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Beauty Haul

Friday, September 21

I don't know about you, but I LOVE getting things in the mail. Actually, let me clarify. I like getting fun things in the mail (e.g., cards from friends, magazines, amazon orders, free samples, you name it). So it should come as no surprise that I signed up for Luxe Box as soon as I heard about it. Americans probably know it as Birch Box but the Canadian iteration hails from Loose Button and is known as Luxe Box. Basically the premise is that for a small fee, you get a box full of beauty product samples in the mail every so often. (When I signed up, it was a monthly delivery but they've recently switched to seasonal delivery.) And these aren't your wimpy little plastic envelopes with a day's worth of moisturizer - these are serious samples. Sometimes, you even get a full-sized product! It's a great way to test out new products (especially ones that may be more expensive) without having to splurge on a whole bottle. My Fall Luxe Box arrived last week and I thought I would share my spoils with you, along with a little review of what I've tried so far.

First off, here is the box:
Super cute packaging with a simple design
Then, inside the box, is a little note for you about all of the products you're getting in this season's installment. I can't remember if they still are (I've since disposed of the note) but they used to be personally addressed to you (with a little sticker that said "Made for Vanessa"). It's a nice touch.
 Here's what came in my Luxe Box this time:

1. Kerastase Hair Oil - This is actually the only one I haven't used yet, so no review, but it's a nice size to throw in your cosmetic case when you travel, so I'll probably save it for that. I'm a pretty loyal Moroccanoil user, but my container always leaks when I travel, so this may be a good alternative.
Kerastase Hair Oil (Excuse the terrible iPhone photos - I STILL haven't found my camera cord)
2. B. Kamins Eye Cream  - I've used this one at night a few times. It's a pretty tiny sample, so I can't really speak to whether it's better than any other eye creams I've tried. It does make the skin around my eyes feel really moisturized though, so no complaints.
B. Kamins Eye Cream (Also excuse the chipping manicure; I fixed it later that day)
3. Next up was a full-size China Glaze nail polish in Purr-fect Plum. I really liked this one! I've used China Glaze for manis before and it wears well. The colour is definitely on trend for fall, but I probably wouldn't have bought this exact colour in the store because it's very similar to a colour I already own by Essie (Bahama Mama). If you're in the market for a polish this shade though, I do recommend this one.
China Glaze in Purr-fect Plum
4. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in black. This one is pretty cool. It's like a marker. I've used a similar one by Physician's Formula before and find that the marker style liquid liner is a lot easier to maneuver than a brush-style applicator. The only issue that I have with this one is that I don't find it to be quite dark enough. When I wear black liquid liner, it's usually for winged liner and I like it to be REALLY dark. This one works better for a daytime look, IMO. I think it would also be a good one to try if this is your first foray into liquid liner - easy to handle and not so dark that it's really obvious if you mess it up a little.
Marker-style applicator
5. Blinc Mascara in black. This one is really cool. It's one of the new mascaras that claims to put little tubes around your eyelashes, rather than painting them. Sounds kind of weird, I know. The benefit is that these tubes won't "run, smudge, clump, or flake" and that you don't need to use makeup remover to take it off. Rubbing your eyelashes with wet fingers pulls the tubes right off. I actually loved this one. It's a fairly natural look, so if you're looking for intense faux-lash like mascara, this is not the one for you (but do I EVER have a recommendation for you - see below). It's nice for a casual daytime look though. I also find it to be really great for bottom lashes. I don't know if it's the shape of my eyes or just that my eyelashes are slipperier than most (is that a thing?) but anytime I wear mascara on my bottom lashes, it all ends up on the skin beneath my eyes. Even waterproof won't stay put. This stuff works! Because of the tubes, the mascara doesn't smudge or run under my eyes at all! For that reason alone, I love it. My typical routine these days is L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes (my FAVOURITE mascara) on the top and Blinc on the bottom. Stays put all day.
Arrived in this adorable aluminum tube
6. Lady Million perfume by Paco Rabanne. Putting aside the ridiculous name, I LOVE this scent. I received another perfume by Paco Rabanne in a previous Luxe Box (Black XS) and loved that one as well. Prior to that, I had never heard of this brand. I'm terrible at describing perfume, so I'll just tell you that it smells awesome (and ladylike, if that makes sense) and the website describes it as having "green and floral notes, such as lily of the valley, gardenia or even hyacinth." (Omission of the oxford comma was theirs, not mine. Shudder.)
 7. The final product in my Luxe Box was a little exfoliater pad, which came in this cute little box:
The product itself felt kind of cheap compared to everything else they sent. I'm not really sure why they included it. I forgot to take a picture before I used it but it started to fray almost immediately. Not the best product, but the rest of the samples more than made up for its inclusion.

So that's my run-down on Luxe Box. If you're a beauty product junky like me, it's a fun way to try out new products without having to invest in the full-size of something you may not like.

I also wanted to share my new FAVOURITE THING EVER. This did not come in my Luxe Box, but I read a review of it online somewhere (I have NO idea where) and decided to try it out: Tarte Smooth Operator.

This powder is amazing. It's a "micronized clay finishing powder." I had no idea what that meant, except that it promised to shrink my pores and keep my makeup on all day. It is SO good, you guys. It's a pure white powder that goes on translucent and sets your makeup. I've always had a problem with enlarged pores and after using this stuff, my pores were microscopic. Sold. Although it's supposed to be translucent, I do wonder how the white powder would work on someone who isn't paler than a snowman, like me. If you've got darker skin and you've tried it, let me know. I'm curious.

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