Mani Monday – April Julep Maven box

Happy Monday! Today I have for you my April Julep Maven box.

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I ended up going with the Classic with a Twist box which included Jenna (orange) and Connie (purple) with the Lock Down Your Brows eyebrow gel. I then added on Randi (pink), Addison (yellow) and 3 emery boards (not shown) and got the lipgloss shown (no longer available) for buying three add-ons.

Honestly, I wasn’t crazy about trying the brow powder that was the feature beauty product last month. I use and love Anastasia Dipbrow and am not interested in trying anything else.

So, instead of just swatching, I decided to do some nail art as well.

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First of all, I used Randi (pink) and Connie (purple) for a base coat. Randi is super smooth and wonderfully opaque in two coats. Connie is a little streaky and semi-translucent after two coats. I dotted on China Glaze Snow in a star formation and then added Addison (yellow) on Randi and Jenna (orange) on Connie in the middle and randomly around the flowers.

A couple of days later I did this dotticure using (L to R): OPI’s Just Groovy [no longer available], Julep Jenna, Randi, Leah and Addison. I used China Glaze Snow for the dots again. Addison (yellow) is surprisingly opaque after two coats as is Jenna (orange). Both had great consistency and went on easily.

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Here is my Cinderella hand, proving that (occasionally) I paint both hands to match.

Overall, I am very happy with my April box. The colours are bright and fun, perfect for summer and the brow gel will make a great gift for a friend.

If you are interested in subscribing to be a Julep Maven, I’d love for you to use my referral code, here. Happy Shopping!

Mani Monday – Pretty and Polished February Beauty Box

So, today I have a review and swatches of the Pretty and Polished February Beauty Box.

Pretty and Polished did some spoilers on their Facebook page which inspired me to buy this box. I am a sucker for thermals and pinks and purples so I was all over this. I purchased the box on Jan 16th and paid $37 CDN for $30 USD (ouch!). It shipped Jan 28th and I received it on Feb 6th.

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This first polish is by far my favourite: Sweet Tooth. It is a cold thermal that is white when warm and pink when cold.

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The second is My Dark Valentine and is a black jelly with purple and red glitter with dark purple microglitter. It is really pretty but I’m going to try layering it over a black polish to see if I can get it to pop more. This was a little underwhelming by itself.

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Last and definitely not least, is Forget-Me-Not, a clear glitter topper with large silver circles, medium lilac hexes and silver and dark purple microglitter. This was really great glitter but you needed to do some fishing for the hexes and large circles. I show it here layered over Julep’s Brandis.

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I am really loving all three of these polishes. I hardly ever wear brand new polishes right away and these were exciting enough to try all of them over the weekend. That being said, until the Canadian dollar is more on par with the American dollar, I will probably be holding off purchasing any more. Almost $40 for three polishes and some candy is a little more than I can justify (my cheapskate is rearing her head again, lol).

Sadly this box is no longer available but check out Pretty and Polished for more great glitters, thermals and jellies or to pick up the March Beauty Box. Happy Shopping!

Mani Monday on a Tuesday – November 4

I went shopping and for drinks last night with my friend instead of posting my Mani Monday, so I hope you’ll accept my apology and appreciate my Mani Monday on a Tuesday.

Over the weekend, I bought the gorgeous MAC polish in Just Jewels. It is described on the website as “light pink over silvery rainbow pearls.”

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Here I’ve layered it over Essie’s Under the Twilight, which is a lovely dark purple-navy.

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Did I mention how gorgeous this is? I think this is going to be my go-to easy-mani look for the entire Christmas season, if not the rest of the winter.

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What’s on your nails this week? Happy Shopping!

Mani Monday – Oct 6th

It’s still technically Monday so I’m quickly going to type out my Mani Monday post. I purchased NYC Rock Muse Smoky Top Coat  this weekend mostly because it sounded interesting and was cheap ($2 or 3). Being a girl who always has an eye out for a bargain, into my (Rexall) cart it went.

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So, for my base colour, I used Julep Katie, which is described as an “Orchid iridescent chrome,” and is absolutely gorgeous. (Please excuse my messy nails, I wasn’t about to do clean up twice.)

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It is a gorgeous bright pink with a little bit of shimmer and a lot of shine. It’s definitely one my my favs.

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When I added the NYC smoky topcoat, the mani became this gorgeous berry purple with some great dimension and I love the added glitter to the mani. I have some ideas for upcoming manis and nail art that could totally be enhanced with this topcoat.

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Right now my nails need some major TLC, as I’m sure you’ve noticed my cuticles, so I’ve cut them short and just featuring some deep fall shades for the next little while. What did you think of the NYC Rock Muse Smoky Top Coat? What are you wearing on your nails this week?

Did you enter my giveaway for The Best of Me special advance screening tickets? Head here to do so. Good luck.

Happy Shopping!

Totally Random Friday – Oct 3rd

Happy Friday! How does it feel like it’s always Monday and then Friday? Where does the rest of the week go? Got a few exciting things to talk about this week:

1. It was picture day at daycare this week and I picked up the cutest dress for my daughter at The Children’s Place. It’s not normally a place I shop at for her but they were having a sale and you know how much that lures me in a store. lol. I picked up both the dress and tights for $20.

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The shoes are Sketchers Twinkle Toes high tops that I bought at Gordman’s when my SIL and I went to the States in June. Kids shoes are so much cheaper in the US than here.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 8.49.27 PMIf you love nail polish as much as I do, you should enter The PolishAHolic Serum No5 giveaway. It’s international and includes the five polishes pictured above (all of which GLOW-IN-THE-DARK). Click here to enter.

I was at Polo Park on Tuesday night (before their relaunch, more on that later) and I ran into Boes Ltd (they also have a location at St. Vital Centre) and picked up a gorgeous purse that was a helluva deal!

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In the back, they have a discreet sign that says, “Sale Items Extra 45% Off.” This purse was already marked down 75% off. And extra 45% off that made it 86% off the original retail price. They practically paid me to take it home. I highly recommend checking it out. They still have some great purses, both on sale and regular price, and their jewellery is truly unique. All costume but definitely funky and interesting pieces.

Speaking of Polo Park, I went on Thursday night to check out the expanded area. It is gorgeous and amazing that all that  space was previously Zellers. I remember Zellers being huge but this expansion is massive. You cannot stand at one end and see the other end (this is also because it’s U-shaped). Some great stores that are now at Polo that weren’t in Winnipeg before include Nine West, Thomas Sabo, Fossil, Journeys shoe store and the Disney Store (the one in St. Vital Centre closed five years ago) and several chains have opened new locations in Polo Park including Teavana, Mexx, Mexx Kids and Swarovski. Still to come is Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. And a little birdy told me they are trying to get a Lego Store and a Toys R Us but that neither would be open before Christmas. Here are some of our pictures. Of course, we were mostly focused on the Disney Store. I will go back and check out some more stores when I don’t have a toddler in tow.

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Yes, that’s my toddler throwing a blurry fit at the bottom of the picture. I can’t blame her. By the time I took this, even I was tired of the mall and everything we’d seen. Luckily Mommy didn’t have to buy her anything at the Disney Store as Auntie had already picked her up an Elsa toddler doll.

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Aren’t they cute? Thanks Auntie. Elsa was an immediate favourite and I highly suspect there will be a matching Anna under the Christmas tree.

Starting in October, I’m going to be doing mini reviews to try and catch up on all the things I want to tell you about but forget or don’t bother writing a full review of. I’ll probably initially post them on Instagram and then do a weekly round up of any mini reviews that I did. I’m also going to be doing more OOTDs and a weekly round up of those as well. Rebekah has suggested (several times) that it would be great for me to do this and I totally agree, so now I’m going to start.

How was your week? Check out the Polo Park expansion? Keep an eye on the blog this weekend, I promise they’ll be something interesting. Happy Shopping!

Mani Monday – Sept 29

I feel terrible that I haven’t updated in almost 10 days. Last week everyone in my house was sick and nothing got done. Not house work, hardly any cooking (we ordered out a lot), we all had at least one sick day (I had two) and definitely no blogging. It was terrible. Oh well, it’s over and I’m looking forward to more regular blogging schedule!

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Today I have this gorgeous mani. I used two new (to me) Julep polishes: Fifi (tea time pink crème) and Candace (golden chocolate microglitter).

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This is one of my favourite manis in awhile. I love the contrast of the baby pink of Fifi against the luxuriousness of Candace. I think I will be doing more of these non-traditional match-ups.

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Here I tried to show you the microglitter, which only seems to really show up when the photos are blurry.

What’s on your nails this week?

Makeup box subscriptions

So, 2014 seems to be the year that I’m dabbling in the world of box subscriptions. I’ve been a magazine subscription junkie (up to 8 at once) but this is new to me. Right now I’m only subscribed to Julep and Luxe Box but I’ve been eyeing up some others. Here I’ll go over the two that I receive and talk about a couple of others that look interesting but I haven’t tried.

First of all, there’s Julep. Julep is a nail polish company (that is also dabbling in beauty products) and has a monthly subscription box. The box retails for $24.99 USD and there is no shipping costs. On the 20th of each month, Julep opens the Maven reveal and Mavens (subscribers) can view the items available for each box and pick one of the styles that suits them. It’s usually one beauty product and two polishes or three polishes or two full-sized beauty products. The styles are named: It Girl; Boho Glam; Classic with a Twist; Modern Beauty; and Bombshell. When I take their quiz, I fall in the “It Girl” category but I’ve taken boxes in all the categories over the last five months.

There seems to be a love-hate relationship going on with Julep and their customers right now. People seem to love their products but hate the company they came from… weird. Julep admits that they’ve grown too fast in the last six to 12 months and are trying to catch up with demand. Which means they have problems. Problems like boxes taking weeks to get to Mavens (subscribers) or boxes having incorrect or missing items in them or all three problems. So far, Julep has been pretty good to me. Yes, my boxes take ages to arrive (usually three weeks, just before the new Maven window opens). I had a broken polish a couple of months ago and Julep replaced it, no problem. I’m missing some polishes this month and I have no doubts they will send out the polishes promptly.

Here are some photos of my boxes but apparently I didn’t start taking photos of my boxes until July:

July box: The Poolside Collection

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August box: The Wanderlust Collection

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September box: The Art Walk collection

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I’ve also bought several beauty products, usually through add-ons and mystery boxes. I have  the face primer, the eyeshadow primer, the lip primer and the eyeliners, most of which I intend to review at some point. Overall they are good products and I like them. (Leave me a comment if you have one in particular you would like to hear about and I will do that one first.) If you are interested in trying your own subscription box to Julep, I’d love for you to use my subscription referral link here. You can get your first Maven box free with the code FREECITY (but I think you have to pay shipping, which is minimal).

Next up is Luxe Box by Loose Button. This is a quarterly subscription (one every three months: March, June, Sept and Dec) and is one of the few Canadian subscription boxes out there. Apparently they used to be monthly but then switched to quarterly last year. I haven’t had any problems with Luxe Box at all. The price tag is $25 CAD plus tax  and I believe the value is in the products you get to try.

Here is my Spring 2014 Luxe Box (Read the full review here)

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And here is my Summer 2014 Luxe Box. (Read the full review here)

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If you wanna give Luxe Box a try, I would love it if you could use my referral code.

So those are the two I do try. Here’s some info on two that I’ve been debating.

Ipsy Glam Bag is a monthly makeup box for $10 (seems to me that Canadians also have to pay $5 shipping). I’ve been watching reviews for months now and they are seriously all over the place. Some people love their monthly bags and some people hate them. Three of my favourite beauty bloggers get the Ipsy bag consistently so if you were really interested you could head over and see what they thought about it: Rebekah at Lipsticks and Lullabies; Kalyn Lord; and Julie from Swatch and Review.

The last one I want to talk about isn’t really a subscription box and it isn’t about makeup. It actually doesn’t really belong here but I want to talk about it and it’s my blog. Popbasic puts out monthly(ish) micro-collections of three clothing and accessory items. I look at them every month and every month I talk myself out of buying it as there is one item in the box I have no use for. But I really loved the t-shirt and the black pencil skirt in the Jane Collection. And I’m still kicking myself over not purchasing the Paloma collection. And while I didn’t think I like the vegan leather skirt in the Ashbury collection, I’m sure I would’ve found a use for it. Shipping is apparently free for these collections (which sadly are all sold out). I would love to hear if anyone has shopped at Popbasic and hear their thoughts.

Any subscriptions boxes that you tried and loved? Or hated? Happy Shopping!

Mani Monday – China Glaze Don’t Honk Your Thorn and Julep Flora and Leah

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So apparently I’m hooked on dotticures this month. I had a great time putting this one together using China Glaze Don’t Honk Your Thorn from the City Flourish collection that came out this past spring. This isn’t normally a colour I would buy at all. My mom bought it and it doesn’t go with her skin tone so I got it. Isn’t it great when that happens?

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This is actually a gorgeous nude colour though with just a bit of shimmer, hardly noticeable at all but adds interest to the colour, imo.

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Then I took a dotting tool and added large dots of both Julep Leah (green) and Julep Flora (purple) and then added small dots around those. Then topped with a thick coat of Seche Vite, which is my go-to, favourite top coat.

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What are you wearing on your nails this week? Happy Shopping!

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Totally Random Friday – Aug 8th

Hi party peoples! Sorry for my complete and utter absence lately. I mean, no Instagram, no Twitter, no posts, nothing! It was only supposed to be for the August long weekend and then I got this terrible head cold, complete with fever, that I have been fighting since Sunday night. I mean, UGH!! I actually called my dear friend, Deanna to come and get my daughter on Tuesday because I couldn’t deal with anything, never mind a rambunctious toddler. Then on Wednesday I escaped to my mom’s for copious amounts of sympathy, help changing diapers and hanging out by the pool. It was lovely. Anyways, I’m home now and my cold has been down-graded to runny-nose/stuffiness and coughing fits punctuated by sneezing. It’s been so great (NOT!). I can’t decide whether it was good that I was on vacation anyways so I didn’t have to use sick time or stinky that I was on vacation anyways cuz then I’m sick on vacation! Oh well, on to the news of the week (as I see it anyways).

1. Banana Republic has unveiled their new fall looks. This season looks a little edgier in terms of more leather looks and less colour. Their new Creative Director, Marissa Webb, hints that this collection is a change in the direction of Banana Republic’s lines in her quote on their homepage:

It’s a new day at Banana Republic, with an all new style rich in contrasts – smooth with textured, modern with classic, short with long. This is our take one ‘hi-lo’ styling and it’s the shape of things to come.

Okay, so I’ve only been a BR customer for a year, since I went back to work after mat leave. And while this collection looks really great and there are some pieces I’m excited about, the mixing of textures has been around for quite a few seasons. Maybe she’s implying that BR is just reinventing this trend? (Or to be more harsh, maybe they’ve just figured it out??) What do you think? Anyways, here’s a couple of pieces that I love.

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Can you say gorgeous? Especially those faux-leather Sloan skinny pants. I clearly need a pair of those in my closet!

Item number 2 is also Banana Republic related. They also release their collab with Roland Mouret this week. The collection looks great but the sneak-peek photos they’ve released over the past few days are on the creepy side….

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Well, at least the collection looks amazing, right?

3. For those of you here in Winnipeg, the semi-annual St. Vital Centre Shoe Sale starts next Wednesday, August 13th. This year retailers participating include: Call it Spring, Hudson’s Bay, Le Chateau, Naturalizer, Quarks, Soft Moc, Spareparts, and Urban Trail. Head over to find great deals on shoes all over the mall. 

4. Sample Killah by Kalyn Lord was a success this year. I got rid of 33 samples and won a prize! I’m super pumped about the perfume Kalyn is sending me. Read about the complete wrap-up including other prize winners here.

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5. Charlie Brown is getting some love from OPI by releasing a collection of four polishes: two creams and two glitter-type toppers. Photos courtesy of Julie at SwatchandReview.com. Head here to read her complete review and see all her swatches.

Fall is coming my lovelies! Hopefully next week I’ll be able to put together some interesting pieces for you to feast your eyes on. Until then, Happy Shopping!

Summer 2014 Luxe Box Review

20140729-160959-58199237.jpgHey folks, anyone else get a Luxe Box this season? I didn’t take any of the upgrades. Some looked really nice but I love the element of surprise in my Luxe Box. Overall I was pretty pumped about the box. I know it’s been a month since I got my box but I really wanted to review the products not just unbox them and that always takes awhile. I’m also going to be stealing photos from websites for some of the products because I got carried away during Sample Killah and forgot to take photos of the packaging before I threw them away.

Here’s a list and some comments about the things I got:

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Nexxus Color Assure Sulfate-Free System
Sample Value: $2.00 (2 x 5 mL & 1 x 9 mL)