Friday, July 27, 2012

Indulge without the Splurge: July 27, 2012

There's a bunch of great deals going on over the weekend. Be sure to check them out:
  • All nail polishes are currently on sale at Trade Secrets, purchase one and get the second for 50% off. They carry an extensive collection of OPI, Essie, Misa and Zoya nail polishes. Stock up on favorites or pick out a new shade. Offer valid for a limited time. See store for full selection.
  • Until tomorrow, July 28th, Bath & Body Works is offering 20% off with this printable coupon. Fine print says the coupon cannot be used for gift cards, previously purchased merchandise, at the outlet, online, or at US stores.
  • Visit Nail Polish Canada today and save 30% off Color Club nail polish! Pick out your favorites then use the coupon code: CLUB30GHR. Ends July 31st. Limited stock.  Shipping is free on orders over $25 otherwise it's $5.
  • Save up to 80% off Matt & Nat vegan handbags and accessories right now. Matt & Nat are a vegan based team out of Montreal, Quebec. All of their products are made out of recycled materials! Valid until July 31, 2012.
  • There are tons of fantastic deals being offered at The Bay right now, including:

    - Free $25 Savings Card when you spend $75 or more. (Until July 29, 2012)
    - Up to 65% off clearance men’s & women’s fashions, luggage, backpacks and more. (For a limited time)
    - Up to 70% off clearance priced women’s shoes and sandals. (Until August 2, 2012)
    - Free personalized 6-piece gift when you spend $45 or more on Lancome. (Until July 29, 2012)
  • - Free 14 day sample of Clinique Long Wear Lip Gloss with this printable coupon. You must present the offer to receive the sample. (Until July 31, 2012)
  • Receive a FREE gift card worth $10-$50 when you spend $50 or more at Shoppers Drug Mart. Valid July 28, 2012 only.
  • How about a new pair of designer shoes on sale and you get to save another 20% on top of the already reduced price? That's exactly what you can expect at now through August 2 during their Summer Clearance event. One thing to keep in mind though: all clearance items are final sale so no refunds or exchanges will be given. Shipping is free when you spend a minimum of $300, but starts at $15 on orders less than $300 -- fairly steep, but given the discounts available with this sale it will still likely be worth your while in most cases. Sale ends August 2.
  • From July 30 to August 26 at participating Starbucks locations, simply show your receipt for a purchase made before 12:59pm and receive a cold Grande beverage for $2 anytime after 1pm! This offer applies to any handcrafted Grande (473 ml) cold drink - Frappuccino® blended beverages, Starbucks Refreshers™ beverages, Iced Tea, Iced Coffee and Smoothies.
  • This next deal isn't so much of discount news, but it's fantastic news for our US friends! Joe Fresh is branching the brand out to USA retailers in 2013.  They are planning on opening upwards of 700 stores! Read more here.
Go ahead, Indulge!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thrifty Adventures with Rainbow Hex Glitter

Happy Grey Thursday! I suppose there's an irony in that as grey skies aren't usually a cause for joy. But it does mean cooler temperatures and I'm definitely down with that. I was debating earlier about featuring a sunshine bright yellow as a contrast to the dreary weather. In the end, I decided to just go with a grey number with an accent nail inspired by Sammy (aka The Nailsaurus) and her Disco nails:

Grey and frosty but with a pop of color!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: Shooting Star Nails

I didn't set out to do today's particular bit of nail art on purpose. Sometimes, winging it produces results that careful planning just can't come up with. After all, just based on history, a whole bunch of the greatest scientific discoveries were made during the most inane moments. (Think Archimedes in his bath and Newton with his apple tree.) Now, that doesn't mean that I've come up with something monumental. To be quite honest, the idea for this design was something I had seen Lindsey from Neverland Nail Blog do earlier in April of this year. And she, in turn, got the idea from Asa Nisi Masa Nail Spot. I'm a sucker for ridiculously easy nail art and when I looked at the shimmery blue I already had on, a light bulb lit up somewhere.

"This would make a fantastic base for that shooting star design!", I thought. So here's my take on this cosmic mani:

To infinity...and beyond!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Maybelline Color Show Denim Dash

After neglecting the drugstore nail polish options, I realized that had to be rectified immediately. So here's a look at another readily available drugstore nail polish that performs well enough to deserve a place in your collection.

When news came out earlier this year that drugstore giant Maybelline was coming out with a completely modernized nail polish line, it had the budget beauty enthusiasts buzzing with excitement. Another option for the low end of the price scale? Praise the nail polish gods! But I was a bit more reticent. I wanted to see just how good the line was before getting all excited. When it finally rolled out at my local Wal-Mart, I was blown away. They sure weren't kidding about that update! Gone were the old lady colors. This was a rainbow mix of various trendy finishes that not even a finicky nail polish collector can scoff at. But my conservative side prevailed and I ended up with only two colors in my shopping cart. Predictably, this was one of them:

How could I resist a shimmery blue??

Monday, July 23, 2012

Essence Lime Up! (and an Apology)

Before we talk about today's featured polish, allow me to express my apologies for the radio silence last week. You heard about my back problems but that only got worse thanks to Mother Nature's monthly gift. (TMI? Oops.) Anyway, I'm feeling a whole lot better now and being able to take the week off has rejuvenated this lady's writing skillz. Thanks for bearing with me and to make it up to you, we'll shoot for a post everyday this week. (I haven't done that since I first started so it might be stretch. But we will prevail!) On to what you're here for: nail polish! 

Let me tell you a little secret: green and yellow nail polish terrify me. This, coming from a self-professed blue nail polish kinda gal. Do let me qualify that, however, by saying that vampy greens are really the only sort of green you'll see me sporting (so that's an exception to the rule). Now I'm not entirely sure why, but I'm guessing it's because these particular colors are in opposite spectrum of the blues and purples that I tend to gravitate towards. Aside from that, my experience with them hasn't been very flattering. At a recent Shoppers trip I spent a good 20 minutes ogling the surprisingly full Essence display (yes, I'm also the weird chick who likes to walk up and down the beauty section scrutinizing new displays and waves off any help because really, I'm just browsing). I kept picking up a bottle of this wonderfully strange green/yellow shade that I never would have even given a second look, except I knew with certainty that I didn't have anything like it. At all. So in an effort to broaden my color horizon, I took a chance and decided to bring it home with me. I think you'll agree it was a smart choice, as you can see:

Wonderfully strange and summery!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Indulgent Intermission: Out For the Day

Ironically, while the mercury keeps rising outdoors, I'm bundled up in bed with a heat pack as my best friend. See, I was helping out at my sis's in law pop up shop at a local night market over the weekend...and, well, I ended up throwing my back. (Underestimating those stock boxes was a gross understatement) I've been ordered to take it easy, so here I am typing out this post on my trusty tablet. Luckily, it's nowhere near as sore as it was on Sunday so I should be back on the proverbial horse tomorrow. In the meantime, how about a couple deals to check out?

Lancome has a current special gift with purchase offer ongoing on their website. Any order over $50 gets you a deluxe sized blush, mascara and lipstick among other skin care goodies with promo code BRIGHT at checkout. Better yet, if you subscribe to their newsletter, you can get 2 travel sized samples and free shipping with any order, just enter promo code JULYSHIP at checkout. (Need help with ideas? What about a couple tubes of their Rouge in Love lipsticks?)

Ebeauty just released their summer picks and bundled them all in a pretty tangerine cosmetic bag that you can purchase for a great price of $30! Here's a run down of what you'll get:
Boscia Vanilla Blotting Linens (value of $12 for 100 sheets)
Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine (deluxe sample size)
Lippy Girl Cosmetics Organic Mineral Blush (value of $15.50 for 3.5g/0.15oz.)
Mèreadesso Tinted Lip Treats (value of $28 for 1.2g/0.42oz.)
Nail Tek Mini Swarovski Crystal File in Pink (mini size)
NYX Cosmetics Xtreme Lip Gloss (value of $17.99 for 11ml)
Cargo Lash Activator Mini Mascara (deluxe sample size)
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Airbrushed Bronzer (value of $29 for 6.8g/0.23oz.)
Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer (value of $79 for 59ml/2fl.oz.)
Embossed tangerine cosmetic bag

Pretty good deals, huh? So what are you waiting for? Get those click happy shopping fingers to use! ;) (And see you tomorrow when we resume our regular programming!)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Indulge without the Splurge: July 13, 2012

Things have been quite hectic lately so I haven't been on top of the deals for a bit. There are some I'm sure you'll want to know about so here's the best of the lot this week:
  • Even though summer just finally hit full swing, at Jacob the End of Season Sale just started! You'll find savings of up to 60% on more than 300 select styles. Remember, shipping is free when you spend a minimum of $100, or $9 per order when you spend less than $100. (P.S. The lip duos are half price right now for only $5 each! Score!)
  • Save up to 70% off clearance priced women’s shoes and sandals at the Bay. Offer is valid both in-store and online. To redeem in-store, present this printable coupon at the cashier. If shopping online, enter promo code SHOE20 at checkout.
  • The French Connection Sale Section is full of great buys for the ladies (sorry gents, no menswear sale section right now). You can even get free shipping on orders over $100 with coupon code SHIP100. (You're welcome.)
  • Score some big deals on summer clothing at H&M as they've added more items to their Summer Sale with select styles for men, women, teens, and kids priced from just $5. Plus, stock up on basics for your little ones (or your favorite niece/nephew) with H&M's Buy 2 Get 1 free promo. This offer applies to kids' basics, socks, and underwear. Visit your local H&M store for more details.
  • Now is the time to stock up on your Kiehl's essentials (or to try that something you've had your eye on for so long)! Purchase any of their Customer Favourites (aka best sellers) and receive free shipping and a deluxe (larger) sample till July 18th or while quantities last. Simply enter the promo code WITH-LOVE at checkout!
  • Receive a FREE Lancome gift at the Bay (valued at up to $122) when you spend $45 or more on Lancome products. In addition, receive a $25 savings card when you spend $75 or more! Valid in store, until July 29, 2012. The free gift includes:
          - Reversible Signature Tote
          - Serum (2 Options)
          - Skincare (3 Options)
          - Dual Finish Shade
          - Your choice of (2) lip gloss, lip colour, eye shadow, mascara or makeup remover
  • P&G Canada is offering a free Olympic Games backpack when you spend $40 or more on participating P&G brands. Redemption is via mail-in rebate. The following rules apply:
          - All purchases must be made before September 6, 2012 in a single transaction
          - All forms (print the mail-in form here) must be received by October 31, 2012
          - Only two requests allowed per household
          - Valid only at stores listed at the bottom of the rebate form (Loblaws etc)
          - There is no limit to the size or version of the products listed.
  • Now through July 31, get a free Revlon Nail Polish when you spend $20 or more on cosmetics at London Drugs. To take part in this offer, print and present this coupon with your $20+ cosmetics purchase. The offer excludes clearance items and there's a limit of one coupon per purchase. London Drugs is located in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba only.
  • Save up to 90% off select items at American Apparel at their "Oops We Made Too Many" Sale! Valid for a limited time only.
  • The Body Shop is running some online-only deals right now that can make their existing offers all the better! Here's a look at the details:
           - Get $10 off $40+ with coupon code SALE1
           - Get $20 off $60+ with coupon code SALE2
           - Get $30 off $80+ with coupon code SALE3
          Add that to some of the on-going sales like the following below and you've got yourself a pretty  
          awesome deal!
           - Select Fragrance - 50% off
           - Select Body Lotion - 50% off
           - Select Makeup - Buy One, Get One Free
          Shipping is free on orders of $75+, or $5 on orders over $50.
  • This summer, treat yourself to a minimum of $50 in Lancome products from and you'll receive this 5-piece Summer Sample Gift (valued at $129) for free!
          - Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate - 8ml
          - Bright Expert Dark Spot Corrector and Radiance Acitivator - 15ml
          - Blush Subtil Delicate Oil-Free Powder Blush, Aplum - 2.8g
          - Hypnose Custom Volume Mascara, Black
          - Color Design Sensational Effects Lip Colour, The New Pink - 4g
         To redeem, enter the promo code BRIGHT when checking out with your qualifying purchase
         online. There is a limit of one free gift per customer, while supplies last. Colours and packaging may
         vary from what is pictured online.
  • This one's an advanced head's up to all you Elizabeth Arden fans out there. Another gift with purchase offer goes live from July 27th to August 19th 2012. When you spend $38 on Elizabeth Arden products, you'll receive:
         - Gold Metallic Python Tote
         - Ceramide Intense Activation Creme Spf 30 7ml
         - Ceramide Intense Regeneration Eye Cream 5ml
         - Ceramide Gold Ultra Restorative Capsules For Face and Throat 7 pieces
         - Ceramide Ultra Lipstick in Brick 3.5g
         - Bronzing Powder Duo
         - Lip Fix 5ml

         If you spend $85 or more you can "step up" your gift with purchase to also include
        - Metallic Gold Python Cosmetic Case
        - Visible Difference Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser 50ml
        - Visible Difference Skin Balancing Lotion SPF 15 15ml
        - Visible Difference Skin Balancing Night Cream 7ml
  • Save 20% off select Joico, Sure Thk, AG, Alterna and Abba hair care products at Trade Secrets. Offer available only in stores and valid for a limited time only.
Whatever your weekend has in store for you, stay cool and we hope it's awesome! I'll be spending mine helping out my sis in law at their pop up store at the Night It Up Night Market happening tonight till Sunday at the Markham Civic Centre. I'm told it'll be an awesome event (I'm personally looking forward to sampling the gourmet food truck fare) so do drop by if you're in the area!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: Summer Orange and Turquoise with Hibiscus accents

You know it was only time I revisited dots. After going through what I thought was a passing phase, I find myself gravitating towards designs that incorporate them yet again. They're just such an easy way to jazz up an existing mani or to add a little interest without exerting too much effort. You don't even need any fancy tools as a flat pin head or the flat end of a toothpick is all you'll need (and chances are, you'll have both handy), nor will you need expert level artistic skills to play around with dots. Another easy way to add more interest to an otherwise plain mani is to use fimo slices (similar to stickers but more..rigid). I had some lying around and thought to finally put them to use. So I took my handy dotting tools out for another spin to create something season appropriate with two of my favorite summer shades:

Orange and turquoise dots with a summertime twist!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Skin79 Shimmering BB Cream Review and Swatches

I'm fairly certain that by now, the term "BB Cream" has reached a level of fame that most people know what it is. If you're not exactly "most people", I'd like to direct you to my review of the first BB cream I ever tried: Skin79 Oriental Gold BB Cream. I've got a quick background of what the product is and how it is applied, along with my thoughts and experience with that particular product. Now, to keep from redundancy, I'll skip those parts and jump right in to the actual product under scrutiny today: Skin79 Shimmering BB Cream.

It shares the pretty purple and gold packaging as Oriental Gold.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Unboxing Julep Maven Boho Glam July 2012

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. I really did end up going with the Boho Glam option for this month's Maven box! The American Beauty option included a glitter polish and a nude blush pearl polish that's supposed to match the nude blush lip gloss. I didn't want a pearl finish so I was left with a toss up between Classic with a Twist (that includes soft light pink lip gloss and matching nail polish with microshimmer, as well as another nail polish in fuchsia with microshimmer) and Boho Glam (similar options to Classic with a Twist except the colors lean warmer; you'll see in a bit). If you're wondering why I didn't go with the options with glitter polish, well, I didn't think they were so unique that I had to have them. So I ended up with Boho Glam. And I'm happy I went with it!

It's a strangely smaller box...

Unboxing Julep Maven American Beauty June 2012

So here I was all ready to post my unboxing for the July Maven box that I just got the other day, when I realized I hadn't even posted June's! Well, my oversight is your gain; you'll get two unboxing posts in one day! Hooray! Without further ado, let's see what the June American Beauty box had in store for us:

Any guesses?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: A Study in Textures with Glitter and Shattered Nails

After sporting caviar (aka fish egg or confetti) nails from last week, it got me thinking about textures. See, I enjoyed the different texture so much that I pulled out another polish that's another take on texture: shatter. It's not exactly news as we've seen practically every brand out there churn out their own take on it and calling it every single possible name that denotes the exact same thing. Crackle, shatter, cracked, break up, texture. The list goes on. If you're anything like me, I probably only got a of couple uses out of my shatter polishes. It fizzled out early on for me but lately, in the guise of trying to use what I already have, I found myself rethinking the idea of shatter. It's generally used over the entire nail but what if I just used it as an accent of sorts? Well, it's that kind of thinking that produced these:

Shimmer, shatter and sparkle!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Indulgent Intermission: (Belated) Happy Canada Day and My (mis)Adventures in Full Nail Design Stamping with the New Bundle Monster Plates

I apologize for the ridiculously long post title (I'm starting to think I'm too wordy for my own good, but that's another post right there) but it was the best way to summarize exactly what you'll be seeing in this particular post. First off, a (belated) Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians and a Happy 4th of July to our neighbours south of the border! We had an awesome long weekend (that's partially extended to today as Mr. J is working from home) that was nice and relaxing. Hammie wasn't particularly happy that I skipped out on our usual Monday post, but hey, it's a long weekend! At least he got to enjoy some awesome corn on the cob at that barbecue he went to (and didn't invite us, boo). We had a nice three days of relaxing; no stress at all. We did a marathon of Grimm (a show Mr. J is particularly taken with) and a few movies (Rise of the Planet of the Apes surprisingly made me cry). Also got in some nice gaming time with Dragon Age and spent a couple days with the Cutie Pie (aka the niece) which was mostly spent running after her. No wonder her parents cancelled their gym membership!

Anyway, I doubt you came here to hear about how I spent my weekend so let's get on to the nails. Earlier last week, I had some pretty awesome nail mail that comprised the new Bundle Monster plates and a bunch of Cult Nail polishes (Cult Fairy Tale and Naked collections). I've been itching to try both so I ended up with Baker (at the suggestion of the lovely Marta) as a base. I, then, stamped on one of the full nail swirly designs with some black polish (Wet N Wild Ebony Hates Chris).

 These photos were taken after I've already worn the design for 5 days. Yep, 5 days and barely any tip wear at all! (I did manage to smudge the design on my pinky when I applied top coat though..)

 I inverted the design on the index and middle finger to create more interest. It was hard to capture the pretty golden shimmer but it's there.

 This was, after all, an impromptu photo session so I ended up posing with what was readily on hand --one of my new favorite hand creams that the wonderful Esther sent me. (Thanks again, Esther!)

Here's what most excited me about the new plates: a full nail design that actually fits my thumb and doesn't require double stamping!!

I rarely sport full nail stamped designs mostly because they almost never fit my thumb. Having just the thumb "naked" isn't really a look I'd go for, either, so I usually only use full nail designs on accent nails. That way, I don't need to deal with double stamping. But here's one design that actually fits perfectly! Definitely thrilled about this one. I have high hopes for the rest of the other designs.

Now, after I wore this for 5 days straight, I figured it was time for a change. In honor of Canada's 145th birthday, I went with Canada themed nails:

 I love how I was able to use another of my new Cult Nails polishes: Evil Queen. It's a gorgeous blue based red jelly that's absolutely perfect for summer. The white on the accent nail is Borghese Bianco White Tip.

 I found an ingenious way of using another craft item: a puncher. I have a small maple leaf puncher so I took that and punched a maple leaf outline on a label sticker. I placed that over the white and used it as a stencil, painting Evil Queen on top and quickly removing it to get the maple leaf design. Easy peasy!

 I took these photos right after I painted my nails so I was scrambling to find distinctly Canadian items. This was one I unearthed: a hockey puck.

 Here's another distinctly Canadian candy: Aero! Love this stuff; I swear, they're so addictive.

Again, (Belated) Happy Canada Day!

I originally wanted to put the maple leaf on my middle finger for symmetry and for it to look more like the Canadian flag. Mr. J didn't think it was appropriate so he suggested I place it on my ring finger instead. I wanted to keep it simple and clean so no glitter or flakies this time around. I would, however, love to play around with a red jelly sandwich using Evil Queen. I bet it'll look amazing!

So there you go. I might be late a day, but hey, at least you get two nail designs. I hope you had a wonderful long weekend and an awesome week ahead!

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