a;t fox Tea Toc Water Cream via Tester Korea

a;t fox — Tea Toc Water Cream Review

Over the next week or so, I will be reviewing several Korean beauty products sent to me by one of my favorite Korean beauty online shops, Tester Korea. I have reviewed my experience with them in the past; they have a different selection of brands from a few others that I use, and their prices are very competitive. My favorite thing about them is you can request brands and products and they’ll try to get them in stock!

Today’s review is for a;t fox‘s Tea Toc Water Cream. I’d never heard of this Korean brand before, but apparently they do have a presence in a couple of US-based CVS and UK-based Boots drugstores. The brand’s tagline is “afternoon tea time!” and many of their products include tea as a key ingredient.

a;t fox Tea Toc Water Cream

Tea Toc Water Cream is a lightweight, translucent green gel that claims to reduce sebum and moisturize the skin. It contains green tea (Camellia sinensis) as an active ingredient, as well as a veritable cornucopia of additional plant extracts such as Centella asiatica (of which I’m a fan), licorice, aloe, rosemary, and chamomile. I was slightly worried about the presence of rosemary extract, since I have had allergic reactions to other products containing it (although I cannot be sure rosemary was the culprit). Luckily, I have had no reactions to Tea Toc Water Cream. Either rosemary isn’t really an issue for my skin, or it’s not present in the right quantity (or perhaps form?) in this product.

The cream can be used as a normal facial moisturizer, or as a sleeping mask. The instructions advise using twice the amount for use as a sleeping mask.

a;t fox Tea Toc Water Cream

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Julep March 2018 Matter of Time collection

New Release: Julep — March 2018 “Matter of Time”

Collection: Julep 2018 March “Matter of Time”

Julep’s March 2018 collection consists of eight new shades of matte nail color and two new skincare products in stick form: Dream Big Nightly Renewal Pressed Serum with BHA (15 g for $36 / $28.80 Maven) and You Got This Pressed Serum Daily Moisturizer (17 g for $36 / $28.80 Maven).

Julep is doing a great job of saving me money, with all the nail colors this month being matte! Eek—not my favorite nail polish effect. I shall be skipping yet another month.

Admittedly, the stick skincare looks a bit interesting, but I kind of feel like I’d rather try the Korean versions, first. Also, I am trying to get through my massive skincare backlog, so I am not really buying any skincare at the moment.

One other quick note: Julep released a Mystery Box (Express Yourself) last month, which included two polishes: Dora (Exotic Magenta Iridescent Shimmer), which I already have, and a new color, Ximena (Pink Sugar Iridescent). I’d probably have gone for it if Dora had been a second new color, instead.

Includes two better-than-candy nail colors
with a fluttering heart cosmetic bag + more beauty surprises.

Look for some extra glimmer. There’s a chance you’ll win
a Tiffany & Co. necklace in your mystery box.

Anyway, here are the eight new polishes for March:

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fivezero's Ipsy Glam Bag "Snow Globe" (December 2017)

Ipsy — December 2017 Glam Bag “Snow Globe”

Firstly, I want to note that I recently discovered Ipsy offers a 12-month subscription for the cost of 11 months (so US$110 for a year, rather than $120 if you pay month-to-month). Well, I’ve been paying month-to-month this whole time! So I sent an email to Ipsy support and they gladly switched me over to the discounted year-long sub. Woohoo! So, if you’re a diehard Ipsy subscriber who never considers cancelling, hit ’em up for your 1-month discount!

Onto the loot! My December Ipsy Glam Bag finally contains a makeup brush! I had actually gotten a bit annoyed with the flimsy brushes I was getting, so I downrated most of them—then for a good stretch, Ipsy failed to send me any brushes at all. Lisa Frank, SLMissGlam, and Luxie brushes came and went and never found their way into my Glam Bag.

Finally, this month, I got another Luxie brush. It’s a pretty usable eyeshadow brush, and at least now I have the opportunity to rate it better so that I’m hopefully back in the pool for brushes.

Once again, however, I didn’t get the one nail polish they had on offer (a blue shimmer from Lottie London). I wonder how many Ipsters got that polish and are bitching about receiving nail polish?!

Ipsy Glam Bag, December 2017, Snow Globe

Ipsy December 2017 Glam Bag: “Snow Globe”

Image: ipsy.com

What I Received

  • Luxie Precision Shader Onyx Brush (239) (full size; ~US$24.26)
  • MAC In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash (1 g sample; 13 mL for US$23)
  • NIP+FAB Dragon’s Blood Fix Plumping Serum (20 mL sample; 50 mL for US$19.95)
  • Pixi by Petra Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in Orchid Ornament (1.5 g 2-color duo; full size 5.76 g 6-color palette for US$12)
  • TonyMoly The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream (10 mL sample; 60 mL for US$25)
  • Ipsy makeup bag

Glam Bag Cost

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

Total Bag Value

$24.26 + $1.77 + $7.98 + $3.13 + $4.17
= US$41.31

The Luxie brush obviously provides the bulk of my bag’s value this month. It seems to be a Luxie × Ipsy edition, so I can’t find an exact MSRP, but the Onyx brushes seem to run approximately 35% more expensive than the Rose Gold line.

fivezero's Ipsy Glam Bag, December 2017, Snow Globe

fivezero’s Ipsy December 2017 Glam Bag

Image: ipsy.com

Ipsy Coupon Codes

None of the brands I received have a code with Ipsy at the moment, so here are a few other good ones:

  • SLMissGlam: 30% off any purchase with code SLBLUEIPSY (through 12/31/2017, US & CA only)
  • Seraphine Botanicals: 25% off any purchase with code IPSY25 (through 01/31/2018, US & CA only)
  • trèStiQue: 30% off any $30+ purchase with code IPSYWINTER17 (through 12/31/2017, US & CA only)

Here are some more detailed product shots:

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fivezero's beautyBOUTIQUE haulage, Shoppers Optimum Points redemption (September 2017) Chanel, Dior, Estée Lauder

Haulage × 2! beautyBOUTIQUE (July & September 2017)

This post covers two Optimum Points redemption orders I placed in July and September 2017.

I’ve been racking up the points via the Shoppers app, and redeemed 95k points for $170 worth of product (all prices in CA$) in both July and September during two PLUS Bonus Events. Here’s July’s order:

  • ARTDECO Art Couture Nail Lacquer in Silver Willow (978)
  • Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules (60 Capsules)
  • Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in 1N2 Ecru
  • Soap & Glory Flake Away Spa Body Polish

Free samples (I forgot to take pics of these):

  • Elie Saab Le Parfum EDT (sample)
  • Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Overnight Firming Mask (sample)
  • Vasanti Brighten Up! New Skin Amplifying Moisturizer (sample)

beautyBOUTIQUE actually made the first ever mistake I’ve ever had with them: they sent me the wrong shade of ARTDECO Nail Lacquer.

  • ARTDECO Art Couture Nail Lacquer in Rose Peony (953)

ARTDECO Nail Lacquer in Rose Peony 953

They only asked me to send a picture, which I did, and then they sent out Silver Willow right away. I got to keep Rose Peony, as well. I was really pleased with their excellent handling of an error. Plus, when they sent me the correct nail polish, they also included three free samples!

  • Lise Watier HydraForce Hydra-Protective Creme-Gel (sample)
  • PRADA Candy EDP (sample)
  • Sekkisei Clear Brightening Mask (sample)

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Jolse haulage (September 2017)

Haulage × 2! Jolse (August & September 2017)

After Jolse started offering “free” shipping to Canada again (I say “free” because they simply work the shipping costs into the product prices), I hit them up with an order in August:

  • Holika Holika Piece Matching Nails in GT07
  • Holika Holika Piece Matching Nails in YE02
  • SCINIC Ceramide 100 All In One Ampoule
  • SCINIC Honey All In One Ampoule

fivezero's Jolse haulage (August 2017)

Now, orders from Korean online beauty stores usually take between 3–5 weeks to arrive to me in Canada. I assume a large part of this time is spent in Canadian customs, as well, though I think these orders are exempt from duties and tax because of a trade deal Canada recently signed with South Korea.

Get this. My August Jolse order shipped (August 8) five days after I ordered it (August 3). It arrived to me ten days (August 18) after shipping. I received my order in a record fifteen days.

I was delighted, but also wondered if this was merely a fluke, so for science (haha) I placed a second order:

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Haulage! Chanel, Dior, & Estée Lauder with the Spend Your Points PLUS Event at beautyBOUTIQUE

This Saturday and Sunday (September 23–24), Canada’s beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart is offering a Spend Your Points PLUS Event (see details in this post).

Don’t forget to use ebates Canada [referral link], as well! It’s 4% cash back for beautyBOUTIQUE today.

I’ve been racking up the points via the Shoppers app, and redeemed 95k points for $170 worth of product (all prices in CA$), including my first ever Chanel blush:

  • Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Élégance (370) [$53]
  • Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in New Dawn (578) [$32]
  • Dior Vernis Couture Colour in Metallics (612) [$33]
  • Estée Lauder Pure Color Love Lipstick in Moon Rock [$28]
  • Estée Lauder Pure Color Love Lipstick in Sly Wink [$28]

My subtotal was $174, so after tax, I paid a total of $22.62 plus 95k Optimum Points. Another $30 worth of Optimum Points will be added to my account in a couple of weeks, since this was a Spend Your Points PLUS Event.

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Élégance (370)
Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Élégance (370)
Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in New Dawn (578)
Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in New Dawn (578)

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fivezero's Topbox (August 2017)

Topbox — August 2017

For my second Topbox (referral link) after resubscribing this summer, I didn’t “wish” for any of the special “Privé” boxes, because even though some of the brands were higher end/interesting (Bobbi Brown, Dr. Belmeur, Glamglow, Missha, Too Faced, etc.), I wasn’t enthralled by the actual products on offer, or their value. One option was actually a tarte eyeliner that costs $16 normally, so I’d be saving $4 by getting it? Gee, what a great deal. This isn’t what I find “fun” about a subscription box.

So, I stuck with the regular Topbox as I always have. (Will they actually have a Privé box that interests me, someday? I wonder.)

I also did not get a chance to pony up $10 for the additional “Beauty Surprise” since it sold out before I could sign up—but after checking out what other Topbox subscribers received, I’m a bit relieved that I saved my ten smackers.

I’m particularly relieved since I found my box this month to be something of a letdown. They are mostly items I can use, so at least they won’t go to waste, but there’s nothing I’m especially excited about at first glance. In hindsight, I should have opted for the Missha Privé, which was a tension compact valued at $24, which I would definitely have enjoyed using. Ah, well. Can’t win ’em all.

At least I didn’t get more Cake stuff, which is lovely but I’m so bored receiving the same Coconut & Cream hand creams from Topbox/Luxe Box.

All prices are in CA$ unless otherwise noted.

What I Received in my Topbox

  • Barefoot Venus🇨🇦 Green Tea Body Wash in Lilly Pilly (50 mL sample) [$6.90 for 50 mL /  $20.05 for 250 mL, value: $6.90 / $4.01]
  • Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in Some Beach (2.5 g full size) [value: US$7]
  • BeneFit The POREfessional Pore Minimizing Makeup (5 mL sample) [$40 for 15 mL full size, value: $13.33]
  • Satin Smooth Day/Night Daily Moisturizer (10 mL / 0.35 fl oz sample) [US$43.99 for 1.7 fl oz full size, value: US$9.06]

Detailed pics follow:

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