The Versatile Blogger Award

Hey Pretties!

I’ve been kindly nominated by All Things Charlotte of The Beauty and Wellness Diaries for the Versatile Blogger Award – thank you! Check out her blog for some great beauty and wellness information!

For those I nominate below, please don’t feel obligated to post in response to this nomination — I’m just happy to have the opportunity to highlight some of you (who are a few of my favourites — included and not limited to!!) to the rest of the beauty blogging world!

And I know some of you have already been nominated and have already written a post in response, but hey — I had to give you a shout out 🙂

versatile-blogger-award

The Versatile Blogger Award rules are as follows:

1. Post the award on your blog
2. Thank the person who nominated you
3. Share seven facts about yourself
4. Nominate 15 blogs
5. Post links to your nominee’s blogs and let them know

SEVEN FACTS ABOUT ME….

  • I can’t function like a proper human being unless I have at least one cup of coffee per day. Better yet, four cups per day — then I’m super-human.
  • I love action movies and action-y TV drama series.
  • As soon as I get home from work I put on my pajamas.
  • For three years, I volunteered as a ‘cat cuddler’ for my local animal shelter.
  • I always ALWAYS get bamboozled into ‘Buy 3, Get 2 Free’ deals and such. Spend more to save more… hmmmm. Sneaky bastards!
  • I prefer flats over heels.
  • I live for naps.

MY 15 NOMINEES ARE….

  1. Same Tay Different Day
  2. Cosmetics & Crumbs
  3. Pale and Persian
  4. Bolt Blogs
  5. The Beauty Ninja
  6. The Awkward Addict
  7. Amandarobots
  8. Kitty Approved Beauty
  9. The Pretty Plus
  10. Sarah Loves Makeup
  11. The Beauty Sanctuary
  12. Say Hello to Gorgeous
  13. Stephie Estie
  14. Confessions of a Makeup Hoarder
  15. Living Disrobed

There you go! Hope this was a bit of a fun read and more so, I hope you check out some or ALL of my nominees — great ladies out there with great beauty blogs!!

🙂

Birchbox Canada: My First Impressions – Products and Customer Service (February 2015)

Well, it was only a matter of time before I jumped on a monthly beauty subscription train!  I guess for most beauty junkies/beauty bloggers this is a great way to get and test out new products. And how satisfying is it to get a package in the mail every month!?  Yes.

I spontaneously chose Birchbox Canada and I have some thoughts to share on their customer service as well as a mini-review on the products that I received in my first ever, February Birchbox!

I know this review is coming late — and I’m only just working on my review of the March Birchbox (coming soon!), but thought I’d share my initial thoughts on the contents and the service as this was my first experience with Birchbox.

So, Birchbox is a monthly subscription beauty box. For $10 a month (plus $4.95 flat shipping rate), I get delivered to me a selection of five different beauty products — a mixture of skincare, haircare and makeup. When I signed up for Birchbox, it allowed me to fill out a “profile” questionnaire which asks questions about my skin colour, hair colour, skin type, makeup look preferences, etc. — things of that nature for Birchbox to get an idea of what products I might enjoy and are best suited for me, that they can send me each month. It’s a great way to try out new brands and products that I’ve been curious about or wouldn’t have even thought to try out in the first place.

For my February (and first Birchbox ever) box, I recieved a good variety of sample size items, which are actually adequate sample sizes (not those little paper packets of samples). Here are my thoughts on each product:

derma e Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Scrub:  This is a good exfoliating cleanser. The granules are similar to the St. Ives Apricot Scrub (which I’m sure most of you are familiar with). Although I like the exfoliation this gives, I do know that it can be quite harsh on the skin so I’ve been using this once or twice per week. Virtually fragrance-free, but does have a slight ‘earthy’ smell. Rinses clean and doesn’t leave my skin feeling stripped of moisture. As for the active ingredients vitamin A and glycolic acid — can’t say much about these — I’m pretty meh when it comes to cleansers claiming that their active ingredients will make a significant difference my skin because they’re simply not left on the skin long enough for it to work. But still, a good once or twice a week cleanser to get in a good scrub!

N.4 Clarifying Shampoo:  This is a pretty basic clarifying shampoo, nothing exceptional to report here. It cleans well and leaves my hair feeling soft and clean. Using this once a week. Good timing I got this because I’m almost out of my Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo (which is the best!) so I have something to fall back on until I repurchase the Neutrogena.

Cynthia Rowley Lip Creme/Stain in Hearthrob: This is actually a great lip product! It has a really light weight texture and the formulation is very cooling on my lips. I would describe the texture as watercolour-like. I was a little apprehensive of the colour — a orangey-apple-red colour — but it suits me quite nice! I even got a compliment from my boyfriend on the shade (without me having to say, “do you like my lipstick?) which is a big deal because he’s not a fan of lipstick!  Great colour for spring and summer. As for lasting power, I’d say it definitely stains my lips but in such a subtle way that it actually looks nicer once it has faded. Doesn’t settle into my lines either!

whish Pomegranate Body Butter: Nice smelling, fast absorbing, body butter. I keep this in my purse for my hands. Nothing crazy fantastic about it, but a good all around lotion.

Tocca Rollerball fragrance in Florence:  Not a fan of at all. I’m not into heavy floral scents and this one is just that doesn’t appeal to my senses on anyone or on myself. If you like the smell of bergamot, violet, jasmine, gardenia and with notes of musk, you might enjoy this.

I thought it would also be worthwhile here to give you some thoughts on the customer service I recieved from Birchbox Canada.

So, the way Birchbox works: they bill you $14.95 on the 1st of every month and by the 10th of the month they ship out your box. I signed up for my February box on February 12th. They charged my credit card immediately (I think it was on that same day or the day after). By February 23rd, I hadn’t yet recieved any confirmation of my Birchbox being shipped or anything, so I emailed customer service to inquire. On February 26, a very kind associate named Sarah replied to me and reassured me that my order has been processed and that my Birchbox would be delivered soon. I recieved my box on March 10 — almost 4 weeks after I had ordered.

This may seem like a long time, but considering it’s coming from the U.S. and that I ordered “late” (i.e. past the beginning of the month) I figured OK, I get it. In the end, I received outstanding customer service from Sarah and my account was even credited with 100 Birchbox Points (where 100 points translates to $10 that you can spend towards purchasing full-size beauty products on the website!). That was a complete surprise and I was very impressed. I sent a follow-up ‘Thank You’ email to Sarah to let her know that her assistance was very helpful to me.

So, the customer service I experienced through one-on-one email was outstanding! On the other hand…

I also posted my delivery/waiting dilemma on Birchbox Canada’s Facebook page. Twice. Other than a slew of other Birchbox customer comments saying they were running into the same issues as me, I never really got any recognition for my issue directly from Birchbox. Strange. On the FB front, I would say they kind of suck. But the other Birchbox customers were very helpful to me, ha!

Anyway — overall, I give Birchbox Canada a thumbs up. So far, I think good product sampling for the value and awesome customer service (i.e. one-on-one).

I’ve got my March Birchbox and my review will be coming soon!

Do you subscribe to Birchbox?  Do you subscribe to any other monthly beauty package? Have you tried any of the products I recieved in my Febraury box?

Thanks for reading!

 

Bioderma Sensibo H2O Micellar Water

I’ve been wanting to hop on the micellar water bandwagon for some time now. After reading reviews about various brands that have their own version, I settled on my first try to be with the most widely reviewed and popular of micellar waters — Bioderma Sensibo H2O.

On lazy days, I admit, I will use makeup wipes to remove all my makeup (sometimes without rinsing or cleansing afterwards, eek!). The appeal of a micellar water is that you can use it to remove all your makeup without having to worry about following up with a cleanser.

Intially, I purchased the Bioderma Sebium H2O, which is the micellar water they make for combo/oily skin. I tried this once; yes it did remove all my makeup quite well, however, it stung my eyes and left my skin feeling tight and dry. Although I do have combo/oily skin, this formula was too strong for me. (Those with oilier skin, might find this tolerable).  So, I went back to the drugstore and exchanged it for the Bioderma Sensibo H2O which is formulated for sensitive skin.

This solution is virtually fragrance-free and has the consistency of, well, water! I soak 2 cotton pads with enough Bioderma to clean my entire face. First, I hold the cotton pads over closed eyes for about 20 seconds and wipe my mascara and eye makeup away with gently swipes. I turn the pads over and use them to wipe off the rest of my face makeup. After I’m finished, the pads are pretty much covered with all of my makeup — awesome!

This definitely leaves my skin feeling very clean and fresh. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling stripped of moisture afterwards. I’ve read a lot of reviews saying that the Bioderma can remove all eye makeup, even waterproof, easily. Unfortunately, I can’t agree with this — yes, it does take MOST of it off, but I find that it doesn’t take ALL of it off (I always wear waterproof mascara so that makes it a bit tougher to remove anyway). What I’ll usually do is remove my eye makeup first with the Neutrogena Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover and then finish off my cleanse with the Bioderma. Overall though, this is a GREAT cleanser, so to speak, and I am not disappointed!

Now, let’s talk price. This is not cheap. I got this on at Shoppers drugmart for around $17.49 Cdn for the 250 ml and the little mini one I got for $5.99 Cdn — and these were sale prices at 20% off!

I’ve seen a few other micellar waters on the drugstore shelves — some of the more higher-end drugstore brands also have their version, like La Roche Posay and Vichy.  Of the “cheaper” brands, L’oreal has one. Apparently, Garnier has one, but I have yet to find this (some reviewers say it’s the closest dupe to the Bioderma; and Simple has come out with a version as well, which I haven’t found yet either.

I do like using the Bioderma. For some reason it makes me feel less guilty than using a facial wipe, as I feel like I really don’t need to rinse afterwards. I will probably continue to use the Bioderma, but until I find/try a cheaper version that does the same, I’ll stick to this for now.

I give the Bioderma Sensibo H2O: a HIGH FIVE

Have you tried this?  Like or dislike? Any suggestions on alternative micellar waters?

Thanks for reading!