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April 2013

Sephora Chic Week Haul!

Saturday, April 20, 2013 Category : , , , 4

I've been trying to save my money as of late but when Sephora's Chic Week came 'round I just couldn't resist!

Sephora is offering 15% off your total purchase, but in-stores only for Canadian shoppers--how unfair is that!? It's already bad enough that some items can be $10, $15, maybe even $20 more than in the States when the currencies are so close to par!

Well, fortunately I found a way around this predicament :)

Because of the huge discrepancy in USD to CAD prices at Sephora, I like ordering my items through the US site and shipping it to a parcel receiving place in Point Roberts, which is not too far a drive from where I live. This way, not only do I save from the huge markup, but I get to use the 15% code! Yay!
Below is the damage this haul dealt to my credit card:

Merchandise Subtotal: $292.50
Promotion Discount:-$43.87

BUT WAIT! I also used Ebates for the first time with this order which saves me an additional 4% off my subtotal, which comes to $9.93. 

If I did my math right (unfortunately I'm one of the few Asians not blessed with crazy math skills), I saved 18.4%! That's $53.80 on top of what I already saved from the USD to CAD price conversion! Yippee!

Chic Week lasts until April 22nd, so if you want to be sneaky like me, the promo code for online shopping is "CHIC"

I had the most difficult time narrowing down my product selection to reflect a reasonably-figured expenditure, but here it is:

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush (in Blissful and Exposed)
Yves Saint Laurent TOUCHE ÉCLAT - Radiant Touch (Oh no! I left this one out by accident!)

I'm super excited to try these products! You can expect to see a whole slew of review posts coming up soon!

Amicably Yours,

March 2013 Favourites

Saturday, April 6, 2013 Category : , , 1

Seeing as how we're already a week into April, I was debating whether to do my first "monthly favourites" post for March or April, but I decided on the former 'cause I felt pretty inspired.

I've got quite a few skincare favourites this month, since my skin (particularly the nose area) was being uncooperative and making both my BB creams and foundations cake on me. Not only was my makeup caking in some areas, but there would be dry patches as well as oil buildup. Then after I blot to get rid of the oil, the dry spots would become even more accentuated. I could not win.

But thank goodness my skin is finally somewhat agreeing with me.

I already reviewed this back in February (link above), but I've still been using it everyday since. The texture is more like a serum than lotion, but that's what the product is called. I find this is a good base product for moisturizing in the morning and night. Then I slather on a bit more cream if my skin's having a rough day.

Hada Labo Moisturizing Cream
I usually apply this cream at night after applying the lotion from the same line. This cream's got a thick consistency that almost has me feeling oily after applying, but it gets absorbed by my skin overnight (or gets smeared all over my pillows, but I'm choosing to believe the former) so I wake up feeling nice in the morning :)

Josie Maran Argan Oil
It's $14 USD/$18 CAD for a tiny 15mL bottle of this stuff, but I've had it since the beginning of November last year and I'm barely halfway through the bottle so the price isn't too big a deal for me. A little bit goes a long way with this product. I like to add about 3-4 drops to a dime-sized amount of moisturizing cream each night for extra moisture. You can even apply this directly on your skin for treatment because the oil dries/gets absorbed quite rapidly. 

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner in Nude and Black
It's hard to find a nude eyeliner that isn't exorbitant in price, so I was pretty excited when I saw these eyeliners on the blogosphere. I like to use the nude on the inner corners of my eyes and the black for tight-lining my upper lashes. The nude doesn't stay on all day and the black smears a little into my waterline but I'm okay with that. I don't think even the higher-end liners could perform any better. Since they're kohl liners, these eyeliners are super creamy and pigmented, so it doesn't take a lot of effort to apply them. 

This finishing powder has been a part of my daily makeup routine since I bought it. This particular shade is supposed to help reduce redness and I find that it certainly does live up to it's claim (it conceals the redness on and around my nose that my foundation misses). It also blurs away my pores and doesn't highlight any dry skin I may have like some other powders do. Since these powders have no oil-control, I usually do have to re-powder my nose area every few hours, but I do like the effect this product gives.

NARS Blush in Orgasm
This was one of my first-ever high-end makeup products from several years ago in the beginning of 2011 (it's a powder product, so I have no qualms about any "expiration" date). Even as a complete beginner with makeup, I had heard about the NARS Orgasm Blush and my interest was piqued. Admittedly, it just sat unused until recently since I've been going for a more natural look with blush instead of contouring with my bronzer. I haven't tried other blushes before, but I find the peachy pink with gold shimmer to be absolutely gorgeous!

Amicably Yours,

Review: Beautyblender Makeup Sponge

Friday, April 5, 2013 Category : , , , , 2

I've read and seen rave reviews about the beautyblender sponge on both blogs and YouTube, but I could never bring myself to splurge some $20 on a sponge applicator.

I finally added this to my cart when I was shopping online at Sephora (I did a mini haul that I sent to Point Roberts and I figured I may as well make my purchase substantial enough to justify the trip down to the border)--and boy am I glad that I did!

From the reviews I read, I definitely knew I wanted the real thing, and not the half-priced Sonia Kashuk blending sponge. Then came the problem of which set to buy from Sephora.

- 1 beautyblender for $19.95 USD ($26 CAD)
- 2 beautyblenders for $25.95 USD ($33 CAD)
- 1 beautyblender + 500mL blendercleanser for $34.95 USD ($44 CAD)
- 2 beauty blenders + 500mL blendercleanser for $39.95 USD ($50 CAD)

I definitely knew it wasn't worth it just to go for one beautyblender when a second one was only an additional $6, but I couldn't decide if I wanted the cleanser or not. After going back and forth, I finally decided to go for the cleanser as well. Not only did it provide for an easier way to clean the sponge, but it apparently works as a brush cleaner as well.

The Claims:
Now you can look like a movie star without the pricey services of a major make up artist. Introducing Beautyblender, the ultimate make up sponge applicator. Invented by top Hollywood make up artist Rea Ann Silva, Beautyblender has been created to leave you with a professional finish and a flawless complexion. Silva knows that the key to a perfect face is simple: a perfect blend. So forget your fingers or sharp-edged triangular sponges, these application methods waste make up and can leave visible streaks. 

Beautyblender’s patent-pending elliptical shape makes application foolproof by allowing you to access hard-to-reach areas with stunning ease. Its suede texture is sensual to the touch and its unique curves fit the contours of your face, leaving your make up dazzling and undetectable. Beautyblender is latex free, non-allergenic and odor free.

In short, using brushes, fingers, or other spongers for foundation application can sometimes leave streaks and the beautyblender sponge promises to deliver a flawless streak-free application. Furthermore, the pointed tip of the sponge is designed to get at the smaller areas of your face (ie. the sides of your nose, around the eyes, etc).


1. You can use the beautyblender with any sort of makeup formulation, whether it be liquid, cream, powder, loose, or pressed. Whichever the case, you'll want to use it damp, so wet the beautyblender under a faucet with a squeezing motion and then squeeze all the water out. When you're done, the beautyblender will be significantly larger than when it was dry, as you can see in the picture below.

2. I use BB cream, so I squirted a nickel-sized amount of product on the back of my hand and used the beautybleander to dab at the BB cream.

You'll want to use a stippling/bouncing motion against your face rather than dragging it across like a brush. This will blend the makeup into your skin without distorting the texture or tone. Use the round, blunt end of the beautyblender for application of product to broader areas of your face (ie. cheeks, forehead, and chin), and the pointed end for smaller areas like the sides of your nose and eye area.

My Thoughts:

Product: The beautyblender is super-squishy and feels almost like suede. I love how it's designed to be used on both ends for applications to different and all areas of the face. My only gripe about the product is with the bright pink colour since I've heard the pink washes out when you clean the sponge.

Well, that and the fact the product is that it's near-impossible to travel with (not that I travel often, mind you, I just like having the option open to me), but that's not a fault with the product itself. 

Packaging: The packaging for this product as actually quite neat. The iffy thing about buying a sponge rather than a brush (or using your fingers) is that it's difficult to find a place to store it. The packaging actually comes with a pedestal insert (you can see it in the second picture of this post) that will allow for the least amount of sponge surface area to rest against a solid surface, which will in turn allow for optimal drying :)

So when you get your beautyblender, don't throw away the packaging!

Price: If you weren't paying attention at the beginning of the post where I listed out the options and prices, here it is again:

- 1 beautyblender for $19.95 USD ($26 CAD)
- 2 beautyblenders for $25.95 USD ($33 CAD)
- 1 beautyblender + 500mL blendercleanser for $34.95 USD ($44 CAD)
- 2 beauty blenders + 500mL blendercleanser for $39.95 USD ($50 CAD)

As you can see, at $20 USD, it's not really worth it to buy just one beautyblender on its own, but it's a lot to buy two beautyblenders and justify the $13 USD per sponge price tag instead. Now that I think about it, I think that's how they trap you! >_____<

Overall: I love the even texture that the beautyblender provides. I'm not sure if I'm just being influenced by the hype, but I do feel like it provides a flawless application. I feel that the sponge provides a fuller coverage than I can get by applying my BB cream with my fingers. Furthermore, it feels like my BB cream lasts longer on my face.

Here's the "after" picture. You can see my terrible-ness of my bare skin in the application pictures above.

Repurchase? Yes! Hopefully I can get a long life out of each sponge, but when it's finally time for new ones, I'll definitely buy them again. I don't think I'll ever want to go back to applying BB cream with my fingers again!

Amicably Yours,

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