Monthly Favourites: April 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

I know I'm a couple days early with the favourites this month but I'm sure nothing will majorly change within the next few days.

Song: "Phazing (Tiesto remix)" by Dirty South isn't a new song but I just discovered it (thanks to a fellow blogger!) and I cannot stop listening to it. It is such a great driving song that is perfect for blasting on sunny spring days. Likewise (though on a totally different spectrum), I am loving "Wasted Time" by Keith Urban. Of course, that man can do no wrong in my eyes and I am eagerly counting down the days until his next album drops. My third favourite is by Gareth Emery, who I discovered last year through another blogger, and have been in love with since then. He recently released a new album and "I Could Be Stronger" has been on repeat. The piano kills me!

Read: I finally finished "Before We Were Strangers" which I did enjoy, though it was a bit cheesy near the end. Blog-wise, I loved Helene's post "I Don't Want Kids, Am I Bad?". As someone who doesn't want kids myself, I love discovering that others feel the same way (because let's be honest, most people don't share our opinion!). I definitely don't feel bad about not wanting them, but it's always nice to know I'm not alone in my feelings on the matter. 

TV Show or Movie: We are still binge-watching "New Girl" and we are finally on episodes now that I haven't seen before which makes it even better.

Beauty Product: I've been loving the NYX HD Concealer and the CoverGirl Lash Blast Plumpify Mascara this month. I also picked up the Sephora Solid Brush Cleaner a couple months ago and forgot to report back that I love it.

Food: I'm still on a sushi kick, not surprisingly! However, I've branched out from my usual California roll and I now love the salmon and tuna rolls as well. We picked up all the supplies to make our own but we haven't attempted it yet because it seems like such a daunting task. If you have any tips or suggestions for us newbies, please leave them in the comments below! I'm also still loving smoothie bowls and make one nearly every morning before work.

The Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in "Beloved" and "Berlin". I am also planning to pick up the YSL Black Opium Travel Gift Set this weekend when I go to Sephora, so that will definitely be another favourite for the month.

What are you loving this month? Leave a comment below!

Spring Sephora VIB Sale Haul

Monday, April 25, 2016

I was a little disappointed that the Spring Sephora VIB sale was only 15% off (as opposed to the 20% we had in the Fall) and for that reason, I really tried to limit my spending! I picked up a few things in store but a few things I wanted were out of stock so I ended up placing an online order as well. Keep reading to find out my initial impressions on my purchases!

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation | After trying samples of what seemed like every foundation at Sephora aside from this one, I decided to just take a chance and order it online (I live two hours away from the store). I ordered the color "Siberia" which is the lightest shade as I am generally always the lightest shade in foundation, however, it is just a little yellow on my skin. In hindsight, I probably should have chosen the more pink-toned "Mont Blanc". So far I do like this foundation but it hasn't reached holy grail status. It applies nicely and offers a medium coverage, though I found that it clung to my dry spots when I applied it with a beauty blender. I ended up buying a foundation brush and it seems to apply better with that, without highlighting any dry patches. It wears fairly well throughout the day, though I can definitely notice where it has worn away from some areas after a 12-hour shift. From a distance, my skin looks flawless with this foundation but I'm not a fan of how it looks up close. It would be perfect for photos or videos though!

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick | Technically only one of these is from the VIB sale but considering I got the other one around the same time, I figured I would include it. I actually bought the first one in "Berlin" from Jordan's co-worker, whose husband accidentally picked up the wrong color for her. Rather than deal with exchanging it at the store, she asked Jordan if I would like it so he bought it from her and gave it to me. I liked the formula so much that I decided to buy another color during the sale. I picked up "Beloved" which, if you look at the photo, looks really similar to Berlin. However, Berlin is more coral whereas Beloved is more pink. These are quite comfortable to wear and last for hours (except during meals).

Bite Agave Lip Mask | This has been on my wishlist forever and I finally picked it up! I wanted the pink one but it was sold out in store so I ended up getting the original. This is super thick to the point where it is hard to squeeze out of the tube. I love applying it before bed though and waking up with soft, moisturized lips.

Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector | As I've mentioned a million times before, I have really bad under-eye circles. I bought this based on the good reviews in hopes that it would help conceal them. Perhaps my expectations were too high because I was slightly disappointed in this, but not to the point where I would return it. This is a sticky, shimmery product and it only requires a small amount so hopefully it will last a long time. Combined with foundation and concealer, this does really brighten the under-eye area, but it isn't the miracle worker that I was hoping it would be.

Anthony Deep Pore Cleansing Clay | I stumbled upon this while browsing the Sephora website one day and figured I would give it a try based on the excellent reviews, many of which compare it to the Glam Glow masks for a much cheaper price. I've only used this twice so I haven't really formed a conclusion yet as to whether or not it is helping my skin. I don't have problem skin to start with so it's often difficult for me to judge skin products. I will say that it kind of burns when applied to the skin - first in a cool, minty way and then in a warm, sunburn way. My skin also tends to look sunburned after I apply it, at least for a few minutes! I definitely wouldn't use this more than once or twice a week, but I am curious to know if this has any overall effect on my skin or not.

I also received the following two samples in my online Sephora order:

YSL Black Opium | Oh. My. God. This will be my next purchase from Sephora, let me tell you that! This is not the type of perfume that I would typically go for - I tend to like fruity perfumes like Marc Jacobs or Juicy Couture, whereas this is a spicy (and sweet) perfume. It would be perfect for nights out but I actually love it for day-to-day wear as well. It is super long-lasting and I cannot stop sniffing myself when I am wearing this.

Mason Martin Margiela Replica Beach Walk | The reviews seem to indicate that most people smell coconut or suntan lotion in this perfume but when I sprayed it, both Jordan and I got "old lady perfume" vibes. It does settle down to a more subtle, sweet scent but overall I'm not a fan.

Did you buy anything in the Sephora VIB sale? If so, leave a comment below & let me know!

Topbox April 2016 Review

Friday, April 22, 2016

Topbox is a Canadian-based monthly beauty subscription service. It costs $12/month and offers free shipping. They send four beauty products per month, unless you decide to choose a special privé box. Here is a look at what I received in my April 2016 Topbox!

Topbox April 2016 Review

Ofra Cosmetics Lipliner | I received this in the color "Wine" and it is just okay. It is a deep, brownish-pink color, which doesn't really match the name and I'm not sure how much use I will actually get out of it. It may match one or two of my lipsticks, but I tend to wear bright colors usually. I haven't tested this to see how long-lasting it is but when I did apply it to test out the color, it didn't apply very smoothly on my lips. Approximate sample value: $17.25 (full size).

Pur-Lisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Eye Adore Serum | This product claims to hydrate, firm, brighten and decrease under eye puffiness. I am eager to try this out because as I've frequently mentioned, I have dark under eye circles 24/7. It is a small sample but I find that a little goes a long way when it comes to under eye products. Approximate sample value: $30.

DDM Cosmetics Illuminate Light-Up Lip Gloss | Ugh, another lip gloss. This is in the color "Rio" which is a shimmery peach color. Like the Model Co lipgloss that I received in my March Topbox, this lipgloss has a mirror on the side of the tube, which I do enjoy, but this lip gloss actually has an LED light-up applicator as well (though I'm not really sure what purpose it serves). The lip gloss smells like cake batter but overall, is way to glittery for me. I will probably pass this along to someone younger. Approximate sample value: $15 (full size).

Kerastase Elixir Oleo-Complexe Replenishing and Beautifying Scented Oil | This is a hair oil formulated for color-treated hair. I am a bit hesitant to apply oil to my hair as it tends to be on the oily side, but I will use a little when my hair is curled to minimize frizz. I haven't tried this yet but the sample is huge! Approximate sample value: $22.

Schick Hydro Silk Razor | This was a bonus item that was included this month. It is a full size razor, which is not something I really need but there is no harm in having extra on hand. It also came with a $5 off coupon for any Schick Hydro Silk refills. Approximate sample value: $10 (full size).

This month's Topbox included four items plus a bonus item, three of which were full size products. The value of the box is $94.25, which is great, but the products were a miss for me. There was a nice variety of products but overall, I was disappointed in this box. I don't like the lip gloss, and I am not a fan of the lip liner color. I will keep my subscription for another month, but if I am disappointed next month then I may cancel again.

If you'd like to sign up for Topbox, you can use my referral code here to bypass the wait list.

March 2016 Topbox Review

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I know, it's nearly the end of April and I am only just posting my March Topbox review now. I actually received my April Topbox today and that was apparently the motivation I needed to get this post up, oops! For those of you who aren't aware, Topbox is a Canadian-based monthly beauty subscription service. It costs $12/month and offers free shipping. They send four beauty products per month, unless you decide to choose a special privé box (which I did not).

The products arrived in a purple foil package and were contained in a green organza bag inside the package. I believe you can opt to receive an actual box but I chose the more environmentally-friendly bag option. In the March 2016 Topbox, I received the following products:

Model Co. Shine Ultra Lip Gloss | I received this in the color "Fairy Floss" which is a light pink with a super-fine shimmer throughout. This is a full size product and claims to be non-sticky and long-lasting. I will say that it does feel nice and moisturizing on the lips and I love the packaging which includes a mirror on the side of the tube (brilliant!), but overall I am just not a fan of lipgloss for everyday use. Approximate sample value: $20 (full size).

MaskerAide All Eyes on Me Hydrating Eye Gel Patches | I haven't tried these yet but I love receiving any type of eye or face masks! I really have to give these a try and see if they help my puffy, sleep-deprived eyes. Approximate sample value: $6.25.

Nova Scotia Fisherman eXtreme Skin Care Lip Balm | As soon as I noticed this product in the bag, I was crossing my fingers that it would be in the "Sea Salt and Caramel" flavour, in which case it definitely would have been a win for me! However, I sadly received the "Fisher-mint" flavour and I am not a huge fan of mint. It feels nice on the lips, however, so I'll keep it on hand for Jordan to use. Approximate sample value: $2.60 (it is a full size lip balm but the website sells a larger size).

Estée Lauder Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner Duo | I received this in the color "Blackened Black/Blackened Cocoa", which I am so happy about because those are the two eyeliner colors I wear on a regular basis. Apparently this product is no longer available which is a shame because I quite like it. Perfect for travelling too as you get two colors in one product! The colors are extremely pigmented and long-lasting. Approximate sample value: $20.58.

The March 2016 Topbox contained four products, including one full-size product. The approximate value of the box is $49 and overall I was pleased with what I received, especially the eyeliner. I apologize for posting this so late, but stay tuned for my April Topbox review which should be up soon! 

If you'd like to sign up for Topbox, you can use my referral code here to bypass the wait list.

Sunday Lately: April 11 - 17

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe - KatyAngelicaMeghan and Nicole. Each week they present five new prompts to describe what is happening in your life that week. This weeks prompts are Creating, Finding, Switching, Forgetting and Craving.

Creating: I've been the absolute worst blogger lately and I really need to take the time to create some new content. Real life has been super busy lately - I have been working Monday-Friday for three weeks and for the most part we have had busy weekends as well. I am back to shift work starting today which means that I will hopefully be able to get back into a regular posting schedule.

Finding: Over the past month, I've been finding out who my true friends are. It has been interesting and surprising, to say the least. I'm also finding that my tolerance for beer has increased to a maximum of three, which is really quite impressive as I have always hated it until now.

Switching: As I mentioned above, I am switching back from Monday-Friday 8-hour shifts to irregular 12-hour shifts as of today and I am dreading it for the most part. While I felt like I never had any downtime working five days a week (and I especially missed mid-week days off!), I loved having my weekends free. Now I am back to working every second weekend and regretting my career choice on a semi-regular basis.

Forgetting: Every time we have a nice sunny day, I temporarily forget that I live in Newfoundland and it will not last. The forecast is calling for a "potentially significant" snowstorm this week and I am thisclose to packing my bags and moving away.

Craving: A vacation! It seems like everyone is headed somewhere south these days and I am naturally quite envious. It kills me to not have a vacation booked, though we are tentatively roadtripping to Maine in July, so at least we have that to look forward to. Fingers crossed that we will be able to take a Caribbean trip sometime in the fall!

Sunday Lately: April 28 - March 3

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe - KatyAngelicaMeghan and Nicole. Each week they present five new prompts to describe what is happening in your life that week. This weeks prompts are Planning, Loving, Reading, Wishing and Feeling.

Planning: I have a super busy week ahead of me so I definitely need to plan ahead and figure out how I'm going to fit some relaxation time in. Work is going to be really hectic this week, plus I have a hair appointment, a doctor's appointment, and on Friday we have Jordan's father's birthday. 

Loving: "New Girl" marathons, spring temperatures, 8-hour shifts, fresh flowers, and weekly open mic nights with friends.

Reading: As I mentioned in my Monthly Favourites post, I haven't been reading much of anything lately (including blogs). I really need to pick up my book again and get back on track with my goal of reading one book a month.

Wishing: That the spring weather would arrive once and for all! It was really nice this past weekend and I don't even mind the rain, but I detest the fact that it is supposed to snow this week. I really want to get outside again - I feel stir crazy after being inside all winter long! Also wishing I would just bite the bullet and place another ColourPop order.

Feeling: Like it's time for a change! This happens every so often, but I feel like it's time to change my hair or get a new tattoo or piercing. I find that after all winter, spring really brings out the desire to mix things up. 
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