Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Collection: Deluxe Perfume Samples


Here is part two of my perfume sample collection series (read part one here). Half of these have been accumulated through gift with purchases (GWP) and through Sephora. I did not even realize that more than half of my collection are Dior scents! With that being said, I did not actually deliberately choose these particular scents with the exception of one. I had started collecting these mini deluxe samples when my mom gave me my first high end deluxe sample when I was a young teenager, and that sample is the Dior Pure Poison. It was a part of a gift with purchase that my mom had bought. I have probably kept this sample for almost decade now as I have saved and not used it because I didn't to use it all up. Surprisingly, the scent has not changed and is still very potent. Dior J'adore one is also from my mom's GWP purchase. Versace Bright Crystal came with an order I made from MzSpa, and Estée Lauder Pleasures from a EL GWP, and the Dior Addicts from a Sephora 500 point perk. Dior's Miss Dior is the one that I went out and spent 100 Sephora points on because I love the scent and the packaging so much (the slanted logo/sticker bugs me so much though!). I know I will be buying a big bottle of this one day but I just cannot resist this mini version. I am really picky when it comes to perfumes and because they are quite pricey, I always have to test drive them before making a commitment. I also do not like to have a whole stockpile of full sized perfumes for fear that I will not be able to use them before they go bad and also because I get tired of the same thing so easily. These are the perfect solutions because they are usual ~5ml, which gives you a bit more product to work with to see if you really like them then the normal 1ml samples you can get with any online Sephora purchases. The best thing though, would have to be that you get an exact replica of the full sized bottles and we all know how elaborate and beautiful perfume bottles can be. I am looking for a nice glass jar or a mirror plate or bowl to keep these in, and once I do find something I like, I will sure be featuring it in a blog post. Keep your eyes peeled.

P.S. I have separate posts for the occasions in which I have acquired most of these; the links can be found at the bottom of the post if you are interested in reading them.

Dior Miss Dior Perfume Deluxe Sample Bottle

Dior Dior Addict Perfume Deluxe Sample Bottle

Dior Pure Poison Perfume Deluxe Sample Bottle

Dior J'Adore Perfume Deluxe Sample Bottle


Related Posts:
Sephora Beauty Insider 500 Point Perk - Dior Addict
Sephora Haul (Cover Fx, Origins, Lancôme, Dior)
Miss Dior Eau de Parfum Mini Miss Dior Eau de Parfum
Sephora November 2012 VIB Sale (and the Opening Party)
Estée Lauder GWP 2011: the Gifts Haul
My Collection: Fragrances

XO Nicole

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Collection: Perfume Samples

My Collection: Perfume Samples

Mini perfume samples are my favourite beauty "freebies" to get. They are so helpful for deciding whether the scent is right for you because the scent varies between individuals due to the chemistry between each person's personal odour and the perfume itself. These samples are ~1ml in volume, giving you about 3-4 uses (depending on how many spritz you use each time) to allow you to determine if you really do like it or not. I am very picky when it comes to picking perfumes, especially my signature scent (which I have yet to find) so this pile of samples provided me with a lot of excitement... will I find the scent that I have been looking for all this time? Well, I won't know until I actually test these samplers out! So, when I pulled these out of my little collection for use over the next few weeks, I decided it would be fun to showcase it! These samples have come mostly from my online purchases from Sephora where you get to choose 3 samples with every online order (I obviously always go for the perfume samples of course). I love perfume bottles and their packaging so I thought that it would be fun to show you guys as well.


My Collection: Perfume Samples


XO Nicole

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sephora Beauty Insider 500 Point Perk - Dior Addict



This was probably an impulse splurge of my Sephora points but it is probably because it is quite rare that Sephora has these higher, more "lux" brands for their beauty insider point redemption program. For me, I personally love perfume samples, especially deluxe samples (I may or may not collect them) so the two deluxe samples really lured in into spending my points on this. Seriously, I do not want see my points accumulate too much. It will remind how much I've spent on makeup throughout the years... 

The two deluxe fragrance samples are from their Dior Addict line: Dior Addict Eau Fraîche and Dior Eau Sensuelle. I love Dior fragrances, but I have mostly only ever tried their more "sexier" and potent scents like Dior Poison and J'adore. The Addict line seems to be lighter (they are eau de toilettes) and are designed for the daytime - I think they also portrayed this very well in the packaging/bottle. Both these bottles are so simple yet they are so pretty with the tint of colour at the bottle. 


Dior Addict Eau Fraîche
Dior Addict Eau Fraîche


Dior Eau Sensuelle
Dior Eau Sensuelle

Dior Eau Sensuelle
Dior Eau Sensuelle

Dior Addict Lipstick In Diorkiss 578

Appropriately, this set also comes with a mini sampler of one of their Dior Addict lip sticks. The shade, Dior Kiss 578 is a "sheer dark pink". I think would be great for everyday or even on nights out.



XO Nicole

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Collection: My Lash Stash



I was cleaning out my makeup train case for the new year and I found an overwhelmingly large collection of high end mascaras in there. These were collected from GWPs and Sephora. I thought it would be fun to include this in a "My Collection" post. In this little "lash stash" of mine, I basically have all the popular high end mascaras out there. More specially (in the order from left to right):
  • BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara
  • MAKE UP FOR EVER Smoky Lash
  • Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara
  • Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Mascara
  • Clinque Lash Doubling Mascara
  • Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara
  • Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils
  • Lancôme Definicils High Definition Mascara
  • Lancôme CILS BOOSTER XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base
  • Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Mascara
The one huge downside to this collection is that I will probably never use any of them because I desperately need the waterproof formula to help retain my curl and to prevent smudging. Therefore, I will probably end up giving these away! I would still like to keep the MUFE Smoky Lash and the YSL Faux Cils just to try because I cannot resist them after hearing so many people rave about them!

What are your favorite high end mascaras?

XO Nicole

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Year, New Make Up! 2013 Materialistic Wish List

As I am in the final year of my undergrad and as I take on more courses (6) than I will ever have, I want products that will be easy to slap on while delivering in coverage and finish. Based on the reviews I have read, here are some of the products that I see potential for this task. These products will be purchased when they are "needed" (ie. to replace something else) or when there is irresistible deal.




  1. MAC Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator ($28USD/$33.50CAD)- MAC has released this exfoliator on and off again for various collections, but they have finally decided to make this a permanent product in their skincare line. When this was a LE, I could never get my hands on this stuff, so now that it's permanent (with a significant price increase), I will finally be able to try this much raved about product (“Refines and unclogs the skin, adds instant moisture … mineral-rich”) - I am also looking to replace the abrasive St. Ives Apricot Scrub I am currently using.
  2. L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Serum ($70USD) - Although this is an "anti-aging" serum, I get the impression that it is more suited for skintypes that already have wrinkles, I got hooked on this stuff after using sample. I may be only buying this for its heavenly scent.
  3. Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette ($27USD/$32CAD) - I do not have an extensive
    eyeshadow collection so I can easily justify this even though I do have both NAKED 1 and 2. I feel like this is too "practical" to pass up.
  4. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder with Real Cocoa ($29USD/$36CAD)- Matte, not too orange, no parabens = perfect for my new contour powder.
  5. Bobbi Brown BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35 ($42USD/- Although I do love my Dr. Jart Black Label BB cream, I am always looking for new things to try out; I love Bobbi Brown and I've heard many good things about this product!
  6. MAC 109 Small Contour Brush ($35USD/$42CAD)- This may not be the most "necessary" item on this wish list because my Elf Complexion Brush but that ferrel is barely holding on. I love this because the shape is so unique, and God knows that after these holidays, I am in major need of some major contouring action.
  7. DR. JART+ The Original BB Cream Set  ($34USD/CAD)- Instead of buying another Dr. Jart Black Label BB cream, why not go for a Dr. Jart set to try out all the other different BB creams Dr. Jart has to offer? This kit is perfect!
  8. Dermablend Jar Cover Creme ($35USD/CAD) - I was sold when I saw the Dermablend commerical featuring the awesome Rick Genest! Full coverage, here we come!
  9. SHISEIDO The Makeup Powdery Foundation - O40 Natural Fair Ochre ($29.50USD/CAD)- I found out about this product when I was looking for a medium coverage powder foundation. At that time, all the shades and the case were out of stock and people were saying that this was being discontinued or Sephora will no longer carry this product anymore ... of course, after reading all the raving reviews on the website, I was heartbroken. Nontheless, I put down my email for notification if this was coming to ever come back in stock, and thankfully, a few months later, I got the good news from Sephora. They were bringing this back! I cannot wait to try this out when I am done with my Cover Fx powder foundation.
If I can resist, these will probably be the only products that I will buy - unless, something incredible comes along and I cannot resist.

You may notice that I am holding off on purchasing a fragrance. I have a bucket load of perfume samples and I also have a brand new Lancome La Vie est Belle lying around, which I am hoping to sell off because I'd rather much get my Miss Dior! :)

Skincare does not count as good skincare is an absolute must!

XO Nicole

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cover Fx Pressed Mineral Foundation Review with Swatches

Cover Fx Pressed Mineral Foundation

The Cover Fx Pressed Mineral Foundation is a powder foundation that provides medium to full coverage. After hearing amazing reviews about this product in terms of helping cover acne and scars, etc., I knew had to try it. I am now a BB cream convert but BB creams offer me only sheer to medium coverage so I wanted something to provide a bit of extra coverage for the days that I need it. The mineral foundation is a bit pricey ($35USD/CAD) but you get what you pay for. Cover Fx is known for providing makeup that is geared towards problematic skin so you can be sure that this powder will give you a beautiful finish without caking your face up. In addition, Cover Fx is amazing with providing a large range of shades. 

Just this past year, Cover Fx repackaged their products and came out with even more shades to suit everyone's skintone. This is one of the reasons why I didn't mind spending $35 on a powder foundation because I knew that the product I was getting would match me perfectly and would not leave me overly orange or yellow or pink (which is the number one problem between me and drugstore foundations). This powder does not break me, however, it does not control shine too well - even when I set it makeup setting spray. It comes with a pretty dense/firm sponge for applying the foundation but I use a kabuki brush to apply this all over my face instead. The product is so finely milled that a gentle tap or swipe with the kabuki picks up a lot of product! I will definitely be repurchasing this product.




What: Cover Fx Pressed Mineral Foundation 
Where: Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart (Canada)
Price: $35 USD/CAD


XO Nicole

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Collection: Eyeshadow Primers


Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

I have never tried any other eyeshadow primers other than the Urban Decay Primer Potions. I have quite oily eyelids so a primer is absolutely necessary for whenever I am wearing makeup - even when I am not wearing eyeshadow. I find that this even helps with your eyeliner lasting longer and not smugging as much when you have this own. Thus, it is no surprise that I would have a little collection of these primers. I have not found use for two tinted primer potions (Sin and Greed) but I know that they will come in handy in the future. I thought that the "vintage" packaging was very cute but the newer squeezy tubes are more efficient with dispersing all the product out. In short, I love this primer because it works and it does not cost as much as compared to the other eyeshadow primers Sephora has to offer. I also love that it comes in different shades to help bring out your eyeshadow colour!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion


What: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Where: Sephora
Price: $20USD/$24CAD

XO Nicole

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve Review

C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve

The C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve has become a staple for me. I bring this everywhere I go because it is multi-purpose, cute and it works. I use it mainly for my lips to keep them mositurized and to prevent them for being chapped; however, according to C.O. Bigelow, this can be used for practically anywhere else of the body where extra hydration is needed. During the winter months when I had a few dry patches on my face, and when I didn't have any face moisturizer with me in my bag but this, I put this on and those dry patches were relieved and disappeared the next day, and what was also so awesome was that I did not break out! Another use for this is that you can use it on your cuticles, although this product will leave your fingers more greasy than other products that are solely intended for your cuticles (ie. Burt's Bee Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream). However, this makes no difference if you only hydrate your cuticles at night before bed! The rose scent is quite strong but it's not overwhelming. Thankfully, it is very pleasant - unless you detest the smell of roses, then this product is not for you. From the photo below, you can see that the actual product looks pink but it is actually not - you do not see any colour payoff when applied. You can find this at Bath & Body Works store.

C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve

C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve

C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve

C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve

C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve


What: C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve
Where: Bath & Body Works
Price: $5.50USD

XO Nicole

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Featuring Bath & Body Works Cafe Au Lait Candle


I decided to feature this lovely candle from my B&BW haul (read the post here). I was comtemplating of whether to burn this candle or not because the packaging just looks so pretty. I currently have this sitting on my nightstand by my bed. I really love this scent because it is not overly sweet but it smells really delicious!




XO Nicole

Saturday, January 5, 2013

L'Oreal Voluminous Mistake-Proof Marker Eyeliner Review with Photos and Swatches

L'Oreal Voluminous Mistake-Proof Marker Eyeliner

As a part of the L'oreal Voluminous line, the eyeliner is in no way in par with the Carbon Black Voluminous mascara, in my opinion. From the photos, you can see this is one of those “gimmicky” products. Actually, the shape is exactly mimicking the angled eyeliner brush, except this is one a lot thicker than usual. In theory, this would be great because you get the easier application with the angled eyeliner shape but also the finish of a liquid liner. I have actually love the dark pigmentation and the finish from a liquid liner but this product does not deliver. Because the applicator is so thick, it’s hard to get a nice line, even just by pressing it across my lash liner. 

In the photo with the swatch, the pigmentation does seem quite dark but because it is more like a marker, the black is a bit more faint and when applied to the lash line, you certainly do get the same payoff because the eyelid is of smaller area and more delicate such that you cannot press too hard to get this result.

(Left) L'oreal Voluminous eye liner vs. Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner (Right)

L'Oreal Voluminous Mistake-Proof Marker Eyeliner


L'Oreal Voluminous Mistake-Proof Marker Eyeliner

L'Oreal Voluminous Mistake-Proof Marker Eyeliner

XO Nicole

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Featuring Sigma Synthetic Kabuki Kit (Haul)



Sigma Beauty has definitely improved their products throughout the years, and while I have not had the chance to experience the changes for myself, it is clear, even just by the new and innovative products that they keep launching, that Sigma is constantly upgrading and taking their products to a whole new level. Here, I am showcasing what I think is one of their most innovative brush kit - the Synthetic Kabuki Kit. They first came out with the F80 flat top kabuki that everyone was practically raving about and just when you think that that was it, they come out with four more brushes of that kind to cover all the needs that you could possibly need for a flawless face. Now, I have yet to try these brushes out for myself but by just feeling and holding these brushes, I can tell that they are of great quality. I love that the hands are glossy and that the brushes have a good weight to them. I cannot wait to try these out and see for myself, the result that these brushes yield!


F86 - Tapered Kabuki™: Apply cream and liquid foundations onto the harder to reach contours of the face.

F88 - Flat Angled Kabuki™: Blends foundation easily onto  hard to reach areas of the face. Angle fits all areas of the face seamlessly. Works especially well on cheekbones and contours of the nose.

F82 - Round Kabuki™: Blend mineral products onto the skin.


F84 - Angled Kabuki™: Buff cream blush or bronzer onto the skin.

F80 - Flat Kabuki™: Application of liquid or cream products to flat areas of the face such as the forehead and cheeks.




XO Nicole