Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Photos

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It's difficult to sum up a whole year in one post.. but here are a few random pictures from the past year.




One of my resolutions for the new year is to take more photos. You know what they say: pictures are worth a thousand words.

Happy New Year, lovelies!

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Winner of Holiday Giveaway #5

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Happy eve of New Year's Eve!

The winner of mystery bag #3 is Jessica! Congratulations and I hope you enjoy all the products as much as I do!

Thank you to everyone who entered and I am looking forward to more giveaways in the new year.

Hope you're all having a great day!

And in case this is my last post before 2012, I hope you all have a safe & happy New Year's Eve!

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top 11 Products of 2011

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It's that time of the year. Can you believe it? It will be 2012 in just a few days. This year went by incredibly fast. I'm always shocked when the end of the year comes because I'm left wondering where all that time went. 

I'd like to think that I spent the year being as productive as possible. Realistically, I know that there were some things on my to-do list that never got finished (or started). 

New years are like new beginnings and I am excited to see what 2012 has in store for me.

Wait... isn't the world supposed to end in 2012? That's going to put a damper on my plans.

If that's the case then I better get started on this blog post.

My top 11 products of 2011. I did a similar post last year, which inspired me to do one again this year (read my top 10 of 2010 here).

It was quite difficult to pick just eleven products but I managed. The following are new products that I only discovered this year (save for two). Setting this filter helped the picking process much easier.


1. Urban Decay Naked Palette - the most versatile palette for me. The shades are gorgeous and neutral, perfect for any daytime and a nighttime look.

2. NARS Danmari Palette - NARS blushes are probably my favourite so naturally I was drawn to this palette like a moth to a flame. 

3. PUR Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Powder - I use this lightly all over the face for a more even, matte looking complexion

4. MAC Select Cover Up concealer - Long-wearing and doesn't crease under the eyes. 

5. L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes - my favourite mascara this past year. Doesn't clump, lasts all day, and no racoon eyes.


6. Nexxus Pro-Mend Split End Treatment - binds & prevents split ends.

7. Tanda Zap - Amazing. I haven't gotten a single blemish on my skin after using this. Seriously, it's amazing.

8. butterLONDON Nail Foundation & Seche Vite Dry Fast Top coat - this is my holy grail nail duo. Nail polish applies flawlessly over the base coat and the dries so fast (and glossy) with the top coat.

9. The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost - makes my skin look radiant and feel so smooth. Also helped even out my complexion (diminished a lot of my blemishes).

10. Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream - The perfect overnight lip moisturizer. Lasts all through the night and leaves lips feeling smooth and supple in the morning. I could live without the weird smell but I can look passed it because it works amazingly.


11. Travalos - They are solo in this picture because I forgot about them when I was taking the pictures. Nonetheless, I think these are amazing and a must have. Gone are the days where you had to buy multiple bottles of the same fragrance so you can bring one around with you. Travalo allows you to carry virutally any fragrance in your purse (still waiting for an atomizer for those gorgeous but awkwardly shaped bottles).

A look inside the palettes:



Those were my top 11 products of the year. What were some of yours? I would love to know!


P.S., You can watch my video below. It includes some honourable mentions -- products I love but didn't make the cut.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

NOTD #9: Modern French Manicure

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I love classic red nails. They're timeless yet mod. I've been wearing red nails for the past week and decided to change it up a little by adding a black tip.



I'll be honest, I didn't want to re-paint my nails but I wanted a new look. This was the next best thing.

I like how it turned out though. Black and red is one of my favourite combinations.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

December Luxe Box & Glymm Box

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Merry Christmas Eve!

I had some free time before I actually have to do something productive, so I decided to post my December Glymm/Luxe Boxes.

I received them in the mail last week but they came the very next day after I had already left the city to head north to spend the holidays with my family. I had to wait for my boyfriend to deliver them to me. Anxiously, I might add.

I've also filmed a quick video to go along with this post but that won't be up until after Christmas.

Let's start with my Glymm box!


I received four products (one was full-size), a $10 gift card for Glymm's Beauty Boutique, and white & red Jelly Bellies.

1. Caudalie - Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel mask

I love masks and peels so I am excited to try this. The sample is fairly small, which means that it will probably only last one or two uses.

2. YSL - La Parisenne

This is such a lovely fragrance -- it is florally and feminine -- and the bottle is so cute! Virtually a mini replica of the full-size bottle.

3. Ahava - Mineral Hand Cream

I always have a hand creme with me, especially in the winter. I've used this a couple times and I that it leaves your hands feeling moisturized but not greasy. Plus, it smells great!

4. Sula - Natural Lip Gloss

I have only tried Sula's Paint & Peel nail polishes before so I'm happy to be able to try their lip gloss. This is the full-size of the lip gloss and it is in the color summer fling. A bright pink with gold shimmer. It is quite sheer on the lips though. I wish it was as vibrant on as it looks in the tube.

The great thing about this gloss is that it is all natural, so you don't have to worry about parabens and other toxins.

Now moving on to December's Luxe Box!



I got a lot of stuff in this month's Luxe Box, mostly Morrocanoil. If you recall, I received an expired Morrocanoil product in last month's Luxe Box, so I received products in lieu of that in this month's box.

I am quite pleased with Loose Button's customer service and in the way that they handled this.

There was also a little Christmas postcard from the founders of Loose Button and a little chocolate coin with the Loose Button logo stamped on it (super cute and delicious).

1. Nina Ricci Fragrance Samples

I already own a Nina Ricci fragrance (I believe it is the same as one of these samples) and I am on the fence about it. When I purchased it, I loved it but now I'm not so sure. L'Air du Temps is one of Nina Ricci's more iconic fragrances, while Nina is a more fresh and fruity scent.

2. DDF - Advanced Firming Cream

This month's Luxe Box was a little different because you were able to choose between 2 products that you could receive in your box. The choice was between a Kerastase hair serum and this DDF firming cream. I chose the latter because I already received the Kerastase product in a previous box.

I have yet to try this product, but I am very excited to.

3. Morrocanoil hair products

I received the Moisture Repair Shampoo & Conditioner and the Luminous hairspray. I have not tried either of the products yet, so I can't comment on that. The sample sizes provide a good amount of product in them. I especially love the hairspray. It is perfect for traveling or just carrying around with you.

4. NYX - Slim Eye Pencil

This is a full-sized product. I own a NYX pencil already in brown and I love it. Goes on smoothly without tugging on the sensitive skin around your eyes. It also can double as an eyebrow pencil.

Overall...

I am happy with both boxes and the products I have received. I think my favourite box this month was my Luxe Box.

I am looking forward to what products the new year will bring!

Again, merry Christmas Eve!!

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Winner of Mystery Bag #2

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Hello everyone!

Merry eve of Christmas eve!

I have the winner of my fourth Holiday Giveaway via Rafflecopter and Random.org.

Congratulations to Lesley!


Don't forget to enter my last holiday giveaway for a chance to win the final mystery bag!

And again, happy holidays everyone!!

Hope you all have a terrific weekend!

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Holiday Giveaway #5

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Hello lovelies!

This is my fifth and final holiday giveaway!  I have had a really fun time doing these and I hope you enjoyed them too.



Things you need to know:
-  Must be at least 18 years old or have parental permission
-  Giveaway is open worldwide
-  Must enter via the Rafflecopter form below (it may take a second to load)
-  You are eligible to enter if you are subscribed to me on YouTube, follow me on Twitter, or if you follow my blog
- Each is one entry for the giveaway (it's not mandatory to follow all three)
- Don't forget to enter your usernames, etc in the additional information so I can verify
- Your email will only be used for contact purposes


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you have an amazing weekend!

Merry Christmas (or happy holidays if you don't celebrate Christmas)!!

P.S., I will be picking the winner (via Random.org) of Mystery Bag #2 shortly.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

NOTD #8: Rainbow Glitter

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I have fallen in love with the look of glitter over a dark base, like butter LONDON The Dark Knight.

I did a DIY version. It's simple yet the effect is gorgeous. All you need is dark colour and a glitter polish.




I used Essie Licorice (a creamy, jet black) and Nicole by OPI Rainbow in the S-Kylie (rainbow glitter). The glitter polish is actually from the Kardashian collection.

I'm not a fan of the name but the polish is amazing! This is more similar to Deborah Lippman Happy Birthday than Wet'n'Wild Party of Five.

This feels quite heavy on the nail. Granted there are about six layers of nail polish. A base coat, two coats of the black, two coats of the glitter, and then a layer of top coat.

No matter because I love how this looks!!

Overall:

Colour: ♥♥♥♥♥
Application: ♥♥♥♥
Lasting Power: ♥♥♥♥♥

Did you pick up any colours from the Kardashian line? The glitter was the only one that really caught my eye. The rest were just OK.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Week in Pictures

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Happy Sunday!

Just wanted to share some pictures and some tidbits of the past few weeks. 

I have been indulging in sweet desserts and Christmas tidings lately (a little too much). I've also been indulging in new purchases, despite Project 10 Pan (which was a little fail). 

Matte red lips has been my go-to look lately.

I've overindulged myself with Starbucks drinks, too. I have earned three free drinks since getting my gold card late November. If we do the math, that's 45 drink purchases (because it's 15 drinks before a free one).

A few weeks ago, I went faux fur vest shopping and I don't think I mentioned what became of that. Well, I choose this one from the Bay. I absolutely love it! It's so comfortable and I wear it often.







Still no snow in the city, but the CN Tower's Christmas lights make me feel festive.

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend!

xo,
Aleeza

P.S., I haven't stopped listening to Michael Bublé's Christmas album since the last time I mentioned it. If you haven't heard the album yet. Take a listen to one of the songs below :).



It makes me feel warm, fuzzy, nostalgic, emotional, and happy all at once.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

NOTD #7: Crackle French Manicure

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I've had this idea in my mind for a while and it has finally come to fruition. The crackle french manicure. Well, sort of.

I'm not sure if this would really be considered a french manicure, but it's almost the same idea.

A base coat is a must for this because you need something to put the white crackle on (so that it will crackle properly). Then take a a light, sheer pink color to layer over the crackle. Voila!



I used the Nicole by OPI texture coat and it's quite nice. Crackles nicely. The pink that I used was Essie Sugar Daddy. Probably one of my favourite french manicure colours. I also like Essie Mademoiselle but Sugar Daddy is more pink.

Overall:

Colour: ♥♥♥♥
Application: ♥♥♥♥♥
Lasting Power: ♥♥♥♥

What do you think? What are some of your favourite crackle combinations?

xo,
Aleeza

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Holiday Giveaway #4 - Mystery Bag No. 2

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Good morning lovelies!

Mystery Bag #2 giveaway is here! 


I'm surprised at my timeliness with these. Actually, using this new method for giveaways is great and it's super easy to choose/contact the winner.

Things you need to know:
- Must be at least 18 or have parental permission
- This giveaway is open worldwide
- Enter via the Rafflecopter form below (it may take a second to load)
- You are eligible to enter if you are subscribed to me on YouTube, follow me on Twitter, or if you follow my blog
- Each is one entry for the giveaway (it's not mandatory to follow all three)
- Don't forget to enter your usernames, etc in the additional information so I can verify
- Your email will only be used for contact purposes

That's it, I think.

One winner will be picked via Random.org

Giveaway will end on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 5 PM EST

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Good luck to everyone!

xo,
Aleeza

 

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Winner! Holiday Giveaway #3

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Here's the winner of Mystery Bag #1! Congratulations to Amy! 



Thank you to everyone who entered and not to worry, there's two more mystery bags left! The next giveaway will begin tomorrow :).

Christmas break has finally begun for me and I am very excited. Expect more videos/blog posts from me :).

Happy Friday, everyone! And happy holiday shopping! Last weekend before Christmas.

xo,
Aleeza

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday 2011 Glymm Box

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One of the winners of my first holiday giveaway snapped this picture of their Holiday Glymm box!



I spy one full-size Annabelle mascara, a YSL fragrance sample, Lise Watier and a tube of moisturizer.

If you're one of the winners of any of my giveaways, send me a picture or something :).

xo,
Aleeza

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NOTD #6: butter LONDON The Black Knight

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I painted my nails yesterday with butter LONDON The Black Knight and I am liking it! The colour on the nails is very true to the colour in the bottle. Black base with tons of colourful glitter.

It goes on quite opaque with two coats. I love how the glitter is even all over the nail. It shimmers and sparkles at every angle. It feels a little gritty on the nail, but that's normal with any glitter polish.

I find the dark base intriguing. I guess I'm not used to it. The only other glitter polish I that I own with a dark base is Orly Fowl Play.

Overall:

Colour: ♥♥♥♥
Application: ♥♥♥♥
Lasting Power: ♥♥♥♥

Natural Light
With Flash

I'm not sure if I love it, but I do enjoy it.

What do you think?

xo,
Aleeza

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Haul: butter LONDON, Benefit, theBalm, Bare Minerals, etc.

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I really broke Project 10 Pan. I'm a little disappointed in myself because I was doing so well. It all went downhill after those Revlon Lip Butters came out.

So, I want to share with you some of the products I just couldn't resist buying.

1. butter LONDON Nail Polishes

I was browsing Glymm's Beauty Boutique last week and realized I had accumulated a few points. So I decided to spend them on some nail polishes. butter LONDON retails for $17 so I got quite a discount on them by using my points. I picked up 8 shades, including the limited edition 2011 holiday set.



  • Tart with a Heart (limited edition) is a very pretty glitter polish with a clear base. I love how the glitter changes colors depending on the light.
     
  • Fairy Lights (limited edition) is a pretty metalic lilac color. I love the sheen on this.
     
  • The Black Knight (limited edition) is a gorgeous black glitter polish. I don't own any glitter polish with a black base so I was excited to get this. If you're not a fan of black, I would still recommend this because there's lots of colourful glitter that tone down the dark base.
     
  • Primrose Hill Picnic is a lovely hot pink color.
     
  • Tea with the Queen is perfect if you're into mannequin hands. It's a beautiful nude that leaves your nails looking warm, not dead.
     
  • HRH is a beautiful royal purple color! I can't believe I don't have a color like this in my collection.
     
  • Rosie Lee is another glitter polish. It's like a rosy pink color that I'm loving. It has a clear base but because there's so much glitter, it can cover your entire nail for an opaque look.
     
  • Snog is similar to Primrose Hill Picnic. To be honest, I had a hard time telling them apart in the pictures (the trick is that the bottles have different coloured writing). However, in person, Snog is much more of a fuchsia color than a bright pink.

I also got a few GWP. They are three products from Princepessa: a hand creme, body lotion & body wash. They smell really lovely! 

2. butter LONDON Nail Foundation Flawless Base Coat

This base coat from butter LONDON is really great! I love how it leaves my nails looking even, and for lack of a better word, flawless. I prefer this over the OPI Ridge Filler, which works great, but the greyish color does not look natural on the nails. I got this from the Bay at the Eaton Centre and it retails for $21, so it's a little pricey for a base coat.


3. Nicole by OPI Texture Coat

I have no idea what has gotten in to me, but I have been craving to own a white shatter polish for the last few weeks now. I have this nail design idea imbedded in my head that I think would look amazing. I heard a lot of good things about the texture coat so I decided to try it out. Around $7-$8.

4. Onyx Professional  Soy Nail Polish Remover


This is my new favourite nail polish remover! It doesn't have that strong acetone smell, it doesn't leave my nails feeling dry, and it remove polish quickly (even glitter). When I use this, it leaves my nails and my cuticles feeling oily and moisturized. Love it. Retails between $2 - $3.

5. Benefit Hoola & Dallas


I bought a couple boxed powders. I already own Hoola and I've just recently hit pan on it. It's one of my favourite bronzers.

Dallas is one of the boxed powders I don't have in my collection (until now). For some reason, I always thought Dallas was a really dark bronzer but it's not. It's a rosy blush/bronzer that I have been really loving.

Also the box powders I purchased are still the old packaging (the ones where the lid comes off completely). The new packaging actually contains less product than the old packaging (but you still pay the same price).

Let me break it down for you...

Benefit Hoola = $36
Old Packaging = 11g of product
New Packaging = 8g of product

Benefit Dallas = $36
Old Packaging = 12g of product
New Packaging = 8g of product

So if you can find the old packing, I'd recommend getting it instead. The added mirror in the new packaging just isn't worth 3+ grams less of product.


6. theBalm Mary Loumanizer


I've been on the hunt for a new highlighter and came across this one from theBalm. First, the packing and the name are so cute! The color is even better. It's a shimmery, golden ivory color. Amazing as a highlighter. This isn't the highlighter for you if you're looking for a natural glow because it gives your skin a shimmer. I still love it though. Plus, it's very pigmented. Purchased from Rexall Plus and it retails for $31.



7. Vasanti Cosmetics Brazilian Bronzer


Loving this bronzer. It is much warmer than Benefit Hoola and it has a velvety finish on the skin. It goes on very smooth and adds a very warm glow to your skin. Not a fan of the scent though. I'm not sure if it's just mine, or if it is the cardboard packaging, but it's not very appealing. I found this at Rexall Plus and it retails for $25.



Left to Right: Benefit Dallas, Benefit Hoola, Vasanti Brazilian Bronzer


8. Bare Minerals Rose Radiance


One of my favourite blushes. This is the third time I've repurchased this, which is saying a lot because this lasts for a long time.

It gives my cheeks the perfect rosy tint, as if I've just come inside from the cold. I love it. Purchased from Shoppers Drugmart and it retails for $24.

9. Warm Vanilla Sugar Fragrance



I love Bath & Body Works. I can never leave there without getting something. My last trip was no exception. This is one of my favourite scents from B&BW. It makes me feel warm & cozy inside. I love the mixture of vanilla and sugary sweetness. Love.

10. The Body Shop


I bought a few things from the Body Shop, some things for me and some as gifts. I got this Vitamin C Facial Radiance Programme set. I really only wanted the Vitamin C Skin Boost serum since I'm running low; however, the store I went to was sold out and this was the only other alternative.

I've been using all three products for a couple days now and my skin has been feeling smoother and looking more even. I think the microdermabrasion scrub might be a little too abrasive for my skin. Other than that, it's a lovely trio. It retails for $45.

I also picked up some mini body butters and lip balms as stocking stuffers. Shea Butter is my current favourite. The mini body butters were 2 for $10 and the lip balms were 3 for $10, I believe.


11. La Roche Posay Effaclar K



I heard a lot of good things about this, so I decided to try it out. My skin is in need of a little boost. My T-zone is getting out of control with shine and my pores are growing as I type. So hopefully this delivers. I purchased this from Shoppers Drugmart and it retails for around $26.

That's it. 

I filmed a haul video but it's taking forever to export so I decided to do a blog post first. The video should be up soon though.

Have you purchased anything recently that has excited you? Let me know!

xo,
Aleeza


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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sneak Peek at Mystery Bag #1

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Hello everyone!

As promised, this is a quick little peek at what's inside Mystery Bag #1. So like I said, these mystery bags are a little gift from me to you during this holiday season.

I've packed each mystery bag with some of my favourite products of 2011, which I hope you enjoy just as much as I do.




This mystery bag has the least value (monetarily, that is) out of the three. As you will see, the value only increases from bag to bag but they're all jam packed with my favourite things.

There's still  a few days left to enter, so head over to the entry post for the rules :). (LINK!)

Hope you're all having a great day!

xo,
Aleeza

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

December TopBox.Ca Haul

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I got my December Topbox.Ca beauty box on Friday! It is the first of three boxes to arrive. I'm still waiting on my Luxe box and Glymm box but they should arrive sometime this week.


The card that came with it was different. I thought the front just had a fun purple design but now that I'm looking at it, it's actually in the shape of a gift box.


This month's Topbox contained the standard four products, two of them being full-size.



1. Cover FX - Skinprep FX Primer



This is apparently Cover FX's #1 selling primer and a customer favourite. I have never tried this before. I never really wear primer because I don't feel like I need it. I always thought primers were for people who wore foundation (which I don't). But this primer is supposed to help keep whatever makeup you put on your face in place.

2. Bella Pella - Marula and Neroli Glycerine Soap - Full-Size $7.95



This is one of the full-size products in this month's box and it's a Canadian product. This is a great company that makes natural and handcrafted products. They even have bath bombs and such. Definitely check out their website (link!).

This soap smells great! I can't quite put my finger on the scent but it's addicting and pleasant.


3. Cargo - Gloss with TimeStrip Technology - Full-Size $25



The second full-size product in the Topbox is a lovely lipgloss. I have not tried many products from Cargo. Like I said in my video, I've mostly tried their cheek products (like blush and bronzer).

You guys know that I am finicky about expiration dates, so my favourite feature of this lipgloss is that it has a timestrip. The timestrip basically tells you when it's time to toss this gloss out.

I like the color, it's a pretty berry color. In my video, I mentioned that it wasn't a color that I would normally gravitate toward but now that I've tried it, I actually really like it.



According to the card, which I only now read fully, this color was customized for me. This shade was picked by a Cargo makeup artist to complement my beauty profile. I love that Topbox is actually using that information.


4. Skinceuticals - Hydraying B5 Gel



In hindsight, I realized that I was saying the name of this company completely wrong in my video. I think I pronounced it "skin-sensuals", as opposed to "skin-seu-tical."

Anyway, I like the product but I don't think I would purchase the full-size. I have other products in my skincare routine that I prefer. But it is nice and it feels great on the skin. My method of application is just putting it directly on my face using my fingers. Can't be bothered with a cotton pad.

Overall, I'm pleased with my Topbox. I don't think it tops last month's though. I'm sure it will be very hard to top last month's Topbox. Ahh, Deborah Lippmann.

Also, I was expecting something more festive for December's box. It's the holidays! I don't know. I wasn't expecting Christmas miracles... just something a little more jolly.

Still enjoyed it, though.

I can't wait for my Glymm & Luxe Box to come. Especially my Luxe Box since I'm expecting a little something extra because of the expired Moroccanoil debacle.

Have you received your December Topbox? What did you think?

xo,
Aleeza

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