Thursday, February 28, 2013

FEATURE: Fun Size Treasures with Small Grey Cat

Introducing... SmallGreyCat. A jewellery and accessories store run by Shelby (yet another Canadian etsy shop owner, yay!). SmallGreyCat sells upcycled/recycled hair bows, cute jewellery, and more, and they're very reasonably priced! 

First, a little quote from my good old buddy Wikipedia. What does "upcycled" mean? "the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials of better quality for the better or for better environmental value". Sounds to me like "upcycled" is synonymous with RESOURCEFUL and ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY! COOL! :D 






I asked Shelby a few questions out of total curiosity and thought I should share:



How did you get started on Etsy? 

I've always been crafty, and enjoyed making things for myself and my friends. I have a friend down in Pennsylvania who holds an annual charity event for lung cancer called "Every Breath", and last summer she asked if I'd make some things to sell at the event. Of course I said yes. It was pretty successful, but I had a lot of things left over. Those things became the beginnings of SmallGreyCat! I've done a lot of shopping on Etsy over the years, so it seemed like a good place to start.



Is everything in your store Upcycled? 

The only things in my shop that aren't upcycled or recycled are the jewellery  I'm not sure if I have all the upcycled things listed as "upcycled" though. Anything made out of yarn or fabric started out being a blanket, shirt, pillow case, table cloth, etc. I spend a lot of time in thrift stores looking for interesting colours of patterns. I then take them home to wash them, iron them and turn them into something else.

If it's not upcylced, where does it come from? 
Most of the materials that aren't upcycled come from Etsy! All of my jewellery findings (earring posts, chains and clasps) I purchase in bulk from other sellers on the site. E-bay is also a good place to find unique pieces for earrings and rings. You can also find some great things at thirft stores and yard sales if you're up for a hunt!


Shelby was kind enough to send me three items to test out to my hearts delight! eeeeeek. I wish you could hear my squeals of joy!

Big White Hairbow ($5.50)

This is an upcycled piece made from Shelby's husband's dress shirt.
This bow holds its shape quite well because of the type of structured men's-dress-shirt material it's made out of. It also has a "French Barette" clip (there's an Alligator clip option too) which holds onto my slippery hair with ease. I think it'll be perfect for spring/summer with a sun dress. SmallGreyCat has bows made of lace, metallics and more...So darn crafty... 

Tiny Strawberry Earrings ($4.50)

If you know anything about me, you'd know that I LOVE fruit.... Mangoes are my favourite, but it'd be weird to have mango earrings. These are honestly the most adorable earrings in the world. They're smaller than the tip of my pinky and subtle and small enough that I can wear them to work without looking like a crazy lady. 


Silver Anchor Earrings ($6)

I have no idea if the sailor trend is still in or not, but I really like sailors and sailor inspired style... **flashback to Sailor Moon**. Thinking about sailors makes me think of all these funky OOTD ideas that I have. Any ways, these dangle earrings are very pretty. I found the part that goes in your ear to be a little pointy (as are most earrings), but this adds a "captian obvious" sailor look to any oufit. 

For all you lovely readers, Shelby has offered a 50% OFF Code to her shop. That means you can get a pair of earrings for $2.25  or a bow for $2.75! Thanks Shelby :D

**Not valid on knit or crochet items.

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own Etsy shop? What do you think of "upcycling" What's your favourite Etsy store? 

SHELBY'S LINKS: 



**I received these products for consideration. All opinions are my own and very much brutally honest :) .**

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Halfway to the Runway: Snow White

Flipping through the Spring H&M Magazine, I found a look that seemed fun to recreate. Essentially, I've attempted to recreate the Tom Pecheux for Moschino Milan Fashion Week Spring/Sumer 2013 look. What is it? White shadow, flared/whispy lashes, and an satin orange lip.

Moschino Photo - here

EYES 





I don't own a white eye shadow, so instead, I opted for the NYX Jumbo Eye Shadow Pencil in Milk All over my lid and up into the crease, also my bottom waterline. It's stark white and extremely creamy. So creamy, in fact, that it creases like mad, especially if you're trying to layer it. If I had a white eye shadow, I would have totally used that. Under the eyeshadow pencil, I used Benefit Stay Don't Stray eye shadow Primer, just to bump up the intensity and attempt to keep my eyelids from creasing.  

In term's of lashes, mine are almost non-existent. I don't have any false lashes at home, so I just used three layers of Benefit They're Real! Mascara on my upper and lower lashes, which seemed to be just fine. 

I wanted to stay true to the look so I kept eyeliner out of the picture. 

 LIPS




For the lips, I moisturised with Kona Kare Lip Butter Balm. Then, I applied Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous and topped it off with Joe Fresh Lip Gloss in poppy. It's not quite as orange as I had hoped, but I found that the revlon balm stain didn't have enough pigmentation so I just topped it off with the red-orange lip gloss from joe fresh. 

FACE




I attempted the model-flawless-face thing, but pretty much did my normal face routine. I primed with Mirabella Prime for Face and Eyes, used Marcelle Hydra-C Radiance Foundation, concealed with Benefit Erase Paste, and contoured slightly with NYC Sunny Bronzer to get the model-sculpted-face look.  I didn't set my makeup because I liked slightly dewy finish of the foundation. 

THE FINISHED LOOK 



Overall, I'd say that I did so-so on this one. The "eye shadow" was creasing like crazy and it was a bit messy from all the smoothing out with my fingers. As for the lip, it's much more orange in person, and I like all the glossiness of it. I'm a bit sad there's no eye liner in this look. Any ways...

Here are some more faces for you: 



What do you think of this look for every day? (just kidding..).. How do you think I did? 

Check out my other "Halfway to the Runway" look HERE

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

EMPTIES-ish #1

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I'm horrid at using up products. I'll use half a lotion, then buy a new one and then use half of that... and never get back to the first one. However,

Blogging and blog reading has encouraged me to do two things: 
(1) Lust after ever product I see/read about and fall into temptation by purchasing them
(2) Use up my products to share them in an empties post

These "things" are total opposites but I guess it's a good thing if I'm making a solid effort to use up the products I already have and replace them with new ones. Plus, I can reflect on what I like and dislike and what I should repurchase.

...and so... I made a little pile of things that are "to-be-used-up" and after actually finishing them, I dumped the containers in a blue bucket I got from the dollar store. It might seem like a good amount of empties, but trust me, this took about 6 months to compile. So don't expect an empties every month or every three months :P 


Body Shop Body Butters in Satsuma, Pink Grapefruit, and Strawberry
Can you tell I like body butters? I got these three mini-sized butters in a set for Christmas a few years back. I slowly finished them one by one. They're luscious and smooth and wonderful in every way. It takes a little while for the product to seep into your skin, but that's not a problem when it's ultra moisturising. In terms of scent I really like Satsuma and Grapefruit, so much that when I was done with them I put other non-scented lotions into the containers to make them smell like what was previously inside. Strawberry is not my scent, but the product itself was the same, great. Repurchase?  Totally, but I already have 3 full sized ones in Peach, Acai, and Cranberry itching to be used up. But definitely Holy Grail stuff.

Body Shop Shimmering Pear Lotion
Not quite an "empty" but this is a miss for the Body Shop. I checked on makeup alley before I started writing this and it has a 1.3/5 rating. It's a horrible product, maybe because I've had it for 6 years, but even so, the texture is gritty, the shimmer is chunky, and it doesn't even smell like pears. It's time I threw it out. Repurchase? This product is discontinued, and still, no. 

Body Shop Cranberry Body Polish
Looks like it's not quite finished, but IT IS! I can't squeeze it out of the tube at all. It's pretty much stuck, which makes me sad. Similar to other Body Shop products, it smells lovely. It also lathers up nicely and makes me feel fresh and clean. However, I feel like the polishing beads were not concentrated enough to do a good job. Repurchase? Nah, perhaps I'll try something else. 



Equate Blackhead Clearing Scrub
This is pretty much a Wal-mart dupe for Neutrogena's Blackhead Clearing Scrub. I've tried both. Back in high school, I had a mild case of acne. The thing is, I've never had blackheads, just pimples, so I have no idea if this stuff even works or not. I do like the fact that it exfoliated my skin, but I don't think it was preventing anything. Repurchase? No. I don't have blackheads and it seems like that's what it's for.

YES to Carrots Pampering Carrot Juice Shampoo
The YES brand had a lot of hype a couple years ago. Things with veggies seem like they'd be good-for-you and natural. It's a so-so shampoo. It smells a bit odd (like carrots). The effect on my hair was pretty good. It made my hair less oily and it felt clean after use, but nothing major. 
Repurchase? Probably not. There's so many other shampoos out there to try. 

Marc Anthony Moisture Gloss Daily Drops
This past summer, I was featured in the Toronto Star for a hair-revamping I got at Marc Anthony Salon in Yorkville. They also sent me home with a few haircare products. I've never been a big stickler for hair, I just buy whatever's on sale or sounds cool. Marc Anthony is the king of the drugstore (more expensive-ish), so I was definitely curious. This product is AMAZE-WOW-AWESOME! It's pretty much a hair oil that you use after showering/before styling and it's meant to keep your hair shiny and anti-frizz. All I can say is that it works. Repurchase? Maybe, this is the first hair oil type product I've tried so perhaps something similar? 



Mario Badescu
I ordered a whole routine of free samples. MB has a lot of fairly expensive skincare items, so the try-before-you-buy aspect is great. 

Drying Mask
Smells... bleh. I would not put this all over my face, I might die. As for results, there were none, except that I was scrubbing my face after to get the scent off. Repurchase? No.

Special Cleansing Lotion "C"
I believe this is a toner and tone it did. It has quite a strong herbal scent but it works well. It took off all the weird residue and oils from make-up removers and facial washes and made my skin feel squeeky clean! Repurchase? Most certainly. 

Almond & Honey Face Scrub
Smells yummy, but the scrubbing beads are a little to pointy. Repurchase? No...

AHA & Ceramide Moisturiser
Slightly oily and didn't meld into my skin too well. Repurchase? No...


Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Balm
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment
Finally finished up Sephora's b-day gift from last year. The citronella scent is lovely + it adds 1321093123213x moisture to my lips AND the tinted one is perfect for every day. Repurchase? Yes! Enough said.

Alba Coconut Cream Lip Balm
I think this made my lips drier than they already were. I used the rest as a cuticle cream. Repurchase? No. 


Lancome Teint Idole 24H - 320 Bisque
I go this as a 10-day sample at the Bay back in December...more like 3 month sample. I used it almost every day on my T-zone plus all-over my face for most of my FOTD and makeup look posts. For me, it's full coverage, I can even use it as a concealer. The lady at the Lancome counter also matched me really well, so the colour is just right. Some issues: when I put it on my nose and try to set it, it looks all cakey and weird. Also, it's not transfer free or 24 hours (I'd say 6 more or less).  Repurchase? It costs a pretty penny at $50+. Finding a dupe would be great. 


Neutrogena All in One Make-up Removing Cleansing Wipes
Definitely not all-in-one. These wipes left my face with an oily residue and made my eyes itchy. Repurchase? No. 

Jergens Daily Moisture
A nice scent, but nothing special. Repurchase? No.

John Frieda Frizz-Ease
Similar to the Marc Anthony Daily Drops, this product is almost exactly the same. I feel like it was slightly more oily than Marc Anthony's but essentially it had the same effect. Repurchase? Again, I would repurchase a similar product, maybe a different brand. 

Veet Perfect Finish Wipes
These are meant for after-waxing. I found them to be slightly oily and neutral smelling. Repurchase? No. 

Burts Bees Intensive Hydration Night Cream
This is a very very thick cream and it has a very strong floral scent. It was a bit heavy for my skin and the scent made my eyes water slightly. Repurchase? No.

Dermalogica Clean Start Moisture and Shimmer 
Possibly the oddest product I've tried recently. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a tinted moisturiser or a daily moisturiser. It is slightly tinted but doesn't offer much coverage and has a very dewy finish. The colour didn't settle too well into my skin. Repurchase? No. 


So... there's my extra long empties post. Maybe I shouldn't wait so long because I have a few too many products. Keep in mind that I didn't actually purchase all of these products, some were received from Sephora and sample boxes and I really really wanted to use them up. 

Do you finish up your products quickly? Have you tried any of these products? 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sooo Smoooth with Kona Kare Essensual Lip Butter Balms - Review


Kona Kare. "A Natural Wonder."

My thoughts? It most certainly is! Kona Kare is a Canadian brand that launched at the end of last year. Their lip butter balm took social media + the bloggosphere by storm, and now... it's about time I tried the goods for myself. I have a slight case of lip balm hoarding recently so picking these up wasn't really an issue for me. In terms of being "natural" and cruelty-free, it's always nice to know that animals are being treated with respect and that I'm not slabbing chemicals all over my face! 

I ordered one in peaches and dream and got chocolate peppermint for free! I believe the other two scents/flavours available are original and french vanilla. 




Scent is one of the most critical aspects in a lip balm. If it smells good, I'm likely to use it to no end. If not, it's probably a bust. In terms of scent, peaches and dream was not what I expected. When I think of peaches, I think of the candy fuzzy peaches. The lip balm reminds me more of tutti frutti. Not what I had expected, but still very yummy and sweet. I'm a sucker for anything fruity or sugary. 
As for the chocolate mint, I had expected something like chocolate mint ice cream and the flavour of this one was spot on. A+ for scent/flavour. Yum! 

There is a reason that this is called a lip butter balm instead of just "lip balm". It's kind of like comparing lotion to a Body Shop Body butter. They're just not the same. The lip butter balm is slightly more "squishy" and soft than other balms I've tried. I'm definitely afraid of this one melting if I leave it in the car during the summer. Despite this fear, I'm glad to say that the product is wonderfully moisturising and soft and smooth. I'd say the hydration factor lasts a good 2-3 hours, a little more than the standard lip balm.


Made with... Monoi de Tahiti Oil. What the heck is that? Well, I asked my best friend Wikipedia. Apparently, it's a perfume-infused oil made by soaking Tahitian gardenias (flowers) in coconut oil. Sounds... exotic.


Customer service. Ordered it online, and immediately after I received confirmation of payment. Very soon after, I got confirmation that my order was being shipped out. I waited a few days and got a bit worried (I've had some bad experiences with shipping and not receiving products for weeks on end). I sent an email asking about tracking and was assured that it would come soon and... it did. The shipping took about a week more or less. I'm loving the little "made in Canada" sticker. Makes me so proud to be Canadian.. 


Packaging. The plastic tube is nothing special, though I do love that it's a dark colour with lots of fancy writing. What I do like is the way the lip balms came wrapped up in fact cards with a ribbon to top it off. It adds a nice touch to the lip balms. 

Price. $10 for 1. Currently on sale for 50% off ... all the prices include US/Canada shipping, which is an absolute plus! Considering EOS and Burt's Bees are both around the $4-5 range, it's a reasonable price when on sale.

For a relatively new buy, this product has quickly earned a spot in my coat pocket. The scent is a great pick-me-up any time of the day AND it's been keeping my lips wonderfully smooth in the dead of winter. Kudos to you, Kona Kare. Would I purchase this product again? It's not your average lip balm, it's a lip butter balm. Definitely! 

**Note: I purchased the Peaches and Dream with my own $$ and was gifted the Chocolate Mint**

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ZOMG RED - L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stain - LOTD


So red, so glossy, so va-va-voooom.

It's L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stain in Endless Red! There are two firsts today. (1) This is my first L'Oreal Product. Probably because I always miss the sales at Shoppers. (2) This is my first red lip stain and the first "true red" product I've purchased. 

I heard about this beauty through a bunch of first impressions videos on Youtube and a whole lot of bloggers soon followed suit by writing rave reviews. There's a lot of hype that this is a product dupe for YSL Glossy Stains.  L'Oreal and YSL are under the same company. So, if L'Oreal is the drugstore version of the YSL, then the YSL glossy stains must be beyond out of this world. This is like not like any product I've ever tried before. 


L to R: 1 Layer || 2 Layers || Be A Bombshell Lipgloss in Hot Mess

As compared to the Be a Bombshell Hot Mess lipgloss on the far right, Endless Red is slightly more cool toned and a little more red as opposed to pink. 

What I like most about this product is the texture. It is definitely wet like a gloss. When you first apply it, it comes off as a gloss--slightly sheer. At first I was slightly bummed about this. It's sheer colour is a bit pinky, instead of red. But I was wrong. I put some ore on and found out this product is totally layer-able. One layer, it's a little sheer, put on a couple more coats and it becomes an opaque gloss!


In terms of staying power, there are claims that this is a "stain".. I concur. The shine is fairly prominent for the first few hours then it starts to disappear. After a while, if you tend to touch your lips or eat often, the colour might patch up a little and be more prominent on some areas of your lips than others. It does need touch ups. 

How do you remove the stain? It doesn't just come off with water. I use a damp towel to scrub all the colour off. Alternatively, you could use a lip scrub. 


Now in terms of packaging, the gold plastic looks pretty fancy-shmancy for a drugstore product. It'll look elegant when I pull it out of my purse for touch-ups. I like that I can also see the colour on the outside, just in case I plan on purchasing more of these. 


I like the fact that the applicator has a pointed end. This product does take some work to apply it evenly on your lips, so the pointed end helps to make everything a little more precise. 


Natural Light 

 Flash 

It's a nice glossy twist to the classic red. I'm glad I gave it a whirl. The colour is wonderful and I love that I can layer it to my preferred opacity. The only downside is that it doesn't stain exactly the way I'd like it too. Overall, a great find if you like an all in one lipstick-stain-gloss type product :) 

Have you tried this product? What is your absolute favourite red lip colour? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Recent Fashion Purchases + More Nail Polish

So... I love shopping, especially when there's sales. Who doesn't? 



Aldo Scarf. I exchanged a watch I got for Christmas (which was way too big for me) for this scarf and a couple belts (below). Shout out to all you British bloggers out there, because the union jack is awesome :) ... any ways. When I bough this, I had no idea that it was a union jack at all. I just saw a hint of mint and some orange colours on a scarf and thought it was cute. When I got home, to my surprise I found that it actually had a print on it. It's lovely and perfect for spring (a little too cold here to wear spring scarves just yet :P). The retail price of the scarf was $20. 


Aldo Belts. Two Aldo belts... $15. There's really not much to it, a pair of skinny belts. What makes these the slightest bit unique are the awkward dots that somehow remind me of tree bark. 



Forever 21, Forever 21, H&M

Sweaters. I must've been feeling a bit chilly when I went shopping, because I got three sweaters. 
Forever 21 - I'm not a huge fan of the quality of Forever 21 clothing but you can't really go wrong when a $12 and $8 sweater are on sale for 50% off. 
H&M - I think I'm going to call this mustard gettup my pretty-ugly cropped sweater. I was drawn to this really odd colour and for $7 I couldn't really say no. To each their own, I guess. The best part is that when I eat curry or have a hotdog with mustard, it'll never get dirty! Best idea I've ever had! 


Beauty Stuff. $2.50 for Mouse Grey by Gosh and $3.80 for Forever 21 Baby Blue. Just a few goodies to add to my collection. Also, a Sephora felt tip eyeliner for $7. Don't buy it. It's ultra watery and not so wonderful. 

Hope you enjoyed my little haul of things! 

What great deals have you gotten recently? 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Glassy and Classy ft. Jewellette Jewz - Review and Giveaway


Jewellette Jewz is a Pennsylvania, USA based boutique run by a super sweet mother-daughter team (Amaya and Tiffany). Amaya learned how to create jewellery pieces by watching her mother and now has an Etsy store to share her designs. Jewellette Jewz makes handcrafted pieces that are reasonably priced, timeless, and one of a kind. Amaya was kind enough to send me the double deluxe glass bead bracelet for review. 

Here are my thoughts: 


The look of the bracelet reminds me of something that might be sold at a kitschy, quirky booth at a farmers market. The bracelet itself is fairly weighty and made of round glass beads and black haematite(magnet)-looking square beads.  

My favourite part is the clasp. Maybe there's things out there that are similar, but I have yet to come across them. It seems to me like something hippy or boho without all the feathers. :P 



 I did have one issue with the bracelet. It's a bit big. Though, I can't really complain. My wrists are puny and in general, I have a hard time finding jewellery that fits perfectly around my wrists unless it's adjustable. 


I really enjoy the design aesthetic of this bracelet. I feel like it's slightly more mature compared to what I'd usually wear. It pairs nicely with my more "girly" braided rainbow friendship bracelets with hearts and stars and unicorns charms and adds a more edgy contrast. 

Do you need a unique piece of jewellery to pair with your girly friendship bracelets? Or maybe something to add to your stack of arm candy? 

Well... Here's your chance to win the double deluxe glass bead bracelet! 

1 WINNER || 1 AWESOME PRIZE || USA AND CANADA ONLY
Contest closes a week from the post date :) 






MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOUR. LOL. GOOD LUCK! 



LINKS

**This is a sponsored post. Jewellette Jewz provided both the review item and giveaway prize**





Sunday, February 17, 2013

Maybelline 24hr Colour Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk

The Maybelline Colour Tattoos were one of the most raved about products of last year. They are compared to the likes of MAC paint pots and other higher-end cream shadows. I don't often see reviews or posts about the colour pomegranate punk, but I thought it would be an interesting shade to try out. 

In April of last year, I bought mine at Shoppers for $4.99 (on sale). I've definitely been neglecting this product because (1) I like to use my fingers to put it on, so it makes my fingers dirty (2) The colour is not an everyday "neutral". 



L to R: Applied with Concealer Brush // Applied with Fingers // Applied with Concealer Brush over Primer


Colour. I would describe the colour as a slightly shimmery brown-cranberry.The pigmentation is great and primer makes it even better. I've used it a couple times as both eyeliner and eyeshadow. I'd say it works a lot better as shadow because it takes a couple layers to work as liner. I would love to have this colour in a lipstick. 

Staying Power. It doesn't last 24 hours per say, but it lasts all day. 

Texture. The formula is very smooth, but if you apply it with your fingers you have to be careful to squish the uneven little chunks. Using a brush will prevent this. 

Ease of Removal. It's a long-wear product, so either makeup remover or a hot shower will take this product off. 

Overall. Especially for the price, this is a great product.  I really like the colour and the formula. I'm sort of writing this post as a reminder of why I like it and that I should use it more often. For now, I won't be buying any other colours because I'd like to use up the products I already have. 

Have you tried this product? What's your favourite shade of Colour Tattoo? 

Friday, February 15, 2013

NOTD - Plumberry/ Berry Confusing Colour

Dear Essie Polishes, 

We have a love-hate relationship. 
For now, it's love. 

Sincerely, 
steph



I've always found that Essie polishes were the most streaky and most sheer of any brand. Plumberry proved me wrong. This is opaque in 1 coat, but looks even better with 2. The formula is ultra creamy and it looks amazing with and without a topcoat. I guess the Essie polishes I bought previously just happened to be the sheer ones [Chinchilly, Flawless...]

Essie Plumberry is described as "a creamy berry red with hints of plush pink."

I call it "the-most-confusing-colour-ever" because in my photos it looks like a true red and under some lighting it looks like a deep purple pink. It doesn't even look like the picture online! 



Case in point: 



Online Picture from Essie.com





Regardless, it's a gorgeous colour, looks like the classic red, but with a twist if you're in different sorts of lighting. I guess I'll call it a raspberry color with a hint of plum, which is probably why they've called it "plumberry". 

This is my FIRST red polish, but it's not quite a red, red! I'm so happy I picked it up. It looks quite classy and makes me feel all grown up. However, I'm horrible at applying polish and it gets all over my fingernails. I look like I was just finger painting with nail polish . The mess [see stain on bottle] makes me feel childish, but all I have to do is clean it up a little to make my nails look all elegant again. 



What's your favourite red polish?