Topbox – December 2014

December’s Topbox was shipped early! It arrived at my doorstep on the 11th and totally caught me off guard when I got home!

I wished for the Be A Bombshell prive box and I got it!

Topbox December 2014

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!

First, here’s a quick swatch of both products on my skin!

Topbox December 2014

Be a Bombshell’s Lipgloss in Vixen – $14 for 3 g (Full Size)

I really like this lipgloss! It has a nice orange base tone on me even though it’s a cherry red in the tube. You can’t really see it in the picture, but it has some gold shimmer in it, too. It’s flattering for most occasions, even for evening wear!

I’m not a fan of lipglosses because I don’t like their stickiness, but I really like this one! The pigmentation is really good and it’s not too sticky!

Be a Bombshell’s Eyeshadow in Birthday Suit – $14 for 1.5g (Full Size)

It’s not the most flattering colour in the spectrum, but it’s meant to be a highlighter shade or used as a base to get a really vivid colour from other eyeshadows. I definitely can’t use this on its own just because it looks really, really unflattering on my tan skin!

The eyeshadow itself is pretty nice, but it’s a tad dry. I’d say that it’s a product that needs a good primer or to be mixed with some moisturizer for a cream eyeshadow!

Verdict: 4.75/5 – What a great value in this month’s Topbox! I’m sure I’ll use up the lipgloss until it’s gone and the eyeshadow is going to be saved for special occasions. Together, they’re going to make an amazing addition to the holiday look!

xoxo,

B.elle

Topbox – October 2014

It’s Topbox time! I was actually expecting my box this October since I remembered it was after Thanksgiving!

What I didn’t remember was that I ordered the LouLou box and I completely forgot what was supposed to be in it. More on that in a separate post, though.

Topbox October 2014

Anyway, I got the original tube packaging but this month’s box looks pretty good again!

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!

Bioderma’s Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution ($8.78 for 100mL) – $21.95 for 250mL

I’m starting to really like Bioderma’s products. The sample of face cleanser I got from an earlier Topbox is now hiding at the Monsieur’s place and it works really well alternating with my usual face wash!

Their micelle solution is absolutely legendary and I know so many people who swear by it as a makeup remover, mild cleanser and toner at the same time, so I’m super excited to try this!

MeMeMe Cosmetics’ Eye Inspire Mono Collection in Mirage – £4.99/$9 for about 5g (Full size)

Mirage is actually a burnt bronze colour that’s deep enough for some light definition on a natural look or as a base colour to layer on a smokey eye.

It feels pretty good and light, but I already have a colour very similar to this, so this might go into my swap pile…

Topbox October 2014

Prestige Cosmetics’ Back to Black Makeup Eraser Pen – Unknown price (Full size)

At first, I wasn’t sure what the product card was talking about and I actually thought that it was a misprint of some sort! The summary on the card was so vague that I wasn’t sure if I got the right product or not. To me, Back to Black is an eyeliner or a mascara of some sort.

It turns out that Back to Black is Prestige Cosmetics’ product line, like how Maybelline has their Eye Studio collection and Expertwear collection. The makeup eraser pen takes care of minor mistakes really, really well, which comes in VERY handy when it comes to liquid eyeliner! This may be a life-changer for me…

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Synchronized Complex II ($20 for 4mL) – $75 for 15mL

I’m not too sure if I’ll use this one since I’m trying not to use anything like serums or chemicals near my eyes. I might give it to my mom if she wants to use it since she likes to try things like this. However, I think that the sample size is very generous compared to the amount you’d get in a full size!

Verdict: 3.75/5 – I’m not going to use a couple of the items in the box but I do like how there’s full sized products from brands I’ve never heard of before! Plus, the Bioderma micelle solution and makeup eraser pen are GENIUS.

xoxo,

B.elle

Urban Decay Build Your Own Palette – VOTE!

I’ve fallen in love!

No, not with another man… I’m talking about Urban Decay’s Build Your Own Palettes!

Urban Decay Build Your Own Palette

I always liked the concept of palettes because it puts a bunch of colours in one container for convenient access to a whole range of shades that you can choose from. The only reason that usually stops me from picking up a pre-made palette is that I often don’t use more than a couple colours.

Ultimately, many of the palettes available turns into a pretty big waste of money for me even if the value is already there.

That’s why Build Your Own palettes appeal to me so much. Even though it usually ends up to be more expensive than buying a pre-made palette, picking out my own colours and products will make sure I use it all and get the full value out of it over time.

I picked out Urban Decay’s Build Your Own Palette in Rebound because I don’t use more than four different colours for my eyes, including special occasions. There’s even a gigantic mirror on the top lid!

I haven’t made my own palette before, so it’s a new experience for me! I decided to take it slow and fill each slot one by one.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Chopper

The first one I picked out was Chopper, which is a light, shimmery copper with bits of silver flecks in it. It’s great against my slightly tan complexion as a neutral, everyday colour that can also double as a nice base for most other accenting colours. (I wear some pretty honkin’ glasses, so I need shimmer and sparkle to get the effect to stand out a bit more!)

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Last Call

The next one I got was Last Call. It’s a really nice, pinkish plum with a metallic finish that really works well as a bright, fun accent. I haven’t tried it all over the lid yet, though. I’m kind of scared that it might make me look like I haven’t slept!

Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow Moonspoon

The third and most recent colour I picked up was Moonspoon in their Moondust Eyeshadow line. It’s a medium sparkly gray eyeshadow that’s basically unicorn dust! It’s so silky and sparkly without making me look like Dazzler from Marvel.

All of Urban Decay’s eyeshadows are incredibly pigmented and the payoff is really worth the price! It’s best to use them with a primer of some sort (I use Too Faced Shadow Insurance, but I know that Urban Decay’s Primer Potion works incredibly as well), but there’s always a tiny bit of cast off after a whole day.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Build Your Own Palette

I have one more slot left to fill and I want you dear readers to pick!

Choose one from the droplist or leave a comment!

xoxo,

B.elle

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

I Hit The Pan!

It finally happened!

Hit the pan

I actually hit the pan of my Smashbox eyeshadow! It’s been a year since I first got it and I’ve been using it almost every day since at least the fall, so it’s definitely got some good life to it.

But, this is the first time EVER that I’ve hit the pan on one of my cosmetics! YAY!

xoxo,

B.elle

Topbox – April 2014

I got my April Topbox on the 15th, right after they went out the previous evening! Talk about quick service! Can’t say the same for me, though… Better late than never, right?

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!

Here’s what I got in my box.

Topbox April 2014

I love how it’s a nice assortment of colour cosmetics and skin cleansing/treatment products! It’s also a pretty good bonus that I’ve never heard of any of these brands, too!

Topbox April 2014

Pur~lisse Pur~Moist Hydra-Balance Moisturizer (15mL = $16.50 sample) – $55 for 50mL

This is a face moisturizer to put on after cleansing and toning. The card also says that it can be used as a face primer!

It says it’s for normal to dry, sensitive to anti-aging skin? I’m not overly familiar with face products, but what the hell does that mean?! My best guess is that they’re saying it’s for every skin type besides oily and acne-prone. (That sounds about right, right?)

Pur-lisse Pur-Most Hydra Balance Moisturizer

I do like how it’s been sealed off to prevent contamination and leakage during transport! I remember hearing about the So Susan product Topbox had sent out a while ago and how several of them got to people completely broken or smelling strange or both!

This one actually smells really nice with some woody and floral notes, and it goes on pretty smoothly. It seems to moisturize pretty well, but it might be too heavy for the heavier areas for combination types… which now makes sense if it’s for normal-dry skin.

I already have a dedicated face wash system, but this is a pretty good product!

Sweet Pea Soap Co.’s French Green Clay Soap ($3 sample?) – $5.95 each full sized

Ingredients: Coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, castor oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, French green clay, green tea and liquorice root extract, matcha powder and peppermint essential oil.

Before I even opened the tube, I was wondering what that herbal, fresh-y kind of smell was and it was this! It’s made with natural ingredients, including French green kaolin clay, green tea and licorice root extract.

When I found out that there’s licorice root extract, I immediately knew that it was the main culprit of that particular scent! I don’t really like how licorice smells and I would almost describe the smell as medicinal, but I will say that I came home after a full day of experimenting with flavours and fragrances, so I may have been negatively biased with the soap’s smell.

According to Sweet Pea’s website, it’s meant to clean the face. But, I tried it on my hands and it’s pretty good if you have sensitive skin! It doesn’t leave any strange residue or “squeakiness” that harsher soaps can leave behind. Also, it ends up being kind of moisturizing, too!

Topbox April 2014

LA Splash Nail Polish in Curfew – $7.50 Full sized

I do prefer more subdued colours to wear on my nails because my skintone doesn’t get along with a lot of shades, so this is actually pretty good for me! I think I actually own a denim jacket in this teal colour, too.

It goes on pretty nicely and, once doubled up, it’s very even and opaque. Let’s hope that it doesn’t chip too quickly like some others I’ve tried!

The only thing that bugs me is that it seems like a lower-end brand compared to other luxury that Topbox has featured like Elizabeth Arden and GlamGlow. But, I’m not REALLY complaining since it’s a full sized nail polish!

BH Cosmetics Eyeshadow Trio in California Collection (1.5g sample each?) – $18.95 each

I heard that this particular sample’s been making the rounds in all the beauty boxes, but since I only subscribe to Topbox, this is a first for me!

At first glance, I do like the colours! They’re bright and summery and I love using bright colours as accents for my everyday looks when I have time in the morning to play around with eyeshadow.

BH Cosmetics California Collection Palette

The payoff isn’t the best, even with some primer underneath, which is pretty unfortunate. I will probably end up using the brown and gold most often as subtle accents, though.

BH Cosmetics California Collection Palette

Would I buy one of them for $18.95? HELL NO.

Verdict: 3.5/5 – I really like the soap, nail polish and moisturizer, but I’m disappointed in the eyeshadow trio! I know it’s not Topbox’s fault at all, but the quality really isn’t good.

What did you think of the April Topbox? Are you looking forward to May’s? I know I am!

xoxo,

B.elle

Smashbox Runway Ready Beauty Kit

I will tell you something right now: I usually don’t shop at Winners. I’m too much of a neat freak when it comes to retail businesses to really like going through random racks of clothing to find THE ONE piece to make the whole trip worthwhile.

But, I heard about a really good makeup find on a Facebook group I’m in and decided to make a detour into Winners at the mall I was at already to see if I could find anything.

Long story short: It was totally worth it! I found this whole kit by Smashbox for $25!

Smashbox Runway Ready Beauty Kit

The kit includes:

  • Travel Angled Blush Brush
  • Lip Enhancing Gloss in Crystal – Medium Size
  • Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illume – Medium Size (peachy shade)
  • Photo Finish Foundation Primer – Travel Size (15mL)
  • Fusion Eye & Cheek in On In 5
  • Eye Shadow Trio in Smashbox.com (Cool neutrals in a coppery beige, taupe, and dark brown)

Smashbox Runway Ready Beauty Kit

I’m not going to go into retail price vs what I got in the box, but I have to say that it’s a pretty damn good deal for the price! I’ve been wanting to try out their Photo Finish Foundation Primer (along with their other primers) for a while, but I always feel super awkward standing in front of a mirror at Sephora basically giving myself a makeover in the store for 20 minutes.

I had to use my own foundation (Cover Girl’s Look Clean Makeup), eye primer (Too Faced Shadow Insurance), concealer (Maybelline’s Coverstick Concealer) and mascara (Jelly Pong Pong’s Fairy Lashes), but here’s the final result!

With glasses

With glasses

Without glasses

Without glasses

You can’t tell the difference from my normal self in the pictures, but the products are very, very lovely and the primer feels like there’s nothing on my face! The brush was nice and soft and the eyeshadows went on really smoothly. The blush seems to be really, REALLY close to my natural skin tone, but it seems to be good as a subtle contouring powder.

Obviously, I can’t tell you how they lasted throughout a day yet, but I’m very pleased with the colour combos!

The only thing I’m not too pleased about is the lip gloss. It’s a bit too goopy for me, but that’s one of the reasons why I avoid lip glosses in general. I’ll try to use it more often, but we’ll see!

Overall, I really like this beauty kit! The shades are very natural, which is the look I much prefer.  But, since I’m far too lazy to do the whole regime on a regular basis, the value goes up and that’s always good in my books!

Do you like Smashbox? Do you shop at Winners often?

xoxo,

B.elle