September 2015 Birchbox (Canada)

It’s that time of month again!

Here’s a peek into the September Birchbox (Canada) I received (and mini-reviews on the products I’ve tried out!)

This box though!

September 2015 Birchbox (Canada).  This box though!

How cute is this box?  It made me smile when I saw the message!

And inside:


TOCCA Esfoliante da Corpo – Giulietta:  This is such a wonderful body scrub!  It’s a sugar-based formula that has just the right amount of grittiness to slough away dry skin without it being too harsh.  I’ve used this on my elbows and heels in the shower and it works awesome! The scent is slightly floral and fruity (pink tulips and green apple) and so fresh!  It’s rich in natural oils like olive, safflower and grapeseed oil that help to nourish the skin while getting rid of the dead dry stuff!

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Liquid Liner in Dark Gray:  I’m probably the worst person at applying liquid liner, but this pen makes things quite easy!  It’s got a long brush tip and the product comes out pigmented, smooth and doesn’t skip. It’s in dark gray – a good alternative however for something less intense than a really black liner. Staying power of this is, meh —  will come off with some face cleanser and warm water.

POP Beauty Portfolio Eyeshadow Trio in Sugar Plum:  These POP shadows are pretty amazing!  The shadows feel buttery and have minimal to zero fall-out!  The colours are perfect for brown eyes and a great colour palette for an easy, everyday eye look.  We’ve got a white, shimmery highlight shade; a medium-toned, satin-finish plum shade; and a satin-finish dark gray shade with purple undertone that pairs perfectly with the plum shadow.

100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream:  This caffeine rich eye cream claims to de-puff, brighten dark circles, lessen lines and wrinkles and nourish the eye area with anti-aging nutrients. I have not tried this, but I will be passing this one on to my sister as she’s been looking for an eye cream to try out. All I can tell you… is that this stuff smells amazing!!  Like a sweet, coffee, caramel latte!

BioRepublic Skincare Pomegranate Crush Illuminating Sheet Mask:  If you know me, you know I love face masks!  This mask claims to brighten skin and even tone. It’s a sheet mask and apparently it’s biodegradable.  Like other sheet masks, you leave this on for 15-20 minutes, remove, and massage/tap the excess product left into your skin.  I’ve yet to try this one, but I’m sure it’s a gooder!

There you have it!  Pretty happy with my September Birchbox 🙂

And to top it off, I also received at 20% off voucher to use on any full-size product from the Birchbox website – woohoo!

And if you’re interested, I recently did a post on my thoughts on Birchbox service and products so far since I started my subscription seven months ago — if you missed it, click here and read away!

Thanks for reading!


Essence Cosmetics: Stays No Matter What Jumbo Eye Pencil and Shadow

Hey Pretties!

A while ago I did a post on a Peek into a brand: Essence Cosmetics — one of the most affordable lines of makeup a the drugstore. I recently spotted the Says No Matter What Jumbo Eye Pencil and Shadow in the line. I haven’t heard anything about these shadow/pencil/liner hybrids so I thought I’d give them a try! At $2.49 Cdn each… why not!

I picked up two shades:  Cute Copper and Chocolate Brownie.

I’m not a huge wearer of eyeshadows these days, however, when I do want a wash of colour on my lids I’ve been really drawn to using cream shadows, like the Maybelline Colour Tattoos. I love them for easy application (just use my finger to blend in) and staying power. The appeal of having a cream eye shadow formula in a convenient crayon stick appealed to me even more — just pop off the lid, swipe onto my lids and blend away. Easy peasy.

First off, the colour pigmentation of these eye crayons are great. Chocolate Brownie is a warm, dark brown colour with a semi-satin finish and Cute Copper is bronzey-copper shade that’s semi-shimmery.


Upon application, I found that they were creamy, but a bit on the tacky side — if you’ve ever tried the Maybelline Colour Tattoos (original formulas) or the Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow crayons, they feel creamy and have a good slip to them when you apply; very easy to blend out. The Essence crayons are a bit harder to blend out — I found that as soon as I swipe them on my eyelids I have to work really fast to blend them in before they dry and set — I have about a 10-second window before I find it REALLY hard to blend out. As a shadow, this is sort of a downside; BUT as a liner, this is absolutely great because once you apply this, within a few seconds it dries down and doesn’t budge!

I’ve used both colours as shadows and liners. I really like the Chocolate Brownie shade for a warm, natural wash of colour on my lids and smudged out as a liner under my eyes. The Cute Copper shade is also nice when I want a shimmery pop of copper on my lids; nice on my lower waterline as well to add a bit of brightness to my eyes. I’ve tried these on with and without an eyeshadow primer — the colour, not surprisingly is more vibrant overtop a primer and staying power is even longer throughout the day; but without a primer, I found colour payoff and staying power still quite good.

The staying power of these crayons are amazing — “stays no matter what” is definitely true. I’ve worn this on a typical 8-hour day at work and by the time I get home the colours are still on my lids and/or on my lower lash line. I use an oil-based remover to take this off at the end of the day.

So, for $2.49 a pop I’d say this is a steal of a deal for a decent quality eye shadow/pencil. The colour selection isn’t vast, but with these browns (a black and I think I saw a green and blue) there’s some choices for anyone to try out.

If you’re willing to work quickly to blend out your shadows and want one that will stay on all day long, this might be a good drugstore option for you!

I give the Essence Cosmetics Stays No Matter What Jumbo Eye Pencil and Shadows: a HIGH FIVE

Have you tried these shadows?  Like or dislike?  Let me know!

Thanks for stopping by!

Maybelline Eyeshadows: The Nudes Palette and Leather Colour Tattoo

Hi Pretties!

For someone like me who doesn’t wear eyeshadow on a regular basis (partly because I’m no pro at applying it) but likes to play and experiment with different colours and formulas, I surpisingly have quite a decent collection of eyesahadows in my dressing table drawer!

The Maybelline The Nudes palette has been on every beauty blogger/Instagrammer page in the last few months — I finally found it for a good sale price ($6.99 Cdn) so I thought what better time to hop on that train!

The Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadows (CTE) have been around for a long time — I have done a previous review HERE on the CTE in Bad to the Bronze (one of my go-to shadows). Maybelline came out with a new “Leather” line of CTEs — doting more of a matte finish as opposed to any satin or shimmery finish. I picked one up in the shade Vintage Plum.

Maybelline The Nudes palette

In this palette you get 12 neutral shades which is amazing for the price I paid (I think it goes for around $15 Cdn regular price, but I got it for $6.99!). As you can see, you get a beige, some taupes and browns, with a matte black, a gold, and couple highlight shades thrown in. In terms of colour, I would rate this good to great — I think the palette offers a nice range of neutrals that you can wear everyday or even experiment with for a bolder, neutral look.

This palette is an average to good one, in terms of formula. A few of the colours are slightly chalky and I get some fall out (the two lightest, highlight shades) and needs lots of work in building up a decent colour on the lids. Some feel smoother than others. But I would say that most of the colours are smooth to blend and easy to work with.

The top row:

Maybelline The Nudes:  top row swatches

Maybelline The Nudes: top row swatches


The bottom row:

Maybelline The Nudes:  bottom row

Maybelline The Nudes: bottom row swatches

So far, I’m liking this palette; for me, especially the deeper browns and the gold colour — they seem to give off the best pigment, easy to blend, best for my skintone and a good way for me to practice wearing/applying shadow without looking too over the top. Staying power seems OK and I’ve experience no substantial creasing, even when I don’t wear an eye primer.

For an eyeshadow beginner, for someone on a budget and for someone who just wants a pretty good, all-around basic neutral palette in their collection, The Nudes palette is a good one to try out.

I give the Maybelline The Nudes eyeshadow palette:  a HIGH FIVE  (PSSST!  Check out my Rating System in the menu bar above to see what my ratings mean!)

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Leather in Vintage Plum

I had high expectations for this cream shadow considering the fact that I completely adore the CTE in Bad to the Bronze.  However, I was sadly disappointed… not completely! But pretty much.

The formula of this is cunningly creamy when I swirl my finger around in the jar, but when I swatch it on my arm or onto my eyelid, it comes off a bit patchy and really needs to be worked in quickly to get it smoothed out before it sets. I’ve used it a few times and it’s the same situation every time.

The colour is one that I was initially very excited about – if I do wear eyeshadows, I typically reach purples because they make my brown eyes pop, without being too over-the-top. In the glass jar this looks like a beautiful deep lavender colour, however, when I swatch it it looks more grey with a hint of lavender. On my eyelid, it looks practically just grey, with almost no hint of purple or lavender. Gah!!

The one thing I do like about this, is that I can use this as a base or primer for any powder eyeshadow I decide to put on top of it. I’ve put this on before a violet powder eyeshadow and I found it helped to make it stay on longer and also brought out the colour of the powder shadow more.

I’ve heard mixed reviews on the other Leather shadow shades in this line – some good, some bad. But at this point, I don’t think I’ll be in a hurry to purchase any of the other shades.

I will still wear this CTE, when I want a subtle neutral colour on my lids or as a base under another powder shadow.

I give the Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Leather in Vintage Plum: a THUMBS DOWN

Have you tried any of these shadows?  Like or dislike?  Tell me!!

Thanks for reading!!