Essence Winter 2018 collection, Winter Dreamin'

New Release: Essence — Winter Dreamin’ (Winter 2018)

Collection: Essence 2018 Winter, Winter Dreamin’

 

Germany-based Essence Cosmetics has just released a new collection, Winter Dreamin’, to kick off 2018. The online exclusive, limited edition collection consists of four new nail colors (US$1.99), a snow ball top coat ($3.99), and nail stickers ($1.49), as well as an eyeshadow palette ($9.99), sheer lipsticks ($3.99), inner rim eye pencil ($1.99), 2in1 highlighter & blush powder ($5.99), and fluffy snow touch hand cream ($4.99).

Cozy Mountain Mornings (01)

Hot Cocoa & Fuzzy Socks (02)

Sleigh Rides & Snowball Fights (03)

Girlstalk at the Fireplace (04)

Ready Set Snow
Snow Ball Top Coat

Sprinkle Me With Snowflakes
Nail Stickers
(01)

These are marked as online exclusives on the US site. They are not (yet?) available on the Canadian site.

Happy Shopping!

[Images via essencemakeup.com]

fivezero's Sephora VIB Sale Haulage (November 2017)

Haulage! Sephora VIB Sale (November 2017)

As a VIB member at Sephora, the annual 20% off VIB sale was open to me on Friday, November 10, and I’ve since placed two orders, even though I was trying to limit myself to just the first. This always happens, and I blame November being my birthday month so usually I give myself a little more license to splurge.

Sephora VIB Sale, November 2017

(Look at that fine print! I never realized this but we “clients” are limited to 1 Dyson item and 5 Pat McGrath eyeshadow palettes per transaction; Canadians are also limited to 3 Fresh, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior items per transaction.)

Of course, for the last couple of months, I’ve been anticipating this sale. I’ve been chucking things in and out of my shopping cart (it helps that I don’t bother to consider brands I can get at Shoppers Drug Mart / beautyBOUTIQUE, like Urban Decay, Dior, Estée Lauder, Smashbox, and Clarins).

Here’s the list of stuff I hauled, the freebies, and the stuff I wanted to haul but didn’t!

Once again, I bought more lipstick (granted, they were all marked down before the 20% discount) even though I need ’em like I need a hole in the head.

Stuff I Hauled

Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette
Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette [C$59]
I’ve loved the Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette that I got during last November’s VIB sale! It was a no-brainer to get the Sweet Peach palette this year.

Nails Inc. Sparkle Like a Unicorn Set with Nail Polish, Sheet Mask, Lipstick
Nails Inc. Sparkle Like a Unicorn Set: Illuminating Sheet Mask, Mini Nail Polishes (2 × 5 mL) in Unicorn VibesUnicorn Dot Com, Lip Trippin’ Iridescent Strobe Lipstick in Unicorn Tribe [C$21]
I already picked up the previous Sparkle Like a Unicorn set, so obviously I had to get this one, too. It comes with a lipstick and a sheet mask! I’ve never tried any non-nail polish things from Nails Inc., so this will be interesting.

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ColourPop Pressed Powder Shadow Palettes in Golden State of Mind & Semi-Precious, from Sephora Canada (November 2017)

Haulage! Sephora × ColourPop (November 2017)

I’m just a little bit addicted to ColourPop’s palettes, now. When Sephora Canada started carrying a small selection of ColourPop on Halloween, I couldn’t help myself and ordered both of the new eyeshadow palettes, Golden State of Mind and Semi-Precious.

They run a bit more expensive (CA$33) than the usual ColourPop Pressed Powder Shadow Palettes (US$16), with some caveats:

  • Regular palettes contain 12 × 0.85 g shadows (10.2 g total); Golden State of Mind contains 15 × 1 g (15 g total) shadows, and Semi-Precious contains 8 × 2 g shadows (16 g total).
  • This works out to the regular palettes costing US$1.52/g, and, using the current exchange rate of 1 CA$ = 0.78 US$, Golden State of Mind costing US$1.72/g and Semi-Precious costing US$1.61/g.

I don’t think this works out too badly, all things considered. It sure is better than ordering directly from ColourPop, having to wait longer for it to arrive, and paying customs charges (ColourPop products are made in the USA, so I haven’t had to pay duties). I made sure to use Ebates Canada, too.

Anyway, I know the big November VIB sale is coming up, but for some reason I felt like I just had to order these now (I don’t even think they’re limited edition, are they?).

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MAC Custom Eyeshadow Palette (old): Club, Cranberry, Trax, Vex.

Throwback Thursday! I Found My Lost MAC Palette…and Much More

I doubt anyone will recall, but I’ve mentioned on my blog that since I moved over five years ago, I misplaced what I thought was a few eyeshadow palettes, including my old, custom MAC eyeshadow palette with Club, Cranberry, Trax, and Vex. I also knew a few other palettes from Stila (my less-used ones), mark. by Avon, and some cheapies were missing, but the MAC palette was the one I wanted most.

As time went by, I lost hope of finding them, and thought that perhaps they went missing during the move. I even gave up and finally repurchased those four MAC eyeshadows last year (helps that MAC dropped the price of refill pans, so that it was cheaper to buy them now than when I did around ten years ago!).

Weeeeell. Over the weekend, I threw myself into a frenzy cleaning out the kids’ bedroom. Now, we actually use this bedroom as a guest/storage room, since we still have both kids sleeping with us (in separate cribs) in our master bedroom. We all love it this way for now!

Anyway, guests are coming soon for the winter, so I need to get that guest bedroom organized. I decided to do a top-to-bottom overhaul instead of the half-assery I usually do, and ended up donating about half of my old shoes to charity, etc. (After having two kids, most of my old shoes no longer fit my ever-so-slightly wider feet, not to mention I have more weight to lose and I think my feet are currently fatter than they used to be. My right foot has always been larger than my left, and while my left still fits into many of these pairs, the right simply cannot.) So long, my Elizabeth & James heels, comfy Converse, and leopard print flats! Sniff. I am saving some of the niftier pairs for Olive, though. Heh. She’ll have awesome/horrible vintage shoes by the time she’s twelve.

fivezero's old shoes: Elizabeth & James, Converse, Seychelles, Delman, Rockport, Hayden-Harnett, Puma, Superga, Jeffrey Campbell
Elizabeth & James Mazi Pumps / Converse Skidgrip EV Argyle Broken Heart
Seychelles Shimmy Pumps / Delman Sonya Pumps
Rockport Audry Welt Oxfords / Hayden-Harnett Laurel Flats / Puma Caroline Wedge Sneakers
Superga Cotu Classic Sneaker / Jeffrey Campbell Ring-2 Ballet Flats

On the positive side, a few pairs fit me a little better now, since they were a tad roomy before!

Hayden-Harnett Memphis Pumps / Fluevog Dig Booties / Biviel Mary Jane Zipper Pumps

Another positive: more room for handbags!

What was this post supposed to be about again? Oh right. Eyeshadow palettes!

Here we go…

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fivezero's Topbox, October 2017

Topbox — October 2017

Canadian subscription box Topbox (referral link) is one of those things that’s so cheap that it can be hard for me to justify dropping it…but I think I’m close to being done with them, again. Each month, I am pretty underwhelmed, and I think I’d be better off just buying one or two nail polishes each month with the CA$13.56 it costs me, after tax. At least I know I’d be happy with what I got.

I mean, after last month’s 2 mL Michael Kors fragrance vial and this month’s miniscule BeneFit sample, I think they’re no longer living up to the “4 deluxe samples” promise.

Oh, and this month, I also got the option to pony up $10 for a Beauty Surprise, so I did it. ‘Cause I’m a glutton for punishment.

I’m going to give them one more month—hey, maybe I’ll actually see a Privé box I’d rather have, for once. If it’s a bust, Topbox are out for the second time.

All prices are in CA$ unless otherwise noted.

What I Got as a $10 Beauty Surprise

  • Doucce Freematic Eye Shadow Quad in Autumn Leaves (7)

Beauty Surprise Cost = CA$10 + $1.13 tax, free shipping

Item Value = US$35

What I Received in my Topbox

  • BeneFit Foolproof Brow Powder in Deep 05 (0.01 g) [CA$32 for 2 g, value: CA$0.16]
  • The Body Shop 100% Vegetarian Expert Face Masks (Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask & Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask) (2 × 5 mL) [CA$28 for 75 mL, value: CA$3.73]
  • Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender in Clear (1.2 oz) [CA$24.99 for 3.4 oz, value: CA$8.82]
  • Skin & Co Roma Truffle Therapy Essential Face Toner (30 mL) [US$27 for 200 mL, value: US$4.05]
  • Wella EIMI Perfect Me (6 mL) (freebie) [CA$19.66 for 100 mL, value: CA$1.18]

Box Cost = CA$12 + 1.56 tax, free shipping

Total Item Value = CA$0.16 + CA$3.73 + CA$8.82 + US$4.05 + CA$1.18 ≈ CA$18.95

Ahahahahahahahahahaha!

Zoolander 2, lame, Owen Wilson

The box also came with a couple of coupons. One is for 20% off the masks from The Body Shop. I think it’s a coupon. There’s no barcode or anything, just says I can “Enjoy 20% off” if I bring it in-store. Super. The second came with the Wella freebie, and gives 50% off any Wella EIMI styling product at Chatters.ca (the online code is EIMI50), and it’s valid through the end of this year.

Soooo, ignoring the fact that I have a “deluxe sample” in my box worth 16 Canadian cents—we don’t even use pennies here anymore!!!—the bulk of my box’s value lies in the Redken dry shampoo. Also, I have no full-sized items this month; all are samples.

Detailed pics follow:

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fivezero's Ipsy Glam Bag "Like. A. Boss.", September 2017

Ipsy — September 2017 Glam Bag “Like. A. Boss.”

Before I start with my September Glam Bag, I just wanted to provide an update on my missing Ipsy bag from August. When August 23 rolled around, I noticed that Landmark tracking said it was delivered on the 17th but I had never received it. I contacted Ipsy and they immediately sent out a new bag for me, which arrived by the end of the month. I was super happy with their customer service—the bag was exactly what I was supposed to get, except for an item from theBalm which they replaced with a different item from the same brand. I will have to save the extra items for a giveaway.

Well, it turns out that earlier this month, my original Ipsy bag arrived! So much for Landmark’s tracking, huh? (I’ve had an issue with them before on a Julep order—Julep were similarly wonderful and quickly sent a new package; the original has never turned up.) I’d never heard of this Landmark company until this year; suddenly I’m getting more packages from the US handled by them. They also never responded to my inquiries regarding my lost Julep package. Hrmph.

Anyway, September’s Ipsy Glam Bag (referral link) arrived in good time (well, the 19th, which is a little later than usual but I did have a points redemption item in the mix, too).

Ipsy Glam Bag, September 2017, Like. A. Boss.

Ipsy September 2017 Glam Bag: “Like. A. Boss.”

Image: ipsy.com

What I Redeemed Points For

  • ColourPop × Amanda Steele Pressed Powder Shadow Palette in Weekend Warrior (4 × 1.5 g full size; US$18 and recently discontinued) [750 pts]

What I Received

  • Beauty For Real I-LINE 24-7 Eyeliner in Champagne Buzz (0.28 g full size; US$14)
  • ColourPop Lippie Stix in Ipsy-exclusive shade Glam Bag (1 g full size; US$5)
  • E Nature Birch Juice Hydro Sleeping Pack (12 mL sample; 75 mL for US$28 at Sokoglam, plus 20% off code below or at official US site)
  • Pretty Woman Nail Polish in Girl Boss, formerly known as Cherry Bean (10 mL full size; US$7.99)
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer in Radiance (0.25 oz; 1 oz for US$39)
  • Ipsy makeup bag

Glam Bag Cost

$10 + $4.99 (shipping to Canada) = US$14.99

Total Bag Value

$14 + $5 + $4.48 + $7.99 + $9.75 = US$41.22

Pretty typical value this month. I gotta say I’m pretty happy that the Canadian dollar has been moving up against the US dollar, lately! Whee!

fivezero's Ipsy Glam Bag, September 2017, Like. A. Boss.

fivezero’s Ipsy September 2017 Glam Bag

Image: ipsy.com

Ipsy Coupon Codes

  • Beauty For Real: 20% off any purchase with code IPSY20 (through 10/31/2017)
  • Pretty Woman: 30% off any purchase with code PWGLAM (through 10/31/2017; US & CA only)
  • Sokoglam: 20% off any purchase with code IPSTERS (through 10/09/2017; one-time use only)

There were no codes for my ColourPop and Smashbox items, so here are a couple of other good ones I saw:

  • Catrice: 25% off any purchase with code IPSY25 (through 10/31/2017; US only)
  • Ciaté: 30% off any purchase with code IPSTER (through 10/31/2017; US & CA only)

Here are some more detailed product shots:

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fivezero's ColourPop haulage, She Palette (July 2017)

Haulage! ColourPop — She Palette (July 2017)

I actually have some older ColourPop haulage to post (I’ve only posted Part I) but my newest order just arrived, and I wanted to share it since I got the new She Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette from the Karrueche Fem Rosa collection!

I have some comments on Canadian customs below; you can skip it if you’re not interested!

Alas, I have gotten dinged by Canadian customs on a ColourPop order for the first time. It makes sense, since this is the first time I’ve gone with free international shipping with a US$50+ order. All other orders that avoided customs were placed during ColourPop’s unlimited free international shipping promo in the spring, during which I placed several orders but kept each one around US$30 in value.

On the positive side, customs saw that since ColourPop products are all made in the USA—thanks to ColourPop for the huge “MADE IN LA” printed on the side of each box!—they are duty-free because of NAFTA, and my total customs charge consisted of Canada Post’s handling fee (CA$9.99) and sales tax (CA$8.09, 13% HST in Ontario on the US$50/CA$62.22 order value).

Now I’m starting to wonder whether it makes more sense to just keep ColourPop orders to Canada at about US$30, and pay the $10 shipping fee. The only reason not to do this is if Canadian customs doesn’t always catch everything—then it might be worth the gamble. Guaranteed US$10 fee, or chance of ~CA$18 fee? I actually have a second US$50 order arriving soon from ColourPop (the Yes, Please! palette came back in stock, and I couldn’t help myself, what with the Canadian dollar rising!), so I’ll eventually have two data points to help me make a future decision. Another option, of course, is to just make one massive ColourPop order—the Canada Post handling fee remains the same regardless of order value, and then it’s just a percentage sales tax that has to be paid.

Anyway, enough about Canadian online shopping issues!

Here’s the haulage:

  • She (Fem Rosa, Karrueche, Summer 2017) Palette, Pressed Powder Shadow × 12
  • Summer Solstice (Summer 2017) Foursome, Super Shock Shadow × 4
  • Gemini by Night (Sonya Esman, Spring 2017) Palette, Pressed Powder Shadow × 4
  • Pressed Powder Shadow in Board Shorts (Metallic)

Photos follow:

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