Monday, 25 March 2013

MAC Warehouse Sale Mini Haul and Review

MAC Warehouse Sale Review:

LOTS of MAC and Clinique - very little Bobbi Brown....and Surprise! - a little bit of CALYX!

I went to the MAC Warehouse sale this weekend. As much as I wanted to go on Friday (the first day), I couldn't get the time off work. Gee - these things need to be planned. Seriously - you need to be strategic with warehouse sales. Timing and teamwork yield the best results. Teamwork for sure: the MAC Warehouse sale was way north of Toronto - held at the Markham Fairgrounds. A car was very necessary. And so, a call was placed to a friend...with a car ;)

So naturally, I LOVE to sleep in on a Saturday morning - I was EXHAUSTED from a long work week, BUT I woke up early to meet my friend and we arrived at the MAC sale by 10:15 a.m. We only waited about 30 minutes to get in. We were thrilled to see that the line was INSIDE this year! Thank you MAC for looking out for the comfort of your customers!

Cold outside? No worries - they moved the line INSIDE :)

Once inside, decisions had to be made. Stay in room 1 - or RUN to rooms 2, 3 and 4 to see what they held? We compromised and power-shopped for 5 minutes in room 1 - mostly full of Bumble & Bumble hair products, Origins skin care and MAC eyeshadows.

Here is a photo of the "sample" of MAC Fluidline Eye-Liner Gel in Blacktrack. TAPED down to the table. A no-frills display.

Be sure to write down your product number!

Customers were instructed to write down the item number of the product you wanted on tiny pieces of paper provided. You then handed the papers to staff at another table nearby. I thought I would save time (and the environment) by snapping a pic with my iPhone and showing it to the staff member. That didn't work for the first lady. She really wanted me to write my item (1 Fluidline) down on a piece of paper. Oh well - back I went, pen and paper in hand. Eventually, I got my Fluidline.

And then - we RAN to rooms 2, 3 and 4. There were small signs indicating what brands were in the rooms such as: Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Origins, Ojon..... MAC was pretty much everywhere.

I really wanted to pick up some Bobbi Brown makeup - but there was virtually no Bobbi Brown makeup. There was a small selection of Bobbi Brown brushes. I'm not sure if there would have been a better selection had I arrived on Friday - but I sense that this was really a big MAC sale, followed by alot of Clinique and Estee Lauder. There was a bit of Origins - mostly Ginger Souffle body lotions and bath products.

One thing that pleasantly surprised me was to find CALYX shower and bath gel in one of the bins! It has been years since I've seen Calyx in Canada. They just had shower gel and body lotion. I bought the shower gel - it is called "Exhilarating Gel for Shower and Bath". I am not a morning person, and I purchased this hoping it will truly help to exhilarate my morning shower routine and WAKE me up!

SO - here is what I picked up. Not a major haul - I felt like a character in a movie with an angel sitting on my left shoulder telling me NOT to spend too much, and a devil on my right shoulder tempting me to break the bank! Well, the angel reminded me how many unopened products I already have at home - so I controlled myself on this trip. Note: I also purchased some Clinique skincare for my Mom, but it is not pictured here.

MAC Warehouse mini-haul -minus some Clinique skincare purchased for my Mom. 

What I Picked Up:
- Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Tinted Self-Tan, 150 ml for $20
- Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Self-Tan for face, 50 ml for $15
- Calyx Exhilarating Gel for Shower/Bath, 200 ml, 2 for $18

- MAC Fluidline Eye-Liner Gel in Blacktrack $12

- MAC Select Sheer/Loose powder NW5 $15

- Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, $4

- Clinique mini High Impact Mascara, $4

- Clinique Full Size High Impact Mascara, $12

- MAC FREE GIFT: Pro Longwear Shadow in Bloom On

I also picked up some Clinique skincare for my Mom, including a full sized Repairwear Eye Cream for only $20.

Even though I did hold back from spending every last penny in my wallet, I will admit that I would have spent WAY more money had the selection of product been better. The MAC Warehouse Sale is probably your best bet to pick up limited edition compacts, and especially limited edition brush sets.

For fans of Estee Lauder fragrance - you would be in paradise - this was truly the home of the Fragrance Gift Set. I was already stocked up on Estee Lauder "Beautiful", but had I wanted more, they had sets of Eau de Parfum and Body Lotion for $40.

The Warehouse Sale is THE place to stock up on mascara. I LOVED the mini mascaras from Clinique in the $4 bins. I like to change up my mascara frequently, so these minis were a great find. You can also find tons of full sized MAC, Clinique and Estee Lauder mascaras.

My advice: try to get there on the FIRST day of the sale, and go early! You will always find something you love, at a great price.

And girls: take the advice of Girl Scouts everywhere: Be Prepared.

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Monday, 18 March 2013

Step Into Spring with Lip Treats from Lancome, L'Oreal and e.l.f.


Spring officially arrives this week here in Toronto, and I've already started the spring cleaning process.

As I sort through my collection of all things lip-sticky and lip-glossy, I shall push aside the deep burgundies and cool wintry reds to make room for spring-like bubblegum pinks and candy corals.

Let's take a closer look at some lighter lip looks:

Light as air shades from e.l.f., Lancome, and L'Oreal.

The new Lancome Baume IN LOVE stopped me in my tracks when I spotted this neon pink shade on display. Neon can be LOUD...but this balm/stain simply provides a sheer wash of colour while enveloping your lips in a soothing and hydrating embrace. I can't tell you how good this feels - you have to try it.

Lancome Baume In Love "110 Urban Ballet"

Baume In Love "110 Urban Ballet"

Did I mention thatI was LUCKY enough to visit the L'Oreal Warehouse sale in Toronto last week? Whoo hoo! Well, in a warehouse full of literally thousands of tubes of lipgloss, the L'Oreal Glam Shine "Miss Candy" in "703 Tart Lollipop" immediately caught my eye. Just look at the FABULOUS swirl of coral and hot pink. HAD TO HAVE IT!

L'Oreal Glam Shine Miss Candy "Tart Lollipop"

Just LOOKING at this tiny tube of GLAM SHINE makes me smile! I might have purchased more than was on sale! Anyway, the heart-shaped applicator/wand offers more precision than most wands and if you apply 2 coats, you will get MEGA shine!
Wearing L'Oreal Glam Shine Miss Candy "Tart Lollipop"

Here are a couple products from e.l.f. that I picked up from Target BEFORE they came to Canada! Here is e.l.f.'s Hypershine Gloss in "Bubble Gum". It is no secret that the packaging looks alot like Stila's Lip Glaze. Well....I didn't love this product on me. I am pale and this is a really pale, creamy pink. It looked like nothing on my lips, so paired it up with a nude lip pencil from No7. I wouldn't wear this super pale shade on its own, but I would wear it over a bright pink lipstain (Revlon Just Bitten, for example) to add a touch of light gloss.
e.l.f. Hypershine Gloss "Bubble Gum" & No7 pencil "nude"
NOT loving e.l.f. Hypershine Gloss w Nude Pencil by No7
Now, for the much more exciting e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick in "Pink Lemonade"
e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick in "Pink Lemonade"

Wow! The e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick in "Pink Lemonade" exceeded my expectations. It looked pretty boring in the tube, but once applied, I felt like I had found my NEW Spring Wear-With-Anything-Anywhere lip colour! Seriously - this shade goes with anything and YES, it kinda does taste like pink lemonade.

e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick in "Pink Lemonade" tastes good too!

Well, that is ONE part of my Spring Cleaning all sorted out. When the tennis courts finally open, I will reach for Lancome's Baume In Love for a winning look on the courts, and when patio season returns to Toronto, I will layer my L'Oreal Glam Shine over my e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Pink Lemonade.

Now...what to drink on those patios? Perhaps a Strawberry Daiquiri? A Virgin Pina Colada? Killer Kool Aid? These are decisions I look forward to. I'm kissing winter GOOD BYE! Now....step away from the computer, get outside and enjoy some fresh, spring air!

Where to Shop:

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Brows Don't Just Frame Your Face - They Rock!

A Review of 2 Rock Solid Brow Products

It's amazing what you can find when you decide to do a little "Spring Cleaning" of your makeup kit. Of course, like many of the makeup-obsessed, I don't just have a makeup kit, I have an entire apartment full of makeup on every tabletop and in every drawer. 

Although I just purchased the new "Take a Brow" eyebrow palette from Quo's Spring 2013 "The Edge of Opulence" collection,  as I cleaned, I giggled with delight to find a long-lost gem: my MAC "Lingering" eyebrow pencil.

I decided to compare both products.  

MAC "Lingering" pencil vs. Quo "Take A Brow" palette

First, let's have a look at the beautiful packaging from Quo's "Take A Brow" eyebrow palette. This is from their Spring 2013 "The Edge of Opulence" collection. The white packaging has a quilted feature and although small (and compact!) it contains a mirror and a surprisingly good quality double-ended angle brush. Extra points for opulent packaging. Makes me want to fly down to Palm Springs. 

I should mention that this is the second time I have picked up an eyebrow palette from a limited edition Quo collection. I also have the brow palette from last year's fall collection in faux reptile skin. Here's a photo of my 2 Quo eyebrow palettes. One for Palm Springs....and one for autumn nights. 

First up: Quo's "Take a Brow" limited edition palette. 

Quo's limited edition "Take a Brow" palettes...old and new.

Here is an example of a look using a blend of the light and dark powders from the Quo palette (no wax at this point)

Using a blend of the 2 powders from the Quo palette.

Now here it is with the wax added - wax helps to set the colour in place, and also tames the little brow hairs. 

Using both powders AND wax from the Quo palette.

Quo's "Take a Brow" Spring 2013 palette

And for the face-off: MAC brow pencil in "Lingering"

Using MAC's "Lingering" pencil

The colour is much lighter than my hair, but I don't like to use a very dark brown on my brows - it can be too harsh. This shade reminds me of Dior's "Universal Brown" - a cult favourite. The self-sharpening pencil allows me to fill in my brows with fine strokes. 

MAC self-sharpening brow pencil in "Lingering"

Final Thoughts: I like the control and precision that I get from MAC's "Lingering" brow pencil. The "fill in" factor really appeals to me. But, I like my options, and the Quo "Take a Brow" palette offers the 2 shades of brow powder. For a more dramatic, intense effect, I need the darker powder, and to set it, the wax is a must-have. 

So, of course, I must have BOTH and because the MAC pencil is so slim, it goes in my purse for when I am "on the go" and the Quo palette stays in my bathroom makeup drawer....unless I want to take it out to lunch and show my girlfriends that "opulent" white packaging. 

There you go - they're both FABULOUS!

You can find Quo's "Take A Brow" palette for $10.00 (CAN) at Shoppers Drug Mart across Canada.

MAC's "Lingering" brow pencil priced at aprox $19.00 (CAN) can be found at MAC stores globally.