Topbox – November 2014

Okay, so I totally used the LouLou box without remembering to post on it. But, that means it was a really good box!

I can’t believe it’s already November of 2014… It’s already cold and it feels like we JUST got over that snowstorm that encased the city in ice!

Luckily, there’s a new Topbox to cheer me up!

I really do like getting the regular boxes. Even though they’re not always complete hits, I love getting a surprise in the mail!

It also looks like I’ve temporarily misplaced my proper camera, so I’ve been using my phone lately… Hopefully, I find it soon!

What is it?

Topbox is a Canadian monthly beauty box subscription that features 4 deluxe samples for $12 per month, shipped right to your door via Canada Post. Some months even include full sized products! Keep in mind that they do have a waitlist of about 2-3 months from initial sign-up before you start your subscription!

Eyeko’s Black Magic Mascara ($10.75 for 0.13 fl oz) – $24 for 0.29 fl oz

I don’t think this is the waterproof version, but I really like how it’s in a squeezy tube instead of the traditional hard plastic tube. It’s going to be so easy to use up all the mascara instead of having to dig around for everything!

I have thin, short eyelashes so I hope this mascara will give me some curl and definition without giving me spider lashes…

Eslor’s HPT System

There were four different sachets in this deluxe sample from Eslor: Soothing Refiner & Cleanser, Chlorophyll Lifting Mask, Firming Collagen Day Cream, and Botanical Peeling Gel.

In combination, they’re supposed to hydrate, protect and treat your skin to overall better skin health. The full sized versions are $38USD or over, so it’s unfortunately not likely for me to be buying them in any case. It’ll be fun to try, though!

UniqOne’s All in One Hair Treatment ($1.20 for 9mL) – $19.95 for 150mL

It’s a leave-in hair spray of sorts that helps increase shine and softness without weighing your hair down.

I think I’ll probably end up trying this at least once. I’m not a big hair product user since my hair’s fairly limp and I’m also really lazy, but I’m curious to see if it’ll actually keep my hair up.

Benefit Cosmetics’ Stay Flawless 15-hour Primer ($2.94 for 9g) – $38 for 15.5g

Yay, Benefit! I do love this brand. Their samples’ packaging is just as amazing as their full sized counterparts!

Luckily, the Stay Flawless primer doesn’t leave any sort of residue on your skin and it really does blend flawlessly into your complexion. I was a bit worried since it looks rather light in the tube, but a quick swatch told me that it blends perfectly under foundation!

Verdict: 3.25/5 – Although I really like the Eyeko Mascara and the Benefit Stay Flawless primer, the Eslor skin system and the hair treatment just aren’t for me.

xoxo,

B.elle

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Workout Makeup Routine

I know, this seriously sounds like an oxymoron. If you’re working out, why bother with makeup when you’re going to be sweating like a pig anyway?

But, I’ve learned in the past few months that it’s a hell of a lot easier to go between working out to the rest of the day without having to stop and make sure I still look presentable to the adult world.

With that in mind, I set out to find the ultimate makeup routine that would stay put all day, makes me look somewhat like an adult and won’t end up making me look like a Picasso after some training.

Workout Makeup

Eye Primer – This is an absolute must! Without it, all your eyeshadow will wear off within minutes of any sort of workout. Plus, it helps keep your eyeshadow even and vivid, even if you don’t have a defined eye fold!

My pick: Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance Eye Primer ($23CAD)

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Eyeshadow – I usually pick a shimmery neutral that goes well with most occasions, but this is where your personality will shine! I found that one layer does best for some reason.

My pick: Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow in Chopper ($22CAD)

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Eyebrows – I would say that this is completely optional since well-shaped eyebrows don’t need much to look fabulous. But, if you have patchy, thin or scraggly eyebrows (like me), it’s best to fill in the lines with a wax-based eyebrow filler so it doesn’t wash off with sweat.

My pick: Benefit’s Browzings in Dark ($36CAD)

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Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner – This is KEY to keep your look throughout a good workout. Other eyeliners like kohl and pencil eyeliners will smudge beautifully for a smokey look, but they will melt down your face the second you start your workout.

Most high-end liquid eyeliners dry really quickly and don’t budge no matter how much you rub it! The only detail that you need to make sure is that it’s waterproof.

My pick: Eyeko’s Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner ($22CAD)

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Waterproof Mascara – What’s worse than coming out from a great workout, feeling fantastic and then finding out that you look like you got socked in the eyes? (You might have if you’re in an MMA tournament, but that’s a little different.) Waterproof mascara not only helps keep you looking good if you’re jogging in the rain, but it also works against mild sweating.

Don’t forget to curl your lashes before you put mascara on!

My pick: Maybelline’s Lash Stiletto Waterproof Mascara ($10CAD)

*Note: The website’s picture is wrong. It looks like the washable Lash Stiletto tube but with “waterproof” written on it.

I don’t use foundation or concealer every day so that doesn’t change my usual makeup routine. If you do use foundation and concealer and want to work out with it on, you may end up with more breakouts since they’re specifically for smoothing out complexion over your own skin and pores. Once you add in sweat, it’s almost a sure fire way to aggravate your skin!

Using this combination, I went outdoor parkour training at Cloud Gardens when it started to lightly rain in the hot, humid afternoon. I was so surprised to see that my makeup hadn’t moved too much after 3 hours!

Do you wear makeup to your workouts? If you do, what do you use? More importantly, what do you do to recover?

xoxo,

B.elle

Topbox – July 2014

Canada Post was crazy fast this month! I got my shipping notification after work and my Topbox was waiting for me when I got home the next day!

I can’t say the same for me, though… The August wishlist just came out and I’m still finishing this review! Oops. I randomly picked off some choices, but I also picked the regular box, so it’ll be fun to see what I get next month.

This month, I wished for a Benefit Prive Box and actually got it! Whoa. I also grabbed a $10 add-on.

What is it?

Topbox is a Canadian monthly beauty box subscription that features 4 deluxe samples for $12 per month, shipped right to your door via Canada Post. Some months even include full sized products! Keep in mind that they do have a waitlist of about 2-3 months from initial sign-up before you start your subscription!

Let’s see what’s in the July Benefit Topbox!

Topbox July 2014

They’re pretty small samples, but I’ve noticed that Benefit’s really scaled back their sample sizes in the past year or so. I do like how there’s almost a whole makeover kit in my box this month!

I kind of lost the listing card, though! Sorry!

Topbox July 2014Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara – $23 for 8.5g ($8.12 for 3.0g sample)

The They’re Real! Mascara is probably their most well known product on the market aside from the Porefessional and Benetint lip and cheek stain.

Everyone from their next door neighbour to their grandma raves about this mascara but I actually don’t like it! I know, it’s so strange! I think the wand bristles are too stiff for my spindly little eyelashes and I always end up poking myself in the eye. The formula doesn’t seem to be anything remarkably special, either.

Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray Dual Primer – $26 for 10.0mL ($6.50 for 2.5mL)

It’s a good thing that they sent out medium/dark shades because I’m definitely not pale!

I never had a problem with my Too Faced eyeshadow primer, but I do want to see how dark this shade is and if it’ll work with my melt-prone concealer. It looks shimmery in the picture, but it’s actually completely matte!

Topbox July 2014

Benefit’s They’re Real! Push Up Liner – $24 for 1.4g ($1.71 for 0.1g sample)

I actually thought for a split second that they sent us a Benefit-branded tampon! Oh gosh.

They probably put it in the sleeve wrapping because the actual sample is super thin and doesn’t fit in the paper wrapping at all! I’m not a fan of extraneous packaging, so the tampon packing inside a cardboard boxette seemed completely useless to me.

So, apparently, this doesn’t even use the same type of push-up method as the full sized product and you have to squeeze the tubing to get the gel out and apply it to your lash line like that.

I tried it out on my hand and I gotta say… I am so not impressed. The gel is super thick and heavy and, since a tiny bit goes a very long way, it’s VERY easy to get panda eyes if you’re not careful with the Push-Up Liner. At least it really stays put!

The plastic tip is absolutely brilliant for doing a wingtip, though! Too bad the formula reminds me of the old charcoal pencils I used in art class.

Benefit’s They’re Real! Makeup Remover – $18 for 50.0mL ($2.70 for 7.5mL)

If you can’t tell, I’ve already used some of it before I got a chance to do this review.

The makeup remover itself is a little creamy and gel-like, which was a little strange for me since I always use a solution or a dual-phase! But, I really like this one because it’s so effective and took off my waterproof mascara and liquid eyeliner without any problems AT ALL.

The only thing is that I don’t like using makeup remover just for eyes anymore, so I hope Benefit comes out with a similar formula for the whole face!

Topbox July 2014

Teeez Desert Lush Lipstick in Red Onyx

I have NO idea where you might be able to get this in Canada! It’s a European company based in the Netherlands and it’s pretty damn awesome. The packaging is so eye catching!

The lipstick is so creamy and it’s even vegan (as far as I can tell from their claims and glancing over the ingredient) with SPF10!

It’s super sheer, so it’s great for a milder look or for everyday wear, but I can definitely see that it’ll be outstanding with a bit of matte lip liner underneath for evening!

Teeez Lipstick Red Onyx

Verdict: 4/5 – I finally got a prive box! Yay! But, I don’t like two of the samples Benefit chose to put in and the other two were either meh or AMAZING. The add-on was really nice for me and I would definitely try my luck with another one soon!

Did you get the July Topbox? What did you think of it?

xoxo,

B.elle

Topbox – May 2014

I didn’t sleep well AT ALL last night because of a minor nightmare/panic attack about one of my product trials, so seeing my Topbox nestled between my doors was a welcoming sign!

Also, happy Victoria Day weekend (aka, May 2-4 long weekend!).

What is it?

Topbox is a Canadian monthly beauty box subscription that features 4 deluxe samples for $12 per month, shipped right to your door via Canada Post. Some months even include full sized products! Keep in mind that they do have a waitlist of about 2-3 months from initial sign-up before you start your subscription!

Topbox May 2014

In honour of Earth Month, Topbox announced that they’ll be switching the regular cardboard tubes for an organza bag and donating the difference to the [World Wildlife Fund] for the May Topbox. Considering the enthusiastic response on their Facebook page, I wonder if they’ll make a change soon?

Topbox May 2014

Kinetics Nail Colour in Splatter It! – $9 for 15mL, full sized

More nail polish! I’m going to have to start planning an organization system for my collection!

I have a similar colour to this from Sephora X and I LOVE playing with effect coats! It’ll be interesting to see how it holds up compared to Sephora’s brand especially since it looks like a relatively new brand, too.

Lancome Paris’s Hypnose Doll Lashes in 01 So Black! (4mL = $19.38 sample) – $31.50 for 6.5mL

Holy heifer, this is a big sample even for a deluxe size! This particular mascara’s also a new product from Lancome and it’s always exciting to try the newest line, you know? The wand looks really user-friendly, too!

I heard that Lancome has really great mascara formulas and I’m actually very interested to try this one on and compare it to my current favourite, Bourjois Paris’ Volume Glamour Max mascara.

(I’m starting to see a trend here with the May Topbox and my current makeup inventory!)

Topbox May 2014

Elizabeth Arden’s Visible Difference Skin Balancing Lotion SPF15 for Combination Skin (5mL = $4.80 sample) – 50mL for $48

Okay, I don’t have a dedicated “skin balancing lotion” that also has SPF in it. Definitely no repeat for this one!

It actually has instructions in the box! No more guessing for me! According to the sheet, you “smooth onto cleansed face and throat before sun exposure” and “it leaves skin looking healthy and balanced with a radiant appearance.”

So… It’s a moisturizing toner with some sun protection. Right on, I can get behind this.

I love how the sample has a little pump, but I kinda feel like that’s overkill for a little teaspoon of face cream. It took a dozen pumps, but when I finally got some out, the lotion’s actually pretty runny! At least it doesn’t have that characteristic sunscreen smell, but that’s probably because it’s only SPF15.

It really is super light on the face, too. Good job, Elizabeth Arden!

Benefit Cosmetics’ Posiebalm – Hydrating Tinted Lip Balm (0.5g = $3.67 sample) – 3g for $22

BENEFIT! I absolutely adore this brand and this is one of their absolute newest products that I have been dying to try! I love lip balm, but it always makes lipstick so hard to put on afterwards, so I’ve been hoping for a decent lip tint that works well but won’t break the bank.

Interestingly enough, the shade is similar to the Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Coral Blossom that I already have but it’s way more sheer and a bit more pink than coral. They’re both so moisturizing, too!

Topbox May 2014

BONUS! Lancome Paris’ Empty Sample Jar

That sounds GREAT, doesn’t it? But, the box/bag came with a card that you can redeem at a Lancome counter at any Bay to get a 10-day supply of one of their foundations in your ideal shade.

I don’t think I’m going to redeem this because I already have a foundation from bareminerals that I don’t react to and I’m not even a quarter of the way through.

But, I can see how this might be better than sending out foundation samples because you’re not guaranteed to get a matching shade! There’s almost no point!

Verdict: 4/5 – It’s the second month in a row that I’ve gotten nail polish, which is a little meh even if it’s a completely different shade. But, I’m definitely going to be using the mascara and Posiebalm and the quality is phenomenal! What a great box!

Did you get the May Topbox? What did you think of it?

xoxo,

B.elle