Stashmatters Muji Giveaway Goodies!

Giveaway Goodies! (1)

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win Stashmatter’s Muji Giveaway!  Yay me!  And yay Stashy for hosting such a generous giveaway on her blog – I felt very fortunate to win.  🙂  And of course I had to do a post sharing all the wonderful Muji things I won.  I’ve never even heard of this brand prior to Stashy’s giveaway so I was/am pretty excited to test these all out!

muji eyemask and purse hook

First up, this super soft cotton eye mask and nifty purse hook.  I typically get anxiety on overnight flights and wearing an eye mask tends to help me with that, as well as falling asleep.   And the purse hook is a genius invention of course, because who wants to put their purse on the disgusting floor?

muji blush ecurler mirror

Here’s my absolute favourite item out of the bunch – this Cheek Colour in Pink.  Please excuse the nail indent – my hand slipped when I was opening it and I took a nice chunk out of it. 😦  Grrrr!  This is such a great blush and such a pretty colour.  It has a really soft texture, is highly pigmented and blends like an absolute dream!  I’ve been wearing this everyday since I received it  🙂  There was also this Travel Eyelash Curler that works really well – I have one similar to this that does nothing but pinch my eyelids.  Stashy also included two bonus items – one of which was this nice little compact mirror.  It’s nice and light and I love that it folds over, perfect for throwing in my purse!

muji blotting papers and cleansing oil

Next – a package of facial blotting papers – I keep a package of these in my purse and at my makeup vanity so these will be utilized for sure.  Also, a travel size bottle of the Oil Cleansing for Sensitive Skin.  I haven’t tried this quite yet but I’m the definition of sensitive skin so I can’t wait to see how this works for me.

muji facial wipes and cotton swabs

A few more travel-friendly items – a package of Cotton Buds that are individual wrapped which is amazing and so-smart.  And a package of Cleansing Sheets, which I always take with me no matter where we’re traveling.

muji travel sprayer funnel and spatula set and pill box

I’ve been looking for one of these Cylinder Spray Bottles so this will work perfectly.  She also added in a travel pill case which is something I actually need to utilize – I’m horrible at taking my vitamins with me when we travel.  This Refill Set on the right (which didn’t photograph well – sorry!) includes a funnel, dropper and spatula.  Where has this been all my life?  It’s always such a struggle to de-pot products for travel and this will make things SO much easier!

muji notebook and pen

Two very practical yet necessary travel items – a little notebook and a pen!  I always forget to throw a pen in my carry-on to fill out those darn custom cards – now I have a dedicated one.

Last but not least – candy!  This was the second bonus item she included and these are a yummy citrusy/grapefruit flavour.  I keep them at my desk and they hit the spot when I’ve got a yearning for sugar (which is always).

muji candy

And that was everything!  Given how much we enjoy traveling, this couldn’t be a more perfect giveaway for me to win!  I’ve really enjoyed everything I received and would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Stashy for all these goodies!  Make sure to follow her if you don’t already – she shares some of the most detailed reviews I’ve ever seen and does some pretty epic hauls.

Thanks for stopping by!

Makeup Haul – Bare Minerals, Buxom & Kiko!

Makeup Haul

I was in Vegas a few weeks ago and of course, I did a bit of shopping because what is Vegas without shopping?  Nothing, it’s nothing.  Anyway I’ve been using the products for almost two weeks now so I thought I’d share with you what I picked up and what I think about them thus far!

BAREMINERALS

I am a pretty big fan of bareMinerals and Buxom products so when I’m in Vegas I always hit up their outlet store in the North Premium Outlets; I rarely walk out of there empty-handed.

bareMinerals Pretty in Peach Set

bareMinerals Pretty in Peach Set

bareMinerals Pretty in Peach Collection -$14.50 USD: This was a bit of an impulse buy at the checkouts; they had one left and given that it included a full-sized blush, I couldn’t pass it up. This appears to be a set that was sold on QVC at some point but it is no longer available online.  Here’s what’s included in the set:

Well-Rested CC Eye Primer

From the website: Corrects, conceals, protects, and renews with an instant burst of cooling hydration, leaving the skin around your eyes looking revitalized and refreshed. Apply on bare skin, under or over your makeup.

My thoughts: This product kind of confuses me because I’m not sure what the purpose of this is.  I tried using it as an eye primer but it doesn’t blend well and dries tacky; I’ve tried it under my eyes to act as concealer, and on top of concealer and it settles into fine lines and creases.  It doesn’t seem to serve either purpose well although I will admit that it definitely has a nice cooling effect on my skin.  I’m not going to give up on it yet but so far I’m not all that impressed with it.

Swatches of bareMinerals Pretty in Peach set

Apricot Sugar Eyecolor (not available online)

From the website: A vibrant, stay-true, shimmering peach shade that can be applied dry for rich color or wet for a high-sheen, foiled effect.

My thoughts: I’m not the biggest fan of loose eyeshadows in pots – they’re just so messy.  But if there’s good colour payoff I’ll work with them.  Unfortunately this is a huge disappointment – it states that this is a vibrant peach shade but it only it’s basically 90% chunky glitter with the faintest tinge of peach.  I’ve even tried foiling it and it doesn’t make that much of a difference.  The swatch above shows up way more pigmented than it does on my lid.

bareMinerals READY Blush in The Summer Fling  (not available online) 

From the website: Combines the bareMinerals SeaNutritive Mineral Complex while enhancing cheeks with a gorgeous flush of lasting color.

My thoughts: This is the entire reason I bought this set as I’ve always wanted to try one of their blushes.  So far, this hasn’t disappointed me.  It’s a beautiful peachy shade – although it takes a while to build up.  Wouldn’t recommend this for anyone other than those with fair skin though, as I don’t think it would show up enough on darker skin tones.

Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Girl Next Door (not available online)

From the website: A universally flattering, glimmering peach gloss and the perfect finish to a natural daytime look. Luscious, vibrant color is loaded into a refreshing formula that slips on satiny-smooth for sheer-to-medium coverage with eye-catching shine.

My thoughts: This is a really sheer, glittery gloss (sensing a theme here?) but unlike the eyeshadow, I can work with this.  The formula of BM glosses is very similar to Buxom’s; I’ve used this overtop of other lip products and it gives them all a nice glossy finish with a touch of sparkle.

bareMinerals The Dream Come True Palette

bare Minerals The Dream Come True Palette

Swatches of bareMinerals The Dream Come True Palette

bareMinerals The Dream Come True Palette ($24.50 USD)

From the website: Complement your true, natural beauty with this palette of three soft, serene shades that multitask as classic eye shadows and luminous highlighters. It’s color that’s incredibly long-wearing and amazingly blendable with anti-aging benefits.

My thoughts: Another QVC featured set that is also no longer available.  The packaging just sucked me right in on this one – despite it being cardboard, I just couldn’t resist it!  In addition, all the shades appeared to be quite pigmented when swatched so I snatched it up.  Unfortunately I’m kind of having some buyers remorse with this.  While the shadows all swatch nicely, when applied to the eye they’re extremely sheer and it’s difficult to differentiate between one another.  In addition, Queen Phyllis and Celestine are extremely glittery, have a ton of fallout and they irritate the heck out of my eyes!  On the bright side, I can repurpose Queen Phyllis as a highlighter and Talented as a blush so not all is lost.  And I do love the double ended brush that came with it (it’ll work great as a contour brush too!).

BUXOM

The Bare Minerals outlet also carries a small selection of Buxom products; as much as I love bareMinerals products, I think I love Buxom even more.  There isn’t much in their line that I’m not a fan of.

Buxom Eyeshadow Brush

Buxom Eyeshadow Brush – $6.65 USD

From the website: Expertly applies vibrant and lively, waterproof color that’s sure to please. Specially designed to tame Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows,* the tapered brush head gives you the most well-behaved, precise application. The wider brush base lets you apply buildable layers of vivid color, so you get the exact intensity you’re after.

My thoughts: I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Buxom brush before but I thought the shape of this one seemed pretty unique!  I liked how fat and wide it was and how soft the bristles were.  I can’t say it does anything out of the ordinary but it’s just a good overall eyeshadow brush.  It came along with this little case which is cute but I’ll likely never use it.

Buxom Ful-Bodied Lip Gloss in Boo-Yah

Swatch of Buxom's Full Bodied Lip Gloss in Boo-Yah

Buxom Full Bodied Lip Gloss (Boo-Yah) – $9.50 USD

From the website: Lusciously smooth and ultra-hydrating, this lip gloss offers a high-shine, shimmering finish with a no-tingle, pout-plumping effect. Encapsulated hyaluronic spheres help to promote hydration and fullness while jojoba oil and Vitamin E help moisturize and protect lips.

I LOVE Buxom’s lip glosses – they’re super glossy but not sticky and they smell like a vanilla cupcake.  These don’t leave behind the tingling sensation that I’m used to with the Lip Creams so I don’t find them as plumping but they’re still great.  This one offers a light wash of colour and can work well on its own, as well as overtop of other lip products; this particular shade leaves behind a shimmery, almost metallic looking shine.

KIKO

I was super excited to come across a stand alone store at the Fashion Show Mall; I’ve heard of Kiko but never used any of their products before.  Even better was that they were having a summer sale and had markdowns on a bunch of products.  I was near the end of my shopping day so I restrained myself a bit but I wish I had bought more!  Next time!

Kiko Fusion 01 Powder Brush

Kiko Fusion 01 Powder Brush – $11.90 USD

From the website: This face brush is perfect for applying and blending pressed, loose and bronzer powders. The soft, dome-shaped bristles ensure maximum control during application. The high-quality, synthetic bristles guarantee an even, smooth look and permit an easy, precise and professional-looking application of powders.The brush’s metal handle gives this tool a modern and elegant look. During the design process, the handle’s weight was carefully considered to create a practical, easy-to-control brush.

My thoughts: This.is.amazing.  By far my favourite purchase from Kiko.  First off, this brush is HUGE and it works wonders when applying powder (duh) but I also love using it all over my face once I’ve applied all my makeup to ensure it’s all blended.  It’s so soft and fluffy and the metal handle feels sturdy and luxurious.  I totally wish I had picked up more of their brushes.

Kiko Blending Wave Multi-color Blush Ingenious Mauve

Kiko Blending Wave Multi-color Blush Ingenious Mauve

Swatches of Kiko Blending Wave Multi-color Blush Ingenious Mauve

Kiko Blending Wave Multi-color Blush (Ingenious Mauve) – $5.90 USD

From the website: Two-tone blush with a silky, creamy texture. The pan is composed of two different tones. The soft, velvety texture ensures excellent coverage and makes the product easy to blend. The powder clings to the skin, creating a natural, adjustable look. The blush comes in a compact case, also containing a practical mirror. The flashes of colour painted on the white top and the embossed brush strokes recall the theme of the collection inspired by the world of art.

My thoughts:  I love this too!  First up, the packaging is beautiful and unique; secondly the blush all 3 ways is gorgeous.  My favourite way is to blend both colours together.  I find it a little soft so it does kick up a bit of powder but it blends like a dream and has the perfect balance of pigmentation – not too light, not too dark.  The swatches didn’t photograph well but mixed it shows up a really nice coral shade.

Kiko Eye Base Primer

Kiko Eye Base Primer – $4.90 USD

From the website: A creamy texture made from a smoothing and matifying powder base.  This supports the application and the fixing of the eyeshadow, making it extra long-lasting over time.Its light pigmentation neutralizes the tone of your eyelids emphasizing the resulting eyeshadow colour.  Hypoallergenic = formulated to ensure minimum instance of allergic reactions.  Ophthalmologically tested. Paraben free. Fragrance free.

My thoughts: I’m pretty picky when it comes to eye primers – I can’t wear just any because my lids are super oily.  This has impressed me – it’s a pretty thick formula but it blends effortlessly.  I also appreciate that its tinted as it helps blur any visible veins and discolouration on my eyelids.  Lastly it’s kept my shadow in place all day, with no creasing or fading.  A little of this goes a long way so I suspect this will be lasting me a while.

Kiko Endless Sky Volume Effect Mascara

Kiko Endless Sky Volume Effect Mascara – $10.90 USD

From the website: Volumizing mascara featuring innovations that help preserve the structure of the eyelashes.  The formula’s ingredients instantly create a thick sheath that envelops, adds volume and helps to protect the lashes from base to tip. The thick, creamy texture doesn’t clump, applies easily and is adjustable.  The applicator consists of a mixture of different fibers and colours the lashes in a brilliant, jet black. The brush’s fine point reaches even the shortest side lashes.  The product comes in an elegant, coral-tinged gold package with an elongated shape, enhanced by a raised, three-dimensional design. Its silhouette is sensual and ergonomic.  

My thoughts: Mascara is another thing I’m picky about – my lashes are naturally quite long so I like mascaras that can enhance volume and thickness and are highly pigmented.  This seems to add a bit of length and a bit of volume but not a lot of thickness.  I’d describe it as black, but probably not jet black.  I haven’t experienced a lot of clumps, nor a ton of flaking so that’s positive.  I”m not sure what they mean but the texture being adjustable?  Regardless, I’d rate this as a middle of the road mascara – nothing inherently bad about it but it doesn’t do anything amazing – it’s just a good everyday mascara.  I must say I do love the rose gold tube however – so pretty!

That wraps up my Vegas makeup haul.  Overall – disappointed with my Bare Minerals products and very happy with my Buxom and Kiko products!  I’d love to try more of Kiko but it doesn’t look like they ship to Canada so that’s a little disappointing; guess I just need to make another trip to Vegas! 😉

Have you tried products from any of these brands?  Let me know below what your favourites are!

Thanks for reading!

First Impressions: Winter 2015 Luxe Box

IMG_9316

I received my Winter Luxe Box a few weeks ago and I’m finally getting around to doing a first impressions on it.  This is my second box I’ve received since I subscribed back in the (late) Summer.  I received the Fall box and I was pretty happy with it – it had a good variety of products and I found it had a good value.  I also really like the fact that it’s delivered once a quarter instead of every month.  You can find more about Luxe Box on their website here.

So, on to my box!

IMG_9324 Face Shop Character mask (Moisturizing) – $4 CAD

I haven’t tried this yet but I can’t wait to – how hilarious does this look?  I’ve never tried anything from The Face Shop either so I’m looking forward to giving something of theirs a try.  I still find sheet masks a little weird and sometimes off-putting but my skin could use some extra moisture now that the weather has become colder and drier.

Starlooks Luxe Longwear Eye Liner Pen – $19 USDIMG_9339

I was pretty happy to see a full-size liquid liner pen included as I use liquid liner quite a bit and calligraphy/felt tip types are my favourite.  I’ve used this a couple of times and I’m pretty impressed with it.  It lasts all day, doesn’t smudge or flake goes on smoothly and is fairly pigmented.  The problem is I’m not sure I see myself ordering this for $19 USD; exchange sucks right now and I have a few drugstore versions that work just as well for less.

Teez Trends Read My Lips Lipsticks – $22 USD

IMG_9335

IMG_9338I’ve never heard of this brand before but I love its unique and colourful packaging!  This is another full-sized product which is always great to receive!

The shade is a deep red with a tiny hint of berry.  It’s very pigmented and I was quite impressed with its smooth texture.  I’ve worn it once and given that it claims to be long-wearing I fully expected it to dry out my lips.  But it’s surprisingly moisturizing!  I’m not sure I see myself paying close to $30 CAD for it but I need to try it out a bit more to see if it lives up to its high price tag.

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara – $12 USDIMG_9343

When I saw the collection of Benefit products in my box I was pretty excited!  Benefit isn’t a brand I haven’t tried a lot of and I’d like to try more.  The exception being this mascara.  I tried it years ago and I wasn’t a fan of it; it didn’t do much to my lashes.  I prefer volume over length though because my lashes are naturally quite long.  Despite that I’ll give this another try and see if it maybe works better for me this time.

Benefit They’re Real! Tinted Primer – $10 USD

IMG_9328

As mentioned above, when I tried the They’re Real! Mascara a while back I wasn’t impressed with it.  But I’m intrigued by this lash primer!  This can be worn alone for a more natural look or worn underneath mascara; it claims to increase length, lift and separation.  I also like that this is water-resistant.  I’m looking forward to giving this a go!

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara – $16 CAD

IMG_9330

I’ve heard such good things about this mascara and I’ve been dying to try it but not willing to fork over the money for it.  So I was stoked to see this included!  My lashes don’t hold curl easily or well so I’m anxious to see if this actually does what it says it will!

Benefit They’re Real! Remover – $18 USD (for 50 ml)IMG_9347

 

 

This eye makeup remover sample was a little disappointing to me – the foil pack is quite small.  I would have thought they’d be able to include a small tube with a cap at least. I hate receiving foil packs like this because it’s really hard to get a good idea if it’s a good product or not when its only enough for one use.   I would have preferred to receive a sample of the They’re Real! Push Up Eyeliner instead.  I’ll stop whining now but I’ll perhaps throw this in my travel stash and use it for an overnight trip.

And that wraps up the Winter Luxe Box.  Overall I was pretty happy with this box, aside from small sample of the makeup remover.  There isn’t anything in here that I’m super disappointed with (except maybe the eye makeup remover) or don’t see myself using or at least trying out once.  So I plan on keeping my subscription for another quarter minimum!

Did you get a Luxe box this quarter?  If so, what did you receive?

Thanks for reading!
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