Friday, December 30, 2011

Nars Zulu ends 2011 with a bang!

It feels like it was just yesterday when I started the red, gold and green series for the holidays and here we are looking at the end of another year. The past few days have been ridiculously crazy with the party a day schedule we've had, coupled with my poor honey bunny catching a virus (Such a lousy time to be sick! We hope he feels much better before the new year starts. And that he doesn't pass it on to me.) and hacking away every night. I've been piecing blog posts together whenever I have free time (I keep my promises!) and today I saved one of my newer acquisitions to end the series with a bang. In truth, it's one of the best deals I've scored nail polish-wise this year and it's one of the more (in?)famous polishes in my collection. Without further ado:

Say hello to NARS Zulu!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nail Art Wednesday: Red Jelly and Gold Glitter

Sometimes, especially when I'm pressed for time and can't change my polish, I like to jazz up what I already have on with glitter or flakie top coats. It's fast, easy and it looks like you put in a bit of effort even if you really didn't. It's also a great way to ease yourself into doing (and sporting!) nail art. While I had Sweet Tart on, I remembered the nails I had seen from a Sephora Holiday 2011 email (I'm weird like that. I find I notice people's nails even more since I've begun blogging.) so I decided to do my own take on it.

The idea.

The result.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Orly Sweet Tart whets your appetite for more holiday sweets.

How was your Christmas? I hope it was as happy and wonderful as can be! It's actually still Christmas as I write this post while watching the NBA Christmas Special (MIA vs. DAL and if you're curious I'm rooting for the Mavs because Nowitzki >>> LeBron; nevermind that MIA is now 30 points ahead, boo) in the background. So if I seem strangely disjointed as you read through the post, you now know why. (P.S. I haven't been on Twitter lately either as it's been one party after the other and I had to sneak away to write this post so we'll keep this short and sweet-ish.)

Moving on, if you're still craving more sweets after all the Christmas treats you've, no doubt, stuffed your face with, today's polish will only serve to whet your appetite.

Sweet Tart for my sweet!

Friday, December 23, 2011

China Glaze Glittering Garland celebrates an early Merry Christmas!

Diets be damned, the coming weekend promises at least 3 days of buffet-style dinners and lots of family fun. Then, of course, there's the gifts to be given (and received!), candy canes and chocolate to be had and lots of peppermint mochas. Right after which will be the chaos of Boxing Day (I'm on the look out for a new camera but so far the Boxing Day flyers I've seen haven't looked very promising..). The only thing that would make this weekend all the better (and probably a whole lot crazier) would be a lot of that wonderful white stuff that you see drifting over your screen. It's undoubtedly bound to be a crazy busy weekend, so I truly hope your Friday is treating you well. While we're at it, let's enjoy this calm before the storm with a bit of glass-flecked magic from China Glaze:

Like green foliage on a Christmas tree!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nail Art Wednesday: Red, Gold and Green Checkered Nails

Are you as excited as we are that Christmas is almost at hand?? I know, I know, there's probably still a ton of stuff to do, but let's not forget the reason for the season. Maybe a breather or two and a nice cup of peppermint mocha should calm the holiday-weary soul. And while you're at it, how about another take on the perennial colors of Christmas:

Get into the spirit!

Monday, December 19, 2011

China Glaze Ruby Pumps takes you away from holiday induced stress

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With 7 days left before the big 2-5, I'm fairly certain that tempers are fraying and the stress of the holidays might be getting to you. If not, I applaud your cool, calm composure (grace under fire!) or your unbelievable case of procrastination ("oh, I can still do it on the 24th"). Either way, I'm of the mind that when things get more than a little crazy, I wish I could either stop time for a bit to catch my breath or click my heels and transport myself to anywhere quiet. That last bit brings to mind one of the best know red jelly and glitter polishes of all-time (incidentally also perfect for your holiday mani):

That right there is the reason why it's so popular and timeless.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Nubar Reclaim helps you reclaim the (holographic) magic of the holidays

How awesome is it that it's 9 more days till Christmas?? We've hit the single digits in the countdown! *squeeeee!* I sincerely hope you have at least half your shopping done (or about to be done this weekend), all your decorations up and at least a good idea of the dinner menu by now because 9 days is really cutting it close! Although, who am I to talk when I've just finished all my cards (finally!) and they'll be mailed tomorrow. I know they're not going to make it, but it's the thought that counts. :D If your Scrooge needs some cheering up or to take your mind off all the things that still need to be checked off from the long Christmas To Do list, take a few minutes and let this green holographic weave some of its Christmas magic:

Reclaim some of that Christmas cheer with Nubar Reclaim!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nail Art Wednesday: Gift Wrapped Nails

Today I have more Christmas-inspired nail art to get you in the Christmas spirit! I'm actually still in the process of writing out all my Christmas cards (I know, I know, I don't think they'll make it in time either, but that's procrastination for you) and I still have a stack to go through. But when it comes to gifts, I like to pride myself in being one heck of a gift giver. That's assuming I know the giftee well enough and have had enough time for reconnaissance. See, the trick is to pay attention. Throughout the year, everyone will tell whoever is willing to listen what exactly they like. People like to talk about themselves that way, whether they realize it or not. (Little trick I've learned: In most social settings, when in doubt or at a loss for words to keep a conversation going, usually asking what the other person thinks or anything that pertains to them is enough to keep the awkward silences at bay.) Once you have this information, getting the perfect gift is easy. It then becomes a waiting game to make sure I get the best deal and sometimes, when I'm lucky, I have my entire shopping list all checked out even before December hits. (As of this writing, I am officially done for a week now with all the shopping and the gift wrapping. Okay, enough gloating.) Anyway, on with the nails!

Gift wrapped with ribbons on top.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Zoya Isla is the one red to rule them all.

Don't you just love it when something as simple as changing your nail polish color or putting on a bright lipstick can up your confidence level and make your day seem just a little better? While I'm all about the blues (music and color but that's about it), red holds a special place in my polish loving heart. It's such a classic color that matches just about anything and can be worn at different occasions and most places (if your workplace denies you the joy of sporting red nails, I feel your pain). A great red polish is a wonderful way to add a pop of color to an otherwise drab winter outfit. It's definitely a great way to join in on the Christmas spirit! Starting the week right, we're taking a look at one of my all-time favourite red polishes:

Zoya Isla in all its lit from within gorgeousness.

Friday, December 9, 2011

China Glaze Lighthouse

Yellow isn't really my color. I can't pull it off the same way I can't do a pastel peach. (Both shades come out looking weird with my skintone.) But in continuing with the red, gold and green series we'll be doing all month long, I find myself reviewing a yellow anyway.  Before I picked this up, I had only one other yellow in my collection that I primarily use for nail art purposes. Well, two if you count a color changing polish I have from In the Mood (will do a review on that when it gets colder! :D) that's yellow when warm and orange when cold.  So when I asked Mr. J to help me pick out a color when I was last at Sally Beauty, he picked this yellow, rationalizing that I didn't have a lot to begin with. But where does it fall in with the red, gold and green part of the deal? Well, this one can pass for gold with the bling of glass flecks and microglitter.

See what I mean?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Indulge without the Splurge: December 8, 2011

How's your Christmas shopping list looking like? I've got only 3 more presents left to shop for and I am DONE. Yesssssss. I can finally focus on trying to figure out what to bake for the holidays. I think the usual spread of cookies are out as Mr. J isn't allowed to eat much by way of sweets, so I've been thinking about doing something savory instead and saving the cookies as giveaways for friends and co-workers.  But if you still have a ways to go before being done with all the shopping (or maybe you're looking for more presents for yourself, hehe), I've got some great deals and warehouse sales that might interest you:
  • Urban Outfitters wants you to save up to 70% off their regular retail prices! Shop online or look for one near you here.
  • Guess is offering 25% off purchases when you spend $100 or more until December 18, 2011. The sale is on in stores and online, not valid towards the purchase of gift cards.
  • Smart Set Canada is giving out a $10 savings card with any purchase.  The card is redeemable on any purchase from January 19 - February 8, 2012 with no minimum amount needed to spend in order to redeem the savings. The card may not be combined with any other promotion or toward the purchase of pink sticker items.  Click here for more information regarding this offer.
  • Jacob Canada is offering 40% off the regular price of all merchandise.  This excludes the new collection, lingerie and beauty products.  Also not applicable at Jacob Outlet stores and online prices reflect the discount.  Offer valid for a limited time only.
  • Le Chateau Canada is offering a printable coupon for 30% off all boots, coats and sweaters.  Not valid at outlet stores or online.  Coupon expires December 11, 2011.
  • From December 6 until December 13, American Eagle has all sweaters & sweatshirts 40% off. Discount applies to both online and in-store.  No coupon or code is required as prices all reflect the discount. 
  • Receive a free sample of Skyn Icelandic Relief Eye Cream from the Bay with this printable coupon.  Present at the Skyn Icelandic counter at The Bay to receive your sample. Valid until December 18, 2011.
  • Save 40% off select styles at Banana Republic. Valid in store, until December 14, 2011.
  • Save 30% off all boots, coats & sweaters at Le Chateau with this printable coupon. Valid in stores, until December 11, 2011.
  • Save 50% off almost everything online at Yves Rocher. Offer excludes everyday low priced items like Beautiful Buy products, Culture Bio, some gifts and some new items. Valid until December 21, 2011.
There are a bunch of warehouse sales that are happening at the International Centre in Mississauga so for all of you west of GTA, you're in luck! Among the sales happening are Parasuco, Fruits and Passion, Crocs and Umbra. Great place to grab some gifts for Christmas! For more info, click here.

Go, go, go ahead, Indulge! Happy (Christmas) shopping!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nail Art Wednesday: Peppermint Candy Inspired Red and White Nails

One of the best things about the holidays are the Christmas treats that we can all rely on to appear every year. Now, I'm not particularly fond of eggnog (I'm thinking I have yet to taste a really good recipe for it and the one you buy in cartons just aren't the best) but the gajillion chocolate treats that pop up each year are definitely a big hit! One of my favorite drinks from coffee shops is their cafe mocha (no surprise there), but with a dash of peppermint, it suddenly says "Happy Holidays"! Isn't it funny how certain food/tastes convey different events? Like turkey is to Thanksgiving, so is peppermint is to Christmas! It happened that I was munching on a peppermint candy cane while brainstorming ideas for holiday nail art. This is what I ended up doing:

Peppermint Candy Canes and Peppermint Candy inspired nails

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Truckload Tuesdays: Hail the Nail Mail and a note to all my lovely readers

You know that saying that goes: when it rains, it pours? That's exactly how this past week was. After griping on Twitter about how long it's been taking my Models Own order to get to me while (it felt like) everyone else has already gotten theirs, and awaiting other similar packages, I finally get ALL of them last week! I do have to say that I have a sneaking suspicion that our mailman is either lazy or not all there. A few weeks ago, I got a package that he(/she?) jammed into our mailbox so well that Mr. J and I needed some quick thinking to get it dislodged. Enter a couple of screwdrivers and a lot of pulling. Luckily, while the box was decimated, the contents were perfectly fine. Now, just last week, instead of dropping off the packages at the door, I get mail notices that say I'd have to pick up my packages at the nearest post office. You have to understand that we live only about 2 minutes walking distance from those mail boxes. So, yeah..

Anyway, I'm just really, really ecstatic to finally get them all in one go! :D

Mail love from Mary (aka Mellinail). I'm really grateful she found my first Chanel for me!

I love how eco-friendly and snug this packaging was.

The Super Powers Collection. That blue is my new all time favorite blue.

Some "magic fish food" to whet your polish appetite.

I thought it was funny that it came in such a huge box!

The Beetlejuice Collection. Not as duochrome-y as I thought, but still pretty good.

I also got the Kobo eReader I got last Cyber Monday but Mr. J promptly gift wrapped it and told me I couldn't play with it till after Christmas before I could get any photos. That's one more thing to look forward to, then! Don't you just love it when the universe conspires to make it feel like Christmas came early?


I've been putting off announcing this as I've been hoping I can get around circumstances. Hammie insists that I must admit defeat though when I realize how busy things will get and how much scrambling I've yet to do to get the house in order. No, it's not anything particularly bad. It just so happens that my in-laws are coming over to visit for Christmas and will be staying with us till the end of January. I doubt I can do new swatches once they arrive (they'll be here next Wednesday!) so I've been doing swatching marathons when I can to make sure I'll have enough material to use while they're here. So the bad news is that I might not have swatches of the polishes I featured above until early February (which is probably for the best as the Super Powers Collection won't be available till February, anyway). I might not also be as vigilant with the Indulge without the Splurge posts, depending on how busy things will be. While I will be scaling back a bit, rest assured that you'll still get the polish posts every Monday and Friday, as well as the nail art posts on Wednesdays. 

We do hope you'll understand how crazy the holidays can be, especially with family over. So let us be the first to wish you a very happy, crazy and fun Christmas season!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Nubar Prize is a win to any sparkle fiend

The weather forecast calls for some cooling temperatures, especially at the start of the week. I doubt that'll make any grumpy, Monday-hating anyone do a 180. In fact, I'd think they'd feel vindicated. "See, I told you so." But I've never been one to wallow in bad thoughts. That's just not the best way to go about life. So I figured, why not start the week with some holographic awesomeness from Nubar to perk things up?

Scattered holo makes Monday blahs go bye-bye.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rimmel London 60 Seconds Camouflage ushers in the Christmas cheer with greens and golds

I don't know about you, but when you combine red, green and gold the first thing that comes to mind is Christmas, my absolutest, favoritest time of the year! (And maybe that song by Culture Club..) So throughout the month, you'll see a smattering of red, green and gold polishes here at Polished Indulgence. We're kickstarting the month with one of my green pretties that has a gold shimmer to it from another cheapie but goody brand that my cousin swears by (a mommy who can only get her nails done if they dry faster than her little boy can climb out of his crib).

[Red] Gold and green, [red] gold and greeeeen...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Indulge without the Splurge: December 1, 2011

How is it December already? I haven't even done my Christmas shopping list yet, let alone started to get anyone anything! Although, with all the great deals from the past weeks, I probably should've. Mr. J and I did manage to score a really good deal on a 40" TV that we price matched at Future Shop to bring the price down to $450 (reg. price: $650). I also (finally!) got myself a Kobo Touch (early Christmas present!) at Walmart for $108 (reg. price: $139.99). So all in all it was a pretty good Black Friday weekend for us. :) Anyway, there are some noteworthy deals still kicking around and here they are:
  • Friends and Family Sale: Save 30% on All Merchandise Online and In-Store. Note that sizes, styles and quantities are limited. Free standard shipping is available on orders over $99. The sale prices will expire on December 4 at 11:59pm EST.
  • Buy 1, Get 1 Free on select apparel & accessories till December 4, 2011.
  • Banana Republic: Today through December 4, you can take 40% off regular priced items in stores and online. If you'll be shopping online, enter promo code BRCHOL40 at checkout. To shop in stores, print off this email and present it to your cashier.
  • The Gravity Pope footwear is hosting a two part sale event: save 15% on all regular-priced items until December 4, and 20-50% off select fall 2010 footwear until December 24. Shipping is $15 for the first item, $5 for additional items. Shoppers in BC and Alberta also have the option of picking up their items in store, but will still be charged a $10 "transfer charge."
  • Town Shoes is running a sale where you can save up to 50% off their fall and winter collection. Maximize your savings when you print off this coupon to save an additional 10% off your first sale item; If you are buying more than one item, you will also save 20% off your second sale item (items that are 50% off or more are not included). This coupon is valid until December 11, 2011. 
  • Get Lucky with Aldo: select styles are up to 50% off. Use promo code getlucky75985 to save an extra 15% on top of that! Shipping from is free on orders over $50, and $5 per order when you spend less than $50.
  • Save 30% off your entire purchase at The Body Shop.Valid online till December 4, 2011. Also, shipping is free on all orders of $75 or more.
  • Receive a FREE sample of Tresor Midnight Rose from the Bay.You must present this printable coupon at the Lancome counter to get your freebie. Valid until December 11, 2011.
  • Garage Clothing Canada is offering a printable coupon for 25% off your entire purchase or 30% off your purchase when you spend $100 or more.  Valid on all regular, sale and promotional merchandise.  Enter the promo code FACEBOOKOFF or WEBFF at the checkout to receive your discount or print off the coupon above for use in store.  Promotion runs until December 4 in stores and December 5 (6AM EST) online. 
  • Shop online at Eddie Bauer and receive up to 50% off all sweaters!
 Some warehouse sales that might be worth going to over the weekend:
  • Roots Sample Sale
    Get up to 80% off at the annual Roots Sale. This is a cash-only sale. Please bring one non perishable food item to donate!

    December 3-4, 2011
    Sat 8AM-3PM
    Sun 9AM-2PM
    75 Tycos Drive
    Toronto, Ontario

    December 1-2, 2011
    Thu 10AM-5:30PM
    Fri 10AM-5PM
    1400 Castlefield Avenue
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Revlon / Johnson & Johnson Warehouse Sale
    Save up to 75% off Cosmetics and Skincare featuring Revlon, Almay, L’Oreal, Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, Dove, Axe, Garnier, Listerine, and more. Save up to 80% off fragrances from brands like Burberry, CK, Lacoste, Hugo Boss, Givenchy, Tommy Hilfiger, Davidoff, Ralph Lauren, Hummer, Elizabeth Arden, Perry Ellis, Versace, Diesel, Guess and more. Save up 70% off mens and ladies apparel from Haggar!

    November 30th to December 4th, 2011
    Wednesday - Friday 10-8pm
    Saturday - 10-6pm
    Sunday - 11-5pm
    International Centre Hall 6
    6900 Airport rd, Mississauga, Ontario
    Corner of (Derry Rd & Airport Rd )
Any good deals that you scored from last weekend's Black Friday/Cyber Monday events? Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Go ahead, Indulge! :)

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    Nail Art Wednesday: Movember Moustache Nails with a Gaming Geek Twist

    With November coming to a close, I thought it would be appropriate to end it donning moustachioed nails in support of Movember, the annual fund raising event for men's health and prostate cancer research. Mr. J participated unofficially (in all honesty I think this was about the only time he felt it was justified to sport any sort of facial hair) so I'm beyond ecstatic to have his face back. Now, I wanted to put my own twist to it and didn't want it to be just like any other moustachioed nails. I thought about doing different types of moustaches on each nail but wanted to take it a step further: why not sport famous moustaches based on video game characters? I love me some video games (in fact, Mr. J and I met while playing a video game but that's a story to tell on another day) so what better way to incorporate that with Movember?

    Can you guess who's who? Three are easily recognizable but the villains aren't as easy to place.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Truckload Tuesdays: Sally Beauty Steals and a Mini Review

    No, I did not steal from Sally Beauty but for the price of the polishes that I got, it sure felt like I did! I did a quick run last weekend and ended up going home with five new pretties.

    Gift set that I got for $8.99 + taxes.

    Back of the box set.

    L-R: Fowl Play, Sweet Peacock and Lucky Duck

    This boxed set was such a no-brainer. Three full-sized Orly polishes and a pretty faux suede wristlet with feather accents for only $8.99 (with a Sally Beauty Club card)? Yes, please! I've been wanting to get my hands on Fowl Play since it came out but I waited, thinking that I'd rather get Cult Nails Unicorn Puke/Clairvoyant over it. Good thing I did and scored a great deal with this set! Better still that the two other polishes that came with it were the exact same colors I also wanted from the collection. I guess this is one of those few, few moments where delaying and waiting till the last minute makes it worth it?

    Impulse buys: China Glaze Lighthouse and Glittering Garland, and a hand cream

    I saw that China Glaze was also on sale and $1 off if you purchase 2 so I figured it was a good time to get Glittering Garland. I've been looking for Emerald Sparkle and have never seen it anywhere so when Glittering Garland came out, I was pretty excited that it would make a good substitute for now. Plus, it was a flakie. You know I had to have a flakie. Lighthouse was the hubby's pick since he says I don't have enough yellow. (As a matter of fact I only have a single yellow in my stash. Well, unless you count a color changing polish that changes from yellow to orange, then that would make it two.)

    As for the hand cream, the cheapie/discount sucker in me couldn't pass up a 99 cent deal at the counter. *sigh* You can never have enough hand cream, can you?

    Yuletide Vanilla by Beyond Belief (strange name for a brand)

    Ingredient list at the back.

    A dollop of the hand cream on skin.

    I wish I can say that this is the best 99 cents I've ever spent on a hand cream but really, you get what you paid for. I do like that it's not particularly greasy feeling but I don't feel it's very moisturizing to begin with. It'll work for those my-hands-are-parched-beyond-belief-and-I'll-take-even-bacon-drippings-to-moisturize moments (that might explain the brand name..?), otherwise, don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed. As for the Yuletide Vanilla scent, it really doesn't smell particularly yultide-y or vanilla-y. I find the bergamot overpowers any sweetness from the vanilla that it actually smells like a perfume you'd expect an older lady to wear. No, don't get me wrong. It doesn't smell bad. But it's such a strong smell and you know what they say about too much of a good thing..? That.

    The moral of this story is to never pick up anything from the counter, no matter how tempting or cheap that something might be. Put the blinders on, pay for your purchases and leave with quality products that you wanted in the first place. Don't make the same mistake I did.

    Hammie asks: Are you an impulse shopper? Do you delay purchases till the last minute to score a better deal or do you jump on the bandwagon as soon as the next big beauty thing comes along?

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    NYC In A New York Minute Scenestealer Grey can gladly steal any scene

    You know when something's so bad, it's good? Think stinky tofu (it's not called stinky for nothing but I heard it tastes awesome) or Rick Astley (I apologize in advance to any Rick Astley fans who might be reading this). I suppose the same can be said for Zoolander, the satirical comedy that poked fun at the fashion industry and the models that everyone wanted to be like. I particularly thought Ben Stiller as the slow but well meaning male model, Derek Zoolander, was a riot. And one of his "signature looks" is what immediately came to mind when I saw today's polish:

    Blue Steel: "I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is." (Image Credits)

    Steel blue shimmery awesomeness.

    Friday, November 25, 2011

    Pam's Girly Bits: Stormy Skies and Street Magic helps you Sea's the Day

    I'm really excited to show you a couple polishes from the Pam's first Girly Bits collection: Sea's the Day today! Pam, a fellow Canadian blogger, has really exceeded expectations with these lovelies. Really, not much intro is needed when these two can speak for themselves. First up, the packaging and after the jump, the polishes themselves!

    The packaging it comes in. Very Girly (Bits)!

    I love the personalized touches. Really shows the love put into these.

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Indulge without the Splurge: US Thanksgiving Weekend 2011

    First off, a big Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends! Apart from all the yummy noms you'll most likely be gorging yourselves with tonight, Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales are another thing to be excited about. If you're not crossing the border to partake in deeply discounted deals (oooh, alliteration love!), we do have some Canadian versions of the deals that may be worth looking into this weekend. Don't expect the best discounts though, as I think Boxing Day sales are still among the best deals you'll ever encounter up north.

    ***There are a lot of deals available for the weekend, but I'm limiting it to the ones that I think are of the best value.

    • Receive a free sample of Purity Made Simple One Step Cleanser by Philosophy at the Bay counters with this printable coupon. Valid till November 27, 2011.
    • Crocs Canada has a buy 1 (sale item), get 1 free on any sale item on November 24 (TODAY) only. Note that these sale items are already discounted up to 60% off. Choose from a variety of shoes for men, women and kids. Valid only online and shipping is a flat rate of $9.99.
    • Banana Republic has a great Black Friday deal available in store only. Get 40% off  before 1pm, and a discount of 25% off after 1pm on November 25, 2011 only. Note that the discount does not apply to bags, shoes, Monogram, Heritage Collection, 100% cashmere and third party merchandise.
    • Get 25% off and free shipping on any regular priced dress at French Connection with coupon code: HOLIDAYDRESS. This code is valid till December 4, 2011. To receive 30% off regular priced coats and jackets until November 30, 2011, use coupon code: COLDOUTSIDE. Note that you can only use one coupon code at a time and both deals are only available online.
    • Square One in Mississauga has a whole bunch of deals from a lot of its stores! Express, the US clothing retailer, just opened a new store and are bring Black Friday to Canada. Today, November 24th till noon on Friday, November 25th, enjoy 40% off the entire store. After 12pm on Friday, enjoy 30% for the rest of the day. Click here for more info on all the other deals be had at Square One.
    • For a limited time, all items in store and online are 30% off at Jacob, including previously marked down items. For online shoppers, remember that shipping is free on orders over $25!
    • Sephora has some great value sets for $12 available online and in store this Friday only. The fine print reads: Limit of two (2) of each Exclusive Beauty Deals product per client. Exclusive Beauty Deals skus retail for $12 CAD. Valid through 11/25/11 11:59pm PST or while supplies last. Exclusive Beauty Deals products not available at Sephora inside jcpenney stores.
      Sephora reserves the right to end or change this promotion at any time. Get a preview of the deals on their Facebook page.
    • H&M is hosting a sale available in stores only this Friday. Some of the deals to be had includes: Tops starting at $5, Dresses starting at $10, Knitwear starting at $15, Men’s shirts starting at $15, Kids denim starting at $7.
    • For Black Friday, Club Monaco Canada is offering an additional 30% off already reduced merchandise both in store and online. Deal is valid from November 25-27, 2011.
    • American Eagle Outfitters/Aerie/77 Kids Canada is wants you to save an additional 40% off your entire purchase.  Use the promo code  72429831 at the checkout to receive your discount. No code or coupon needed for shopping in store. Promo runs from November 23-26, 2011.

      Hammie says: Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping!

      Wednesday, November 23, 2011

      Nail Art Wednesday: Calgary Flames Nails

      After I did the Toronto Maple Leafs nail art in honor of Mr. J's birthday, I've had a nagging feeling that kept telling me that I needed to be fair and do one for the Calgary Flames, too. It could very well just have been Hammie with his subliminal messages, but wherever the thought came from, I knew it had to be done. See, I'm not originally from Toronto. I lived on the opposite end of the country, closer to the gorgeous Rockies in Calgary before moving here and that was where I first learned to appreciate hockey. I have a theory that wherever you first fall in love with the sport is where your loyalties will lie, no matter where you move in the future. So even if I now count Toronto as home, I still root for the Flames (Sorry, Leafs..). What better way to show your support even without a jersey or face paint on than to wear them proudly on your nails?

      Go Flames!

      Tuesday, November 22, 2011

      Nuance by Salma Hayek Beautiful Blends Eye Quad in Neutral 80

      Earlier this month, we looked at Salma Hayek's lip quad that I got from a CVS trip when I was last down south. It was the unique pod-like packaging that drew me in, as well as the promise of natural and organic products. If the lip quad wasn't to your liking, I actually did get an eye quad (Nuance by Salma Hayek Beautiful Blends Eye Quad in Neutral 80 to be exact), too, that looks exactly the same on the outside. In fact, if you threw both of these in a makeup bag, expect to mix them up at least 80% of the time. 100% of the time if you're anything like me. Now, I skipped the photos on how these can be opened as it works exactly the same as the lip quad so I'll forgo the packaging commentary and go directly into product photos and swatches after the jump.

      Disclaimer: Now, I won't pretend to know what exactly I'm talking about as I'm no makeup artist. What I do know is more out of necessity and if you're looking to see eye looks, you'll be disappointed. My skills need some leveling up before I go public with that so this will be more about my personal experience with the product, apart from the token product photos and color swatches.

      Not to be confused with the lip quad.

      Monday, November 21, 2011

      Zoya Ibiza makes pre-winter blues a good thing

      After all is said and done, the one color I'll always go back to is blue. While I was reviewing my most recent posts, I've realized that I've all but cast aside my favorite. Something had to be done with this injustice! To make up for my straying eyes (no, Blue, it's always been you!), I've resolved to showcase my all-time favorite vampy blue also in an effort to see the good in these pre-winter blues.

      Doesn't that just blue you away?

      Friday, November 18, 2011

      Butter London No More Waity Katie fuses girly glitter with a moody purple

      Butter London polishes may not hail from London, but they still have the character to back the name up. Born from an actual nail salon in the US that branched out into creating their own product line, Butter London nail lacquers have won many a nailphile over with amazing formulas and highly coveted shades. Easily, I'm one of their newest fans. If you recall from this previous Truckload Tuesday post, I had three new lovelies join my collection. It was hard to decide which one to wear first but eventually the glitter won out.

      No More Waity Katie: chic and edgy all at once.

      Thursday, November 17, 2011

      Indulge without the Splurge: November 17, 2011

      Last weekend had some early Friends and Family Sales from various shops. This week, the deals don't stop. A really good thing for everyone who's trying to get a head start on their Christmas shopping or looking to winterize their wardrobe. I've also quite a bit of warehouse sales that you might want to hit up. If you decide to and want to maximize the experience, I've got some tips from this week's Truckload Tuesday. Anyway, on with the deals!
      • Aeropostale Canada is offering 40% off your entire purchase in store and online.  Use the promo code AEROFRIENDS at the checkout to receive your discount or print off this coupon to use in store. Excludes fragrances. Valid from November 17-20, 2011.
      • COACH Factory Outlet is offering an extra 30% off till November 20th 2011. No coupon necessary but if you feel more comfortable having it by all means go ahead and do so.
      • Mark's Work Wearhouse Canada is offering a free $20 gift card when you purchase $100 worth of gift cards. Gift cards must be purchased between November 16-27, 2011.  Bonus gift card valid December 1, 2011 - April 1, 2012. The bonus gift card cannot be used towards the purchase of gift cards or for online orders. Mark's is also holding a Friends and Family Event on Saturday, November 26, 2011 from 5PM-11PM local time. Save 20% off all regular and sale priced merchandise!
      • Save 20% off your entire purchase at Bath & Body Works. Valid November 17, 2011 only. But fear not if you miss today's event! They're also having a home fragrance event this Saturday November 19th from 10am to 3pm.  They are giving away a FREE gift (approximate $20 value) with any home fragrance purchase. Other awesome promos they have on going are the following:
        • Signature Collection body care 3 for $25 or 2 for $18
        • FREE Merry Mistletoe lip gloss with the purchase of a 14.5oz Merry Mistletoe candle.
        • Anti-bacterial pocketbacs 3 for $5
        • Anti-bacterial Hand soaps 5 for $20
        • Anti-bacterial moisturizing hand lotion 2 for $5
        • New minis to go 3 for $10
      • GTA-based Civello Spas has a Gift Card offer running TODAY ONLY: purchase a Gift Card with a value between $200-$500 and get another card of the same value for free! The complimentary gift cards can be redeemed for spa or services starting January 1, 2012. They can't be used for hair services or product purchases. Civellos Spas has four GTA locations. This offer is only valid online, but keep in mind that the second, complimentary, gift card will not appear in your cart, although it will be shipped with your order. I've never actually tried this spa so I can't vouch for how good the services will be. I have to admit, that's one heck of a deal tho!
      • Bootlegger Canada is offering 25% off everything in store and online for Bootlegger Cardholders. The discount will automatically be applied online when a valid Bootlegger card is on account or added in your cart for purchase.  Promo runs from November 18-20, 2011. No Bootlegger Club Card?  Purchase one online for $10. It'll come in handy if you frequent the store.
      • Dynamite Canada is offering 20% off your entire purchase during their Ladies Night on November 17, 2011 from 5PM-9PM local time. A free gift bag (value: $50) will be given for every purchase of $40 or more, while quantities last.
      • Ebeauty is offering a 15% off discount with the code: Paris15. The offer expires on November 30th, 2011 and cannot be combined with any other offer or towards the purchase of gift-cards. Free shipping to Canada is also being offered for a limited time.Also, free gifts are included with certain purchases, while quantities last.
      • My Top Drawer (lingerie, swimwear, shapewear, sleepwear) is having a huge sale to celebrate their 10th anniversary until November 20, 2011. The sale includes 10%, 25%, 40% up to 70% off the original retail price in all four of the stores locations. They are also offering BOGO on select matching panties.
      • For a limited time Ricki's is having a big ol' sweater sale: Buy 1 Get One for $25 in store or Buy 2 Get 25% off online.
      • Macs Canada Freebie Alert! Till November 21, 2011, get a FREE small Tazo tea with this coupon at participating Macs locations in Ontario. Just what you need to warm up in this brrr...cold weather!
      • Save 25% off all dresses at Addition Elle. Valid online and in store. Sale starts November 16, 2011.
      • Cake Beauty Canada is offering 30% off your entire online purchase.  Use the promo code: give at the checkout to receive your discount.  Offer includes limited edition holiday gift sets.  Free shipping on all orders $75 or more.  Valid until November 18, 2011.
      • Soft Moc has some discounted boots by up to 50% off with lots of styles to choose from. Their wide selection of handbags is also on sale for up to 50% off, so it's a good time for matchy-matchy outfits. Note that shipping to your local Soft Moc for in store pick up is free.
      • From Starbucks for all you coffee lovers out there: Buy one, get one free on Starbucks Holiday Drinks! This offer is valid for purchases between 2-5pm on November 17th - 20th. 
      •  There are two great sale events starting at The Body Shop this week. Buy a bag for $5 and save 30% off everything that fits inside + receive 6 weeks of FREE gifts in store. Save 30% off everything online. Both promotions exclude 750mL jumbo shower gels, prepackaged gifts, gift cards, Love Your Body memberships and charitable items. Sales start November 16, 2011.
      • Winterizing your shoe wardrobe has never been so easy! Head over at Naturalizer where all boots are on sale! Use the coupon code NATCA10 to save an additional 10% when checking out. Shipping is $5 for your first item and $2 for each additional item in your order.
      • Save up to 50% off on all outerwear (coats, jackets, vests) for a limited time at Forever21. No promo code necessary.
      • For four hours today, 5pm-9pm, save 40% off the entire store (regular priced merchandise only) both in store and online at Suzy Shier. Prestige members enjoy additional 10% off on top of the promotional discount! All down puffers are also 50% off.
      • I know this isn't strictly fashion or beauty related for humans, but it sure is for pets! Petcetera has some awesome deals for your furry friends:                                   Full selection of rawhide 50% off.
        Holiday dog toys 50% off starting at $2.49.
        50% off full assortment of Holiday fashions and fall/winter fashions.
        Holiday cat toys 50% off starting at $2.49.
        50% off complete assortment of plush toys.
        60% off complete assortment of pet beds
        75% off assorted leashes and collars.
        50% off complete assortment of exercise pens and pet crates.
        75% off complete assortment of Petcetra cat trees.
        *Holiday grooming special: receive a free bag of Royal Canin dry cat food 1.57kg or dry dog food 1.98kg (up to $28.99 value) FREE with a full service groom.*
      The round up of warehouse sales happening over the weekend:
      • West 49 is holding a warehouse closing sale in Burlington, Ontario. Note that all sales are final and no exchanges or returns allowed. 
                November 16-20, 2011
                 Millcroft Plaza, Burlington, ON (click here to see map)
      • American Apparel is bringing their Warehouse Sale tour to Edmonton! Expect tens of thousands of American Apparel garments at up to 90% off. Inventory will be constantly replenished throughout the sale but be sure to get there early! RSVP to the Facebook event page to receive updates, tips, and be the first to know when new styles arrive. Cash, credit and debit accepted; all items final sale.
               November 18-21, 2011
               9AM - 9PM

              SHAW Conference Centre
              Assembly Level Hall C
              9797 Jasper Avenue Northwest
              Edmonton, AB T5J 1N9
      •  Winter Designer Sample Sale: For 4 days only, save up to 80% on a wide variety of apparel for men and women from brands such as: True Religion, Rock and Republic, New Monarchy Collection, J Brand, Paige, Seven for all Mankind, Sand, Pure, and G-Star just to name a few.
               November 24-27, 2011
               Thu-Fri 11AM-12AM
               Sat-Sun 11AM-10PM
               Sheraton Hotel
               600 Hwy 7 E & Leslie
               Richmond Hill, Ontario
      • Siga International is hosting this year's Nautica Sportswear Warehouse Sale featuring discounts of up to 80% off retail on brands such as Nautica, Bugatti, Pure, Mouse Ji, and Bruun Stengade just to name a few!

        November 17-20, 24-26, 2011
        Thu-Fri 10AM-6PM
        Sat-Sun 11AM-4PM
        81 St. Regis Crescent
        Toronto, Ontario
      • Get huge savings on your favorite brands such as Bench, Mavi, Silver, Buffalo, YDE, Guess, Lucky 7 and much more at the Jean Machine Warehouse Sale. Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Interac, and cash all accepted.

        November 17-20, 2011
        Thu-Fri 11AM-8PM
        Sat 11AM-7PM
        Sun 11AM-6PM
        4069 Gordon Baker Road
        Scarborough, Ontario
      • Save up to 75% on men, women, and kids apparel and footwear at this year's Geox Warehouse Sale in Vaughan.

        November 10-20, 2011
        Mon-Wed 11AM-7PM
        Sat-Sun 9AM-5PM
        361 Applewood Crescent
        Concord, Ontario  
      • Enjoy savings of up to 80% off on a huge collection of cosmetics and fragrances from brands such as Elizabeth Arden, Red Earth Cosmetics, Britney Spears, Armani, Baby Phat, Burberry, CK, Gucci, Guess, and Givenchy just to name a few at Lisa's Cosmetics and Fragrances Warehouse Sale!

        November 19-22, 25-28
        December 2-5, 2011
        1380 Rodick Road
        Markham, Ontario   
      Whew! That's a lot of deals and sales! I think I've got my work cut out for me as I doubt it'll lessen the closer to the Christmas holidays we get.

        Wednesday, November 16, 2011

        Nail Art Wednesday: Rainbow Zebra Patterned Nails

        Whenever I see these pretty colorful nail art, I can't help but rave about them. It looks like so much fun! But you wouldn't catch me sporting them on my own nails. I guess I'm more of a "subtle nail art" kinda girl where I prefer tone on tone color combinations as compared to high contrast ones. I recently had a hankering for some rainbow goodness to combat the grey, dreary fall days and decided to go with high shine instead of high color saturation. I was thinking of layering it with a black crackle to tie it all together but remembered I've been meaning to play a bit more with the makeshift black stamping polish I discovered (thanks to stamper extraordinaire, Marta!). This is what I came up with:

        Subtle but with enough oomph to pack a punch.

        Tuesday, November 15, 2011

        Truckload Tuesdays: Shiseido Warehouse Sale Madness

        I'm a huge sucker for deep discount sales. But when it's high end brands that have products going at fairly affordable prices, I'm a goner. Needless to say, I went more than a little crazy at the Shiseido Warehouse Sale last Saturday. I learned a lot from my first foray last year so this year's was relatively painless, even though my wallet disagrees. First up, loot photos!

        The lot of it (not all mine though). I forgot to include a boxed gift set so that's the only one missing.

        The part that's mine. (I know, still A LOT.)

        Joico K-PAK Reconstructive Conditioners and Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

        NARS Skin Toners and Nail Polish

        Shiseido Skincare Products (my stash for a whole year)

        Shiseido Cosmetics

        I was really looking forward to getting a NARS Multiple something but most of what they had were bronzers and I don't really use bronzers so I passed. I also wanted to pick up some of the Shiseido sunscreen products but it was the first item to sell out. It was ridiculous. I saw women taking 4 bottles at a time! Lucky that Mr. J found those Sun Protection foundation sticks. He actually braved the rabid horde of women at the skincare section to grab a couple for me while I was checking out the cosmetics area. So proud of him! In case you were wondering, they also had the whole spectrum of liquid foundations from both Shiseido and NARS, as well as eyeshadow, primers, lipstick and lip gloss, blushes, bronzers, highlighters...everything! I just didn't get eyeshadow because I need another like I do a hole in the head. I might have gone crazy but not so crazy that I even limited my nail polish purchases to only 3. My biggest regret is that I didn't grab more when I found out how amazingly cheap they were selling for. Oh, well. There's always next year. Or next May.

        Brand new, just not in the box.

        Definitely unused!

        Perfectly intact.

        Sealed! (The blue one I tampered with. :P)

        If you're hesitant about purchasing products from a warehouse sale, don't be. They provide testers so that the products you do purchase are intact and even sealed, albeit without a box. The NARS toners I got were still sealed in boxes though, but I think they're the exception to the rule. These aren't close to expiry either. All of the skincare products I purchased had their expiry pegged at 2013. That's a good leeway. If I had to make a guess, these are products that were over-ordered and are taking up too much space in the warehouse. Some of the cosmetics shades are from relatively current collections, too. One of the NARS nail polishes I got is Desperado from the Spring 2011 collection. Whereas there are others that are from older releases like another NARS polish I got: Midnight Express. But what about prices? Was it worth the hassle of waiting for at least an hour to get inside and then having to deal with little old ladies who surprisingly shove pretty hard?

        ***The retail prices above were gleaned from various websites including, and and are mostly in USD so the savings in CDN might even be significantly larger than shown. 

        As you can see from the chart above, you can easily get as much as 50% off your total purchase price. Notice though how much different the discount rates are for the various products. The Shiseido skincare products are some of the lower discount rates. But the NARS Skin toners are among some of the deeper discounts. In fact, I'll make a sweeping generalization and say that the NARS products have better discounts than the Shiseido ones. Now, if you're wondering if it's just all about NARS and Shiseido, fear not! If you're an Orlane fan, they also had their skin care products available, as well as hair care products from salon brands like Evolve, Bain de Terre and Joico that are all also heavily discounted. A perfume section is also present with brands like Issey Miyake and Jean Paul Gaultier with fragrances for both men and women. They even had gift sets with prices that range from $35-$50 that would make for great Christmas presents for any perfume enthusiast.

        Now that I have you convinced that hitting up these warehouse sales are definitely worth the effort, how exactly does one go about it without going bankrupt and/or getting the most out of it? Here are a few things I've had to learn the hard way from last year's first foray and this year's better experience.
        • Do your research. I cannot stress this enough. First, know when and where the warehouse sales will be. Find out if there's ample parking or if it would be better to either carpool with a friend or be dropped off by the hubby. That's one less thing to stress about. Second, find out what brands/products will be available and which of them you definitely want. Know the retail prices of each so you can decide if the prices at the warehouse sale make them worth getting. Go to the product counters at your local mall so you can swatch products in advance and consult what products would be best for your skin care needs.
        • Draw out a plan of attack. Mr. J and I are all about efficiency. He holds the bags and stands to the side while I work through the crowds to get the products. I also brief him prior to going to the sale so that he knows what to look out for if I miss them. Photos are especially helpful.
        • Come early. "The early bird gets the worm." If you really want something that is liable to sell out fast, be prepared to arrive at least half an hour earlier than the warehouse sale start time. It might mean an extra half hour of queuing but it might guarantee you getting the product you want. (I learned this from missing out on the sunscreen.)
        • Dress appropriately. Expect to be on your feet, in line, for at least an hour or so. Be kind to your feet (and legs) and leave the heels at home. Dress warmly if you're coming to the November sale. You'll be standing around in the cold in an open space near an airport so when the wind blows, it blows COLD.
        • Bring snacks and/or drinks in case of hunger/thirst pangs. If you come closer to lunch (10-11am), chances are you won't be having lunch till 2pm. I'd hope you had a huge breakfast or you might be cranky and rushing through when you finally get inside that you won't be able to maximize haulage.
        • Bring a buddy along. Waiting for a while with friends makes the waiting go much better. Just make sure you don't bring whiners along (that's counterproductive!). If you can't find anyone, make sure to bring a book or some form of entertainment to keep the waiting game from getting to you. At worst, start chatting up the person next in line to make a new friend.
        • Please, please, please don't bring your kids. I always feel bad for these little cuties waiting with their moms in the cold. I've seen a few full-blown tantrums, especially when the moms don't make provisions for the comfort of their children. If you must bring them, bring a stroller or folding chairs so they won't have to stand with you. Bring something to keep them occupied as well, like toys or books as well as food and drink to keep them happy. But in the rush of the crowd inside, know that having a child with you will make it harder for you to navigate inside, as well as not give you enough time to test different cosmetics.
        • Be patient, play nice but expect some shoving. Women go the craziest in the skincare section. I've been shoved, elbowed and pushed around by these little old Asian ladies that are rabid about their skincare. It's insane. But it works in my favor than I can reach over them (while saying "excuse my reach", of course) and just grab from open boxes the products I want. This is where my research comes into play as I already know what I want and have no need to ask the lady watching the counter what would work best with my skin needs.
         From last year's queue where we came later and had to wait in line for 2 hours. I forgot to take a photo this year since we waited for only about 30-40mins. FYI, the entrance is on the top far right where the people with the reflective vests are standing.

        After all is said and done, you don't really have to follow all the tips I've outlined above to get the most out of a warehouse sale experience. I've even seen husbands or boyfriends by themselves walking around with lists and giving them to the ladies who man the counters, asking them to get the items on the list for them. So really, what might work for me, may not work for you.

        Have you been to any warehouse sale? Would you be interested to hit one up after reading this post? Is there any product shown above that you'd be more interested to see an in-depth review on?
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