Coincidentally, right before I received my parcel, my Ipsy bag arrived with a ColourPop eyeliner, which technically became my first ColourPop product:

ColourPop Creme
ColourPop Crème Gel Liner in Get Paid.

Rose gold in an eyeliner! Swoon.

ColourPop on their Crème Gel Liners [MSRP US$6]:

Creamy application makes blending super easy, and the formula dries down for long-lasting wear! Because the liner is so creamy, do not over advance your liner to prevent breakage. For blending and smoky looks, use a pencil brush. Smooth glide for easy and comfortable waterline application.

And, here’s the unpacking of my ColourPop order—the inside of the box is so pretty!

ColourPop order packaging
ColourPop order packaging.

Read More »

zoya-ultrabrites-safe-neons-banner

New Release: Zoya — Ultra Brites Safe Neons (Summer 2016)

Collection: Zoya 2016 Summer, Ultra Brites Safe Neons

Zoya has released a new summer collection, Ultra Brites Safe Neons, full of intense, cream-finish neon shades.

From Zoya:

We are thrilled to share with you 6 new shades for Summer: Ultra Brites! Not only are these glowing shades the perfect way to brighten up your summer, but they are also safe! Our formula uses the latest environmentally and cosmetically approved pigments in a highly stable formula. This means you get all of the BRIGHT with none of the industrial yuck and commonly associated with colors of this kind (and banned worldwide).

Zoya Ultra Brites Safe Neons collection Summer 2016
Ultra Brites Safe Neons Image: zoya.com
  • Evergreen, an electric green neon cream
  • Juvia, a summery teal neon cream
  • Mirajane, a classic navy neon cream
  • Cana, a bright neon fuchsia cream
  • Bisca, a hot pink neon cream
  • Erza, a sunny red neon cream

The code NEON gets you free shipping plus two bonuses—full sizes of Zoya Purity & Naked Manicure Glossy Seal—when you order the Ultra Brites Neon Intro Sampler (US$40 for full sizes of all six shades). The offer runs now throgh July 12, 2016. Unfortunately, this deal is valid in the continental US only.

Happy shopping!

Zoya Professional Lacquer retails for US$10 and is 0.5 US fl oz / 15 mL. Zoya nail polishes are free of toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and camphor, and are made in the USA.

Zoya is part of Art of Beauty, a privately held company based in Cleveland, OH, USA.