September Empties with Mini Reviews!

September Empties!

September Empties!

How was everyone’s September? New schools? New jobs? September was a hugely busy month for me, full of workshops and interviews, and next month will be even busier as I am to be starting a new job with long hours. I think I will only be able to post on weekends, sadly. I did manage to get through some items this month however! I will go through them one by one as numbered in the photo below, left to right, and add in some mini reviews and applicable links to previous reviews and the like.

Empties_Sept_2014_Numbered

 

1) Coppertone SPF 60 Continuous Spray Waterproof Sunscreen

Not that anyone should need any extra reasons to wear sunscreen at all times, but I am allergic to the sun. A few minutes of unprotected sun exposure and I’m stuck with an itchy hives reaction that can last for weeks (this is known as Polymorphic Light Eruption). So I keep my face, hands, and any other exposed skin covered at all times. I grabbed this one as not only was it on sale, but I liked the idea of a waterproof formula to make sure it sticks on during a potentially sweaty summer day when I am unable to reapply. The product was an easy to use spray on. It did leave a sticky feeling however, presumably from whatever ingredient in it makes it waterproof. I didn’t mind this until I noticed every speck of dirt and dust I walked past stuck to my skin and was hard to wash off! The scent was also somewhat strong to me, something typically beachy with a splash of light floral and a side of chemicals. If you’ve smelled Jennifer Aniston’s first fragrance, which supposedly was also intended to be beachy, it smells like that. Due to the stickyness and scent, I would not rebuy. I did like the spray on aspect, but I think I will stick to cream formulas thought winter. Will not rebuy.

2) Maybelline Full ‘n Soft Waterproof Mascara in Very Black

This, for reasons that entirely escape me, has been discontinued in Canada. I believe it is still available in the US. This has been my HG mascara for for twelve or thirteen years maybe. It builds well to great volume and length, doesn’t flake (until the tube gets a bit old and dried up), leaves my lashes soft and pliable with no spiky, spidery lash attributes, and is in fact waterproof. Not too hard to wash off. I am down to one last stashed away tube, after that there’s no more here to be found in Canada. I will miss it! If there are any US readers who would like to enable my Full ‘n Soft addiction I would be more than receptive to the idea! I would rebuy but it doesn’t exist here.

3) Bath & Body Works White Citrus Shower Gel

A zesty, sparkling citrus scent with notes of ginger and water lily. A slight musky base. I liked this enough to use as a shower gel and diluted in my foamy hand soap dispensers as detailed in this post. It was nice and refreshing. I don’t think I liked it enough to rebuy. I think this would make a great scent for a laundry detergent or a room spray or candle.

4) Pantene Sheer Volume Weightless Shampoo Sample

This shampoo has an interesting texture in that it is more of a thick, gel like formula and not at all liquid. It didn’t pour out. I used this by squeezing out little jelly blobs. I liked this far more than I usually like Pantene products, probably because the formula was so, so different. I did a good job, and my hair didn’t feel limp afterwards when dry. Even the scent is better than usual Pantene offerings, reminds me more of something Fructis might make. Worth noting is that sodium laurel sulfate is it’s primary surfactant, which some people can have sensitivities to. I’m usually ok with it if I don’t use it too many days in a row, otherwise my scalp gets itchy. I would consider buying this if I found it at a great price and needed shampoo at the time.

5) Pantene Sheer Volume Weightless Conditioner Sample

Like it’s shampoo counterpart, this formula was completely different than Pantene’s other conditioner offerings. In fact, the formula reminded me a lot of Tres Emme’s, which is my go to every day conditioner and has been for years. This did the job well and smelled pretty good. I would consider buying if it were at a great price and I needed conditioner at the time, but I can’t see it ever being any better or cheaper than my $4 a liter Tres Emme. But good job an this new shampoo/conditioner, Pantene.

6) John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo Sample

I didn’t notice any lightening. The formula didn’t lather well, and had a strange chemical undertone to the scent. Would not buy. Seemed almost indistinguishable, aside from the colour from it’s purple tone correcting counterpart I reviewed in my last empties post. Says it’s ammonia and peroxide free. How is this intended to lighten?

7) Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream

Also known as Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream Night depending on where you buy it from. This is a retinol treatment I have used for a year now and do not intend on stopping, unless I upgrade to a higher dose of retinol. There is still a couple of uses left in this tube, but I felt it would be an important addition to my empties post to demonstrate how long this little 40ml tube lasts. My last empty tube made an appearance in my debut empties post back in May, so I get at least four months worth of use out of one tube. I buy this when it’s on sale for about $16-17 Canadian, so I get my retinol treatments and results for less then $5 a month. Amazing. I’ve done a very in depth full review as well if you’d like to check it out. I will rebuy this until they stop making it, which I hope is never.

8) Diorskin Forever Flawless Perfection Wear Makeup SPF 25 Sample

I don’t have the little Sephora bag that had the label on it, but I believe this was in shade #010. I went into Sephora asking for samples of foundation of longer wearing, SPF bearing formulas, and this was the winner. It is basically perfect. Coverage was impeccable, it lasted all day in humid weather, no smudging, smearing, or transferring. I found I only needed extra concealer on my dark under eye circles when I used this. The finish is skin like, and just matte enough. I would buy this, but at the atrocious price of $49 Canadian that won’t be happening. I won’t feel too bad about asking for more samples however, after what Sephora put me though, and use it on occasions I need my skin to look nicer.

Hope everyone had a wonderful and productive September! I’m looking forward to October and all the spooky stuff (and candy) it brings with it!

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Rouge Dior Nude Lip Blush in 459 Charnelle Swatch & Review!

Dior Charnelle

Dior Charnelle

Good morning! As you might remember, I recently received a lovely gift from my friend over at Polly Fragrant which included a Dior 5 pan eye shadow from their Cherie Bow Edition called Rose Charmeuse (reviewed here with 3 experiment looks) and this pretty little nude lipstick balm called Charnelle.

Dior Charnelle, Dior Rose Charmeuse

Dior Charnelle, Dior Rose Charmeuse

The packaging is sturdy, attractive and classy. The tube is an elegant navy with silver trim with a modern line pattern cut in. The top of the lid has silver “CD” initials underneath a layer of transparent navy plastic. Fancy!

Dior Charnelle Cap

Dior Charnelle Cap

Dior markets this luxury lipstick line as a “Nude Lip Blush” balm. The finish is sheer, smooth and hydrating. I would describe it to be something between a lip butter and a gloss. It definitely doesn’t set like a lipstick would, it stays slick like a balm or gloss, but it doesn’t feel like it’s going to slide around everywhere like the Givenchy I reviewed recently. This shade looks browner in the tube than it does on my lips. On my lips it’s more of a super subtle, sheer pinkish nude. A lovely “my lips but better” shade. By far my best nude shade. Perfect for a hydrating daytime subtle lip look. Great for interviews/workplace, would also be perfect with a strong smoky eye. Shiny, no shimmer. Swatches below!

Dior Charnelle Swatch

Dior Charnelle Swatch

Dior Charnelle on lips

Dior Charnelle on lips

 

Worth mentioning, this lippie does have a fragrance and taste. It’s something like a sweetened powdery rose. It’s the kind of thing you would immediately associate with a higher end lipstick. I don’t mind it, in fact I actually like it, but if you are very sensitive to fragrance it’s worth keeping in mind.

I will enjoy using this lipstick til it’s gone but I can’t see myself ever shelling out that much for a lipstick!

Post script! Usually my French is pretty good (side effect of being Canadian) but I didn’t know what “Charnelle” meant… and apparently it’s “Carnal”. Suddenly this innocent little lipstick balm isn’t so chaste!

Dior Charnelle

Dior Charnelle

Dior Cherie Bow Edition Rose Charmeuse Eyeshadow!

Dior Rose Charmeuse & Charnelle

Dior Rose Charmeuse & Charnelle

I received these Dior beauties from the thoughtful and generous Polly Fragrant, whose name you might recognize from my recent reblog of her recent post about her adventurous foray into the cosmetics world. A few months ago, my high end makeup collection consisted of gift with purchases (from other peoples purchases). Although I did enjoy using them,  I could never really rationalize the cost, considering how industriously I try seek out the best of the drugstore low end products, often with some success. But now, between Polly’s lovely gift, and the sephora gift card won from Lastcontrast‘s giveaway in May (used on a long wanted Urban Decay palette) I have what feels like a luxurious amount of fancy pretty things to play with! I never really thought I’d have anything like these! The sephora order from that prize be seen here, if you’re curious.

Dior Rose Charmeuse

Dior Rose Charmeuse

Included in Polly Fragrant’s mailing was a 5 pan Dior eye shadow palette from their Cherie Bow collection, named Rose Charmeuse 854, and a Rouge Dior Nude lipstick in Charnelle 459. Today’s post will be just the eye shadow as it is fairly lengthy, and the lipstick will be presented with swatches on separate post that can now be found here.

Dior Rose Charmeuse Back

Dior Rose Charmeuse Back

Dior Couture Colour Eyeshadow Palette in Rose Charmeuse is a 5 pan palette with a range of shades I’ve never seen together in a palette before! Swatched on my arm below, from top to bottom are:

-A peachy shade, a matte base which is then full of glitter (thankfully not much sticks to the final result, so you don’t end up glittery, hard to see this on my arm.)

-A satiny, shimmery palest pink ivory tone, almost an ivory with a pale pink duo-chrome flash effect. Blends out as sheerly as you like, so you don’t look frosty.

-A satiny, shimmery pale ballerina pink with matching micro shimmer inside that give it a pretty luminosity.

-A smooth, intensely bright pink with a paler pink flash, leans warm.

-A deep, matte, pigmented, perfect charcoal black that actually reminds me of artist’s charcoal. Soft, little to no fallout, I wish I had something like this back in my dimly lit bartending days when I always wore black eyeshadow (my deep set eyes could pull it off without looking gothy.)

Dior Rose Charmeuse Swatched

Dior Rose Charmeuse Swatched

As this palette has not individually named the shades, for the experimental eye looks I’ve tried below I will be listing them as 1 through 5 as shown below! This is the same order they have been described above, as well.

Dior Rose Charmeuse, Numbered

Dior Rose Charmeuse, Numbered

With a shade selection this varied, a multitude of looks can be achieved! I wanted to start off with three different looks to get a feel for how this product performs. I tried out a feminine smoky look, a more wearable simple every day look (although this might be still too much for some), and a deep, dark dramatic look. Here we go!

Look#1, a pretty pink and grey smoky eye:

I applied a light base of 1, used 2 on my brow bone and inner corner, used 3 all over my lid, and 5 lightly buffed through my crease, as well as applied to darken the outer V corner. Numbers 3 and 5 were applied and blended on my lower lash line.

Dior Rose Charmeuse

Dior Rose Charmeuse

 

Look #2 a pale grey basic daytime smoky eye:

I applied another light base of 1, then placed 2 all over my lid. I added 3 sheerly, on my brow bone and a bit in the inner corner. I then layered a light touch of 5 over my lid base of 1, blending to make it grey. Added a bit more 5 in the crease to darken, and lined under eye with it as well.

Dior Rose Charmeuse

Dior Rose Charmeuse

 

Look #3, a dark and dramatic eye:

Added a small amount of 1 in the crease to make future blending easier. I blended together 2 and 3 for light application to highlight the brow bone. I liberally applied 5 to my lid (although it didn’t take much) and blended out any harsh lines heading into the crease area, to leave a nice blank area to add a bright pop of 4 blended through the crease. After more blending, I added a mixture of 4 and 5 to line my lower lash line.

Dior Rose Charmeuse

Dior Rose Charmeuse

 

Each shadow was pigmented and mercifully blendable, which is hard to come by in shadows as pigmented as 4 and 5. I haven’t yet picked a favourite! But then of course I haven’t yet tried all my options! This was so much fun to play with. Many thanks again to Polly Fragrant.

Rouge Dior Nude Charnelle lipstick post coming soon!

Enjoy your weekend!

Sephora Order/Prize Opening! (and a word of caution)

Sephora_Order_BoxLast month I was the lucky prize winner of a giveaway from the wonderfully generous Rebecca at lastcontrast! The prize was a $50 US gift certificate for Sephora which I gladly put towards this order. I am relieved I was able to use it for this order, as Sephora sure did give me a hard time about it. If you want to get straight to the goods, please skip ahead to the picture below. If you want to be aware of the behaviour of companies you may be buying from and are selective about where your beauty products are sourced, please read on.

I had a write up ready to go regarding their refusal to honor this gift certificate as I was in Canada. I will summarize here. I had it from them in writing that they were keeping the cash for it and not providing any goods or refund to the original buyer. Obviously, this refusal to provide a solution was completely unacceptable.  Over the course of my numerous carefully worded, polite emails, I did the work for them with suggestions and workarounds (six in total) that I know companies should be capable of from my 20 years in customer service myself. I begged for my concerns to be brought to management (on multiple occasions) or at least to someone with the authority to assist me. All I got in response were canned answers from whoever had the misfortune of getting to reply to my email, and by their replies I could tell no one was reading my concerns. As I had given up, and they clearly didn’t even bother trying to actually assist me, I allowed myself to be upset. I sent them an email stating as such and that my write up regarding their blatant refusal to assist after taking someone’s cash would be made available to them via links on any social media I could find including my blog and their Facebook pages for public review.

And what do you know. Unexpectedly, I got a call. A CALL, and they left me a message. Not an email. Someone, only after my upset email, decided to help me. Evidently they decided to honor my gift certificate as a refund to my card after my order had shipped (presumably so I couldn’t back out at that point). This workaround was similar to one of my suggested solutions. Incidentally, I’m still waiting for this refund but they swear it’s gone through on their end. I’ll believe it when I see it, and if I don’t I will issue a chargeback, as I do have it (in writing again) that they were to apply said refund. I am disappointed that my polite calls and emails were brushed off and ignored, but the snarky, upset one that promised to share their willingness to swindle customers with the public got their attention. I think it says a lot about the difference between Canadian and US culture. The only thing that kept them from blatant theft was the threat of me telling everyone about it. Keep that in mind when you’re dealing with Sephora in the future, if you’re particular about where your beauty dollars are spent.

 

ON TO THE GOODIES!

Sephora_Order_Numbered

 

I will quickly go over the haul as numbered. I will do more thorough reviews as the products are used, would be far too much to go into here!

1) Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – the reason I placed the order in the first place. I have wanted this for a very long time but wouldn’t ever allow myself to spend that ($64 Can) on a beauty product. The gift card prize was the only way this could have ever happened. I haven’t used them all yet but so far “Pistol” is my favourite! This no longer comes with a lip gloss, which is a pity.

2) Tocca Florence Travel Fragrance Duo – contains a hand creme and a roller ball fragrance. A light fresh white floral that leans green.

3) Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Sample – 10 shades, 5 shimmer, 5 matte. Single use sample portions.

4) Sephora’s Niche Fragrance Sampler – includes Maison Martin Beach Walk, Tocca Simone, Tokyo Milk Dark Tainted Love,  Nest Midnight Fleur, Clean Skin, and Atelier Orange Sanguine (the topmost left in the waxed paper wrap there is a post card and a sample vial. Most beautifully presented sampler I have ever seen.) There is also a Juicy Couture La La sample but this was not included with the niche sampler, but for this list purpose, and for my later review they will be grouped together.

5) Tarte Flush Cheek Stain – a deluxe sample, from redeemed points Sephora gave me for my “inconvenience” while they were still declining to honor the gift certificate. An impressive amount for a sample. This could last for a few weeks worth of daily uses at least!

6) Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium/Deep matte bronzer. Smells of chocolate, lovely. Also a points redemption as above. Also an impressive amount for a sample, this is the size of a large single pan eye shadow.

7) Make Up For Ever HD Powder sample – a tiny amount of powder on a card.

8) Urban Decay Primer Potion samples (x2 as one was with the palette) – 4 different types of their Primer Potion line, says there is to be a weeks worth of each within the packet. I’m particularly interested in the “anti-aging” one as I’d not heard of it before. I’m still not completely sold on the idea of needing one product to make another work as it should without assistance.

9) Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet – another points redemption as a deluxe sized sample. I admit to liking this far more than I thought I would. It’s simple but lovely.

10) Make Up For Ever “Happy Birthday” deluxe sample pack – contains a mini lipstick in N9 and a mini mascara in Smoky Extravagant. Added this to my order as it was available for free as my birthday is this month.

I would like to once again thank Rebecca at lastcontrast for her generous prize. I would have never had the opportunity to try these high end products otherwise. The out of pocket expense for the large list above was only $25 Canadian (I had to make it $75 for the free shipping as I’d rather the amount go towards product than ship costs)! Pretty good haul I think! 🙂

There was something missing from this order. I had selected that it be accompanied with the magnetic closure Sephora “gift box”, I was looking forward to using it for more attractive photographic purposes for this and all upcoming blog posts regarding the contents of this order. I sent them off another email to ask them about it. I found my order confirmation email where the words “gift box” were right there in black and white for their easy reference, and used it for my reply. I got an email back, immediately. They had the nerve to state that I had not included it on my order. Yes, even though it was stated right there. On the same page. On the order confirmation. Just a few inches down. I replied to them stating the obvious, that it is right there on the same page, but I don’t expect a reply at this point. I don’t understand why they didn’t send it, would have been a ton of free advertising as it would have been used in many of the photos for each of the upcoming reviews on all these products. What a missed opportunity for them, shame! EDIT: they sent back another email (was even from the same rep) saying they added 25 points to my account. Seeing as you need at least 100 to get anything I don’t know how this is satisfactory, but again the loss is really theirs – me as a customer and the free advertising they would have received.)

Although I will thoroughly enjoy using and trying out these products, and I am more than grateful for the prize, I am not sure I would ever order from Sephora again. They refuse to let their e-gift certificates to be used in Canada (why? That’s a huge market they’re just shutting out!) and their customer service is at best farcical and at worst dismissive and grossly incompetent. In the future, if I find the need for a high end beauty product, I will see if it is available from *any* other Canadian retailer first, such as Shoppers Drug Mart, Murale, London Drugs, any department store or even order directly from the product’s company website if need be. I don’t think I would ever put myself through ordering online with Sephora again. I am not close enough to a brick and mortar Sephora store for it to be much of a concern as to whether or not I’d go in to buy there.

EDIT: Unbelievably, I have even more disastrous service stories regarding this same order, they failed to refund me as promised and refused to explain why! Full story at the bottom of the post, here.

I did a quick search and there are some seriously horrifying Sephora customer service stories out there! Anyone else have one? I’d be interested to hear it! Also if anyone has any favourite looks with the Naked 2 palette they would like to share I’d be very interested in that as well!

 

Enjoy your week!