Garnier Naturals Lift Eye Cream

My review of Garnier's 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

Elizabeth Arden Prevage

Elizabeth Arden Prevage eye serum.

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

A peek into my latest Top Box.

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

First VoxBox

My first VoxBox with a Canadian slant.

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.”

L’oreal Telescopic Mascara

Before and after photos of L'oreal Telescopic Mascara.

A mascara I love at the moment for long lashes is L’Oreal’s Telescopic Shocking Extensions. It really is like “liquid extensions” in a tube especially for me as I do not consider my eyelashes very long or very lush. I have been using it for a few weeks and love the length. And so far no clumping or flaking which is a bonus. I have especially sensitive eyes since I had eye surgery five years ago and have experienced no irritation with this mascara — no flaky either — which is often the route of my eye irritation.

Before and after photos of L'oreal Telescopic Mascara.

As you can see from the before and after pictures this mascara gave me considerable length and thickness. I actually like the short bristles and found I was able to get more coverage than a long bristle fluffy wand which never really get’s between my lashes. I was actually able to comb my lashes with this wand. In case you are wondering about the colour I chose black/brown as I find straight black too harsh with my blue eyes.

You can pick up this mascara at your local Shopper’s Drug Mart or any department store with a good cosmetics section.

Topic Links
* You can purchase different kinds of L’oreal mascara from

DuWop Lip Venom – Plump Up Your Lips

My bare lips before DuWop Lip Venom application.

Brief History: What happens when a successful make-up artist meets a successful hair designer? They become friends and later business partners. Christina Bartolucci and Laura DeLuisa highlighted the best features of some of the world’s most recognizable faces before they became the successful entrepreneurs behind DuWop: Keanu Reeves, Keri Russell, Sandra Bullock and Bruce Willis just to name a few.

My bare lips before DuWop Lip Venom application. These beautiful women who deal in beauty themselves got to chatting one day while working the same show “The Profiler” and their first product i-gels was born. They decided to call their new line DuWop. A play on words as they also like to call themselves “two Italian girls”.

Their product line ranges from lipsticks, body creams, and hair care products. DuWop instantly caught the eye of the Hollywood stars and starlets. With customers the likes of Jennifer Garner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Duff, Jewel, Ashley Judd and Melanie Griffith it’s no wonder this product is so hot.

DuWop’s reasonable prices make them accessible to the general public. And if you are all about protecting nature, they don’t test their products on animals.

Product: DuWop Lip Venom

Description: “A spicy tingly gloss that enhances your lips’ natural color.”

The cute packaging that the Lip Venom comes in.Packaging: Comes in its own charming protective pink container.

Contents: 3.5 ml of transparent pink gloss in a pinky finger tube with a lip brush so you can gob it on to make it super glossy or feather it on lightly for a bit of shine.

Price: A little pricier than your $1.99 department store brand. The cheapest I’ve found is $14.99 US.

Comments: Spicy, tingly and sweet smelling lip gloss. My husband says it smells like bubble gum. This lip gloss gives the impression of plumping but really it’s just fun to use. Just ask my sister-in-law. I sent her a vial for a gift and she liked it so much she invited all her friends over to try it. They all thought it was cooool. The tingling sensation seems to send blood flow to the lips causing them to turn pinker and gives the impression your lips are plumping up.

My lips are shiny and a bit rosier after applying DuWop's Lip Venom.Satisfaction: High! It really is a novelty item but I loved it. Loved the spicy scent and smell, the tingly lips and the slippery wet but not too slippery feel. My favorite part is sharing that tingly sensation with my mate. Hence the name Lip Venom. It also works great with lip liners for a little extra color. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who has any kind of lip/skin sensitivity as they may feel more of a burning than tingling. The tiny size is excellent for carrying in the cleavage if you don’t want to be without your gloss but don’t want to carry a purse. Would I buy it again? You bet.

Purchase your own vial of lip venom from DuWop, you may want to pick up one for a friend.

Originally published 1/13/2005 at Large & Lovely, BellaOnline.