Lancome Grandiose Mascara Review

The folks at Influenster and Lancome sent me a tube of Grandiose Mascara for review. Instead of the traditional purple/pink Influesnter box it came in a black box and here was my first impression:

Perhaps the over packaging of the box is part of the grandiose theme.

From the time they sent it until now I’ve had a few trips and decided to take it along with me. The first thing I noticed when I took it out of the package is how pretty the tube is.

The mascara tube.

In fact, I think this is probably the prettiest tube of mascara I have ever had my hands on. It feels good in my hands too.

The rose cap of the Grandiose Mascara.

The weirdness happened when I uncapped the lid and pulled out the “Swan-Neck”wand. I have to admit it took me a few days to get a feel for the bend in the wand so I could apply the mascara properly. Now that I have, I quite like the bent wand. I have noticed I don’t have to contort my face as much to apply the mascara.

The Swan-Neck wand.

The box even comes with fold out instructions on how to apply.

Instructions on how to apply their mascara.

The tasks of this formula are to add length, curve, and volume. The color they sent was Noir Mirifique (01) and it really is a wonderful bright black. I like my brushes a bit short and not too fluffy as I find it easier to apply without making a mess but with this brush I found I couldn’t get the lashes to separate as much as I wanted. I’m not sure why — it could be the bristles are a wee bit too thick.

The brush of Lancome's Grandiose Mascara.

The formula is also very thick. For me, I felt one coat was fine. What you see in the picture below is actually more like 1 1/2 than two coats as two tended to look messy to me whenever I tried it.

My eyes with Grandiose mascara in one and two coats.

As for wear, I have no complaints in that department. The mascara stayed on all day and didn’t flake at all (a common problem I have even with mascaras that insist they don’t).

Overall it was an OK experience but not the exceptional I expected from a $35 tube. I can’t say I loved it enough to get another.

Garnier Naturals Lift Eye Cream

I bought Garnier Skin Naturals Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Eye Cream when I picked up a few other products to try that were also on sale at the time. This little tube turned out to be one of my favorite products. It comes in a 15ml tube for about $20.

I have never been a religious eye cream user but I’ve found, over the last five years especially, that my hooded eyelids (which I’ve always had issue with) have developed a crinkled tissue paper look that I am not fond of and impedes my enjoyment eye shadow. I tried a few creams but didn’t find anything that was light enough and didn’t make me break out.

I like the lightness of this lift cream, a little goes a long way and I notice immediate results even if I miss a day. I also like that it comes in a tube so I don’t have to stick my finger in a jar and the precision tip makes it easier to squeeze out the right amount. The tube seems to last forever too which is a nice bonus making me feel OK about the price. I don’t really have anything negative to say about this cream which is unusual because I can usually find at least one thing I don’t like about a beauty product.

I picked mine up from Shopper’s Drug Mart but any drug store that carries Garnier products probably has it. The only place I found it for purchase online was at the Well for $18.79 (free shipping on orders over $25).
Topic Links
* Visit the official Garnier website
* Get Garnier eye cream from

Evil Queen Press On Nails

The folks at Broadway Nails and Influenster were kind enough to send me two packages of press-on nails to try. I actually didn’t like the nail art on one of them and gave them away to a Facebook friend and kept these Disney Villain’s inspired Evil Queen ones to try. I am not new to Broadway’s press-on nails but this is my first solid style. I love the steel grey color (they have lots of other styles to choose from) with a hint of holographic.

One of the first things I like about these press on nails is the length. They are short and very workable. I am wearing them as I am typing right now with no issue whatsoever. The downside is my nails are not very long to begin with and I had to trim them a bit.

The whole process takes five to ten minutes: sorting proper sizes, cleaning off own nails with prep pad, and applying nails. They recommend not washing your hands for 30 minutes but otherwise you are ready to go. No messy glue involved! Here is a 30 second image video so you can see process from start to finish:

From the top and from a normal distance (not looking too closely) they look like regular nails but on closer inspection from the side or underneath it is obvious they are fake nails especially if you haven’t trimmed your nails short enough. There are 24 nails pieces to choose from but I still found it hard to fit my thumb and middle fingers.

I have on Evil Queen from the Disney Villains collection from Broadway Nails.

I find it necessary to give the nails a good press every day just to make sure nothing has come loose — usually after a shower. I also give them a quick blow dry with the dryer so water is not sitting underneath them.

You definitely don’t have to worry about chipped nails or questionable chemicals with this brand of nail coverage and the sticky backing is pretty strong. I can get about five days of problem free wear but I like to change my color more often so some people might be able to get longer. The key is definitely clean nails, and making a point of repressing them at least once a day.

A box of nails cost between $9 to $13 depending on where you purchase them. They are available from shops like Walmart, Target, London Drugs, Loblaws etc.

Topic Links
* Learn more about Influenster

Elizabeth Arden Prevage

I received a sample of Prevage in a Top Box ($13 sample beauty box — if you want an invite send me your email with “request for topbox invite” in subject). This beauty product is by Elizabeth Arden and is touted as a anti-aging + intensive repair eye serum. It is priced for $155 at the Bay for 0.5 ounces.

Elizabeth Arden Prevage eye serum.I was putting off using it because the sample came in a packet and it so hard to use them in a sanitary manner when you have to rip open the packet. Someone suggested putting a pin prick in it and covering it with tape but that didn’t work for me.

I eventually ripped open the packet to find a watery beige fluid. It looks more like make-up than something that should be part of my skin care routine especially at night. It is lightweight, didn’t feel greasy but also didn’t feel like a moisturizer either. Anyway, I was able to get a few days use out of it and perhaps it’s not enough time but I didn’t notice any noticeable difference and at that price I would be hard pressed to buy a full tube which is not even a full ounce to try.

Topic Links
* Visit Elizabeth Arden for more info on their Prevage line

Top Box Beauty Samples

Top Box is a beauty sample box that is delivered every month for about $13.56 with taxes. It is one of the few Canadian only programs out there. In each box there is usually about four samples, sometimes full size and sometimes just a taste to whet your appetite (or not). At the moment you have to sign up via email to be on a waiting list. I was on for about three to four months before I received an email inviting me to officially join. I was so excited. I filled out their survey which is supposed to help them choose the right products to send to me.

A quick view of my first Top Box

As it stands I have received two Top Box parcels, February and March. The first box contained a full size Shu Uemura lip gloss (not a fan of lip gloss), full size Cuccio Color Nail Lacquer (never tried this brand and I loved it), a sample B. Kamins Nutrient Replacement Cream Kx (hate, leaves my face feeling greasy in morning, very expensive at $135 per 45g), full size Estee Lauder Double Ended Kajal Pencil in blackened black and blackened cocoa (it’s almost like they didn’t read my profile–way too dark for me). Overall I thought it was pretty lackluster for a first box to send out. But for $12 I didn’t feel jipped.

Within minutes I was trying the Cuccio top coat on my new mani.

I wouldn’t say box two was any better, just “Meh.” It contained a sample size Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (I was disappointed by the size but loved this stuff and may even consider the $72 for 35ml full size when I am done. I don’t wake up greasy and I noticed a definitely change to fine lines and skintone. Directions say to apply moisturizer afterwards but I haven’t yet), two packets of Belvada Blackhead Facial Mask (this 30 minute peel off mud mask is super sticky, takes too long, and removed a lot of peach fuzz facial hair with it — ouch!), Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (when I saw the dark color, I thought again “Didn’t they read my profile?” but it’s not bad and generally I like Clinique lipsticks), a full size tube of Epic Blend hemp lip balm (gave it to my husband as he is the lip balm user, haven’t heard back). Again, I don’t feel jipped by the $12 I paid for this box and it was fun to try the new beauty products. Here’s quick video I posted of the box on Instagram:

I realize I am not raving about this beauty box (which is actually a tube) but I am looking forward to this month’s to see what I get. I would love to try an eye cream, another brand of polish, a mascara perhaps… but I’ll have to wait and hopefully be pleasantly surprised.

Have you tried any beauty boxes?

Topic Links
* Sign up for your Top Box beauty samples

Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser

A little over a week ago, I received a mystery brand vox box from Influenster and L’Oreal with three small faceless bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and hair serum to use blindly for a week with the understanding that they would unveil what the product was this week.

A huge box arrived yesterday from Garnier — I guess the cat is out of the bag! I opened up the box to find a lot of bright orange looking back at me:

Based on my shampoo and conditioning experience with the samples, I was expecting to find an higher end brand of salon formula but found Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser. The shampoo and conditioner sell for about $3.77 a bottle at Walmart. The serum is about $4.27 and a new addition I didn’t receive in the initial sampling was hair butter deep conditioner which is also $4.27.

Initially I used the samples for four shampoos and noticed a difference quite quickly. My hair felt softer, it holds its style longer, and the ends don’t look dry. I noticed I have to use a little less serum on my hair or else it looks heavy. I really like that it has a light scent as we have a migraine sufferer in the house who is affected by strong scents (no candles for us) so lighter scents make all the difference.

I am looking forward to using the full size bottles that came this week especially since I seem to be growing out my hair.

Have you tried Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser yet?

Topic Links
* Learn more about Influenster

“I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.”

Sally Hansen Vox Box

Influenster sent me a Sally Hansen Vox Box in early January featuring three polishes from their Complete Salon Manicure (CSM) line. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you know for the past year I’ve been kind of obsessed with nail polish and painting my nails. I even started a blog about it. So when the box of nail polish showed up on my door I was quite excited (although I was surprised to find it ill-packaged — one of the bottle caps had come undone and leaked).

My Sally Hansen Vox Box from Influenster.

The main tagline for this promotion is “7 benefits. 1 bottle. 0 Competition. The benefits? Base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, color, top coat, chip resistant, and gel shine finish.

The three colors I received were: “Pat on the Black” #510 (purple/black), “Jaded” #540 (robin’s egg blue), and “Red My Lips” #470 (true red). And I tried them in that order. My first instinct was to go for the red but I had recently worn red and fought the urge.

I find two coats are necessary with a possibility of a third depending on how well the first coats go on. In this case POTB needed two coats to get a complete opaque look while Jaded needed three and RML was pretty whether it was a sheer one or an opaque two coats. Let’s have a look at my nail polish swatches!

Pat on the Black

With Pat on the Black I had a very tiny chip the next day but I dabbed on some fresh polish, let it dry, then applied another thin coat and I couldn’t tell it was chipped. The mani was pretty good for four days (around day 3 I gave it a top coat of glitter) and by day five, because of my habits I took it off. I honestly don’t think I can leave the same polish on for ten days to test this out. I get too antsy with the color and want to change it. Even though there is a base coat in the CSM I applied one anyway because I am paranoid about color transference with dark colors but I didn’t apply a top coat.

Sally Hansen's Pat on the Black nail polish from their Complete Salon Manicure collection.


This color is up my alley. It is impossible to have too many blues in one’s nail polish cache as far as I am concerned. This polish looks like it would be opaque in the bottle but it is actually a sheer psuedo-jelly. I found it needed at least three coats to get a suitable color but the third coat did not apply as good as the first two. This polish was on for four days before I noticed some nail wear along the nail edge but no chipping. Like the Pat on the Black I used my own base coat but no top coat.

My nails with three coats of Jaded nail polish.

Red My Lips

Oh, I was so itching to try this red. It went on amazing. It has a similar jelly-like quality that jaded has but didn’t require as many coats. The nail edge was transparent with one coat but it still looked amazing. Love, love, the color. I decided to live on the edge and not use a base coat and did not notice any staining when I removed it (bare in mind that I am a regular user of nail conditioner so my nails are not dry). Like the other two polishes I did not use a top coat at least for the first few days until I started noticing red marks on things and realized it was the red nail polish whenever my nails scuffed something like the inside of my new fridge when I was cleaning it. I put on a top coat and it quickly solved the problem.

My nails with Sally Hansen's bright red Red My Lips nail polish.

Overall Impressions

I have a few bottles of Complete Salon Manicure in my collection already and I would call it one of my favorites. My favorite feature besides the colors, is the large brush. I can almost paint my whole nail with one stroke. I also like how the polish does not get tacky as I am brushing them on but still manage to dry quickly once I am finished my manicure. I like the large bottle sizes and a past favorite of mine was the rubber neck on the cap but they have since replaced it with just plastic which is unfortunately because the rubber was really great for gripping if the lid was stuck but this new plastic band is not.

Overall I can get about four days of great color before I start noticing wear along the nail edge but on the bright side this was super easy to touch up with a thin coat, unlike an actual chip which tends to leave a bumpy edge. Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure is still one of my favorites.

Update: This weekend I decided to play with all three colors with a nail art that has become my favorite go to:

I did a quick and easy nail art with all three colors.

Topic Links
* Check out Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure colors
* Learn more about Influenster

“I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.”

A Tale of Three BB Creams

BB Cream is short for “Beauty Balm” Cream. It was perfected in the Asian market as the be all and end all in women’s beauty products that has become the catch word phrase for women’s make-up in Canada and the US. Everything is coming up BB or CC (color correcting) or even DD (dynamic do-all). For the last eight months I have been playing with three BB creams by three different brands: L’Oreal, Garnier, and Maybelline.

L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream Features and Opinion

I was really taken in by the commercials for L’Oreal’s Magic Skin Beautifier which according to their packaging primes, perfects, hydrates, corrects. I picked up a tube in fair — it was the first BB cream I purchased and I immediately hated it.

Right from the beginning I was not impressed with this one. It came out of the tube whitish grey looking and needed to be worked before it went on my face. I found if I did it on my face it absorbed really quickly, too quickly to really blend in properly. Their lightest color was really too dark for me and I don’t know if it was a reaction to the product but after an hour it turns orangey on my skin. I paid full price for this one from Walmart which was about $16 for a 30 ml tube.

A Few Images of the L’Oreal BB Cream

I like the control of the tube tip which is narrow and pointed. It really has a no mess spout. This cream has little specks of color in the cream when it comes from the tube.
A dab of L'Oreal's BB Cream on my hand.

As I begin to blend it turns milky white.

As I begin to rub in cream it turns milky white at first.

Then the color starts to form.

With continued motion the cream begins to take on color.

I would not call this color fair and it is already starting to take on the orangey hue I mentioned — out of all things the color is my biggest complaint. I feel like it sets in before I can properly blend it.

Their cream darkens as it sits on my skin.

Garnier BB Cream Features and Opinion:

Garnier started the BB trend in Asia and so my interest in trying the leader of the concept was high. Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream boasts itself as a “tone perfector” and all-in-one product that renews, brightens, evens, and hydrates.

It is my favorite of all three. It smooths on easily and a little goes a long way — a little goes a long way — I can easily layer it over trouble spots if I need too i.e. red cheeks, without it building up too quickly but still providing coverage. It leaves me with a nice glow and even texture. As the day progresses I do find it becomes a bit greasy (I have oily/dry skin to begin with) but it blots really well with a tissue. I bought my tube on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for $13 which may seem like it is pricey but it is a 75 ml tube and it lasts a long time — a little goes a long way!

A Few Images of the Garnier BB Cream

The Garnier tube has an attached flip cap and is indented so it tends to get gunky and I have to wipe it out often. Out of the tube it looks like a regular foundation.

Garnier's BB is thicker and creamier when it comes out of tube.

But on contact you see how incredibly light it is and that a little goes a long way. I obviously put too much on my hand for this demo.

A little goes a long way.

It blends in like a lotion.

As you can tell by this photo it  is easy to over do.

I feel like I can actually spread it all over my face before it sets. It is light feeling on the skin.

It blends in really well.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream Features and Opinion:

After seeing a video review by Sara Bartlett (Bombshell Beauty) I decided I needed to try this Maybelline’s Dream Fresh which falls into the more affordable area of drugstore brands. I have been having a good go with Maybelline products this year for some reason. This brand boasts being an 8 in 1 product which includes: SPF 30, blur imperfections, natural glow, smoother, compliments skin tone, hydrates all day, feels fresh, oil free.

Maybelline cream is runnier than Garnier but has a thicker coverage. It is runnier than L’Oreal but has a thinner cover. It’s light sheer color was still disappointingly darker than what I want but I could get away with it in the summer because I had a natural summer glow. As my winter pale starts to show I am finding it on the darker side of pale. That Maybelline’s comes with sun protection and is oil free is a bonus. I bought on sale for $7 at Shoppers. The tube is 30 ml.

A Few Images of the Maybelline BB Cream

The tube is has outie tip with a separate cap and I find both tend to get goupy and need to be cleaned often because the cream is so runny. Because it is runny I find I can spread it easily.

Maybelline is a little runnier.

As you can see I need to use a little more to get more coverage but it does not soak in super quickly which makes it nice for blending.

A little goes a long way but I don't feel like it needs to be layered.

I find I have to work quick though because once it is absorbed it is hard to move.

Takes a little more to blend.

As you can see from the streak still visible.

Still not perfectly blended but ok coverage.

You can have a closer look at the consistency in my mini review video:

To sum things up. Of the three, Garnier is my favorite for color, consistency and coverage — it doesn’t feel like make-up. Followed by Maybelline which is an affordable tint with darker coverage but still feels like make-up. Followed by L’Oreal which I dislike mostly because of the color and dryness.

What BB creams have you tried?

Topic Links
* BB Cream from Garnier
* BB Cream from L’Oreal
* BB Cream from Maybelline

First VoxBox

I had a nice surprise in my mail box this past week, a Influencer VoxBox. I have been registered with the site for a few months, wrote a few reviews, but really did not know what to make of or do with it so the novelty kind of died off. Last week they sent me an email saying I was being considered for a VoxBox and to fill out their survey as a first step. I got the impression they would contact me for further information but they never did, the box just showed up.

What is Influenster? Basically, it is a community for people who spend a lot of time online and like to give their opinions about products they use. It’s also a good place for others to learn about new products and how much people like or dislike them. Not everyone gets a VoxBox (a monthly box full of “complimentary” goodies to try). Like I said, I was invited to fill out a survey which took more than a few minutes.

My First VoxBox

From all the other boxes I have seen on Instagram and Twitter over the preceding months I thought the box I received was kind of small. It made a lot of noise too (meaning everything was free floating inside). When I opened it up I realized it was actually the first Canadian VoxBox which they are calling #MapleVoxBox so I was even more surprised that it was so modest.

My first VoxBox with a Canadian slant.

The first thing I found in the box was a postcard introducing the first Canadian VoxBox:

A Canadian post car introducing this as the first box.

The breakdown on the contents:

Skinny Cow Milk Chocolate Flavour Heavenly Crisp and Milk Chocolate Dreamy Clusters: These retail for $1.29 per bar/package or $4.29 for a four pack. Each package has 120 calories, 6 grams of fat and are truly tasty. I was surprised. Especially the dreamy clusters which smelled as good as they tasted. For a name like “skinny cow” I was surprised that they had 6 grams of fat. To give some contrast a Snickers bar is 12 grams of fat and 250 calories (I used Snickers because if I was going to have a chocolate bar this would be the brand and like Snickers they are really satisfying).

My Skinny Cow treats didn't last long.

I know I took them out to take pictures of them but then they were gone. That in itself should tell you how tasty they were.

NYC New York Color Big Bold Curl Mascara and Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss: they provided full size samples which retail for $4.99 along with $1.00 off coupons for each item.

The NYC cosmetics that came in my VoxBox.

The Mascara: I have used it two times, once yesterday and once today. It gives good lift and coverage although at first I thought the product was a bit dry looking. I found the really large brush a bit awkward to use at first but the next day was a bit easier. I did not find this mascara to be especially long lasting through the day — by the time I went to remove it it looked like I had only applied one thin coat and there were lots of particles under my eyes. I was surprised I didn’t end up with more in my eyes. My sensitive eyes did not experience any irritation from the product. Here is a quick photo showing my eyes without mascara then 1, 2, and 3 coats:

My eyes with the NYC mascara on them in 1, 2, and 3 coats.

The Gloss: This gloss is supposed to make lips look fuller and provide high gloss shine for up to four hours. It has a huge applicator, kind of too big for my thin lips actually, I didn’t feel like I had much control over application but it is nice and soft. It is a pretty color that I have been wearing alone. It has that gooey consistency that lip glosses generally have.

The thick wand on the lip gloss.

Broadway Nails ImPress Press-On Manicure: This cute artificial nail set retails from $9 to $11 and requires no glue to apply. I have not used them yet but they have a nice nail art and they actually included 24 nail tips unlike the 18 I’ve seen in other brands. So there is the potential to get two manicures out of it if the sizes are close enough. These peel off and press nails look like they will be fun. Also comes with a mini file and nail cleaner to make sure proper adhesion occurs. I like how these are in a short length too. Update: Here is my full review of theses press-on nails.

Press on nail art nails in a short length.

Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spa: I have used this brand of masks before and I love their affordability and selection. I think this is my first Glacial Clay masque. This mask is so chilly! With snow already on the ground I found it a bit too chilly for this time of year but I think it would be amazingly refreshing in the hot humid days of summer (perhaps their first mask in this box should have been a warming mask). As you can see from the quick Vine video below (volume control is in upper left corner of video) this is a material mask that is saturated with the clay. This makes for super easy clean up afterwards. I relaxed for ten minutes, gave myself a little massage, then used a warm cloth to remove clay residue. I was left feeling refreshed. I have sensitive fair skin and did NOT experience any irritation.

Ice Breakers Duo: These mints come in an assortment of flavours for $1.99. I was sent raspberry with cooling crystals. One side is raspberry and bumpy and the other side is minty and smooth. The flavor reminds me of those single powdered beverage drinks you make on your own. I find it strong and sweet with a hint of mint. They are quite large, about the size of my ring finger nail. I had to get rid of mine about half way through but my husband didn’t mind them. The container has two flip open sections which are handy. One side is small if you just want one mint and the other side is bigger for sharing.

And that is my first VoxBox. Have you tried any of these products?

Topic Links
* Visit Influenster’s official website
* What my perfect spa day would include (Pinterest Board)
“I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.”

Purple Polish and Golden Wisps

This week’s manicure was inspired by Jen at PolishAholic although it really looks nothing like hers at this point. Jen created a left to right ombre effect with her purple polishes and while I love purple, apparently I do not like it enough to buy them all in coordiating tones (at least not yet). So I decided to use the new Julep eggplant purple nail polish accented with a gold by L’oreal (#580). Here is my final inspiration:

I started with purple on four nails and gold on ring finger.

While it doesn’t look as elegant as Jen’s I quite like it. I would like to try it again with a thinner brush and without the gold accent nail; although I do like the combination without the wisps (above).

Showing off my eggplant and gold colored nails.

Dark eggplant is a wonderful nail color for this fall and gold dresses it up. Do you have any favorite purples in your nail stash you could dress up with some gold accents?

Topic Links
* Check out Jen’s original nail art design that inspired me
* Pick up the eggplant nail polish from Julep

Deluxe Manicure Kit

When my brother-in-law was visiting a few weeks ago he dragged his brother to one of the malls in Toronto. While there they got to experience a hard-sell at one of the Kiosks. Specifically the Forever Flawless Deluxe Manicure Kits, “for beautiful, shiny nails and soft beautiful hands”.

Diamond Deluxe Manicure Box Closed.

At the kiosk the kits costs $79.99 but the men were able to walk away with two kits for the price of one. Two for the price of one, the men thought they got a good deal and a gift for each wife.

Diamond Deluxe Manicure Box opened.

So what is in the kit?

  • 150 ml of Forever Flawless Hand and Body Lotion
  • 15 ml of Forever Flawless Cuticle Oil
  • 4 sided buffing block
  • nail file
  • cuticle trimmer

The box has detailed instructions on how to use the contents on both the inside flap and on the outside.

The Lotion

The lotion is very thick and creamy; even the tube is heavy. I found it to be a very mild scent (I actually really liked the scent because of this) but my husband thought it was strong. A little goes a long way in terms of coverage but once it has soaked in there is no greasy feeling residue afterwards.

The black tube of Forever Diamonds hand and body lotion.

I wanted so much for this lotion to be awesome and it is for maybe the first hour or two but it does not hold up in terms of fighting dryness or providing protection. In fact, over a week, I found the skin on my hands felt dryer, looked older, and was more irritated than ever. Definitely not what I expected from an $80 price tag.

The Cuticle Oil

The container for the cuticle oil is a bit cheap. It has a little ball tip for application. There is no control over how much comes out, a bit too much in my opinion.

Forever Flawless Cuticle Oil.

Now, I will admit I am a bit biased when it comes to cuticle oils as I have been using the same one for over eight years and have yet to find anything that comes even close to being as good.

According to the ingredients on the back this one is a combination of water, jojoba oil, and sand flavor.

Forever Flawless cuticle oil ingredients.

I feel the same about this product as the lotion. After a week of using it my cuticles were crying for my old oils and my hang nails were out of controls. If you use absolutely nothing on your cuticles I can see how this might be useful but again for the $80 price tag, not so much. You could find better conditioners in your local drug store for much cheaper.

The 4-sided Buffer

To me, this was the best item in the box. I am not a huge fan of buffers on a regular basis because it is easy to over buff and buffing causes splitting. But as someone who regularly abuses nail polish sometimes it is just necessary. The buffer is actually a three sided buffer with the fourth being a nail file. This is how my nails look before buffing (the yellow tint is from a previous staining of orange polish):

What my nails looked like before buffing.

I love the two different grains for getting a smooth finish and the final silky side for getting a really nice shine. After using this anyone could go without polish with confidence. It’s lovely, if you can your hands on the buffer, go for it.

What my nails looked like after buffing.

The Nail File


The nail file from the Forever Flawless manicure kit.

The Cuticle Trimmer

DON’T ever use one of these but especially this one. This was incredibly sharp and dangerous to any healthy nail/cuticle or nails/cuticles trying to get healthy. You would be better off using clippers to trim. This was also a cheap piece of plastic — I have one I paid less for that is better quality.

Cuticle trimmer from manicure kit.

Overall, I cannot say I am impressed with this manicure kit and if I had been with the men while they were shopping I would have told them to skip it — even though they got two kits for their regular price (which was a last minute attempt by the seller). Incidentally, I found a Forever Flawless website that is selling the kit for $99. It looks basically the same but the cuticle oil container is actually nice looking.

Topic Links
* Forever Flawless Nail Care Kit

Pop Brights

Shoppers Drug Mart is having a “Nail the Look” contest on their site. They are featuring four different nail looks and have asked people like us to nail the look and send in photos of the results. The judges will then pick a favorite from each look and each of the winners gets $500 in nail products. How could I not enter?

The first look is called Pop Brights. The look was developed by Jenny Stencel and Danielle Black from Here is their tutorial:

I thought this look would be a good one to start with so I headed out to Shopper’s to see what I could find. Luckily they had all the colors I needed and they were all on sale:

  • Quo by Orly — Femme Fatale
  • Ceramic Glaze — Watermelon Cooler
  • Ceramic Glaze — Exotic Dragon Fruit

Ceramic Glaze and Quo nail polishes

This is my first time using Quo and Ceramic Glaze nail polish. They are both on the higher end price wise and were on sale for $8.99.

Dragon Fruit with Watermelon dots.

I did not enjoy the Quo experience. I actually had to take off the first two coats I put on because they were such a goopy mess. If I used anymore than two brush strokes to get the polish on it got sticky. I fared better with my second attempt but still was not impressed. If they are all like this I probably would not buy anymore.

I did however really like both of the Ceramic Glaze polishes which I found much easier to work with.

Playing with nail art dots and bright colors.

The video used an Essie Millionales base coat but I used a Revlon Multi-care Base/Top Coat (965). And my favorite Julep Freedom Polymer for the top coat.

Pop Brights Nail Art Submission to Nail the Look.

I am very happy with how it turned out! I have a lot of brighter shades in my nail polish box and I love the concept of breaking up the brightness so it is not so overpowering. I am so thankful I watched this tutorial and gave it a try. Fingers crossed the judges think I “nailed the look”!

Topic Links
* Shopper’s Drug Mart Nail the Look — Campaign is over.
* Take a look at my other entry!

True Blue

Bess, I love you.

I know I have been going crazy with nail polish for the last few months and I apologize for this addiction but honestly I cannot help it. Ok, I can but I don’t want to. Especially after wearing this new color from Julep.

Bright blue nail polish by Julep.

About a week ago I put on two coats of this thick creme nail polish with no top coat — it had such a nice sheen on its own I didn’t bother.

A fresh coat of bright blue nail polish.

I probably could have put on a third coat as my nail tips are still visible but I really don’t mind the look. This robin’s egg blue is called Bess — like a good friend. I know I am obsessed with blue tones but this one is so pretty.

Robin egg blue nail polish from Julep.

After a few days I was a wee bit bored with myself and changed the look into a make-shift French manicure by putting slate sparkle polish (Jordan) on the tips. I am pretty sure it was two coats. It just looks black in the photo but trust me, it is glitter.

Silver grey glitter manicure with bright blue polish.

I enjoyed it for a few days and was itching to do something else. The polish was still looking hot so I could not justify taking it off. Soooo… I put on another coat of Bess, yes, right over the sparkles and everything. Then I took out my L.A. Colors white nail art lacquer brush and painted diagonal stripes on the tips (left hand first).

Diagonal white stripes on nail tips.

It turned out way better than I could have imagined.

Bright blue nail polish with two thin white stripes on tips.

This last nail art was super easy and I highly recommend trying it. It was fun to do and looks so sharp.

Topic Links
* Become a Julep Maven or shop at Julep
* My first Maven experience
* My second Maven experience