Sparkled Beauty

I Live to Shine


Colour Pop Not a Box of Chocolates

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

The little box and its gorgeous teal sleeve (and what's printed on it lol) are no stranger to you, are they?

I caved when they ran a little 20% off sale on eyeshadow sets and got the (LE) Not a Box of Chocolates, reg. $30. Shipping to Canada was over $11, which hurt a little less after I used a $5 discount code.

Be warned, the pots were photographed in natural lighting, which toned down the glitters a lot. Under indoor light (or flash, as with the swatches below), the Metallic shades glow like a disco ball.

The 3 shades in the first row, from L-R: Halo, Tinsel and Partridge.

Halo is a champagne with scarce specks of gold glitter, with a Satin Luxe finish that looks almost matte to me.

Tinsel and Partridge have a similar base (purple & brown taupe) with different sheen. Tinsel (Metallic finish) has lots of fine silver glitters while Partridge (Pearlized finish) has that green duochrome that we are too familiar with :)

Here are the swatches, using my fingers. They would appear more sheer with a brush.

Second row: Sleigh, Drift and Doe-A-Deer.

Sleigh is properly described as an icy sage sprinkled with tons of multicolored glitter (Metallic finish).

Drift is a cranberry (Pearlized finish), great as a blush when sheered out.

Doe- A- Deer is a darkened purple (Matte finish), looks a lot darker in the pot.

I find the finishes vary among shades. The Metallics (Tinsel and Sleigh) are more consistent, the glitters make them more like toppers for me instead of eyeshadows on their own. The Pearlized finish gives Partridge a duochrome sheen but a semi-matte look on Drift.

Pigmentation overall is good, especially for the price tag. Do note that the eyeshadows look more intense on your fingers than when transferred to your lids.

Finish wise, for practical reason, I'd stick with Satin Luxes and Mattes for work, Pearlized and Metallics for the weekend :) Stay tuned for a look.


Weekly flyer deals

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

This town got flurries yesterday and freezing rain today. Somewhere else in this province got snow. How can Canada rank 5th in the happiness meter of the world? lol

Canada's first Benefit boutique opens next month in Toronto, according to @BeautyGeek. I look forward to lots of product sighting and brow service :)

Shoppers: Spring Beauty Gala on May 2 for Look Good Feel Better. A free Burst into Spring contest card with $10 purchase until May 22

*** Saturday & Sunday: Spend Your Points event
- 50,000 points = $100 (extra $15), or
- 95,000 points = $200 (extra $30).

*** Sunday & Monday: Quo brushes: 40% off.

*** All week:
- Olay skin care: 30% off
- Neostrata, Cliniderm skin care: 30% off
- L'Oreal, Aveeno facial moisturizer, Bio oil (125ml): CAD19.99
- Neutrogena, Aveeno, Clean & Clear facial cleanser: CAD7.99
- L'Oreal facial cleanser: CAD9.99
- Garnier facial moisturizer: CAD14.99
- Fructis, Aussie hair care: CAD2.99
- L'Oreal Hair Expertise, Vidal Sassoon hair care: CAD3.99
- John Frieda, L'Oreal Ever, Elnett hair care: CAD6.99
- L'Oreal Ever, Elnett treatment: CAD12.99
- Batiste dry shampoo: CAD7.99
- Maybelline Great Lash mascara, Baby Lips, Express Wear eyeshadow: CAD3.99
- Revlon lip: CAD5.99
- L'Oreal Voluminous original mascara, Extraordinaire gel lacque: CAD5.99
- CoverGirl Ready Set Gorgeous makeup: CAD7.99; Colorlicious lip: CAD9.99; Outlast Stay Fabulous, TruBlend makeup: CAD10.99
- Rimmel: 25% off
- Physicians Formula: 30% off
- Essie, Misslyn nail polish: CAD7.99
- Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy nail polish: CAD6.99.

- Ombrelle sun care: 25% off
- H2O skin care: 30% off
- Garnier skin care: 30% off
- Annabelle eyeshadow quad, Instaglam eyeliner, BB, Skin True foundation: CAD9.99
- Marcelle makeup remover: 20% off
- Terractive face/ hair mask: BOGO
- Rimmel lip: 25% off
- Wet n Wild: 20% off (bonus miles)
- Mavala nail: 25% off.

- L'Oreal RevitaLift, Age Perfect skin care: CAD17.97
- Maybelline Great Lash mascara, Baby Lips: CAD3.46.

- Dove dry spray: CAD4.99 (limit 4)
- Herbal Essences: CAD2.49
- L'Oreal Hair Expertise: CAD3.99
- Organix: CAD7.99.

Sears: Beauty event on April 29 - $10 ticket, $8 can be redeemed on cosmetics/ fragrances and $2 benefits Look Good Feel Better.

Clinique GWP of $31 or more until May 11. The 7-piece gift, values $85, includes:
- Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle correcting eye cream (5ml)
- Dramatically Different moisturizing lotion (30ml)
- Take the Day Off makeup remover (50ml)
- High Impact mascara (3.5ml)
- All About Shadow duo & Soft pressed powder blusher compact in Violet and Different lipstick in Surprise, or Nude and Tenderheart respectively
- A cosmetic bag.

With a Clinique purchase of $75 or more, you get an additional free tote. And if you use a Sears credit card with that, you'll get a $25 saving card, redeemable on fashion, footwear, jewelry, accessories or luggage purchase of $75 or more.

The Body Shop: B3G3F or B2G1F, and for LYB members - 20% off Fuji Green Tea line, until Sunday in store and online, with regular exclusions.


NOTD: OPI Aloha from OPI

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

This mani is crazy bright! I can't get warm around here with this weather nor can I be in Hawaii right now, so bright nail polish would have to do it.

This in-your-face red (described as a coral cream) is OPI Aloha from OPI*. It only needs one coat here, amazing right?

Then the thick French tips and the clouds happen as I try to be "creative" to tone down Aloha from OPI a tiny bit for work, using the 2 shades that I featured in previous NOTDs.

The purple mauve on the tip and part of the clouds is Just Lanai-ing Around*, also seen in the bottle shot below, another one coater. If I haven't said it already, this is my favorite colour from the Hawaii collection.

The light pink in the clouds is Suzi Shops & Island Hops*. I find this the easiest way to wear a pink for someone who don't have a knack for it normally.

And as you would have known by now, the * on all 3 shades means they are also available in paint colours at Clark+Kensington.

Nail polish aside, how's everyone doing? Now that all the VIB sale madness calmed down, Mother's Day sales starts to pop up lol. Don't know if I felt overly generous to treat myself ahead of time or it was an excuse as good as any, my wallet will not like this.

Stay tuned for lots of reviews of stuff I have bought :)


Live Clean Coconut Milk hair care

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

I was sent Live Clean Coconut Milk shampoo and conditioner for review a while back. Once testing was done, Squirt, who is quite a big fan of the coconut scent, has taken over.

I am not complaining. The products offer the moisturizing and strengthening properties of coconut oil, enriched with Vitamin C, E and Provitamin B5, milk protein and rice protein that help prevent breakage and seal in moisture.

To add, they are creamy, with thicker texture. The shampoo lathers well and the conditioner rinses well. Our hair dries to that soft and light feeling of clean and good smelling hair. The shower smells good too, every time.

It also helps that they are natural, plant-based with certified organic botanicals, eco-friendly and free of harsh chemicals, Petroleum, Paraben, Silicone, Phthalate and Phosphate.

The bottles are quite big (350 ml), retail only $6.99 each. Give them a try if what they are and what they offer fit your needs.


Vichy micellar solutions

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

If you haven't kept up with micellar solutions for removing face and eye makeup, you gotta!

They feel like water, are so easy to use (with a cotton pad, without having to rub or rinse), great as the first step before a cleanser, or for those late nights that you cannot bother a full facial wash.

I had the opportunity to test out 2 micellar solutions from Vichy to share some thoughts with you.

Vichy micellar solutions are alcohol/ corolant/ soap/ parabens free, pH balanced, with Vichy Thermal Spa water, suitable for sensitive skin. They claim to cleanse and soothes the skin without causing discomforts or tugging. And I can confirm all that!

The original version from Vichy is the Purete Thermale 3-in-1 Calming micellar solution (left), a good solid one for everyone.

It does take an extra cotton pad to thoroughly get all the waterproof mascara off (so 2 for the face, 2 for the eyes, on average) but leaves my skin in the most comfortable state it can be. No tightness, dryness.

Despite fragrance being listed (see below), I do not detect a scent with it.

Ingredients: Water, Hexylene Glycol, Glycerin, Poloxamer 184, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Disodium Edta, Panthenol, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Fragrance.

And then, Vichy came out with Normaderm micellar solution for acne prone skin (right).

The same micellar technology but with Zinc PCA, an antibacterial agent that helps removing sebum and gently purifying the skin. It feels the same way on the skin, and still with no scent. It is extra soothing on those bumpy pimples, I am happy to say. 

Same bottle shape, with flip tops.The Normaderm version spots the green accent.

Ingredients are mostly the same too: Water, Hexylene Glycol, Glycerin, Poloxamer 188, Zync PCA, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Chloride, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Disodium Edta, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Citric Acid, Dihydrocholeth-30, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide.

I adore the Normaderm version for the state of the skin I am in right now, and love the fact that Vichy acknowledge that need. But the Purete Thermale bottle would be good for anyone. They retail $19.95 (200ml) or $27.50 (400ml).


The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Being a "dedicated" tea drinker in the last few years, I worship green tea for its antioxidant qualities. I was super excited to receive a few samples from The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea collection [Revive the Body, Detox the Mind].

Being prepared that a Fuji Green Tea body product would not smell 100% like a cup of green tea, I like the way The Body Shop does it.

The scent still carries a strong tea smell but with added sweet notes to make it easy those who don't drink tea in general. Squirt does not like it, which hints the scent might be an acquired taste to some.

I thoroughly enjoy the body wash. I need that delicious crisp scent to wake me up and recharge me for the day ahead before I could grab a real cup of tea :)

The formula includes Community Fair Trade honey (from Ethiopia), and it lathers well being soap free, I like it even more.

Ingredients: Water (solvent), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (surfactant), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (surfactant), Glycerin (humectant), Sodium Chloride (viscosity modifier), PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (surfactant), Fragrance, Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate (skin-conditioning agent), Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Citric Acid (pH adjuster), Honey (humectant), etc.

The bottle is 250ml, retails $9.

The body scrub looks yummy enough to eat. I can't get enough of that mint colour with darker green little particles in the jar.

Also enriched with Community Fair Trade honey from Ethiopia, the scrub is used alternatively with the wash above, especially when I need some help with detoxing the body of those dead skin cells.

Ingredients: Water (solvent), Glycerin (humectant), PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (surfactant), Fragrance, Cellulose Acetate (film former), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifying agent), Benzyl Alcohol (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Caprylyl Glycol (humectant), Honey (humectant), etc.

The jar (plastic, with metal lid) is 250ml, $22.

Then, follow things up with a body lotion.

I am more of a body butter person, but if you are looking for a lighter texture in your body moisturizer, this body lotion works great.

Enriched with Community Fair Trade Sesame Seed oil from Nicaragua, which is also in the formula of some Moringa products, one of my favorite scents at The Body Shop.

Ingredients: Water (solvent), Glycerin (humectant), Ethylhexyl Palmitate (emollient), Ceteareth-20 (emulsifier), Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil (emollient), Steareth-2 (emulsifier), Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil (emollient), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Fragrance, Caprylyl Glycol (skin conditioning agent), etc.

The bottle is 250ml with a pump, $13.

Check out the Fuji Green Tea scent if you are near a The Body Shop store. I already like the scent, but also like the idea of creative products that fit the theme - bath tea (with its own infuser) and Tea Ceremony gift sets (ranging from $10 - $50).


Weekly flyer deals

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Charlotte Tilbury makeup is to arrive in Holt Renfrew this June. Smaller provinces don't have a Holt but at least it's nice to know Canada is not forgotten overall :)


*** Saturday: x20 points with $50 purchase
- No7 skin care: 25% off (rest of the week: 15% off)
- Life Brand, Balea skin/ acne/ shave care: 30% off
- Herbal Essences, Aussie hair care: CAD2.49 (limit 4, after limit and rest of the week: CAD2.99).

*** All week:
- RoC skin care: 20% off
- Nivea, Neutrogena skin/ shave care: 25% off
- L'Oreal, Olay facial cleanser: CAD9.99
- Olay Regenerist Luminous Overnight, Total Effects Feather moisturizer: 20% off
- Garnier Miracle sleeping cream, eye: 20% off
- L'Oreal, Aveeno facial moisturizer: CAD22.99
- Cetaphil cleanser, moisturizer: CAD14.99
- Jergens Natural Glow, BB Body: 20% off
- Hawaiian Tropics, Banana Boat sun care: CAD8.99
- Neutrogena, Aveeno sun care: CAD12.99
- TreSemme hair care: CAD4.99
- L'Oreal Hair Expertise, Infusium, Live Clean, got2b, CLEAR hair care, TreSemme styling: CAD5.99
- Ogx hair care: CAD6.99
- Garnier Fructis styling: CAD5.99; hair care: CAD7.99
- Batist dry shampoo, Marc Anhony styling: CAD7.99
- Dove, L'Oreal Ever, John Frieda hair care: CAD8.99
- Klorane hair care, Marc Anthony treatment: CAD10.99
- EoS, Blistex lip balm: 20% off
- Blistex lip balm (2-3's), SoftLips cube: CAD3.99
- Maybelline mascara, eyeliner, Color Sensational lip: 25% off
- CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom mascara, Colorlicious lip, Clean makeup: CAD6.99
- Revlon eyeshadow, Bold Lacquer mascara, Ultra HD lip: CAD7.99
- Annabelle eye makeup remover pads (85's), Kohl, eye, lip, brow liners: 2/CAD10 or CAD5.99 each
- Rimmel (selected): CAD5.99
- NYC Applelicious balm, Cover Stick concealer, eye products: 2/CAD7 or CAD3.79 each
- Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy, L'Oreal Extraordinaire Gel Lacque nail polish: CAD6.99
- Ceramic Glaze, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure nail polish: CAD7.99
- Lancome: 15,000 bonus points with $175 skin care purchase.

Note: There is a Lancome Shoppers-exclusive Lupita collection, inspired by Lupia Nyong'o spring look with a Hypnose mascara in Purple (CAD32) and 3 Color Design palettes (CAD57 each).

- Marcelle BB products: 20% off
- Annabelle eyeshadow, eyeliner: CAD6.99
- Physicians Formula: 20% off (bonus miles)
- NYX blushes: 25% off
- Rimmel bronzer, concealer: 25% off (bonus miles)
- Rimmel BB products: CAD8.99 (bonus miles)
- L'Oreal Age Perfect, Youth Code, Retitalift Deep wrinkle: 25% off
- Dove hair care (selected): CAD2.99
- Rimmel nail polish: CAD2.99 (bonus miles).

The Bay: Bay Days are still on with different sales for different departments.

Buy more save more on shoes and sandals: Buy 1 save 20%, buy 2 save 25% or buy 3 or more save 30%.

Bath and Body Works: 20% off coupon on FB, good until Sunday
- Signature body care: B3G2F
- Aromatherapy body wash & body lotion: $6.50
- Hand soaps: 6/$28 or 3/$18
- 3-wick candles: 2/$25.50, single wick candles: 2/$22
- Wallflowers bulb: 4/$20.50
- Scentportable holder & refill: 4/$10
- PocketBac: 3/$5
- Liplicious, C.O. Bigelow lips: B2G1F.

The Body Shop: 40% off in store and online until Sunday.

Exclusions: 750ml jumbo shower gels, select lip butters & balms, Fuji Green Tea, Wonderblur, Drops of Youth Bouncy sleeping mask/ Eye concentrate, Lip & Cheek Velvet sticks, Colour Crush nail products, Red Musk, Wild Argan, All in One InstaBlur eye primer/ InstaBlur 5 Action perfector, pre-packaged gift sets/ kits, sale items, online Outlet items, everyday value items (minis), charitable items.


OPI This Color’s Making Waves

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

This is OPI This Color's Making Waves, a lagoon blue from the Hawaii collection I was sent.

The flash in low light brings out the shimmers hidden in this shade, which I love, but this is not how the colour looks most of the time :)

In normal lighting, it looks like the picture on the left below, close to being frosty but not quite. I normally slap on a matte top coat or glitters, cause I don't like frosty shades. This is 2 coats.

Then I want to see if the shimmers in This Color's Making Waves will show through with saran wrap sponging of Suzi Shops & Island Hops (from the same collection) on top, so that's what happens in the picture on the right below.

It looks better IRL than in the picture, but this sort of drives me to enjoying Suzi Shops & Island Hops more.


The Miracle Balm

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

I believe everyone's hands suffer this winter, but I have not seen my cuticles this bad before, ever. In a mad hunt for anything that works for them, I embraced the offer to review the Miracle Balm, 100% natural.

Now to get the facts straight, the Miracle Balm is a lot more than a cuticle cream.

It restores dried/ chapped skin, sooth bruises, itches (caused by psoriasis or eczema) or burns, strengthens weak nails, eases sore muscles, protects facial skin from the cold, etc.

The natural formula includes:
- Propolis: the resin collected by the bees on tree buds (acts as a beehive sealer), very strong antiseptic, antibiotic and healing characteristics
- Emu oil: moisturizing, healing and antifungical
- Castor oil: emollient, soothing and fortifying for nails and hair
- Bees wax: protects the skin by creating a waterproof barrier
- Comfrey: a plant whose extract has healing and anti-itching properties
Also contains jojoba, avocado, essential oils of lavender, geranium and lemon.

As soon as I saw the lovely yellow texture and the little spatula, I had this deja vu feeling, like I used this balm before. But it was not in my stash nor featured on the blog, so it was a long while before I realized I did try it before through Elle Beauty Grand Prix.

It was a blind-testing program, where products were concealed and numbered to ensure unbiased opinions. This balm was categorized as a hand cream, so I tested it for that and gave it quite high ratings (spoiler alert lol). My coworker fell in love with it too and asked if she could have it after I was done testing, which was why I didn't have it anymore.

The Miracle Balm has a more solid texture than coconut oil in cold environment, but it melts the same way when in contact with the skin, just more slowly as it is thicker. And it smells herbally, in a good way, like a medicated balm if you ever try one before.

For other purposes that I didn't know of at the time of Elle Grand Prix testing, the Balm has done a great job in helping with my muscle pain after shoveling all March and into April. The feeling of it melting into the skin, the warmth from rubbing it in and the medicated scent offered comfort!

It also brought hope that my cuticles can soon be back to where it was pre-winter. They are not there yet, that tells you how bad things were.

Due to its thick texture, I did not use the balm on my face on those no-makeup days but in extreme cold situations, I definite will.

Ingredients: Gromicelus (Emu oil), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut oil), Cera Alba (Bee wax), Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed oil), Ricinus Communis (Castor oil), Persea Americana (Avocado oil), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba oil), Propolis, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey Root extract), Lavandula Officinalis, Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium), Citrus Sinensi, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

The Balm is made in Quebec, distributed by Bella Vita. The tin has 80g of product, retails for $15 in most health food stores.


Dove and Degree dry sprays

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Dry spray antiperspirants have sprung better than Spring itself this year, claiming to go on instantly dry with up to 48 hours of protection. I jumped on the chance to test out 2 bottles, as my curiosity was definitely high :)

This first one is Dove dry spray in Revive (pomegranate and lemon verbena), supposed to have Dove's unique ¼ moisturizers for softer, smoother underarms.

This dry spray does give off a soft and invisible feeling. It keeps the underarm areas dry with regular sweating through minimum to low impact workouts. I would layer up or resort to a deodorant for activities that involve lots of sweat though.

Revive smells fruity fresh, but a hint of citrus, and lasts for a few hours. I like to get a whiff of it here and there like that. There are also Original, Beauty Finish, Sensitive Skin, Nourished Beauty, Cool Essentials and Clear Tone Skin Renew, and men's versions (unscented, Extra Fresh, Clean Comfort).

Ingredients: Butane, Hydrofluorocarbon 152A, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isobutane, Aluminum Chlorohydrate, PPG-14 Butyl Ether, Fragrance, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed oil, Disteardimonium Hectorite, C12-15 Alkyl Benxoate, Propane, BHT, Octyldodecanol, Propylene Carbonate, Dimethiconol, Tocopheryl Acetate.

The can has 3.8oz/ 107g of product (said to last 8 weeks), retails around $5.97.

Then, there is Degree dry spray in Sheer Powder (freesia, jasmine and vanilla). The MOTIONSENSE technology claims to respond to your body movement to release extra odour protection when needed, but since it is an antiperspirant (to keep you dry) instead of a deodorant (to minimize odour), I am not sure if this claim actually works.

Either way, I would say it works similarly to the Dove version above with regular activities, can't testify in heavily sweaty situations, lol.

This Sheer Powder scent, however, is not as exciting as Revive. Maybe it is the freesia note that I don't like, or maybe I prefer fruity than floral scents. But again, scents are personal, you might like it :) Also available in Fresh Energy, Shower Clean and men's versions (Everest, Adventure and Sport Defense).

Ingredients: Butane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrofluorocarbon 152A, Isobutane, Aluminum Chlorohydrate, PPG-14 Butyl Ether, Fragrance, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Propane, BHT, Propylene Carbonate, Caprylic/ Capric Triglycerite, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Maltodextrin, Hydrated Silica, Hydrolized Cornstarch, Gelatin Crosspolymer, Silica, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Benxoate.

The can is the same size as that of Dove above, retails around $4.97.

Product design wise, Dove (left) has a cap that covers the nozzle and you push on the pink pad to discharge the spray through the little opening on the white part underneath it.

Degree (right) has a locking mechanisms where you push the pink pad in the direction of the arrows, then spray, and slide it back to lock. No cap to worry about.

Note that, as expected with aerosols, the spray feels cool in contact, which would be refreshing in the summer but a tad chilly when the temp hangs slightly above 0 :) Don't forget to shake the can before spraying.

Overall, I am saving these dry sprays for the Summer and reapply when need to. Pick the design and scent you like with your next antiperspirant and have fun, unless you prefer non-aluminum products.