RSS Feed

Category Archives: beauty

Sample Killah Week 4

I’ve reached week four of Sample Killah.  Thanks to Kalyn for hosting – it’s been a lot of fun and I have gone through far more samples than I had thought I would be able to.  I’m going to continue using samples for the remainder of the week, and will then switch back to some full size products.  Participating in Sample Killah has helped reinforce the fact that I do not need to purchase any more beauty products at this time. I’ll continue to use them up, repurchasing only when I actually run out of something.  I plan to continue this until Sephora releases their holiday Favourite’s collection – I purchase one every year!

This week I’ve used a few Arbonne samples that were too small to determine anything.  A Vichy serum that was quite nice, like a lightweight lotion, but a little too scented for my liking.  Not a fan of the Rimmel Stay Matte foundation or the Origin’s Vitazing, despite the hype.  The Marcelle moisturizer I really like – I actually keep a full size jar in my fridge for when I return from the gym or being outdoors.  The Philosophy Miracle Worker was also very nice – I plan to purchase the full size with my holiday Sephora purchase.

photo 1(5)

Next up were some Garnier Fructis samples – I’ve previously written a review of the line here.  The Montagne Jeunesse masks are actually turning out to be one of my go to masks for a quick refresh before a night out – I used these before a bachelorette party and a bridal shower.  The Aveeno shampoo/conditioner weren’t my favourite – I’ve actually found I don’t like their body wash either.  The Philosophy conditioner and H20 shower gel didn’t leave me wanting to repurchase.

photo 2(6)

Lastly, I went though a few skin and dental products.  I usually use Jergen’s Natural Glow during the winter, but hadn’t used the 3 Days to Glow line yet.  It left me pretty orange, which the regular Jergen’s doesn’t do.  Nothing compares to the Just Being Sexy, which had a VERY strong bronzer that left me a ridiculous shade of  – well, bronze.  It wasn’t orange, but a deep, dark, shimmery brown.  It also transferred like crazy, but left a pretty nice tan after I showered the next morning.

photo 3(5)

So my total for Sample Killah?

Week 1: 15

Week 2: 20

Week 3: 32

Week 4: 30

Total: 97

I definitely didn’t plan on using close to 100 samples this month, but once  got started I was on a roll.  I plan to finish up a few more tomorrow to finish July with 100 products used.

Thank you for following along!

Sample Killah- Week 3

I did surprisingly well this week, considering I spent five days without running water, electricity, or cell service.  Don’t worry, there wasn’t a natural disaster or anything – I just went camping with my husband for our anniversary.  I didn’t actually finish them all this week – some were nearly empty in the shower at home, while others I finished last week after my Week 2 update.

If you have been keeping up with my prior posts, I have been participating in Kalyn Lord’s Sample Killah during the month of July.  The goal being to use up as many little sample packs as possibly during the month.  I’ve been so successful I may just keep on going into August to tackle some of the smaller tubes and jars.

Starting with haircare, lots of John Frieda samples, as well as some I received in the mail.  The Fekkai and Garnier conditioning masques were quite nice. My hair has been getting twice weekly masques this month and my lack of split ends tells me I should keep the habit up!

photo 2(5)

Skincare included a Philosophy Miracle Worker night cream – it is absolutely amazing and  would probably would have purchased already if I didn’t have a few night creams to use up.  I usually splurge on some skincare sets from Sephora at Christmas each year, and this has made the shortlist for my 2014 shopping bag.  Also included was a Lancome serum and Kiehl’s moisturizer that didn’t meet my expectations after all of the hype I had read/watched online.  Some Arbonne eye creams that were nice, but not my favourite.  Biotherm serums which are always lovely – one day I will purchase a full size bottle.  It’s hard for me to justify doing so when the outlets in the US sell the three step skin care lines for $30, and the serums for $20.


photo 3(4)

The last bits include some facial wipes, a body lotion (not a sample though), some perfume swtches, floss, mouthwash, and sunscreen.  It rained two of the days we were camping do I didn’t use a ton, but this sunscreen held up over a 4.5 hour hike up and down a mountain.  No tan lines or burns, and I didn’t reapply until we got back to the trail head.  It also didn’t get all gross and slimy when I started to sweat.  Impressive!

photo 1(4)

How am I doing so far?

Week 1: 15

Week 2: 20

Week 3: 32

Total: 67

That is 67 less foils, tubes, jars, and vials left cluttering my house.  Feeling accomplished, and thankful to Kalyn for hosting Sample Killah.

I leave you with a picture taken directly from our campsite.  Definitely can’t complain about life in Northern Ontario!



Sample Killah Week 2 Report

It’s been nearly a week, and I’m pretty proud of my progress.  I’m running low on foils, so have been finishing off the last bits of some bigger sample sizes.  If you missed last week post, I am participating in Kalyn Lords Sample Killah 2014, and trying to use up as many samples as possible in the month of July.


Elin Bianco Treatment Mask: love this.  Held onto it far longer than I should have, but a replacement is over $50.  One day.

Fekkai Technician Colour Care: Used as a leave in mask for 3 hours, left my hair shiny and smooth, but it didn`t last past the next wash.

John Frieda Dream Curl Line: Left my curls soft and voluminous.  Used a VERY small amount of the Calming Creme to avoid greasy hair.q

Biotherm Blue Therapy Serum In Oil: Can`t really tell from the sample, the texture was nice, left my skin moisturized and absorbed quickly.  Can`t determine any results from the sample size.

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Foundation Primer: Nice, but too lightweight for me.  This is the first of the new primers from Smashbox I have tried, would love to try some other options as I do love the Smashbox primer.

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Lotion: Lightweight, absorbed quickly, not greasy.  Only SPF 15, so not high enough for everyday.

Eucerin Hyal-Urea Anti-Wrinkle Night: Not really notable other than it was`t too greasy.

Weleda Pomegranate Firming Serum: Smells really nice, didn`t see an impact by the end of the tube.

Nivea Creme: I tried the new version of this creme last week, and prefer it over the original.  This cream is too thick and I have a hard time getting it to absorb.

Philosophy body wash sample: This was a hotel sample, and it definitely was not a legit Philosophy body wash.  I always have a full size on hand in a various scent, and this wasn`t nearly the same in texture, lather, or lasting power on a loofah.

Lise Watier Desirable: Used to be my signature scent, but  have moved on to Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb and Lancome Le Vie est Belle.

Jergens Ultra Care: Unscented, fast absorbing, but not my favourite.

Bourjois Eye Makeup Remover: Actually did a surprisingly good job at removing a variety of mascaras.  This tiny bottle lasted quite a while, only a very small amount was needed.

Tresemme Fresh Start: Used to be my go to, but I find as I get to the bottom of the bottle I get a white cast.  I`m finishing up a bottle of Principessa dry shampoo now, and then will need to research a new one to purchase.  Yay!

Origins Samples: I can`t purchase Origins locally, but was interested in trying the line.  During my last trip to the US’ the lovely Origins lady provided me some samples of their `must try`items.  I loved the GinZing facial wash – the beads provided just enough exfoliation, my skin was left clean and not stripped, and the scent was a perfect wake me up in the morning.  I was also given a small sample of the Clear Improvements mask, which took a bit of trial and error to master.  Applying it to my entire face was too drying to my cheeks.  Spot applications on my nose, forehead and chin left my skin feeling very clean but still a bit  dry.  I haven`t seen any changes yet, but will likely purchase a deluxe sample size to try it over a longer period of time.

Progress thus far:

Week 1: 15 samples

Week 2: 20 samples

Current total: 35 samples

If you would like to follow along with others who are participating in Sample Killah, you can check out Kailyn`s blog here.




Sample Killah 2014

This past year, I have been trying to cut back on my beauty obsession.  It started when I purchased the Alex9 drawer unit from Ikea, and set it up in my office.  I intended to use several drawers for makeup, and the rest for office supplies.  As I began to fill the drawers, I realized I was in trouble.  One drawer full of lip products.  Another eyeshadows and palettes.  A third with foundation and primers.  An entire drawers of blushes, bronzers and face powders.  One full of targeted face care items (serums, eye creams, etc) and another of face cleansers, eye makeup removers and sunscreens.  It wasn’t long before I had filled 8 of the 9 drawers.  Drawer 9 was full of empty makeup subscription bags.

I panicked a bit – how had my love for cosmetics gotten so out of control?  I had enough makeup to last me a lifetime, and it was just getting worse with each Sephora order, Shopper’s points event, and trip to the US to visit Ulta.  I started going through drawer by drawer, throwing away items that were past their prime, or just not for me.  I separated brand new items, passing them off to friends and family.  I found the world of online swapping/selling, and created a Pinterest board.  I would package any orders in Ipsy bags at no extra charge, and usually threw in some extra samples or full size products.

I have only allowed myself to purchase an item if I absolutely run out.  This means using up any samples and nearly empty products before opening a new one.  Being more selective has actually been refreshing – when I used up every last drop of concealer, I was able to read and watch reviews, wait for a good sale and purchase what I felt was the best option for my needs.  I don’t have five backup concealers – I have one, and when I run out, I will purchase another.  I’m nearly out of dry shampoo, and look forward to the process of narrowing down my selection and finding a good sale/price when I repurchase.

Purchasing a new item feels so much better when you have waited for it, worked to use up other products first, and when you get to use it regularly because it is the only one you own.

A little bit of a long intro, but this brings me to Kalyn Lords Sample Killah 2014.  Although I don’t interact much with the Canadian blogging scene, I try to add every new Canadian beauty blog I find to my feedly.  I find the content much more relevant.  I  first saw the Sample Killah post several days ago – a bit late, but still early enough that I could participate.


My progress for week 1 – 15 samples.  Some self tanner, facial masks, whitening strips, conditioner, and lots of skin care.  I figure my skin is either going to love me for the extra attention, or start to revolt from the sudden barrage of new products.  Time will tell.

It’s not too late to sign up yourself – the deadline for your first update it today.  If you don’t have a blog, you can update via your other social media channels.  There’s also $50 on the line for a randomly drawn participant, so if you are interested, sign up here.

p.s. I really enjoyed the Nivea lotion. Fast absorbing, light, very moisturizing.  I have a few other lotions to get through, but I plan to purchase the full size version of this.  I used to use the small tub of Nivea, but found it too thick.  This is a perfect alternative.

Broadway Nails ImPRESS Press-On Manicure Influenster Box

Influenster selected me for a recent Canadian Vox-Box, this time focusing solely on Broadway Nails ImPRESS Press-On Manicure.  I’ve previously received a sample of ImPRESS nails in the Maple Vox Box, for which you can read my review here.  I won’t bore you by repeating the same details, but rather, will give an updated account of my experience with ImPRESS.


I’ve had pretty good luck with ImPRESS nails, with them sticking for about 5 days before some of the nails begin to come a little loose at the edges.  This time around, however, I happen to be on placement for school in a place that requires hand washing upward of 40 plus times a day as well as personal care for others numbering around the same.  For this reason, I was not able to use the ImPRESS nails while I am in placement, and will have to try them out when I am done in July.


I tried to take some pictures to model what the nails would look like had I of been able to wear them, bu it just doesn’t do them justice.  I’ve heard others say that the nails are too wide, or too short for their nails, but they perfectly fit my nails.  One of my common complains with press on nails is that they are too long and too narrow for my stubby hands!

Application is as easy as ever.  Just prep your nails with the included cleansing pad, peel the clear backing from the nails to expose the glue, stick it onto your nail, press for a few seconds, and you are done!


I do like the designs on the nails, but they definitely limit the occasions to which I could wear them.  I would love to see some more subtly, classy designs added to the collection.  Something I could actually wear to work without drawing too much attention.

I would like to thank Influenster for sending me Broadway’s ImPRESS Press-On Nails for testing purposes.  I hope to give them a full trial at the end of my placement.


Influenster Canada Maple VoxBox

Influenster had been hinting at a Canadian program for much of 2013, without giving an actual launch date.  Early December, this package arrived on my doorstep without warning:


Contents include:

80caa94274e711e3a8d4123012349bc2_8Skinny Cow Milk Chocolate Heavenly Crisp and Dreamy Clusters: $4.29/4 pack or $1.29 each

  • Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp bars bring you layers of wafer with delicious chocolate creme flavoured in a milk chocolatey coating.  At 100 calories per 19g bar, say yes to delicious!
  • These bite sized crunchy crisps and creamy caramel drenched in milk chocolate are only 120 calories per 28g pouch. 
  • I usually don’t like 100 calorie type snacks – I’d prefer to have an apple or asian pear with some almond butter to better allocate my calories each day (I’m a shortie, and only get 1200-1500 daily).  I wasn’t a huge fan of the Dreamy Clusters as they were very sweet, but I did like the Heavenly Crisp Bar. It was pretty light, and was a nice alternative to having a piece of chocolate as the wafers gave a satisfying crunch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANYC New York Color Big Bold Curl Mascara:

  • Big Bold Curl Mascara’s oversized curved brush is he ultimate way to get outrageosly thick and super sexy lashes.  One stroke gives your lashes up to 12x more volume and 99% more lift.
  • I’ve used NYC bronzers in the past, and love them for being ridiculously cheap but still looking great.  Influenster sent me a couple $1.00 NYC coupons as well, which was generous considering they are already cheap enough!
  • I really liked the giant brush on this mascara, and that it had actual bristles instead of those rubber bristles that most brushes have now.  It gave a lot of volume and curl, and was a nice dark black.  My only complaint would be that it was hard to get the very outer lashes with the giant brush.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss: $4.99

  • Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss makes lips look up to 50% fuller with a high gloss shine that lasts up to 4 hours.  The ultra-soft, mega applicator gives full and even coverage for beautiful, perfectly plump lips.
  • The applicator for this gloss is HUGE!  I found the effect t be a bit much for me – a lot of shine and shimmer, but at the same time not sticky.  I didn’t find the gloss to be plumping, but it does make your lips look bigger since they are so shiny!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABroadway Nails ImPRESS Press-On Manicure: $8.99-$10.99

  • imPRESS Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails is the revolutionary way to apply polish! Get a salon perfect manicure in seconds – simply peel off, press on, and you’re done (No glue needed!).  There’s no drying, a killer shine and a manicure that lasts up to a week. 
  • I’ve already posted about these nails, but I will repeat that I am a fan.  No more nail glue for this girl!

photo 1

Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spas: $2.49

  • Join the revolution and start a new weekly skincare regime with the Clay Spas from Montagne Jeunesse.  These natural bamboo fabric masks are infused with clay for a cleansing experience that is better, quicker and easier than ever before.
  • I’ve already reviewed this mask, but I will say that apparently I’m not one for change and I actually prefer a regular old clay mask.  I do still like the variety of other masks Montagne Jeunesse offers, more so than any other brand I have seen!


  • New Ice Breakers DUO combines sweet fruity taste with refreshing cooling crystals.  Ice Breakers DUO is a two sided mint with a fruity flavoured, textured side and a minty, smooth side that cools and freshens your breath.
  • These were delicious, and lasted only two days in my house.  I made the mistake of leaving the container on my kitchen counter, and my husband and I would each take one or two each time we passed by.

I’ve had a lot of fun trying everything out.  I love being able to try out new products, so the Maple VoxBox is right up my alley.

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.  All opinions are my own.


Recent Empties

I have a few days off work, so I’ve been going though the house de-cluttering.  That means another empties post before these products are recycled!


Passion Parties Soft & Silky Shaving Cream/Refreshing Bath and Shower Cream

  • I purchased these products at one of those home sex toy parties.  While I could do without the shower cream, the shaving cream was absolutely amazing.  Regardless of where you use it on your body, it leaves you smooth, moisturized, and irritation/razor bump free.  I plan to repurchase, possibly in one of their scented options.

Avon Red Chocolate Cake Bubble Bath

  • This was a Christmas gift from my mother.  It gave lots of suds, but sadly they weren’t very scented, and the bubble bath didn’t do much to moisturize my skin.  I won’t repurchase, but will use it again if I receive it as a gift.  The scent is no longer available, but you can check out their current offerings here.


Jergen’s Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer

  • I absolutely love this stuff.  I have another full size bottle that is nearly empty, and rarely use regular self tanner anymore.  I love that I can use it right before bed without it streaking or staining the sheets, that it builds gradually so I can apply one or two times depending on what I have going on.  A couple things I do to ensure it looks great:  exfoiliate before application, moisturize all dry areas (elbows, knees, ankles, feet), apply max two times over a three day period to avoid turning orange, and make sure to use the medium to tan, not tan to medium (which looks orange).

Random Assortment of Body Lotions

  • Lots of Bath & Body Works, a Cake hand cream (love it, have a couple more on the go), OPI (smell good but not very moisturizing in the long term, a Nivea sample (great for elbows and knees), and a Burt’s Bee’s Cuticle Salve (have already repurchased).


Hair Products

  • Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle lives up the the hype.  I purchased this in the US as I can’t find it in Canada.  I’ll repurchase again the next time I go to Duluth.
  • Tresemme Deep Conditioning Treatment I could do without.  I received it in a Glossybox and prefer other conditioners that are more effective.
  • KMS Flat Out.  Used very lightly this gives a nice sheen to my hair.  It smells like Barbie hair, no joke!  I have a million serum samples to use up before I repurchase, but probably wouldn’t as it is very easy to over-do it with this product.
  • Big Sexy Spray & Play.  Received in Ipsy, have already repurchased.  Love it for the texture it gives my hair, allowing me to actually style my hair in the cute styles on Pinterest.
  • Sebastian Shaper is a long time favourite of mine.  I have a few small samples of Re-Shaper courtesy of Glossybox, and while I like the strong hold, I prefer the original.
  • This lemon body butter from The Body Shop is the first scent I didn’t like!
  • NuMe products have never been a favourite of mine.  I made it through this Finishing Serum, and wouldn’t repurchase.


Facial Products

  • This Garnier Shine Control Moisturizer was great for days that I needed absolutely no shine.  It works well, but not for ongoing use as it isn’t very moisturizing.  I may repurchase, but have a few other daily moisturizers to go through first.
  • Skin for Life Defense was sent to me by Glossybox.  I wasn’t able to find the exact product on their website.  I enjoyed using this as a daily primer, and liked that it provides SPF 30 protection.  A little goes a long way, and this 10 ml sample lasted me three months with 5x weekly use.
  • Multiple facial cleanser samples.  I’m not a fan of Simple products, but did enjoy the Olay cleanser – anything that helps to combat shine in the summer is great!
  • A Bentaberry sample.  Hard to form a decision on the product based on the tiny amount I was provided.  This tube was about 1/3 full.



  • A Clinique eye makeup removed.  Not my favourite as it removes eyeshadow but not mascara.
  • A Mai Couture gloss I recieved in a Glymm box.  It was gritty from day one, and went skunky so it’s being thrown away.
  • A Bailey Cosmetics gloss from Glossybox.  I actually enjoyed the texture and colour of this gloss, but it was always leaking from the top of the tube and has also gone skunky so it is being thrown away.  Had the top of the tube been more secure, I may have gotten more use out of it.  I still love the packaging!
  • Lancome Definicils Mascara.  One of my favourites for definition, the wand allows you to reach every single lash.  I will repurchase eventually, likely at the Sears Christmas Beauty Gala so I can receive some extra’s with my purchase.
  • Benefit Stay Don’t Stray.  I recently purchased Urban Decay’s Primer Potion in the professional size and regret it.  I loved Stay Don’t Stray for it’s opaqueness and slight concealing ability, which Primer Potion doesn’t offer.  I will definitely repurchase, as I miss the way it brightens the eye area and makes me look more awake!

That’s it for the past couple months.  I’ve been slowly working my way through my beauty product stash, so hopefully at Christmas time this year I can purchase some full size products that I have been lusting over.  My skin type is changing quite a bit, so I find my needs changing.  I can’t use any products that come my way anymore, rather, I find I am needing to find products that target my current issues (dryness, loss of elasticity, and the beginning of fine lines and – gasp! –  a wrinkle between my brows.


In other news, I made camo cupcakes for a bachelorette last week.  The wedding is this weekend, and I’ve had fun stepping out of my comfort zone and exploring ways to use the brides personality in my creations.  I’m currently working on mossy oak boutineers and hunter green wooden signs for the wedding site (a hunting and fishing lodge).  I’ll be sure to post some pics!