Saturday, 29 November 2014

Black Friday featuring NYX Butter Gloss

If you live in the US you probably would have noticed all the hype that goes into Black Friday -and for good reason too, have you seen all the deals that come out? A couple of years ago, the only acknowledgement of this 'holiday' by Canadians were those that actually crossed the border to go cross-border shopping. However in the last few years Canadian retailers have been trying to keep us from leaving and have been trying to keep our spending/dollars within our own country. Now there are Black Friday sales in a large portion of stores here as well; however, it never feels exactly the same - the deals really don't seem to hold up to the Americans'. If you did not know, Black Friday -and the following weekend- is the same weekend as American thanksgiving and is renowned for its large sales.

Black Friday Victoria Secret Bombshell Perfume
Anyways nonetheless, my roommates and I decided to head over to the mall at 7:30am to see what we could find. A quick search on google, or other blogs already post a list of all the ongoing deals, flyers and etc so I won't be doing that. Instead I thought it would be fun to see what deals everyone actually jumped onto, what are you finds and steals??

So at La Senza they had a 40% store-wide special, which was perfect because I had actually been searching for a new beige bra. Check. Aerie also had 40% storewide except for PJ pants which had a buy one get one deal (or was it half off..).

Garage had 40% off a bunch of items in addition to some other promotional deals. I don't really shop at Garage, I mean some of their styles are not too bad - they copy whatever is selling well and the popular fads at the moment but it is targetted at a younger age group.

At Aritzia, even though they like to advertise 40-60% off discounts, reality is that the majority of store items only qualify for the 10% off - only a select few are more severely marked down. To be honest there probably are some that are marked off more significantly; however, their on sale price will still be quite high and over $100.

Urban Outfitters had its usual sale of 50% off sale items. I was actually pretty disappointed, I had gone in two days ago for a 20% off (everything) special  that they had going on and noticed that they hadn't really added anything to the sale section since. I will say that I do like the majority of clothing items that Urban sells, unfortunately my student budget really doesn't allow me to splurge on everything. Although their red-sticker sale items are fairly priced as well, what I truly adore Urban for is this '50% off sale' that they have several times a year. I mean I will fairly often be able to pick out cute tops for $5-10 - I mean where else can you do that really? I got a cardigan that was originally $100, marked down to $50 for $25. Along with a few other cardigans, those were the only interesting sale items my roommates and I noticed.

Finally, in reference to the photo at the top there: Victoria Secret. I will honestly say that it was probably my best buy. I bought "Bombshell" after hearing so many people rave about it and noticing that it seemed to a favourite amongst Victoria Secret's many scents. If you can tell in the photo, I bought the bigger size which is 3.4 oz - normally it's original price is ~$75! In store, they were selling every size (therefore go for the bigger one) for only $28. This was honestly one of the biggest reductions I saw all day and therefore one of my favourites.

Attached to the mall is a Target - so I ended up going just to see if there would be anything great. There wasn't anything too exciting, when I went over to the beauty department I realized that they carried NYX (a drugstore brand that is only carried at select stores, and cannot be found at Shoppers Drug Mart) - at this point a light bulb went off and I remembered reading all the online ravings about the 'Butter Gloss'. It's a drugstore lipgloss notorious for its superb quality and a great dupe, so I knew I had to check it out. The one I got is called "Angel Cake" - and the quality was just as good as I expected and it was about $9 after Tax(I don't know how much it is priced regularly)

NYX Angel Cake Butter Gloss

NYX Angel Cake Butter Gloss

NYX Angel Cake Butter Gloss
I'm wearing Angel Cake here, it's a really great neutral color and isn't overly pink either! 


What was your best Black Friday buy? Have you ever tried the NYX products, or more specifically this Butter Gloss? I'd love to hear from you :) leave a comment below!


Monday, 24 November 2014

Birchbox is Available in Canada!

So, it's finally here. Birchbox is a beauty/make up subscription service that has been available in the US for the past few years. In Canada, since we often get the short end of the stick and don't have the full access to products and services available to Americans, we have other alternative products or have to wait awhile before something arrives here.

So originally when I first heard about Birchbox, we only had TopBox and Luxebox by Loosebutton. If you look up Birchbox Canada on google you'll notice sometimes the prior mentioned services will actually show up as the "Canadian Birchbox". So I guess we are finally getting the real deal! They actually only announced it this month (November) so the first round of boxes will be available in December. I already saw a youtube video which showed an unboxing (I believe they received a box from a conference), I'm not sure if you actually want to do this as it might take out some of the surprise! Although these boxes tend to vary for people, so you might not even get the same thing.

Similarly to other services: there is an element of customization. I believe you take a short quiz just to determine some personal characteristics such as hair type, and skin type.

I've never actually received a Birchbox before, because it was only available in the US, and so if I do end up purchasing one it really will be new to me. I will however, be expecting it to be nicely packaged! I haven't had a subscription box in a while so it will definitely be nice to get something new in the mail (along with my credit statement).

Birchbox is $10 + 4.95 for shipping and taxes which puts it at a slightly higher price point - TopBox is $12 a month.

What I noticed on their website that did seem interesting was one of their incentives for posting reviews:

So although it does seem a little more expensive, you supposedly do receive a few dollars back in credit to spend on future purchases. I'm interested in learning more about this (they probably have a similar promotion going on in the states).


Will you be subscribing to BirchBox? Let me know, along with any other boxes you are currently subscribed to1

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Canada's Finest Coffee - Keurig Store Review (London)

At home with my roommates we all share a Keurig. We were lucky enough to have someone bring theirs in, and with that we all just buy our own K cups.

Mix and Match policy for K Cup Store Canada's Finest Coffee Keurigs have started to become a household staple - what it brought into our homes is something people truly value, convenience. I mean with the pop of a K cup you can quickly have a cup of coffee without the hassles of brewing an entire pot! And although it is less cost efficient than buying a pack of ground coffee, if it saves you from buying a cup of Starbucks or Tim Hortons then at the end of the day you really are still saving money.

So what I have always found really annoying is that for the most part Keurig packs come in boxes of uniform flavours and there are very few variety packs available. I would also be scared to try a new brand or flavour in case I didn't want an entire box of it. What I soon noticed was that all my roommates were coming back with other flavours and etc that I had never seen before! They had cool flavours such as 'Cinnabon' or different White Chocolates or Mocha Java cups. Apparently in their home towns they have these 'Keurig Variety' K cup stores dedicated solely to picking out K cups as if they were at a bulk barn!

From what I've heard is that these stores where you can pick out individual flavours exist in Whitby, Kingston, Waterloo and London as well! I'm so upset that none of these really exist in Markham or Toronto. You would think that a city that populated would have something like this or would be the first to have one, but I haven't been able to find one on google (let me know if you know of one)! It's a good thing I don't actually have a Keurig machine when I'm home so I guess I don't actually need a store when I'm there.

Anyways so today I went to my first K Cup store at Canada's Finest Coffee in London. It's kind of located in a little area outside of downtown. I couldn't find it at first but eventually we found the building. I think It's located at 'Unit 2' 775 Industrial Road - this is right off of Oxford, so if you are going east on Oxford make a left onto Industrial road.
Mix and Match policy for K Cup Store Canada's Finest Coffee
You cans ee the little trays here. 
I think the prices vary with these stores. Apparently the one in Whitby only charges 60c per K Cup, while it is a little more expensive over here. At this store it is either 6 for $5 (83c each) or 30 for $22 (73c each).
Mix and Match policy for K Cup Store Canada's Finest Coffee
 You can see the many bins of different flavours available here. They have regular coffee, flavoured coffees, hot chocolate as well as tea.
Bins of K Cups at Canada's Finest Coffee

Bins of K Cups at Canada's Finest Coffee


Bins of K Cups at Canada's Finest Coffee


A variety of K cups selected at Canada's Finest Coffee
This is what my friend ended up getting. I only ended up getting 6 cups, so I thought I would take a picture of this so you could see what a large variety they offer. This is so much more fun, in terms of trying out new drinks, than buying a regular box at the grocery store!

Hot Chocolate from Canada's Finest Coffee
The store is actually quite friend, and also have this great policy where they allow anyone in the store to try out a K cup of their choice. You get a drink for free! I decided to get a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate - it was really sweet, just the way I like it.


If you are in London, check this out!



What city are you from? Have you heard of such a store, and do you have one that you visit ? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Starbucks Lovers! Don't miss out on a Groupon (Canada). $5 for $10 Gift Card

Hey Guys,

So if you don't know what Groupon is, it's a site which provides you with lots of cool discounts and coupons, and it is able to do this by basing it off of large 'Group Buys'. So currently there is a deal that is limited time only.

You can think of it almost as if you were getting a 'free drink' - this would be true if you purchased their frappuchinos or seasonal drinks, they come out to be around $5 anyways.

Or you can also just thinking about how the drinks you buy (maybe they're just regular coffees) are half off, or similarly, for the same amount of money you can get two times the amount!

Groupon deal for Starbucks Holiday
Add caption
Anyways this might not be worth it for someone who never drinks Starbucks, but for anyone who does somewhat occasionally then I would say it is worth it! Or why not save some money if you were looking to get some small gift cards to give away as Secret Santa, or Holiday gifts?

If you already have a group on account the url is here. And if you don't have an account, you can just go to the Groupon website - or you could sign up using this 'referral URL'. I don't want to trick you or anything, by referring people to the site there is a $10 incentive bonus for me, so if you'd rather just sign up normally without the referral there is no offence taken! Just simply go to their website, it really is an easy sign up anyways.

PS: Another idea or way to put it towards good use is to buy a Tumbler or a Mug with it! A lot of them are around $15-$20 so it's an instant $5 off.

What is your favourite drink at Starbucks? Reply in the comments!

Personally I only go there for their frilly $5 drinks anyways meaning Frappuccinos, PSL, and White Chocolate Peppermint Lattes. I don't really drink their 'real coffees' because I actually tend to stick with Tims and their standardized milk and sugars ratios ( I can't seem to make my own coffee as well).





Monday, 10 November 2014

October Nature Box 2014 Review (Canada)

It's kind of funny, sometimes you have those days where you're just so easily swayed and so impulsive..

That is exactly the type of day I had when I ordered my Nature Box. I ordered it the afternoon after having heard of it for the first time. I mean I've had a subscription service before with Topbox (here's another Topbox review and one for Loose Button) and have always loved them, since I love to receive things in my mail - that are not credit statements.

NatureBox sends monthly packages of snacks to your door, and what makes these snacks so great (other than the fact that it arrives right at your door) is that they are healthy snacks and they are extremely creative. I have never heard of the snacks that I received and actually really liked them.


Taken from their site: NatureBox Discovery Snack Boxes. Each month, your box will include five different NatureBox snacks made from wholesome ingredients. In fact, our nutritionist-approved foods are minimally processed, if at all. To get a better idea of what you can expect in your subscription, here are some of our past NatureBoxes


I found out it was American, well there's a surprise, but they were extending a 'beta' version to Canadians as well. The difference is that we don't get to choose our snacks and can only receive a 'fixed' box of the month.

So this is what I received for October! I know that it is November, which means that it is extremely late - but I mean, I'm sure people like to see what Nature Box has sent out previously and just to see everyone else's reactions right?

Here are the photos taken from their website, I forgot to take a photo when I still had the packaging and am smacking myself for that. I think it's so much more fun to see everything from start to end which is why all the unpacking videos on youtube are also so popular. I've placed them in order from my favourite to least favourite.

This snack was absolutely delicious. It was the first one I had (well because it seemed chocolate-y) and it was the first one to go, since I liked it so much! It's kind of funny because I looked at one other article just to see how other people liked it, and it seemed like some people didn't like it at all. I thought these were great, they hit the spot and felt like a snack that I was indulging in only to find out that it was still pretty nutritious and good for you! I wish that I could purchase these stand-alone.

Alrighty so these are kind of mustardy. I thought it actually had 'mustard' printed on the packaging, but maybe I just assumed so based off of the name. Anyhow, I can't say that I love mustard - sometimes I'll put some on a hamburger just because I feel like it's the thing to do and it gets paired up with ketchup. But, it didn't really seem that appealing to me. I was surprised with the flavour but generally took a liking to it for the most part. It's probably because it is honey flavoured so there is a little bit of sweetness. The pretzels themselves were actually great and bite sized!
Alright so this was also something that I found to be really unusual. I mean, lentil loops? I've never even had lentils (to my knowledge). These were so good!! I felt like I was eating a type of chips, I think it might have had some potato flour or something, but it had the perfect crunch and texture. The only thing I didn't like about these were the flavour, but that's just me - I don't even season my food with peppers. If these came in another flavour I would have ranked this even higher.

 These were alright. I mean they didn't taste like anything special to me, and relative to the first few snacks they also were a lot less creative. 
I didn't really like these that much, but that's just because it's not really the type of snack that I prefer. I don't really like raisins too much, but I mean there are times where I do like dried cranberries. These were pretty sweet and would have been better if they had come with some granola or something.


Overall, I did like these snacks. They were really neat and came in fairly generous portions. The only downfall is that this service is fairly expensive and are normally around $20. I mean some of you might find that that's a perfectly acceptable amount to invest in healthy snacks but that's you. If you dig around online I believe there's always a ton of coupons. Personally I got mine using a $10 off so after shipping and tax and etc I feel like I paid around $14 for 5 snack packs. 

The only problem I found was that there was a glitch on their website which wouldn't show me where the button was to unsubscribe to the website. The first response I got was immediate but useless, they simply tried to get me to go to that same page which was not working. I had to email them a second time with a bit more of an edge telling them that I did not want to pay for a second month, this was when I finally received confirmation from them that they had cancelled it for me. 

I do wish that we had the same site functionality as the American site, perhaps when it finally gets here I will give it another try. I just went to their website to take a look at their snacks (this in itself was extremely difficult because the website kept redirecting me to the Canadian version), and there were soo many snacks that actually looked really good!

Have you ordered Nature Box before? Do you know of another subscription service that is really good? Leave me a comment I would love to hear from you! 




Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Sephora VIB Sale 20% Off! US and Canada

Hey Everyone,

If you didn't know, there was just a Friends and Family sale that ended just around the corner (October 30th). I say this because- I actually didn't know. You would think that following a bunch of beauty and lifestyle blogs this would have jumped out somewhere and caught my attention but I had no idea!

Sephora's personalized holiday email
No Fear - There is another sale following suit! It starts on November 6th, and it's to reward all of its VIB and VIB Rouge members. That's not to say I actually have a VIB account.

Again - don't worry, because apparently these members will all have a Friends code! Although VIB members will have a general 'VIBgift' code, that appears to work for multiple purchases within this window, they do get one time code they can share with those around them.

So if you know someone who has one, maybe they will be kind enough to share one with you. What worked for me last year was heading over to Sephora's Facebook page. People were kind enough to post on the wall that they had extra code's they were willing to message, yes, kind and generous people do exist.

What are you planning to buy with your 20% off? Oh and did you love their new customized emails or what!? I'm looking at a NARS blush and bronzer along with an eyeliner set; I'm also torn over whether to take the splurge for a YSL lipstick or not - I mean how pretty is it..








Edit: I feel like no one is really doing it this year on the FB, although there was a Reddit page there is a huge imbalance in the ratio of Beauty Insiders: VIB. If anyone is willing to share an extra code leave a comment - perhaps we could get some discussion going on here. Anyone who isn't using theirs reply, hopefully we can pair up some unused codes and get some use out of em!

Edit 2: Apparently there are so many loyal sephora customers, or makeup addicts (self-proclaimed) that Sephora's website has been crashing all night for people. It is still crashing as of 2pm Thursday.

Sephora's Notice when the Site Crashed during VIB Beauty Sale


Edit 3: Got a code! But it actually is pretty confusing; a kind soul tried to forward me her email but I and could not find the code anywhere on the email. People said that they would simply message 'the code' but it was only later, in a comment buried down in the thread, that I found out that you (the VIB) have to go to this URL to enter your First Name, Last Name and email along with the email of the person you are donating it to.


Sephora's Email with Friend Coupon for VIB Members