Zoya Professional Lacquer in Temperance (mini), swatch

Zoya — Temperance (Professional Lacquer) Swatch & Review

Collection: Zoya 2015 Summer, Mystery Trio

Zoya occasionally releases Mystery Trio nail polish sets, and I don’t often get a chance to pick them up since the Canadian shipping cost can be a bit high for my liking. However, back in April, Zoya ran one of their Earth Day Exchange and I was able to get some of their “fun size” mini lacquers at 3 for $10. Temperance, from their 2015 Summer Mystery Trio,  was one of the options and I snapped it up.

I actually swatched this last week, but accidentally deleted the photos in my coffee-deprived stupor. This morning, I got fully drenched in the downpour here in Toronto and was inspired to pick up a rainy day shade for today’s blog post.

Temperance (ZP8102R) is described by Zoya as a “cool medium gray with a pink shimmer”. This is pretty spot-on, except I find that the pink has a magenta tint to it, possibly because of the cool tone of the surrounding gray.

Zoya Professional Lacquer in Temperance (mini)

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Sale Alert: Ebates Canada Celebrates Canada’s 150th Anniversary

This first of July, 2017, marks Canada’s 150th anniversary! I’m sure there will be many sales to come, but here’s one of the first big ones: Ebates Canada (referral link) is offering double the cash back at 150 stores!

Here are some of the beauty- and fashion-related ones (my favorite categories to shop, naturally). Note that not all of these stores will be shipping from Canada, so duties may apply; check before you order!

My top picks here are Charlotte Tilbury (8%), MAC (6%), Sephora (8%), and tarte (10%)—who are having a 48-hour sale right now. Yes, I got the Make Believe In Yourself Palette.

  • aerie (5%)
  • Amazon.ca (up to 2%)
  • Ardene (6%)
  • ASOS (5%)
  • Aveda (8%)
  • Banana Republic (6%)
  • Blue Nile (2%)
  • Bobbi Brown (8%)
  • The Body Shop (8%)
  • Charlotte Tilbury (8%)
  • Clinique (8%)
  • Club Monaco (5%)
  • Coach (8%)
  • eBay (up to 2%)
  • Estée Lauder (6%)
  • Etsy (2%)
  • Farfetch (6%)
  • Gap / Baby Gap (4%—by the way, you can stick Old Navy and Gap stuff in your shopping cart and check out via Banana Republic, instead, and nab BR’s 6% cash back; I don’t believe you even need any BR stuff in your cart. I know I’ve done this in the past.)
  • Gilt (4%)
  • Hudson’s Bay (5%)
  • Indigo (up to 4%)
  • J.Crew (3%)
  • Jimmy Choo (8%)
  • Joe Fresh (4%)
  • Kate Spade (8%)
  • Le Château (7%)
  • Links of London (10%)
  • L’Occitane (5%)
  • Luisa Via Roma (up to 9%)
  • MAC (6%)
  • Modcloth (4%)
  • Naturalizer (8%)
  • Old Navy (4%—by the way, you can stick Old Navy and Gap stuff in your shopping cart and check out via Banana Republic, instead, and nab BR’s 6% cash back; I don’t believe you even need any BR stuff in your cart. I know I’ve done this in the past.)
  • Origins (8%)
  • The Outnet (6%)
  • Rose Gal (5%)
  • Saks Fifth Avenue (8%)
  • Sephora (8%)
  • The Shoe Company (6%)
  • Shopbop (4%)
  • tarte (10%—heh, I literally just used this with their 48-hour flash sale)
  • Toms (10%)
  • Tory Burch (6%)
  • Town Shoes (6%—I did not even know they had an online store, now!)
  • TSC (3%)
  • Well.ca (2%)

See the full list here.

Happy Shopping!

OPI California Dreaming collection (Summer 2017)

New Release: OPI — California Dreaming (Summer 2017)

Collection: OPI 2017 Summer, California Dreaming

OPI has released their California Dreaming collection, which consists of 12 new shades in Nail Lacquer, Infinite Shine, and Gel lines. The collection was created in conjunction with celebrity nail artist Steph Stone.

We’re California Dreaming this summer, cruising the quintessential coastline that connects SoCal and NorCal alongside celebrity nail artist Steph Stone.

An authority on all things nails, Steph has worked with brands and beauties from Chanel and Violet Grey to Miley Cyrus, Alessandra Ambrosio and Chiara Ferragni, to name a few. She’s even painted paws for the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, Paper, and Cosmopolitan magazines!

  • Keep in mind that OPI’s official bottle pics do not show texture (shimmer, frost, etc.) so they all look like creams. Don’t Take Yosemite for Granite and Sweet Carmel Sunday actually appear to be metallics.

Barking Up the Wrong Sequoia

Don’t Take Yosemite for Granite *

Excuse Me, Big Sur!

Feeling Frisco

GPS I Love You

Malibu Pier Pressure

Me, Myselfie & I

Santa Monica Beach Peach

Sweet Carmel Sunday *

This Is Not Whine Country

Time For a Napa

To the Mouse House We Go!

The Mini Nail Lacquers set for this collection contains This Is Not Whine Country, Malibu Pier Pressure, Santa Monica Beach Peach, and Time For a Napa:

OPI California Dreaming collection minis, Summer 2017

Here’s the original “California Dreamin'” (1965) tune by The Mamas & The Papas. I don’t like it, but Peanut does and he and his dad dance around all evening to it. Gah!

Happy Shopping!

[Images via opi.com]

COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

COSRX — Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser Review

COSRX is a Korean cosmetic brand that is famed for its tidy line of minimalistic and effective skincare products. Their packaging reflects the concept well—while I do appreciate cutesy or more fanciful design choices made by many other Korean brands, COSRX keeps their products neatly labeled and functionally housed.

That said, I would have preferred that their popular Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser came in a pump bottle. I just prefer dispensing cleansers from pumps because it makes it easier to get a second pump when one hand is already covered in cleanser!

But to be fair, it’s really easy to dispense the correct amount of this cleanser from the first squeeze. This cleanser is a clear gel, not to liquid and not too goopy. A pea-sized dollop or two will do, and I usually aim for a pea in the morning and pea-and-a-half after oil cleansing.

Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

As the name implies, this is a fine cleanser for mornings, when you don’t have any makeup or much grease on your face. It also works very well as a second cleanser, once you’ve removed makeup with an oil cleanser or similar. It won’t do a great job removing the day’s grime off your face, nor have they marketed it as such a cleanser.

The advertised low pH (they claim 5.0–6.0) is actually around 5.5, which is—not coincidentally—the approximate pH of the surface of your skin. Cleansers are often too alkaline (higher on the pH scale), which causes drying of the skin.

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fivezero's ColourPop haulage (June 2017)

Haulage! ColourPop — Pressed Powder Shadows (June 2017)

So, back in May, ColourPop ran this amazing promotion that offered all of their eyeshadows at 3/$10 (really it ended up being 3/$9.99), plus a free mini Ultra Satin Lip for every $20 spent, plus—and this was the real kicker for me—free international shipping on all orders.

You see, while ColourPop do offer free shipping to Canada on orders of $50 and up, this is still not that great for Canadians. Not ColourPop’s fault, of course! They’re awesome for even offering free shipping to Canada, at all!

The issue is that Canada charges duties on imports which value a measly CA$20 and up, which is about US$15 at the moment. By comparison, the US exempts duties for imports valued at $800 and under.

This means that for Canadians, a US$50 / CA$66.67 order will likely end up getting charged $10 for Canada Post’s handling, plus tax, which for me in Ontario would be 13%, around $8.71. Also, if customs don’t notice that ColourPop’s products are all made in the US, and therefore eligible for NAFTA, they might tack on an additional duty of around $5. That means a US$50 order just became CA$66.67 + CA$23.71 = CA$90.38 (or US$67.79). Stinks, right?

But Canadian customs officers are busy, so they don’t bother to charge on every single package that comes through (though I have heard that more packages are getting stopped due to an ongoing fentanyl problem). So, packages with values around US$20 are less likely to be stopped and charged.

I got super excited about finally being able to order from ColourPop without being charged an arm and a leg for shipping and duties—and to top it off, ColourPop was running a fab sale!—so I placed four separate orders, ranging in value from US$22 to $35. I was lucky and not one of them got hit for duties. Phew!

ColourPop’s packages always arrive in adorable-on-the-inside boxes, and the contents are securely wrapped. My kids are enjoying playing around with the colorful boxes. (Boxes are better than toys any day, right?)

Olive's stuffed animals in a ColourPop box

Peanut's Hot Wheels cars in a ColourPop box

My orders included a combination of Super Shock Shadows, Pressed Powder Shadows, and Ultra Lips in various finishes.

This post just covers the Pressed Powder Shadows. I picked up thirteen shades:

  1. Backseat (Metallic, deepened aquamarine)
  2. Ego (Metallic, rosy taupe)
  3. High Strung (Metallic, dusty rose)
  4. Locked and Loaded (Matte, pale yellow)
  5. Made to Last (Matte, neutral mauve)
  6. Pebbles (Satin, yellowy pink)
  7. Pinky Promise (Metallic, wine)
  8. Play by Play (Metallic, duochrome peach with a green gold flip)
  9. Ringer (Metallic, warm champagne)
  10. Sauvage (Metallic, duochrome peach with a hot pink flip)
  11. Sideline (Metallic, duochrome eggplant with a green flip)
  12. Take a Break (Metallic, duochrome peach with a subtle gold flip)
  13. Up and Up (Metallic, duochrome teal with a green flip)

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Lancôme Summer Swing 2017 collection

New Release: Lancôme — Summer Swing (Summer 2017)

Collection: Lancôme 2017 Summer, Summer Swing

Lancôme’s Summer 2017 collection, Summer Swing, consists of some stunning limited edition makeup items, including four new metallic nail polishes.

Lancôme Summer Swing 2017 collection

Vernis in Love

US$15.50 / CA$19 / €17.80

This summer, nails are just as high-voltage as eyes! Like jewels delicately set on the tips of your fingers, Vernis In Love polishes perfect the metallic look. The four new shades of vibrant, mirror-like colour set off lightly tanned hands beautifully, underlining sophisticated eye art with an irreverent chic.

L’Esprit Libre
L’Échappée Belle
Reflet d’Argent
Grain de Folie

Belle de Teint Bronzer & Blush

US$45 / CA$60 / €50.90

Summer’s here, so a radiant, glowing complexion is de rigueur! Presented in Mediterranean Patio for light complexions and Summer Night Patio for darker complexions, Belle de Teint Bronzer & Blush offers two bronzing powders and two blushers designed to sculpt the face and neckline in a few strokes. Looking to catch the light? Choose a soft draping effect! Apply the lighter blusher on the cheekbones like a conventional blusher, and the darker one underneath the cheekbones. A powdering around the lower neckline will veil your cleavage in shimmering light.

Patio Mediterranéen
Patio d’une nuit d’été

Le Metallique

US$29 / CA$30 / €28.70

This summer eyelids go metallic to electrify the gaze and light up the complexion. Available in five shades of glossy colour with a mirror effect, Les Métalliques add depth and intensity to your gaze. With a choice of turquoise (Brise Azure 01), glossy brown (Mocha Swing 05), precious gold (Or Farniente 03), vibrant pink (Tempo Mediterranéen 02) or sparkling bronze (Bronze Rivage 04), the look is intense and ultra-desirable.

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Julep Neon Nights July 2017 collection

New Release: Julep — Neon Nights (July 2017)

Julep — Maven Box (June 2017) & 12-Polish Welcome GiftCollection: Julep 2017 July, Neon Nights, Julep 2017, Zodiac, & June 2017 Let’s Glow Out Mystery Box

Earlier this month, Julep released a Mystery Box which includes two non-mysterious new shades: a blue cream and a black light top coat.

In addition, their July 2017 collection consists of six new—and one re-released—bright cream shades. And, of course, the latest addition to their 2017 Zodiac collection is a new shade for the sign of Cancer (June 21–July 22).

(If you’re unfamiliar with the Julep Maven boxes, check out this review of my first ever Julep box!)

Despite this month’s collection name and the release of a pure white polish (often used under neon shades to make them pop), I’m not entirely sure all the brights are actually neons. Most are certainly bright, though!

Here are all the new shades:

Mystery Box “Let’s Glow Out”

Julep Let's Glow Out Mystery Box (June 2017)

Julep Let’s Glow Out Mystery Box (June 2017), US$24.99. Includes Sibyl (pink tinted black light top coat) and Amalia (Riviera blue crème).

Julep Neon Nights (July 2017)

Julep Neon Nights (July 2017) Nail Colors. US$14 each.

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