31 January 2013

Glymm vs. Glossybox & Topbox

Hi All!

I got my Glymm Box in the other day and to say I was unimpressed was an understatement - January's Glymm Unboxing. I stated the obvious reasons that I was upset with my Glymm Box and the samples and brands that I had received and now I'm going to show you the difference between Glymm's samples and Topbox and GlossyBox's samples.

Now, I understand that there are differences cost wise between the companies. I know that GlossyBox is roughly $21/month and that Glymm just recently adjusted their cost to $15/month. However, in this months GlossyBox were 3 full sized products, and in this months Glymm...we received 1 deluxe sized sample - if you could call it that. If you're going to claim that you provide 4-5 DELUXE sized samples each month, than they should be bigger than the size you can get for free from the drugstore. I don't believe that the samples Glymm sent out even add up to the $13 I spent.

If it were a little more of an expensive product and it was a tiny sample, I can kind of understand but it's not.

I have pictures below to show you the difference between samples I have received from Glymm and similar brands that I have received from Topbox and GlossyBox.

Click the image to enlarge.

On the left is the sample that I received in my Glymm Box the other day - sample size .25oz. On the right is a sample of the same product that was in the January GlossyBox - sample size 1 oz.

The one on the right seems more like a deluxe sample than the one I received in my Glymm box.

Click image to enlarge.

These are similar mascara samples that I received at different times. The first one is Clinique. The second one is an Urban Decay sample I received for free. The third one is Benefit's They're Real mascara that I received last month in my Topbox and the last one is the one I received in my Glymm Box this month.

Here's the kicker...

Full Size Costs

Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara - $19.00
Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara - Travel Size ($10) Full Size ($20)
Benefit They're Real Mascara - Travel Size ($10) Full Size ($23)
Lashem Double Trouble Mascara - $19.99

There was no size listed on the mascara I received in my Glymm Box, I suppose there's a reason for that. You can obviously see the difference in size. I don't understand why Glymm keeps doing this. We're not even getting our money back in the product we receive. It's not worth it. 

I'm not sure if the price adjustment is going to bring a change to the product we receive, but at this point...I'm  too disappointed to wait and find out. I have been hoping that the boxes would improve but seeing the mascara sample and the Burt's Bees sample and comparing them with different beauty subscription boxes...that was the final straw for me. I'm quite mad that Glymm attempted to pass off this month as a Deluxe Sample Beauty Subscription Service. I beg to differ.

Sorry Glymm, but I'm jumping ship. It was nice while it lasted...I think.

For anyone debating between Glymm and any other BSS, I strongly recommend another company.  The product just isn't worth it anymore, they're just not providing deluxe samples anymore...and it seems to me, that nothing seems to be tailored towards the beauty profile. I'm tired of getting anti-aging/firming products that I know I won't be using.

xox Rae

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January Glymm Unboxing/Review

Hi Lovelies!

I received my Glymm Box this morning and it was a little delayed on Glymm's end due to shipment issues, I should have received it about a week ago. It's okay though, as long as I got it! Just a bit of a warning, this blog post is going to be very picture heavy!

Before even opening my box, I was a little disappointed because the box was incredibly light and I knew right then that the samples were going to be small. The picture below is how the box is received, with my address edited out of course!

Glymm now uses these cute little bags instead of the boxes most BSS's use. I applaud them for being environmentally friendly - minus the outside box of course. 

The products I received in my Glymm are in the picture above and I will list them below with their sample sizes (if available) and their full size cost.

LA Fresh Travel-Lite Facial Cleansing Wipe

First off, I have received the LA Fresh samples on numerous occasions and I did not at all like the waterproof makeup wipes as they were incredibly too greasy. It's a little disappointing to keep receiving samples of a brand that you don't like. These are individually wrapped travel wipes and a pouch comes with 3 and they are $3.00

On the package it says: Perfect for jetsetters, go-getters, outdoor enthusiasts and multi-taskers everywhere.

First Impression: I don't travel all that much at this moment as I'm in school and much too busy. I will, however, be making a few trips to the west coast later this year. Having said that, I do see the appeal in the convenience of individually packaged makeup wipes if you happen to just need one. Maybe you're one of those people who likes to take their makeup off when you get on a plane - in that case, you really only need one and carrying around a whole pack of makeup wipes might not be suitable. However, if I'm traveling and I'm going to be staying somewhere for a longer period of time (week or more - and usually that's the case) the appeal for individually wrapped makeup wipes is gone, especially if I'm paying $3.00 for 3 packets. I am always on the go with class and work, but I'm always on the go....at home, where I live. It's not likely that even if I like the product, that I will repurchase because it's just not plausible for me right now.

One pro for this product right off the bat though, it's environmentally friendly!

Burt's Bees Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion

I am not really such a huge fan of Burt`s Bees products. I like the fact that they are natural products, but I have never really had that amazing feeling with their products. However, I am always looking for a new lotion...'cause it's winter, and freezing and my skin hates that.

The downfall, the sample size is .25 oz which is not at all considered a "deluxe" sample. This sample would barely cover my leg.  No cost was listed for this item.

Coolway Boost Serum

This innovative hair serum restores and repairs when activated by low heat from styling, giving professional results.

How it works: Cleanse your hair with shampoo and then apply at least 3 teaspoons.  Work evenly throughout hair. Leave in for 4 minutes to allow effective results.  Rinse off with warm water, towel dry hair and blow dry.  For smooth results, use a comb or brush to help smoouth your hair with your blow dryer.  Wait at least 3 days between Boost applications.  Boost infuses moisture into your hair and locks it in wiht a unique blend of Silk Proteins and Botanical Extracts.

The sample size for this product is 1 oz which is just a bit smaller than a travel size. A full size product is 9 oz and is $40.00.

This is the ONLY product that I consider to be a "deluxe" sample in this months box.

360 Skincare DMAE Firming Serum

Transform your skin from dull, dreary and mundane to vibrant, youthful and radiant.

This sample is .20 oz. and comes in a little jar, about the same size you receive when you request a sample from a MAC counter...for free.

The full size product is 1 oz and the cost is $34.00.

I'm not sure why I received this product, I am 24 years old and for the life of me can't figure out why they would send me a firming serum.

Lashem Double Trouble Mascara

This is probably one of the most disappointing samples I have received thus far. First of all, the entire mascara is about an inch and a half.

Second, the wand is about 1 cm long and the mascara is completely dried up.

There is no size on the sample product, but the full size is $20.00 for 6 mL of product.


I am not at all impressed with Glymm at the moment. Their boxes have been getting worse as the months go on and the samples are getting smaller in size. The samples I received this month are maybe 1 or 2 uses which is really upsetting and I have been receiving a lot of duplicates.

I have been subscribing to Glymm for just about a year now and sadly, I think I'm getting to the end of my subscription - by choice.

I receive Topbox as well and the brands are better and the sample sizes are larger, and it's cheaper.

Glymm has recently made an adjustment to their subscription price from $12/month to $15/month but I'm not sure if I want to keep my subscription to see how it turns out.

Does anyone else subscribe to Glymm? Do you like your subscription so far? What do you think?

xx Rae

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24 January 2013

How To: Clean Your Makeup Brushes

I have absolutely no issue spending money on my makeup brushes because I know that if it's a good quality brush, and if I take care of it properly..then it will last forever. There are a few tips and tricks to properly cleaning your makeup brushes to make them last forever.

The first thing I have to say is that it is not necessary to purchase "Brush Cleanser" to properly clean your brushes. I find it to be a waste, because I go through it so fast and MAC's brush cleanser is $17.00 here. It's totally unnecessary, in my opinion. It's still an option, just not one I choose to use! :)

My number one tip to washing makeup brushes:


Baby shampoo is about $3-$4 for 444 mL and lasts me about a year and it cleans the brushes just as well as any brush cleanser I have used. Once the brushes are dry, I feel absolutely no difference between them.

First thing I do is set a cloth or towel down on my counter top to place my brushes for drying once they've been washed.

Second, I pour a tiny amount of baby shampoo into the palm of my hand and add a few drops of water. I begin to swirl my brush around in the palm of my hand to lather up the baby shampoo really well, adding drops of water as necessary. Continue this until the water begins to run clear of foundation and makeup.

Third, rinse your brush to be sure that all the baby shampoo has been completely rinsed. Usually, I run it under the tap for a few minutes and then swirl it in my palm until it the water is clear of soap and bubbles.

You always want to be sure whenever you are washing your brushes that you keep them bristles down, so that the water doesn't drip down into the ferrule (aka the metal that fastens your bristles to your brush handle) because the moisture will weaken the glue that is holding your brush together...if that happens, sadly your brush will probably fall apart.

For the same reason, when drying brushes, you always want to lay them flat. NEVER, I cannot stress that enough, never place brushes bristles up to dry.

After washing them, you will want to reshape them back to their original shape and lay them flat. Tip: Lay your brushes so that the bristles are hanging just over the edge of your countertop so that as they dry, one side won't dry completely flat!

Once my brushes are completely dry, I swirl them around in my palm a few times to separate all the bristles and make sure they're reshaped properly.

Usually it only takes a few hours to dry, I tend to leave them overnight just so I know they are completely dry. I try to wash my brushes at least once a week, every 2 or 3 weeks when I'm busy (I know, I'm horrible!).

Unfortunately, if you`re like me and have a CRAZY ton of brushes, this can be a tedious task. I feel like my spine begins to curve from leaning over the sink for so long (who needs to stand up straight anyways?).

Let me know in the comments below if you have any tips for cleaning your makeup brushes!

xoxo Rae

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23 January 2013

Product Review: Physicians Formula Neutral Palette

I  had been eyeing this palette for quite sometime in our drugstore here in Canadia, but chose not to purchase it because it is quite small and for the size, I think it's quite pricey. In Canada, it's about $18 and I was iffy on that because I had never used their eye shadows before.

I was in the states a few months ago and saw this at Target for only $8.00! I knew I had to get it, so I picked it up with a few other things.

I have been using this palette for months and I LOVE it so much. This is definitely my favourite neutral palette at this moment in time. These shadows go on smooth, and they have amazing color payoff! They're shimmery and great for day or night wear. You can lighten it up or darken however you prefer. The great thing about Physicians Formula palettes is that they are wet/dry application - wet for a more intense, dramatic effect and dry for a more softer look. This allows me to use the black colour on the far left as a liner, by simply dampening a liner brush and applying it to my waterline. I have oily skin and find it very difficult for eyeliners to stay put and this does the job well.

The one thing that I dislike about these palettes is the size of shadows (little more than half a cm). Some are bigger than others, and for the tiny ones it's a little difficult to use without mixing it with the colour on the other side.

They have recently come out with 4 more new palettes that I have so far only found available in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart. I made a trip to the states and was unable to find these at either Target or Walgreens, which I was really disappointed in. I'm generally used to products coming out in the states first.

Definitely found a winner, though I have to take off points for the varied size of shadows!

Rating: 4/5

xoxo Rae

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22 January 2013

Physicians Formula Neutral Palettes in CANADA!

I was in the states a few months ago and I picked up a PF Neutral Palette for about $7.00 (compared to $18.00 in Canada) and I absolutely fell in love with it. I have a review for it coming up so keep an eye out!

I was just walking through the drugstore yesterday afternoon and I wish you all could have seen the almost comical way in which my eyes LIT UP when I saw 4 NEW neutral palettes from Physicians Formula. ERMAHGERD! I promise I will never say that again. I am SO incredibly stoked to try these!

Physicians Formula Classic Neutral Palette

Physicians Formula Natural Neutral Palette

Physicians Formula Warm Neutral Palette

Physicians Formula Smoky Neutral Palette

There is probably a little bit of overlap with these 5 palettes, but all the same I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on these. I love and use the regular neutral palette almost every day and they just look amazing on and they blend really well.

I took a trip to the states this passed weekend only to find out that the area that I went had none of these palettes. I was quite disappointed that I wasn't able to get my hands on them yet!

More shockingly, I went to a Walgreens and they had no PF available AT ALL!?! I was hoping to pick up a tube of PF Conceal Rx since we don't have it available anywhere in my city and wasn't able to find it in any of the stores that I looked in. All over disappointing trip for Physician's Formula. 

I am still SO SO SO crazy excited to get my hands on these!

xoxo Rae

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19 January 2013

Hit or Miss: Maybelline Baby Lips

I bought a few of these when they first came out, and the hype for these products was crazy. I bought them when they were on sale because every one was talking about them and they had such great reviews and I really wanted to try them. I bought two, Pink Punch and Peach Kiss and I paid about $4.00 for them.

In the winter I have really dry lips due to the bitter cold weather we get, however, in the summer the dryness pretty well goes away because it gets pretty hot here as well (bitter winters, boiling summers..love Canada).

I honestly don't see what all the hype for these products were.  I wasn't really a fan of the formula for this product. I didn't find it to be at all moisturizing, quite the opposite actually. I found it to dry out my lips that much more and for anyone who has dry lips, you know applying colour over dry/chapped lips only emphasizes how chapped your lips actually are. Who wants that?!

For anyone who doesn't need the moisturizing aspect in lip products, then these product would be great for you. They have a light colour, and a little shine.

Maybelline Baby Lips: MISS.

Rating: 2/5

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17 January 2013

Product Review: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze

I have been lusting over these Color Tattoo's for literally ages and I built them up so much in my mind before they came out. I was hesitant in purchasing Bad to the Bronze because to me, the colour isn't appealing. It just looks like a muddy brown, but don't let that fool you. This is the most gorgeous colour I have ever seen on. It's shimmery, bright and just overall gorgeous looking.

After using this product, there is only one thing that threw me off a little bit and it was the staying power.  I had to work with this product to try and find a method in keeping it from creasing and fading. I have pretty oily eyelids and not using primer is not an option for me if I want my eyeshadow to remain in place. I use Urban Decay Primer Potion and it works absolute wonders with most eye makeup and sometimes I have to layer it up to get the desired staying power of certain products.

The first time I had used this product, I used it alone without any shadow accompanying it. I had only used one layer of Urban Decay PP as I do most often, and I got maybe 4-5 hours of wear before it started to crease and fade. EEK! I was not ready to write this product off that quickly - I am much too in love with the colour. So the next time I used it, I used a little more primer and at the suggestion of a friend of mine..used a little translucent powder to set it. This worked wonderfully!

If I choose to wear it as a base and a light shadow over top, I got at least 9-10 hours of wear and when I got home from school, there was no creasing and no fading!

In Canada, this product runs about $10.00 and is 4 grams. You only need very very little product to get the desired effect because this product has such great color payoff, so this little jar will last a long time. It's quick, easy and always looks gorgeous. It's perfect for me when I'm constantly running out the door to be on time for my 8 am classes! 

Also, I really REALLY dislike that Canada is so limited in the colours that Maybelline offers. I know that in the states they have Pink Gold available and we don't have it here, which I really want to try but I have to wait until I can make a trip to the US to pick it up. That's a downside, not to the product...but just to living in Canada. :)

xoxo Rae

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16 January 2013

Product Review: MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque

I am going to start off by saying that my eyelids, much like my skin, are crazy oily and it's INSANELY difficult to keep eye makeup on without it creasing or fading throughout the day. It's pretty well trial and error for me, because even if I use primer...sometimes the product just doesn't have that staying power that I, so desperately, need in my makeup.

This, however, is not the case with MAC Paint Pots. They are a little pricey at $22 CND but despite the price, I cannot help but love them. They go on flawlessly, they look absolutely gorgeous and the staying power on them is like nothing I have ever seen. I put it on in the morning before class and I can go the entire day and these don't crease or fade throughout the day. Hallelujah.

On days where I'm running late or have an early class, I just use a primer and the paint pot just on it's own and it still looks fabulous. It's easy, goes on smooth and looks great.

Rubenesque is by far my absolute favourite colour! It's a beautiful golden peachy colour and I fell in love with  how gorgeous it looks!

Definitely recommend this product. It's amazing quality, and it's a higher price tag but it's worth it in the end. They last for a long time and you only need a little bit of product because they have an excellent colour payoff. I am so impressed with MAC's Paint Pots!

Let me know in the comments what you think about this product if you've tried it!

xoxo Rae

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15 January 2013

Product Review: Marc Anthony Repairing Macadamia Oil Treatment

I just want to start this off by saying I am REALLY big on oils, of course not the kind my face naturally generates that causes my makeup to slide right off my skin, but dry oils and such. Just plain old baby oil has so many uses and I use it for a million things. I think because dermatologists tell you 'oil-free' is the only way that it scares people into not discovering the true uses and wonders of just plain baby oil, and I find it quite sad.

I started using oil on my hair a few years ago and I love to try the products that my favourite brands come out with, I can't help but buy them. The great thing about using oils, is that even though some are expensive...they last. You only need the smallest amount and they will last for ages.

I bought this product on a whim, and I bought it mainly because I absolutely fell in love with the Marc Anthony Repairing Macadamia Oil Sulfate-Free shampoo and I was hoping that this product would be just as amazing, if not better. It was on sale when I bought it for about $7.99 CND, which isn't bad at all because it lasts literally, for ages.

On the box, it says for all hair types and ultra-lightweight Dry Styling Oil restores, hydrates, and boosts shine. Corrects dry, damaged, split and frizzy areas.

Directions: Apply 1-3 drops (depending on hair length and thickness) to damp or dry hair and distribute evenly from roots to ends. Do not rinse out. Style as usual.

It comes in a 50 mL (with a pump) which none of my other oils have, so it's very easy to control the amount. The oil is almost green in colour, and smells a lot like coconut, but I like the smell so for me it's not to harsh or overwhelming. It's a bit more liquid-y than other oils that I use, but it absorbs quickly and leaves absolutely no residue behind!

I absolutely LOVE this product. I apply it to my hair after I shower with another heat-protectant and after I straighten my hair. It makes my frizzy hair look sleek, shiny and soft. I have A LOT of fine hair, so I usually use about 2 drops and focus mainly on the ends of my hair as my roots get greasy pretty quick.

I definitely recommend this product to anyone with dry damaged hair, it works wonders!

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13 January 2013

Review: Biotin - Great for Nails and Hair!

I have been going through A TON of issues with my skin since the beginning of May last year and this is the first time that I've really had to go through a trial and error period with my skin to figure out what causes my breakouts. Previously, I was on Yasmin and it cleared up my acne pretty well so I never had to worry about what caused the acne. I ended up having some very very serious health issues caused by Yasmin and was taken off it immediately, which caused a massive breakout of acne about a month later when my body finally realized that my hormones were completely out of whack again. I can't ever go on the pill again, so I am left to figure out how to fix my acne naturally, which led to my trial and error period.

One thing that I tried that was recommended to me was taking Biotin every day and I was stunned at the affect that Biotin had on my nails and my hair. WOW! The difference was remarkable and I started to notice immediately how much healthier and stronger my nails were. They started to grow quicker, longer and 10 times stronger than ever before. My nails were no longer chipping, ripping, breaking or bending from being so brittle. I was stunned.

Unfortunately, the downside to this product (for me) is that it caused major breakouts. I knew going in that with Biotin YMMV and that it had caused breakouts in a lot of people that used it and the results for me may not have been different. 

I started taking it and it was quite a high dose and I broke out the very next day. I stopped taking it and my face cleared up. I tried a second time, and the same thing happened. The other day, I started taking a new vitamin and I made the mistake of not looking at everything in it and didn't notice that it contained Biotin. I had been taking it for a day or two and my face broke out pretty badly.

However, despite the fact that it does not work for my skin, results will vary based on the person (ymmv). It did absolute wonders for my nails and I would definitely recommend it if you have very soft, brittle nails. It will make them 100% healthier.

xoxo Rae

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12 January 2013

January Topbox Unboxing/Review

I have been subscribed to quite a few beauty boxes in the last few years..I've had subscriptions with Loose Button's Luxe Box, GlossyBox, Glymm and Topbox. I am currently only subscribed to 2 right now and those are Glymm and Topbox.

I just got my January Privé Topbox in this morning before I left for class (had to look at it first though!) and I will be doing an unboxing blog on that and I will do one later on in the month when I receive my Glymm box as well. Also, I will post an unboxing blog for GlossyBox for this month as well.

This month was a privé Topbox, which generally means that rather than having a mix of brands, it's loaded with several products of the same brand. I don't believe I got an option in the brand in this months privé box, at least not that I saw.  I did, however, get to choose my options for next months box IF I get a privé box. I chose Benefit as my brand, so fingers crossed!

Let's get started!!

The Topbox came in the same box, with a Clinique branded, pink to green gradient label all the way around, as seen below!

The products that are in this months Topbox are:

Clinique Clarifying Lotion for Oily/Combination Skin

Formulated to help lift the world's impurities to create healthier, younger skin. Full Size: $16 (200mL), $27 (400mL).

Clinique Rinse Off Eye Makeup Solvent

Make it a clean sweep, from lashes to brows.  Or use for on-the-spot makeup fixes. Oil-free. Full Size: $25 (125mL)

Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo

Go-together shades of silky, easy-to-blend colour in a chrome slide compact. Full Size: $25 (2.5g)

Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector

A second change for skin against sun damage and wrinkles.  At 12 weeks the visible wrinkle-reducing power is remarkably close to a dermatological laser procedure.  63%, to be exact.  Full Size: $57 (30mL), $86 (50mL).

 I have tried all these before and some of them I still really like, others did not work for my skin and that's okay! Clinique is a really great brand, and I found that their products were great for acne-prone skin and I had absolutely no issues with breakouts from their skincare products, or their makeup. I have used 3 different foundations and a few pressed powders from their line and I loved them all!

If you subscribe to Topbox or any other beauty subscription services, let me know in the comments below what you think of them!

xoxo Rae

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8 January 2013

Product Rave: Bioderma - Sensibio H2O

I have been wanting to try Bioderma Sensibio H2O for a really long time because I am very, for a lack of better words, anal compulsive about removing makeup. I am very acne-prone and my skin gets the oilies like mad! I find that if I fail to completely remove my cake face (Just kidding! Seriously though, Revlon Colorstay is sometimes hard to remove) the night before, I will almost always wake up with a break out. Who wants that?! Not I!

Just to try it, I bought a sample size at my local drug store (pretty much on a whim!) and boy am I glad I did! This product is one of very few Holy Grail products for me. They don't come around too often, but when they do...it's AH-MAZING!

I purchased the one for Oily/Combination skin and it comes in a blue bottle, similar to the sensitive version. I disliked only 1 thing about this product and I don't consider it to be a deal breaker for me because I loved the performance of the product that much more.

I really did not enjoy the scent of this product, it's not horrible but I certainly don't find it to be pleasant. Still not a deal breaker...who needs their face to have a nice scent anyways?

On to the positive!

I don't solely rely on Bioderma to remove all of my face makeup because realistically, it would probably take too much product. I do, however, use it if I haven't been wearing makeup and just need to quickly clean my face.  I do still use my MAC Cleanse Off Oil to remove the majority of my makeup. If I'm in a rush, lazy or just far too tired, instead of washing my face...I will put a little of the Bioderma on a cotton pad and wipe my skin to make sure I've removed any remaining residue.

This product is soap-free so it's a great substitute when my skin is feeling a little bit dry and using my normal cleanser doesn't feel appropriate. It does not need to be rinsed which is a major bonus when it comes to convenience, especially for an 'always on the go' girl like me!

This product is a little pricey but you use so little of it that it will last such a long time, so it's worth it!

The absolute best thing about this product is that it does NOT break me out. I highly recommend this product! It's absolutely fabulous.

xoxo Rae.

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