Magpie in the Mirror

Aug 20

Beauty Box Five: August, 2014


Close your windows, pack away the patio furniture and put your sandals away. August is on its way out - at least in Ontario! And unfortunately this means that fun summer products come to an end as well. Now it’s time to ‘transition into fall’ as the Beauty Box Five says, with “Radiant and Remarkable” products.

But arae they that radiant… or remarkable? We’ll see!

The Subscription

Beauty Box 5 is an American beauty box that is $8 a box for a year subscription, $10 a box for a quarterly subscription and $12 a box if you buy individually. I highly recommend this box because it sends a variety of American brands you can’t always find in Canada, and leans towards products that are more natural, organic and paraben-free. I generally end up using everything I receive in these boxes! If you’re interested, please use my referral link here. (Please keep in mind, there is a $3 charge now, per box, to ship to Canada, so subscribing for quarterly or yearly is the best deal.)



Pur~Lisse SPF 30 Sunscreen ‘Pur Protect’
Sooo, we’re supposed to transition into fall with an SPF 30 sunscreen? Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of SPF all year round, it just seems an odd product. THAT SAID, Purlisse is a brand I’ve wanted to try for awhile, so this was a welcome addition to my box, and a pretty solid sized sample, (30ml) since their 50ml goes for $55 in their online store!
Price? $33! Buy Pur Lisse for less on Amazon!

Style Essentials Nail Polish
When I first saw the spoilers this month, I was excited because many other people received much more colourful polishes in their boxes. Instead I received a sort of dull-chrome polish, and [it roughly retails for $1.75.] Beauty Box Five isn’t really known for great polish, but this is scraping the bottom I think. I can’t find this product anywhere except in other reviews of other subscription boxes, or in the four piece set. No thanks.



La Fresh Oil-Free Makeup Remover Wipes


I’m a sucker for any product that can help me on the go, and I love me some makeup wipes! It’s super important to not fall asleep with makeup on, but we’ve all been there. Whether you’re traveling or coming home late from partying, this is a very gentle makeup remover wipe that took out even the most dramatic Lancome mascara. Recommended!
Price? 8 Wipe Package: $2.49 USD. Find it on Amazon!

Nanacoco Lip Gloss - Popular


I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. I need more lip products like I need a hole in my head… that said, I do love trying out new brands and colours. I usually shy away from shiny pink lip gloss, (although I have a few striking matte pinks in my lipstick arsenal) but I’m not sure WHY because this colour is so cute! And unlike most glosses, my lips aren’t uber goopy and sticky. It has a distinct vanilla scent and flavour to it, which I adore.
Price? $6.50. Buy it on Amazon!

Novex Brazilian Keratin Foil

I understand the reasoning behind adding a hair treatment in this package - at the end of summer, hair (especially coloured hair) can get sun damaged. But FORTUNATELY, my hair is super healthy and requires absolutely no treatment to stay silky and shiny. (Humblebrag.) So this will probably get donated to a friend.



Overall, this is a GOOD Beauty Box Five box when you look at the price point and the products received, mainly due to the Purlisse and the lip gloss. Have I decided if I will renew my subscription after the September box when I have to start paying an additional $3 per box? I’m still undecided. If you are an American, this box is still a great deal, but Canadians? Not sure.

Aug 19

Loving my ‘Mystery Hair’ Privé box from @topbox & @AvedaCanada! #BeautyBox #topboxca #topbox

Loving my ‘Mystery Hair’ PrivĂ© box from @topbox & @AvedaCanada! #BeautyBox #topboxca #topbox

One of the last things I brainstormed for @canadianopera! #MadamaButterfly #getyertissues

One of the last things I brainstormed for @canadianopera! #MadamaButterfly #getyertissues

Aug 17

Hanging out at Primrose Donkey Sanctuary with Jessie the mule!

Hanging out at Primrose Donkey Sanctuary with Jessie the mule!

Baby goat bath!

Baby goat bath!

(Source: babygoatsandfriends, via awesomekickass)

Aug 16

Usako & Mamo-chan!

Usako & Mamo-chan!

(Source: dyinganimemom, via sailormoonfavorites)

Happy Birthday baby boy!

Happy Birthday baby boy!

Aug 15

Checking out the swan neck on my #Grandiose mascara. Hello lashes! @LancomeCanada @InfluensterCA

Checking out the swan neck on my #Grandiose mascara. Hello lashes! @LancomeCanada @InfluensterCA

June & July Empties


There’s nothing a beauty addict loves more than seeing empty bottles or foils of products at the end of the month. Guilt over buying that next lip balm or getting that delicious body wash melts away as you grin over your pile of finished products from the month before.

That is, if you keep them!

I moved in late June, so many of my empties were forgotten and tossed as garbage (as they should be, as they are!) so my pile is smaller than usual, but I have some CHOICE products to share :)

Garnier Damage Eraser Shampoo & Conditioner I received these samples in the mail a month or so ago but I wasn’t too excited to try them to be honest. I associate Garner with hair products I enjoyed as a teenager and haven’t tried too much since then. But boy, was I ever wrong! The Damage Eraser line still has that signature Garnier Fructis fruit-scent, but the consistency of both the shampoo and conditioner was pretty great for a drug-store brand. My hair was very soft and manageable for the rest of the week.
Would I buy it again? I’d consider it.

The Face Shop - Bamboo, MaskerAide Beauty Rest’ore & Garnier Skin Renew You can read all about these masks in Battle of the sheet masks!

Lancome Genifique I honestly don’t know if this serum did a single thing.
Would I buy it? No.

Jergens Natural Glow Medium to Tan Who doesn’t love a bit of colour in the summer? Who has a hard time getting anything more than a farmer’s tan? Yeah, me too. Luckily I received a bunch of samples of this Jergens self-tanner and I can safely say that my luminescent skin is less blinding this year. Be careful not to over-saturate your skin but rub it around equally. I found that the shins were an easy place to over-tan.
Would I buy it again? Yup! The price is right.

Kiehls’ Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate This stuff is expensive, beautiful skin-crack. It slips onto the skin like buttery, and settles into fine lines like silk. I really loved rubbing this all over my face and my skin was happy that I did so too.
Would I buy it again? It’s so expensive! Maaaybe… if there was a good sale.

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Shampoo & Conditioner I was really expecting this set to be as basic as I’ve found all other John Frieda products, but the Brilliant Brunette has a great scent and leaves hair pretty shiny. I was impressed!
Would I buy it again? Perhaps…



Bath & Body Works Shower Gel - Vanilla Bean Noel I’m a big sucker for shower gel. There’s nothing more luxurious than a really nice smelling product to wake you up in the morning or relax you at night. And this scent worked well both in the a.m. and p.m., I often dislike the cloying nature of the majority of BBW products, but this one is one of those delightful exceptions. The vanilla is tempered by a shea butter and peppermint combo that is completely irresistable.
Would I buy this again? Absolutely. I prefer it to my Philsophy peppermint stick body wash because it has the same candy-peppermint scent but for a fraction of the cost.

Planet Spa - Arizona Hot Sands Paraffin hand and foot cream This is an old Avon product I found hiding in my cupboard a few weeks ago. It has this slightly spicy, fresh clay smell and is a wonderful body butter that is great to slop on after a shower. It’s a bit thick though, so I wouldn’t use it in the summer as it would sit on the skin for aaaages.
Would I buy it again? I could only use it half the year so I’d have to think about it.

CO Bigelow Lip Cream - Lemon I’m a self-professed lip product addict and have had many Bigelow products in my collection at any given time. While I do really enjoy the peppermint and cinnamon-peppermint lip glosses, this lip cream was a bit too thick for me. I felt like the product sat on my lips and took forever to set, leaving it lacking in the moisture department.
Would I buy it again? No.

Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 20 I really, really hate the fact that this product has the word ‘anti-aging’ in it, because it makes it so much more expensive than it has to be. I receieved this in a sampler pack from Sephora and am TOTALLY SWAYED by the brand. I have a hard time finding moisturizers with SPF that don’t feel like suncsreen and this one was fantastic. It goes on very light but acts as a great base for makeup.
Would I buy it again? My sample was .5oz, and the 2oz product is $95, so no, just no.

H20+ Sea Lotus Body Wash I received this in my very first Beauty Box 5 box in January, and was interested in it’s seaweed & sea-salt-y aroma. This was a decent enough body wash. It didn’t lather too much but definitely left a very distinct and summery scent behind.
*Would I buy it again? *Not this kind, but I’d like to try their others.



The scents of summer…

Anna Sui - Fairy Dance At first sniff this perfume seems almost entirely too girly, but it actually has some complex aroma, with hints of citrus, vanilla and even a hint of sandalwood. It’s definitely distinctive!
Would I buy it again? Perhaps

Ralph Lauren - Ralph This is a classic perfume for a reason. It’s a fragrance for women that still has a nice hint of musk and magnolia. It’s nice, but it’s not my thing.
Would I buy it again? No.

Escada - Born in Paradise This is definitely a summer scent, but it smells pretty generic. There’s some coconut and pina colada in here, but it’s pretty sickly.
Would I buy it again? Nope

Lacoste - Touch of Pink This reminded me of all the things I liked from Fairy Dance, but done wrong. TOO musky, TOO woodsy, TOO vanilla-y. Too strong.
Would I buy it again? Nope

Lip product purge!

Clinique Glosswear for Lips, Sheer Shimmers This gloss is a great, completely clear gloss to give your lips that extra bit of brightening up without any colour. Great for clear gloss lovers, dull for the rest of us.

Bella Il Fiore Gloss I got this in a beauty box ages ago and only recently uncovered it. The applicator is a bit strange, the case actually doesn’t hold too much product and the gloss never really stuck to my lips well. It also has quite the unappealing smell. Tah!

Sephora Lip Gloss I never really liked the colour or the scent. Good riddance. They’ve made great headway with their lip products since I bought this one.

Bonne Belle Lip Gear Lip Crayon This is a big, chunky liner more than anything, but it’s a weird shade that is better suited for a teenager than a grown up.

And that’s that! Disagree with any of my judgments? Let me know in the comments!

Aug 13

Truly, truly outrageous! Eat Sleep Polish ‘I’m Okay” & Julep “Rose’


When I was a kid, I got the hand-me-downs of my two older cousins. I got their clothes, their bikes, their books and their toys. But because I got their old toys, I found myself with a big collection of all the shows we knew and loved, because they would ‘outgrow it’ faster than I.

Sometimes being younger had its perks!

And obviously, being an 80s baby, Jem was one of my favourite things! As a kid I totally related to Kimber, the Hologram’s keyboardist and Jerrica’s sliiiightly annoying but loveable younger sister. She was fiesty (see, red hair) and kinda bratty, but she would come into her own during the series. So I was all kinds of stoked to see Eat Sleep Polish release a line of Jem polishes, one featuring my Hologram spirit animal.



For the base, I picked a really striking red, something that reminded me of Kimber’s totally killer red hair and Julep’s Rose JUST HAPPENED to be lying around waiting for the opportunity to bust out out of the bottle.



Eat Sleep Polish’s I’m Okay features some serious shape and colour. Big white triangles, shreds of red (hard to see against the red base) and blue and pink hex and glitter! It SCREAMS 80s and JEM!



Curious about the backstory? Each polish in this collection is named after a song. In Kimber’s case, this song comes from an episode when she leaves the band and joins up with Stormer, her counterpart in the Hologram’s rival band The Misfits. It’s a fun, independant ditty that features my childhood favourite character, Kimber, with my adult favourite, Stormer.




For more looks at the Truly Outrageous collection, my friend Keri at Oh My Swatch! has the entire collection!

Do you have any of Eat Sleep Polish’s Truly Outrageous collection? I think a true Jem and the Holograms absolutely fan needs some of these toppers in their nail arsenal!