September 2017 BoxyCharm – Boxy Baddies

I am so excited to be receiving Boxycharm* again. Huge hugs and love to my amazing sister, Tracy, for making that happen. They are running the show when it comes to beauty subscription boxes. They are the Beyonce, the Adele. I don’t know how they are able to get all these amazing products into our boxes for such an affordable price,  but I love it and I want more. So, without further ado, here is the September Box.

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The Theme for this Month’s Box: Boxy Baddies

Briogeo “Don’t Despair Repair!” Hair Mask, 20USD

As a member of the curly hair club, I have heard great things about this brand (specifically, Kathleen Lights talks about them quite a bit) and have tried a couple of their products. I was thrilled to get this mask in a very generous sample size. I like to use masks at least once a week to keep my locks hydrated and in good condition (hurr hurr… I’m so punny). This stuff smells amazing, doesn’t feel too heavy and leaves my hair feeling kitten soft.

Face Perfecting Brush by Bare Minerals 28USD

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When I first heard we were getting this brush, I was excited. My brush collection is entirely made up of ebay, amazon and drugstore brushes. Any opportunity to add a highend brush to that makes me very happy. I was a little confused when I pulled it out of the box, though. It’s smaller than I was expecting. Using it for the first time, I found its size to be a bit of a pain. I’m used to much bigger brushes and sponges which seem to cover my big ol’ face quickly. Also, they recommend swirling from the inside of the face outward, after applying your product to the weird little divot in the center. Well, I’m more of a stippling fan, rather than sweeping and swirling, so it felt a bit awkward. I also found that without stippling, the product would kind of get stuck in the divot. Once I threw caution to the wind and started using the brush the way I wanted to, I did enjoy it. I especially found it handy for quick concealing blending when I didn’t feel like wetting my sponge. Is it my favourite foundation brush? No. I’ll make it work in my collection though.

Loose Blush by Studio Makeup 35USD

I was intrigued by the idea of a loose blush. I assumed that it wouldn’t be too crazy pigmented because, well, that would be a recipe for disaster wouldn’t it? Yes. Yes it would be. Yes it is. This blush is not for the beginner, or for those who don’t like blush. You need the tiniest amount, which is tough with a loose product (although this does have a cap to contain the mess, but I still found it clunky to get the right amount). The colour is lovely if you are into peachy orange shades and eventually blends out beautifully, but it is REALLY easy to go too heavy with this stuff. I like it, and will probably keep using it, but I can’t imagine paying 35USD for this and certainly wouldn’t buy it to replace this (not that I would ever need to, there is enough product here to last a lifetime)

Eyebrows by MAC Cosmetics in Lingering 18USD

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A MAC product in a box?! Man, I am excited about this. MAC has always been in my mind as an up there brand, ever since high school. I was super excited to try this. I love how fine the tip of this pencil is, however the shape makes it a little difficult to be truly precise. The colour, Lingering, is a little too red toned for my taste. I like my eyebrows to be ~Cooooool~, but that’s just personal taste. The product itself needs to warm up a bit, otherwise it’s a bit tuggy. Once it warms up, it glides on nicely but I find it doesn’t set down the way I want it to. When I blend it in with a spoolie, I ended up with weird bald patches. It just seemed to move around too much. I have other pencils that I like better, but will use it til it’s done because it’s not that bad. Meh.

Colourpop Ultra Satin Lips in Mess Around 6USD

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I know everyone and their mom has tried colorpop, so this doesn’t seem THAT exciting…but for me, I was thrilled. I don’t have a credit card, and I live in Canada, which makes it that much more difficult to get my hands on online-only items, like colorpop lippies. So, even though the colour wasn’t really my thang, I was really happy to try the formula of the ultra satin lip. So, firstly, let’s start with that colour. While I can see it being interesting for the fall, it just doesn’t do much for me. Maybe with a cool toned blue eye look? I dunno, but I have yet to wear a look where I’m like “Yes, that lip would be perfect”. It’s a very grey greeny brown. Like, kind of a grey poop-y brown. I’m not sure I can pull it off, but whatever. I’m going to try.

So, as for the formula itself, I was excited to try something that wasn’t entirely matte. My poor lips are so dry these days and matte lips make my mouth look like a butthole. It feels very thin going on, and because this colour is pretty dark, I needed to layer up because it was sheer. Despite having to apply layers, it didn’t get crumbly or gross. It felt super light and comfortable on, and did a good job staying on my lips. I really want to try a colour that I’m more into to see how long it wears.

Soiree Diaries Eyeshadow Palette by PUR Cosmetics 34USD

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Guys. YOU GUYS. A palette from PUR Cosmetics. A freaking PALETTE. HOW?! I am so freaking excited about this. To start off, Pur has a good reputation for their eyeshadows. Next, the colour story here is beautiful. Each row can be used for a look OR you can mix and match. This is great for every day and for events. There is a really good balance of mattes and shimmery shades. My only complaint is that I was a little surprised that the shimmers were all darker shades. I would have liked a shimmery inner eye/brow bone colour, and maybe just a black matte shade (though the deep brown works fine for the same purposes). Aside from that, I really like the colours they chose here. LOOK AT THOSE FREAKING SWATCHES. I especially love the taupey slightly purpley shades. They are my jam.

Now, how do they perform on the lid? Really nicely actually. They aren’t the best shadows I ever touched (Viseart, Tarte Pro, Natasha Denona, I’m looking at you), but they are still pigmented, smooth and pretty. They blend nicely without disappearing, skipping or getting muddy. I was able to create a couple of different looks with this already. I have been leaving this out on my vanity as my every day quick palette.

Seriously, this is what I mean when I say Boxycharm has upped the ante. This is awesome. I can’t wait for next month!!

Overall Impression:

This box was bomb. Seriously. The value is insane and I got to try a bunch of really great products from some really great brands, which is what these boxes are all about for me. I can’t wait to see what we are getting in October!

REVIEW: August 2016 Boxycharm

You guys, you should see my house right now. No, actually, it’s for the best you can’t. I really should be cleaning and getting us ready for my baby to start JK this coming week. Instead, I am in total denial and refusing to face reality. Time for a boxycharm review!!

The theme for August’s box was “Express Yourself”

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Yep, this month I was super excited to try everything out. Such a great collection of things!

Dirty Little Secret Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick (10$USD): I was a little nervous to pull this one out of the box. My lips are so dry that I try to stay away from matte liquid lipsticks. Add to that the colour of this one…a definite orangey red. Well, lets just say I have been drinking tea and coffee multiple times a day for half my life, so my teeth don’t need any help at looking yellow.   The packaging is adorable though, and I am not one to back down from a colour.I was pleasantly surprised by the texture. This didn’t feel drying and it went on really smoothly. It was a little patchy on me, which meant I needed to layer up in some areas.

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I wore this out of the house and after one cup of coffee and a greasy lunch, this was finit.

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Yeah, not my favourite look. This is less than 2 hours after application. I would not recommend this without a lip liner and making sure you bring the lipstick along with you to touch up.

Makeup Eraser AmpliMascara ($23USD): Mama loves herself some mascara. I love trying different formulas. It makes such an instant difference in a look. This mascara intrigued me. It calls itself a serum and claims to really amp up the volume and length. As with all mascaras that I try, I gave it a few days and a few different application methods before writing this review. I tried one layer, two layers, layered on dry and layered on wet.

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Unfortunately, this one and my lashes just did not go well together. I didn’t notice much of anything to be honest. The colour is a little too muted for my taste and I just didn’t get the length OR volume I was hoping for.

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After wearing it for the day, my eyes got really itchy and sore, so I am passing it along to my sister to try. Hopefully it works out better for her. Also, a quick note: When I looked into the product, the Magic Eraser website only lists a two step product, so I wonder if maybe this is only part of the set? I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Pure Cosmetics Waterproof Lip Liner: I was actually pretty happy to see this. After getting red lipstick recently, I realized I needed a red lip liner to make them stay put. Unfortunately, this one isn’t quite the shade I was hoping for. This is actually a pretty nice brown red/burnt red. I think it’ll be great for fall, but I’m not sure the tone is completely me. I love how creamy it is, and how easy that made the application. I did find that it wanted to stay put.

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Aloette Time Repair Serum ($48USD): I love skincare, so I was pretty excited about this. I can’t say that I’ve noticed a difference so far, but it’s only been a couple weeks and I can’t say that I use it twice a day like they suggest. I do like the thin texture and how quickly it absorbs.

And finally, the big exciting item in this box:

Coastal Scents Blush and Bronzer Pallet with Brush: Yay another pallet!! I was very excited about this, especially because I’ve been finding myself really into blush, highlight and bronzer lately. This pallet includes one matte blush, one shimmer blush, one highlight, one matte bronzer and one bronzer with a sheen, as well as a brush.

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First I’ll start with the big negative. The brush really did nothing for me. It wasn’t big enough or soft enough for my taste. I don’t see myself using it again. The actual powders were ok. The blushes were pigmented and pretty. A girlfriend told me she thought I had used a cream blush by how beautifully it sat on the skin. The bronzers are pretty warm and dark for me, but they are easy to blend if you go lighthanded. The highlight was pretty meh, unfortunately. It was too shimmery to use as a matte under eye powder, but too subtle to use as a cheek highlight for me.

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I’m debating passing this one on. I do like the blushes though…maybe I’ll de-pot?

augboxy7So that’s it for this month. While not a ton of these items were super “Me”, I did enjoy trying new things (and colours). Looking forward to September’s boxycharm! I hear there’s another eyeshadow pallet!

July 2016 Topbox and Boxycharm Reviews

It has been a great month for trying new products here in Heatherland. One of my favourite ways to get my hands on a bunch of different things is the glorious subscription box! In my case, my sister has gifted me with a subscription to Topbox and Boxycharm. I have been doing snapchat unboxings and have now had some time to play with the products a bit. Here are my thoughts. To see me wearing all of the following products, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

July’s Topbox

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Cost: 12$ CAD/month

This month I opted for the tube, rather than the mesh bag. I also received a note from topbox with a bit of news. Because of the fear of a postal strike here in Canada, they were including an extra product. Woo! Also, they were switching over to email cards, so instead of a card explaining values and contents coming in the package, we would get our box info by email instead. Good to know. Here’s what I got:

TheFaceShop Character Face Mask in Pig: Oh man, this was awesome to get. Who doesn’t love a good sheet mask, right? Add to that the terrifying image of a pig face, and you have a very happy Heather. This was a honey based moisture mask (why the pig face then?). My children were both horrified and amused (as was Pat) and my skin felt pretty good afterwards. I would definitely use this again. (4$ value)

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Be Delectable Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream: I have seen the Delectable brand in the drug store but never really tried it out due to my sensitive dry skin. I have received their Everything Balm in my Rachhloves Topbox and liked it, but didn’t love it. Because of that I was a little meh about getting this. That said, the sample size is AWESOME. Like, this looks full size to me. I love the coconut scent, and the texture is nice. It’s not too greasy and actually does a decent job of moisturizing my hands. I find myself reaching for this over some of my other hand creams. (12$ value)

Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara: WOO! I really enjoy this mascara. I’ve been using it for a few years now. I found this sample was a little drier than my regular full sized mascara, so that was a little odd. It still did a great job on my lashes by adding lots of volume and some length without being overly clumpy or heavy feeling. (They list the value as being 30$, which I think is the full sized cost)

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo: I haven’t had the best luck with dry shampoos in the past, so I’m always happy to try a sample size. I enjoyed the scent of this one and loved that it didn’t leave a powdery residue. It gave me some good volume but the texture was a little…I don’t know. I didn’t like touching my hair once I used it. Not my favourite, but still better than most I’ve used. (29$ Value)

Value this Month: 75$ plus the extra item

Bonus Item time!

Starlooks Gem Pencil in Ultra Turquoise: I have really enjoyed all the starlooks products I’ve tried, so I was happy to see this eyeliner. It swatches BEAUTIFULLY and is super pigmented, glittery and creamy. The only negative I have to share is that the cap doesn’t really fit well, which means it dries out quickly. The first time I swatched it was like butter. The second time, a bit drier. When I went to wear it, it was a bit harder to use, which was a bummer because I was really excited to wear it. (9$USD for value on the starlooks site)

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Overall Impression of this month’s box: I was really happy with everything in here. I really do appreciate that this is a Canadian customized subscription box, which means the products are more suited to me, rather than just the general population.

July Boxycharm

Cost: $20USD

The theme of this month’s boxycharm is Modern Merbabe, which is definitely something I am into. Here’s what I got:

boxyjul4PYT Argan Oil Hair Oil Treatment: I like hair oils, so I was pretty happy to see this. Opening it up, I was a little dismayed that it doesn’t have a closed dispenser, I can see myself spilling or pouring too much product, which isn’t ideal. Also, this is HEAVILY perfumed. Like, intensely. The scent itself is also really masculine. It reminds me a lot of aftershave. Thankfully it doesn’t stick around too long in the hair. My hair felt soft and silky after using it, and I did notice a shine as well. (30$ Value)

Noyah Lip Gloss: I was pumped when I saw this out of the box. The packaging is gorgeous. I love the bamboo handle. The colour is bright and bold, though applies quite sheer. It can be built up though. This is going into my purse immediately. So perfect for the summer. Glossy without being sticky. (16$ value)

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Mally Beauty Rounded Blender Brush:  One can never have too many blending brushes. Fluffy and pretty soft (just a little scratchy, but not enough for me to hate), I’m happy with the way this performs. I wish it was longer, but the pink is pretty. Mine arrived dented and scratched, but it doesn’t effect the use. (15$ Value)

OFRA Pallet and 6 Eyeshadows: Whoa. This is definitely the star of this month’s box. I don’t have any other magnetic pallets yet, so this was super exciting for me. The shadows themselves are a good selection of neutrals. 3 are matte, and 3 are shimmers. I have to say I don’t love the matte shades. They are a bit patchy, the lightest one has zero payoff and I found they kicked up a LOT of powder the second your brush touches them. The shimmers are lovely though. Far more creamy and way more pigmented. The colours themselves are a bit off for me. The medium matte shade is more orange than I like, and the lightest shimmer shade wears a lot more green than I expected. I wouldn’t pay the 10$ price tag that OFRA has on these, especially considering Makeup Geek and MAC are cheaper. (59$ Value)

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Value this month: 120$! That’s awesome.

Overall Impression: I was really excited when I opened this box. While only the lip gloss was a true win for me, I am happy to try the other products some more and see if I can’t make them work better for me. I always need more blending brushes, so even though it’s not the best out there, the Mally brush is a welcome addition to my collection. The OFRA shadows are a bit disappointing, but the shades are great and they are usable. The pallet makes up for the matte shades for sure, and for the value, I am super pleased.

 

Here is the look I put together with these two boxes:

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boxyjul2I’m wearing the following:

Face – Maybelline Masterprime in Illuminate, Bourjois Healthy Serum foundation in Vanille, Maybelline Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser Concealer in Brightening, NYC Loose Powder in Transluscent. Physicians Formula blush in Happy Booster, Cougar Beauty highlight powder.

Eyes: Essence Give Me Brow in blonde, OFRA shadows, Better than Sex mascara, Starlooks Gel Liner.

Lips: Noyah Lipgloss.

Review: June Boxycharm

For those of you who are new to my blog, June is a crazy time of year for my family. There are a ton of birthdays, anniversaries, events, etc…keeping us very busy. Included in that craziness is my own Birthday. This year I turned 33, and to spoil me my amazing sister offered to get me a beauty subscription. I used to get ipsy, but funds got too tight and I was never really that impressed with my bags. We had discussed Birchbox, but then they stopped shipping to Canada. I had then chosen Topbox but got waitlisted. So, we were waiting.

And waiting…and then, we saw this video of Kathleen Lights doing her June Boxycharm Unboxing.  She wraps up the video by saying that Boxycharm was now shipping to Canada!!

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Thankfully, we ordered early enough to get me the June box. I posted an unboxing on snapchat (I’m iatheather if you want to add me. Did you guys like that? Should I keep doing that, or post it to youtube instead?). I have since tried everything out and want to share with you my thoughts.

If you’re interested in trying out Boxycharm, here’s my referral link to get you started. Please feel free to ignore it and go to the main website, though I do appreciate your support if you do go through my referral link.

What I got:

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Farmacy Hydrating Coconut Gel Mask Boxycharm Exclusive

I really enjoy sheet masks, but hadn’t tried a gel one before. It has a slightly disturbing texture, but feels lovely and cooling on the skin. The one thing that I didn’t really like was the fit of the mask itself. It didn’t quite work with my face shape and as a result I found I was fiddling with it a lot. Also, it seemed to slide down, which wouldn’t be a big deal if I could adjust it…but the gel kind of adheres it to your face, so when you do adjust it, the mask rips. I always like the way masks make my face feel, but after just using one of these, I can’t say I felt anything major or life changing. I do love that they included three masks.

Girlactik Precision Eyeliner Marker in black

This is my first Girlactik product! I was really excited to receive this. The tip is fine and looks like it could give a really sharp wing. I found it super easy to apply, however I found the actual line ended up needing two coats in places due to some patchiness/watery application. I also noticed that it transferred up to the lid on one eye. This could be avoided with the use of some black eyeshadow to set.

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Note the transfer

OFRA Oil Control Pressed Powder

I wasn’t super excited about this one. I have dry skin and the reviews mention that it is quite white and not the easiest to get a good application. Swatching didn’t go well. It clung to my finger in a really gross way and definitely left a white cast. Finger swatches aren’t a fair way to judge a product though, so I gave it a shot on Canada Day (I knew I would be hot and oily, so it was the perfect opportunity). I was pretty happy with this! It kept my chin and nose in check and I was able to blend it out without any serious white cast. You do need to use a fluffy brush and a light hand, but it worked well.

Cougar Beauty Mineral Face and Body Shimmer.

This was another product I was kind of meh about. Don’t get me wrong, I love my highlight, but people were reviewing it to be very yellow and not very pretty. I swatched it and was very meh about it. It didn’t seem to show up well at all. When applied to the face, it completely changes. It was a lovely white-gold glow that I am going to LOVE for the summer. I really enjoy it! This was probably my favourite product from the whole box.

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Pretty cheekbones!

OFRA Long Wear Liquid Lipstick in Pasadena

Because we ordered my box so late, I guess Boxycharm ran out of the LVX Nail polish that most people got. I’m ok with this. TBH, I’m a little sick of nail polish in boxes. I am much more into lip products. I have very dry lips, so liquid lipsticks scare me a bit. I exfoliated and gave this a go…it was instant love! It goes on feeling a little creamy and never dries down to that pulling life-sucking dry feeling that some liquid lipsticks do. I will say it did transfer a bit, even an hour or so after application. It also did not survive a hot afternoon at the fair, but it didn’t fade in a gross way or flake off. I am definitely a fan and want a bunch more of these.

Overall: I am really impressed. The products are deluxe samples or full sized, great quality and the box itself is a great deal. I wish we were about to customize it a bit more. I definitely feel a bit spoiled by boxes/bags like Ipsy and Topbox that really get to know the customer. I worry a bit about getting things like skin care, hair products or foundation in the future because they don’t have any idea of my colouring or my skin/hair type. Oh well, it’s a gamble I’m willing to take for such great quality.

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Just applied

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At the fair

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After a few hours at the fair